Tuesday, January 31, 2012


"Where is he?"  Asked Tom

Mike flashed a kind smile, "Actually, at this moment he is meeting with his discipleship team.  David felt that he heard the voice of God and God was calling him to reach this whole area of Michigan with the Gospel.  He's selected six or seven of his best men. They are committing themselves to discipline and total obedience to God and they think that God is going to do something amazing through them." He paused to sip his coffee while witnessing the doubt written on Tom's face. So he added in David's defense, "I have a good feeling about this. I think God is about to do something big here and it might be through David and his men."

"Won't work." said Tom, shaking his head.

Mike seemed more irritated than ever before, "How do you know it won't work? We serve a big God and the right people, humbled in submission to that God can change the world . . . I just find it unspiritual to dismiss such acts of faith out of hand. You don't know what God can and can't do!"

Tom shook his head, "Michael. This isn't about God, this is about David. It won't work. He can't fill that hole in his soul by doing some great campaign for God. That's what doesn't work. It is always about the man . . . or woman. The campaigns, ministries, movements, crusades are all the same. God is the bystander in the feeble attempts for one person or a group of them, to try and patch up those huge, gospel-shaped, cracks in their soul . . . using the innocent as chinking. It is emotional reasoning at work again."

There was standoff of silence as the rest of them ate their breakfasts. In a moment Tom spoke again, "So he's never coming back?"

Mike smiled again, "Apparently not. He and his men are spending the first hour of everyday in prayer over this. They are laying the groundwork, through prayer for the coming revival."

Tom shook his head again.  "It's all my fault and I regret being too sharp with the man."

Greg spoke up, "Tom, I don't think this has anything to do with you."

"Certainly it has everything to do with me," said Tom.  "It was something I said . . . and as quickly as the words were out of my mouth . . . did I realize that I had gone too far."

Michael added a word of agreement with Greg's words, "No, it wasn't about you. I spoke to David yesterday and he really felt that God was speaking to him. He didn't say anything about you."

"Of course he didn't bring it up. He is trying to put as much space between himself and reality as he can. To say it was connected to what I said would be far too close to reality." Everyone was silent and looked confused. "So, I'm the only one who sees what's going on here?"  Tom sipped his coffee again and made that bitter frown, the one he always makes after coffee. "I will miss David . . . but I still have a mission to fulfill and my time is drawing short."

Debra, Greg and Mike all looked at Father Randy.  He cleared his throat and wiped his mouth with his napkin. "Tom, we were talking this morning before your arrival.  We don't see the point in going forward. It seems that you are not satisfied with the answers we give. So why don't we move on. Maybe you want to tell us more about where you're from."

Greg smile, "I would love to hear more about your world and what you know, which we don't, about ours."

Tom shook his head. "You have taught me far more than you realize. I'm really here for one purpose and we have only scratched the surface on that. So, please, I beg of you, let's continue our discussion."

Disappointed looks bounced between the earthlings, like wayward balls on a billiard table. Finally Father Randy spoke in a subdued voice, "Okay, if we must."

Tom's eyes lit up, "Okay, so moving on beyond a written charter and doctrinal statement, what is the Church?"

Michael was realizing that the only way to put this to rest was to complete it. So with earnest, he moved into the topic with a full intent. "I can only speak from the Protestant traditions, but the next step is to define the congregation and that is done through a membership roll. We must clearly define who is with our church and who is not. Then we must move on to order of service. Since the early Christians met on the first day of the week, it is ours, as well as our Catholic friends' tradition to meet on Sunday mornings for our key meeting or worship service. The worship service must encompass all Biblical aspects for the Church, including teaching, preaching, singing of hymns, prayer and praise. There must be opportunities for each of the gifts to be manifest, including the gifts of being a deacon.  The sacraments must be practiced, including the breaking of bread and the sharing of the wine. The church structure is the decisive body being the elders, and the pastors is one of the elders. The purpose of the elder board is to give the church and to apply the discipline of God onto those of the body who are in sin or teaching false teachings. Then there are . . ."

"Hold on!" shouted Tom with his hands raised in the air.  He then grabbed his Bible and slid it across the table in Michael's direction. "Show me!"

1 comment:

Philip said...

"The campaigns, ministries, movements, crusades are all the same. God is the bystander in the feeble attempts for one person or a group of them, to try and patch up those huge, gospel-shaped, cracks in their soul . . . using the innocent as chinking."

That's one to chew on and repent over. Thank you, I'm loving this story!