Liney and I were watching the evening news last night (8-16-08) as they briefly showed Minister Huckabee speaking to a large crowd in an open-air rally in Washington D.C. yesterday (and from what I heard him say.. he did a good job).
I was also glad to see some Christians apparently repenting and praying for this nation ...as their activities were explained to me. There was definitely some good happening there. We certainly need more of that going on, especially at a time like this with our nation's election right around the corner. But one couldn't help but notice a tall Christian man standing some five feet right behind Huckabee on the platform.. rocking back and forth.. not a little bit, but some two and a half feet forwards then backwards, over an over again all through his speech (but the speaker couldn't see him).
It was as if that man was some lead guitarist in the middle of a wild concert the way this guy was bobbing …yes, all during Huckabee's speech it went on (but there was no music for the guy to keep time with and he wasn't playing any background music himself). Physically he was OK and it might have had some entertainment value if the man was performing in a concert. But there was no good reason for this behavior. The man's actions (I'm not talking about Huckabee's) seemed to be saying, please notice me too; I am important and spiritual, as well.
Hmm, maybe there is something I don't know, but it certainly appeared to be very inappropriate and religious. I wont' judge his heart. I simply believe this man was there desiring "revival phenomena" from the Lord and wanted to see this kind of thing spreading, but what he was actually producing was manufactured. And God doesn't want Christians disrupting others who are there to listen and be edified. Again, he wasn't slightly doing this and it seemed he was trying to draw people's attention away to himself ...away from a message of truth that was being delivered in that Christian meeting. Maybe the news commentator should have explained what was going on better.
But it made me think of Jesus when He was here walking on this earth Who constantly pointed people to the Father. He never spazzed-out for attention's sake. When Christ was in a place of worship, He never disrupted or distracted people away from the reading of the Scriptures. And Paul agreed with Christ's style saying, “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Cor. ). What was happening reminded me of the Holy Spirit's character too, Who has always pointed people to Jesus rather than to Himself, even though Jesus and the Spirit are both equally God. Historically, it was Mr. LuCifer who was the one who sought the limelight, sought a central position and to draw attention to himself. And look where that prideful presumption got him!
Anyway, upon seeing this man, my wife immediately commented, "How strange is that?" (..like we hadn't ever seen that type of distracting religious behavior countless times before. I wish we haven't ever seen it). Religiosity gets so nauseating after a while. No wonder secular people have become tentative and indifferent about vertical Christian commitment and feel so reserved even when visiting really safe churches.
Keep back thy servant from presumptuous sins. The Bible says Love “vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own” (1 Cor. 13:5). It says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phl. 2:4).
Now, of course no one got "slain by the Spirit" there in Washington like they commonly do on Christian TV or like what happened with Ananias and his wife Sapphira when they got weird. I'm sure you also remember that story and how Pete rebuked those two asking, "…Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last" (Act 5:4-5 – that passage by the way, is the only biblical precedent for being slain by the Spirit).
But there were other so called believers there in Washington with quivering motions, with similar radical-Islamic-looking rocking to and fro, and even with spasmodically jerking about. Other than that, these young and old Christian participants looked like they were fairly up with the times. But think about it… with such strangeness on that platform; with lots of money spent to set it up for the purpose of representing the Lord right… the distraction obviously shoots effective evangelism in the foot. That type of junk simply scares away potential new converts who understandably wouldn't want God to make them into people with that kind of problem (that many Christians unfortunately call a non-problem and normal). Were these people, like so many have been, doing the quaking and shaking because they were taught that this activity is good and very spiritual?
I've got a question... If self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, why would the God who gives that fruit to us suddenly remove a Christian's self-control when the Spirit comes upon them?
One of the greatest weaknesses stemming from aberrant Christian churches and movements today is a lack of sound Bible teaching—many are lacking this teaching that carefully informs believers how to live practically, authentically spiritual, winsome in their witness of an extremely charming and practical God … and be non-distracting when someone is speaking truth to a group publicly. There still appears to be way too much preoccupation with "experience," with "feelings," with purposeless "miracles," (and I do believe God works miracles and uses Christians with gifts) but experiences, feelings and impressions often get placed above the Word of God and that's wrong. As a direct consequence of this, some Christians become known for their strange and unscriptural practices and doctrines that quickly proliferate.
Christians, it is of utmost importance that we allow the Bible to be the final authority for our faith and practice. Any time we Christians begin to allow "experiences," "feelings" or "impressions" to become the criteria for our doctrine or beliefs (like say, when we feel we should be doing some major rocking and steal the show so to speak...) we have lost Biblical authority. Guess what will happen then as a result?—distraction or confusion. And that type of thing presents a bad witness to the world. It actually gets in the way of God's fishing enterprise.
Sure, worse things have been done in Jesus Name other than rocking, jerking, quivering and quaking on the News, but please walk in the Word and go fish for souls right. Avoid evil and all apearance of evil. Stay focused on Christ, but don't forget the lost people who need to hear the Gospel and might be watching you!