Swimming Upstream: “Religious Rules Bug Me!”

A few months ago, I was invited to read and give my opinion on a post written at a web site. The subject of the post was prophets and prophecy.

It was a well-written article…except one sentence disturbed me:

“God does not send lone-wolf prophets into cities anymore, but rather, He dispatches prophetic teams to work with the churches of that city.”

Not being the timid sort, I pointed out the sentence and stated that it was not scriptural.  (Keep in mind, this was a long,  long article, and I disagreed with one  sentence. And actually, I only disagreed with the phrase – God does not send lone-wolf prophets anymore.

Now, one would have thought I had blasphemed the name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit with the reactions my comment received. A major author and other writers joined in the discussion, pointing out the error of my thinking.

“God is a team player. He works with churches and not outside of their areas of authority. The only exception would be if the churches of the city are rebellious and disobedient,” they declared in comment after comment.

I disagreed with their conclusions. There were no scriptures to back up their statements. None. Zilch. Zero. My personal belief is that God is Boss! Period.

And if God decides to send one person – or a herd of people – to proclaim His words to the citizens of a city, it’s His choice, not ours. He’s the Big Guy. The Boss. The Lord God Almighty.

God does not have to work within our religious rules or systems, but we need to work within His agenda if we want see changes in our nation.

But if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it – lest you even be found to fight against God. (Acts 5:39)

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.


Filed under Christianity, Christians, Church, church planting, Emergent Church, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, morality, Prayer, Prophecy, Red Letter Christians, reformation, Religion, spiritual warfare

13 responses to “Swimming Upstream: “Religious Rules Bug Me!”

  1. Perhaps you’ve heard of Bruce Olson, the Minnesotan who went to an obscure tribe in South America. He had no training, just a conviction that he should go. Of course he had problems–what missionaries in a new territory don’t. God moved in a remarkable way over more than a decade–perhaps two decades–and most of the tribe are now Christians. He went alone. Just thought you’d appreciate a little support. I don’t think this is the norm, but as you mention, we can’t tell God how to do things.

    And yes (I noticed a question in the comment section of another blog), my name means sunny road or path in Norwegian. At least, as mentioned in a sidebar on my blog, that’s what I was told as a child–although I’m a fourth-generation Norwegian American. When I looked it up, most sources agree–as does the modern Norwegian languge. It’s a very common name in Norway today–and in Norwegian literature.

  2. Take heart, Buddy. Most (vast most?) of those who portend to tell the rest of mankind what God does and how He does it, will answer to Him for their misplaced albeit enthusiastic efforts. One example of how difficult it is to read God and His ways is how Jesus healed — differently every time as far as those that are recorded. Have you not encouraged others that the relationship is vertical — you and God, instead of horizontal — you and others’ opinions?

  3. Jane,

    Right on, my friend. Have a nice vacation on the Left Coast with your family.

  4. Ronni

    hrm. Seems God decides, over and over and over again to pick ONE person to make a difference.

    He didn’t send committees or groups. He appointed and chose ONE man. Over, and over, and over again.

    Maybe they need to read the Bible again….

    Granted these are probably the same groups that say that you have limited authority in limited areas… even tho my bible says I have been given ALL authority…

    But then again, what do I know? I only go by what the Word says…………..

  5. cindy,

    I agree that God does not usually send one person to a city or on a mission. And I said that to the people I disagreed with, but they were determined this was an Old Testament practice.

    Sunny road, huh? That certainly describes you in a short two word blurb.

  6. Ronni,

    Amen. When in doubt, check the Word, right?

  7. good post larry. i think it reminds us to be listening to God and have our discerning ears tuned up. what might SOUND good might just be spiro junk as i would say. sounds great for God to send teams out. and sometimes he might and does. he sent the disciples out in teams and partnerships. paul took mates with him. but he also sent out people one by one as they were called to be voices for righteousness against the masses. i think what i read into that is God sends people. sometimes as ONE voice and sometimes as a team. the main thing is we are sent and we go eh. and the main thing is if it is a team or if it is a one person, should be that they really know their God and are following his ways and his Word and his Spirit….

    again, love ya blog! blessings, knee socked Claire

  8. Seriously. The more I read and BELIEVE God’s word… the more people have issue with me.

    Wait… oh yeah it said I would. Hrm….

  9. LOL… I thought that was where you were going, : ) however, Solveig and I are not one in the same. I will give you this, she is a good friend, and who inspired me to blog. She is on my blogroll, please check her out…

    good try though!!

    As for your post today… why put God in a box?? Aren’t the things they came back with the same that religious authorities told Jesus? Just keep on loving them!!! I agree it bugs me too:

  10. Jesus was one, John the baptist was one…more often than not God raised up one to spark change in a nation.

    Perhaps one of the reasons it is not done that way today is because it is no longer considered wise. The modern day call is often “get a team, get a plan, raise some cash and then go and make a differance” – often sounds and looks like aide and relief work (not against aide and relief work, just an example) – nothing of God in it except the token use of His name. Many of the people who like to be called Prophets are speaking a pleasing word to the church so they make sure they get invited back next year and can collect another offering…where is the Prophet rising up and tell a backslidden, degenerate world “Repent Sinners, turn from your ways back to God”…no second invites with that message.

    God can send one, ten or two hundred…one man with the word of God can change a nation upside down. Let God be God. Amen

  11. The modern day call is wrong. My pastor is at times a voice in the desert. Sometimes (okay a lot of times) people come to our church one time… hear truth… never come back. BUT… those who ache… cryout and ask God to bring them truth… end up here…

    … and He is using it to raise the rest of us.

    I have two prophets in my life that speak truth and deliver pizza to pay the bills… my pastor… and Larry.

    You do what you have to… because TRUE ministry seldom pays (in rare cases) you nice cushy salaries and gives you tailored suits.

    But if you are truly called you are compelled to do what you must to be obedient to what God has told you to do.

    … and usually that can not be done in a committee or a team (hey they can’t even pick a carpet color)…

    People need to realize they are not going to answer to “Christiandom” when this is all over. They will answer to GOD alone. If that doesn’t give a different motivation, nothing will.

  12. Mark,

    “…Many of the people who like to be called Prophets are speaking a pleasing word to the church so they make sure they get invited back next year and can collect another offering…”

    Amen. It’s tough to bring razor-sharp words to the group who is providing your income.

  13. Ronni,

    Amen. We pizza guys have to hang together.

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