I hurried down West Broad Street in my Ford pickup truck, carrying Toyota parts to a mechanic who needed them right away. As I drove along, I had a graphic vision.
Do you remember iron lungs, which polio sufferers used during the 1950’s? They looked like large cylindrical metal tubes and encased polio victims, helping them to breathe via a pressurized airflow system. The bulky machines filled entire hospital wards during the height of the polio epidemics.
In my vision, the American church system was terminally ill. As a last ditch effort to save its life, the whole church system laid in a white iron lung, gasping for its every breath. The long power cord, attached to the rear of the unit, meandered itself through other electrical cords to a unique power source: money. The life support system was plugged into bags and bags of money.
I stared at the strange sight and then a thundering voice interrupted my thoughts.
“Pull the plug!” proclaimed the voice.
Carol and I prayed about my vision that night and felt we needed to leave the traditional church system right away.
Our decision to not attend churches sounds easy now, but at the time, it seemed like we were the only people in the whole nation walking away from churches. A little research on the Internet revealed hundreds of thousands of Americans had done the same thing over the last few years.
Still it was not easy to break our church attending habits. We were used to sitting in pews on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, Wednesday evenings, and whenever the church doors opened.
A well-meaning pastor once took me aside and gave one of those lectures no one likes to hear.
“Larry, you need stability in your life and for your marriage,” he said, shaking his head at our nomadic life. “No one will ever take your prophetic ministry seriously if you don’t settle down. You need to settle in a city and find a good church to park yourself so others will take you more seriously. Please, seek the Lord on this advice.”
This vision blew any thoughts about obeying his words out of the water.
(Excerpt from The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven, ©2014, Amazon eBook)
Here I am, almost sixteen years later, and like the U2 song, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, but at least, I have a scriptural direction —
By abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace (Ephesians 2:15)
(Continued in Part 2)