Recently Rodney Shaw, who is an accomplished author, editor and leader within the Apostolic Pentecostal movement, made the following statement regarding “change”…
I wanted to challenge both the establishment and the up-and-comers in a responsible, respectful way. Change is here, and if we don’t realize it, we will shrivel into nothing. On the other hand, there is an appropriate way to engage change. Our core theology is right. We cannot abandon our core because our methods and church culture are perceived to be stale. We need to understand where we came from and how we got here, and we need a sustainable plan of succession.
With this in mind, I began to ponder the call for change that has been gaining speed within our movement.
I remember (wasn’t that long ago, I’m amazed I still remember) when Obama was on the stump of “Change”, and everyone was fawning over him… and the war cry for change.
I also remember all the republicans and conservatives repeatedly asking the question, “What in the world are you talking about?! You’re making noise with your mouth and a lot of words are coming out, but you’re not really saying anything… what are you proposing to do?!”
Those that followed after Obama down the miry path that has currently caused our great country to become less great really had no idea what “change” they were following. They just knew they wanted “change”.
In this clamor to get “change”, I fear that many of our brothers and sisters and churches will be led down a volatile road chasing this feeling… this energy… that is not clearly defined, and will find themselves changed beyond what they ever intended.
I believe we must change.
I believe the face of the Church has changed much over the nearly 2000 years of its existence. If a Jew of Jesus’ day walked the streets of our city today, our preachers would label him a transvestite. And I’d probably guess if one of our preachers of today walked the streets of Jerusalem in their day, Paul would have slapped him silly for wearing a colored necktie and cufflinks. Things have changed, for sure.
I just pray that we don’t seek change just for “change”. I pray that our only motivation is to be honest with God and true to His Word.
Not to conform to the ideas of men… whether conservative or liberal… but to be honest with God and His Word.
In the end, this is what matters.
I believe that sometime in the future… in a very hot Hell… a liberal with his shorts and relevant goatee and a conservative with his wrist-length white shirt and holy shaven face will still be arguing about who is more holy and who is more right.