Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No Perfect People Allowed

The blog title comes from one of my favourite books by a guy called John Burke (he's one of the speakers at the Willow Global Leadership Summit in Bracknell in October and isn't to be missed). It came to mind when I heard of events surrounding a couple of things I've blogged on in the past which I felt I wanted to comment on.

The first relates to Todd Bentley, the guy at the centre of the Florida Revival. I'm not going to go into the details, you can read a statement from John Arnott about it here.

The second relates to Michael Guglielmucci, the man who sang the song Healer on the latest Hillsong album. It turns out that he never had cancer - you can read a statement made by his Dad about that here and a newspaper article about it here.

So what to say about all of this?

My first reaction was one of shock and disappointment that these sorts of things continue to happen, and the impact they have not only on the church but on the name of Jesus. Not good.

Secondly let's remember Jesus words in John 3:17 - "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him". If Jesus didn't come to condemn people then we mustn't either. Rather than picking up our stones to throw them at Todd and Michael we need to realise that all of us have sinned - it's just that theirs was far more public than any of ours will probably ever be. Let's be praying for Todd and Michael, their wives, their families and the many people who will be impacted by what they have done.

Thirdly that things like this are a wake up call to all of us to watch our own lives and make sure we aren't also being hypocrites or living a lie by saying one things and doing another. It doesn't matter whether you're a brand new follower of Christ or a leader of a church of thousands, people are watching the way you live and will be positively or negatively impacted for Jesus by the way you live. I joke about 'fine' never being an acceptable answer to the question 'how are you'. We need to have people who hold us accountable to make sure as far as possible we live without any masks or pretence and never pretend things are OK when they aren't. If as you read this you know there's any point where what is really happening in your life is different to the image you're trying to project, then repent straight away and tell someone you can trust as quickly as possible.

Finally we need to make sure our eyes and our confidence are fixed on Jesus and not on people. People will always let us down, God never will.

When I heard about the deception over the song Healer one of my first thoughts was would I feel the need to delete it from my iPod. At first I did, but the more I've reflected on what has happened the more the song has grown in significance for me. Some of us need a physical healer, but all of us need a healer who will take our spiritual and emotional brokenness and put us back together again. As I think of the video of Michael Guglielmucci singing that song with all the oxygen tubes and everything else going on, I realise the somewhere deep inside he was crying out for a healer for the brokenness he felt inside - the same healer you and I need too.

In the words of the song:

I believe You're my healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe You're my portion
I believe You're more than enough for me
Jesus, You're all I need

I hope you find all that in some way helpful in terms of processing what has happened.



Anonymous said...

Hey Simon. Well said. Restoration is a wonderful thing when Jesus is the restorer & healer. We can all say that we've been & are recipients of His love, mercy & grace that is poured out continually. As the Bible says 'All things work together for good...'. Thank you for commenting on situations like this. You are much appreciated. Ruth :0)

Brit-American said...

Thanks Simon for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Hi Simon

I subscribed to your blog having enjoyed a couple of visits to the Kerith from out of town.

I read your original posts on both issues & was touched by the song originally & forwarded it to others.

I shall forward this too, and am so grateful for & impressed by your wisdom & words.

I would say already, via your blog, God is using this for good. I am actually going to go & download the song & add it to my IPod as a living testimony & reminder to the complexity of this walk with Christ, the paradox we seemingly portray, and the wise words you have shared. May the same grace you repeatedly show inhabit my own life in greater measure!

Anonymous said...

It's so easy to judge people isn't it? Instead we need to love people with compassion and mercy. Thank you Simon for bringing this to us and I will be praying for these people. As you so rightly say none of us are without sin, we just all have different ones.


Anonymous said...

I think your blog entry this morning is fantastic and for me, the most emotional I have read. It's so important to recognise people need healing in many forms and not just from physical illness. Like you rightly said no-one is perfect and some peoples sin is more exposed than others. Everyone deserves to gain their Freedom in Christ and Gods Grace will surely continue to bless and heal this nation. Thank you Simon for your wise words. Stacey.O.