I tread lightly in this post, because it is a mixture of thoughts from my mental interaction with teaching from Len Sweet, which may be part of a new book he is writing. I don’t want to spoil that, but I do want to think aloud about an idea. And this is out loud thinking, which means that the ideas are not developed well, but are cursory thoughts which need to be fleshed out.
This will precede a possible post on dark and light that will go into greater detail about a topic I will simply introduce in this one, that being the idea of two lights within the scripture.
Jesus is the light of the world. Let your light so shine… There are positive expressions of light within the scripture. The gospel of John, possibly dealing with an early form of gnosticism deals with a dualism, states light is good and dark is evil. But negative views of life also exist. Lucifer is called the “angel of light.” It could be stated, then, that there is lucifer’s light and Christ’s light.
The scriptures are filled with examples of Lucifer’s light. Listen to it careful, it just may shine from you. Lucifer says that you can be God. Lucifer says you can do what you want. Lucifer says take. Lucifer says consume.
Now think of how we speak of evangelism: “Win the lost”. “How many have you won?”
Think of our measuring rods: numbers of members, budgets, how many baptisms, how big…All of this is the language of the consumer.
Could it be that we are focused on the light of lucifer? Success is measured by the fruit of the spirit, not the numbers. Success isn’t measured by how much we consume, but by what is born out of us. Fruit is an expression of death.
Contemporary evangelism has gone commercial and we are reaping the consequences of it. We have truncated the great commission by neglecting the after-effects of Christ conceived within a person. And it is all for the sake of being successful.
What were to happen were the SBC reach it’s goal of 1 million baptisms? Utter chaos! Our churches could not handle the development of the Christ birthed within those people. Nelson Searcy said, as it was told to me, God will not give you what you cannot handle. Why would God bring to your church his most precious creation if you cannot handle them, care for them, love them, and see to their development in faith?
The audit for the church should be the fruit of the spirit and the fruit of faith. It is not numbers.