Hum Drum. Most of our lives are lived in ordinary fashion where nothing too unusual happens. When it does, our attention is instantly piqued. We’re driving along I-91, lulled by the road’s monotony, when we see flashing lights ahead. Fully focused now, we brake to see what’s what. A football game plods along with fans absorbed in their tacos, when a player makes a fantastic grab in the end zone. Immediately the crowd is on its feet, roaring, tacos forgotten.
Fantasy Let’s face it, we need excitement in our lives and everyday living can be tedious and mundane. I have a neighbor who tells me her drinking problem gets triggered by boredom. Even Christians get drawn into fantasies like pornography, extramarital affairs and TV addiction. It’s often due to ennui (restless dissatisfaction caused by lack of excitement). Producers of TV shows know this about us, so outlandish stuff sells. Some buttons get pushed by Jerry Springer, others by murder mysteries, and sports, but lately supernatural fantasy has skyrocketed..
Supernatural, the TV show features two brothers hunting down demons from hell. Christian girls are captivated by Vampires and Werewolves in the Twilight series. Boys and men are glued to shows about supernatural superheroes pitted against other-worldly villains. (Stan Lee must be laughing all the way to the bank.) Most awful of the genre, Dominion, turns the Bible on its head. Gabriel is an evil angel who hates humans but needs their bodies to fly around to work mayhem. Constantine is apparently about a tormented exorcist. Faceoff is a popular reality show where special effects artists compete to create the most realistic, scariest zombies, demons and the like.
God’s Dream Church Don’t misunderstand. We aren’t criticizing our need for the extraordinary. It’s part of how God made us. In fact, His church was created to specialize in the supernatural. We believe it is God’s Dream to revitalze His church so that she can call forth the miraculous, signs and wonders that catch the attention of our unbelieving world. Of course the most extraordinary miracle is a church that loves each other as Christ loved us.
But meanwhile, back at First Church, the extraordinary rarely happens nor is even expected. Our pastor once said, “It’s remarkable how the church has managed to make something as extraordinary and miraculous as the resurrection of Jesus Christ so boring.” Originally a miraculous movement that changed the world, the church tends to be a predictable institution that changes little. Tradition and rationalism prevail. The transforming power of God’s supernatural message of Jesus Christ often gets lost in the routines of Sunday morning.
Stuff Ain’t Happening Over 40 years ago, John Wimber left the Righteous Brothers after Jesus Christ turned his life right side up. He attended a certain church for a while, then approached a church leader.
“When does the stuff start happening,” he wanted to know? “What stuff?” He opened his Bible. “I’ve been reading all these great things in Acts. I just want to know when it begins happening here.”
Disappointed to find nothing did, Wimber prayed, labored and helped get a movement born where stuff did happen, for a while. I’ve attended some of these churches lately and stuff ain’t happening there anymore either.
How did the church get to be so humdrum? Jesus was an amazing person who did miraculous things, was unjustly executed, came back to life and created an extraordinary movement designed to change the world. What happened to change things? Well, it’s partly the story of the frog in the pot. Don’t know the story? Our next few posts will tell it, exegete it and suggest ways for the church to find her way back to greatness