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A song, the charasmatic movement, and the paperwork

A couple of things you may find interesting. Firstly a clip of the guys who were in the Philippines singing the song "Draw me close to You" at the end of a day filming.
The idea of the director, it was great to be able to sing in our own languages. After my start we have Indonesian, followed by Thai, followed by Burmese before the whole group does a round in English. It may seem a little cheesy, but the depth in the faith of these guys is something really special, and its pretty awesome to think that God doesn't speak English. I dunno, I kinda get moved by people singing worship in other languages. And for those that are interested, Blueprints favorite Filipino, Edmond, is blogging here. He makes an appearance in the video below, see if you can spot him!

And these two pictures by Jon Birch got me thinking... would be interested in your thoughts on both. Has the charismatic movement completely run out of steam? I consider myself and Soul Survivor to still be in the charismatic vein, so maybe not... but things have definitely changed, and the occasional abuses and excesses, perhaps the self-centeredness of the movement in the 90s has definitely changed the landscape a bit.

And this one... well it speaks for itself. I am so stoked that we have people that are prepared to wade through all the paper work for Soul Survivor here in NZ. It certainly seems that things are a little out of control when it comes to how much paper work needs to be done to do an event these days... anyway, if anyone can be bothered fighting the battle to see less paper work on a political level - good luck to you and all the best!

“A song, the charasmatic movement, and the paperwork”

  1. Blogger Andrew Says:

    Enjoyed the video Sam. Nicely done.

    As for the cartoons... can't say i really agree that the wheels have come off. You know, looking at those and many other cartoons on his site it certainly seems that Jon has issues with much of the church today. But like anything theres always going to be the good and the bad... maybe he has been affected by the bad?

    I can certainly point to plenty of awesome examples of the good, one certainly being Soul Survivor.

    The second cartoon resonates a little more with me. Sometimes it feels like the world has gone mad and that the red-tape police are out to suck the fun and creativity out of life itself. Every night on the news you see someone with a tiny bit of authority stamping their feet in indignation about someone else who has dared to infringe some ridiculous rule. Mind you, some of the cowboy youth leaders I have met could always do with a guiding hand to keep them (and their youth groups) a little bit safer!

  2. Blogger A. J. Chesswas Says:

    What is the charismatic movement? I think it is more than just the occasional weekend away. It is a lifestyle of worship, prayer and fellowship, where are people are walking in amazing love for God and each other, and are totally open to the ministry of the spirit among them whenever he wishes, however he wishes. I had a taste of this at uni. Apparently such lifestyles and forms of fellowship were very common from the 1960s through to the late 1980s, my Mum certainly describes St Pauls Auckland in this way from when she was there in the 70s. If these are the features of charismatic life then I think the cartoon is accurate. We depend on leaders at church on Sunday, and worship leaders at big events, to be able to enter in the spirit. We seldom do this in twos, threes or twelves on our own accord, in someone's house.

    This is at least how the social landscape looks from my perspective. But maybe you guys still have it in Wellington??

  3. Blogger BK Says:

    I think you are on the right track with: "maybe not... but things have definitely changed, and the occasional abuses and excesses, perhaps the self-centeredness of the movement in the 90s has definitely changed the landscape a bit."

    Interesting that A.J. feels his description may not be found now... or not around him anyway. I like your depiction of charismatic... and agree that unfortunately too many are relying on pastords & leaders to do it for them...

    in saying that, I experience just what you described in my setting (yes, here in Wellington), which I count a real blessing...

  4. Blogger Brit Says:

    first off the video is pretty class.

    and as for ASBO its my daily source of satirical church laughter. and by means there is much to laugh about in our attempt to do what we think is best.
    the charasmatic one. i find pretty on spot with culture. you have a band wagon that everyone was hopping on to...and now the movement has stilled in the context that it was...so in a cartoon slip with no words...pretty historical and accurate from a broad stroke. (unfortunately ministry and kingdom can never be broad stroke)

    as for the youth one...as a youth pastor (and being the person to have him draw it) i find it very funny and accurate. in todays society Jesus wouldn't be allowed to love on the children because of Child Protection laws and mass feedings through mircals wouldn't happen because Jesus would be sued because some guy chocked on a fish bone so the church wouldn't let him do it. we have run amuke in trying to protect people and we end up hindering because if you look at statistics with child protections the kids it aims to protect more often than not it doesn't thats what i have an issue with....but again its the laws we have and the laws we are bound to...you work with them...and laugh at them but understand the why for which we have them.

    and i don't think drawing satirical church cartoons is a direct reflection of a persons view or saying that they are bitter or angry with the church (don't think you used either of those words andrew) but any ways i must go prepare for a GB talk

  5. Blogger P-Style Says:

    From my understanding of 20th century church history the "charasmatic movement" was a period of church activity when the practice of the "charismata" became a core element in theology and church behaviour. From that good old source wikipedia, the charismata (or charismatic gifts) are defined as;

    "word of wisdom / message of wisdom, word of knowledge / message of knowledge, gifts of healing,miracles / miraculous powers, prophecy / prophesying / prophets, discernment of spirits / distinguishing of spirits, speaking in tongues / varieties of tongues / speaking in different kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues, "

    This era has sometimes been labelled the "charismatic error" due to the 'abuses' mentioned by Sam.

    For me, this period is marked by a strange contrast that I find it hard to swallow. This period seemed to have made distrinction between biblical teahcings on the spirit and favoured some over others. As with all movements, they often start as reactions to popular or institutionalised practice. The charismatic era was as much about wider 1960's-1970's cultural shifts away from conservatism as it was about a move of the HS. This period saw a move away from the FRUITS of the spirit and toward the GIFTS. I've always been of the opinion that the practice of gifts is not necessarily a sign of His presence, but that the fruits are (you shall know me by my fruit). I believe that spiritual gifts can be used for good or evil, and that it is thr Fruits that is evidence of their use for good. So when I see people loosing their self-control (a fruit) when practicing a gift ("drunk in the spirit") I am instantly suspicious.

    for me the charasmatic era was probably an honest attemp to capture a genuine faith lifestyle, but unfortunately at the expense of christian theology.

    That it might be "over" is nothing to worry about. I could go on about modern hyper evangelicalism (prosperity doctrine, self centred worship and the 'excellence idol') as a swing back to the materialist protestant ethics prior to the charismatic era but that might have to wait for another day.

  6. Blogger A. J. Chesswas Says:

    "This period saw a move away from the FRUITS of the spirit and toward the GIFTS"

    Wikipedia doesn't tell the whole story. Got to get hold of a copy of the book about St Pauls Auckland during this time, then ref. it on wikipedia. My mother was there, she says it was ALL about the fruits, and that the practice of the gifts liberated them into the fruits. Easy to understand - by encouraging people to use gifts, people are actually being valued. They are spending time with each other. The love and community they felt was off-the-wall compared to staunch post-war Anglican individualism they had known.

    Being "drunk in the spirit" is not a charismatic movement thing - that is part of the "third wave"...

    Viv Grigg documents this in "Transformative Revival Theologies Among Auckland's Evangelicals and Pentecostals"


  7. Blogger Debs Says:

    1. I saw Edmond! Good on you Edmond, love the Kiwi t-shirt.

    2. Why is all this so complicated? I realise you guys/most of the people who comment on this blog are thinkers, and you have all obviously been given a brain that yearns to seek out this stuff. But may I speak as the dumbest Christian on this blog? I don't get it.

    I don't get why it's important, or not important. Maybe this is a trick from the devil to mess our minds up, to separate us, to confuse and fill with anxiety. Yes I appreciate the need to question and debate and learn, Im just wondering why Christianity is so damn complicated?

    In fact I'm so far gone, so stripped back to nothing in my faith that I donn't even know what it is i'm questioning anymore. I don't think you can 'give up' on Christianity the same way as you can't give up on needing a drink of water, but there is a huge part of me that wants to scream "Thats it, I QUIT!!!".

    I just want to be good to people, to be kind, to love them, to encourage them when they're down and high 5 them when they're up. I want to make someone a cup of tea when there heart has been broken, move that drunk guy off the curb cos no-one else will, tell someone they look pretty today, that I like the way they were kind to that person, and co-ordinate the foodbank. That's all I have left.

    I appreciate the dialouge and your guys brains and that you have the ability to go down these lines of thought - I can't get into a conversation about it but if you are ever feeling sad or lonely I would be honoured to make you a cup of tea and listen and comfort you.

    Maybe that's moving in the gifts of the spirit? :)

  8. Anonymous jonbirch Says:

    "I just want to be good to people, to be kind, to love them, to encourage them when they're down and high 5 them when they're up. I want to make someone a cup of tea when there heart has been broken, move that drunk guy off the curb cos no-one else will, tell someone they look pretty today, that I like the way they were kind to that person, and co-ordinate the foodbank. That's all I have left."

    hi, debs. it seems you are being stripped back to the essence of what christianity is. no ballballs, no streamers and fancy wrapping... just you and your spirit walking with god and his.

    p-style. it wasn't just theology that got trampled in the desire to create a christian lifestyle, (that would be bad enough)... but it was often the people. i meet the casualties all over. fortunately, many have the sense to realise that god is not to blame.

    thanks brit, for your sturdy defence of my character... i appreciate it. i do the cartoons both to critique and to empathise, to challenge and to comfort, and sometimes just to get conversation started. i am not a bitter person, nor am i an angry one, but i do get angry with what i see happening very often in the name of god, when it is at the expense of truly worshipping god through nurturing one another and stewarding gods wonderful creation.

  9. Anonymous Father Don Says:

    Still out here. As a matter of fact, I will be attending a meeting of some of the leaders in Jan. But for me: I am a Licensed Psychologist holding the level of Diplomate in my field. For nearly 50 years I have been treating people with emotional problems, as well as teaching students in the field. I have served on nearly every National, State and Local board dedicated to the improvement of treatment for the mentally ill. Twenty-six years ago, I had what is called the Charismatic experience. That powerful encounter with God strengthened me emotionally and mentally in ways beyond anything else I have discovered in life. Because of my lifelong commitment to help others achieve the highest level of functioning, I like to tell people “Don’t knock the Charismatic experience, until you have tried it." Loved your video. http://donclarks.blogspot.com/2007/07/psychologist-says-speaking-in-tongues.html