Saturday, June 14, 2008

Signs & Wonders: John Piper Style

Back in the 80s, during my high school days, my sister - who was at Biola University at the time - had to attend worship services of differing styles for a class she was enrolled in. So we decided to go down to Anaheim Vineyard for an evening service one Sunday. All I remember was the Kansas City prophet Paul Cain - strange & weird (apparently, Cain has since been booted by Mike Bickle and Jack Deere). Don't know which was weirder, the testimonies themselves or the fact that 2,000 or so people sat through it with me. He shared about how Jesus showed up in his bedroom of his second story home - which was surrounded by a chain linked fence that was high enough to prevent climbing. Jesus showed up and sat down by his bed and the weight of the second person of the Trinity caused Cain to turn over in bed. Yep, we sang a few of the Vineyard classics that night too . . . feeling weird just thinking about it (80s Praise & Worship Charismatic EMO?).

There were the Kansas City Prophets, the Toronto Blessing, the Brownsville Revival, and now the Lakeland Revival (the last two being from Florida). I admit I had that one weird experience that I just can't shake . . . especially when I hear people sing "I Believe in Jesus" or "Refiner's Fire". But for real, how on earth am I to celebrate with the entire body of Christ?

I'm glad you are with me this far, 'cuz I gots to give props to Pastor John Piper for his opening prayer back in February of 1990 (not too long after my Vineyard experience).

"Oh, Lord, if there is a wind of true, biblical, spiritual power blowing in our day with signs and wonders and healing and prophecy, forbid that I should stand in the way! Don't pass Bethlehem by. Make me the leader you want me to be for the greatest blessing of this church, and the greatest missionary effectiveness. But then, on the other hand I pray, Oh, Lord, forbid that we should lose our biblical bearings; forbid that we become trendy or faddish and begin to substitute the sand of experience for the rock of revealed truth. Show us the fullness of the power of the gospel, Lord, and keep us from preoccupation with secondary things, no matter how spectacular."

For the entire sermon, click here.

Apparently, this guy was in Anaheim that night too. Gheesh, go figure?

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