Without question, something that most people try to avoid is controversy. When you really break it down however, controversy is all but unavoidable and I propose that it's not always a bad thing.
Many times throughout history there have been great people of faith who have stood up above the crowds and lifted their voice to be heard proclaiming biblical truths. While most believers see this as a good thing and agree with it, many miss that the act of stepping out makes that person controversial by default.
Any time you challenge the status quo or try to call people collectively back to a better place before God, the forces of Hell are going to give you some resistance. That resistance will sometimes shut people down. If it does not succeed in shutting you down and instead you press in and hold the line for the Kingdom of God, the more attention usually is drawn to you and that attention makes you controversial in the eyes of most.
The word controversy dates back to the mid 13th century from the latin "controversia". Its a compound word that literally means "to turn" and "come against". Its evolved as a common noun in today's English meaning a prolonged public dispute, debate, or contention; disputation usually concerning a matter of opinion.
Jesus is by far and away the single most controversial figure to have ever existed and of course he has always been and will always be...which in and of itself is part of why he is controversial. Anytime Jesus is manifested, preconceived views are challenged. Anytime you have views being challenged, you have controversy. If you remove the resistance, you have no more controversy, but that is not always a good thing. Said a different way, if the pharisees and sadducees didn't try to challenge and trick Jesus in front of others, he would not have been nearly as controversial. His enemies helped Him generate controversy which in turn challenged the thinking of those around watching and listening fulfilling Psalms 23 in preparing the table in the presence of His enemies.
Salt and Light is what we are called to be but many don't stop and think that salt and light are two very controversial things. Don't believe me? Come with me into the kitchens of some of America's leading chefs and listen to the large scale debate over how much salt should or should not go into a given dish. Listen in on an active movie set or concert stage when two different lighting directors are at odds over how much light to use where. Controversy erupts pretty quickly as preconceived ideas are challenged. So it is within our culture as many have their ideas of just how much "salt" and "light" should really be in their day by day lives. If we are doing our jobs as Christians, we will be rightly discerning how much and how little to put into every situation while never being content with not being included.
Remember, it is the ultimate nature of The Kingdom of God to take authority and dominion wherever it is declared, established and lived out. God wants to use us to stir some controversy in the minds and hearts of those who have wrong ideas and misconceptions about Him. Don't shy away from controversy just because it makes your flesh uncomfortable. Instead, the next time you find yourself in the middle of it, take very careful inventory of who is around you, what they may or may not be thinking and how God can use you to bring salt and light to that situation.
As a final note, many would say God's goal is peace, not controversy. To those I would remind that the path to The Prince of Peace goes thru a bloody scourging and crucifixion with political and religious overtones that still ring thru the cultures of the world to this very day. Only when people see the Lion whose Love motivates Him to lay down His life for them can then then have opportunity to lay down with the Lamb in peace.
The Wine New Wine Is Sour
I originally posted a similar writing on Facebook in 2010 as it was about that time when I started to see so much craziness first hand and up close that I simply had to address it.
Let me start by saying that anyone who knows my wife and I knows we are really big in ministry on two vital topics. One is the majestic Grace of God and the other is intimacy with the Holy Spirit. Over the last few years God has placed an incredible anointing upon us for Wisdom as well. I believe that Wisdom in Kingdom matters leads me to address this topic here and now.
The Holy Spirit has "proofs" or "fruits" listed clearly in Galatians 5.
***But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.***
One thing I have clearly learned over the years that the Holy Spirit is not limited by our opinions of who He is or how He moves. I am usually in a posture of being very wide open to looking for and finding the Holy Spirit in any given situation or if it is a completely godless situation, I then look for what the Holy Spirit would want to do from that point on out. I'm often accused by many of leaning too strongly toward Grace. Having said that, I want to post those fruits again from Galatians 5.
~ love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control ~
At least one of these nine fruits or "manifestations" are always present when the Holy Spirit is truly at work in our midst. Please read this next sentence very carefully. A person trying their best to follow Jesus may not have any of these fruits in their life, but a person truly yielding and being led by the Holy Spirit will absolutely have some of these active in their life.
Recently, a rash of people around me personally have began to tie in drug paraphernalia and terms with a move of God's Holy Spirit. They do this by using terms like "being high on God", "plastered in the presence", "toking the ghost", "smashed by God", etc. I have sat back now and watched and prayed for many months. Here are my current conclusions.
While I absolutely agree and believe in a transforming, mind altering benefit to intimacy with the Holy Spirit, I do not see a lot of the Galatians 5 list in any of these drug terms. Here is the Gal 5 list again... love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control ...
There is no doubt that people are encountering God in new and fresh ways. The Holy Spirit always moves in an individual way customized to each heart as only He can. However, if the Bible is to be believed as the written word of God, we must use it (including that list in Galatians 5) to test and see what is truly of Him and what isn't.
Here's something else that troubles me. There seems to be a real immaturity in many of the "soakers" out there that "get drunk in the Spirit" all day every day.
Now listen, I'm a soaker myself so I'm not dogging that. I LOVE to soak in God's presence, however, the fact that I cannot escape in this is that spending time with the Holy Spirit gives you a transformation of His heart and mind for and about others. I see on Facebook and YouTube especially people that get "high and drunk on God" are also some of the meanest and rude to others. I cor 13 says Love is not rude leading back to the list of fruits ~ love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Are you really getting drunk on the Holy Spirit when there is no traceable amount of love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control operating in your life?
If you are truly soaking in GOD'S presence, you will be changed from the inside out. The desire to be "right", the desire to "win at any cost", the desire to see yourself elevated at the expense of another, any and all pride will be dying a slow death of starvation when you truly soak in God's presence.
Next time you "belly up to the bar of God for a shot of Himself", maybe consider ordering a double of love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control instead of posting pictures like the one above making a mockery of the precious Last Supper comparing it to a beer pong game. Jesus was hours from His own death where the foreknowledge of bearing everyone's sins and diseases was so stressful that He would sweat drops of blood in the garden shortly thereafter. Yet, making light of what Jesus did seems to be a major theme to this crowd.
Truly soaking in the manifested presence of God does a lot more than give you the giggles or leave you rolling on the floor. Again, I have had Holy laughter and I have rolled on the floor personally so don't let my words be twisted here. I am for true Holy Spirit manifestations. Here's where we miss it though many times. If it is truly God and not just an emotional experience, there will be lasting effects because anything that God truly touches is changed and restored as a result. It's not like being "stoned" or "drunk" because that puts the devil's counterfeit and God's real on the same level thru comparison and there are not two Gods, there is only one God and He has defeated the devil. Our words, terms and phrases that we use should reflect that victory.
I want to be clear that I am not talking about judging a person's heart. Only God knows a person's heart so we must be careful to not pass judgment as to if the person is saved or not, however, Paul is super clear that the spiritual man judges all things and Jesus doesn't say not to judge, He says if you judge you will be judged in the same manner. (Matthew 5). Accordingly I am very willing to be judged by anyone who wishes to judge me in this area.
and it begins again
I have been active posting online in one form or another since 1997 or so. With countless forums, message board communities and other outlets in the rear view mirror I decided it was time to finally do MarkKenney.com and of course to include a blog.
I do still blog on the main site of the ministry that I help oversee, The Healing Stream Media Network and i do personal videos for their exclusive video on demand service Healing Stream television (HSTV) but those are often directly related to that ministry and the hunger in me to get a place where I can better address the global body of Christ and people in general really has gotten to a place where it needs it's own outlet so here that is. Thanks for being part of my journey!
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