Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Myth of the “Dark Ages” – Discovering Christian Heritage

Introduction

Over the past year I have begun reading a range of historical, sociological, and philosophy books on Christianity. I have read nine books on these topics mostly relating to history. This has lead to placing about twice as many books on my amazon.com wish list that I now wish to continue researching. However, there has been one major issue that has intrigued me in my reading. That is the period from 500-1,500 AD known still by many as the “Dark Ages”. Although most honest and respectable Historians will not use the term any more because its just nonsense, and they know it. Most are unfortunately aware of what is meant by “the dark ages”.

That after the fall of the “glorious” Greek and Roman world Europe was plunged into 1,000 years of “the dark ages” brought about by ignorant Christians until the rediscovery of Classical Literature and learning brought on by the hero’s of the “Enlightenment, and Renaissance”, men such as Voltaire and Gibbons.

However, the 1,000 years stretching from the fall of Rome to the Reformation of the Church was not an era of Christian Ignorance in Europe. It was neither entirely ignorant nor entirely Christian. It was also no shame to see Rome fall, for Europe, though no longer unified under the suffocating grip of the Empire, was free to gain immense wealth through creative innovations, and it was most often the church who lead the way in such endeavors.

A good kind of Asceticism.

The early monastic communities lead a secluded life, reject the pleasures or the consumer world. Often times to extreme lengths to inflict unnecessary pain on themselves, thus proving their devotion to God. This aspect is not what I wish to highlight. If it was all that monastic communities were known for I would not bother mentioning them. But they had a much greater impact on the history of Christianity and the Western World as a whole.

Monastic “asceticism” also lead to a high value on work, or a strong work ethic. For them it was an ethic, it was a value, a discipline. This is where their “asceticism” can not accurately be considered as asceticism at all. It was a unity. An understanding that spiritual maturity could be seen in the work ethic of the monk. This was Saint Benedict’s own words concerning the issue;

“idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore brothers should have specified periods for manual labor as well as prayerful reading… when they live by the labor of their hands, as our fathers and apostles did, then they are really monks”.

Out of the early monastic community comes the first record of effective Capitalism. When wealth is not despised, but the consumer attitude and the ‘love of money’ is not prevalent, these early communities reinvested in those with similar notions of labor dignity. There own theological position changed, with prayerful reading and study, to becoming small investment firms that valued hard work over accumulating wealth for worldly pleasures.

Such market freedom was not possible under the Roman Caesars nor the Republic. Roman roads did not lead to Free Markets or creative innovations. Roman roads acted for the empire as an easier way to move about their armies returning with sacked goods from invaded lands benefited only by the elite in Rome. The Fall of Rome benefited everyone in Europe but an elite ruling cast of the Empires most privileged.

Romes Moral Grip 

Something often overlooked are the moral progressions moving away from the fall of Rome, and the dissipating of Greek Philosophy and its grip on cultured Greeks. For one, much of Europe was no longer Greek at all but German. Two, we shall take a look at the nature of what is often Romanticized and not addressed honestly as seriously lacking in ethics modern minds would even agree with. Again, it was no tragedy here to see the culture of Roman and Greek learning moving to the background.

Two issues often overlooked are views concerning women and slavery. There is plenty of praise for Plato, and Aristotle for being some of the greatest philosophers of all time. Yet both were slave owners and their philosophy justified these actions. Slavery has been a universal issue accepted by even the most primitive people groups. However, Christianity rejected human bondage more than once in the “Dark Ages” alone. Possibly the first know elimination of sanctioned slavery was not brought on during the “Enlightenment or Renaissance” but smack in the middle of the “Dark Ages”.

It was clever church leaders who first, extended sacraments to all slaves. Eventually priests began urging Christians to free their slaves if they had become Christians. Eventually the issue of intermarriage came along, and despite this being against most laws there is evidence of mixed unions between slave and free. In 649 Clovis II, King of the Franks, married his British slave Bathilda. Then the King dies Bathilda ruled until her son cam of age. Bathilde used her position to halt the slave trade and buy back the enslaved. Upon her death the Church acknowledge her as a saint. Then in the 8th Century Charlemagne opposed slavery along with the Pope and many other voices of clergy. Bishop Agobard, 9th Century;

“All men are brothers, all invoke one same Father, God: the slave and the master, the poor man and the rich man, the ignorant and the learned, the weak and the strong… none has been raised above the other… there is no… slave or free, but in all things and always there is only Christ.”

Again, in the 11th century St. Wulfstan, and St. Anselm successfully campaigned to bring an end to the last grips of slavery in Christian Lands. The slavery reappears no true Christians doubted that slavery in itself is against divine law. I have chosen these examples out of many throughout Christian history because again the “Dark Ages” is not only a fictional period but the idea that Christianity being the reason for the ‘darkness’ is nonsense.

Not to go in-depth but, slaves and potential slaves were guarded by the innovations and technologies created during this great time of progress. Water mills, wind mills, damns and agricultural innovations revolutionized trade and commerce throughout Europe. The earliest of such innovations were developed out of monastic communities by Christian monks.

In regard to women it’s not actually a stretch for anyone to try to find the prevalent views among Greek philosophy and the nature of the role of women in Greek culture. But what people often don’t know is the many benefits for women among Christian circles. They are astronomical. Truly. Even from infancy; women in Greek and Roman culture were far more likely the those born into Christian families to be discarded altogether. This was common and legal. There were many wealthy women in Greek culture, however they remained subject to laws that kept them out of the political and social arena -they had little to no public influence and were still view as less than men and no greater than slaves. Christian communities from the time of Christ welcomed women, even those who were outcasts, and many influential women in the Gospels and Acts are seen in support of the work of the church and hosting apostles and services in their homes. Paul’s views on women are the subject of a lot of scrutiny but are rarely looked at in light of Greek and Jewish culture. When you take another look it’s not to difficult to see that Paul’s views are progressive though not in the way of leaps and bounds. Women were appointed apostles, and taught in the early church, and in some churches Paul requires that as there are many women in church, that they refrain from asking questions in church but wait until they are home to be further educated. It was not common for Greek women to be educated let alone by their husbands.

One final fact about Christian communities the differed from Greek and Roman customs was the marriageable age. Simply put, in Greek culture and most ancient cultures daughters marriages were arranged often before puberty and young girls would often be subject to the worst atrocities at young ages forever ruining their sex life and possibly their ability to actually bear children. This resulted in very low fertility rates in Greek and Roman times. This was due to the desire to be sure that your bride was a true virgin. Among Christian communities the fertility rates were extremely high in comparison, simply due to older aged brides. Women enjoyed benefited immensely from being Christian for these reasons and more. Life was better for women whose fathers and husbands were Christians and children benefited from Christian parents.

Rome Losses its Mind

Had the great minds of the Greek and Roman world continued to pursue knowledge that would have been one thing. Greek thinking came about as close as it can get to mans discovery of ultimate meaning and truth. The climax of Greek thinking was perhaps their grasping of the idea of the “Logos”. An ultimate power behind everything, sustaining all things, essentially they nailed it on the head. However, Greek philosophers had grown tired of the use of logic, and reason. It had been cheapened by the political system of the day. Politics defended their agendas with the use of greater rhetoric and logical arguments. This giving birth to Skeptic Philosophy regarding the use of logic and reason. How is logic and a better rhetoric intrinsic to reality? And thus the skeptics were able to create this intellectual climate in which rationalism was now suspect to doubt, and dissatisfaction, and allowing the claim that real knowledge comes independent of reason. Again, they were so close they simply lacked the answer only God could reveal, Logos Incarnate.

That said, it was no tragedy to see Rome fall, and Europe was not plunged into an era of ignorance. There was no plunge into the so-called “Dark Ages”.

Enlightenment and Renaissance started in “The Dark Ages”

So the story goes, that once the fall of Popes from political influence held for centuries during the “Dark Ages” Europe was free at last to think again, to express themselves again, and to explore reason and science. That art, Literature, education, music, and science was to finally pick back up following were the Greeks had left off. That’s the story. But its all a lie.

Were Greek thinking climaxed and crashed Christian communities which developed in 5th Century continued to explore reason, logic, literature, education, and yes -Science. For now what I want to lay out is how the “Dark Ages” found freedom of expression to develop new music, art, and architecture.

900 AD saw the publishing of the first known Polyphony; the sounding of two or more musical lines to create harmonies. The 10th Century saw the development of a system of musical notation. Now music could be recorded and reproduced by someone who had never heard the song before, so long as he could learn to read the note and was skilled.

goth

As for art, here is a building from what was a poorly named period called “Romanesque”. An expression in art, sculpture, and architecture that was beyond what most Roman artists would understand, for sure.  During the Enlightenment and Renaissance period, art and architecture was criticized for not conforming to standards of Classical Greece and Rome. However, the middle ages also saw the expressions of Christian aspiration in the Cathedrals build by the Goths. Still standing today they are a reminder that during this era there was a great eagerness to express the thoughts and aspirations of men.

pagan-philosophers

13th Century artist Van Eyck was the first to use Oil Paint and put their work on stretched canvas rather than on wood or plaster. Thus allowing the painter to take his time and use brushes with great detail not worrying about the paint drying to fast.

Finally the church is often rightly criticized for not working to translate the great works of classic antiquities or even the bible itself out of Latin into the common language of the people, and thus educate the masses. However, the monastic communities were open to those who would send their children to such orders, and open for learning. But what of literature? The great writers and proponents of the Enlightenment; Gibbons wrote in English, Voltaire wrote in French, Cervantes in Spanish, and Machiavelli and Da Vinci in Italian. It was possible for these men to eloquently, yet falsely write concerning the “Dark Ages” and woes of Christendom because these languages had been given their form by medieval giants such as Dante, Chaucer, and nameless other monks beginning as early as the 9th Century. So much for the illiteracy and ignorance of the “Dark Ages”.

The monastic communities may not be the best model of education. They were however a formal education that involved prayer, study, and work. The need for a better form arose and Christians were the first to create the University in Europe. It was very much unlike the Chinese Institutions previously in existence. The Universities in Europe were not merely concerned with teaching the received wisdom. There concern and popularity was gained by innovation. The pursuit among university professors known as the ‘Scholastic” was knowledge, and knowledge that is meaningful gives way to remarkable results that make Christian university great. The worlds first two universities were started by Catholic scholars in Paris and Bologna in about 1160. Forty years later, Oxford and Cambridge, and by the end of the 13th Century an other 20 universities. Again, they became popular because of innovation. One of, if not thee greatest achievement of universities was the Scientific Revolution. Or I like to call it a revelation.

Science

Critical Revelation was required for societies to develop actual Science. Not that it was the only factor but there were many other cultures that could have developed science but were lacking a certain element of revelation for the task. China, Greece, and Islam were perhaps the closest of all other cultures to come close. The Chinese could have long before Christians or Greece.

Perhaps the overarching reason that neither China nor Greece reached an actual system of Science is because just as small gods do not create a universe, neither do impersonal essences or principles. Greece had a system of small gods, limited in power that they actually believed were the forces behind the physical world but their gods were an incoherent group that lacked the unity needed to even begin to comprehend the world around us. And the potential of Science falls flat on its face. And so it is with China, their god is an impersonal essence and universal principle. While there is received wisdom the universe has always been and will always be and is without natural laws that we can comprehend in physical terms. And again, Science is dead before it begins.

The truly most interesting case is that of a possible Islamic Science. It never happened. But they came very close as well. It is true that Muslim Intellectuals collected some classical manuscripts. However, their own “enlightenment” reached by the discovery of Classical Philosophy was detrimental to the potential of science rather than what some wrongly consider a tribute to Islamic Science.  The Devout Muslim historian Caesar E. Farah writes;

“The early Muslim thinkers took up Philosophy where the Greeks left off…Thus in Aristotle Muslim thinkers found the great guide; to them he became the “first teacher.”     Having accepted this a priori, Muslim philosophy as it evolved in subsequent centuries merely chose to continue in this vein and to enlarge Aristotle rather than to innovate.”

Here is one mistake. Aristotle was wrong about most of his philosophical theories and was not a scientist. In order to be a scientist you need to do science. Science involves theory and philosophy but is a system and brotherhood of accountability proving or disproving theories that help explain life in physical terms.

And what of their religion. Wouldn’t Islam have the necessary God to underwrite the rise of science? No. Allah is not presented as a lawful creator but has been conceived of as an active God, intruding regularly on the world as he deems it appropriate. Consequently in Islam arose theological problems which condemned scientific efforts to determine natural laws. This may lead to man determining that there are ways in which God is limited. Christianity was only different from Islam in this way because although God has been understood in the same way. The Christians, such as Rene Descartes (1596-1605) justified his attempts to determine natural laws on the interpretation that God is perfect and acts in a manner consistent with his Creation. (This is not to say that God can not perform miracles. But perhaps if he is the one performing them then he can do it in a way consistent with what he has created.)

My favorite example so far is Galileo. He is my favorite because it seems he is a favorite of those who criticize Christianity for its ignorance and holding back progress and innovation. There is a lot of drama in the story of Galileo. He was an arrogant, cocky, Christian Scientist whose views were not so much hated by the church but his way about publishing them. Galileo was friends with Matteo Barberini while he was still Cardinal. Upon becoming Pope Urban VIII (1623-1644) he knew and liked Galileo published his scientific works and enjoyed his attacks on Jesuit scholars. The Pope went on to write a poem about the glories of astronomy.  Then some things went wrong. Remember too, the historical context; a Thirty Year war raged and counter reformations were underway.  The issue of these times was authority. The Pope not the scientist or reformer had authority to overturn the tables. Galileo was warned and assured that his Science could go on but that he needed to be willing to sidestep some of the theological issues and present his science as such without attempting to tamper with theology and thus challenge the authority of the church, forcing the Pope’s hand. Other great scientists works were celebrated pre-Gelileo because of their willingness to present their work without assuming ultimate power to outright condemn Catholic Orthodoxy.

Galileo was anything but tactful  in his next publication. However, he was creative in finding a way to get the work published making a spectacle of the Pope and Catholic Orthodoxy and betraying a powerful friend. Pope Urban VIII attempted to limit the consequences on his friend but the response was a general crack down on intellectual freedom on scholastics. However, these crackdowns came to late to prevent the surge of the scientific revolution developed by Christians including Galileo who was willing like Luther of his day to challenge the official orthodoxy with innovations he believed to be consistent with Gods creation and control.  Galileo;

“The book of nature is a book written by the hand of God in the language of mathematics”

Rodney Stark: “while Pope Urban VIII religious views may have caused Galileo to suffer for his scientific views, Galileo’s Science did not suffer because of his own religious views”

Being Grateful for the Reformation

I have always been grateful for the work of the great reformers and those who prepared the way so that this great movements could take place. However, there is new light cast on the Reformations that I am very grateful for as well. I realize more accurately why I can be grateful for what happened as a result of the reformations.

Bibles finally began appearing In more common languages. However a problem remained that was prominent during the medieval period. That is, people still need to learn to read so they can access the power of scriptures for themselves. Churches before and after the reformation were mostly empty. The catholic church became more concerned with baptizing Kings, thus whole kingdoms into Christendom. No need for personal evangelism, or personal salvation, when you can just baptize a whole kingdom. This was perhaps one of the biggest failures of the time leading up to the reformation and a problem the reformers faced as well. How do you get people interested in learning to read and wanting to read scripture and be in church. A problem Europe faces still today.

These conclusions have led me to believing that it was not simply the reformation or protestant movement that was needed but that the reformations eventually gave way to subsequent reformations that introduced Christianity to a new problem that would turn out to be Christianities best tool for multiplication. Christian Diversity. Though it is sad, the number of denominations within protestantism, it is amazing how the multiple expressions of the same faith creates an atmosphere of healthy competition among groups to out evangelize and win more reach more people with the message of salvation, and the Christian worldview.

Today

Unfortunately this means we need to constantly take efforts to unify our diverse ideas of how the church should look. There is a need to be under a larger banner of sound orthodoxy of the basics of the Christian faith. Social Christian Networks are a thing for the future of the Christian movement. As we have already seen the split and we continue to see new expressions of the faith popping up all the time in new christian communities, the challenge will be to network under some of the basics of a Christian Biblical Convictions.

Our circles will be popular for a number of cultural reasons. But perhaps we can attempt to popularize our networks through innovative action, built upon a sound biblical foundation, for the Glory of God,  seeking first his kingdom. Just as was carried out during the “Dark Ages” a period known for Christian Ignorance but in fact a period in which Christians successfully moved forward new innovations, such as the University one of the original centers for higher education, innovation, evangelism, and biblical foundations. A place where people were unified under the basics; ‘Know God and Make him Known”.

Final Thoughts

What will people say about our era?  Not just our generation but the era we are in? How will what we do affect the way people look at the centuries surrounding our life?

Revelation, Exploration, Reason, Innovation, Multiplication

Bibliography:

I know I didn’t use quotations. But I just want to give reference to some of the authors I have been using. I am very grateful to a friend John Randerson for correcting me on some of my own ignorance about History. He suggested Rodney Stark to me. I’ve since read 5 of his books, and have a couple more on my shelf to read. Vishal Mangalwadi’s book, “The book that made your world” was a huge encouragement to me and a massive faith builder. I have also begun reading the works of Francis Scheaffer and his re-hashing of history particularly history of philosophy and religion and worldview. Bruce L. Shelley’s very readable book on church history was awesome as well. Also thanks to years of biblical study in extra biblical resources such as Alfred Edersheim and the use of some great dictionaries.

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Categories: Church, Enlightenment, History, Modern, Philosophy, Renaissance, Society/Culture, Uncategorized, Women, Worldview | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Your Desired Spiritual Temperature: Practical and Current Assessment of what is Spiritual

Socially and Historically there has always been those who desire an “intense” or “less intense” Faith. That does not mean for instance that say, Catholic Faith is less or more intense then Protestant Faith. But within Catholicism some adherents prefer a more intense faith full of self sacrifice, and service to those in need. Some prefer a more casual approach in their faith. That does not mean one is greater then the other so long as both maintain a genuine faith. It matters weather each adherent is faithful to Gods call, and committed to his work, submitted in obedience to God. The impact of the faith to the outside world will come by having these various degrees of intensity, so long as it is genuine.

Similarly, some who desire a very high level of spirituality in the protestant movement may not be content with any particular level of spirituality within his or her group. This has led to many fractions within the body of Christ. There is pushing and shoving from both sides, to be more of less content with higher or lower levels of spirituality, and for various reasons.

For our Community: Some may be content because they feel called by God to maintain a crucial role of say, Hospitality, as we have on all of our YWAM bases. Or maybe it is the role of accountant, or registrar. What then is most needed is a knowledge of the supernatural in what we do.

Because the attack comes not only on what some deem as ‘mundane’ but on the very thing God has called us (ywam sdb) to do. For instance, Is building homes supernatural/spiritual or just practical help for someone without a house? Is 20+ years of “doing the same thing” an act of God or an act of man? Should we be expecting something more? If so, how much more, and what? Do we expect mass conversions followed by mass DTS’s and the like? I will give some answers.

  1. The truth is “mass conversion” is a myth. Growth rates in the early church was about 2% by the year and over 250-300 years a 2% growth rate took over more then half of the total population of the Roman Empire. This illustrates that a “mass conversion/Revival” expectation is not realistic and not even needed. However, human pride says that, “a complete turn around must happen in my lifetime or it must never be going to happen.” We want the results now and we push others to have a more intense faith because we don’t recognize the necessity of a job that one might consider mundane and irrelevant to ‘the situation’.
  2. As well, 20+ years of YWAM San Diego Baja “doing the same thing” is to be praised not to glorify man, but to recognize the supernatural at work through human obedience, endurance, and commitment to the call of God. The supernatural reality of what just a few people in relationship to the all-mighty God can accomplish is breathtaking and awe-inspiring. If there is a need to push others into a more intense faith the language used aught to be that of; commitment, endurance, and obedience to the call of God on a life.

The work may ‘seem’ slow to some. It may seem ‘simplistic’ or even ‘non-spiritual’ to some. But those who have committed themselves year in and year out are to be praised for their Christ like devotion to serving the poor. Nothing has been more “heaven meets earth” then Christ’s ultimate sacrifice. And nothing says that the All-Powerful God of the Universe Loves you and has come to earth like, -when Christians make a sacrifice of their time (20+ Years) and resources (4,000+ Homes) to give hope in Jesus name.

Even in writing this I realize that I only know a fraction of the cost in dollars, actual blood, sweat, and tears. I hope for those reading that this brings to mind those moments of sacrifice, maybe for some its every day. But to also call to mind those times when you were inches from saying “I’m done, I’m going home”. Instead you stayed, and you build someone else a home. God Bless you for that a million times over. What an honor it is to serve alongside all of you.

Final thoughts for us; This comes at a time in our community where we are growing: New Staff, new schools, high level of interest in our training department from incoming students, teams who want to come to Mexico to build and give, large donations for base facilities, favor with authorities, open doors, and miracles all around us. My challange is not to press in for a  ‘mystical/unknown spiritual height’ but to press in to know the Lord, to recognize his work/miracles. Often we seek something that is already right in front of us.

In YWAM we maintain that we are inter-denominational. Often people treat the mission as though it is set on having particular high level of ‘spirituality’ thus pressuring some to limits that he or she is not willing to be pushed to and thus ostracizing some of genuine faith and love for God and people. When teaching, prophesying, and guiding the community do so with humility and honor so that God can use your gift to build ‘up’ and not tear down.

At YWAM SDB we maintain that “We Serve the Poor”. We do this because God said to. “God Said” is the most repeated words in all of scripture. It is a belief that the highest spiritual power in all of the universe actually speaks to man. Our brush with the supernatural begins here. And to gauge our own true spiritual temperature, you need only to look at yourself and ask one question; “Am I being obedient to what God Said?”

If your still interested some final ramblings on history and a few of the wonders of God that we may be passing on to the next generation:

What made one generation of Christians greater then the next? To answer that question I begin by asking another one; What defines greatness? One generation of Christians may seek to raise the bar of intense spiritual commitment. This is not bad. One generation may pursue innovative ways of doing things because God made us to be like him. This is not bad either. The first may see more converts in his or her lifetime, but the other may see more outside of his lifetime because his new idea was put into practice; it saved lives, it Glorified God, and many more came to a saving knowledge of God and deeper conviction of who God is and how much he cares about this world and his children living in it.

What we are doing on our base has the potential to do both. Reach as many in this generation as possible and build new things, have new ideas, and leave something better for those after us to use for reaching the world. goth

Aquaponics is one of these things that may seem really dumb to someone not considering the potential benefits beyond giving someone a meal, much like we do once a week in Zona Norte. But the potential it has for communities, families, orphanages, prisons, schools, churches, community centers, business, and our own base is huge. Also it encourages us to foster care for what God has made to know God better by learned lessons from what God designed to give life. Fish, poop, water, food, and a bunch of other ‘sciency’ stuff. Its Gods design, created a specific way in order to give life. But there are more innovations waiting for a person to try them, test them, and better understand Gods creation in order to bring more life for more people. Innovation is at the very heart of God for us as Christians to be at the forefront of, as dozens of Christian Scientists were long before the “Enlightenment & Renaissance” lade claim to the such innovation.

CSBS: We study the bible. Boring right? -Like thats not being done already. 🙂   We study the bible using a method that teaches our students and staff that before you take scripture in your hands to be used as a weapon for self satisfying “truths” you must admit that you are ignorant of its original purpose, that, that ignorance can cripple you from accurately applying that to your life, your culture, your family, your church. Its nerdy stuff, no doubt. But its necessary. What using this method begins to build in students is a principle much needed in the body of Christ today. That is, a desire to know the culture, history, and world view or common philosophy of our own day in order to rightly apply the principles of truth found in scripture, rather then literal/direct uniformed application of the words in scripture. This can fix some of our churchy problems, and lead the way to bringing in line some of our educational problems, family problems, and various other social issues. The bible is Gods tool for bring Godly Transformation to church, government, education, arts and entertainment, family, science and health, business and economics.

Youth Street: Once a week I go into ‘Antorcha’ with Omar who runs “Youth Street” and about 12-18 youth each week get picked up and brought over to the YWAM base were they have 15-20 minutes hearing a word from Omar then 2+ hours of soccer on our awesome soccer field. The potential of this ministry is growing in the heart and mind of Omar and those who assist him. He has taken a handful on a missions trip to England. A handful are beginning to work along side of the aquaponics program. Most of these boys have received homes through ‘YWAM SDB Homes of Hope’ program started over 20+ years ago. How many of them will graduate college, graduate DTS/CSBS at YWAM, join staff, and begin to acknowledge and respond to the hand of God on their lives? We don’t know yet but these are people that we may be able to observe the fruit of our own work within the next 5-10 years. Some works we will not see the fruit in our lifetime, some fruit will come at the very end of our life, some will come in the next few years, some we see right now, and of course some we will not see this side of eternity. But potentially there is a way in which we can observe and have hope in the fruit all around us by recognizing the work and the gifts of others as something that the Holy Spirit is doing.

Our work is not a spiritual competition. Our encounter with the supernatural happens everyday in the natural. Our God is invisible yet always present in every believer by the Holy Spirit, and is active among all unbelievers. In our immaturity we look for signs. Not that God refuses to give signs, he already has, they are all around us, and in our immaturity we will not recognize them.

I apologize for some reading this who are not a part of YWAM because it has more relevance for us working within this community. However, I hope those who have read have gained something. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments, or corrections if needed.

Also I apologize to staff reading this because I have only touched a fraction of what we are all doing and acomplishing by each of our commitments to Gods call on us individually and communally. God Bless you guys. Be encouraged.

Categories: Church, Mexico, Mission, Philosophy, Society/Culture, Spiritual, Supernatural, Worldview, YWAM | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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