Why A Powerless Church

 by Clay Sikes

Twenty years of Charismatic Christendom does not make me an expert, but has with clarity, produced some points worthy of discussion. By sheer observation, I think we all can agree that the Church, as we know it, operates in much less power than the First Century Church. Perhaps there are discernable reasons for this, and though the efforts of this writing will not be to engage the historical comparisons, I will delve into spiritual revelations perhaps the Lord has revealed. Please judge for yourself.

Much of what we call the present day Church is built upon the soul-led inclinations of man. Wrought in good works, the sheep have been busy building, doing, giving, and entertaining as their leaders have taught them to do. We merrily go about our Church activities, pleasing Pastor. The one-man show that replaced the five-fold ministry of the First Century Church has, in the blindness of its own traditions, changed the once functioning organism (Body) into a man-implemented organization. That built of God will exhibit God’s presence and power – That built of man will exhibit man’s presence and power. I ask you to judge for yourself: Which of the two make up the majority of what we call the Church?

I, like many of you, want God. I only want to do what I see My Father doing. No doubt, the First Century Church spent much time in prayer individually and corporately. As a result, they were able to operate in the mind of the Lord. God ordered activity produces God ordered results. Man ordered activity produces human results. Stress, weariness, fatigue, powerless ness, unanswered prayer, lack, pride, spiritual pride, hypocrisy, hype, emptiness, are but a few of the symptoms that should alert us to the systems of men.

Additionally, men like to entertain in place of true worship, brag, condemn and judge anything that doesn’t look and sound like them; control, manipulate, and tell people what they want to hear. Men are given to programs, ministry agendas, and buildings in place of God’s true spiritual agenda, which is building people. People must be edified, taught, and ministered to in many different ways, thus God’s creative genius in establishing the five-fold ministry. Just as you do not go to a foot Doctor with a heart ailment, nor should one with a prophetic need, go to a Pastor. Unfortunately, in many cases, there is no prophet to go to.

The present structure (old wineskin) resists the new wine (the return of the five-fold and the specific emergence of the prophetic and apostolic ministry). The old order is protective of, and covets the old wineskin. It (leadership) protects itself, because as with the Laodicean Church, it is satisfied and content with what it has. As leadership gets fatter with contentment, the people starve. Any prophet who shows up to challenge the system, or challenge the foundation upon which the system stands, is quickly admonished and branded a kook or weirdo.

Religious men are given to the religious order of the Church, promoting activities and doctrines that promote self-righteousness - often teaching principles that negate the royalty attained for us at the cross (examine the modern day prosperity message for starters).  Religion has and always will teach that works justify us, thus negating the sacrifice made at Calvary.  The ploy is “keep them too busy, too bound, and too hyped to figure out something is wrong.”

Religious men teach that our problems are results of not doing enough (works) for God, often in the Church with phrases like, “if you have a money problem, you are not giving enough.” Philosophically we are told, “Get busy for God and He will get busy for you.” The one-man show that has led the Church for so long has systematically replaced God-worship with temple-worship. We were never called to worship the Temple of the Lord, but rather the Lord of the Temple. Temple worship is normally set up around the Pastor-leader.  The system (old order) calls for loyalty and reverence for the Reverend. He is hallowed as the most Holy man in our midst, hearing God for God’s people.   In this environment, the sheep are considered second-class citizens, unable and unworthy to have or understand the call of God in their lives.

Ridiculously, we have sat glued to our pews and accepted this system, accepting an order that represses the very purpose and destiny upon which we were put on the earth to do. Who can continue to sit in this morass of nothingness, stymied, and helpless to move?

Rebellion against oppression started the Revolutionary War.  The settlers, seeking freedom from the religious and political tyranny of the crown, could take it no more.  War was declared and OUT OF the American landscape rose two kinds of people; loyalist who, from their fear, dared not offend the crown (old order), and the fearless freedom fighters, patriots, seeking their freedom, willing to declare their independence and lay down their life to fulfill their dream (new order).   Similarly, a new emerging Church cries for a change in Church government; cries for the freedom to fulfill its destiny and purpose, unwilling to continue in a system that can do nothing more than allow God’s people to walk in powerless ness, oppression, and defeat; a system that not only allows, but also promotes Goliath’s continuous assaults on God’s people.

Those wearing Saul’s armor will never defeat Goliath – the time of Saul has passed.   Only those, who like David, reach into the brook and remove the submerged five smooth stones, washed by the water will win this victory.   God is raising up a people who will embrace the five-fold ministry (five smooth stones) with those who have been submerged (hidden) for years and washed by the water of the word (smooth) until their rough edges are gone.   They will unify and slay Goliath.   The Church is destined to walk in victory, but God’s power can only come on God’s order. He is the God of order.

God has breathed restlessness upon His people.   UNDERSTAND THIS, if you understand nothing else written on these pages – God is the author and originator of this restlessness now felt my many in the Body.   If you do not feel it (the restlessness), this writing will mean little to you – If you do, praise God, begin to get excited; Changes are coming!   What was once acceptable will no longer be acceptable.   Recognize the energy of the Holy Spirit stating, “I have something better for my people.  I have spiritual refuges in your area being raised up to initiate my plan and my purpose for My Bride. Pray and I will direct you to them.  ”On the other hand, some will be led to stay and pray, for some among present leadership will catch the vision and embrace the changes God is bringing to His Church.   Some will not!   Discernment and prayer will reveal your path.

It is important that we begin to recognize the many chinks in the armor of the present day Church, not in an effort to tear it down, but rather in an effort to change it.   Author and lecturer Dennis Peacock has often stated, “If you control the language, you control the culture of any entity.”  For instance, the Gay Rights movement of the 1970s and 1980s successfully changed society’s views on what the Word of God calls immoral behavior. Under the best of terminologies the homosexual way of life was termed Abnormal Sexual Behavior, and yet now it is termed an Alternative Lifestyle. Activist successfully lobbied to make their sexual immorality a “rights” issue as opposed to a “moral” issue.   In this era of political correctness, society “bought into this lie” and now we are seeing States all over the nation allowing same sex marriages and adoption rights, releasing standards of normalcy into what is clearly, in God’s Word, abnormal. It all started with the language Saints of God – we have all been guilty of listening, BUT NOT HEARING what is really being said.

Many examples of how language controls culture could be given in this writing; however, my efforts here will focus on how “Political Correctness” has invaded the Church with its ability to completely turn God’s people away from The Truth.   During the last twenty years, the Spirit of the World, and its father Satan, has birthed this politically correct mindset into society, the political arena, court room, business, and yes, even the Church.   As with other arenas of the Church, the World’s System is alive and well.  Let us examine more closely how this LIE from Hell operates.

Satan’s diabolical opposition to God and God’s plan for his people in known by virtually every Born Again believer.   What are NOT known however, are the subtle methods through which our enemy Satan works.   The term Love in Christian circles conjures up many mental images, meanings and connotations – soft and gentle speech, hugs, handshakes, vows to pray for each other, smiles, baskets of food during sickness, hospital visits, Christian TV, Love Offerings…I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.   We leave little room for Love to mean anything outside of a preconceived mindset, much of which has been established by Church leadership.

For those who have been around for a while, experience with God has taught that Love indeed means a great deal more than the “Christy Christian” “Casper Milquetoast” image that many view this word with.  In God, (first and foremost, above all other preconceived notions), LOVE IS TRUTH!  Please HEAR this life-changing definition of Love - Love does not lie, or bend, or compromise, or hide, the truth.  The highest and deepest form of God’s love for us is a revelation of the truth, even when it hurts, and often it does.  Those He loves, he chastens.  “Christy” and “Casper” have a hard time with the words discipline, chasten, correct, and turn over to Satan for the destruction of flesh.

Yes indeed, political correctness has entered the Church with a vengeance, and just in time to relegate the emerging prophetic ministry to the back burner with words like “mean spirited,” “to abrupt,” “indiscrete,” “overbearing,” all branding the mouthpiece of God as “not walking in love.”  The present culture of the Church, especially Church leadership, doesn’t want to hear the truth, preferring the status quo to the great changes that must take place.  These changes will require the diminishment of self and self-importance for the five-fold to increase and come into prominence.   John-The-Baptist stated, “I must decrease that He might increase.”  He, Jesus, was the entire five-fold, which he sent back to us upon His death and resurrection.  Like John, Pastors must begin to hear the cry of God’s people to be free to flow in their callings, sense the restlessness within their congregations, but even more importantly, HEAR the voice of God’s Spirit.

The deceptiveness of the enemy has been to create in our minds a definition and image of love that leaves no room for a hard word, a corrective word, a disciplined word – ALL likely to come from the prophet.  Hence, with the emergence of the prophetic, the Church is likely to only hear prophetic words that offer a great life and future, financial blessing, spiritual authority and the like, all the while, God is trying to bring His order to His Church.  Where there is much need of correction, there is much need of a corrective word, most of which smacks “Church Tradition” right in the nose.  These blows can be painful but necessary for truth to evolve.  There is a natural tendency to turn anything away that brings us pain, but for those who are willing to embrace it and endure it, there is awesome victory.

The forefront of His order begins by producing a Church in which leaders are led by the Spirit, not the soul, whose purpose is to acknowledge, raise up ministries, and send them out, not repress and keep them bound to the old system of Pharaoh. Ministers led of God’s Spirit will abandon the hype, false prophecy, entertainment, ear-tickling, man-pleasing soul led efforts, for a five-fold designed of God to minister to the Saints.

We must awaken to the fact that to get on the right path, much of what is considered the right way MUST be corrected. Occasionally this will require a hard word.   Let us not be guilty of turning those anointed men and women of God away, simply because they are telling us things that we do not want to hear.  We must pray that Church leadership be open to the new move of God and to the changes of an emerging prophetic and apostolic ministry.

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