[anzac] WORD to the REMNANT - James Smith

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 13:43:00 -0700
NOTE: James Smith was one of the speakers at our first 'John the
Baptist' Conference several years ago. Since then we have gone
our own ways, but in the last two weeks we have been talking
together quite a bit. I found his word below to be a challenge to 
us all in many ways - myself included. Comments are welcome.

Anger and Courage - A call for action
-by James Smith.

"Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and 
courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that 
they do not remain the way they are."  - St. Augustine.

Most of us know anger quite well. Talk to someone who is involved 
with the repentance scene and you will likely hear it in their voice 
as they talk about the state of the church, you will see it in their 
eyes as they explain the wrongs associated with the hyper-
prosperity, once saved-always saved or the seeker sensitive 
doctrines. Anger at the way that things are has been at the heart 
of the repentance community and is something that most of us 
are well aquainted with. Anger by itself is not bad, it is a 
tremendous motivator for the person seeking to change things. 
But when anger is left alone and is not coupled with action, it
must end in the destruction of the ones who embrace it. Because 
anger must be answered, that is its nature. It demands that a 
wrong be addressed and if no solution presents itself, anger will 
inevitably lead to frustration, withdrawal and ultimately a martyr 
complex that can only destroy a Christian life and that is absolute 
poison for any move of God. 

We have seen that this frustration will many times introduce a 
little known companion to anger named apathy. When the source 
of frustration seems to be such that there is no ready answer for it, 
apathy comes along as a form of learned helplessness. "I used to 
be angry about such-and-such but then I just gave up, it is never 
going to change anyway." And apathy crouches right now at the 
door of the repentance community, stealing our resolve to see 
change and sapping our strength for the battle ahead. I hear from 
people from all over the world because of my ministry email list. 
And the impression that I am getting more and more often of late 
is that they are tired of hearing about everything that is wrong. 
People in the community have grown tired of hearing about what is 
wrong with them, with the church and with the world. Not that they 
do not see the truth in what is being said, it is just that there must 
be an answer presented as a solution to the problems that are 
being exposed.

If a public leader or politician began listing the wrongs of a certain
country that he viewed as an enemy, it would certainly be possible 
for him to generate a public frenzy in response to all that he has to 
say given the proper platform. But if he were to present no ready 
answer, no clear path to dealing with the situation, people who 
were excited would quickly tire of the rants and quietly excuse 
themselves from his rallies. That is human nature and it is no 
different in this movement. We have cried foul against the current 
system and the problems that we and those that came before us 
have been exposing are very real. But without a plan to change 
things, all of those people who allied themselves with us, even the 
most ardent of our supporters, will eventually fall victim to apathy. 
And apathy is the death rattle of any movement, the sound that 
says that the end is inevitable.

Anger at the current state of things has carried us all this far but it
can not take us any further. The diversity of the issues that face 
us when combined with their sheer size all but guarantees that 
they can withstand our anger by simply ignoring us and keeping 
us in obscurity. The tactic employed so far has been to ignore us 
completely and when they find that they must give an answer to 
our claims, they simply relegate us to being only the marginalized 
fringe, conspiracy theorists and heresy hunters who are not worth 
considering in the grand scheme of things, or fanatics that suffer 
from too much intensity and need to just settle down.

Some people who would support what we do hear us and it all 
rings true to them but what we offer as an alternative is so one 
dimensional that it can not hold public attention long. Imagine if 
the reformers would have contented themselves with exposing the 
error of the Catholic Church and then went no further. After a while, 
crowds would no longer have clamored to hear these upstarts 
because they would have heard it all before. Thank God that the 
reformers did not stop there but they presented real solutions, 
else we would not be here today but would still be under the 
domination of the Pope and that hellish system of indulgences.

The goal of any revolution is to supplant the current system. But 
we have been hesitant to move in this or any other direction in the
repentance movement. Some parts of the group hate anything 
organized while others hate any leadership at all in the church. 
Some think money should have no part in religion while still others 
believe that we do not need buildings but that it should be totally 
street or home based. Some hate denominations and some even 
seem to hate America in general and want to see it judged. I can't 
say that any of those things are what I believe but I have seen 
people who certainly do believe them in the last few years.
And with a lack of official central ideals to follow, no one knows 
what to believe and so we do nothing at all and chaos reigns. If we 
continue as we are without a central identity to call our own we 
have zero chance of affecting any real change. The bible says that 
every seed reproduces after its own kind and yet we don't even 
know what we are, we only know that we aren't "them" and have 
contented ourselves with that. It is my opinion that many of the 
ideas that we tolerate in this group are simply utopian ideas with 
no hope of practical application whatsoever. And some of the 
ideas are just plain crazy and should not be tolerated at all, lest 
the integrity of the movement itself suffer....
Our trumpets have been sounding an uncertain and even disjointed 
sound and how can the people of God answer that? There are 
many preachers out there preaching similar things, many of whom 
I know personally. Some of these same men also have something 
against other preachers who stand for things very close to their 
own core beliefs. They will not work together, preach together or 
stand together in any way and some will even go to great lengths 
to distance themselves from these others. When a spirit of 
fratricide is evidently running free among our ranks, how could 
God ever trust us with revival? We will only bite and devour one 
another in the midst of it and kill the work. That being said, is it
too hard of a question to ask what is it that draws us together? 
What are the common threads that we recognized that caused us 
to gravitate to one another? What do we feel that God wants us to 
do in our time here on earth as a group, if anything? This is not 
ecumenical agreement that demands severe compromise in order 
for it to occur but simply the agreement of brethren who desire to 
join together to accomplish more than they could as a lone 
individual. It would seem that the core goals that we all seem to 
desire the most are:

-We want to see real Christianity established in the place of the
humanistic Gospel of the last half decade. 
-We want to see the power of God again and not this spirit of 
Adonijah that parades itself in our day.
-We want to see revival change the course of history in our time.

As for me, I want to see the real enemy and his work destroyed 
every chance that I get. I have at times forgotten about satan as I 
focused on all of the wrongs in the church system. I have told 
myself that he was behind all of the problems and so by going 
after the church system, I was going after him. But then one day I 
woke up and saw that in all my fighting, I had forgotten how to 
fight him. And I vowed in myself to never make that mistake again. 

Courage is the other daughter of hope mentioned at the outset of 
this article and it is the one that has been most missing in what 
we do. And it is the one that must come to the forefront now if we 
are ever going to see God move in our day. We must do something 
now before this brief window closes and there is no more need of 
the watchman because the enemy is already at the gate. We 
must decide what it is that we stand for, cut loose everything that 
we do that does not directly apply to our vision no matter how 
good it seems to be and begin to march together towards our 
goals. We must put aside pet doctrines and differences that divide 
us and rally around the principles that we all agree with. We must 
work with one another to present a united front and a depth that
people can embrace. We must become a movement in every 
sense of the word, moving together with all of the different parts 
that we offer to a common goal. 

And we must have the courage to remember that none of our 
stances or projects really matter in the end, only what we truly do 
for Jesus matters.

We will make the decision now whether this movement will have 
any impact or not. If we can not move forward together then we will 
lose this incredible moment in history when real change could 
have occurred. I would remind you that we have come into the 
kingdom for such a time as this and that not one of us should 
delude ourselves into thinking that we will escape in the king's 
house any more than anyone else. That if we do nothing then 
deliverance and enlargement shall arise from another place, we 
can be sure of that. But we may have missed the one moment
that we were born for, the war that would have given us our 
identity that we could have only fought together.

~James Smith,
'American Pentecost'
Houston, Texas.