As I have been sorting through all the aftermath of the events in Lakeland, Florida I have been noticing a troubling trend in the Church world today. I have called it “God Plus” because it seems that God (especially as expressed and revealed in Jesus) is no longer enough.
In my walk with God I have focused on my relationship with God the father through Jesus Christ (John 17:3) and in getting to know Him better each day as the Holy Spirit continues to lead and to guide me. I have studied His Word daily for the purpose of knowing Him better and being able to recognize His voice immediately when I hear it. That has taken up most of the last 31+ years that I have known Him and suspect it will take up a large portion of eternity after my death for I walk with an awesome God who I suspect can continue to reveal Himself to me (and surprise me) for many trillions of years to come.
So, call me stupid, but I have spent my time daily with God and then attempted to obey what He said in my prayer time with Him and in His Word which I read daily. And it has been sufficient and fulfilling. Seeking and obeying God has been my main focus!
Over the last several decades I have noticed a trend that concerns me. And, as I sort through what has happened at Lakeland, Florida this trend has again come front and centre. It seems (and this is simply my opinion based on a lot of observation) that God alone is no longer enough. That knowing the Father and His Son better each day is not enough. That the guidance of the Holy Spirit is not enough. That reaching out daily to the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ is not enough. That hearing God’s voice and obeying what He says is not enough. That loving Him is not enough.
Now we apparently need “God Plus” something else…
We seem to be seeking after these other things as if they verify our spiritual depth and our ministry or service. We seem to get more excited about these “pluses” then we do about God Himself. We flaunt these “pluses” as if they verify everything is okay and God is really pleased with us. Believers seek after these signs and flock to places where they are happening to be a part of what the current “God plus”.
God plus manifestations (thought we were to walk by faith and not by sight/experience)
God plus Emma the angel floating a few feet above the platform and looking like Kathryn Kuhlman
God plus angels as orbs of lights floating around the meetings and appearing in pictures
God plus personal revelation received while willing ourselves into some place or state (The Third Heaven heresy)
God plus speaking to and hearing from dead saints (Cloud of Witnesses heresy)
God plus visions and dreams
God plus healing
God plus a prophetic word
God plus a new insight into an old verse or Bible story
God plus Old Testament Jewish festivals and holy days
God plus a warm fuzzy feeling
God plus great worship
God plus an open Heaven
God plus gatekeepers (Jesus never mentioned them – spiritual or physical)
God plus watchmen on the wall (Again, Jesus failed to mention these)
God plus conferences and seminars (Christian entertainment)
God plus revival (is it beoming an idol or a status symbol?)
God plus ministry
God plus Christian television (and resulting telethones)
Am I against all these things? Not at all (other than Emma and a few others). I am more concerned about what I see as a trend happening. This trend is that people are so hungry for “something” and that God apparently is no longer enough. So we add something else -biblical or non-biblical, it does not seem to matter.
Whatever happened to finding our fulfillment in God.
What ever happened to the Holy Spirit leading us into all truth (and so not needing Third Heaven visitations, dead saints speaking to us, or angels ministering fresh revelation)?
Whatever happened to just working on our relationship with the Lord and obeying everything He has said through His Word (“obeying all that I have commanded you” – Matthew 28:20) and whatever He speaks to our hearts personally ONLY after we check it to a balanced and mature understanding of His Word?
Can I be honest? I think we are seeking other things than just God. We have entered a “God Plus” stage in the North American Church. And, we are not very discerning about what we are discovering and declaring to be God or blessed by God.
Can I be honest? I think most of this “stuff” is taking our focus away from the one mandate the Lord left His Church – to seek and save the lost (statistics speak loudly here).
Can I be honest? I think we are making most of this “stuff” up and complicating a simple Gospel.
I am deeply concerned that history will record this as a time when the Church entertained itself with the “plus” and added to God’s revelation as found in the Holy Bible thus destroying the Church’s witness and effectiveness in winning the world. History might even record (if it is honest) that the Church was self-deceived in many ways.