The Danger of Critical Analysis

James Preston 6 10:43 AM

It was fun having Curry Blake minister at Highway recently.

He ran a “Divine Healing Technician’s Training” conference at our venue during the week, and then we had the privilege of having him share at our morning service.

For those that don’t know, Curry Blake is the general overseer of John G. Lake ministries, a ministry founded, as the name suggests, by John G. Lake in the late 1800’s. John G. Lake was a great “revivalist” and saw signs and wonders follow the Gospel wherever he went.

Curry Blake now carries a similar “anointing”.

Personally, when I did hear him share, I enjoyed what he had to say. (I only sat in on his messages on Saturday night and the Sunday morning service.)

But I have heard of a few people who didn’t enjoy his teachings, and were rather opposed to the message he preached. This brings me to the reason for this post.

As a culture, I think we are far too critical.

These criticisms of Curry Blake made me think... We so often have something to say about a person or their message because it doesn’t fit within the box of our understanding, our interpretation, or even the doctrine of our respected mentors.

And it is here where we must be careful!

I too had issues of my own! I had to repent. I will be downright honest with you… After a few incidents at the start of this recent conference, I asked God: “God, surely revival cannot come through someone like this? Surely not, God?”

This is a huge thing to say! And dangerous ground to walk.

Immediately I felt the Holy Spirit say to me: “I will bring revival through whomever I choose.”

As obvious as it may seem, I was reminded… I am not God! Who I am to make decisions, judgments and criticisms on His behalf?

He is in Heaven, and He does as He pleases! (Psalm 135:6)

Now, these were minor incidents and absolutely irrelevant to the message Curry was teaching. But it is amazing how quickly one’s heart hardens.

And here is where we must be so careful.

When we hold an opinion of a particular person or theological subject, it is very difficult for that opinion to be changed. Yet I believe it is these opinions that can prevent us from enjoying the sweet wine God so often wants us to drink.

Like large blockages in pipes, these opinions we hold so tightly prevent the flow of God’s wine in our lives. And we only allow those who hold the same opinions as we do to minister to us and thereby miss out on so much else God is doing through so many others!

We are all merely jars of clay. And no jar is perfect. Let us not look at the imperfect jar and miss out on the treasure God has deposited within those jars!

We all know this verse well:

Matthew 7:1 – 5 (ESV)

"Judge not, that you be not judged. vs2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. vs3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? vs4 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? vs5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.”

What could those logs in our own eyes represent? We so often interpret them as issues of sin. But could I propose another interpretation? If the context Jesus is using in the illustration is judgment, could these logs represent our own opinions and traditions?

Are these opinions, understandings and interpretations we hold so dear preventing us from seeing everything God is doing on the earth today? Instead of enjoying everything God is doing around the world today, we only enjoy that which fits into our man-made, traditional boxes!

I am not saying throw your God-given intelligence and intuition away! Not all! Neither am I saying throw your opinions and interpretations away! Keep them!

But don’t let them get in the way of what God could want to do through a vessel you may not necessarily agree with!

Next time you find yourself under the ministry of someone you really battle to relate to or agree with; reserve all criticism (because it’s not Godly) and instead ask the Holy Spirit what He can teach you through that someone.

After all, Jesus did say that to inherit the Kingdom we must all be like little children.

It is the “pure at heart” who shall see God (Matt 5:8), not intelligent minds.

Pure heart or intelligent mind?

As much as I would love intelligence in its abundance, I would far prefer a heart that is pure before my God. Free from all cynicism and callous.

6 comments

Hey James i liked your post a lot...but without coming across critical ;-) there are two questions i have to ask you...

1. Where in the New Covenant do we find the Holy Spirit rebuking believers?

2. Where in the New Covenant do we see believers not being able to see their God because their hearts are impure?

Hi there,

thanks for the comment. Always appreciated. Here are my answers:

1. Nowhere. (Although I do see Ananias and Sapphira lying to the Holy Spirit, and subsequently dropping dead. This is an anomaly that requires further study on my part. Maybe you can help me... )

2. Nowhere. Which is why Jesus said it was the "pure at heart that shall see God". Not the pure at deed. David was recorded as a "man after God's own heart" yet he did what most churches would extradite their members for. Why was he recorded as such a man? Because of his heart.

Don't miss the point of what I'm saying here.

You see, when a heart becomes critical, analytical, bitter or proud etc. it is very difficult for that heart to experience the Presence of God. It is not that God is not there, neither is it that they (legally) cannot enter His Presence, because they can. But the reason that heart usually doesn't experience God's Glory Presence is because they are usually too busy critically analyzing the moment rather than enjoying the Glory of God manifesting in that place.

Hence it is the "pure at heart" that shall see God.

When God told Abraham the ridiculous, Abraham asked no questions. He could've analyzed God's promise and He most likely would've reached a conclusion of disbelief. But! He didn't analyze, and instead received the promise for himself. And it was credited to Him as Righteousness. (And we know the promise was fulfilled)

Which is why I believe it is so dangerous to harbour criticism toward any move of God. I believe the Church needs to lay aside all forms of criticism and welcome God as He manifests His Presence in ways we have never yet seen before here on earth!

Hey James thanks for that...

so...

1.) You say nowhere, ie you have really only assumed (perhaps because you have always just believed it) that the Holy Spirit rebukes believers, as he rebuked you...

My friend, the Holy Spirit doesn't rebuke believers, that's why you wont find it in the new covenant...the Holy Spirits work is to convince you of your righteousness or your right standing before God when you sin. (which is everyday mind you, considering Rom 14:23 says, that whatever is not of faith is sin and James 4:17 says that the good a man ought to do and doesn't do it sins...

When you thought "surely not this man", i can imagine the Holy Spirit saying "Jamesie, Jamesie, Jamesie this is only the beginning..." with a huge smile on his face...not rebuking but encouraging you to change your mind about him...you might disagree, but this is more in line with how God relates to us through the cross...(which you preached on in an outstanding message at easter time BTW)

2.) the word heart in Matthew in greek is...kardia
kar-dee'-ah
Prolonged from a primary κάρ kar (Latin cor, “heart”); the heart, that is, (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by analogy) the middle: - (+ broken-) heart (-ed).

now i know Jesus mentioned the heart many times..

he also said out of the heart flows... outG1537 of theG3588 abundanceG4051 of theG3588 heartG2588 theG3588 mouthG4750 speaketh.G2980...and...

ForG1063 outG1537 of theG3588 heartG2588 proceedG1831 evilG4190 thoughts,G1261 murders,G5408 adulteries,G3430 fornications,G4202 thefts,G2829 false witness,G5577 blasphemies:G988...

actually in this passage he uses heart and thought interchangeably...whats the point you say..

well in the New Covenant (remember this started at the death resurrection of Jesus - a covenant is ratified with blood not at Matthew chapter 1 )we are told that we have new hearts as believers, we are new creations, seated with Christ in heavenly places..

You see, the problem is not with our hearts its with our minds...Rom 12:1...do not be conformed to the pattern of the world but be transformed (not by getting our hearts right, because they are right)by the renewing of your mind...

look at Eph 4:18-23...Paul again speaks of the renewing of the mind..

Eph 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
Eph 4:19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
Eph 4:20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!--
Eph 4:21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,
Eph 4:22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
Eph 4:23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds...

as a matter of fact throughout all of Paul's letters, he addresses the minds of the believers, their wrong thinking...not their bad hearts.

so, my point is...

As you are a Pastor in a local church, believers reading your post could come away with an erroneous understanding of the New Covenant and particularly the character of God when you say the Holy Spirit rebukes believers who's hearts become critical, analytical, bitter or proud...

Outside of that a bigger danger is , if you believe He does, then as a Pastor what stops you (or other believers from your local church)from rebuking another believer whose heart you (or they) believe has become critical, analytical, bitter or proud ...especially when you (or they) think you're (or they are) protecting the flock...


PS don't get me wrong, its an awesome thing to be a pastor in Gods church, thats why its so important that we get back to sola sciptura..

Grace to you bro.

later...

Great response. It is highly appreciated. Thank you for your passion and verve toward this subject. I see exactly where you are coming from.

I have adjusted the line in this post accordingly, and hopefully this would not be misinterpreted.

You obviously have a very deep understanding of living under the New Covenant. May your fire and passion for Him continue to rage, and may it light many more fires of true life under the New Covenant wherever you go!

Keep the advice coming through.

May you ever walk in His Presence.

James

"Anyone who says, "I believe in grace, but I do not think it should be emphasized too much because that leads to careless living" has totally failed to understand God's work of grace on behalf of mankind. Even among believers who accept grace as the only means of salvation apart from any works or merit on the part of man have neglected the fact that the spiritual life can only be sustained, developed, and brought to completion by the operation of that same grace. Growth in the spritual life comes only by the grace of God. II Peter 3:18, "But GROW IN GRACE and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; to whom be glory both now and forever. Amen."

There is a great need for a fuller presentation of the grace of God. Not only in the concept of salvation, but in the area of Christian living. It is very important that Christians realize that the very same grace that saved them, is the grace that teaches them how live a life pleasing to God."

I could not agree with you more! Thanks for the comment.

Post a Comment

Spiritual Blog of 2013!

Spiritual Blog of 2013!

Welcome to JamesPreston.org

Weekly Email Inspiration:

Enter Your Email for powerful inspiration:

FOLLOW JAMES:

James Interviews Mike Stopforth about Entrepreneurship:

James' Top Ten Movies:

James' Popular Blog Posts:

Search

James on Google Plus: