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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

On quoting Jim Rutz

            Previously, in one of the five minute commentaries, I quoted the 30 dichotomies between western traditional church and what the author, Jim Rutz, called “open church” in his book, Megashift, which appears extremely similar to what I and many other writers have called simple or organic church.  I thought I’d take a moment to say that, while I believe that what he has said in the 30 dichotomies is valid, it in no way implies my agreement with what Rutz has said about society and politics.

            At this point, I was about to quote the humanist/atheist philosopher Voltaire’s famous quotation, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” when, in proper fashion, I decided to fact check my memory.  First, without fact checking, I would have said “disagree” instead of “disapprove”, although that is trivial.  Second, according to www.quotationspage.com, while the above statement contains a summation of Voltaire’s opinion, and was written as a quote in a book in 1906, there is no evidence that he actually ever said or wrote these exact words, although he wrote something quite similar.  I am really not in a position today to fact check that website.  That said, and with the recognition that I probably agree with far more of what Rutz has written than Voltaire, I must point out that the quote doesn’t align me with much of Rutz’ modern day prophecying, in a secular, opposed to Christian, sense of the word.

            Particularly, I ran across Rutz’ prediction that we will discover how to run cars on water, and from that, the economies of Middle Eastern countries will collapse, and from that, so will the structure of Islam.  My training is not in the natural sciences, so I cannot say whether there is good science to back up the first prediction, although I have seen on tv or read little blips that imply that there might.  If such a thing were to happen, and global warming might begin to reverse, and I believe that there is good recent history that creator God has made this world in a way that is to a degree self-healing in a way that science is only beginning to attempt to understand, all that would be nice.  Could the two conclusions come from the first premise?  I can picture it in my mind, but in and of itself, the premise would need many other occurrances to bring about the economic collapse, and even that would be dubious as to bringing about the second, without many other occurrances.  Of course, there is nothing in the prediction that is ruling out the many other things happening. 

            Even if I believed that, I am not sure that saying so publicly is advisable.  I think of the prophecy of Agabus recorded in Acts 11:28 about a coming famine.  Since Acts was recorded years later, I am certain Luke included it due to Agabus’ having heard the Spirit correctly, as proven by intervening history.  Rutz has shown a penchant for including some ultra-conservative political ideas.    At this time, in this culture, even if I was in agreement with them (and I have not taken the time to read and consider most of them, one way or another), personally I see such as interfering with communicating the message to a lost and dying world.  I also recognize that not doing so is part of what the Spirit has put on my heart to do and not do, and (at best) another person seeking to live for Jesus can have some opposite aspect of life upon their personal calling.  Also, neither you nor I can judge whether any person other than oneself is following, at one’s best, the Spirit’s personal direction upon their unique giftings (by this, I mean that one is first called to accept Jesus’ gift of salvation, then we are called to learn how Jesus taught us to live for Him, as shown in the Bible and by the Spirit in our spirits, and, if we have been faithful to that, and unfortunately many believers appear to live their lives without pursuing the second, then the Spirit can place a part of God’s work upon one’s heart, which is, in some way, connected to what He has given us, maybe physically and mentally, which includes a genetic part and also includes our life experiences and the spiritual aspect, and as spiritual gifts, which may be greater than the 25 or 26 enumerated in the Bible).

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