David Koresh and Vision Casting

Vision casting is the idea that a pastor/church leader has received a specific vision from the Holy Spirit for the purpose/design/direction for a church and that the vision must be followed because it is God’s Will, regardless of it’s intent.  In other words, if you’re not on the bus, get off the bus, or it will run you over.

So, let’s think about that for a minute…

A congregation following the vision cast by a leader MUST follow the leader without questioning the vision, or they will be seen as questioning a vision from God for the purpose of the church.

I’m sorry, but that sounds a little too David Koresh for me…

The sole norm and direction of the church comes directly from God to all of His people in the form of His Word, the Holy Scripture.  Christ and the salvation He brings alone is presented to us in the Bible, and all of our direction comes from Him.  We do not need additional revelation or vision from God.  If we did, He would have provided it to us through the Church, not the individual pastor in a random congregation who proclaims that God only speaks in his ear for his congregation’s benefit.  Again, a little too cult leader/”I hear the Voice of God”…

Any word or deed outside of the guidance of Scripture is not from the Lord.  It is very simple to understand.  The Lord grants us, His people, the ability to judge those who claim to be the prophets of the Lord by one simple criteria:  If it’s not in the Good Book, throw it out.  2 Timothy 3:15-17, “and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

What’s the purpose of these men who seek to cast a vision on a church?  Is it to do God’s Will as defined in Scripture, or to do another “will” as they are perceiving it?  It is not the visions of men which should lead and guide a church, but the Gospel of Christ Jesus as revealed in Scripture.  Galatians 1:6-10 is very clear in this matter.  “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you,let him be accursed.  As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.  For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

God does not need to reveal Himself in any way beyond the revelation we have through Christ Jesus.  And the revelation of Jesus is available for us all through Scripture.  It was made to be this way at the crucifixion.  When the curtain of the temple was torn in two, Jesus removed the barrier between His people and salvation.  No longer were we needing to seek the High Priest and the sacrifices of the altar for our forgiveness.  Christ had made the final atonement and brought to us life and salvation through Him alone, which we receive through Baptism and His Holy Supper.  That is what the pastor should be preaching:  Salvation is by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Scripture Alone.

That’s the only vision I need.

Here’s an interesting discussion with Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith on vision casting over at Issues, Etc.

Ten Second-Graders are Missing at School…

So, I was listening to Issues, Etc. (yes, I know, you hear that a lot on this blog), and I heard a message from the Susan B. Anthony List.  It’s a group that works to elect Pro-Life female candidates to political office.  This blog’s purpose is not political, it’s to spread the message of Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.  But what I heard made me stop and do a little math.

1.25 million abortions occur in the United States every year.  There are 124,000 schools (public and private) in the U.S.  My son is starting the second grade, and he has a class of 16.

There are ten children missing from his class…

There are ten children missing from every single class in the United States…

That’s 110 children missing from my son’s school, a private Lutheran school with funding problems directly related to low attendance.

I’m not blaming mothers who “choose” to abort their children for the school’s financial problems.  I’m pointing the finger at myself, someone who “stayed out of the argument” in college because “it is the law.”  I’m accusing myself of a lack of support for his school because I didn’t make a point to say that it was wrong to take away ten of his friends and classmates.  I’m expressing my contrition over the fact that I haven’t considered 110 little sets of ears which could hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, 110 children who could learn about, live with, and love each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.  I am the sinner.  And my son is suffering the ill effects of my sin.  God forgive me.

50 million people have died because of abortion since 1973.  The oldest would have turned 38 this year, and would have had their own children, who would also be in my son’s class.  More voicing singing God’s praises on Sunday morning…

So, consider this.  I once heard this from a man who is much more thoughtful and faithful than I:

“Image that a politician stepped up to the microphone and said the following:

‘A woman has the right to choose if she should have to live with her second-grader.  A woman should be able to decide if her second-grader should be allowed to talk and whine and ask questions and want to play and be fed and clothed.  A woman has the right to choose who should be around her own body.  A woman should have the right to choose to abort her second-grader.’

We would call that politician insane!  We would run him out of town and call for his head!  And yet, we elect individuals who are saying the same things, only about children 8 years younger.”

There will be ten second-graders missing at school next month…