Monday, November 29, 2010

#209-Going "Deeper" (or to Another level or to another dimension with God)

Okay, sidenotes-it looks like we may be adding another blogger here shortly (this means the posts should be more frequent...give me two weeks of spontaneous 1-2 posts a week and we should be up and ready back to the usual 3-4 posts a week...apologies for the stagnation...excuses: School, Work, Females, etc...)

Also let me preface by saying I may have done a post similar to this a long time ago, but i couldn't find it if I did.

Post: What is up with the Apostolic Infatuation of this strange "other-world" wherein if we prepare ourselves for by adding proper Holy supplements to our lifestyle (e.g. prayer, Bible, etc...), then we will be rewarded by God a la an all-expenses paid vacation (On Him) to go "deeper" with Him.

Seriously, the earlier parts of my 12-15 year old awkward stage were seen by me trying my hardest to go deeper with this obsessive reality of "GUYS, GET YOUR JUNK TOGETHER! WE'RE GOING DEEPER, AND IF YOU AINT ON BOARD, YOU'RE PART OF THE PROBLEM!" ..


And it was all so incredibly weird..we'd sit there on like Sunday nights before church trying to pray ourselves into a semi-trance because in this weird escape from reality,  we hoped God would show up in a tornado and be like "YOU ARE SO DEEP RIGHT NOW...SO DEEP RIGHT NOW THAT I'M GOING TO TELL YOU THE FUTURE!"

And when a few lucky ones did go deeper with God, their "revelation" was never in regards to telling us the Super Bowl winner for next year which would have made us all was all about how another one of us, if that person will go deeper, he will be a huge preacher preaching to millions of starving Africans...

I never, no matter how hard I jumped, could get past level one:

Dear God,

Hi. It's me Joel. I love you. Thank you. Sorry I watched that TV show with a girl in a bathing suit. And if possible, let me go deeper.  I hate people. I shouldn't hate people. Let me love them. Revival soon, okay? TTYL!



(and as I wrote that, i can say that more or less, outside of a speaking in tongues in counter here or there, that this above prayer has been about all I have prayed my entire life with myself expounding on various elements of the prayer to elongate said prayer).

And one time, I decided to see what the Bible says about this stuff about going deeper...


Nothing about "New Dimensions"

Nor about new levels...

Nothing about going "deeper"  in prayer (unless you count Paul's Third Heaven experience, but that is a far cry from it actually being a declaration that the "Third Heaven" experience is to be sought whatsoever, and if it is, the "third Heaven" is to be sought by weakness)...

And when you read the book of Corinthians....and how Paul condemns them for claiming a "higher Wisdom" and how much they were infatuated with speaking in tongues in church, you kind of get the sense that "deeper" is really a means of arrogance to "One-up" people...that

or an escape from facing the reality God has providenced them for.

But then the question is...why...why are we still aiming for this "mysterious unknown  zone" where few have traveled and fewer have returned?

Next time I hear about a church going to another level, i will kick the entire building in their shin..Because all their deep infatuation for something that is not even discussed in the Bible, is not only an escape from reality, but also in a sense saying "this" isn't good enough...and I don't mean our sinful selves, because we are never good enough...but more so, reality isn't good enough...

The Cross, the resurrection, Acts 2, etc....none of those things are good enough, so we need more God as a Holy Ghost pleasure machine to which weird things happen and we are told weird thoughts....let's let such a concept die soon...


  1. Well, yeah, but there's that "I must decrease and he must increase" and Ezekiel wading out a little deeper and deeper. And growing in grace, and moving from meat to milk, going on to maturity, and that sort of thing. My sense is that those transitions don't happen in a revival or in a prayer meeting, but in long term dedication to Jesus, a lot of denying self, a lot of time and experience. Not something that can be had in a weekend retreat.

  2. It's things you say like this:

    "Next time I hear about a church going to another level, i will kick the entire building in their shin"

    that keeps me coming back for more. You are correct, as there doesn't seem to be another level of God to strive towards. There is, however, another level of "less of ourselves" that we should always be reaching towards. People do like the Revival Machine though...'get these people wound up and let'em go, there'll be 100 people get the Holy Ghost on Sunday.' When truly, slow and steady wins the race. I've grown weary and skeptical of many evangelists - maybe I'm getting old and just prefer my pastor who knows me. My pastor is in it for the long haul, and I appreciate that.

    Hmm, I got off track a bit there =)

  3. "I'm going to tell you the future!" had me in stitches...too funny!

  4. Everytime I've ever said things like, "I want to go deeper in God." Or "I feel like God's calling me into something more". Or "I feel God calling me to another level..." It meant, "it's time for more discipline in the basics," or" He was wanting me to minister more effectively" (because I hadn't been hearing Him clearly).

    I have this crazy idea that God can use the modern church to do stuff like we see in the book of Acts. Is that "another level"? Well, it's definitely some place different then where we've been living...

  5. A clarification to brittany,arvo, army,...

    I did not intend "deeper" here as a synonym for growth....progress, growth, better, stronger, etc...all of these things should and will happen if we are following Christ....

    The deeper I am solely referencing is the pursuit of a weird mystical otherness that is sought by prayer and fasting advocated by some in our movement.

    Perhaps a better analysis could be seen through the lens of ancient Catholic mysticism...

    here is a quote from the 14th century work "Cloud of the Unknowing"

    "For He can well be loved, but he cannot be thought. By love he can be grasped and held, but by thought, neither grasped nor held. And therefore, though it may be good at times to think specifically of the kindness and excellence of God, and though this may be a light and a part of contemplation, all the same, in the work of contemplation itself, it must be cast down and covered with a cloud of forgetting. And you must step above it stoutly but deftly, with a devout and delightful stirring of love, and struggle to pierce that darkness above you; and beat on that thick cloud of unknowing with a sharp dart of longing love, and do not give up, whatever happens."

  6. I must have been drowned in blessing, because I have had no experience with what you're talking about... That I was aware of...

    Thanks for the clarification.

  7. you dont have females in your life... dont lie...

  8. I blame this entirely on Israel Houghton.

  9. So you think its all emotionalism? Dont let cynicism rob ALL your faith.

  10. Just to be feisty, I played "Another Level" immediately after reading this. At prayer meeting. Shame on me.

  11. I'm also in the group that must say "I have never heard of this."

    I have heard similar redirect used to describe making more of a commitment, getting back to basics, or taking risks. I have seen it fallowed through and I have seen mindless gum flapping.

    If you were on EA when it was big you could see that there is an amazing amount of diversity with in our little subculture. This could just be one of those things.

  12. Yeah I guess if as apl pointed out you don't consider Ezekial; or Peter on the roof top in Acts 10; or Jphn on Patmos in the Spirit on the Lords day; or Paul exhorting to pray with understanding and withou on the spirit; or with groanings which can't be uttered; or -- well you seem pretty insightful I guess your catching my drift

  13. You are speaking a debacle of logic. Each of those scriptures (save Ezekiel which I am not sure what aspect you are referring to) do not say those experiences are to be sought....

    It doesn't say it is within our means to "grab" such experiences down from heaven either via length or intensity of prayer and/or amount of fasting.

    Rather the "groanings" of ROmans 8 you reference demonstrate just how much such things can't be sought as they are groanings of the Spirit which we cannot vocalize or not within ourselves.....

    These opportunities/experiences are received by God's grace...

    They are not to be idols.

  14. I very much doubt that you have the holy ghost.

  15. @Anonymous That is uncalled for!

  16. Probably... But everything on this blog is anti apostolic.
    Anti Pentecost - making fun of everything from standards
    To worship to the men of God to the people
    Of God... If we "apostolics" disgust the writer(s) so much.. Then why be apart of us at all? Making light of everything.. I fail to see God in any of it... Maybe I'm wrong.. But can you please explain how mocking things that are supposed to be holy or the very tenants of the apostolic experience and doctrine is in any way productive or a help to the body of Christ?

  17. @Anonymous There has been a long tradition of pointing out problems with groups / traditions with satire and more recently snarky commentary. One teck comic put it well "We snark because we love." I have not meet the authors but I suspect each love the Lord and agree with most things apostolic but there is know reason to talk about things that are not broken.

    This post from what I read appears to be committing on a trend he sees of reducing prayer to a type of getting high. If this trend is real it is a problem. A Problem can't be fixed until it is called out.

    Read posts # 191 and 109.

    The writhing stile: SAL is in the snarky blog stile which can be abrasive. Some of the posts are over the top snarky and the readers tend to call the authors out on it (read the comments on #214). Would an editor help; yes, every author should have one. Would more readers giving well throughout counterpoint; yes, every blog needs more.

    How about thinking up a name other than Anonymous and jump in with some well throughout counterpoint and make SAL better.

  18. aye aye John. Thank you. Once again, your comments, even the criticism (which has always been constructive in my mind) has always been read admirably by me.

    Anonymous, I believe in the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and it's significance therein of offers of Redemption, Reconciliation, and ultimately our Salvation.In short: the invitation to die so that we may live.

    I believe wholly in One God.

    I believe in the Pentecostal experience that says the experiences recorded throughout the New Testament are still just as available today as they were then...with a sincere love for the tongue speaking experience.

    Thus I am Oneness Pentecostal fully in what the title implies (Apostolic Pentecostal is the generally accepted term but I think a problematic label). I, nor this blog will forfeit anything because our discussion of what this belief system is not up to your own subjective definition of what being Oneness Pentecostal entails.

    When an ideology/belief system insulates itself from scrutiny, it dies.

  19. You believe the apostolic message - but don't believe in the supernatural??? How? Speaking in tongues in itself is supernatural - it already is a different dimension... Intercessory prayer is a deeper level that the initial infilling of the HolyGhost - Being slain in the Spirit is a deeper level of God - Do you really not believe that those times (though they are not all the time) real? Or that it's not taught in the Bible? I believe that there is definitely a supernatural world that controls the physical one we live in - The Bible even speaks about fighting the Spirit world.. so I just don't understand your article - I don't think it's a live in mode - but there are times that it happens.

  20. where did i say i dont believe in the "supernatural?"

    And where is being slain in the Spirit Biblically?