Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Debating with My Friend Rick Joyner of Morningstar Ministries

When I was a child, there was a sign on the wall of a doughnut shop which read,  “Remember, brother, As you ramble on through life, Whatever be your goal, Keep your eye upon the doughnut, And not upon the hole.” Obviously, I could not have known that this saying would become the guiding motto for my life.  Later in adulthood, I found the similar saying in Stephen Covey's books "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."
It was that principle that led me into a debate with one of my favorite people, Rick Joyner of Morningstar Ministries.  It happened as follows.

During the offering at one of his meetings, they asked for money for a well-digging project in Africa.  Because I loved giving to Morningstar, I was bewildered when I got a check in my spirit.  I even left the meeting to ask the Lord what was going on with me.  

My motto came to mind.

At lunch that day with Rick, I told him about the block I had at the offering and how my motto surfaced in my mind.  Naturally, he was somewhat put off.  So, I went on.

I quoted my guiding motto: I said, Rick “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Jesus healed the sick and cast out devils, demonstrating the Sovereignty of God.  He then instructed his disciples to go do the same (Mat 10:8)”.

Regarding works like well digging, I began to share my experiences in Kennedy’s Peace Corps and Johnson’s Vista in the War on Poverty.    I added that many groups do such works of compassion, including other religions.  But only one organization on the earth is commissioned to cast our demons, demonstrating the sovereignty of God over the sovereignty of Satan.

Rick retorted that he could walk and chew gum, meaning that he could do more than one thing at a time.

I came back, “Yes, and that is exactly what the mainline churches and much of the Roman Church turned to doing.   I have always believed that when the church lost the power to do what Jesus told them to do, they just began to do something they could do–Parkinson’s Law-- fill up the available time.”

I then swung into overdrive.  “There came a time when my fellow liberal ministers only seemed to know one Scripture,  “Love your neighbor.”  To which one man asked of Jesus: “And who is my neighbor?”

My question exactly.

Jesus’ answer is convoluted.  The man needing help obviously was not the Samaritan.  That man in the ditch is most likely a Jew.  Jews were supposed to help one another, but in this case they didn’t.   So, a foreigner had to.  Jesus asked them then, who was doing the neighborly thing.  You can’t build a totally new religion calling for charity to the whole world on this one confusing parable.

“How do you know the one being neighbored was a  Jew?” Rick challenged me.

Coming back, I said:  “I can give you several observations.  First of all, many scholars say he was.  More importantly read between the lines.  Jews were not obligated to help outsiders unless the person worshiped their God.  Don’t you think if the people heard Jesus guilting them for not helping a nonbeliever in need, they would have had a different reaction then they did?”

“Furthermore, the early Christians gave no evidence that they had heard they were to help people apart from the brethren.  John even laid down an interesting twist on the Great Commandment.  1 Jn 3:23 ‘And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another (the brethren), as He gave us commandment.’   The money collections by Paul and others were always ‘for the brethren,’ not for non-Christians.”

At that point Rick concluded: “Don, I believe you have a stronghold.”  (For the reader: For me a stronghold is a place Satan finds in a person from which to cloud the mind and feelings.)  Thus such an observation from a man I love and respect, had to be taken seriously.

Suffice to say, I took all that to the Lord.  For the next two years, I searched the Scriptures daily always asking the Lord to point out and to remove any strongholds.  However, the more I studied, the stronger my conviction became.  Before Pentecost, the person to help was one who worshiped Yahweh.  After Pentecost, it was the brethren.

The Lord once used a single Scripture to open the meaning of the whole Bible to me:
 “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”  (“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.")

 But now I am going to get mischievous.  Can you believe that apart from the Scriptures, I also found what I was looking for in one of Rick’s most consequential books “The Final Quest”?

Rick records the Lord as saying to him the following: “Human compassion is just as contrary to me as human oppression.  Human compassion is used as a substitute for the power of My cross.. . . .  I do not enjoy seeing men suffer,” Wisdom (the Lord)  continued.  “But human compassion will not lead them to the cross, which alone can relieve their real suffering.”  (The Final Conflict, Morningstar Publications, 1996, Charlotte NC, p194-195) .

It is not my style to have to win a debate.  So, unless someone points this blog out to Rick some day in the future, he will probably never see it.  If he does though, I predict that in his good natured way, he will chuckle.  Of course, Jesus did remind me that as I hang around with Him,  I grow in compassion.


kayode Crown said...

I am amazed that giving to unbelivers is not mentioned in the new testament.

Anonymous said...

I believe the Samaritan was an Israelite. See OT scriptures on the Northern Kingdom, which included Samaria, part of the inheritance of Joseph's sons Ephraim and Manassah.