there are some significant differences between the charismatic church in england (soulsurvivor is a predominantly, though not exclusively, charismatic event) and their american charismatic counterparts (this is nothing against american charismatics – just an observation). two i’ve observed: charismatics here (england) don’t tend to be legalistic at all. and – this is the biggie – they really care about justice and the poor in a way i’ve not seen from any denominational grouping in north america except parts of the mainline church (of course i’m only speaking in denominational generalities here).
i’m sitting in the close of a general session where they did something i’ve never seen: after talking about justice and the poor, mike pilivachi lead what felt like a normal charismatic response time (a ministry time) but nothing like i’d ever seen in the states (or any other country where i’ve seen charismatic response times. it was a call to a conversion to a life of justice. it was beautiful, powerful, amazing.
5 thoughts on “conversion to a life of justice”
i’m an american and have lived in england and ireland the last couple of years, and i totally agree. but i think it’s more than just charismatics, i think it’s evangelicals in general. there just doesn’t seem to be the baggage connected to social issues that there is in the US.
I think I missed out. When I lived in England, it was about a decade ago and I was attending a pretty conservative Bible school (most people consider me a conservative, but they thought I was pretty explosive and liberal … perhaps even dangerous – but not as dangerous as Marko). They had a list of ten “approved” churches we could choose from to attend; they were pretty dead and frustrating. Y’know, the kind of churches with no youth, women aren’t allowed to speak, etc. I didn’t see any of what you are experiencing because I didn’t even know it was out there.
This is really interesting to me. I work in a charismatic church (roots are in the Vineyard), and have always wondered about the false separation of charismatic church life and concern for justice and care for the poor. In many people’s minds, never the twain shall meet.
But it is starting to change, as we’ve been teaching toward a more holistic view of the gospel, retaining the “charismatic” elements, but helping people see that an act of love is just as much an expression of the kingdom of God as a miraculous healing.
And (miracle of miracles) I think some people might even be ready to say that you don’t need to be a Republican to be a Christian! But others aren’t so sure ;)
the conversion to a life of justice! wow!
wouldn’t it be great to have all our churches have closings/altar calls/ministry times focused on this!?
i think this is what moves me everytime i am in the uk…
and the most moving thing of my first greenbelt experience…the focus of christians on global issues and global justice! not on defending ourselves, or protecting what we believe…
but powerful prayer and discussion on what god is doing and how we can be a part of helping his kingdom come for all people all over the planet! especially the forgotten outcast folk!
thanks for this marko…
i am having greenbelt withdrawal this week, as i am getting kids back to school rather than jumping on a plane for cheltenham!
safe journey home, and do hope you’re feeling better! lil
btw…think i’ll post some of this on my own blog. : )
thanks lil, i am feeling better