October 17, 2016 by missionsandmysticism
The Westminster Shorter Catechism has an excellent definition of repentance in Question 87:
“Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavor after, new obedience.”
In this recent blog post by Seth Barnes, though the title would lend itself to the sharing of the Gospel, alas there is no Gospel message . The very simple answer to the question posed in the title is of course “sin”. As sinners separated from a Holy God we need to repent of our sin. Unfortunately, sin is no where to be found amidst the verbiage.
“Some people are born bounding out of bed, but most of the rest of us have this daily struggle. I think God gives it to us in part as a reminder of what he is looking for in the spirit. We are asleep and we need to awaken.
Jesus writes the church, “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore…and repent.””
Seth curiously left out this part of Rev 3:3 out and did not use the Scripture reference. “Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.”
Cross reference: 2 Tim 1:13- “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
This verse is saying remember and obey the written Word! The result of this dead faith is the destruction of all the unrepentant at His return. Judgement. We have yet to see AIM speak of the coming judgement which could be a reason this verse was cut short.
“I knew he wanted me to share this passage at the Awakening, but then, because I believe that leaders need to model what they want from their followers, his action plan made me squirm.”
As well it should, except that Seth’s action plan is not what Jesus actually said to the church at Sardis. If Seth had been hearing from God the message he gave at Awakening would have been the Gospel. (see our post, “The Awakening“)
“Many of us were slumbering in the spirit. Jesus wanted us to wake up, so he wanted us to repent. And if he wanted us to repent, then he specifically wanted me to repent. People do what they see. As babies, we learn to mimic the smiles of our parents. Our mirror neurons cause us to grow into our humanity in the reflection of example. Leaders need to model behavior.”
“If our deeds were not complete, then that was true for me too. If we had a reputation for being alive, but were in some way dead, then I could start the accountability with myself.”
Accountability? Christ is telling them to repent and get saved as judgement is coming!! He is speaking of a dead, unrepentant, and unregenerate church that he is coming to destroy if they don’t submit to Him as Lord.
“Ugh. So in the morning before the Awakening, walking on my driveway, I wrestled this out. “OK, God, you have my attention, what should I repent for?” I needed to repent. And he began to unravel it for me. Not all at once. Not as though I were taking dictation. But in pieces the thoughts came to me. Sixteen years earlier, He’d told me that a fatherless generation was growing up and that I should minister out of a fathering spirit. But too often since then, I’ve defaulted to positional authority and stewardship.”
Basically, Seth is interested in influencing more kids and having them call him “Papa”. Is this why he needs to repent?
“For 16 years I’ve felt awkward in the role. I’ve wanted to defer to those for whom fathering came more naturally. But what people wanted from me was the fathering hat more than the boss hat. “OK, God, I get it.”
The conversation on my driveway continued as I listened for God’s still small voice. “And it’s not just one father – it’s a group of them. This tribe will never be born if the elders don’t step up – if the fathers don’t become elders. Young people are jaded. All they’ve seen are leaders who act out of self-interest. Who will show them a better way?””
This is absolutely frightening. Seth has just undermined fathers, grandfathers, pastors, etc. He will show them a better way. While “seeming” humble he is saying God is telling him to be their spiritual father. This is reminiscent of cult language…“the tribe will never be born”…
“”It’s true. I have looked for that too. We do have much to repent for.” I paused and reluctantly asked, “OK, while we’re on a roll, Lord, is there anything else on your heart?”I was confused.
I’m collapsing time here as I play the conversation back to you. I’m not sure when it came to me, but the thought occurred, “the very thing God asked me to do is the thing I need to repent for.””
Again, what exactly is he repenting for?
“In 2007, while jogging on a Swazi road, the Lord had said, “Scale this for a movement.” I heard it, and knowing he was talking about the World Race, received it. And like Geppetto in the shoe shop, I’ve been diligently working on the assignment ever since. But now God was saying “repent.” Being a human being is confusing. You think you’re doing the right thing, and then you get a little perspective and you go, “whoops.””
Stay in the Word of God alone and you will never be confused. It is clear, sufficient and authoritative.
“Because so many people wanted to go on the World Race, I thought I had to scale at the speed of demand. We could only accept one in nine people showing interest in the Race. What was I to do? Obviously we needed people who thought more systemically than I did.
And so, we brought in people from outside. People who had skills and great intentions. Good people. Diligent people. People who slowly began to steer God’s dream off course. People I had to ask to leave. People who still may be nursing the wounds of our conversations.”
He is “repenting” that he did not have full control and all the authority over these kids!
“The results hurt a lot of people. Who was responsible for their pain? Ultimately me. Growth hurts. We all make mistakes, but leaders have to own the consequences of their actions.”
This certainly seems to be false humility. He has taken a position of authority, intentionally usurping the role of parents in the lives of these young people. The endless praise of the kids that call him “Daddy” is very disturbing.
“Last Thursday night, standing in front of the Awakening crowd, including my own board of directors, I shared all this. Because, much as I hated being up there, I only know one way to lead and ever since Adventures started in ’89, I’ve been messing up and repenting.”
See our post on the Awakening for more info.
“It’s what God wants. Then during Saturday’s session, God showed us he wasn’t finished. Jesse Green, a Racer alum, began to speak to the crowd about what else he wanted. And watching her, God was continuing to speak to me.
If you were there, you may have thought, “Well, this certainly isn’t on my schedule.” It wasn’t on mine, either. But it seemed that God wanted to do something with us to restore his body to health. We, the body of Christ, had been limping and hiding for a long time. It was time to get on the divine operating table.”
There is no mention of sin or of Christ’s sacrifice, no Gospel yet again.
“I knew that if anyone was exhausted by ten years of messy labor to birth the dream of God, it was Clint. I drug him up onstage. And before long, the crowd was laying hands on the two of us and we were weeping and snotting. If I could have crawled off the stage, I would have. Double ugh. Kneeling there in that heavy place, someone passed me a tissue and I don’t think I’ve ever needed one more.
I guess it was what God had in mind, because the fruit afterwards was good. A number of those who I had hurt came to me over the next few days and said things like, “I’m sorry too. I was hurt. I didn’t even know that I was bitter, but I want to walk in freedom. Will you forgive me?””
Interesting…others needed to repent to Seth.
“Those exchanges are sweet. We are all flawed humans and we do better when we own our status. I don’t know if we’ll ever birth the dream of God. But if we do, we’ll do it together.”
Sin? Christ? Salvation? Grace? Faith?
There was one scripture verse in this post, that was not even referenced so that it could be easily seen that important words were intentionally left out. This is not biblical repentance, nor accurate handling of God’s Word.