FAX of Life - Rubel Shelly - Creative Strategies: Review
Rubel Shelly in FAX of Life states: Most of us whine about those creative, right-brained persons who think up new ways to do things and fail to realize that everyone has the ability to innovate. Originality is not the province of a select few who are out to sabotage life for the rest of us
First we should state that Rubel Shelly of The Family of God at Woodmont Hills has, along with a band of like-minded men, established Jubilee 98, Jubilee 99, etc. as an exercise in using the methods of commercial Change Agentry to remove the church from an old, deleterious "wineskin" ready to burst, and put it into a new wineskin to hold -- as they propose -- worship containg the bubbling, fermenting new wine of the gospel and kingdom.
This scheme has created more division and destruction of the Christ-given rest than any movement in the 20th century. The new theology is post modern or post denominational. This holds that the Bible is hoplessly outmoded and not understandable in order to make a "church" large enough to hold every theology in the world. Therefore, if you are going to pay for the new building you have to turn commercial and become creative. This is a direct fulfillment of the end-time church of Revelation 18.
The expansive quality is to be able to hold all fellowships into a large, end-of-the-millenium wineskin and to eleminate sectarianism (a perfectly good word: I am sectarian about allowing another husband-father into my family).
The fermenting new wine is his (and many, many others) new paradigm (patterns are out - paradigms are in) which symbolizes an exciting, exhilarating worship ritual in which professional manipulators "lead the worshipers into the presence of God."
The Biblical fact is that Jesus (and any Jewish schoolboy) knew that one must put the pure, "juice of the Word" into a new, sterialized wineskin and then seal it. This would prevent fermentation which always leads to rot and spoil. If, on the other hand, one puts new, boiled juice into an old, leavened wineskin containing all "sects" it will surely begin to ferment and burst the bag. The bag was never sealed unless the juice was pure and ferment would not begin. Jesus put His Word into "earthen vessels" or ceremonially pure containers.
The village idiot knew that you didn't seal fermenting wine -- even in a steal-banded cask! All ecumenical movements are slick ways for me to get your sheep and put them into my wineskin or sheepfold. The tension will not hold diverse groups with different norms and it will -- has always -- bursted.
We review this e-mail only because it is flawed - lying to the cop is a preacher's joke -- and because its proof-text quality continues to promote a grab-bag approach to faith and practice such as "raising holy hands, trying to ascend into the presence of God, musical worship teams, musical instruments (Jubilee 98), Women leadership (for which men may have no authority either), a false view of baptism and a generally carnal (as opposed to spiritual) view of worship.
Subject: The FAX of Life
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 02:07:18 EST
1. .....Creativity is in short supply in most companies. People often depend on doing the same things in the same tried-and-true ways -- and go bankrupt.
A new product comes along that pushes the envelope.
A competitor becomes more aggressive with its marketing strategies.
Too much is taken for granted, and the result is disastrous.
2. Most of us whine about those creative, right-brained persons who think up new ways to do things and fail to realize that everyone has the ability to innovate. Originality is not the province of a select few who are out to sabotage life for the rest of us.
3. People who change the world are the women and men who are willing to ask hard questions, explore new ways of doing things, and make changes when change has the prospect of doing things better.
The enemy of creativity isn't really custom or tradition. Its enemy is a mix of laziness, rigid control, and self-indulgence. These sorry qualities of a corporate or personal identity will not permit vision. They champion a status-quo mentality that refuses to ask how things can be improved.
4. Discretion is a virtue, but noncommittal and fearful control of a situation is the blueprint for failure. The Bible says: "Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap" (Ecclesiastes 11:4). That's another way of saying that people whose watchword is "We've never done it that way before!" will soon be watching from the sidelines as life's visionaries pass them by.
5. The most valuable few hours you use this week could be the brainstorming time with your colleagues around this question: What can we do to do things better here?
Because each of these last points is a good launch pad to look deeper into the Word of God, the black-bold comments are from the e-mail and the rest is commentary and review to help round out the message of Dr. Rubel Shelly.
Still frustrated, Dr. Rubel Shelly appeals to Machiavelli for help in understanding why new products are often harder to sell than to invent.
1 Rubel Shelly:.....Creativity is in short supply in most companies. People often depend on doing the same things in the same tried-and-true ways -- and go bankrupt. A new product comes along that pushes the envelope. A competitor becomes more aggressive with its marketing strategies. Too much is taken for granted, and the result is disastrous.
Having earned a living as a creative engineer and inventor of mechanical and electronic devices, this reviewer is aware that there are two forms of creativity:
First, the right-brain tends to be creative in singing, playing instruments, dancing, drama and the visual arts. God cannot use creative talent because Christ does not judge by what He sees or hears (Isaiah 11:1-4)
Second, the left-brain tends to be creative in listening, observing, finding problems and proposing solutions. This reviewer is a technically-fair painter but could never be an artist primarily because he cannot abstract reality and make it into something else.
He has the same problem assuming or presuming to change God's patterns.
Art is always an imitation and "marketable" art seems to work because it throws dung on Mary or urinates on Jesus.
Drama works "because we know that it isn't true."
Music works because it is always one or two levels removed from the truth.
Therefore, God cannot use and will not tolerate creativity as the work of human hands.
Worship is in my spirit or mind and you cannot take your singing boys and girls into the throne room with me.
The following comments discuss the urge to treat "church" like a corporation which is successful only if it comes up with new products and pushes them with aggressive marketing strategies.
If people are doing "church" correctly there is no need to change even if rejected by every man, woman and child on the face of the earth. To change just to be Seeker Sensitive would be cowardly in the face of Satan.
If we are doing things incorrectly then we need to run to the Bible rather than to Willow Creek or commercial forms of Change Agentry which forces change psychologically. Unfortunately, many "creative" worship teams don't create a single thing. Rather, they run to another fellowship practicing that which attracts the masses (Jesus would not do that). As a result, they look just like the denomination down the street.
Willow Creek and Jubilee 98 - Jubilee 99 chooses to use commercial methods (see Rev. 18), promote new products (books, tapes) which push the envelope. See our Change Agent Index to see how Jubilee 99 will use Lynn Anderson whose methods are old educational techniques: push the envelope or upset the equilibrium until people are about to go over the brink. Then jerk them back and try again at a later day.
We are not in competition. Indeed, our "work product" is hated with a purple passion by the majority of people. It got Jesus, Steven and Paul murdered by the competing commercial forces.
2. Rubel Shelly: Most of us whine about those creative, right-brained persons who think up new ways to do things and fail to realize that everyone has the ability to innovate. Originality is not the province of a select few who are out to sabotage life for the rest of us.
While many churches do more damage than good (1 Cor. 11:17f) and are shackled with a pyramidal "ministry structure" which God warned would be the result of Israel's rejection of Him as their Theocratic Ruler, a creative, visionary approach would be to retire those who created the problem in the first place and restore a true "family" or a one-another ministry. Innovation by hiring a musical worship facilitator is what McClintock and Strong identified as "the first heresy widely pervading the church."
Rubel Shelly sees the beyond redemption failure at the Musical idolatry performed at Mount Sinai as a pattern for Christian worship and community. That is some creativity!
Rubel Shelly / John York: The Exodus Pattern for Worship and Community: Retrospective 7/2/01
Rubel Shelly / John York: Rising Up To Play in Musical Idolatry Made The Exodus a Failure
- Refuted By: Psalm 106 as a Paradigm for Praise
"Stephen was accused of speaking against "the customs,"-sacrifices, temple, feasts, etc.
"Therefore he significantly points to that critical conjuncture. from which these "customs" date their introduction:
namely, the Provocation at Horeb.
Prior to that, he tells of "living oracles," life-giving precepts: [The Book of the Covenant]
after it, and as its consequence, sacrifices, etc.,
those statutes which were not good, and ordinances by which a man shall not live, as God says by Ezekiel.
Not a word of sacrifice till then: and the first mention is, of the sacrifices offered to the calf.
In like manner, "they rejoiced," "the people ate and drank, and rose up to play:" and in consequence of this, the feasts were prescribed: kai eufrainonto, fhsin: dia touto kai eortai.-'Epishmainetai might be rendered, "he marks," "puts a mark upon it"
(so the innovator, who substitutes, touto kai Dauid epishmainomenoj legei): we take it passively, "there is a mark set over it-it is emphatically denoted."
Jubilee 98 originally estimated spending 1/4 million dollars ($250,000.00) to aggresively promote the new products. One major product was the praxis effort to experientially train attendees to "lift holy hands" as an acceptable "act of worship" and to Lay hands on people -- the purpose escaped me. We saw nothing creative about it except singing their own compositions and "improvizing on instruments like David." According to the Septuagint, Amos wrote that "They thought of them as having abiding value but they were just temporary pleasure."
3. Rubel Shelly: People who change the world are the women and men who are willing to ask hard questions, explore new ways of doing things, and make changes when change has the prospect of doing things better. The enemy of creativity isn't really custom or tradition. Its enemy is a mix of laziness, rigid control, and self-indulgence. These sorry qualities of a corporate or personal identity will not permit vision. They champion a status-quo mentality that refuses to ask how things can be improved.
This reviewer's view is that the great enemy of change and creativity is the lack of correct and well-digested factual information about the problem. Before attempting to invent a new product, a common scheme is to do a patent search to determing whether we are just trying to invent the wheel or claim to be creative innovators rather than stealers of other people's ideas.
The Incarnate God of the Universe (there is just one and not Father and Holy Spirit tricking the Son to do their sacrificial work - Creative Jubilee 98 joke). This God does not need our creativity, talent or vision. Indeed, these new schemes which take so much legal-like work and divide so many people just move further from the vision God has already given. This effort is indeed ceremonial legalism.
Look at two passages which speak of vision as being revelation which none of us can do:
Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul. Proverbs 29:17
Where there is no vision (revelation, oracle), the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18
A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer. Proverbs 29:19
Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him. Proverbs 29:20
The Bible over and over demands that we "teach that which has been taught for two reasons."
First, God inspired the Word and to presume to "private interpret" or "further expound" the Word blasphemes God by repudiating His Word.
Second, the New Testament writers also make it clear that when you open up the floodgate to innovators or improvisers Satan will always slip in.
Perhaps, this is why Jubilee 99 gets sentimental about Machiavelli and Promise Keepers promises some shepherding (discipling) methods of controlling the "human material" which it collects by mass hysteria. See what Hitler thought about that.
Being a visionary about faith and practice is the belief that one is an apostle or prophet or, as we have heard, even Christ's representative in this church. We can dismiss, out of hand, any visionary who is getting visions out of their own head:
Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses (family): I will also make the pomp (arrogancy, pride, swelling often included music) of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled. Ezekiel 7:24
Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace (friends and prosperity), and there shall be none Ezekiel 7:25 .
These ancient Seeker Services were named after:
Baqash (g1245) baw-kash'; a prim. root; to search out by any method, specifically in worship or prayer; by impl. to strive after: - ask, beg, beseech, desire, enquire, get, make inquisition, procure, (make) request, require, seek (for).
David and all others who worshiped in a spiritual sense sought God through His Word.
In addition to this almost-desperate search for commercial methods to attract the crowds from the aggressive competitors, at least one of this team claims to be inspired to have visions and write material so good that God directs the reader to the bookstore rather than to the Bible!! Click Here. However,
Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients (elders). Ezekiel 7:26
The ultimate sign of Laziness is becomming a colleague and then refusing to fulfill the professional responsibility to "go into all the world and preach the gospel." The upside down method is the Seeker Service method of using entertainment and commerce to bring the "world" to the building (theater, etc).
It might be prudent to repudiate the American Restoration Movement because its early leaders almost universally condemned and anathamatized professional preachers who refused to go out. Click Here to see the truth.
4. Rubel Shelly: Discretion is a virtue, but noncommittal and fearful control of a situation is the blueprint for failure. The Bible says: "Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap" (Ecclesiastes 11:4). That's another way of saying that people whose watchword is "We've never done it that way before!" will soon be watching from the sidelines as life's visionaries pass them by.
First, let's look at the word visionary:
"Existing only in the mind; not real; imaginary, not capable of being put into effect; not realistic; impractical; seeing or disposed to see visions; characterized by impractical ideas and schemes. A person who sees visions; prophet or seer. Webster
We stand aside and allow the visionaries or pretend prophets to pass us by and we will stick with the "old paths" and just listen to God through the Word.
I agree with Amos: I am not a professional prophet and my daddy was not a professional prophet. The implication of the new charismatic movements and Jubilee 99 is that visionary or pretend prophets can speak for the "family."
On the other hand, true visionaries return to the old paths which means skipping over both right and left wing professional prophets.
Second, the evidence is that schemes attempting to build a structure (tower) beyond the local congregation (Promise Keepers, Jubilee 99) cannot long exist without exercising extreme, cult-like control. Any effort to manipulate the mind by body motions or sound is a cult device and it will fail.
Third, this passage is distorted -- as in almost all sermonizing -- to minimize the message of the Spirit of Christ (1 Peter 1:11) and maximize the message of the improviser or visionary. Rather than a warning to those who refuse to lock-hips with modern, denomination-like change agents, this message is a resounding, changing warning against spending obscene fortunes trying to promote new schemes which are as new as the towers of Babylon; as visionary as the Israelites condemned by God through Amos.
Let us look at Ecclesiastes 11:4 in its context as if we really cared what God wanted to reveal. This does not have to do with spending 1/4 million dollars for show and tell of new books and music. Rather, it has to do with spending that waste on the poor or using it to "go" and preach the gospel to the overwhelming majority who do not know the word "Christ." Look at the context:
CAST thy bread (grain) upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Ecclesiastes 11:1
Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. Ecclesiastes 11:2
If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. Ecclesiastes 11:3
He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. Ecclesiastes 11:4
Paul might say that some plant, some water and others reap the increase. You have to take some risk by deciding to plant without being able to see the increase or "cutting your hay" waiting until you are sure that it isn't going to be spoiled.
The "seeker system" does not work by faith: the right brained artist doesn't care about the facts.
The Israelites at Mount Sinai and the believers in churches like Rome and Corinth wanted to perform the old "ascending-descending" fertility riuals of Babylonia, Egypt or Canaan. They wanted to see, feel and hear the intimate (sexual) presence of their God whom they believed they could drag down with powerful, commercial worship rituals to make "the worship service meaningful for the 20th century." And of course one knows that if they go after the right-brained with musical worship they have carefully watched the clouds to make sure that there is the greatest increace produced by 'our innovation.' However, Jude quote Enoch who tells the story of the musical innovators who were not driven by their right brain but by innovating suggestions from Satan. However, God will come with ten thousand of His saints to execute judgment upon those who, unlike God's other creatures, just cannot "follow His patterns."
Woe unto them for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. Jude 1:11
The Cainites in the ancient documents were the ones to whom Satan came and taught how to "improvize" by playing musical instruments, using mixed-sex choirs and sexual perversion. They improvized specificially to seduce the holy Sethites off the Mountain of the garden.
These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Jude 1:12
When Israel repeated the musical fall at Mount Sinai, God turned them over to worship the starry hosts (Stephen in Acts 7). This was identical to the worship which seduced the first people:
Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars (planets), to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. Jude 1:13
In the book of Enoch, the natural world is the example of obeying God's will in all things. Evil men on the other hand turned to the artistic and skills taught by Satan. These are the ones for whom God will come with ten thousand of His saints:
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, Jude 1:14
To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. Jude 1:15
The "original sin" and all which followed are committed by those who feel the need to improvize and innovate. This is presumptious blasphemy and it is a sin in the Bible and in the Apocalyptic literature which is never forgiven.
On the other hand, the eye of faith which Christ uses does not ask when and how much the yield (collection plates?) the seed will produce before sowing it. It simply goes out into the fields, sows the seed, keeps the weeds on the other side of the walls and waits for God to give the increase -- perhaps giving the credit to a "little gun" from the ancient "rural" world. It does not take up collections or count the attendance or coversions "for my resume."
As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. Ecclesiastes 11:5
In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand:
for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good. Ecclesiastes 11:6
Right brained (effeminate or feminine) innovators want to know that the collection plates are going to be filled and some say "I will do anything to get the people to attend." However, they do not know how a "seed" becomes a child or how the "word" planted in the morning will prosper or not. Paul was sent to preach and he was not highly concerned with baptism. He knew that all that he could do was sow the seed or preach the whole counsel of God. Then without the planning and programs he allowed God's Word to do it's work just as God gave the seed the responsibility of germinating.
Solomon, who tried all of the visionary schemes under the sun to try to find the lost gods while refusing to teach his children, amassed the gold and errected his powerful pillars. However, in the end, he concluded that all that he did was just vanity. If we follow the advice of David or Solomon the writer says, "go get it." However, be warned that being visionary or walking in the ways of thine heart will result in great damage:
Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes:
but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. Ecclesiastes 11:9
This is a warning to those who cannot hear the parabolic language which Jesus said, "Was hidden from the foundation of the world."
This is symbolic of the Egyptian form of planting. They sowed their seed on the quiet backwaters (never in the main river stream) and when the water (pagan influence) goes away, the seed will settle down and produce fruit. On the other hand, the visionary Seeker Service demands action: make hast that we may see thee; or Drag Christ down from heaven and cause us to ascend up to usurp His throne. This passage also has a warning that putting the wine into a new wineskin is to preserve something.
To observe means "to hedge about as with thorns, to guard, preserve, reserve, save self." In Isaiah 5, God built a wall around His vineyard. A similar word is:
Shemer (h8105) sheh'-mer; from 8104; something preserved, i. e. the settlings (plur. only) of wine: - dregs, (wines on the) lees.
If the new juice is allowed to rest, the yeast, like the seed, will settle down. The juice would be poured off carefully from vessel to vessel until it was pure. Even then, it might be boiled to kill the yeast. However, to allow the juice to settle on the lees meant that it would ferment and spoil:
Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed. Jeremiah 48:11
And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles (in silence like Passover or the Lord's Supper), and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil. Zep.1:12
Ec 11:1-6 Matthew Henry
"Wherever we are, we may find good work to do, if we have but hearts to do it. If we magnify every little difficulty, start objections, and fancy hardships, we shall never go on, much less go through with our work. Winds and clouds of tribulation are, in God's hands, designed to try us.
God's work shall agree with his word, whether we see it or not.
And we may well trust God to provide for us, without our anxious, disquieting cares. Be not weary in well-doing, for in due season, in God's time, you shall reap, (Galatians 6:9).
It is those pouring heaps of ferterlizer, flooding the plant with water and watching over it as if they could make it grow who do not trust God when He said to just plant and water and allow Him to give the increase. "Hastening" efforts always look so wise but are a sign of deep, desperate lack of faith.
5. Rubel Shelly: The most valuable few hours you use this week could be the brainstorming time with your colleagues around this question: What can we do to do things better here?
A colleague is "to appoint as deputy, legate, a fellow worker in the same profession; associate in office" (Webster).
Brainstorming is: "The unrestrained offering of ideas or suggestions by all members of a conference to seek solutions to problems." Brainstorm: "A series of sudden, violent cerebral disturbances, a sudden inspiration." (Webster)
It is clear that ideas are stopped and unwanted from the laity whatever their background or condition. Only a member of the professional clergy is a suitable candidate for generating new ideas by inspiration. This supports the idea that it is the self-imposed clergy (against God's will and Paul's will) who exercise the total control and don't you forget it. If the "brains" for the storm are restricted to all of a class you will just have spiritual incest.
Why wouldn't all of the colleagues be out "preaching the Word?" Why would you need Lynn Anderson's expertise as a Change Agent against the collective will of the congregation or fellowship if you were interested in brainstorming? Rubel Shelly is recalling Lynn Anderson to Jubilee 99. Lynn promotes the idea of gradually changing the Lord's Supper by overpowering the congregation by having one week's Lord supper with noisy songs. The next week, we can be quiet. This is not an alternative. The model of Passover and the command to search our own hearts demands that there be absolute silence while each member search their own heart for leaven. This may be visionary and creative but it does not get its visions from the Word but perhaps from an old wineskin.
How about returning to the Word as the sole-source of teaching and preaching to the local flock rather than "sending across the seas to find someone to come and teach when the Word is free (Isa 55) and has already been sung and preached?" Look at this fragment and Romans 9.
Reviewed by Kenneth Sublett
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