Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Church Needs Your Eyes and Ears

By Charles Moncrief

Jack Sheffield is a Priest. He and his wife Anna Marie formed Deep River Ministries ( which, according to their home page, “is an interdenominational healing ministry of Jesus Christ committed to healing individuals, the church, places and situations through the power of the Holy Spirit and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Even though countless healings have occurred directly or indirectly through their ministry, but the vast majority are by human standards sub-newsworthy. (Let’s be honest, in the human economy reduced redness following prayer over a poison-ivy rash doesn’t get equal attention with snatching someone out of the jaws of death.) But my purpose in writing this article is not about spiritual healing, since healing is only incidental to the Sheffields’ overall ministry.

Rather, I want to write about a personal experience while attending their 2011 weekend in Dallas on April 1 & 2. Jack talked about several things on Friday evening, and I’ll describe three of them. But let me say up front, I’m writing something different from what they intended to teach.

The first was a quote from Psalm 24, which I’ll paraphrase as “Lift up your heads, O ye gates! Behold, the King of Glory is coming in!” Now hold that thought, as I’ll get back to it.

Jack told the story of a preacher who interviewed a witch on a TV program he hosted. As he faced the witch and asked several embarrassing questions, all with an accusatory tone, the witch remained silent. Finally, the preacher asked, “Why don’t you say anything?” The witch responded, “I’m not about to say anything, since that creature behind you is at least eight feet tall!”

Jack’s third story, beginning at from 2 Kings 7:4, is why I’m writing all of this on the Time’s Up! blog. The setting of the story is a city in Israel under siege by Syria’s army. Four lepers have reached such a point of hopelessness and despondency, that they leave the city and go to the army’s camp in order to get killed right away. To their surprise, the camp is empty! The passage says that God made the Syrian soldiers hear the noise of a large fighting force descending upon them, and they ran away in such terror that they left everything behind. And of course, the Syrians thought in human terms, attributing a divine miracle to some ridiculous earthly activity. To a modern Bible scholar, the Hittites and Egyptians wouldn’t align with Israel against Syria. But soldiers in ancient Syria didn’t have the benefit of twenty-five centuries to analyze their folly.

Here’s what screamed at me from the two stories. An army of soldiers who hated Israel could hear the thundering hosts from God, but the religious leaders of Israel couldn’t. And the witch could see a godly apparition, but the preacher couldn’t. Neither is there any record of the good folks in the city even asking “What’s that noise?” And neither is anything said by the preacher’s camera crew or stage hands.

My thoughts turn to domestic abuse and other forms of oppressive violence today. It’s disquieting to me that, with infinite supernatural power and support available to victims, is the Church missing this resource? Are abusers able to see the eight-foot-tall armored defenders, or do they hear the thundering hordes of God’s warriors, only to be unbothered by them because the modern-day Church is too “dignified” to notice (or worse, to tap into this power)? Why is it that when church leaders or prayer teams pray that God will give victims strength, support, healing, or even protection, the prayer always seems to contain the unspoken petition “But don’t really do it, because we’re conditioned not to expect miracles today”?

I’m even concerned with the prayer in the Cursillo renewal movement that begins with “Come, Holy Spirit,” because it honestly seems that the next thought is “but don’t embarrass us by really showing up and making us look like Charismatics!”

It’s time for the Church to be open to miracles, and to look forward to the day that miraculous supernatural intervention is the norm rather than the exception. For twenty centuries the Church leaders haven’t been very open to this idea, and a lot of the members have likewise been more comfortable with the status quo.

Now back to Psalm 24. If the King of Glory is going to work in the Church, if supernatural intervention is truly going to be something that victims can rely on, then the leaders of the Church need your help. The King of Glory doesn’t come through closed gates. So will you help the Church and its leaders to see what’s truly available? Will you also be the eyes and ears?

Grace and Peace,


  1. The witch responded, “I’m not about to say anything, since that creature behind you is at least eight feet tall!”
    Ah but the preacher has only giving his perspective on the story - implying the witch was scared which is not necessarily true. A wise woman - witch to the patriarchs would not say anything. Why should she have to justify anything to the men in dresses? The fact that she could see is enough. The fact the "creature" was attached to the man of god was enough, but it is twisted to suit the preachers agenda.
    In domestic abuse, one has to research the ancient sacred texts for the answers - the collective consciousness and the patriarchal programming of men and women. This programming from various men of god taught that women/wives are placed on Earth to suffer for their sins, being born wombman of Eve ill is enough. The serpent woman is always to blame for everything that goes "wrong" in society.
    Oh Charles, the men of god were taught not to tap into the holy spirit - feminine energy, serpent energy, free healing. Dear oh dear, that would stop the money rolling in if people remembered they could all heal themselves for free. By 2013, all human being will awaken to this truth , that the "mother church" is within every single man, woman and child and not something separate "out there" in the form of men in dresses waving their hands and fancy buildings costing fortunes that should be used to feed the brothers and sisters of our Mother Earth.
    Why do people pray over and over for miracles? The truth is ONCE is enough to ask and know that it is done. No need to ask priests to intercede either. As Father Ted reveals " old women , oh god, they have the direct link".
    The days of priests and gurus are over. All people have the gift of the holy spirit - the sacred feminine healing energy that witches were burned at the stakes for only a few years ago.
    Blaming the victims of domestic violence is done because it helps excuse society from looking at the truth re abuse and rape. Shudder the thought that we as a society look at our dark side and face up to our responsibilities. No it is far easier to blame the victims, the Eve - ill women, the D-evil with horns, even God himself for all that happens, rather than look in the mirror of truth.

  2. "I’m even concerned with the prayer in the Cursillo renewal movement that begins with “Come, Holy Spirit,” because it honestly seems that the next thought is “but don’t embarrass us by really showing up and making us look like Charismatics!”

    I am a survivor of Staffordshire Pindown child abuse, I was at the same hell hole childrens home as Neil Morrisseys brother. They were pimping us kids at that place. I was then tormented for 7 weary frighteneing years in the secret family courts, they wanted to force my son to visit a self confessed pervert.

    I have gone to church after church and felt as welcome as a wasp at a picnic. I ashed for prayer at 5 churches, they all turned their back on me. I cried a river of tears. I turned to Jesus for help, and He led me to win my case, I experienced supernatural hearing at one point and heard them discussing me in a secret meting at Stafford court, it should have been impossible for me to hear what they were saying but I heard and they were plotting to stitch me up. Jesus let me hear what ought to have been impossible for me to hear. Jesus showed me things I ought never have been able to discover. I was weeping at my computer one night and praying "GOD HELP ME PLEASE" over and over and that was the night I found out about Richard Gardner and Ralph Underwager.

  3. I have told the vicar at one of those 5 churches that he is a moral coward. I asked him for help and he told me, "I GAVE UP A GOOD JOB TO BE MINISTER AT THIS CHURCH" or something very very similar. He may have said "Vicar" or Pastor", I dont remember the exact word but I do remember every other word in that sentance. He has tried to lie about this, pretending I took it out of context, but I certainly did not, he refused to help me because he was too scared.

    God does not want us to be scared. I told him that, I quoted the words of that song "BE BOLD BE STRONG FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD IS WITH YOU". He does not like me, but on Sunday I am planning to go to that church again, because that man is head of that church and ought to be leading, not sitting back hiding in a scardy corner. I am not looking forward to it but I am going and hope other people will do the same, welcome or not, the church is not in the thick of the spiritual battle where they should be, and the devil is having a laugh.

  4. anny, all abused hard hit by real daily life questions including personal safety need reliable answersv from one they know there as needed cares, talks their talk gently problem anny abused need help in asking first question our free blogs offer tips g. hubbard p.o. box 2232 ponte vedra fl 32004

  5. Charles, as usual a very thought provoking post. While many times we believers (and even unbelievers) see "the Church" as an organization that is housed in a building and headed by men, in fact, WE ARE THE CHURCH.

    Jesus also warned us that there would be false prophets and "wolves in sheep's clothing" that would come in and pervert His words and lead many astray in to false doctrines of men.

    The term "Christian" should be "Christ-like" or follower of Christ, but unfortunately, too many times people who style themselves Christian don't act like Christ, and people who style themselves leaders of "the Church" or "a church" are instead false prophets who do not have the compassion and the love that Jesus preached we should have for our brothers and sisters. Paul said if he have not love, nothing else matters. These people who turn away victims, or blame victims are like those that passed by the injured man who was helped by the "good Samaritan"---I don't remember anything in the story where the Samaritan asked the man in the ditch if he had been drunk at the time it happened, or if he had provoked his attacker. The Samaritan had compassion on that victim. That is Christ-like. By their fruits ye shall know them.

    Those people who band together and claim to be God's children and of His church, yet have no love and have no compassion, are bastard children and are not the Bride of Christ, but imposters.

  6. The main point of my article is that church leaders often miss the blatantly obvious when God is present in so many powerful ways. But since I’ve been ordained to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I’ll respectfully disagree with the contention that the Church needs to move outside the Scripture into occult practices in order to make this presence known.

    Missing this obvious presence is hardly ever due to a self-preservation or control-freakishness on the part of the Church. Ordained ministers and laypersons alike tend to drift into the comfortable position that a seminary-trained theologian has a copyright on Spiritual discernment. This simply is not true.

    To the layperson it must be said that your gifts are as important as anyone else’s, and you have both a right and a responsibility to exercise those gifts.

    To the theologian the operative word is “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”


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