We continue the conversation with Charles Simpson as he shares wisdom on how we can be the Church which is to be fruitful and to multiply disciples for the Kingdom of God. You can find out more on our previous conversations on the VFN Torch HERE.
How does the Church start being the Church as Jesus called us to? Once you start being the Church, it is enjoyable! But how do we get there? The first great commission was to be fruitful and multiply in the beginning. That is family and is God’s plan for the Church!
Charles talks about the Tower of Babel and how God disbursed the people that were working to build the tower and confused their language. What he takes away from that is that “God’s purpose is to fill the earth and (what we take as) our purpose is to build a tower for ourselves and when we do then things happen…” He says that the next thing that happens is you can’t understand one another in the Church, and then you are scattering!
He also shares how he is a spiritual father and has spiritual sons and grandsons all over the world! He may not have a personal relationship with them, but he doesn’t have to or need to since Holy Spirit has led his ministry and the Kingdom of God is carrying on. He has fruit! Speaking of his spiritual children “You don’t retire from being a father or a great-grandfather. I think to be able to look at your spiritual children and see…I just rejoice. There they are out there, and they are doing it!” He says he looks at all his weaknesses and struggles and then sees the little fruit that has come from his life. Because of that people have done the same and it just keeps going through the generations! If you want to find the fruit you have to look in many places, which is beautiful because that is the Church that can’t be persecuted!
Greg and Charles talk about how the Church and the Western world has suffered from the “traditional” expression of church and what we have made it which Charles wrote about in his book, Ants Vines and Churches. “I think the traditional Church has served a great purpose.” He gives an example of the Catholic Church and how they have preserved many documents and history of the Church as have other denominations in the church. “I don’t have a problem with the fact that God has used them. My problem is, like with any movement, if you try to perpetuate it beyond its usefulness.” He was telling a friend that the hardest thing to do is to continue with a dying movement. He says every revival and spiritual movement all left seeds, but you can’t reproduce the same movement! The problem with much of the structured Church in the Western world is that they are trying to carry on something that God is finished with. God is moving in a new way! Unfortunately, tradition will always get in the way.
“Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” Mark 7:13
“It is hard to turn loose of the flesh…” His father had told him to be careful that people didn’t only love his flesh which once he was filled with the Holy Spirit, he found out that many people in his ministry only loved his flesh as they left the Church! But as he walked this out in the 1960s revival happened without him having to do anything! People started coming to his Church that had never stepped foot in one. Many things shifted, including racial integration happening which was unheard of during those days and even Catholic nuns attended his Church as well. Many great things took place, and you can watch or listen to hear more!
Image courtesy of Storyblocks.com
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Ants Vines and Churches
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The Covenant and the Kingdom, A Comprehensive Personal and Church Bible Resource