Charles Simpson Shares What He Learned in the Charismatic Renewal Movement

 

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During the 1960s, and into the 1970s, the Holy Spirit carried out an awesome move of God, which has been known as the Charismatic Renewal Movement. During that time, Charles Simson was one of the handful of men that found themselves in a deeply encouraging, yet also challenging movements of God’s Spirit. In these life experiences, we cannot help but learn precious lessons and wisdom along the way. In a recent conversation with VFNtv, Charles Simpson talked about some of these vital lessons that he gained along the way.

As man with tremendous life experience, Simpson’s words echo the very fragrance of wisdom. When speaking about what he learned from the Charismatic Renewal Movement, he shares these words, “It’s not just discipling and shepherding, and all that, it’s life itself.”  Simpson continues to underscore the importance of paying close attention to the words of Jesus. “One thing that we all need to know is that Jesus commanded certain things, He didn’t suggest them. He commanded them. If you start out to obey His commands, not for salvation, but because He said, ‘do it’.” Even this wisdom points to the necessity of understanding where salvation begins. Simpson continues, “Salvation comes by faith in [Jesus], but to say that I’ve got faith in Him, but I don’t obey Him, I’m not sure that works.”

Remembering his own journey in his youth, he never felt that he measured up to the calling that God had on his life. Simpson’s father was a pastor, and he watched how his father ministered, and also how people responded his father’s leadership. Thinking back to conversations with his father about the ministry, he recalls a memorable exchange. “If they said to me what some of them say to you…I’d knock all their teeth out. He said, ‘well you don’t what you would do.’ And he was right, I didn’t. And when I finally committed my life to the ministry and walked through my own stuff, I had a lot to learn. And, I figure, I’ve got just as much to learn right now because there are layers, and layers, and layers of truth in one word; and you learn it on one dimension and then you learn it on another dimension.” As Simpson continues to point out, we never stop learning.

The important truth about life and always learning is the stark difference in our lives when we begin to attempt to do what Jesus has called and commanded us to do. “Nothing becomes real until you try it. Theories don’t produce character. Theories don’t produce triumph.” It is in these next words of truth that brings so much encouragement to the battles and seasons of life that we all go through. “I believe God delights more in the mistakes of those who try than the successes of those who don’t, or the ideas.” How often do we become more focused on our failures and mistakes and not on the wisdom that was learned during those choices and seasons in our lives?

As Simpson continues to focus on how we are to carry out and carry on what Jesus commanded us to do, he talks about discipleship. “The aim of discipleship is to mature them to friendship. Jesus said I no longer call you servants, but friends. My best friends are some of those that I discipled. But I don’t look at them as my disciples. I look at them as my friends.” With this understanding, Simpson humbly shares about the continuing fruit that is being born within those friends; “and they’ve taken whatever I’ve taught them places I could never take it”. Simpson continues, “Your prayer is, the people you influence are smarter than you are, learn from your mistakes, and take it to places you could never take it.”

The more we live in this life, the more we experience conflicts and disagreements. As Simpson continues to share priceless wisdom he has learned throughout his life, he reveals that we should not be surprised how people respond when they don’t agree with the choices that are made. ‘When people disagree with you, they will attack your motives, they won’t attack your processes, they will attack who you are, and not get bitter.’ It is our response in those moments that matter most. Simpson continues, “when that happens, you gotta love them.”

Considering the many different people and different situations that Simpson has encountered in his life, he reflects on Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:16, “You will recognize them by their fruits”, as he points out the importance of recognizing disciples by their fruit. “The thing: real disciples bear fruit. People that are just into knowledge listen, they become connoisseurs of good sermons, but they never bear fruit themselves, and that’s unfortunate because they have a lot to give.”  The priceless exchange continues as Greg Lancaster how we are to respond when someone refuses to lay their life down for the next generation as was done for their life. Simpson’s response highlights the urgency of crisis in today’s Church. “Well I think part of it is the fault of the pulpit because we haven’t spelled out what is required. We say, ‘being a Christian requires a certain moral standing, maybe a certain giving standard, maybe a certain attendance standard, maybe a certain involvement in committees and programs standard’, all of that; but we don’t say, ‘well if you’re a real Christian, you’re going to produce another real Christian pretty soon…Everything else is part of church membership, but that is not.” It’s in this moment that Simpson underscores the important truth of understanding the difference between salvation and discipleship. “It isn’t just that we get somebody saved. Making disciples is a whole ‘nother thing. It’s a commitment, it’s like having a child, and it’s very much like having a child; and you get calls and you spend time.” Just as there are maturity levels in a child, so is there different maturity levels in disciples. Simpson continues, ‘there are levels of maturity, that one day, they’re going to have children, and they’re going to realize you were smarter than they thought you were. The thing is, when you get old, it’s your fruit that’s gonna take care of you’.

This is such a priceless exchange of wisdom and life’s truths that we must carry on into our generation and into our own lives. See the whole conversation with Charles Simpson and all the many different lessons he has learned in his 82 years of experience, and so much more. Also shared in this segment is leadership, Holy Spirit, submission, humility, trust, process, revelation, understanding, intellect, knowledge, problem-solving, Patriarchy, accusation, fruit, disciples, discipleship, pyramids, children, family, sacrifice, sowing, reaping, and ministry. Charles Simpson and Greg Lancaster shared in this segment.

Image courtesy of CSMPublishing.org

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