Friday, April 9, 2010


To my generation- those under 30:

Lets say I love Jesus and I want to express my faith through my tattoos. You are fine with that, and you seem to care less that it offends Sister Sue. Yet, when Sister Sue expresses her passion for the Lord by shouting, you think you have every right to criticize her and tell her she is an illegitimate, hype-seeking, attention hungry woman.

Are the tattoos wrong? Probably not. Yet it bothers some.

Is the shouting wrong? Probably not. Yet it bothers some.

Why are your expressions right and theirs wrong? You can say her shouting brings too much attention on her, but who’s to say your tattoos don’t bring too much attention on you? Now replace tattoos with dancing, or painting or any other expression for that matter…. It just breaks my heart that truly awesome warriors have prayed for months and months about this gathering and all you want to do is critique and criticize.

Yes, this event is supposed to be a conversation, but oh how I wish we could conversate without pointing out every negative and talking as if we have no life to offer. Aren’t we supposed to reflect Christ in all we do? I’ve felt like Holy Spirit was having some heartache about this event and I am beginning to see why. He is wanting to come in power and visit us, but so many people are too busy being critical of everyone else. If someone stands behind the pulpit and says that we are supposed to avoid the unclean, do you really think they truly feel that we are supposed to stay away from sinners? Of course not. That is foundational of our faith. If you would continue to listen and recognize that they were talking about being unequally yoked you would see.

Generation, why must we be so critical of the way the message was given? Its time we glean from the wisdom that is shared, recognizing that we may not agree with everything, but that God moves in more ways than just what we have in mind. Maybe the leadership is wrong in a thing or two, but guess what? You are too. Don’t you remember? God’s strength is perfected in our weaknesses. He chooses to work through broken, imperfect people- that’s all of us. Why is it that we criticize our own instead of strengthening them? Shouldn’t we get past our disagreements and unite in the power of the Spirit to see the lost saved? Isn’t that really what this is all about? Not just the event, but our faith as a whole- it’s about seeing the lost come to know our redeeming King. Lets consider strengthening another where we are weak so that we can run this race effectively.

At this Empowered21 event we have an opportunity to truly explore ways to bring forth the message of precious Holy Spirit forward for generations. Its not often that this many nations and incredible men and woman of God gather in one place at one time. I believe that its time that we as the younger generation taking part in this conference rise up in maturity by honoring. We honor the older generation when we trust their leadership and listen to what they have to say. Does that mean we have to agree with absolutely everything? Absolutely not. But in no way should we put ourselves high above them as if we know much more than they do. Let your voice be heard, but lets honor our Mothers and Fathers of the faith as we do so.

- Amanda


Aaron Tifft said...

First off, I want to say thank you for travelling all the way to Oral Roberts Univ. to attend e21! It truly is an honor to have you and others who are excited for the conference.

I understand your comments and criticisms, and they are mostly accurate; but let me help give you a little context into the angst behind some comments you see.

The vast majority of the people you refer to are my fellow ORU students. For the most part, these students making these comments love the Lord with a passion, but are sick of modern "capitalist" religion. Most of these individuals grew up going to conferences and hate that environment, preferring instead a small intimate environment for worship and teaching.

Along with having a strong dislike for this environment, we are all forced into attending the conference. It's not an excuse, but when finals are two weeks away, you're trying to graduate, and you're forced to attend a 2.5 day conference, the prospect of future all-nighters to catch up doesn't do much for the spirit.

To top it all off, every member of student leadership (RAs, Chaplains, etc.) has been forced into unpaid service at the conference. Unable to partake in the conference because they are working as ushers, van drivers, etc.

In my opinion, we should have revival like Keith Green did in 1979. Free, raw, and real.

Thanks for your dedication and passion for the faith, I hope you enjoy your time in Tulsa and at ORU!

-A. Tifft

Art Thomas said...

These are some great insights! I'm at Empowered21 right now as well. Last night was great, and I agree with your perspective. Thanks for standing up in defense of the older generation--God will bless it.

Back in January, I wrote an article about how many of us in the Charismatic Movement have become "Pharisees"--valuing our own methods of engaging in the Supernatural over the actual moving of the holy Spirit. If you're interested, check out Charismatic Pharisees.

God bless!