Donnie Lane Jr.

updating blog

In Uncategorized on September 14, 2009 at 9:52 pm

updating blog

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The Church is in Deep Sheep

In Uncategorized on February 17, 2009 at 5:06 am

I spoke to yet another young man in the ministry today who is being bullied by an older, colder, and more confidant ministerial hobbyist. These guys are spawned from some unknown source that, no doubt, charges huge fees and takes large blocks of their life to indoctrinate them. Their only spiritual accomplishment is their ability to absorb and store the experiences and observations of others.

In theory, their teachings seem to square with personalities of the handful of men they worship, but in practice, their self-centered theology has rendered them incapable of making an impact on the world around them. Their creed of evangelistic incapacitation leads to the same bitterness and emotional constipation that is the curse of every inactive warrior too weak to lift the sword.

I have heard this type of theologian described as a “Deep Sheep”. Sheep are animals incapable of survival without the constant care and supervision of the Shepherd. “Deep sheep” have spent so many afternoons perfecting the art of gorging on theological clover that they consideri bloat to be a virtue. In their minds, complacency is wisdom, personal prejudice is discernment, and learning is an end in and of itself.

To understand the danger that these “deep sheep” pose to the flock, one only has to consider the lessons that were hard learned by saints of old. One could visit colonial congregations made up of confused adults who died without ever having assurance of their salvation. One could join the church as they gathered in groups according to the elect and the non-elect. Those who could not find salvation no matter what and those who could not help but be redeemed. It has always seemed interesting to me that these “deep sheep” bemoaned the fact that they could never possess that simple assurance, but could somehow bring themselves to determine another’s eternal fate with total confidence. And more interesting still, that those who they deemed God’s “chosen” were always of the same cultural and economic population.

Every great move of God has had to shake off the dead weight of this doctrine to feel the Holy Spirit’s wind of Revival blow. John and Charles Wesley, Charles Finney, Moody, William and Catherine Booth and yes, even Whitfield have found that the farther they distanced themselves from this thinking, the more effective they became in the business of winning souls.

So, beware as you enjoy a gentle stroll with the Good Shepherd that your foot doesn’t get crushed by one of these cute and fuzzy fat boys. Know that they’re not just searching for truth or growing in the faith, they’re hard hearted and mean. If you listed too closely they’ll lead you so far from the presence of the Shepherd that you’ll forget the excitement of His call or the joy that comes from simple relationship.

Until they All know Him,

Donnie

programmed to fail

In Youth Ministry on September 30, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Here we are again in the beginning of another school year with a great Summer season behind us and a colossal struggle ahead.  It seems that every Fall, as the youth go back to school, we have to swallow the bitter pill of peer pressure and watch our young disciples struggle to survive spiritually.  

For an example, consider M.  He’s a bright young kid that lives in the San Jacinto neighborhood of Amarillo. This year is his senior year at Palo Duro High School.  He has been active in our youth group since junior high and just recently has expressed God’s call on his life to serve in the ministry.  Of course, serving God meant sacrificing the relationships that he had grown up with; friends and family who are involved in either serious gang activity or petty destructive crime.  

Just this past year, his best friend has fathered two babies by two different girls and dropped out of school for good measure.  His cousin with whom he has grown up, has just been released from prison only to try to recruit M. to claim the local “C.R.I.P. click”.  M. had one friend to whom he was very close and who was involved in the youth group with him, but during the Summer, he ran away from home and fathered a baby with a 14 year old girl.  

These gang bangers and thugs comprise his “sphere of influence”.  Except for the occasional sexual solicitation from one of a dozen girls waiting in line to get pregnant, these are the only peers he can look to for cultural validation.  I’m left to wonder what the chances really are that M. will live a decent life.  

Can we give him enough of “whatever it takes to survive”? Or are we making beds in a burning house?