To All the old Roads
For a person who is planning on at least trying to make a living off of words. I find it a struggle some days to put together the words to describe the last several years of my life. After many years of being remotely connected to this thin lifeline during hard times. My mind now plays tricks on me as I wonder how much was real and how much was an illusion of miss-placed hope. Now after a decade and a half of this adventure with a third of it being on staff, a lot has happened, too much to document. But still, I wonder about the value of it all.
The first two-thirds of this saga I gladly defended the ministry as I lived in two different locations in the west. Read nearly all they ever printed and learned many valuable things. To me, it was a “breath of fresh air” compared to the rest of the church at large. Powerful, strong and moving forward in the things of the spirit. It did really seem to my mind to be the strong wall the Lord was raising up in this age.
So I pursued this, gladly without hesitation. Not that all I had experienced before this was somehow wrong, I mean, I have attended several John Wimber meetings, experience a Vineyard church plant and the music of Rich Mullins had introduced me to The Ragamuffin Gospel. So with what I had now found in MorningStar ministries, I seriously felt like I had found something that took off where the teaching and experiences of the Vineyard had changed after Wimber died.
After moving to the Carolinas and coming on staff, I was determined to absorb all that I could. But like a square peg trying to get shoved down a damaged round hole. I soon found as the years past that there were a few things I simply could not be apart of. Quite simply, the words often did not match the actions, for there was more air than substance inside.
My early days as a Christian was spent in Proverbs and the Gospels. Out of all that, came the strong understanding of looking for the fruit of the testimony in everything around me. Interacting with many of the people in this ministry during these last few years, slowly cultivated a growing concern within me. Just as children are a reflection of there parents, so a congregation is a reflection of its leaders teachings.
Now this ministry has a LOT of people come and go. So if you are going to look around, you need to look at who has been here for years not just the ones who blow in and out for a short season, for there are many of them.
So with this in mind, as well as other markers. In time I figured out that almost no one in middle to upper management follows basic MorningStar teaching, let alone even read any of Ricks books. As a result, the things written by Rick become theory and a banner to wave before the public, not the reality on the ground floor.
Add to this, it’s internal private issues centered around the overuse of Alcohol, lying, paper thin integrity of many senior staff member as well as the altering and deleting of scriptures in Rick’s Bible commentary series.
Further as another part of this strange reality, to get into the Fellowship of Ministries you fill out an in-depth application designed to give them a clear understanding of who you are. However, on the flip side, no such thing exists if you get hired on staff. All you need to do is make a claim to have the heart to serve and your theology could be bouncing off the moon. As evidenced by many who were hired over the years.
So for those who are far away, you go through a tight hole. But those who are close, are given the keys to the castle entrance via a wide broken gate. Thats the equivalent of the Captain of the Exxon Valdez handing over the ship to a low ranking officer. While he and the rest of the senior officers go have drinking party in the poker room. Such irresponsible behavior will most likely end the same way with the Captain and the Senior officers blaming the crew after the Ministry crashes on the big obvious rock in front of them.
So now what, what road does a person wander down next? Well in some cases when you change the seasons of your life, you find yourself looking around at the road behind you. You ponder, you sit and think and wonder. Armed with the insight of some prophetic things in your spiritual travel bag. You consider even older roads you once walked, just to see if he has reopened any old doors.
And then you look the other direction, where the Lord had been pointing when you thought you knew so much. And you realize that to travel the road in-front of you, you will need all the good things given in the past, mortaring them between the bricks of your present reality.
So I eat the meat and spit of the bones of MorningStar and collect my Saint Nic bag of good things I have acquired. Add in the music and thoughts of the Ragamuffin teachings of living a simple life, mixed with a good helping of Vineyard principles. Like Bilbo, I set off on another adventure with the hopes of avoiding the dragons along the way.
June 19th. 2018 RA Foster
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