Thursday, September 3, 2009

Vision,Purpose or Agenda

When I first commenced my church experience 25 years or so ago,"vision"was the in word. You had to have a vision and if you didn't have one you had to get one. I heard it preached more than once "if you don't have a vision then your vision is to get a vision". sometimes it seemed though that having a vision meant thinking of a number and doubling it. Every church and church department needed a vision statement , many churches had vision month and many preachers preached pretty well nothing but vision.

In fact this is still true in many places. although perhaps purpose has become the in word.
Every vision preacher quoted Pro. 29:18 or at least part of it "without a vision people perish"they therefore had a biblical mandate for their emphasis.

One problem; That verse was not talking about vision the way the preacher was.In fact the NKJV renders it this way "Where there is no revelation the people cast off restraint;But happy is he who keeps the law. See, the vision the preacher was so authoritively expounding on is just a secular /new age business management technique .It is simply not biblical that a vision is a godly , Christ honouring principle at all .(Necessarilly).

The thing is people will always have an agenda , which is just another word for vision or purpose. And agenda is amoral. Hitler had a vision to promote himself and to destroy anyone who got in the way. His vision statement was clear, his purpose defined but his agenda was ungodly , cruel , selfish and wicked.

I heard one well-known preacher testify publicly that the key to his successfull family life was vision. Well... to me that sounds close to blasphemous. Vision is not our god , God (Yahweh) is our God! If this vision concept is so important , why didn't our God speak of it more often and more clearly.

Of course Christians may well get a burden from the Lord to tackle some task .They may be called to sow their lives into an area of ministry or mission, but this is far removed from some nebulous vision disconnected from our relationship to the Lord.
I heard a preacher say once "your vision is to obey your God".That makes sense to me.

Jesus' vision is to draw men to Himself and then train and equip them to go and be used to draw more men to himself. Having the biggest church or ministry in town to glorify some frail human doesn't seem to fit.

In chapter 6 of Isaiah we have his record of a true vision from God ; and it was a vision of God.
That vision threw him to his knees in adoration , repentance and godly fear and it may be well to filter any "vision" we have through the biblical record of Isaiah.

His vision did not promote him, but the Living God.

He was not promised success and huge numbers but the opposite.

He delighted in the opportunity to serve his Saviour, whom he saw high and lifted up.

He realised his total impotence to accomplish anything of eternal value without the call, power and anointing of God.

Indeed he knew without a revelation of God the people cast off restraint.

May we be so wise.

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