Party at Dad's House!

My office has been flooded with hate mail since May when we published an article about Jay Bakker's unusual outreach to Atlanta's punk culture. Because Jay doesn't do evangelism the conventional way (he invites non-Christian punk bands to perform in his coffee- house so he can get to know them), and because he doesn't wear a three-piece suit like your average TV evangelist (Jay prefers T-shirts and a pierced eyebrow), many Christians went into cardiac arrest when they read his story in Charisma.

I was disappointed with the self-righteous reactions. I had hoped that by now we were ready to move beyond judgmentalism. But it looks like the Pharisees are alive and well:

* Last year reports began to circulate that actress Jane Fonda had embraced Christianity. She later confirmed the rumors in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, but many Christians just couldn't get excited about this news. To them, Fonda is still "Hanoi Jane," and they can't forgive her for being a part of an anti-God, pro-choice, pro-communist Hollywood conspiracy--even though God has wiped her slate clean.

* A pastor friend of mine has been praying with Bill Clinton for several years, and he is convinced that the Holy Spirit has been working in the president's heart--even in the aftermath of the embarrassing Monica Lewinsky scandal. But when Clinton's name is mentioned in most church circles, I usually hear more condemnation than compassion. Doesn't anybody out there wish Bill Clinton could experience the depths of God's forgiveness?

* We plan to run an article soon about soap opera stars who are leading Bible studies in their Los Angeles TV studios. But when the report is published, I predict lots of Christians will remind us that we are condoning the evils of daytime television by sharing the testimonies of these actors.

We're likely to hit a nerve this month with our cover story on born-again rock stars. Some religious people just can't handle the idea that God would extend His love to anyone who plays an electric guitar on a concert stage in front of thousands of pot-smoking fans. But if you read the story about Kerry Livgren (page 44), leader of the 1970s band Kansas, you'll learn that the Holy Spirit was drawing him to Christ during the days he was writing melancholy rock ballads such as "Dust in the Wind" and exploring Eastern religions.

Kerry's story should remind us that the Holy Spirit doesn't spend all His time boxed up in the four walls of our churches. He is out in the world drawing sinners to repentance. Like the Father in the story of the prodigal (see Luke 15:11-32), He leaves His house and runs down the road to embrace His wayward son--and then He brings him home to a party.

Today, the Spirit is wooing all kinds of people to Jesus--people you might reject if they sat in the pew next to yours. He's tugging at the hearts of punk rockers, pot smokers, dope peddlers, soap opera stars and even corrupt politicians. They need to know that Jesus is not only willing to forgive and restore, but that He's planned the world's biggest backyard barbecue to show how extravagant His love really is.

There's a party at Dad's place, and all kinds of sinners are invited. Don't let a judgmental attitude keep you away.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • Foot washing

    Shaking the Gates of Hell With a Basin of Water and a Towel

    "When I saw His foot, I knew He had come to take back territory the enemy had stolen from His ...

  • Growing relationship

    2017 Prophetic Word: The Supernatural Key to Growing Your Relationship With God

    It's vital that we understand what comes from God and what comes from the devil.

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit