Posted by: Bro. Lawrence D. | November 3, 2008

Power, Power Lord!

Do any of you from the Pentecostal background remember this song?:

Leader: “Power!”           Congregation: “Power Lord!”

Leader: “Power!”           Congregation: “Power Lord!”

Leader: “We need more power!”       Congregation: “Power Lord!”

Leader: “We need more power!”       Congregation: “Power Lord!”

Leader: “That Holy Ghost power!”      Congregation: “Power Lord!”

Leader: “That Holy Ghost power!”      Congregation: “Power Lord!”

 

Man, I can just hear that Hammond B-3 organ wailing, the bass drum kicking, the high-hat snapping, the snare drum popping, the hands clapping, the feet stomping, the leader pleading and the congregation begging. I can remember that sister with the big voice sending music as high as heaven for so long that she had to signal another sister to take over once her voice began to give out. I remember that sister carrying it as long as she could until something happened in her feet and she began to dance instead of sing. Then another would pick it up until all the people in the room were wishing to God that they could “saang like that!”. It was so beautiful to have the whole crowd in one accord lifting up what they believed to be praise to an awesome God!

But there is now in my mind such a bitter sweetness about the entire exercise. I now wonder, and maybe I did then but I ignored my own thoughts, if anyone had ever taken the time to listen to what we were saying and ask why. Of course it’s not just this song. There are many others. But who exactly told us that we needed this power that we, in our own estimation, did not already have? What was the power for? How did the power we were asking for fit into what God had called us to in salvation?

In most Pentecostal denominations Acts 2:38 carries the day but in the COGIC Acts 1:8 is THE scripture! The interpretation, of course, came directly from the denomination and included the idea of a “second blessing”, as does Acts 2:38, but with the added sense that it provided an individual with the ability to live more holy than the person without it. So much of the emotion in the singing came from this idea. It was the belief that there was another level of power available to the believer that, if accessed, would provide more power in prayer and Christian living. There were even some who believed that access to this power would provide sinless perfection. The idea of being a witness for Christ, in the evangelistic sense, was an almost completely foreign concept. The evangelism part was for the disciples only but the power was for everybody.

As I grew up, the power began to be sought as a means to complete physical healing, deliverance from past hurts and financial prosperity. No longer was sinless perfection or even holy living primary in our thinking. We wanted to rule and to reign right here on earth and have all of the promises of God realized. We felt that as children of God we should be living healthier than the atheist vegetarian that exercised daily, more guilt free than the patient of the world’s foremost psychologist and richer than the hardest working drug dealer. And all without putting forth any more effort than we were in the singing of those songs. 

And so there we were; A people who, for lack of any real biblical knowledge, were spinning our emotinal wheels trying to get God to give us this “power”. We were jumping, twisting, shouting, fainting and sweating more than a Richard Simmon’s class. And I’m not sure if any of it ever led to obtaining that power.

What is most sad is that the power that we were looking for was not only NOT meant for the ends which we were trying to attain but also the real power was easily found right there in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There was no physical exercise necessary, only a repentant heart. Everything, and I do mean everything else that we would need would be found in Christ. We really only needed to take His yoke upon us and learn of Him. Because in the ultimate sense, He is…..

Power, power Lord!

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Responses

  1. LOL, wow~ that really took me back. made me feel like get my shout on right here in my livingroom! i can identify with everything you said, lawrence.
    i was scared to fall out though, ’cause i didn’t want anyone to step on me while “God was dealing with me” all laid out at the “altar”. those were the days….

    now that i know better, i can’t sing, “come on in the Lord’s house~it’s go’n rain”
    or; ‘this is a holy church- sanctified of God, this is a holy church- sanctified of God. this is a hand-clapping, a foot stompi’, a tongue-talkin’, a devil-chasing, sanctificed church of God. Glo-ray!!

  2. Hey Bro Lawrence;

    How are you man? I was not surprised by that e-mail you sent. Man, just think how many people may have received that receipt!

    I pray for those still trapped under that type of teaching. Praise the Lord Jesus for His mercy. How long were you in COGIC? Good post brother.

    Karsten Miller

  3. Sis. Mrs. Mav,

    I know you could list a lot of the songs that no longer apply, LOL!!!

    Bro. Karsten,

    What’s happening bro? How’s the family? Send me a personal e-mail with your address. I want to send something for you and Shannon. To answer your question, I was in the COGIC for about 30 years. “From my youth”, LOL!!!

  4. Hi there,
    I enjoyed reading this post. I’m wondering did you ever struggle to come to terms with the way you were accepting of teaching in the past (or maybe never actually questioning / thinking it through) and now realizing that it was not particularly biblical?

    I appreciate the way you are able to consider it with some humor.

  5. Bro. Karsten,

    Let me make a correction. I joined Perry Temple COGIC at the age of 12 so I was actually in the COGIC for 18 years. Before that I was a member of All Nations Pentecostal House of Prayer (founded by a woman if I’m not mistaken) and then my mother “pastored” a home church called Pentecostal House of Prayer. You could say that my journey has had many twists and turns!

  6. Sis. Sally,

    It has not really bothered me to have gone through so many different teachings. Nor has it caused too much doubt about what I currently believe. What it has done is given me a higher appreciation for God’s Soveriegnty in all things and it has taught me to know for myself why I believe what I believe.

  7. props on this post…a lot of the times i dont even comment because im trying to digest what you’re saying…you and Lionel have definitely challenged me to look at things from a different persepective..

  8. I gotcha bro. 18 years wow! I told Shannon, and this just brought us so much hope in Christ, that God can deliever. thanks

    Karsten Miller

  9. Bro. Djenk23,

    Where’ve you been? Better yet, how have you been my brother?! It’s so good to hear from you. That’s right my man, we have to take the time to digest information even from those we love and trust.

  10. LOL….i am chillin in Jersey….im always visiting here…i just never have anything to add….there would just be a bunch of “good job, chap” or “you’re en fuego” comments from me,lol…its been a tough transition from the COGIC/pentecostal mindset…i still go to a COGIC church but i dont feel like i fit in anymore…i look at the minister license on my wall and i want to give it back…often times, i find myself being harsh and overly analytical about different things and not displaying enough grace….i feel like im running to the opposite end of the spectrum from where i came from…which i dont think is too good either…im trying to find a balance…


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