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Rogue Traders

Matt Richards

From a blog I wrote this day six years ago.

Please read this blog and my heart right. This is what the Lord is saying to me. At Radical we do not and will not criticise other churches. But we are Looking inwardly at ourselves and saying we need to change. We have been Rogue Traders.

Psalm 106:20 They traded the Glory for a cheap piece of sculpture-a grass chewing bull.

False Advertising:

Recently I was having breakfast and I went to pour what I thought to be Honey Cheerios in my cereal bowl. What came out was not Cheerios but Rice Crispies. I was disappointed. I expected Cheerios, I wanted Cheerios. What it said on the box was not what came out of the packet. I felt conned. Unbeknownst to me the Cheerios had run out and the Rice Crispies box had deteriorated and so my wife had swapped the contents of the Cheerio box with the Rice Crispies packet inside.

The Lord started to speak to me through this. Sometimes the Lord speaks to me using everyday things just to grab my attention and because He can.

The 'Church' has advertised one thing on the outside of the box and yet we see something different on the inside. We have said that if you come to church you can encounter God, that your life will be changed. We have said that you can be free from addictions, sickness, and sin. We have said that you will experience God and never be the same again.

People get excited at this advertising and promises, because they truly want all those things. When they arrive, however, like me, they feel disappointed and let down.The church doesn't deliver what it has advertised. If they were a company they could be prosecuted by trading standards. Believe me when I am stating these observations I am talking to myself as a pastor and leader of a congregation. Quite frankly I am sick of the hype.

People have come to preach and minister in Radical and I have then read their write-ups and I ask myself it sounds so fantastic I wish I would have been there. But I was. And it wasn't. Why do we have to hype things up before or after an event?

Don't get me wrong I am so very grateful for what the Lord has done and we have seen Salvations, Miracles, Healings and Deliverance. But we are a long way from Revival and where God wants us. A long way.

I don't want the Hype. I don't want to see people being pushed over by enthusiastic ministers, manipulation to give money, flashing lights, big bands and large screens. What have we become. When was Jesus not enough?

It's like the Holy Ghost has left the building and we have replaced Him with entertainment and gimmicks, hoping no one would notice. We have exchanged the Glory of God for something cheap and tacky which looks like the world, smells like the world and has no power to change lives like the world. And Born Again-Spirit-filled people love it that way. And no one has noticed.

There is a generation that hasn't experienced the Joy, the awe, the reverence of God. Instead they have just attended a show where all that is expected of you is to sing and clap at appropriate moments and at most pay your tithe. I know this sounds harsh but it's the truth.

Surely there must be more. I am not against 'technical', but is the answer to be more technical, more image conscience, more professional, and entertaining? Some of the greatest moves of God in history came from humble beginnings. In Azuza street they used orange crates for a pulpit in a warehouse.

But in the simplicity of the surroundings men travelled thousands of miles to be filled with the Holy Ghost and Fire, because God was there.

Jesus was never born in the Hilton but in a stable. Professional or posh doesn't do it for me.

I just don't want hype. I have been to churches where there are orchestras and plush buildings, where the pastors walk onto stage after the third song and I have felt nothing. I have also been to a black church with no instruments where the choir sang and had to hold onto the wall to stop myself falling down, as the presence of God was so strong, as they lifted up Jesus. I know which one I prefer.

Once you've tasted the Glory; the manifest presence of Jesus then you are ruined for normal church, no matter how trendy or fashionable it might be. Once you've been set on Fire with the Holy Ghost you are dissatisfied in just warming a pew you want to run with the call of God and spend your life on fire for Jesus.

I pray for the day that people walk into Radical and weep and cry in repentence as they encounter God. Not a man, not a building, not even emotions, but God.

Where nobody dare minister or speak for fear and respect when He truly shows up. When we are on our faces in awe of Him.

I have seen people fall on the floor shake, rattle, and roll, and get up, and go back to the same sin before they fell down. I'm not into hype. If it's all about falling on the floor let's just lie down in ministry and save some time. Am O against people falling out in the spirit, no. But sometimes people just fake it and we rejoice and carry on like it's okay. But it's not okay. There is something missing we are Ichabod.

With the people we are seeing in Radical, we need something real, something authentic. It's only Jesus that can change lives. We need the Glory to return.

We are in the process of repenting in Radical Church and starting again. Re-branding? Trying to be bigger and better? No. We want to change our services to those that please Him. Where we don't sing our favourite songs, but His (T. Tenney).

Where we become Jesus, not just people friendly and choose not to grieve the Holy Ghost, but choose to fear and respect God and make a highway for Him to come. When we get right with God and make it His service; I believe then we will see a mighty move of God.

Are we there yet? Definitely not. This means a change in how we do everything. A new Wineskin. I believe we are to restore the foundation of many generations, and I believe this move of God is going to come with Repentence, Holiness, Conviction, Sanctification, and a return of the Fear of the Lord.

We have recovered many things through church history to include; Justification by faith, Baptism by immersion, Gifts of the Holy Ghost (and often denominations are formed on these recovered doctrines). But I feel we have also lost some of the Old Time stuff of Revival which I long to see recovered.

We truly have misrepesented Christianity to the world. We are 'Rogue Traders' not delivering the real. There is only one way forward and rather than pretend everything's okay and everybody is the same as us, we need to repent. We have traded the Glory for a cheap representation rather than the real thing.

2 Chronicles 7:14 "If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Haggai 2:3 Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing?

Let's repent. It's our fault this City ,this nation is as it is. Let's get the Glory back in the church and see our land healed. We need the Greater Glory. We need Jesus.


Father help me to press onto the more. Come with Your Holy Spirit in true power and start the work in me in Jesus' name, Amen.

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