It requires a missionary mentality…

It requires a missionary mentality…

The following text was written by Cheryl and Lance Pittluck, pastors of the VCF of Anaheim, for the recently released “Remember the Poor” booklet published by the Vineyard USA. “There can be little argument that the goal of the Christian life is to be more like Jesus… to act and think, to respond and speak like Jesus. And therefore, we must also aim for the priorities of Jesus. ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed’ (Luke 4:18). We preach, and we preach good news, and we preach good news to the poor, I hope. But reaching out to the poor doesn’t necessarily come naturally. Unless ‘the poor’ are your family, friends and immediate community, it’s easy to not give them much thought. They often go unheard, not having a voice in society. They may not shop where we shop, hang out in the places where we socialize, or even attend our churches. And yet, they are to be a primary concern to us, as they are to God. ‘For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight’ (Ps. 72:12-14). The answer seems obvious that we are to make a concerted effort to carry out God’s commands to...
What Jesus Said About the Poor

What Jesus Said About the Poor

The following text is an excerpt from the recently released “Remember the Poor” booklet published by the Vineyard USA. The Poor In The Old Testament In the Gospels, we see Jesus spending a considerable amount of time among the poor, serving them, encouraging them, and even standing up for them. He was carrying on the deep, rich Jewish biblical tradition of providing for those in need. These words from the book of Deuteronomy reveal God’s tenderness toward the socially vulnerable: “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing” (Deut. 10:18). “If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs” (Deut. 15:7-8). “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land” (Deut. 15:11). “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” (Is. 58:6-7). The Poor In The Gospels From these roots, Jesus calls the early Church to commit to seek out the...
A Vineyard View of the Poor

A Vineyard View of the Poor

The following text is an excerpt from the recently released “Remember the Poor” booklet published by the Vineyard USA. Who are the poor? Today, we often see poverty through the lens of economics or personal financial weakness. In the New Testament, however, the poor are generally seen as those who are powerless in society, and who therefore lack the basic necessities they need to sustain their lives. Without resources, and without a voice, they lack not only power, but also social respect and material goods. Because of the daily stresses of survival, relationships often break down. Poverty is a disease of society, and the remedies for all our social ills are found in the life and teaching of Jesus. In the Scriptures, it seems that God has a special place in his heart for the poor. Poverty is mentioned, directly or indirectly, more than 2000 times in the Bible. Reminding us of the Church’s call to care for the marginalized and impoverished among us, Jesus said words that pierce us to this day: “…‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’” (Matt. 25:40). The Vineyard family of churches leans toward the poor, the outcast, and the outsider with the compassion of Jesus. From the beginning of our movement, Vineyard churches have worked to actively serve the poor in the most practical ways possible – in our towns, cities, and spheres of influence. John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard, was personally committed to calling us to a radically compassionate life in the way of...
Celebrate Jesus’ Birthday by Fighting Ebola and Saving Lives!

Celebrate Jesus’ Birthday by Fighting Ebola and Saving Lives!

Please, please watch this quick 3-minute video about the Vineyard’s response to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Our brothers and sisters need out help and what better way to celebrate Jesus’ birthday than to help the dieing, the poor and the hungry… Watch the video, read about what is happening, and then donate funds to help the fight to save lives. Together we can be the hands and feed of Jesus to change the world for His glory....
The Reformation Era in Pentecostalism

The Reformation Era in Pentecostalism

On October 13, 2010 Pentecostal pastor Samuel Lee posted 15 Theses from his home in Amsterdam that have the potential to transform the global Pentecostal movement.  That may sound like a bold statement – but it is a true one as these 15 Theses lay open the Pentecostal movement as Martin Luther’s 95 Theses did to the Roman Catholic Church all those years ago. I pray with my whole heart that the Pentecostal movement will humbly accept these Theses and work towards reforming their movement as the greater Church NEEDS their input and passion. I pray this as one who, while currently not within Pentecostal movement per say, grew up within Pentecostalism (my family tree is covered with Pentecostal pastors and leaders) and has a love for the greater body of Jesus regardless of doctrines, styles or labels. [Below is a brief summary of Samuel Lee’s full paper – which I would HIGHLY recommend reading as he gives a lot more detail on each of these 15 Theses] Reforming Pentecostalism 1. Emotionalism versus Balance Pentecostalism should direct her followers into a deeper understanding of the Word that involves experiencing the Christian faith and church in a broader framework of knowledge. The Pentecostal movement lacks essential knowledge on how to practice faith in a more balanced way and in understanding the Word in a wider context relating to the global society. The Pentecostal movement indeed does offer her own theology on exegesis (interpreting the Bible) and practical matters on individual levels, but we give less attention to essential global and societal matters. We have thousands of books written about prosperity...