Whose Work Is It Anyway?
Of course this is not an officially held belief, nor will you hear it directly said in the church services, nor directly uttered in larger seminar classes. Even so, just about every member who has spent enough time there, eventually learns this idea. I know, because I was one of them. I also have interviewed many of them, and have heard many second-hand accounts from many former members in Brasil or Brazil (Igreja Crista Maranata). Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Having left “the Work”, I in the eyes of many remaining members, am no doubt considered “fallen” - one who has “left the Work” because I “didn’t understand the Work”. Many denominations do not pride themselves with such exclusive language and rhetoric. Most groups freely admit that they are doing their best to follow the Lord, but fall short, and are thus are fallible. This is both a realistic and healthy view. We are all a work in progress. Though justified by faith, we are still being sanctified (being made more and more holy, more and more, like Jesus in our daily walk). That’s the right view to take. Not so with this group – albeit, again, unofficially. This becomes most evident in how we hear indirect references to other church groups as “modern Christianity”, or “religion”, “mixture”, etc. It’s laced in the undertone in conversations among members, in reference to other Christians, whom they seem to long to invite to a ICM service. When a new group begins in a new country we hear things like “the Work has come to [that country's name]” – as though it never existed there before! It’s reported honestly by former members – myself included. We’ve been there. We know.
So no, it’s not an official position, because they probably know they’d get a lot of heat for such a silly idea, which cannot be found in scripture. Back any ICM pastor into a corner, and confront them on this, and they will admit, that the Holy Spirit operates in other groups. Sometimes they will even say this openly in seminar classes, but these seem to me, to be a hollow platitude to avoid scrutiny. One purpose of this blog is to be a kind of “buyer beware” warning, and to put the existing members and leaders in a difficult position to negatively influence anyone else. This of course to them is me “exposing the Work”, and “rebellion”. I used to fear this epitaph myself, and my hope is no one will ever have such fear, – but will rather have the boldness to test, and hold the ICM leadership accountable.
So whose Work is it anyway? The true Work of the Holy Spirit, belongs to the Holy Spirit. It’s not exclusive to any group. It’s with all believers in Jesus Christ, who have accepted Him as Savior and Lord. Christians are to enjoy a personal intimate relationship with God. Their focus is to be on Him, worshiping Him alone, and not their group. They also have fellowship with one another. The Holy Spirit is available to all of them. Some people listen, others do not. Some listen more closely than others, to what the Holy Spirit is saying – it varies from person to person. Whatever the case, they still have the Holy Spirit working inside them, and thus they ALL have “the Work”. While “the Work” will not be obvious always on the outside, rest assured, God is patient and kind, continuing, by His Spirit, to operate in the heart of every believer in Christ. Some groups, likewise vary in faithfulness to the Lord, but rest assured God continues to Work where He can, with whomsoever will.
Thankfully many are awakening. In recent years, many members have been departing from the denomination, rejecting the negative points, and holding on to the good points. My prayer is for current members of ICM, to be honest with themselves about these things, and have your loyalty first and foremost to Jesus alone. I believe there are a great many faithful and genuine Christians still in ICM. I am not against them personally. I’m only against the negative practices and ideas that exist in the group. You are free to post comments, to give me feedback. If you feel I have been unfair, please state your reasons, and I will consider to revise any of the content or tone on the website.