Tuesday 28 June 2011

John MacLauchlan notes - A tale of a genuine church in Yeovil, Somerset

Introduction to the VISION of CHURCH
(The header means notes about John MacLaughlan by Chris Welch, not by John)
Over the last months I have become increasingly aware of the pains suffered and caused by the existing models of church and particularly how it has affected some of the most enlightened here on the net. Some have had to receive actual physical healing for some of the inner wounds. In the last Havant Conference during one of the sessions, Peter Stott saw some real arrows in my back, and as he pulled them out I wiped straight out onto the floor. One of the immediate effects ironically has been to speak my mind to him, and also as some have noticed,to address people on the net.
One of my Facebook friends was crushed and ousted out of his Anglican post in Oxfordshire and has been flat out in bed with a recurrence of ME for 3 years to this date.
In the eighties Graham Cooke and Peter Stott saw a lot of this going on, but felt particularly for prophetic people, and began to run encouragement weeks just for them in the UK, but also they set about making materials more readily available for pastors to help them understand the operation of the prophetic.Peter and Mariette are often used to bring clarity and greater understanding to leadership couples in one of the big Chicago churches.

In the last few days I really wanted to "hit" this area of hurt and flush it out to the surface. I wanted saints to face head on whether their love for their individualistic way of operation  was really Christ them....or just a temporary Christ "workaround" until they get some of their Ezekiel 8:10 scrawlings fixed on the inner walls of their Temple. One sister who many will recognise immediately has spent 4 decades being all but and including  being "beaten up" by the religious, by the misunderstanding saints, and neighbours in her area. She has stood for this third level message in her lentil patch all on her own, and scores of people have benefitted from the results of her intercession as she shares now on Facebook.

I began to address this whole area last week. because she will freely tell you, that she is now" at home" being beaten up and abused. She finds it utterly bizarre to be treated to too much attention. I said she knows how to be abased. She does abased with panache, but she doesn't do abounding really well. And if "as He is, so are we in this world " is true, then we will model His life. And through the course of a day, Jesus would typically abound, then other dangerous types, out to get Him, would cause Him to be abased. But abased all the time.....nope, not even Jesus was that.
What is church and what's it for?
You know we could almost talk about marriage in the same breath, because the physical and emotional abuses that happen in marriage are practically the same excuses modern people are using for never having to make a marriage commitment. And these same inner and also physical hurts have seemed to result from church life. So, let's ditch church then.
No, let's not.

Churches in the Bible were established by broken men. They had been right through the Way,Truth,Life rigmarole. Paul had organised the murder of one of the most radiant saints Stephen. This goaded him all his life. He knew he had Stephen's blood on his hands. More than that, from Jesus first phrase...Saul Saul why do you persecute Me, he understood immediately that Christ INDWELT these Christians.
Peter and the disciples had been more direct. They had walked right out on Jesus Himself. And they knew it.And it broke them.
Churches today are not established by broken men. Or to put it another way, people call brokenness, being sorry for a supposed sinful past life. Now I'm not quibbling on the past life. I'm quibbling the fact that until you can go beyond sins to catch the sight of SIN, the principle of SIN indwelling and possessing you...and the whole truth "There is No Independent Self".....you don't really know the first thing about brokenness, so from the get go, your style of leadership will be plagued with what Charlie Peacock sang as "The BIG MAN'S HAT". Why. Because you don't walk as Christ indwelling you as you. (Here's the song again, this time a more sober rendering, the black vocalist in the first clip,Vince Ebo has committed suicide around a decade ago)
Unless the Lord Build the House Those that Labour Build it in Vain
Christ is the only one who can build His house. Christ in us as us. Having exposed that what we thought was us, was SIN in us, and that's precisely what Jesus came to deal with, finally and permanently on the Cross. And His final and permanent way of dealing with it was to include every person who ever lived or will live in that death, take our spirit centre down into death in His Body death. Then when the Spirit raised Him, we were raised with Him and in Him. At conversion the sin spirit was fully kicked out, and Jesus Himself came in permanently. This is the ONLY foundation of God's Church. This is fully demonstrated by the Two Goats picture in the Old Testament. Read it again here, it will set you free.
All the other churches teach the Blood sacrifice of Jesus, but leave your "delusional self" intact to roam free throughout the churches. So gradually you become aware in these other churches that people seem to be like half dead zombies walking around...neither alive nor dead in Christ...in some kind of dangerous twilight world where you are very likely to get hurt. And WILL DO. It will indeed be like those Zombie slasher console games.In fact maybe all Christians should be forced to play them to ready themselves for life in the Church of the UNDEAD.
What does Building the House mean?
Well I'm sorry it doesn't mean paying millions to shore up Schuller's Glass Cathedral.
There's only two types of building in the Spirit.
If the ecclesia is a short time-frame church like Acts, it means the transfer of Christ into individuals in impartation of anointed Word, encouragement, faith, that people know what the Cross did for them, and Christ Himself becomes fixed in their centre.
In a longer term ecclesia, the church will have a calling as a Body of believers. It will battle through the stages of Ephesians, which is really a church book, gaining more and more authority in the Spirit in its geographical region and beyond. This is difficult to put into words so I'll use the example of Los Rios in Quilmes Buenos Aires. I think it is fair to say that they do not understand the Third level. But remember, the Moravians probably didn't articulate it too well either even after 100 year prayer meeting. But there's theology, and there's the indefinable qualities of maturity that the Holy Spirit builds into a Body of believers over time, that even they probably cannot articulate. Los Rios was established under Jorge Pradas and Ed Miller as a church that pioneered doggedly following the Holy Spirit regardless in the way of praise, and abandonment in worship and adoration.Not many will hear them sing and not break down in tears at the sheer beauty of the Presence of the Lord. They were established during the truly awful inflation years of Peron. When you visit a Living Church of the Holy Spirit that has maintained its walk with God, you will notice this perfumed fragrance of love oozing through the church. Love born of the brokenness of time and years.Out of this maturity as a church, has come a church in every province of Argentina.They are still a pyramid operation, but as you read in my previous post about Eric Chambers, more than structure what matters is, has the leader or have the leaders got the the highway to Zion running straight through their heart? or is it a BIG MAN'S HAT?
What Can I expect in a New Church following the Spirit?
Trouble. Let's look at what little I know about John MacLaughlan Yeovil,Somerset. He was one of the group of leaders who used to lead the London housegroup meetings in the fledgling days of the Friends Meeting House, before the arrival of Ern Baxter. John was a prophet, and often wrote in a magazine called Fulness which was a very similar magazine to Restoration magazine.
A bunch surrounded him eagerly and a church formed in Yeovil.(early80s) I only know fragmentary bits from a tuning customer in Yeovil church. I get the impression that as they were following the Holy Spirit, God began His journey of breaking people down to shock them into discovering "there is no independent self". This is a harrowing journey, and really costly if several are on it together, as it was with the disciples in the 3 years with Jesus.
In the 80s everyone was so naive about the awfulness of the human condition, so as far as I can glean, two things happened. Unlike Moses in the wilderness, these guys lived and worked and fellowshipped around Yeovil. When problems happened with Moses it was much more difficult, because you couldn't easily go back to Egypt. For Yeovil people, it was easy, if things got tough, just leave and carry on living the way you always used to live in Yeovil. I think the shock of this and how difficult church life was, and really not understanding our human condition full-on, I think prophet John panicked, and became quite controlling, trying desperately to hold the Ark of the Presence which seemed about to topple off New House Church Cart(King David reference).....and I think there were many casualties.
Sometimes when you want to push something the Spirit is saying through a church, you take a core group who model it, and like leaven it leavens the rest of the church.
Emsworth Harbour
The Key of David meetings(Havant Church) are Jesus only agenda meetings. They are a current example of a particular exploration that is being made into how you run meetings in the Spirit, but without it fragmenting into complete nebulousness that now seems to occur 200 years on in Quaker meetings. As people get more trained by the Holy Spirit in this, it has affected the main meetings too.
CASA BIBLICA was the model given by God for training young people and couples, again as a core group which later infiltrated the whole of the Argentinian churches.
Living in community, yet walking in the light of the Holy Spirit is the toughest of calls but the most amazing of places on earth. Unlike Yeovil,CASA BIBLICA/Bible House in Emsworth, part of my former church ,then provided a safe place to breakdown in. It is literally a house where you fall into the ground as a seed, to be remade by the Spirit.  Luckily,if there are 30 of you, as there were in Emsworth, only 5 or 6 may be going "through it" at any one time. And the best way to describe the "it" is to imagine a woman with an acute PMT day...only this is not one day...and it is men as well!
Morning and evening we would have various meetings and church members and leaders would lead Bible teaching. People would remain in the house as long as the Holy Spirit directed.  Generally the posher you were, like me, the longer it took for the facade to break. I was in Bible House 6 years.
I want to stress the importance of the meetings. Some were house meetings. Some for the whole church.The praise and worship in those days was so fabulous you could practically cut the Presence of the Lord in the room with a knife, and serve it to people the next day. Now in these meetings, you may begin in praise, but God would so direct the meeting to attend to the deep wounds and problem areas, particularly of those going through things that week. We are talking real surgery in the Spirit here. When I first arrived for example, one of the girls had been sexually abused by her Christian father, nowadays a prisonable offense. She used to cut herself and her hair, but over some months she was totally and radically repaired. Her face was radiant. Out of her victory came song after song after song that blew us all away. I'm afraid I can  bore you at book length with the" day is as a thousand years life" that was Bible House.
So this was better BUT
it was still only dealing with deep traumas, many deep sin patterns, generational patterns of sin and sickness.
It was still early days in the charismatic search after God. Still an almost total naivety about the human condition. I want to tell you something, when I arrived in Emsworth Ian McCulloch prayed this prayer over me : " Lord do a quick work in this young man."
 Well I believe this man of faith got his answer, but ofcourse it certainly didn't look it to him. I was 6 years in Bible House, but really the process had only just begun now the facade was broken. Four years after this they chucked me out anyway. But as you will have realised with this blog, God really did a quick work though it seemed He wasnt at the time. This is because He took me right down in those years to discovering things that at the time that former church knew nothing of. And this is what we preach now on day one when we speak to people. And people are coming into the Kingdom in such a battered way, with family infrastructure being so poor, people are now ready to hear there is no independent self right at the start. Your average Christian in Britain either doesnt know this, or takes 40 years as a Christian before it slightly dawns on them.

So to conclude this section. Both Daniel Yordy and I having lived in Spirit filled communities that pressed ardently into God  KNOW how the Spirit works with folk in practice. Ofcourse everyone is different. Ofcourse it's different lengths of time. Ofcourse what we were in was still too shallow in  Spirit definition. But the one thing we know that others dont seem to on here, is that the God who can teach us individually the revelation behind the third stage of growth, can certainly now operate WOMBLIKE through a church geared up for it. It isn't going to be sooooo different from what we've seen so far, just more radical. The problem with Yeovil was complete naivety leading to the breakup of what could have been a great church. The problem with Emsworth was slightly less naivety...but still too much, so actually, I think after my leaving the church, one of the leaders became so discouraged he pulled the whole plug on Argentina, and Casa Biblica, and reverted back to the safe "Bible Training " model of every seminary, where people  get wound up like clockwork , sent out on the field ready to breakdown completely there, not having a clue as to what the gospel really is, nor who they really are.
The Woman and the Man Child of Revelation 12
So this brings us to the Church as WOMB for the ManChild who is this Christ as me believer who fully understands church life...the Living Church...he has the blueprint on his insides.The Holy Ghost Growing Machine.

The Church Carrying the Presence of God
People say I am Christ as me, why do I need church?
You need church not because you need church, as 2ndlevel pastors always used to say,
you need church because it is a God designed, God patented structure for carrying the Presence of God in a way that one individual cannot.
One reason scripture says where two or three are gathered in My Name, there am I in the midst of them, is because the love relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit might be felt in your heart, but it needs more people to manifest this Triune relationship so that others can see it too. He loves turning up and transmitting this Triune relationship presence when 2,3 or a whole load more are there.
Psalm 133 says Behold how good it is when brethren dwell together in unity. The Lord COMMANDS the blessing there. (That's a post or two right there!)
Well dwell together is usually taken to mean a church meeting. Hmmm. Try thinking live together, or be always in and out of their houses. The fact is BIBLE HOUSE were much more than the sum of their worth.
People could get healed there. The group got noticed everywhere they went. They were a huge blessing to all of the rest of the church. It was a song factory. As people got touched, they sang!!!  The song How You Bless Our Lives comes from a Bible House holiday campfire in Devon. All the waves of spiritual truth people were learning filtered into the church. And ofcourse there was the obvious. Gardening power, driving power, removing power, DIY power. People learned to play instruments from each other, to cook , to make clothes , to run businesses together, to renovate buildings together, to run livestock together, to do proper barbecues the Argentine way with whole sheep and cows strung up.These side of things are well grounded territory for all previous communities : Quakers, Amish,Moravian. The huuuuge difference with the third level is now we know what the enemy is, we don't need to be nearly as stupid in closing out the world. Because ofcourse things were a lot more subtle than we thought. A similar distinction when Jesus said "It's not touching a Jimi Hendrix album before a meal that soils you, it's the stuff still rising from within you. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks"
All the natural BODY images apply
The Body just knows where sickness is and how to bring healing
The Body works in unity and in balance, no part outweighing the other
The Body is geared to grow naturally and coordinatedly....looking at the church right now there are huge faith lumps in one corner out of all proportion to love lumps in the other corner
By supplying in the Spirit you become strong as well as the one supplied
The Body knows what it needs to eat
Spiritual Gifts Flow naturally in a living Body of Christ
 "Seeing God only", works in purely human living ways, but also with gifts.
Gifts have a lot more rounded feel with people you've laughed, cried ,exposed your lives with than in some purely "meet on Sunday or midweek approach". Based in this rounded context, when you do go out to unknown people the supernatural is sharper, but still rounded with love and caring, and not looking something like an extruded bolt on Frankenstein's neck.
Why the Body?- the unexpected
Because when we gather the totally unexpected frequently happens. Turns of events for people can change in an instant. Kairos moments happen a lot in the Body context. Things in jobs, callings,healings, families.....all these longstanding things can turn on a sixpence in the presence of God upon a gathered Body.
Never ever confuse the glory we have as believers inside and out pictured in the Holiest Place by the Mercy Seat of goldcovered acacia wood....never confuse that with the glory of God Himself which floats overhead. In this glory He communicates His Kairos actions and directions. The Now Word of God.
Why the Body- intercession
Living in the Body as it pushes people through in God gives real insight into intercession and breakthrough, and rythms and cycles, all of which become vital in the third level. living in the Body is simply the quickest course you are ever going to get on how to use your spiritual tools, the ones everyone has in Christ Jesus.
Because I have seen how fast Bible House works for people even in still quite a "young man" level of growth, I have absolutely no idea how fast a Body can grow that actually preaches the Truths of the Cross of Christ but coupled with sensitivity to the Spirit. Ephesians says the the Body is built by that which every member supplies....the supply being purely in the context of Christ as Us. As Bible House shows, the Body is geared up to bearing the Man child, this manifest grown up version of Christian, rooted and grounded in Christ. It does it naturally. We have no idea how fast Bodies all over the world can grow, but we know from Facebook how many are excited with what they are learning. One said she had learned more in 1 year on Facebook than in 20 years in a church. Facebook is terriffically well placed for teaching, sharing the Word,sharing prayer needs, but has terriffic drawbacks for all the other aspects of living together as a "city compacted together, set on a hill."
I do pray that this piece has healed your soul a bit in regard to church as originally on God's heart, compared to the vague mirage of church many have so far experienced.
To me, the very least of all [d]saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to [e]bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

Dave Berrey dberrey@live.co.uk

9:52 AM (16 minutes ago)
to me
Hi Chris, been looking over older blog posts and came across your comments concerning John Mac and Yeovil. I was in that church from the beginning to the end. It wasn’t a pleasant time at the end, with many pulling out of church involvement for many years after the event.
I was quite close to John and his family, even living with them for a time. I keep in touch with his widow who lives not too far from me. The issue which really undermined the church as well as John himself, was his views concerning the prophet and their role. He held the view that as he was God’s spokesman, if anyone disagreed with him they were wrong. I understand that this was the reason he dropped his relationships with the other national leaders. In other words he was always right. This was obviously wrong and a dangerous position to take. As you say these were naive days, we had no previous experience of the gifts operating in the church. If we had taken the time we would have discovered there had been other times when God had released truth, and times when men/women had become deceived in the same way as we had. So lack of wisdom and maturity were abounding.
I can now look back, and with time now appreciate the great things that John taught us. He had a passion for the mature church to emerge, to see the 5 fold gifts described in Ephesians to be established and much more. Many things the current prophetic movement takes for granted were pioneered by John and others in that season. There was a significantly greater desire and experience of the presence of God in those times, something I notice you have also commented upon. But, God is re establishing this, certainly in this country only in a small minority. The same was true then only a handful of folk were involved before the greater release of the wider move of the Holy Spirit, which later became the Charismatic movement(not sure if that was a good thing???).
Anyway thought this might fill in a few gaps for you
PS For the record, John’s surname was MacLauchlan

1 comment:

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) said...

I heard the name John MacLauchlan in the mid-70s, but I did not get to meet him. Apparently, he spoke at the church I attended (I inadvertently missed the meeting) after which the leader there said that he would not invite him again. I was a relatively young Christian then, and did not think much more of it.
What I appreciate about him and others at that time was the yearning and searching for something more. People of course made mistakes and there were various personalities, but I certainly found that more exciting than the "clockwork zombies" that are often put in charge of churches today. I say this with tongue in cheek, as most people just try to do the best they can given their backgrounds and experience.
I have tended to be afraid to try something for fear of getting it wrong, or waiting for someone else to make the first move, but that has also resulted in not getting much done at all.
So have a go, and don't settle for a humdrum, run-of-the-mill existence.
Sincerely yours,