So, I, ummmmmmm, have gotten quite a bit of response on the post, The False Burden of the Vision Caster. It apparently touched a nerve in a few people because some comments/emails were a bit, shall we say, nasty.
In getting past the name-calling and other things in those communications, I began to notice a pattern. While never identifying themselves as ‘believers‘ in Christ, they readily identified themselves by religious title, (pastor, visionary, apostle, etc.) or religious association, whether to a particular church/denomination or particular “anointed” minister/visionary. Interesting!
Before I go any further, allow me to say that I totally understand. I harbor no bitterness towards any response or responder. I get where they are coming from because, as I mentioned in the previous post, I used to come from there myself. And, after all, as one of the responders included in their response………”who do you think you are to question greatly anointed men of God? I’ve never even heard of you!” (sigh……..just shaking my head)
Well, in spite of my apparent insignificance, I do question. If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it is that authentic leadership is NOT above questioning nor is it offended or insecure when questioned! That’s a topic for an entirely separate post.
In The False Burden of the Vision Caster, I offered a couple of real-life, currently existing examples of the type of psuedo-biblical brainwashing perpetrated by Vision Casters on God’s People. Such spurious religious practices are aimed at bringing God’s People back into the bondage of Egypt (a system) in order to make bricks (service/support of the vision) for the Pharaoh ( rulers regarded as gods, whose will was supreme as he governed by supposed divine decree). In such a vision-centric scenario, the people, God’s People, function as slaves to the cause and are readily dispensable.
Again, to show that I am not making this stuff up, I offer a real life, currently existing example of the mentality behind the Vision Caster’s spiritual elitism and idolatry of the THING. I don’t name names because I am not out to disparage any one particular person. My battle is not with flesh and blood. And, as I have said before, I used to be a Vision Caster and perpetrated this stuff of God’s People. My focus is on revealing the worldly spirit behind casting the vision.
This particular Vision Caster is founder of one of America’s largest churches. His official title is actually “Preaching and Vision Pastor”. He is a #1 New York Best Selling author; was named as one of America’s Top 25 Most Influential Pastors; has over 10 million downloads of his sermons and over 5 million YouTube video views and is one of the most quoted and downloaded pastors in the world. I’m thinking quite a few people have heard of him and heard him, huh?
Here’s what he had to say at a conference where he was training other would-be Vision Casters:
Here’s what I’ve learned. You cast vision for your mission; and if people don’t sign up, you move on. You move on. There are people that are gonna die in the wilderness and there are people that are gonna take the hill. That’s just how it is.
Too many guys waste too much time trying to move stiff-necked, stubborn, obstinate people. (pause) I am all about blessed subtraction. There is a pile of dead bodies behind the “Name-of-his-church” bus (laughs) and by God’s grace it’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done.
You either get on the bus or you get run over by the bus. Those are the options; but the bus ain’t gonna stop. And I’m just a—I’m just a guy who is like, “Look, we love ya, but, this is what we’re doing.” There’s a few kinda people. There’s people who get in the way of the bus. They gotta get run over.
There are people who wanna take turns driving the bus. They gotta get thrown off (laughs). ‘Cuz they wanna go somewhere else.
There are people who will be on the bus, leaders and helpers and servants, they’re awesome.
There’s also just, sometimes, nice people who sit on the bus and shut up. (pause) They’re not helping or hurting. Just let ‘em ride along. Y’know what I’m saying? But, don’t look at the nice people that are just gonna sit on the bus and shut their mouth and think, “I need you to lead the mission.”
They’re never going to. At the very most you’ll give ‘em a job to do and they’ll serve somewhere and help out in a minimal way. If someone can sit in a place that hasn’t been on mission for a really long time they are by definition not a leader. And, so they’re never going to lead.
I don’t know what to say after reading such a diabolical, God-less rant. I really wish you could hear the tone of hubris in his voice as he paints a picture of the importance of the Vision Bus and flippantly chuckles at the demise of the insignificant ones who are getting run over.
What is truly interesting and baffling at the same time is that if you listen to one of his sermons, say, one about “grace”, the content and delivery is phenomenal. Yet, rarely is any sermon/teaching completed without tying the content of the message directly back to the support of the Vision Caster and in fulfilling the “vision” of the house. It is made clear to the believer that the path to truly serving God comes by boarding the Vision Bus, finding your appropriate seat and buckling up for the ride. What were the two options again? Oh, yeah….”You either get on the bus or you get run over by the bus.” That is NOT the Father’s heart nor the Way of the Kingdom!
The reason I call attention to such matters and write posts such as this one is not to gain notoriety or even convince those involved in vision-driven systems to come out of them. This type of rubbish has been going on since before I was born and will continue long past my existence on this earth. No, the reason I write these types of posts is to reach the precious ones who have been run over by the Vision bus, who are guilt-ridden before and/or angry at God because they were shamed into believing that they have done something wrong by either questioning or not fully supporting Vision Caster in his “vision”. You have done nothing wrong. You are the one who has been harmed.
I am simply here to say that God is horribly MIS-represented by such a presentation and it is time for leaders and brothers/sisters to realize that if we are in Christ, we are all God’s “anointed ones” and are not to be “touched” or “harmed”.
For a minister to be “anointed” there must be a sharing and partaking of Christ’s anointing. Christ walked this earth over 3 years with his disciples and they still didn’t get or buy into His Vision of the Kingdom. None of them fully understood what He was talking about and none of them performed up to His standard. He didn’t throw them under the bus. Instead, He went and willingly laid down His own life for them because He loved them. Eventually, they “got it” when they received God’s grace and shared in the Spirit through Christ’s service. I’m certain that pleased Father far more than having “a mountain of dead bodies left behind by the time he was done.”
Vision Casters present some THING to be served instead of serving to insure that Someone, Christ, is being formed in the lives of God’s People. In so doing, he seeks to enslave God’s People in building up his own kingdom rather than equipping God’s People to enter the Kingdom and function freely.
So, those brothers/sisters out there still walking the streets of the Vision Caster, beware the Vision Bus! It’s rolling on and it ain’t gonna stop! And, to those brothers/sisters who have been thrown under the Vision Bus and left for dead…………our Father specializes in healing and resurrection! If you need some help in getting restored, all you have to do is let it be known!
Keep your peace!