Friday, August 29, 2008

The Stone Ceiling

James Goll has shared a dream about a Stone Ceiling. I found the dream compelling, but I have noted that the dreamer is not always the best person to interpret the dream. Life experience can sometimes prevent the dreamer from understaning what it means, so always take the dream more seriously, than the suggest interpretation. This makes me wonder if James got the interpretation wrong when he described the dream as a call to move toward an open heaven.

Firstly, I have always found the concept of an open heaven to be quite odd. It suggests that the problem is in heaven. That is nice, because it means that we are not responsible, but I doubt that it is ever true. My experience is that the problem is always on earth. The problem is usually a closed earth, not a closed heaven. God may sometimes closes heavens in response to a closed earth, but the latter always comes first.

I took the low stone ceiling as a challenge to church leaders. Instead of building a temple of living stones, the leaders of the modern church have built themselves into a stone ceiling that prevents ordinary members of the church from rising to their full potential. Just as a glass ceiling in business prevents women and other groups from rising to the top, a stone ceiling in the church is preventing many Christians from fulfilling their calling. I suspect that the can opener James saw was a man-apparatus that opens things up for a select few.

The accepted teaching on leadership in the modern church means that only the special people at the centre of things can have full access to heaven. Those on the edge of things cannot rise to full maturity, because the stone ceiling prevents them. If these people want to rise to full maturity, they have to move into that centre. James Goll is in the fortunate position of being able to move into the centre, but most people cannot.

This situation does great harm. Every believer is supposed to be a living stone in God’s house and not a pebble under a stone ceiling. Pentecost means that every believer can experience the fullness of blessing and anointing, and grow to maturity where they are. They do need to move to the centre to grow to full size.

James noticed that there was a lot of religious stuff hanging around the edges. This is what happens when people get frustrated about their lack of opportunity. Some respond by slipping back into religious behavoiur.

I was interested that James left the centre and went back to the edge. That is often where God wants his prophets to be standing.

He has put most people on the edge where they are and wants them to grow into fullness where they are, so they can reach out into the world. That can only happen if the stone ceiling is removed by the leaders of the church. A hole in the centre of the stone ceiling is not a solution.

I suspect that God is calling the prophets to expose the stone ceiling, so it can be smashed and blown away.

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