Jesus people, loving people

Church Chainsaw Massacree

In times of change, how do you cope?

As a teenager you rebel against your parents, but change isn’t so easy as the years go on. Some people get into nostalgia – they look back at where they’ve been, listen to old music etc; just think of all the ‘tribute’ bands around. Some look for a safe path – they analyse everything and try to recreate past years, putting all their time and energy into it.

Our church is in a time of immense change and upheaval, and culture around us is always in flux.

A massacree (not a massacre) is ‘a sequence of events so uncommon and absurd that they are unbelievable.’ Here’s a fantastic song by Don Francisco – ‘Chainsaw Massacree’:

They were goin’ to church: all the regulars and a few more
Nobody had a clue what was comin’ when they walked through the door
They were sayin’ hello, they were takin’ their seats
And everyone was ready for the basic repeat
Some songs then an offering and a sermon like the Sundays before

Nobody noticed what was sittin’ underneath the front pew
No-one had imagined what the pastor was intendin’ to do
When he got to his feet, they were settlin’ in
Waitin’ for the preacher man to begin
But that expectation was never again to come true

‘Cause the sanctuary suddenly filled with a deafening roar
When the chainsaw started that the pastor picked up from the floor
He laid into the pulpit and he cut it right through
Only pieces were left after a second or two
And when he turned the thing off, you know he had their attention for sure

It was the Sunday Morning Chainsaw Massacree
Nobody died except religious co-dependency
The heavens were opened when that pulpit went down
And God’s Holy Spirit started movin’ around
And those half-baked pew potatoes got really set free
At the Sunday Morning Chainsaw Massacree

And the minister asked, “Do you all understand what I did?
Everyone’s a minister here; you know you’re not little kids
The Holy One’s in each one of you, and it’s time I let you see that it’s true
My name isn’t ‘pastor’; from now on, call me ‘Uncle Sid’
Don’t you dare call me pastor; my first name’s really just ‘Sid’.”

It was the Sunday Morning Chainsaw Massacree
Nobody died except some habits and formality
The heavens were opened when that pulpit went down
And God’s Holy Spirit started movin’ around
And that pastor and the congregation got really set free
At the Sunday Morning Chainsaw Massacree

Now the reason I know is ’cause I happened to visit that place
By then, the pews were gone and we worshipped and danced in the space
Some had a teaching; some had revelation; some had a psalm; some interpretation
Jesus was Lord, and he was shining on every face
By the time we were done, I’d been filled by his power and grace

It was the Sunday Morning Chainsaw Massacree
Nobody died except religious co-dependency
The heavens were opened when that pulpit went down
And God’s Holy Spirit started movin’ around
And the pastor and the congregation got really set free
At the Sunday Morning Chainsaw Massacree
At the Sunday Morning Chainsaw Massacree

Jesus prunes what’s fruitful in us (John 15:2) and we mustn’t resist him in this. Part of what it means to be radical is that we’ll always be prepared to put a chainsaw to any of our snug routines in order to recover the primal, unchanging essence of our faith.

We may not use pulpits or organs but have we created other things that God has to break into?

Published 26th April 2019 with tags: church prophetic

Comments

  1. Yvonne Hunter says:

    Brilliant song! I was amazed reading this post cos
    I was reading Tozer,”God tells the man who cares” this afternoon and it so resonated with what you’d posted. I cried becos l see where we have failed. I can’t explain it cos I’m not able to articulate it clearly but do read this book if you can obtain it. Its full of wisdom . Blessings

  2. John Lewis says:

    Witty song- but I have to say it is a matter of sorrow to me that you have decided to give up being The Jesus Army- because I look around – not at the Church- but The World- see the needs of people and ask what sort of Church can meet those needs- and strangely my answer would be The Jesus Army- so ok you no longer want to be that- What do you want to be?

    1. Admin says:

      We are still the same church, just under a name we’ve always had – Jesus Fellowship Church. Dropping ‘army’ from one aspect of our public identity hasn’t stopped us meeting needs as we do these days- through Jesus Centres.

  3. Angie says:

    This was Noel’s vision, like always when the person carrying a ‘vision from God’ dies it is never the same, as God gave that vision to a man who He knew would run with it. Noel built God’s dream for Him, and successfully too. I thank G o d I had the privilidge of being arounid when he was.

  4. valerie woolgar says:

    I have always respected the Jesus Army, like the Salvation Army, but more! caring for the people, -living among and teaching preaching working , reaching out, the whole thing – so awesome. The mainstream church has agendas and powerful leadership which drives them. I would rather see more Jesus Living Fellowships grow further globally, the word “Living’ would make Jesus Fellowship stand out , from all the other fellowships denomination names. Jesus Live Fellowship -that title explains itself. You are truly an inspiration. On the other hand, from the song above, it would see we are all equal in Christ – which is true- however God gave some gifted as Apostles, Preachers, Teachers, the Gifts of the Spirit, etc., and Pastors, Evangelists etc., to the church, and it needs some structure or church would be very chaotic -sheep need shepherds for the flocks.

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