Monday, February 27, 2012
A MOST NOTEWORTHY EVENT ... If you fail to pick up on what the vast crowds saw, week after week, then your perception is flawed.
(Part 1 of 2)
(Part 1 of 2)
Acts 2:46 … “And they went from house to house with singleness of heart.”
This was the beginning of the New Testament Church in Jerusalem. This story is worth telling over and over. Buried beneath all of the peripheral sensational episodes of the J. Frank Norris ministry, the real story of this man, whose life was filled with both pathos and victory, has never adequately been told. It’s a story that has never been told in detail, but a glimpse of the early Jerusalem Church gives insight into what characterized the uniqueness of this phenomenal church.
While not attempting to equate the ministry of J. Frank Norris on the same level of the early church, you can be assured that Norris attempted, and to a great measure, he did pattern his ministry on the same principal, as did all of his associates after Norris had left the scene.
To tell the story in as brief a recall as possible, the ministry of J. Frank Norris as told by close associates, was the phenomenon of a “perennial revival atmosphere.”
When the rule which governs the contextual content runs its course, perhaps a hundred years or so, researchers will find the vast parishioners over a period of 40 years were transfixed with what they witnessed Sunday after Sunday.
And of the sensational skirmishes in which Norris was involved were only a glitch in the mind of most people. Most of them did not even realize they were a part of an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. The controversies which surrounded their pastor, were not given a scintilla moment of thought. But yet, 60 years after his death, the legacy of a “gun totin’” parson arouses more interest, than the rescue of a soul in despair. Thanks to published sermons which remain, the unbiased observer will discover the heart and soul of most of his sermons, was to set the captive free.
I had the privilege of spending time with the middle son of J. Frank Norris. No one can know the heart-throb of a dad like only a son could relate. Is it any wonder that the spirit of a broken man would carry such an impact on others?
It has been said that J. Frank Norris should be no example for younger preachers to follow. Is it any wonder that the days of perennial revival has ceased? The end result, perdition, is sure to follow.
February 23, 2012