Pastor Eric’s Perspective on the Solemn Assembly | Countdown to The Call Detroit 11-11-11: Day 20 –

 Pastor Eric Moore sent me this message… it was so beautiful I asked him if I could post it on my blog. He said yes, so here it is!

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You are probably aware that believers from around the country are going to gather at Ford Field on 11-11-11 for the CALL Detroit. For about three years I carried a burden that metro Detroit needed to gather for a solemn assembly. So when Lou Engle decided to do a Call in Detroit I immediately rejoiced! Lou’s organization, The Call, is based on Joel 2:15, “Blow the trumpet in zion, declare a holy fast, CALL a sacred assembly…”. (www.thecall.com) God is providing a powerful opportunity for the Body of Christ in metro Detroit to humble ourselves together in repentance and seeking God for mercy.
 
It is so important that we understand why we are assembling so we can properly prepare to attend.
 
The Forgotten Spiritual Discipline of the Solemn Assembly
 
Over the last decade I developed a deep appreciation for the Solemn Assembly. Prior to 2001 I didn’t really even know what a solemn assembly was and the vital role that it played in Biblical theology and in Church history. A solemn assembly is a corporate church discipline that brings a willing, humble church to a moment of repentance and belief in the efficacy of the cross and the mercy of God. The Church uses the discipline of a solemn assembly when she recognizes her sinfulness and the need to repent. Usually the driving force for a solemn assembly is dire circumstances in the community or nation.

The Church needs to reclaimed the solemn as a spiritual discipline. If you are over 30 years old you have watched the Church reclaim the spiritual discipline of fasting. As a child I never heard of anyone doing a fast. I was floored in the late 90’s when a pastor friend of mine in Canton, MI committed to doing a 40 day fast. I thought he was nuts! Our mindset has shifted about fasting. Now I know many people who fast, even doing extended fasts, me included! The same shift is beginning to happen with the forgotten discipline of solemn assemblies.
 
For a detailed presentation on the theology and history of solemn assemblies go to http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF09E09.pdf. Dr. Owen Roberts has a outstanding explanation entitled SOLEMN ASSEMBLY: Forgotten Means of God’s Grace;. Hope for the Survival of America. Here is a germaine excerpt…
 

Not only were Solemn Assemblies a very common aspect in the revivals of the Bible, but they were a very important part of the life of believers in America during all its early years. For verification of this one has only to consult the Sprague Collection of Early American Pamphlets at the Weidener Library at Harvard University. There will be found a large number of sermons that were preached at the Fast Days and Solemn Assemblies which were frequently called and earnestly attended by American believers prior to the general decline of true Christianity which characterizes twentieth-century America.

Our Fathers believed God was offended by sin. They themselves were deeply troubled both by the existence of personal sin in their own lives and by the presence of unconfessed corporate sins in the churches and in the nation. They regarded natural calamities as manifestations of the displeasure of God Almighty against sin and allowed such events as earthquakes, fires, volcanoes, epidemics, floods, and droughts to prompt them to special seeking of God’s face in fasting, prayer, and corporate repentance. They also sought the Lord in Solemn Assemblies in connection with wars, murders, rapes, etc., believing such outbursts of wickedness to be directly related to the general decline of moral and spiritual life in the churches.
 
The Call Detroit – Investing in Our Community’s Solemn Assembly
 
With fascination I’m watching leaders of churches come on board with support for the Call. It’s truly supernatural the way God is pulling it together. Historic black denominations like COGIC, Full Gospel Baptist, AME, independent Charismatic and Baptist are seeing God’s hand orchestrating this movement. The bridging between the black and white cultures is flourishing, not just because a new set of relationships is developing but also because the content of the conversations is so much more spiritually substantive!

 
In a recent meeting with key leaders in Detroit, Lou observed, “In all of the 18 CALLS I’ve done in America, I never been welcomed to a city like I have in Detroit. And I’ve never been welcomed by the black community until now.” Yea, God!
 
Getting on board with what God is doing requires adjustments on our part. (Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God, notes that it will probably bring a crisis of faith!) To really engage expectantly in this solemn assembly will require new levels of…
 
First, Contending. This solemn assembly is about contending in the spiritual battle in Detroit and our nation. The Call is not a concert to come and enjoy good music. We are gathering to fast and pray together. God gave us a way to deal with the spiritual forces of darkness. They were conquered at the Cross. When unconfessed sin is present in someone’s life or in a territory, demonic forces have a legal right to be present and active. Through confession the power of the cross is applied and the legal claim of darkness is negated. Even the Old Testament gives example of the power of confession when Nehemiah and Ezra confessed their sins and the sins of their fathers. Real change came about through genuine repentance. Come, having prepared yourself with personal repentance!
 
Second, Humility. Investing in this solemn assembly requires the true humility to identify with the sins of our community and of our fathers. Humility is the doorway to grace, which we desperately need. That was the humility expressed by Nehemiah and Ezra. Their prayers did not blame someone else for what was wrong. They embraced it as their own. The corruption in our city governments around metro detroit is not a reason to throw stones but to kneel down ask God to forgive us. So it should be with each of the sins devastating our community! Come, and cloak yourself with true humility!
 
Third, Unity. Joel’s call for a solemn assembly called for everyone-each tribe, young and old, male and female, old people and babies. Stop what you’re doing and come together! That’s the idea! Kneel together to find mercy. Just maybe the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven is found in the variety of expressions and passions in Christ’s Body. Come, even if you have questions about the other guy!! LOL!
 
 One last thought…
 
As spiritual leaders have gathered to discuss and plan for the CALL they consistently say, “We don’t need another prayer meeting, we need a prayer movement!”  Lou’s words pierced many hearts when he said, “Islam has a prayer culture, we have prayer meetings!” (Even those are not real well attended!) 
 
The Call is an event, an important event. God will hear our prayers and respond with mercy. But the full catalytic power of the Call is to shift us into a deeper place of love among the family, deeper place of intimacy and intercession before God and a deeper faith to live sacrificially for our community!
 
That’s what His kingdom looks like!!!
 
Love,
 
Pastor Eric Neale Moore 
 

Make your way to Detroit on 11-11-11 for The Call. Pray with us. Join people all over Detroit that are fasting and praying in preparation for God to do something BIG in our city, nation, and world… NOW. Yes, NOW.

The Call

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