Points to Ponder: History and Religion and Their Dual Impact on Community Relations

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wrap Me In Your Arms (Acoustic) - Michael Gungor

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Christian Maturity

Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? (NASB)
Romans 6:16

Luke 22:25 And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called 'Benefactors.'

There is a grave danger to blindly follow and listen to "leaders".  It is crucial to spend quality time in The Word Of God and seeking diligently after Him. I'm not talking "prayer time" where you ritually and at a certain time, perform your duties. You might as well be Catholic, Jehovah Witness or Muslim. They perform rituals. My point is this; a mature Christian is a believer in Jesus who rightly divides The Word 2 Timothy 2:15, is able to discern spirits, Hosea 4:6, Luke 12:57 and Matthew 16:3 and whose character is bold yet humble. A mature Christian is like Caleb, he or she has a "different spirit" Numbers 14:24. Caleb means "bold, impetuous; dog". Caleb was as loyal to God as any dog to its master.  Caleb's tenacity allowed him to be the oldest soldier who fought his way into the promised land.  To be called  a "servant" by The Most High God Amen ones faith has to be impeccable. Only two were given the title "my servant" directly by God; Moses and Caleb.  Like Caleb my total trust and faith in God my Lord and Saviour, my Master Jesus Christ Amen cannot be affected by those of lesser faith . I can't be intimidated, broken or whipped into line and I care not what others think of me because The Word says all true followers of Jesus have a cross to bear and would be treated just as Jesus was treated.  We have to count it all as joy.

If I live to please spiritual leaders then I make The  Living Word non-and-void. A true sheperd like Jesus gives his life for the sheep. Most modern church leaders are spoiled and treat The Body Of Christ like a 9-5 job. They screen calls and openly demand that their congregation not call them  "after hours". That's like Jesus saying: "I only cast out demons Monday- Wednesday between 9 and 5. Thursday - Saturday is set aside for raising the dead  and I don't work on Sunday or Holidays. I know The Word says we are to obey those over us but it also says leaders in The Church are called to be different. They aren't called to sit high and "lord it over" the flock and be served but they are  to serve those in their care.  Modern church leaders are in need of being shephered themselves.

He (Jesus) also told them this parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.  Luke 6:39-40.  Paul warned, that each should be careful how they build.  This simply means if you follow a wise teacher you shall be wise but if you follow a blind teacher (one in error) then you learn the same way; in error.

   Romans 8:5 says "those who are controlled by The Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit". The Word says without faith it is impossible to please The Lord. So, in order to please The Spirit, The Lord you have to operate in faith.  The reason why there is so much strife in The Body Of Christ is because modern church leaders have drifted away from The Leadership Model that Jesus left for His Church and are no longer controlled by Holy Spirit but modern marketing strategies and techniques and the Body of  Christ because they are stuck in a milk fed state cannot discern where they are being led. The Blind leading the blind.

In the Church Of Acts we are told that decision making in The Body Of Christ was not the responsibility of pastors and elders but of the unified Body Of Christ -
Acts 15:22 Then the apostles, the elders, and the whole church decided to choose some of their men to send with Paul and Barnabas to Antioch.

1Co 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Too many modern church "leaders" are in grave error concerning church authority and they have not been challenged by believers who are equipped with sound doctrine. Too many modern believers are dependent on second hand "word" from from "pastor" and even when admonished by the pastors to search the Scriptures for themselves don't understand the difference between meat and milk :

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?  1 Corinthians 3:1-3

How many, reading these meaty words will reject them . The Word says - Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7). James 1:5 says-

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  Once a believer receives Wisdom from God Understanding will follow.

Taken out of context The Word of God is made to support  modern church heirarchy. I am  threading  on religious ground in order to present an observation. Those who become angry from reading this are in great spiritual trouble because I say or write only what The Bible supports. Paul said this concerning authority -
1 Corinthians 3:10-15

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Wait a minute. "Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain...." Psalm 127:1

But Paul said: ...By the grace God has given me, I (meaning Paul) laid a foundation as an expert builder He then cautions - But each one should be careful how he builds. And the curious verse 11;  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. Then why does Paul make a claim to laying "a foundation as an expert builder" ? No, Paul, we are called to build on the foundation which is Jesus Christ. Jesus was a carpenter and Paul was not. Paul was a tent maker. A tent isn't made to last. A foundation of a building is. Is this a heartless criticism of Paul ? No, this is a Spirit led observation of a real man, Paul who spoke  and wrote these words. I merely question them in light of Scripture.  In declaring that he laid a foundation and someone else is building on it sounds like heresy.

 It's impossible to build a foundation on a foundation.  Yet, this is exactly what Paul is saying. The Word says life and death is in the power of the tongue. Proverbs 18:21.  
From AD 30, beginning with the Catholic Church to today hundreds of "foundations" (denominations) have been laid.  "For GOD is not the author of confusion, but of peace..."  1Corinthians 14:33. Indeed God is the author of Peace but His mission to earth was not to bring peace. Jesus asked this question:  Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth?"  Luke 12:51.

A common misunderstanding always lurking in the church is that Jesus is always and everywhere the great "smoother-over". Whenever he found antagonistic people or tense situations he smoothed things over. The written gospels, however, paint a very different picture. According to the gospels wherever Jesus went there was a disruption.

Jesus comes upon some orthodox folk who care more for their religious reputations and their supposed religious superiority than they will ever care for personal integrity and transparency before God. To them Jesus says, "You people go halfway around the world to lasso one convert, and when you finally get him you make him twice as much a child of hell as you are yourselves." Disruption. Next day Jesus comes upon some people who think they have preferential status before God just because they are Israelites. "There were many widows in Israel in the days when Jezebel, wicked woman, was seeking the prophet Elijah in order to kill him", says Jesus. "But who took Elijah , Israel 's greatest prophet, into her home and provided sanctuary for him at terrible risk to herself? A widow from a nation you Israelites pronounce 'godless.'" Another disruption.
III: -- The truth is, wherever Jesus went there was conflict. Yet Jesus never caused trouble for the sake of causing trouble. He didn't have a personality disorder that gloated over being a disturber. He caused a disruption only in order that his hearers might finally hear and heed and do the truth of God, therein finding the profoundest peace of God. Whenever our Lord caused pain he did so only in order that the people whom he plunged into greater pain might submit themselves to the great physician himself. Whenever God's truth is held up in a world of falsehood there is going to be disruption. There has to be disruption if the shalom of God is going to appear.
Victor Shepherd
January 2003

1 Peter 4:17-18 - "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"