The heart of where I am as a Christian
I had this inner rage in Church and toward Christians in general – that still persists to this day – in one of my journal entries (around 1990) I wrote “God is my only obstacle”.
The rage is toward all that raises itself up as Christian but is a cheap, diseased copy, a counterfeit. Most claiming to be evangelicals are in the habit of sacrificing others in the hope of being saved themselves. That is to say, they hunt for fake Christians in order to root them out, and cleanse the church, exactly what Jesus said NOT to do.
Contrast that to Moses reaction to God telling him that HE (God) is going to kill all of the Israelites commuting idolatry at the base of the mountain, and begin again with Moses….
To set the scene, Moses is up on the mountain receiving the law, the Ten Commandments is part of that. Meanwhile the Israelites are down on the plain, and have created a Golden Calf and are worshiping it, rather than waiting for Moses, rather than waiting for God. God, of course, see’s what’s happening, and reacts with Holy Wrath, and he on the one hand declares to Moses that he will do TWO things,
1. Consume the Israelites, ie) annihilate them, purge the earth of them
2. Start again with Moses
Here’s the quote:
Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.”
But Moses implored the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’?
Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.’”
And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people. (Exodus 32:10-14 ESV)
Moses doesn’t yield to the temptation to replace Abraham as the father of fathers, he pleads for mercy!
The majority of Church goers, and those who don’t go to church, don’t believe in re-generation… That a person can change, and the only solution to the problem is to weed the garden and burn the weeds… They spend their life looking for weeds, uprooting them, and burning them alive. Like a doctor who doesn’t believe in making the sick well, just getting rid of them so’s the disease doesn’t spread
True re-birth is a miracle – a re-creation! New creation! Those who have merely made a mental ascent to Christianity’s high ideals – it’s a good idea they’ll condescend to include in their eclectic religion – have no way of bearing real fruit! Re-birth is real fruit!
Isaiah’s reaction to his sin, and the sin of all those around him,
And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. (Isaiah 6:5, 6 ESV)
Giving up on people isn’t the way, and neither is putting up with abusive people who need to be told to stop it …. That’s a whole conversation right there
More often than not a person who accepts you for who and what you are is easier to be around than somebody who is constantly in your face about what they think should change about you.
The least desirable person to be around is one who leads you to believe there is nothing about you that they wouldn’t change, and once you’ve changed these things the list keeps growing, so that you can never keep it up. They are in a constant state of analysing you, and determining what’s wrong, and what needs to change. The belief system of that person is exposed by their behavior. Their invasive, negative, destructive behavior.
So, the first one sounds like the guy who sucks up to everybody, in order to hopefully one day influence them, and the second can often feel like a true prophet who is rejected because of his stand against Sin. Take a look at the fruit, real fruit, is there any? Or is it just a path strewn with the bodies of those who’ve been wounded by their perilous manner?
The second kind of person is one who is constantly miserable, because what they do to others they do to themselves, they are never satisfied with themselves. They often change their hair colour, hair style, clothing, weight, furniture, house, cars, pets, friends, neighborhoods, churches… their peace is being searched for externally, and the solutions are being applied externally… and it’s with themselves at the centre.
There is another way to describe all of the above, and that is that these evangelicals always have an agenda. Co-dependency is a natural outcome of all their “successful” relationships, their only relationships in all actuality. The only people who respond positively to their invasion are those whom they will be constantly helping. I think this kind of Christian feels that this is their ministry, and it ultimately ends up in sheer frustration because of the co-dependent cycle. The co-dependent initially helps a person most of the time unaware of their agenda, and unaware of the unspoken expectations mounting for the person they are “helping” it is impossible for the recipient (victim really) to live up to their expectations, since their agenda of change is a moving target. The only “test” that gets done is the “what’s wrong” test, never “what’s right”… the co-dependent eventually feels the weight of the person they are enabling, this is called “care taking”. Then resentment is born, which gives way to some sort of expression of frustration and ultimately an end to the relationship.
The other outcome is that the victim of the co-dependent makes a move that he/she believes in, and the co-dependent disagrees with. The process of individuation is inevitable! Each of us is driven toward becoming distinct individuals.
What is the alternative to this horrible “type” of evangelicalism? The alternative is to become like Christ. Living the life, setting the bar, and the life lived is one of obedience to the inner voice that leads us by grace ever closer.
The first thing we need to do is understand that there is nothing we can do to become acceptable to God… we are all sinners in need of grace.
Ephesians 2:1 By Grace Through Faith And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
The business of becoming righteous is accomplished by the work of Christ on the Cross, he died for our sins, end of story. Our efforts are not to EARN our salvation… how do you earn what is already yours? Our efforts are toward relationship, right relationship with God and others. Loving others as he has loved us. We are his friends, ever listening for what he would have us do in each moment of the day. When we encounter another person, new or old acquaintance, we must first of all accept that they are a work of God in progress OR they are already damned.
John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
These are words spoken by Jesus. He realized that the only ones who could follow him, are those enabled by the Father to do so, and the only ones that would be drawn to him are those sent by the father. Now, if a person whom I encounter has apparently no use for my faith, and is even antagonistic toward Christianity it means one of two things both of which result in me leaving them to themselves. One is that they are created to be objects of God’s wrath (see Romans 9) and therefore any efforts on my part are efforts against God’s will. Or they are indeed destined to be in Christ, but at the moment they are fertile soil where the seed is to be sown. In either case seed sown is the truth that God would have me speak. My words are grace toward others, yes, but if they are continually rejected the very words that were a witness TO them are a witness AGAINST them in the final day of judgement. They will say, “but nobody told me…” and God will play the tapes, they’ll see and hear my words again, and He’ll say, “but I sent my servant, to speak to you, and you rejected his words…”
John 12:45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”
These are again the words of Jesus. God always sent the prophets to speak the word, reading in book of Revelation you’ll see this pattern. The word must be spoken, but the expectation of the outcome isn’t what some may think. The expectation is that I will be commended by God for my obedience, I have been released from the turmoil of disobedience, and am at peace because I have done what was required. Now what I find myself doing is looking for where God is at work in a person, and praying that God would help me work with the Holy Spirit. Even if I was to think a person is damned, and meant for wrath, I pray that God would open their eyes, and give me an opportunity to say/do the thing that will turn their eyes to God, to Jesus and be saved. I pray for them that he will save them, have mercy on them.
My life fills up with positives, and the negatives are replaced with positives. If every moment of the day I am busy listening and responding to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Each and every thought or desire, emotion and reaction is subject to God’s word. There is both good and evil at work within me, and I subject it all to the test of God’s word. Galatians 5 explains this quite nicely. The origin is either the flesh or the spirit. Humility being one of the attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit… this false evangelicalism is killed off, because I find myself looking for Jesus at work in others, and I always find something, and I am thankful to him for each one. I’m not the one that will reach this person today, or it’s not yet God’s time for this person, or… low and behold I am able to sow a seed into their life today, understanding that one sows and another reaps.