A Call to be Faithful
I find myself back to the quest of unfolding the issue of religion, the proper positioning of a man and spiritual issues and the strange complexities found in Christianity. Defining Christianity is not as simple as one may expect as all you have to do is get around different groups to find different perspective and heated debates that leave you wondering who really knows and I can see why some folks would want no part of it. Sometimes my research has brought me to the place of asking myself if there is in fact a preponderance of evidence that a true definition of Christianity even exists. It seems at times gooey and sticky and if you eat too much of it you need to wash your hands and recover from a headache. I forget now where I read where an Apostle was chastising local church personnel for having so quickly leaving the gospel as had been delivered (past tense) to them and to return to the truth. So apparently that leadership had been adding additional nuances or doctrine of their own making to the true gospel as they had been taught making then a contrived or accommodating gospel that served people and not God.
One sure point or recommendation that I would insert if I were writing a report on my analysis would be that Christianity is in need of a major shake-up and restored to its most simplistic form and purpose which is true worship and praise of the Lord. This portends of course that there are sufficiently trained Teachers available that have true service to Jesus in mind and understand the scope of that service delivery outside of the current production norms.
I once asked the Professor of a tort law class regarding a case under discussion “if you had 10 different Judges placed in 10 different rooms and all given the same case to rule on, how many different opinions would be forthcoming”? The professor said probably 10. I asked in retort, where is justice in that? He shrugged his shoulders and went on with class.
Does this define a problem in Christianity? If officers of the court recognize discrepancies in interpretation of law and consider it to be acceptable, and then do Pastors and Ministers of the gospel do the same thing? Accordingly, I would ask of the Pastor what then, is the truth and intent of your message? Is it as simplistic as this? “Thou shalt not steal”? Do you steal? Yes I have stolen or no I have not stolen. If yes, is there need for penance and restitution? Can and will God forgive based upon true remorse and in response to a request for forgiveness from a repentant heart? Yes comes the answer, but go and sin no more. Is the case now adjudicated and progress made? And is it therefore discovered that complexities of Christianity are found in people and not necessarily in Christianity itself?
If I as a person come in union with other persons that combination of individuals collectively become a people, but a people still in need of undergoing the necessary personal change before there can be any change in a society. Is this then the place of the true breakdown of Christianity as known today and perhaps since its inception?
But religious opinions are as fragile as ego and precious as breath. Nobody wants to be found lacking or mistaken. And yet few Christians will undertake the fearsome toil of exposing their doctrines to fresh scriptural scrutiny. Fewer still have the confidence to honestly consider new interpretations, thereby, having no need for an engineering department, because there will be no new designs initiated here. To follow the Holy Spirit in the lonely paths of spiritual revelation is, after all dangerous, and some churches believe there is need for their scriptural interpretation so we don’t go astray. Fearing change and incrimination, the denominations found it easier to simply defend their old beliefs. Craving the solace of familiarity, they shut out new ideas and banded ever closer together, seeking the reassurance of like-minded people. Soon the security of friendly faces at the church begins to provide more comfort than the denomination’s doctrines. The social aspects of church became more important than its teachings. The congregation of believers took-on a new preeminence in the religion, and a relationship with “the body” eclipsed any need for a personal relationship with an intangible God. Fellowship grew infinitely more important than truth, and entertainment became the essence of Christianity.
Now, as in the days of Balaam, the truth of Christianity has been blended with sensual desire. The denominations of today draw their converts, not from a pious hunger for the deep things of God, but from an urge for respectable social interaction. I once had a man tell me that going to church was good for business, you know build up your acquaintances so you have expanded sales potentials. The churches pander to those with a voracity to visit, a need to be noticed, and an appetite for amiable amusement. To feed this craving, Modern Christianity employs every device of social addiction known to man. Today it has become a common carnival of fleshly entertainment, computerized programming hailing the carnal with choirs, jugglers, fund-raisers, bake sales, games, pageants, plays, sports teams, spectacles, gaudy singers, lurid women, and entertaining speakers who have nothing to say. Take a harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou may be remembered.
Have you ever experienced one of those evangelists that travel a circuit and after they would give one of their talks have the people line up for prayer? This dog and pony show did great damage to my mind. If you attended more than one of these you noticed the same people always lining up for the same thing punctuated by always falling to the floor. One guy once asked me if I would be a “catcher”. Catch what I asked? If these people ever fell near me I would bend down to see if they were faking. And I would wonder why they didn’t progress so that they would not have to line up for the same thing again, and I would want to say to those people; still got it, ay Joe? Christians ought to be smarter than to follow the Pied Pipers in the Religious world today. They play their tunes and you sign on and follow as though you have no ability to discern and for the most part these people use your ignorance and dependency to pad their bank accounts, sell you products, stage the next great show or program, (all at a hefty cost to you) and you keep on writing checks.
Some of these “celebrities” are constantly at the drawing board or in planning meetings to concoct new programs and then market them as the next great movement and then tell you why it is imperative that you attend or purchase the product, and guess what, you do. Radio Talk Show hosts, TV personalities, so-called Mega Pastors and Evangelists, book writers all give you something for your feel good. Do you for one moment really believe these people care for you and do you believe that for one moment these people are unaware of your dependency on them? I heard one prominent radio personality (who says he is a follower of God) speak of an idea he had but could not figure out how to commercialize it so he put it away. Again, I ask are these people there for you because they care or because demographic research shows that you are a part of a large market to be nurtured and capitalized upon.
Many Churches operate this same kind of worldly business. Leaders are more concerned about the size of their church than the welfare of their parishioners. They teach a watered down gospel, not getting you too angry because your tithes and offerings are of paramount importance to them and their operation. I once heard a “Christian” radio commentator state that because of President Obama’s re-election the Holy Spirit told him to stop the news aspect of his program because people did not heed his warning not to vote for Obama, and that now he was to have a program featuring “a more church like format”. After he requested that people send in money, gold or silver, to help finance this new approach, he then proceeded to announce that he would take a week to be with the Lord. On his return from an island resort, he said God told him to keep the news format but continue to advance toward his new teaching program, to include setting up a radio/ studio/production facility kind of like that which has been done by another more prominent internet/radio/TV personality. I wonder who this guy is really listening to. Is it God, or a voice that is perhaps his own more concerned with prominence, money and possession?
The request was Follow Me”. The walk is solo led by the Spirit of God augmented and supplemented by assembly with others who have placed Christ absolutely paramount in their respective lives.
To be sure the journey through the flesh is long and arduous. It is not without cost. Most as you have seen will not pay the price of the flesh in overcoming. Everything by God’s Spirit seems contradictory to everything known by common sense or in the natural mind. It is to be sure, a battle or a war that rages within. (Mind War) One does not see victory less by the Holy Spirit. For the flesh loudly proclaims its authority and asks how can this be? If it were not by his Spirit, no one could come to the place of his Kingdom. It is not by power or by might but by My Spirit that one succeeds. (Zec 4:6) It is not easy to see how you can take your hands off all things affecting your life and trust in your Lord to care for you. Intellectualizing and giving mental assent to scriptural facts do not make them real to you but the experience of being tested makes your faith strong and reliance upon Jesus a reality. Only when you take the chance of stepping out do you truly find Him. Looking for Christ while residing in your comfort zone does not make you into the “Sons of God” desired, but rather, a weak and erratic people who for one moment are strong and the next moment weak and fear prevails. This is why the statement in scripture “that many are called but few are chosen”. There are only a few that will yield, truly yield to His will and purpose for their lives. Instead, the futile attempt is made to co-mingle their will and Gods. Jesus prayed “however, not my will but the Father’s will be done”.
What is the Father’s will? It is to make each of those who will come, into his express image and likeness. It is to make them exactly like Jesus, doing the things He did and even greater than this because He returned unto Me. Where are the miracles? Where are the true Saints of God healing the sick, helping the poor, clothing the naked, and for that matter teaching the truth? I am the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth.
Once again, people are bent on emotion and not spirit. What have they truly given up in respect to themselves and their possessions of comfort? What would most do if the Lord asked them to forsake all and follow him? Would they be like the rich man who went away in sorrow?
What of the end of times? Are people really ready for the end of the time of grace? Have they really grown up enough spiritually to confront the meaning of the end? Are they truly prepared to live and walk by faith if all worldly support is withdrawn from them? If God were to tear down the world’s economic system, can we people believe in, trust in, our Lord solely for our sustenance? How many Christians can even pray and commune with him for a solid hour without interruption or becoming weary? What kind of discipline, spiritual discipline do we really have? How many have walked away from Mother, Father, sister, brother, children or spouse for the Glory of God’s Kingdom? Who have placed Him first in their priorities, let alone jobs, houses, or comforts of various kinds? What then is God to do? How much longer does he wait for those who say they love him but refuse to come and surrender unto Him? Is faith a too abstract of a concept for people to grasp? Shall God who is holy bring that which is not unto His Presence? And by what means can anything unholy stand before Him?
I think We should know the answer.