Saturday, November 20, 2010

THE NORMAL CHRIST-LIFE IS CONSIDERED ABNORMAL BY MANY CHRISTIANS

THE ‘NORMAL’ CHRIST-LIFE IS CONSIDERED ABNORMAL BY MANY CHRISTIANS

Brothers and sisters:

I am so glad for the mercy of God expressed in His severe discipline in my life. (Hebrews 12)

Are we thankful for hardship and loss? Do we know the joy of the cross, forgetting it’s shame in light of the glory set before us? This is what the man of God or woman of God will experience. Just as Jesus did, we must take up our cross, regardless of nationality or culture.

Many Americans, as I did, grew up thinking our country was somehow ordained a special place in heaven because it was the most democratic and free government ever created. What God is showing us graphically is that putting any country over our heavenly nation, the Kingdom of God, is idolatry.

Many of us in affluent America have been like Saul, when Samuel anointed him God’s chosen King. (1 Samuel 15) Saul was given freedom, position, and power. What did he do with it? He immediately disobeyed God by keeping the things of the world (…”the best of the sheep and the cattle to sacrifice to the Lord” v.15) instead of obeying completely the Word of God.

In America, those who call themselves Christians have compromised the Word of God, holding onto the things we consider “good”, and disobeying the clear call to follow Jesus Christ. We have embraced comfortable heresies that allow us to keep our sheep and cattle, our dreams of success, our love for our lifestyles.

What did God say to Samuel about Saul? “I am grieved that I have made Saul King, because he has turned away from me…” (v.10)

So God grieves that He gave Americans such freedom and affluence that we turned away from Him, and sold our birthright, like Esau, for a quick meal and a life of convenience.

Brothers and sisters, we should be rejoicing that as all true disciples of Christ through the centuries, we can suffer with Him, so that we can be raised with Him, boasting only in the cross of Christ, and not in America, or our affluent churches with their ridiculously expensive buildings and programs.

I have lost everything, except my wife and Christ. Many family and friends are not to be found in our need.  (You exceptional brothers and sisters know who you are, and you have lovingly helped us!) 

We have been forced to live on the “state” at times because “Christians” have told us they have nothing to share, and no way to help us. Men who run businesses and claim Christ, yet have no extra work they could give a brother in trouble. People who have large, comfortable homes with all the latest gadgets, have several cars in the driveway, buy their children and themselves the latest clothes, and eat out in restaurants several times a week. People who give their tithe to the church, and a little more to missionary work in other countries, yet who have nothing for their brothers in trouble right next to them.

This is the heart revealed, the heart of sin and selfishness that has pervaded our churches and our culture. This is what I call “10% discipleship” that wants a 100% return from God. Yet God is showing us that we reap what we sow. We give a little, we reap a little.  As God says in Haggai, “the little you brought home I blew away”.

Christ calls us today to live radically different lives. That’s why God’s discipline is among us. Pure and simple love from the Father, who wants all men to come to a knowledge of the Truth.

Let’s rejoice and stop whining. Rejoice in Jesus Christ, and drop to our knees this morning or evening in thankfulness for His lovingkindness expressed in hardship and difficulty, in affliction and trial! (Read James!)

This is the “normal” Christ-life. Not the self-centered, self-focused religiously idolatrous American dream garbage that we’ve been fed.

In Christ’s wonderful love,
A. Brother

4 comments:

  1. B. Brother, here.
    It is not well for you to write, "We have been forced to live on the state at times because Christians have told us they have nothing to share, and no way to help us." With your relative anonymity, the opportunity for love is deferred. Or, would the actions of men rob faith which comes from God?

    "I have been young, and now I am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread."
    [Psalms 37:25]

    walk by faith, and so not make yourself a ward of the State.

    God has put in your mouth a good word in season. There is now also the doing as we learn to fully trust.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Marshall:

    I hear what you say, but I'm puzzled. During our couple of years of great difficulty, we were active church members, and knew everyone in our congregation. What anonymity are you speaking of? We also have a large family, and have known large numbers of people over the years, many of them good friends. The "opportunity for love" is all around us, and need not be hard to find.

    I think I understand your point. You have a spiritual dogma that includes God meeting all a person's needs without human help. You are saying to me that I didn't trust God enough, or my needs would have been met through other means than the State programs.

    Great philosophy, sounds good to many listening ears, but entirely unBiblical. The family of God, the Body of Christ, is charged with loving and helping one another. This is our calling. To blame those in trouble because the people of God do not come to their aid, is like blaming the abused woman because she gets abused. It isn't the fault of the person who is sinning, it is the fault of the victim of the sin.

    Believe me, Marshall, we encountered your very attitude in large measure when we got into a needy situation. What I choose to see from the Lord is that my faith was large enough in Christ to get through it, even when most brothers and sisters in Christ turned away. In fact, we have since met many who've gone through great difficulty and sorrow, and much of it is caused by the attitude you've displayed here. Christians turn to you and say, "I'm sorry, but I only have the ability to give to the church, and to missions. I'm sorry for your need, but you'll have to figure it out yourselves with God."

    My special favorite is the one you used here.
    You put it on me, by saying "There is now also the doing as we learn to fully trust." This means, if you had faith A. Brother, you wouldn't have turned for help to the State. It is your fault that you had to do that.

    Interesting twist on Scripture, which never blames the poor for being poor, but calls upon the people of God to show their obedience to the Word of God by helping.

    Do you see my point here? You need to seek the Lord and His Spirit for His attitude toward those in need. He has given us a high calling, which is to help and share with anyone who needs it, even if it puts hardship on ourselves. This is Christ's Word, and if you doubt that see Matthew 25.

    If I sound hurt and disappointed at your judgemental dismissal of the article, it is because so many these affluent days justify their own unwillingness to help other brothers in need by this worldly attitude. Perhaps you have an open hand and heart, I pray that is true.

    Have you ever faced a day without food? Without money to buy food? Without gas in your car to get to work? Without the means to keep the lights on in your house, the heat on in the middle of winter? Have you ever known loneliness so deep you wish you were dead? Have you ever experienced real need? No place to live, and being ignored and looked down on by Christians, who always wonder what sin you have committed to be in this position? Have you been without a job, without friends, without food and shelter? Have you needed only a little to get by, and have people then told you they don't even have that little to give you?

    If not, then perhaps you should refrain, and learn compassion and giving at the feet of Jesus before you comment again on someone's situation you don't even know.

    In Christ's love and compassion,
    A. Brother

    ReplyDelete
  3. In a world where the love of many has grown cold, we ought not further burden the opportunity for love.
    Then you were "active church members" in a place where no one would move to help you and your family? Such a place is another among many false churches; hollow religious system.
    Our Father meets our needs however He knows best; often by His grace we participate -- we are made in His image and reborn in the life of His Son; as the Bride, we are here the representation of Christ.
    brother, I do not present you with philosophy nor opinion. Sober up, knowing that you are not the only child to have been afflicted, while not crushed; struck down, but not destroyed.
    Do you take the Psalm [Psalms 37:25] as from the mouth of God? Were you begging bread? If you were begging (with the State), why fault yourself or other people? We certainly know today, Father will not send us begging bread for ourselves. Think otherwise? You're simply not listening/trusting to Him on the point of His Love.
    Did the early followers of Christ "give to the church, and to missions"? They shared with one another among for as many as had need.
    While the "poor" who have to their call a rich Matriarch (i.e., social system), where is there poverty? This is not poverty for them, it is subsistence.
    I have walked and slept as did Jesus, frequently without a place rest; no longer a car to put gas to, or a business for income; left alone and yet not alone; despised by many who wear the "Christian" label; sometimes hearing threats, ill-will...
    No one here is judging you. Yet, if trusting our Father's hand alone seems unfair or "unBiblical" to you for yesterday or today, what will you do when the job, the lighted house, the car and money are all taken from you conclusively?
    To God be the glory, in His great provision. Do not despise the chastening of the Lord, even as we are His beloved children.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Marshall:

    I do not despise the chastening of the Lord. It is my life, to know the death and resurrection of Christ, so I may know Him completely.

    Your words sound spiritual, but are judgemental. "What will you do when the job, the lighted house, the car and money are all taken from you conclusively?" I will fall upon Christ, who does not judge me for my unbelief, but gives me more faith to handle the new situation.

    If you have truly "walked and slept as Jesus did", then you must have a great heart of compassion and love for those who so suffer. I'm sure you're active in helping those around you today in their struggles.

    My point is that we are called in the Body to take care of one another. End of point! It's the Lord's point from Scripture, not mine.

    I would challenge you to read many of my teachings here that come from the Word of God.
    We may be more in agreement than you think. On the other hand, I am not judged by anyone, but only the Lord, because it is He who gives me my calling and His Word.

    "Now it is required that a those who have been given a trust be proved faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. Is is the Lord who judges me."
    1 Cor. 4:2-4.

    I am here to declare the whole Word of God, not to justify myself.

    In Christ,
    A. Brother

    ReplyDelete

Please give me your honest response.

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