Saturday, September 26, 2009

In response to the Urgent Need for Prayer

Someone posted on our Christian Singles forums, an article written by some wanting to reclaim America from Muslims, and their concern that 50,000 Muslims were marching and praying in Washington DC. The article was written by Shirley Dobson, Lou Engle, & Tony Perkins.

The following is my response:

This does not give me any fear. It gives me no cause for concern. Nor does it make me want to take a stand, or take back the land. Au contraire: It makes me proud to be an American. This is what makes America great. Americans marching and praying on the DC Lawn. Wonderful!

Does anyone know what the First Amendment to the US Constitution is anymore? "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

My freedom MUST mean that others are free - including those that I disagree with or who live differently than me, including Muslims or any other religion. America is great because ALL are free, not just me, and my Christianity. If all are not free, then none are free.

Freedom.... is not free. This means I must sacrifice something of my own self, my own freedom, to ensure, and work for, even demand, that others are just as free, including Muslims.Christians are no more free than any other religion. If so, then America is no longer America, the land of the FREE. It is no longer America the great.

So, they are "calling for 50,000 Muslims to gather and pray on the DC Mall." Praise God.

I would that every day 50,000 Americans would gather and pray on the DC Mall! American is great because 50,000 people are free to gather and pray, anywhere, including the DC Mall. Could they do that in Iran? Do you realize what people are sacrificing in some countries to be able to have that kind of freedom? That kind of freedom is the kind of freedom that people are dying for in other places.

I shudder when I hear people trying to turn America the Great into a repressed country like some of the destitute places of the world. I shudder. It is illegal to be a Christian in some countries. Are we wanting to do that in America in reverse? God forbid. Shame on us for even thinking it. I'm disappointed in people who think they are making America great by turning it into Iran. They do not understand what American is really about. Someone want to make it so that only Christians are free to pray in this country? Again, shame on those of you who even entertain the idea. Someone wants to remove the constitutional freedoms of certain Americans because of their religion? Shame on them for not understanding American or the Constitution.

Someone wants me to take back the land? Take it back from what? From those that are using their freedoms granted in the constitution? We want to take away constitutional freedoms from Americans? Isn't that what all the blogs, and Becks and Hannity's and others are screaming about lately? People cheer Beck when he preaches about the constitution and freedoms and then wish to actually steal freedoms fellow American's based on nothing but their religion? They want to actually do what they are so fearful of Obama doing? Shame on them for that hypocrisy.

Constitutional freedoms aren't just for Christians. They are for Americans. How dare I say that my freedom is more important than another American's freedom. How dare I suggest that a Christian's freedom is more important than any other American's freedom. America is great because we are all free. If all faiths do not have a home here in the United States, then no faith does, including Christianity. If all faiths are not free, then the very purposes and principles grounded in the founding of this great country are lost!

This country was founded on the principles of FREEDOM. The Declaration of Independence is a declaration of FREEDOM. Freedom for ALL citizens, not just the ones like me. Freedom for everyone.

Here is the stated purpose of this gathering of 50,000:
• The Athan will be chanted on Capitol Hill, echoing off of the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and other great edifices that surround Capitol Hill
• Thousands of Muslims from all races, creeds, colors and ethnicities will gather for the sole purpose of prayer
• Bonds of friendship will be formed between those in attendance, both Muslims and Non-Muslims
• Muslim youth will experience tours of the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court.
• The peace, beauty and solidarity of Islam will shine through America's capitol.

If someone wishes to tell me that that are opposed to Americans doing just that: praying, learning, bonding in friendships in the land of the free, then I would say that they do not understand America.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Divorce, remarriage

Here is what I have discovered:
Jesus came to heal us, not condemn us.
He came to set us free, not drive us into captivity.

The gospel is a message of hope. It is good news.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and
YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

I know there are people that want to take the bruised and broken hearted and bruise them even more.
I know there are people who want to weigh down the hurting with even more troubles and sorrow.
They want to take the easy yoke and make it hard. They want to take the light burden and make it heavy.

Jesus said it this way:
Speaking of the scribes and the Pharisees:

All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers

They had the words down. They had the rules and the law and they were perfect.
And Jesus rebuked them because they didn't know the truth.

The entire gospel message is a message of second chances. It is a message of starting over and starting clean.

The gospel is GOOD NEWS, not a burden to weigh us down and torment us.

To those who say that God gave the law of divorce because of the hardness of men's hearts, and use that to try to force people to endure abusing relationships, have it wrong.

Prior to that law a man could dispose of a woman at will. A woman was property.
A woman's life could be destroyed if a man kicked her out, and thus.... because of the hardness of their hearts, God said "At least give the woman a bill of divorce so that she can start a new life."

That was what Jesus was trying to explain. The bill of divorce was a God given gift to HELP people, not burden them.
And somehow now, that is twisted upside down to force people to endure unbearable burdens.

It is perhaps time to take another look at the real message of the gospel, and expand it beyond just the letter of the law.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world

Romans 12:2 (ESV) "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will."

On another rather contentious (at first at least) thread, there were two questions asked. One, about the principle of reflecting the world to evangelize it in the name of Christ. Second, about how do we test our faith in God.Herein is God's answer.Any thoughts, insights or such would be welcomed.

Be blessed, be loved and be at peace,

This was posted on the Single Christian Network Community Forums

Friday, June 12, 2009

Here is some interesting Dialogue found on the Single Christian Network Forums about gifts.

My comments in Red.

I do not see that this implies that Jesus was never taught. It could simply mean that Jesus was not taught by sect that ran the temple. The Levi's were not in charge of the temple since the people who ran the temple were not Levites since the time of the Maccabean revolt.

The Jews were a close community and reading was not taught in general society; that's why scribes were needed. I'm sure that if a carpenter knew how to read, that in itself would be striking and word would get around.
That is not true, read Dueteronomy, it was required of children to learn the law of God, well male children, meaning they had to read and write, as they were also requied to write it down. Scribes, well they were a special group of men who copied the torah's for the synagogues as well as having special authority to cut some one of from the temple or synagogue. That is the concept behind, having the power to bind and loose.

To say that Jesus knew it all because He was God, misses the whole point of the incarnation which was about Him laying aside His God abilities, but lived as Adam did before the fall.

But Jesus did know everything, and He did have all godly powers. He predicted His death long beforehand. He knew which disciple had gone to betray Him. He could heal all illnesses, and multiply food to feed thousands. He could change water into wine even though, as He stated, His time had not come yet. He knew all the thoughts of the Jewish leaders. He knew in the Garden how He was going to die, and He asked His Father not to have to go through it.

Matthew 26:52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”

So we see He knew He could call upon all the Angels to free Him physically, but He knew He had to fulfill the Scriptures. How did He know this if, like God, He was not omniscient?

He knew His Father, and He knew His mission was not political deliverence, how did He know this by the power of the Holy Spirit. He was not omniscient in the flesh just as He was not Omnipotent, and Omnipresent.

Yes, He did experience everything we do: that was one of the points of the incarnation. We can say Our God understands everything we go through, because He has gone through it. Jesus knew what it was like to be tempted. We can't say He doesn't understand what we're going through, or how we feel. He walked as a human. He knew hunger, thirst, pain, betrayal, disloyalty, being lied about, everything that brings us down.
If He had no Godly abilities, how could He walk on water or calm the storm? Could Adam control the weather? Jesus brought up fish into a net so that the nets began to split, even after a fruitless night. He brought people back from the dead! I'd say His godly abilities were pretty intact.

[size=12pt]He knew the same we we can know, by the Holy Spirit who indwelt Him as He does us. We don't know what Adam could do before the indwelling God left him, yet Adam would not have needed to do what Jesus had to do because Jesus had to act in a world that manifested the sin of Adam. Why do you think He said, and greater works than these shall you do, that does not imply we have Godly powers, but it does mean that we can operate by having the same Holy Spirit dwelling in us, equipping us, and working through us, just as He did with Jesus.[/size]

Simply taking one verse does not prove anything.

And yet there is no scripture that refutes it. Every verse is in the Bible for a reason: God wanted it there.

There were many other ways one could learn rather than going to one Rabbinical School or other.

Again, it was not something that was taught to just anybody.
That is simply not true

Jesus' family had no clout and probably little money.

[size=12pt]What do you think the gifts of Gold Frankinsence and Myrh were for. There is a tradition that says these gifts were the inheritance from Daniel, and handed down to wise men who stewarded it for him, until the Messiah came, and they were obviously taught to look out for the sign.

And Jesus was busy learning carpentry from Joseph until He began His ministry. You have just contradicted yourself, if He had God knowledge to read and know the word, why did He know need to learn to be a carpenter, after all He could have shown Joseph a thing or two.

If it was common to read, no one would have commented on it. The Jews may have known Jesus did not study under a rabbi, but if everybody or anybody could read, they wouldn't be surprised at His skill.
That is an assumption that does not satnd up to the facts.
It was simply an arrogrant and prideful statement in its context. After all the pride an arrogance of the Rabbi's and Pharrisee's and Saducees, come on, Jesus was address them all the time showing how they were so prideful and arrogant. Do you think their trying to trap Him was not pride showing.


Hi all,

I looked it up too.

John 7:14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.

15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?


Our God knows everything. He was the Word before He became Christ. He invented all languages; how could He not know them? It's such a wonder and such a beautiful thought, and to me underscores the fact that He, Jesus, was God. When I pray to Him in English, He understands; when others are praying to Him, even simultaneously, in multiple other languages, He understands them too. Doesn't it sound right? Those Jews could have gotten together and made a secret code to encrypt the scriptures and Jesus would have read the words as easily as I read my morning paper.

Salt 'nLite

Friday, May 15, 2009

Divorce and Remarriage for the Christian

There is such confusion in the body of Christ on this issue; of course there are many other issues that confusion reigns.
Paul say’s in 2 Cor. The letter killeth but the Spirit bringeth life. I am astounded how people only want to look at individual verses, but I guess this comes from our Greek mindset, and our penchant to systematic theology, another Greek idea, rather than seeing theology as the Hebrew does as a whole unit, unable to be separated. The Greek way is like dissecting a frog and in the end all you have is dead theology. That is exactly what systematic theology alone does.
Jesus in Matt 5:31 – 32 begins the New Testament teaching on this issue, however to look at Matthew outside the context of the Old Testament leads to error. The issue has to be understood in the Hebrew way. The above verses must be looked at in the framework of these Old Testament passages.
a) Dueteronomy 24:1 – 4, is the basic text on divorce and remarriage.
b) Exodus 21:7 – 11, which clearly sets forth the rights of a former slave girl who has become a wife. She could demand a divorce under certain conditions which deprive her as a wife.
c) Dueteronomy 21:10 – 14, Shows God’s law regarding a military captive who has become a wife of one of her captors.
d) Ezra 9 and 10, Shows the mass “putting away” of foreign/pagan wives, which many in Israel had taken in violation to God’s commands. As Ezra had brought them back to God’s word they in repentance were required to “put away”, not divorce, why because according to the Covenant those marriages were not considered valid.
e) Jeremiah 3:6 – 8, reveals how God divorced Israel, the confederacy of the 10 tribes who worshipped in Samaria. This is the first and only divorce recorded divorce in scripture, even though is was a regular occurrence.
It is worth noting that God in putting away Israel, which was all He was required to do, as Israel had been an idolitous wife, but He also divorced then thus giving them total freedom to go an marry whom ever they wanted.Jeremiah, says that Judah, her treacherous sister was worse, then why not also divorce Judah, simply because Jesus had to be born of the tribe of Judah and to be conceived out of wedlock/covenant would have mad Jesus an illegitimate son, and thus unable to obtain the birthright/inheritance.
f) Malachi 2:14 – 16 This passage shows how God views simply “putting away” the wife of they youth, rather than giving a bill of divorcement as demanded by the Mosaic law.
It is plainly obvious that “putting away” Hb Keriythuwth and “divorce” Hb Shalach were two separate concepts, any one caught in adultery was to be stoned, however there was also another practice called putting away, for this cause. Why? Simply no one could be stoned unless there were two or three eye witnesses, and it this situation it would be hard to find those witnesses. If a woman was pregnant, whilst it would be an obvious conclusion, to show adultery, you still had to have the “eye witnesses”.
The only valid reason for “putting away” was for adultery, every other failure of a marriage required a divorce, or letter or bill of divorcement. Those whose marriages broke up for any reason but adultery, and were not given a bill of divorce were seen by the community as adultresses. There is another problem, and that is that usually a women could not sure for divorce, it was usually the men who did so.
In Malachi 2:14 – 16 the practice of “putting away” and no divorces being given had become so common, that when Jesus arrived on the scene, this is what was happening.
The theological school of Shammai taught that a man could not divorce his wife except upon moral or religious grounds. Although the school of Hillel agreed, they added that anything that annoyed or angered her husband was grounds to simply put her away. Contrary to popular belief that is in error, the passage does not say that God hates an essential written divorce which He provided for. It simply addresses the practice of “putting away”.
Having shown that the Hebrew shows two different concepts we now look at the Greek and find exactly the same thing, but in reading the King James we do not see this and then misinterpret what Jesus was saying. Note how it is written.
Mat 5:31-32 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
How this passage should be translated.
a) Mat 5:31-32 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away630 “apolusee” which is the third person, singular, subjunctive active of “apoluo”][/color] his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:647 “apostasion” meaning the written letter of divorce that was required by “Mosaic Law”] But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away630 [“Apolelumeneen” which is the accusative singular feminine participle perfect passive of “apoluo”] his wife, saving for the cause of fornication,4202 [Notice the word is not adultery, which is the word the Jesus would have used if only adultery was in mind.
The word is “porneia” which speak of unfaithfulness to the covenant, a harlot which is what Israel was condemned for, and it had nothing to do with sexual immorality, infact sexual immorality was a symbol] causeth4160 her to commit adultery:3429 [This is simply stating if a woman is put away and has no bill of divorcement she is seen in the community to have been an adulteress] and whosoever shall marry her that is put away630 [again without a divorce ] committeth adultery.3429 [Why? Simply because if she has been simply put away, for any other reason than fornication, she cannot remarry, why? Because she did not get bill of divorce, meaning she is still bound to the husband.
b) The same applies for Matthew 19:9. Jesus used the word “apolusee” which is the third person singular, first aorist subjunctive active of “apoluo”
Let me make some additional comments here. Mat 19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. Here Jesus is showing that this is not how it was before the fall. After the fall because of mans sinful nature, man did sinful acts against fellow man. A married man against his wife and a wife against her husband. The concept of divorce was to allow the innocent party get on with their lives out of bondage.
Now try and tell me that things are different today, Christian men and women though saved can still live and operate with a carnal mind. Women and men who are unfaithful to covenant need a way to be free from a partner who WILL NOT change. I am promoting divorce, absolutely not, but it may be the ONLY choice. Remember divorce is NOT a symptom or cause, but it may be the ONLY solution.
c) Mark 10:2, 4. The word here is “apolusai” which is the first aorist infinitive active of the word “apoluo”.
i) The exegetical fact is that Jesus clearly taught that the only way a man could scripturally put away a wife was to first give her a written bill of divorcement. Note the sequence given in Mark 10:4; which follows God’s instructions in Duet 24: 1-4. God made provision for divorce to protect helpless women from hardhearted men. It must also be strongly emphasized that Jesus did not say that men or women who had to divorce a companion, could not marry again.
A final comment before looking at Paul, was that Joseph was going to put away Mary , not divorce her, for from natural observance it appeared that she had been unfaithful. It was only after a dream in which he was told that the child that Mary was carrying was not the result of adultery but of the work of the Holy Spirit, and thus obviously confirming Mary’s testimony.
What does Paul say on the subject.
Paul’s teaching on this subject never contradicts Jesus teaching, just as Jesus teaching and Paul’s does not contradict the Old Testament, they go hand in hand like a glove. Also not that the ONLY scriptures they had were the Old Testament, as well as some of the writings that were in development. Paul’s teachings would be some 20 years after Jesus.
As the church was being established throughout the gentile world, note that it wasn’t till about the 90’s and on, that the major infux of gentiles came about. Up till the 60’s and 70’s a greater percentage of converts were Jewish. Paul’s admonition in the book or Romans was “to the Jew first”, as it was with utmost urgency to reach the Jewish people, why? Because the covenant they were under was going to be removed, so the New Covenant that was cut for them would stand alone. Any Jew not entering into the New Covenant once the Old was removed would be without a covenant.
a) 1 Cor. 7:1-6 the husband’s and wife’s mutual sexual responsibility to each other.
b) 1 Cor. 7:7-9 Paul says that not everyone is gifted with the gift of celibacy.
c) 1 Cor. 7:10-11 Paul’s teaches about the basic rules for a Christian wife and husband.
d) 1 Cor 7:12-16 is dealing with the concepts of the unequally yoked couple. Telling not to be unequally yoked, but teaching that if one is they should work to keep their marriage together. It is obvious that these people would have known about or heard about the Command of Ezra to put away their non-covenantal/foriegn wives. Paul says that “if the unbeliever chooses to remain, then the children are clean, and in doing so he may come to a personal relationship with Christ because of your testimony. If he departs then you are no longer bound by the marriage.
An important and wider application note here; it is obvious that Paul understands that believers never depart, because they by the very nature of kingdom are the true heirs and stewards of covenantal inheritance, children and property, and thus extended to mean the earth
Also note that even prayer or fasting could not interfere without each others consent. Paul shows that this is not listed among the Old Testament commandments.
e) 1 Cor 7:27-28 Paul talks about the advantages of celibacy, because of the darkness of the times they were in, the light of the church was nearly extinguished. To think that we are in similar times today is really a bit of a joke. One only has to read Josephus and about the rule of Nero and the Jewish wars to know that one age was finishing as a new age had already was coming to maturity. It was truly a clash of kingdoms and as Jesus called it the night when no man could work. So Paul says are you bound to a wife, don’t seek to be looses, are you loosed from a wife don’t quickly seek to be bound again, but if you do, you have NOT sinned.
Let me also deal with the issue of Romans 7.
a) Rom 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to [her] husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of [her] husband. People use this to say if you are divorced, and your ex is still alive, you are still bound to him. This is so untrue, but is used to again put people under bondage.
b) Firstly the context here is Romans 6:18 – 7:6 The issue is not marriage but Paul is using marriage to explain and what death relating to sin is. Death is covenantal/spiritual death.
c) Secondly when one is divorced which is death of a marriage, one no longer has a husband or wife. For the ex spouse is now dead to the covenant.
i) I have seen people so bound up by what is taught from this passage, that they still believe for the ex partner to be restored to them, even when that partner is remarried. This is nothing more than heresy and soul ties. They still confess that the other person is still their husband or wife. These people are never happy and can never get on with their lives.
If you are free then you are free, its that simple.
A parting thought. Have you ever wondered why second+ marriages have a higher failure rate. The reason is because of wrong teaching and thus sealing in the minds of those who have been divorced, a second class citizen mentality. They never think that they can have a higher way of living, so the barriers come down, the ideals come down, their self worth is affected for the worse. They generally settle for second best, and often out of loneliness seek companionship and with a wounded heart develop soul ties that possibly sealing the fate of another failure.
Wholeness is the first key.
Knowing who you are in Christ, and no longer seeing yourself as second class or less citizens.
Divorce is only the burying of a broken covenant that is dead, and are thus free.
If you are free then you are free, its that simple.
Additional comment. All this presupposes that the marriage we are looking at is one that God has brought together. Matt. 19:6b “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” This not only establishes equalness, [co-joined]but also shows that only those who are of the same character, strength, ideas can be yoked together. In this case we see God, like a farmer, who knows the importance of matching the beasts. Anything else is just mans putting together, and in most cases it is the man or woman that makes a choice not in God’s plan. Does that mean that if God hasn’t brought you together, that you get a divorce, NO. It just means you have an uphill battle but with God working in both lives you can make it.
Pastor John McDonaldschoolofthekingdom[at]
John's website is here. Note it is still under construction.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

The true purpose of REAL church!

We must understand that the church’s purpose is to equip it’s people to deepen and/or establish their walk of faith, and relationship, with God. This is a two-fold purpose as it entails their calling (walk of faith) and their discipleship (relationship with God). All can claim daughter/son relationship once they embrace Christ, but none can claim discipleship without being taught, without searching and studying scripture, and without living what they know.But if you don’t know it you can’t live it. This is the function of the church and it’s pastoral ministry.The post-modern church seek conversion through evangelism. This is not it’s purpose, as this falls to apostolic ministry and not pastoral church. The church is the vineyard in which faith grows. Evangelism is where you procure those that need planting. The harvest is God’s! Once it is understood what is needed, by whom to whom, then you can revive the faith, reform the church and build discipleship in the body.There is too much “enjoying church” instead of “deepening the faith”. I have been to the on-fire churches and they are VASTLY different than many we see today. They promote a deep and real relationship with God, and strive to teach discipleship from the pulpit. However this is the exception rather than the rule. We need only look at the third world churches to remember HOW it should be. This is what they do in most all of their churches.I have been blessed that on my site to have many Indian (India) Pastors who share their burden and give insight into what they are doing for the Lord. Remegio Blanco (Philippines) is also a pastor with a burden to not only evangelize, but to build the body of Christ. More of an apostolic approach, he has ministries as well as churches, the work is on both fronts, one to bring them into the fold, two to teach them how to have and build a disciple’s relationship in and through Christ.Here in the USA I see too often pastors ostracized for actually teaching, and believing, the Word as written. To truly take a face value the authority of God, and His tenets, in their lives and the lives of their congregants. Budgets, new buildings, outreach ministry (while their own is floundering), and other concerns, precludes the instruction of the body into discipleship, and some can’t instruct because they themselves don’t know.The question has always been “what do you do AFTER they enter the fold?” Too many congregations just don’t know!The church is not the body of Christ, even though there are churches IN the body of Christ. What you have is individual relationships that constitute the body of Christ, much as the hand, ear, nose, etc. constitute our physical body. There is unity, and unified purpose and action, but each part is singular and of a specific and particular action.The body of Christ is failing because too many decide that there are only two parts necessary to function, those who lead, and those who follow. That is a great misinterpretation as you follow only Christ, and that unction is to ALL that are of the body. But when we recognize the functioning areas of the entire unity in Christ, then wholeness can restored.“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death (of the body of Christ-added for emphasis)” Proverbs.And it is most true that “my people perish for lack of knowledge…”The goal of Christianity is to be like Christ (Luke 9:23) and to walk in discipleship NOT just son or daughtership. It is like the monk who follows a revered Master. We follow Christ who is, and was, and shall always be, no less than God on earth. Each one takes that journey individually, and it is not for us to discern whether a person is at a place of maturity to reproduce their faith in another. That requires a judgment beyond our own capabilities.God plants the seed, God reaps the harvest.We, by the very living of our lives, show the example of what our journey enfolds in us. In other words as we progress, our faith deepens, and our actions bespeak the relationship we are forging with our Father God. This then will ignite a flame of desire within the hearts that God has already prepared to follow Him. We do not do it, nor can we, the work is His. Christ told His disciples “you will reap where you have not sown”. This is to the church as well.But we must always remain “instant in season”…. that God can use us as He wills.Different tools (Bible seminary, et al) reach different people. That is why different churches, pastors, ministries, speak to a different audience than each other. My sister always prays “God speak to me in a voice that I can hear…” There are many voices, but we only hear that which speaks to our souls and strengthens our walk. This is how it should be.The church is to speak to those who need, and desire, discipleship. To, in essence, move beyond redemption and walk fully in the promises under Grace. A different church should only be a different voice, and not a different theology. But when you proscribe to the offices of men the authority of God, you fall away and teach a different gospel, and fail at bringing in a harvest of disciples before the Lord. A church that does this blasphemes God.I have had countless arguments with those who proclaim that the reformers all agreed on that person’s point. I always ask “but does God?” Many manmade theologies out there, are entrenched into the character of the church. They are proclaimed truth, and the way a Christian should believe, eschewing the truths of God. That is why most, though not all, churches are no longer in the body of Christ. You must preach, teach, and beseech Christ in order to have Christ.Anything less is another doctrine, of another God.Be blessed, be loved, and be at peace.Jonathan

Friday, April 17, 2009

Is it Zeal or Something Else?

Is it Zeal or something else?

J.D. Payne 08 Nov 2004
We as Christians are admonished to have a zeal for the faith. But as Paul says in Romans 10:1-3: "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." So we must be cautious that we are NOT establishing our righteousness but the righteousness of God. A definition of this in a worldly sense is: Fanaticism (n.) Excessive enthusiasm, unreasoning zeal, or wild and extravagant notions, on any subject, especially religion; religious frenzy. Possessed with or motivated by excessive, irrational zeal. I feel that in many ways, in many of the Christian forum board posts, individual discussions and other Christian interactions, including church and small groups, we have passed into the realm of fanaticism or, as the above definition elaborates, "Possessed with or motivated by excessive, irrational zeal." Especially when we get into fighting to have our own viewpoint or perspective dominating over everyone else's view.Peter tells us that we are to approach things from an entirely different viewpoint. A point of humility and meekness. It is here in 1 Peter 3:15-17, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing." Because we are supposed to..."ROM 14: 19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. CO1 10: 23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. TH1 5: 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do." Obviously these are not MY words, but scripture from the Word of God, whereby we know, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." Think before you speak. Are your words uplifting or do they offend? Do your words enlighten and teach, or do they accuse? Do your words show love and respect, or do they ridicule and condescend (deal with people in a patronizingly superior manner)? From the abundance of the heart a man speaks. And we should ONLY be speaking in LOVE.... So, I leave you with this thought. We as the body of Christ should be a living example and testament of the glory of God shining forth through His children. We should be that peculiar people BECAUSE we are a royal priesthood and a holy nation. WWJD, what would Jesus do? Not a lot of what we are doing these days! Be mindful of the other person as if you life depended on it, because when you are standing face-to-face with the creator of the universe — it just might! Be blessed, be loved and be at peace, J.D. PayneJ.D. Payne is the webmaster for