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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776

 Re: authentic vs second-hand faith

You’ve shared a lot of insightful thoughts, Combat_Chuck. Many thanks for answering my questions.

I think one of the main reasons people want to be like these "spiritual giants" is because these were VERY controversial people.

No and yes. For many who have begun to see that the religious system is not as wonderful as they hoped, who have been wounded in the system, who have endured the pain of rejection for wishing to expose the truth, it is a comfort to hear someone who has already been there and understands what is going on. There is a certain level of fellowship in the like-mindedness. The journey is not as lonely.

On the other hand, yes, we could start to live out our frustrations and anger vicariously through these men. It can be an escape from our own spiritual journey with Christ.

Or we could choose to live in a passive existence – dreaming of the big day (revival).
Perhaps this is the risk of giving these giants “front page” exposure. But I ask, is it not worth the risk? For surely there will always be a certain percentage who will respond in a spiritually mature way, while, as is typical, there are the masses who just go for the ride and the thrill of the “Christian” adventure.

They were extremely outspoken, riots arose from them, they were often the center of attention. This is not to downplay the role of Wesley and all the greats, they certainly were godly men who were used mightily by God!

We can’t deny that within each of us there is a (perhaps latent) craving for adventure, power, recognition, fame, significance, and religious thrill. So, yes, we could at some point latch on to these men to carry us along in our inner urges, and give us a sense of satisfaction.

But oh what a temptation it is, to want to be dogmatic... extreme, the center of attention-- to want to stand up in the streets and get an angry mob!

Have you noticed that followers of a particular movement or individual become dogmatic. Their vision is second-hand. But, the difference between the authentic and the second-hand may be hard to discern.

Besides, who wants to go serve the sinners and whores when you can have all this attention? Who wants to do the things that nobody except God will see? We must lose the fear of being forgotten by men.

We don’t see what shaped the man behind the scenes, we don’t understand his private life – which may very well have included these humble activities. We only see them in the ‘lime light”. That’s the way we typically view all “celebrities” – it is our mindset, perpetuated by TV and our religious habits (the up-front personality, the pulpit etc)

Everyone notices an outspoken man in the streets declaring everyone’s sins to them and the need for repentance-- shouting on loudspeakers and holding controversial signs. But who will notice somebody who touches modern day lepers and washes the feet of fishermen?

Likely the greatest work done for the kingdom will never be disclosed, No book will be written about it, the names will never be known – except in heaven.

are we in danger of losing Christ amidst the Christ centered words of men like Ravenhill? May this never be! But I suspect it is happening. Oh it is so much more convenient to sit around and listen to Len preach and say, "Amen!"-- than it is to go into the closet and read the Word and pray for 6 hours .

Hasn’t it always been like this? Even in Jesus’ day. People followed Jesus around too, but when the cost got too much, they were gone.

Our arm-chair “Amens” won’t hold us up during trials.

All of this focus on John Wesley, Ravenhill and these giants is unhealthy. Many of us are turning into Ravenhill parots.

Well, there are always a few of these – those who announce their presence to SI by giving us all a proper “chewing out” But, give it time; let God work in them, and they will mellow out.

We should focus on Jesus, being conformed to Him!

Of course – but the path there is through a lot of wrestling – and, as you no doubt agree, that may include learning about the lives of others – including these giants.

Ultimately, our Christlikeness will be the strongest, loudest, and most-effective message we preach.



 2006/4/19 22:06Profile

Joined: 2006/1/27
Posts: 202


Roadsign, you are like my better half or something... You make my words make a lot more sense.

I'm trackin' with ya... and thanks for sharing! :-)


Combat Chuck

 2006/4/20 0:44Profile

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