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crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Well said

Hi Mike,

That is so succient...

Quote:
It’s a surprising thought, and not a little disturbing, that obedience to biblical principles can be wrong. But when doing right is a strategy to get what we want, our energy is pride and focus is self.

Quote:
The Old Way is really all about me. It’s about my emotional health, my spiritual maturity, my soul’s satisfaction, my circumstantial happiness, my meaningful ministry, my business, or family success. It teaches me to be savvy, to know how to navigate through life so things work out pretty well. The savvy required to be effective replaces the wisdom needed to honor God. If we raise our children this way, that will never happen. If it does, we’ll determine what went wrong and fix it.


Is this not the predominant teaching of the day? Even amongst the 'better' ministries? This is something that has been riding just back of the thoughts as well... the truly spiritual has been replaced by the practical, the pragmatic, and God's glory becomes something of an afterthought.

Quote:
Do you want a good marriage?
Communicate like this.
Do you want Godly children?
Raise them by these principles.
Do you want significant ministry?
Become this kind of leader.



Maybe the closest thing to honesty is just here:
Quote:
There are some intriguing new approaches you might want to consider. They [u]seem[/u] to work.”

The emphasis is certainly on 'seems', have found that it is more true that the underlying sentiment is more [i] and a man's foes shall be they of his own household[/i] than a proscription of adherence to principles is some guaranteer to things going well.

Thus far into the pilgrimage the point of departure is difficult to ascertain, only that it seems to be within the last couple of generations. A great deal of my own early personal confusion stemmed out of hearing things that were 'close' but always lacking this elusive something ... From a 'prosperity' 'claiming' mindset to more surely Biblical ... yes, [i]principles[/i] in large part gathered from better radio ministries and the offshoots thereof would ascribe some understanding to Dorcas' sentiment. These did provide a more stable understanding and opened the eye's to much that was already suspicious inwardly and the challenge of having a "new mind" can be a bit painful after years of abuse, misuse...

Still, for all that, the inward hunger was for that which is truly spiritual, that was the missing '[i]something[/i]'. It seems there is some unfounded fear abroad that mistakes even the word spiritual for "abstract" or to be put in the realm of mysticism so the tried and true now becomes wooden, literal principles tied down to hard and fast rules and practicalities and the rest gets chucked into the realm of spurious Charismatic-ism.

So to toot the horn here a bit, it is why something like SermonIndex is so incredibly needed for just a time as this. These are 'old path's' indeed, the very ones that have led the satisfaction of the inner man to find true food for the spiritual hunger. I know it gets weary to be much about cursing the darkness, pointing out all that which is wrong with the modern day constructs, a venerable attack on todays church and Christendom, it can become a sort of bandwagon to jump on with the 'like-minded' and we can all go shouting off to nowhere with our Amens! and "Yes sir's"!

It is where the prayer would be to God that resources such as these old timers understood the life of the Christian, it's place in the order of Gods desires and would somehow reach first the Christians caught up in so much temporal practicalities.

If I may take one shot at the darkness it would be just that the order is all out of whack. It is as if the unnoticed reasoning is one whereby the attempt is in inducing labor where there has been no conception. Rather than being first born from above and then the out-workings of all things including the day to day practicalities, the inverse is predominant, that which amounts to teaching how to "be" a Christian rather than being born one. It ends up being a constant chasing after the next thing, the next self-help, the next new book on how to mend a wrecked life, all the very things expressed here by Larry Crabb.

There is little doubt that which the statistics have borne out, the vast majority of the present day church is unsaved all the while believing they are and that from the very manner of approach of “biblical principles for living”. It has become that of big business, of buying and selling, a stringing along and making more converts to keep the whole structure supported. The world has firmly grasped the mindset of the church of our day and as it has been well noted finding it's own reflection in it either turns away with scorn or must be manipulated with a certificate of ease of believing some simple statement of historical facts, a 'sinners prayer' and only a slight modification of behavior rather than that which is a whole upturning and radical destruction of the old disposition for that which is the new creation. (Jer 8:11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.)

Since this is now a bit of a rant...
What are the usual and constant questions and considerations being raised now from this manner of approach?

"Once saved\always saved"
The preoccupation with the gifts of the spirit.
Over emphasis on end times speculation.
All the aforementioned items, of marriage and finance, et al.

He is most certainly right here;
Quote:
When any ambition other then drawing close to God assumes first-place in our hearts, whether the ambition is blatantly self-serving, or clearly Kingdom-advancing, we’re living the Old Way.



If I may with the greatest of reverence and with trembling put it ... God needs a revival for His name sake and we need it for our sakes, that we might know just how much we have erred and made a truth of [i]Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness[/i]

[i]Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.[/i] Dan 9:14-19


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Mike Balog

 2006/5/28 11:47Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re: Legalism verses the New Birth

I feel kinship with the previous two posts...even though you were just skimming the surface of your journey's I could relate very strongly.

Much like it was in the early 1700’s, we need to rediscover the New Birth within our religious establishment. Although I love books, it is possible these days to learn to speak with such Christian fluency that literally decades may go by before a person realizes they have never known the Lord. We learn our ABC’s of doctrinal precision, denominations play the flute and we dance. Everyone cheers us and affirms sound doctrine and demonstrative gifts, which is so helpful for ignoring our own secret crisis of conscience.

I believe this is the source of our present heart sickness of legalism. It is not being uptight about going to movies and dancing. That kind of legalism is nothing…we step right over that with out breaking a sweat. No, our real legalism is our confidence in Christian principles without the Spirit. We love formulas.

So when Jesus has met some on the roads of Galilee, or others in prison, they find argument from those who have met him on the stormy sea. We want to catch lighting in a bottle and become ensnared by our formulas. We cannot accept that for some prideful souls it is holiness preaching that opened their eyes to a need for Christ...and for some, it was the mercy of Christ extolled that set them free from prison. In all cases of true conversion, it is Christ, his very sufficient person, that becomes revealed to the heart, able to wound and heal and embrace. Yet, we trust our work more then we trust His work. And we fall back on the principles of salvation rather then the Person of Salvation.

Our present day evangelicals are hardly true evangelicals. Like the high church our forefathers went out from, Evangelicals have become the librarians of formalism and systems. We can hardly tell the law from our systems because they are the same. Sure we have correct ideas about doctrine, marriage, finances, child rearing, home schooling, prophecy, church growth, witnessing, and spiritual gifts…we are drowning in good advice but none of these volumes will ever give the water that takes away the souls’ thirst. (Please prove me wrong…)

All of our correct doctrine and deeper spiritual secrets are foolishness when we do not preach the New Birth. On the road of salvation, more of us then we would like to admit are where the Wesley brothers were in 1737; in fervent service but out of union with Christ.

One day, in 1737 November 5th Charles Wesley heard Whitfield preach. He later described the preaching as being notwith the persuasive word’s of man’s wisdom, but with the demonstration of the Spirit, and with power. Whitfield had already been rediscovering the hallmarks of true Christianity, also described as primitive or early Christianity. He would preach with passion from 2 Corinthians 5:17. if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” Whitfield’s message was simple and unflinching. Christianity was not “a bare outward profession, or being called after His name. It was instead a “an inward change and purity of heart, and cohabitation of his Holy Spirit…to be mystically united to him by a true and lively faith and thereby receive spiritual virtue from him as the members of the natural body do from the head, or the branches from the Vine. ” (I doubt many of us heard a message equal in import at our churches today…)

In his diary, Charles literally records his moment-by-moment conversion under severe physical and spiritual crisis. “I waked…hungry and thirsty after God (May 12). I waked without Christ: yet still desirous of finding him (May 13)…I longed to find Christ that I might show him to all mankind: that I might praise, that I might love him (May 14). Then on May 17th, Wednesday, Charles spent several hours with a good Moravian friend studying through Luther’s commentary on the Epistles to the Galatians, and wrote this; “I labored waited and prayed, to feel who loved me, and gave himself for me. After this assurance that he would come and would not tarry, I slept in peace. By that Sunday, May 21, He found the assurance he was looking for. “I found myself at peace with God, and rejoiced in hope of loving Christ. ”

He immediately wrote the great Hymn Christ the Friend of Sinners.

Where shall my wandering soul begin?
A slave redeemed from death and sin
Come o my guilty brethren come
His bleeding heart shall make you room
His open side shall take you in
Believe and all your guilt’s forgiven
Only believe- and yours is heaven.

A few days later, encouraged and excited by Charles’ testimony, John had a similar experience. After much groaning and self-confession he finally could write. “ About a quarter before nine, while [the speaker] was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, IU felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”

There is much encouragement in these accounts. However, as men are skilled at doing, soon followed afterward diagrams and flow charts trying to make theological sense of these “second” experiences. Rather then just admit that churches ordain unsaved men, and raises unsaved lay leaders we decided to call this New Birth experience “Entire Sanctification”, implying to young worldlings in the Church that there is also a partial or incomplete surrender to God. I know this well, because I was one of them. And millions of Almost Christians wander just outside the inner courts of union and fellowship with Christ. They laboring sincerely in darkness under this myth that their defeat and fear is quite normal and that sleep will soothe their sore conscience. My own personal testimony of escaping this trap would not only offend my grace friends, because I insist on possesing an assuring inward witness they claim is non-essential to salvation, but also my holiness friends, because I insist that the New Birth is that very passing from crisis into sanctification they claim as subsequent to salvation.

But I am learning that knowing Jesus is everything, and all other preludes and positional claims are trickery. You will know when you have met Jesus my friend…don’t let anyone con you out of meeting Him in person with their pristine Calvinist or Arminian doctrine. Whether you have the cheap grace of scholastized Calvinism, or the cheap altars of Romanized Arminism…many church goers are still laboring under the law…looking for their beloved.

In fact, I am growing increasingly convinced that Spiritless Christianity, as Tozer named it, is the simple explanation for why many in the church are bound up in principles of Christianity…because they do not know the Person of Christ.

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2006/5/28 18:40Profile









 Re:

Having been brought up in a very legalistic church I would have to say that the number one sign of a legalistic type bondage is a very dogmatic, bitter spirit. Contempt for anyone or anything that does not look like, think like, act like, or agree with everything you have to say.

 2006/5/29 8:46
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re: enjoying the freedom

Mike B. said:

Quote:
we are free from the law when we have all but forgotten there is any law in place.


This is positively radical! And yet so nourishing to the soul. It makes me think of being asked to care for someone’s home while they are on vacation. They leave no signs anywhere such as: “Turn lights off before you leave”, “Take your shoes off at the door”, “Don’t flush paper towels down the toilet”, etc. You are given only one instruction: Enjoy yourself! The only way you could “disobey” that “command” is to refuse the blessings - ex: not use the china or play the CDs for fear of breaking them and risking punishment, or to refuse the food put in the refrigerator because you feel unworthy.

It is an arrangement built on a relationship of trust and love. There is no fear, worry, or guilt. That is freedom, peace, and joy.

This is in essence, what God has offered us! And that is no illusive dream!

Diane


_________________
Diane

 2006/5/29 9:24Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Quote:
Having been brought up in a very legalistic church I would have to say that the number one sign of a legalistic type bondage is a very dogmatic, bitter spirit. Contempt for anyone or anything that does not look like, think like, act like, or agree with everything you have to say.



Sadly, too true. A bitter root it is and even the realm of Biblical principles and those who would think themselves far from being legalistic are susceptible to it ... We have seen it's cancer even here in discussions at times. A very good word there; "contempt". It is a deadly poison that must be rooted out. Had fallen right into it's trap like a pendulum swinging not long after coming out from under the dubious understandings of those early days and had exactly that, contempt for those I felt had led me and others astray. A half-hearted indignation... Half for what I thought was a unbelievable lie that was insulting the Spirit of Grace and Gods glory (at least what little I grasped of then), the better half the sheer wickedness of my own evil heart, wishing to call down fire from heaven upon them...


_________________
Mike Balog

 2006/5/29 9:43Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 True Freedom!

Quote:
This is positively radical! And yet so nourishing to the soul. It makes me think of being asked to care for someone’s home while they are on vacation. They leave no signs anywhere such as: “Turn lights off before you leave”, “Take your shoes off at the door”, “Don’t flush paper towels down the toilet”, etc. You are given only one instruction: Enjoy yourself! The only way you could “disobey” that “command” is to refuse the blessings - ex: not use the china or play the CDs for fear of breaking them and risking punishment, or to refuse the food put in the refrigerator because you feel unworthy.


What a great thread this is. Still am just attempting to catch up with Compton's expression... But for the life of me Diane that came seemingly out of nowhere and caught me by surprise even afterwords, but what a great illustration, a rash of goosebumps just broke the surface...
Quote:
It is an arrangement built on a relationship of trust and love. There is no fear, worry, or guilt. That is freedom, peace, and joy.



Perfect!


_________________
Mike Balog

 2006/5/29 9:58Profile
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re: The deadly snake.... watch out!

Quote:
It is a deadly poison that must be rooted out.


Even as this was posted I was preparing to share an experience using the same analogy:

My parents are still entrapped in the poisonous death grip of law and punishment. Sadly the venom is destroying my mother’s health. Worse yet, it aims to destroy everyone in its path. Yesterday, in the middle of a delightful family dinner-celebration my mom declared harshly that my children used to behave badly because they were not spanked enough (20 years ago).

Here is a good example of the subtle power of the curse of legalism. It is like a poisonous snake that is trapped in a self-made corner, and then lashes out at all around, inadvertently injecting everyone with its venom. It sends everyone cowering in fear of the next lash.

From that frame of mind, words such as those quoted from Tozer earlier feel more like a paralysing strike from the serpent than words of freedom:
Quote:
When God say we can, we can and we must.


I must? Really, now! And what happens if I fail? (which is a certain outcome apart from regeneration)

The impurity of legalism defiles all pure truth because it quenches the Spirit, thus corrupting the mind: [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=10817&forum=45]A Pure Mind - Tozer[/url]

Diane


_________________
Diane

 2006/5/29 10:34Profile
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re: playing catch-up

Quote:
Still am just attempting to catch up with Compton's expression...


Me too.

(MC, I'm wondering if you quoted from L. Crabb's book, "Finding God")
D


_________________
Diane

 2006/5/29 10:45Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

Sister Diane asked:

Quote:
How do we know when we are really liberated?
Or maybe it’s better to ask:
How do we know if we are not? Is that the way we prefer to stay?

It has to do with trust. “Now that faith has come, we are no longer under supervision of the law.” Gal. 3:25




Gen. 26:2 Then the LORD appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. 3 Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. 4 And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5 because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”


Abraham recieved the promise that enabled him to please God. The law of faith liberated him. His life is given to us as an example of the power of God's promise worked out in the life of a fallen man.

Liberty is found in the working out of the promise in the believer by God.

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2006/5/29 11:13Profile









 Re:

Would it be safe to say that many of the people who are trapped by legalism, in some sick, twisted way, actually begin to like this type of lifestyle?

It's easier if you have someone thinking for you. Right? I think it becomes addictive and there is a need for this type brow beating once you become dependant on it.

I still struggle with this kind of mentality even though I have been redeemed. It creeps up on me and haunts me at times. Many of these men that were involved in this church still give me the creeps when I get around them. Like death warmed over. Their so miserable, but in their minds they really think their right. I understand we should have convictions about things, but we should never lash out at those that don't have the same convictions. It becomes about control, instead of the Saviour. It feeds on the weak and preys on the unstable. My brothers and I saw this at a very young age and decided we would rebel against all authority because of it. I still have a problem trusting authority and those who have rule over me. It's ingrained in me and as long as I'm in this flesh I'll problably always struggle with it.

This is problably why so many of these churches die. They ruin the next generation.

 2006/5/29 11:28





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