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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
I liked Bonhoeffers "religionless" concept because it seemed to address this issue of asking people to repent of sanity at the same time we ask them to repent of sin. But in the end, Christ's prayer for us to be one may be a statement of heavenly reality only... which is fine I suppose.


Mike C
Christ's prayer for unity has an important introduction;Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
(Joh 17:20-21 KJV)The unity for which He prayed hwas a presupposition that it is part of the true line of apostolic succession (not the Catholic distortion of that phrase), and it is 'word' based supposition... 'through their word'. This is not touchy-feely oneness but a oneness that is based on a recognised and common authority.

The ancient word is still true 'Can two walk together unless they be agreed?' There are many things we can do together without being agreed. But unless we start at the same point and are heading for the same destination our 'walk together' can only at best be sporadic.

To me it is ominous that Open Theism and Post-Modernism and questions about the inerrancy of the scripture are all around at the same time. The ancient certainties are being questioned. I am not talking about 'Evangelical' certainties; [u]they[/u] desperately need to be questioned. The 'culture' of evangelicalism is more and more distanced from 'the word of the apostles'; it is now simply pragmatism with a choir.

I hear your heart in all this, so none of this is intended as any kind of a rebuke but of 'iron sharpening iron'. When I see the confusion, the schismatic nature of much of evangelical testimony, the 'biting of one another', like you my heart aches. I know His heart aches too. I know some things that I know... (to quote Mr Runsfeldt.. I thought his words made clear sense and the harping criticism only shows the shallow concepts of the reporters)... in the past I have often concluded my postings with the letters 'wkip' "we know in part". But even though we know in part some things are so clear as to be beyond question for those whose who receive the testimony of the scripture.

As an evangelistic concept Bonhoeffer's religionless Christianity is legitimate, but we need to recall that his words are coming from the bankruptcy of a Lutheranism which had abandoned its trust if 'sola scriptura'. Like Barth Bonheoffer is a protest at the failure of German rationalistic Christianity. Both these men had prodigious intellect but, I believe, defective views of scripture.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/3/2 4:06Profile
crsschk
Member



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

 Re: From another perspective...

Finding all this truly instructive and well stated. Agree that much iron sharpening is being done and find also that the same sentiments are being expressed in different voices of wisdom from those who have walked much further down this road.

A whole smattering of thoughts stand out from all this;
Ron

Quote:
The 'culture' of evangelicalism is more and more distanced from 'the word of the apostles'; it is now simply pragmatism with a choir.


Neil
Quote:
"and we will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."


Don't miss the intention, but what of the 'waiters'? More on this bellow...
Ron
Quote:
My preferences are irrelevant, so are cultural preferences. The question for 'church' is what kind of place will God feel at 'home' in?


Yes, precisely.

Ron again
Quote:
As I read the New Testament I feel a great diversity of experience and operation. There were divergences of doctrine but never the thought that it doesn't really matter, but rather a resolve to press on to know the truth.



Sam (Agent001), good to hear from you as always, that all those streams flowed together...

Chanin
Quote:
When i hope we are not missing out by looking unto Jesus alone for what we "need" as far as church or anything else goes.


Always our sanity checker around here. How many wayward topics have come to a blessed end by you reminding us of the sense of [i]'because thou hast left thy first love.'[/i]

Mike C
Quote:
After years of mastering purist doctrinal systems and schools of Christianity, I am asking the question...can Christians connect with each other on a different level? Maybe not---since each denomination or school seems to be rooted in a rejection of the other.


That is what boggles the mind. Myself and Hulsey were discussing this in the sense of adding the "ism" to it. If it was because of emphasis (As Sam pointed out) it would be one thing. Just taking a look around here and the different aspects and 'denominational' thinking present from different speakers, it's not impossible after all. Can still glean much without having to give over into a 'mindset'. Still remain a bit ignorant of which 'system' is the one I should be inclined to marry myself to and it's on purpose for the exact same reasons you mentioned. "No-denominational" am more fond of.

Greg
Quote:
One big decision that we have to make is are we going to base what we are looking for in the apostolic church on the Scriptures alone or not. Unfortunately the authority and solid foundation of scriptures is misued and disregarded or twisted in some of these movements.


No comment needed.

Steve
Your points are well taken as well, to be stripped of all that is unnecessary and still hold to what is sound doctrine (2 Tim) again, it [i]shouldn't[/i] be an impossibility, but I think a large part of the problem might be in part caused by something I hope I can draw our attention to in what follows shortly.

Mike C again and one that I was trying to find:
Quote:
We have a scripted apologetic for every obstacle to our theology. In an age of skepticism and higher criticism, we are too nervous to let intelligence people have their doubts.


Thanks brother, we have touched on this elsewhere and think it was Ron who mentioned something to the effect of a large body of teaching being always 'practical'. The mystery and wonder and awe, the humbling realization that it is just that fact, that we are the creatures. Or to put it another way, with probably the best quote to come through here in awhile (Dian, thanks sister), which had to do with I think the flow of scriptural inerrancy and the ideals of "literal fundamentalism";
Quote:
What is literal fundamentalism? If God created all of us, how could he be cruel in allowing all of us to go to hell? Can't he do whatever he wishes with his own creation? The creator isn't cruel even if he chooses to destroy his creation and begin again. He can do this as many times as he likes. This whole conversation makes me think of some sci-fi movie where the robots take over.



Will carry this train of thought over into the next response.


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Mike Balog

 2005/3/2 8:10Profile
crsschk
Member



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

 Re: Missing from all this...

Wrote this all out around this time yesterday and held back as I followed along with more responses coming in, to think this through some more. Thought about changing some of it but maybe just to preempt it a bit...

Certainly there is no one way of doing anything. My only concern is to be raptured into God's thought.

Something that I have been musing on quite a bit lately and a message from Major Ian Thomas I listened to even touched on it, could dig it up if of any interest... Is in the sense of these words from our Lord to Peter;

[i]"Truly, truly, I say to you, When you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you wished. But when you grow old, you shall stretch forth your hands and another shall gird you and carry you where you do not wish.

He spoke this signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, Follow Me. Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following (the one who also leaned on His breast at supper, and said, Lord, who is he who betrays You?)
Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus, Lord, and what of this one?

Jesus said to him, If I desire that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.[/i] Joh 21:18-22

The flow of thought that the Major was bring out was in the essence of what the Lord commands us individually, not 'individualistic', nor bypassing what is plainly stated already throughout scripture. But if we are honest with ourselves, we know when that still small voice is speaking to us and what the Lord is telling me and what He is telling you could be polar opposites without contradicting anything that we know is true. Find much of this in Oswald Chambers train of thought. We each have marching orders in the army of the Lord, different divisions but one and the same Commander over all. We are the ones under submission (gladly I might add) but there is also that element of revolt within our ranks, trying to subvert and divide. Don't want to stretch this too far but maybe if we were humbled a bit more...

I will just get on with it. Sorry for the length.
From yesterdays musings;

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The same and one Spirit that is in Jesus Christ lives in us, if we could just realize that.

It does seem that the biggest difference between the church here in this side of the globe and where it will cost you your physical life is a preoccupation with it's self, no different the world. James indicted us prophetically a long time ago and yet his words fail to leave the lash, being softened and applied to everyone but the hearers, ourselves.

[i]From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."[/i] James 4

All the divisions, preferences, lopsided preaching, entertainment replacement 'a' musement, meaning not thinking, 'smooth things', 'felt' needs...While our own brethren are being slaughtered for their faith. Seems we don't have just diverse opinions of what the church is, more like two different religions.

How much more narrow would the broad road become if persecution were to come to this overindulgent side of the world? A thinning of the herd on a grand scale one would think.

But to just stand back and look at all this, to ask the real question; What sayeth the Lord? What has already been spoken? To the churches 2000 years ago from our Lords own lips? What was the fate of the apostles? Of what firm foundation was the church built upon?

Please, don't listen to me, my opinion is worthless drivel nor am I interested in making some kind of judgment. Fact is we are missing it in the whole. We, by and large have forgotten our history and ignored the plight of our brethren that know something of what 'cost' means.

And we trifle with the smallness of church 'issues'. We try to make Paul's words colliquative to our present state by making an analogy out of them and it falls flat;

"[i]We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, "I believed, and so I spoke," we also believe, and so we also speak,
knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.[/i]" 2Co 4:8-18

We are not persecuted, we are barely harassed, hardly bothered, yet we bemoan ourselves, 'our plight.' We seem to be missing it altogether.

So the question is raised; What of it? Since we don't have this problem. Shouldn't we have joy in our hearts instead of all this dourness? Is this all just waxing eloquently or do we see the issue in the light? We ought to judge ourselves but we are remiss to do so.

Just wanted to draw our attention to what seems so glaringly obvious, that we a primarily concerned with ourselves in our comfort and ease while even right now our very own brethren are laying down their very lives in unspeakable torture, true hardship, death. Of what true joy must they know to endure such treatment and continue on.

The one and same Spirit dwells in us?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[u]Past history[/u]:

[i]At Tarsus in Cilicia, the birthplace of the apostle Paul, there were imprisoned, A. D. 290, three pious Christians, namely, Tharacus, Probus; and Andronicus; who, having been brought to prison, before the tribunal, and to the rack, and having suffered beyond measure for the name of the Lord and the faith in Jesus Christ, were finally put to death, concerning which we shall notice and present to the reader the judicial proceedings, as we have found them in ancient authors. From Act. Procons.[/i]

Excerpts:

[i]The President said, "Do not think that I shall sentence thee at once. I shall cause thee to be put to death by degrees."

Tharacus answered, "Whatever thou intendest to do, do at once, and do not threaten."

The President said, "If thou think, that some women will come and embalm thy body, thou art greatly mistaken, for it is my intention that nothing shall remain of thee."

Tharacus replied, "Do with my body as pleaseth thee, now as well as after my death.", "Maximian," said the Proconsul,"break his jaws, and tear his lips."

Tharacus answered, "True, thou hast crushed and marred my face; but thou hast quickened my soul."

The President said, "Thou wretched man! Desist f rom thy vain thoughts, and sacrifice; that thou mayest be delivered from these pangs."

Tharacus replied, "Dost thou .think I am a fool or a madman, and that I, who trust in the Lord, shall not live in heaven? Thou mayest deprive me of this temporal life for a little while; but thou wilt thereby cast thine own soul into eternal damnation."

The President said to the executioners, "Put the branding irons into the fire, and brand him on his cheeks or shoulders."

Tharacus answered, "Though thou inflict many more torments than these upon me, thou shalt nevertheless not turn the servant of God to the shameful idolatry of devils, to worship them."

The President said, "Bring a razor; cut off his skin; shave his head bald, and put burning coals upon it."

Tharacus replied, "And though thou cause my whole body to be flayed, I shall still not depart from my God., who strengthens me, to endure all the weapons of your torturing."

The President said, "Get the branding irons; let them get still hotter, and apply them to all his members and joints."

Tharacus, as he suffered this, cried out."May the Lord look down from heaven, and judge!" he President said, "What lord dost thou call upon, thou accursed fellow?"

Tharacus answered, "The Lord whom thou dost not know, and who recompenses every one according to his works."

The President said, "And shall I not exterminate thee, as I have told thee? Yea, even thy remains I shall burn, and scatter thy ashes to the wind; that the women may not come, and wind thy dead body in cloth to embalm it with precious ointments and spices."

Tharacus replied, "I have said it, and say so still, do what thou wilt: thou hast full power over my body in this world."

The President said, "Put him back into prison, and keep him until the next time for the wild beasts. Let another be brought before the tribunal."[/i]

http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/martyrs018.htm
MARTYRS MIRROR

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[u]Recent[/u]:

Christian Conference Hears How China's Christians Suffer for their Faith
By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
November 12, 2004

LONDON, ENGLAND (ANS) -- Speaking at the recent International Christian Human Rights Conference at Westminster Chapel in London, Chinese Christian leader Peter Xu said: "They hung me up across an iron gate, then they yanked open the gate and my whole body lifted until my chest nearly split in two. I hung like that for four hours."

That is how Peter Xu Yongze, the founder of one of the largest religious movements in China, described his treatment during one of five jail sentences on account of his belief in Christianity, at the conference attended by at least 1,000 delegates.

Mr Xu, 61, is not the only Chinese Christian to suffer for his faith. Both Catholics and Protestants have long complained of persecution by the Communist authorities, and human rights groups claim the problem is getting worse, writes Kate McGeown on the British Broadcasting Corporation web site.

According to the Jubilee Campaign, an interdenominational lobbying group, about 300 Christians are in detention in China at any one time, and that number is set to rise, McGeown said.

"China's new generation of leaders are trying to consolidate control of the country as it goes through rapid social and economic changes," said Wilfred Wong, a parliamentary officer for the Jubilee Campaign.

"The Communists feel threatened by any popular ideology which is different from their own," he said.

http://www.worthynews.com/christian-persecution/christian-conference-suffer.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just food for thought.
And prayer

Can't help but wonder what might transpire if the Lord were to send out missionary's from the true church persecuted. The pessimistic side says no one wants to hear it out here, too 'depressing'.
Am doubtful frankly that Paul or the Lord Himself would be welcome in our churches if they didn't just concentrate on grace, gifts and blessings.
We can hardly give but a nod and little of our time of prayer for those that [i]feel[/i] persecution. We have become like spoiled little brats.

Certainly the truth of; Act 17:26,27 "[i]And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, [b]having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place[/b], that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,"[/i] cannot be overlooked, but... what was our complaint again?

More and more am finding this ultra-light 'affliction', financial woes, backslidden loved ones, 'circumstances', living in this modern day Sodom just dressed up and glossed over, yes some of it is very grievous, but it really amounts to the equivalent of a annoying fly buzzing about compared to feeling the fist or the lash, the hatred and despising.

Am neither overly angry nor overburdened with sadness. But there is always the sense of grief and sorrow mixed in with the peace that comes from the Lord.

The creation groans, I groan...
Long for the completion of the book;

"He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." [b]Amen. Come, Lord Jesus![/b] The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen."

Rev 22:20,21







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Mike Balog

 2005/3/2 9:44Profile
MrBillPro
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3238
Texas

 Re:

I think the number one and most important movement is the one were we personally move closer toward God, and once that is established "and to some including myself that in itself could take a lifetime" we have to positively have our feet on solid ground with Him and when that is achieved you can bet He will guide us on to our destiny. I am for any movement that brings folks closer to the Lord, but these people have to be able to say at the end of their journey God led me here and if you can't say that, any Church, Place, Ministry, or Office or etc.
you end up at, you will still feel a void in your spirit this is why it is so very important to be led by the spirit and not man, Man is easy to follow you can see his every move with God your spirit led and you must have a very intimate relationship with him to follow the spirit. You can be Churched or Unchurched as long as you feel this is were God wants you personally you and only you will know this, there is a stirring going on but remember when you jump in to the pot you could be tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine seek God first and he will direct your steps.
God Bless
Mr. Bill


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Mr. Bill

 2005/3/2 10:15Profile
Agent001
Member



Joined: 2003/9/30
Posts: 386
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re:

[b]crsschk[/b] wrote:

Quote:
Sam (Agent001), good to hear from you as always, that all those streams flowed together...



It is good to hear from you too. Now at least I know one person have read my post. :>

I couldn't resist participating in this thread because it is exciting to see [b]Mike C[/b] around here. It's rare to have someone who could rant as much as [b]philologos[/b] yet still makes a lot of sense!

Back to the original three movements -- I am concerned that while they need not be mutually exclusive (as I said, I see each carrying a stream of truth, though not without flaws), they often perceive themselves as the latest and greatest (and perhaps only) move of the Spirit on earth today. There are also many pitfalls that each movement might fall into without humbly accepting the correction of other Christians.

Obviously, I will not deny the importance of truth and doctrine in the Christian faith. However, I do agree with [b]philogos[/b] that Christians today have to re-consider the meaning of "the Church". What is the ultimate goal of the Church? Is evangelism the end or the means to something else? What are we to think of denominationalism today in the 21st century?

I also agree with [b]Mike C.[/b] that it is time for Christians to seriously ponder and act upon the significance of Christian unity. After all, it is the main point of the Lord's longest prayer in the gospels (John 17), and a constant emphasis within the NT (Eph. 4, 1 Cor. 12, Rom. 12, etc.). I think church history thus far shows that the idea of oneness is more or less just a theory to most Christians. I note especially that while we already share the oneness in the Spirit, Paul exhorted us to "[b]make every effort[/b] to [b]keep[/b] the unity of Spirit through the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3). He was quite clear that this is not an easy task and will require our utmost effort, that to achieve these would require us to [i]"be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love"[/i] (v. 2) -- qualities that I seldom see among Christians today.

Just my share of ranting. :>


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Sam

 2005/3/2 11:15Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
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 Re:

Quote:
The only coherency I can imagine now is a dying of everything we hold dear in our faith except unity with all who believe Christ crucified and ressurected.

But which Christ? The Christ of experience? the Christ of speculation or the Christ of biblical revelation?


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Ron Bailey

 2005/3/2 13:02Profile
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
But which Christ? The Christ of experience? the Christ of speculation or the Christ of biblical revelation?


Well I am really recieving much good from this conversation. You are all sharpening any iron I might have. I want to try and share what has been forming in my heart during the course of our discussion. I am speaking as a christian who is not a pastor or elder caring for a flock.

Philologos, the correct answer to your recent two emails is of course the Christ of biblical revelation.

We cannot lose the bible that was preserved through torture and travail just just to hold hands and smile blissfully, falling backwards into a foamy bubble bath prepared for us by Mystery Babylon herself!! Now I must ask if I do indeed hold to the Christ of the bible. I am willing to let the scriptures have residence in my heart but I often make Jesus knock at the door. We know that we can't simply combine inerrant gears and cogs of doctrine into a mechanical heart and say "Here is Christ's heart. " We know that only the Spirit gives life. The Spirit keeps us from becoming both pagans and pharisees.

I would agree that Bonhoeffers' neo-orthodoxy left him with a deficient view of scripture but so has my American conservatism. If my view of scripture wasn't so deficient, I would know Jesus as MY holy metric and not my brothers. If I knew Jesus' words I would see my brothers as He sees them rather then objects that I measure. Weren't they part of the joy that was set before Him upon the cross? The tighter I bind myself to those who are offensive, weak, selfish, errant, and downright wacky the more perfectly I am bound to Jesus.

I see this church down the street lavishing their wealth on themselves, celebrating the ressurection with little love for the cross. They sing "All I want is you" and my heart burns at their musical mockery. I want to air-drop in on the stage with a 50 caliber prophecy that their praise is an offense to God's nostrils. Instead Jesus takes measure of me. When did I ever respond to an imposition of His truth upon my beliefs? I am talking about their blindness in this area or the other, not unrepentant immorality which must be confronted by spiritual men in their fellowship. There is a direct solution for sin; a broken sinner can be mended at the cross but spiritual darkness needs light from the Spirit. Our sound doctrine is not that light, though it can describe the light that accompanies it.

I claim that I fix my eyes on Jesus who is the author and finisher of my faith. This claim is put to the test when I see those other living "books" Jesus is working on. The unclean woman thought, "If I can touch the hem of His garment I will be healed." If I was the Lord, I might have corrected her for such poor superstitous theology but He affirmed her faith with power. (Jesus wasn't a very good Protestant in my opinion!)

Jesus is affirming my little faith as well. I can't walk on water anymore then Peter could. That is really the gospel I believe in. It is the testimony of a nail scarred hand that reached down for me, His grasp strengthening mine...
Quote:
...I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”



How do I hold to the testimony of Jesus when I look at these crazy churches? I recall a scene in the excellect movie, "The Wars to End All Wars." The film, borrowing from historic accounts, depicted Scottish soldiers learning to survive in a Japanes POW camp through Christian love. In one scene some prisoners are allowed to perform Beethoven's 9th on crude, rusty, wheezy, handmade instruments. Over their dissonant and sick bellows, the narrator described the music, capturing a hint of Jesus' love for His bride:

"The music we heard that night was less then perfect. In fact it was bloody terrible. But we didn't care...in our hearts we heard what it could be. We heard the true spirit of the music and that was pure freedom."

There are Christians whose music would embarrass "my" Jesus. If I judge them, maybe my Jesus isn't the Christ of biblical revelation afterall.


Bless you guys!

MC


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Mike Compton

 2005/3/3 3:44Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
MC writes:
"The music we heard that night was less then perfect. In fact it was bloody terrible. But we didn't care...in our hearts we heard what it could be. We heard the true spirit of the music and that was pure freedom."


Ah this is wonderful quotation!

Doctrinal statements were created to exclude error, but the organised church has always used them to exclude people. Paul pleads for open hearts and open arms in Romans Him that is weak in the faith [u]receive ye[/u], but not to doubtful disputations. (Rom 14:1 KJV) The word 'receive' here is 'proslambanō'; lambano is to get a grip on something, 'pros' is towards. Get a grip on this man towards yourself! It's a complicated Greek verb for 'hug'! If I use my doctrinal niceties to hold a man at arms' length I know nothing of Calvary love. (not Amy Carmichael in quality but certainly in sentiment!) If I practise 'guilt by association' I know nothing of Calvary love. If I wait until this person has ticked all my theological boxes I know nothing of Calvary love.

Paul uses the word twice more in Romans;Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for [u]God hath received him[/u]. (Rom 14:3 KJV)

Wherefore receive ye one another, as [u]Christ also received us[/u] to the glory of God. (Rom 15:7 KJV)What a gospel obligation is laid on us here... draw into your embrace one another [u]as Christ[/u]. Did He use my sin as a reason to keep me at arms' length? I hadn't ticked a single box, but then Calvary love doesn't demand 'ticks in boxes'. It abides constantly, arms outspread... I wonder that you folks over there have not made more of the Emma Lazarus quotation..."Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." America's capacity for such of course is necessarily limited, but not so Christ, nor His Church if it lives in His Spirit. Only Calvary love can fulfil Emma Lazarus' promise.

I am in the middle of some personal meditations on the fellowship of the saints, perhaps I'll share some bits later. But the essence of it was captured long ago by Anthony Norris Groves; it was my sign-off for a long time here at SIwhat a blessing it is that the Lord's heart is so large, that He can help whenever He sees some good thing; whereas man withdraws, because he sees some evil thing, which is generally found to mean something that wounds his own self-love in the little scheme he had set up as perfection.Oh the pain our 'little schemes' must cause Him.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/3/3 5:56Profile
Spitfire
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Joined: 2004/8/3
Posts: 633


 Re:

Quote:
How much more narrow would the broad road become if persecution were to come to this overindulgent side of the world? A thinning of the herd on a grand scale one would think.

Quote:
We can hardly give but a nod and little of our time of prayer for those that feel persecution. We have become like spoiled little brats.


Well now, Mikey, looks like we're going to have to change your name ;-) . Let's see, what can we call you? Terminator? Just a joke, friend. You're always commenting on my spitfire.

I haven't read this entire thread, don't have that kind of time right now, but I did read down a few posts. I am feeling so overwhelmed right now by the "church hunt". My family and I attended a church in our area the past two Sundays. My husband went the first Sunday and then announced right before we left this past Sunday that he doesn't believe there is a God, so why go. I consider that progress for him. At least he is being honest with himself now. My daughter and son and I went. As I sat there, watching the show, I tried to picture myself getting involved here. I just can't see it. My thinking has changed. I have no passion for that anymore. I'm talking about the game, the show, you know, Christian City. If I tried to do it, I know I would be just going through the motions. I've lost all desire to be a part of that. It has left me feeling so lost this week. I don't know where to go or what to do. Love, Dian.

 2005/3/3 6:08Profile
crsschk
Member



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

 Re: Pressing on

Dear Dian,

This is what tears at the fabric...
It is why I just had to leave, couldn't do it anymore...
The thought of jumping up in the middle of the whole thing and screaming

NO!

To redundantly reiterate it is exactly [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=3843] A Call to Anguish[/url]

It was the last ringing words I had listened to on the way to a prayer meeting then and nothing has since changed...

The quotes come, but more so the cry of a heart that is being shredded not by anger, but by tears.

Your words here are powerful in bringing the issue to light;

Quote:
My husband went the first Sunday and then announced right before we left this past Sunday that he doesn't believe there is a God, so why go. I consider that progress for him. At least he is being honest with himself now.


And
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As I sat there, watching the show


Which would likely only reinforce what may already be going on in your husbands head...
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My thinking has changed. I have no passion for that anymore. I'm talking about the game, the show, you know, Christian City. If I tried to do it, I know I would be just going through the motions. I've lost all desire to be a part of that. It has left me feeling so lost this week. I don't know where to go or what to do. Love, Dian.


This is the crux of the matter and why all this harping on the church. It is to us that judgment begins in the house of the Lord. Trying to find that verse and instead came across

Zec 10:3 Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle.

Not to wretch it out of context...

But alas Dear sister!

Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
Gal 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Gal 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Gal 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

9 and 10
9 for you and 10 for us, to interceed.

Certainly it is the Spirit who gives life and despite these things we know the Life that lives in you. Maybe this thought jotted down earlier is for you;

[i]The powers that be are no match for Thee.
They will submit and we will commit, all to You.[/i]

Count on intercession for you, your children and for Richard. Keep pressing on and abiding in Him, nothing can thwart His purposes.

Mikey


_________________
Mike Balog

 2005/3/3 7:25Profile





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