Great article, proudpapa. Thanks for posting. I don't understand some of the other responses so won't comment.
Yeah, as far as pre-trib, I give a pass on that with fellow believers all the time. I know many that are already having a problem with their theology because the times we are living in have already brought hardship upon them and the Lord has not whisked them away yet. I feel sorry for them as things will get worse for them and they are trapped in their theological conundrum.
But, enough of that.
I took a lot of good things from that article. Some poignant truths that Michael spoke and many of us can attest to.
"Even in our “Christian community,” there were some families with whom we associated who matured into immaturity. Not all reaped sweet fruit. A form of godliness may conceal, but it will never heal the depravity on the inside. In the final analysis, it is not the community or the church that produces great children and tremendous young adults; it is home life rooted in sincere, relaxed love of God and family that bears eternal fruit. A rotten relationship, or just an empty relationship, between husband and wife and parents and kids is a soul poison without an antidote. Genuine, laughing love immersed in creativity is a miracle cure-all that supercharges the soul and grows up children that are too healthy to come down with soul diseases."
It seems many have 'romanticized' being a martyr these days and yet Michael's honesty brings us back to reality. Let's be living martyrs first (embrace the cross daily), and let "come what may" as Michael puts it.
"But just because we have peace on the inside and can overcome the world, that does not mean I want to be thrown into the fiery furnace, or go hungry, or be vulnerable to a political system hostile to traditional family and Christianity. It would be foolish to sit on my faith and take lightly the possibility of coming hardship and deprivation. We should prepare but not panic. We should plan while we pray. We should get ready but remain steady. While laying up our treasure in heaven, we should lay up a store for the day of famine here on earth. Did not God warn the Egyptians of hard times coming? And did not their preparation see them through the days of dearth? Noah received a warning of coming judgment and “prepared an ark to the saving of his house” (Hebrews 11:7). While believing in God’s care and provision, we can save him a miracle by using the brain he gave us to take care of ourselves. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5:8)."
He closed this article nicely and I found nothing depressing about it.
"Come What May
So come what may, if the worst does happen, our generation will not be the first to suffer deprivation or persecution. The writer of Hebrews indicates that the trials that come upon us are to give us the opportunity to become overcomers, to crown us with glory, to build faith. He says of sufferings, “all are partakers” (Hebrews 12:8)."
From what I know of Michael and Debbie Pearl, their thrust is outward to a lost world. They are not building closed Christian communities and certainly are not deluded into thinking that a Christian community is where you will find safety from the world. I have no idea what the late Denny Kenaston's ministry is about so I can't talk to that. I doubt if it is the same as Michael Pearl's.
Looking forward to Part II.