This world is not my home anymore.
| Re: |
You seem to be advocating disfellowshipping from every other believer you deem to be less spiritually enlightened than yourself. Are you?
You ought to know the answer to that Todd.
I do not think any other believers reading my posts have come to that conclusion.
Brother Savannah, I have wondered that myself if that is what you are advocating.
| 2017/11/1 11:59||Profile|
| Re: |
It's fascinating how this age old issue is still being visited. Trust me, it took me at least 50 years to come up with the following conclusion:
The issue that may interest God most is our own hearts. After all, we hinder our ability to influence others when we distance ourselves because of repulsion - or we view them from our lofty position of self-righteousness.
Evaluating the motives of others is tricky apart from building a relationship of mutual respect.
Let's admit, most people dress and behave as they do because it is simply the environment they are immersed in. Whatever a person does or experiences repetitively becomes right to their conscience. Thus their habits may feel right. And likewise, it may feel right for us as God's chosen ones to be critical without compassion or mercy. That's a bad environment we may be immersed in too!
The best way to pray for others is to give ourselves to the Lord. We let Him shape us into vessels which He can use in the lives of others.
It's the old speck and log scenario. Wouldn't you agree?
| 2017/11/1 17:04||Profile|
This world is not my home anymore.
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I would definitely agree with you. Wonderful way to put it.
| 2017/11/1 18:07||Profile|
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Thank the Lord for the internet, or we wouldn’t even have had the opportunity to debate this. I don’t ever remember this being brought up in church, or any church socials, but maybe I missed church that day. Yep Diane, the ol speck and log thing, matter fact, you don’t see that scripture that much here, I wonder why.
| 2017/11/1 19:41||Profile|
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Luk 18:9-14 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: (10) Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. (11) The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. (12) I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. (13) And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. (14) I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Gal 6:1-4 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. (2) Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (3) For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (4) But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.
2Timothy 2:24-26 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, (25) correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, (26) and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
James 5:19-20 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, (20) let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Act 26:12-19 King Agrippa, one day I was on my way to Damascus with the authority and permission of the chief priests. (13) About noon I saw a light brighter than the sun. It flashed from heaven on me and on everyone traveling with me. (14) We all fell to the ground. Then I heard a voice say to me in Aramaic, "Saul, Saul, why are you so cruel to me? It's foolish to fight against me!" (15) "Who are you?" I asked. Then the Lord answered, "I am Jesus! I am the one you are so cruel to. (16) Now stand up. I have appeared to you, because I have chosen you to be my servant. You are to tell others what you have learned about me and what I will show you later." (17) The Lord also said, "I will protect you from the Jews and from the Gentiles that I am sending you to. (18) I want you to open their eyes, so that they will turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then their sins will be forgiven, and by faith in me they will become part of God's holy people." (19) King Agrippa, I obeyed this vision from heaven.
| 2017/11/1 21:31||Profile|
| Re: fashionista sister|
I thought this article would encourage you and others here. It's an interview with Brother Yun, but the link to it doesn't work anymore, so I will just post it directly. Part of it covers the concerns you have.
As one of China's underground church leaders, Brother Yun lived a life that seemed straight off the pages of Acts. After over 20 years of preaching, imprisonment, church-planting, and being endlessly hunted down by authorities, Yun finally had to escape from his beloved country to Germany. While he would have gladly died in China for his faith, it was not to be—instead, now blacklisted from ever being able to return, he now serves the Chinese Church as an ambassador, telling their stories and challenging Christians in the West to partner with them in the Great Commission.
While on a recent trip to the US, Brother Yun and his translator spoke with In Touch about evangelism, the state of the Western Church, and China's special calling to missions.
Erin Gieschen: Many who read your biography, "The Heavenly Man," are amazed at how rapidly the underground church grows, and especially the strong commEGent of the Christians in China. Yet, as you know from living in the West, it's often a very slow, patient process that the Church goes through here to communicate to others at this time, in this generation. Our challenges seem so different because people here have heard "the gospel," but not always in its truth—only in the outward "form of godliness," not the reality of it. With that in mind, what's your advice for the Western Church in the area of communicating the gospel in truth?
Brother Yun: I have to be honest; I don't have a bountiful number of ideas of how to do this successfully. But one thing I know for sure is that the key is the love of God. We have this really passionate love for Jesus, and with that passion we pray for others. Something happens when you are praying for someone's salvation with this kind of powerful love. The passion of your heart will be communicated right into the soul and the heart of that person. The way we are sharing the gospel in China may, of course, be different because of cultural differences, but I believe that the teaching of the Bible says it's through our love we will win the world.
There is one part I see missing from the gospel in the West. We are asking people to receive Jesus as their Savior, but we are totally unable to communicate the necessity that every believer has also to become His disciple. We often do not share with people that to be a disciple you have to pay the price for that discipleship.
In China, we always first present the grace of God. And then after the people have tasted the grace of God, then we will share with them the truth of God. It seems that in the West we are very quick to point out the truth. And then maybe later introduce God's grace, but the West doesn't emphasize its power, and that is one of the keys for the success of spreading the gospel in China.
We have experienced that if we first try to answer all the questions of the people who come forward, it's just one answer that will create another question and it's an ongoing, long process. But if we are able to bring this person into a prayer relationship with Jesus, then he can directly communicate with Jesus, and that is already the beginning of that person's walk with the Lord.
I like to use this illustration from the Bible, in John 5: One day Jesus came to the Bethesda Pool, and there was this guy who had been lying there paralyzed for 38 years. Jesus did not ask him anything else except the most important thing: "Do you want to get well?" When the man said that this was what he wanted, Jesus said to him, "Stand up and walk." And the man was healed. It was only afterwards, when Jesus met the same guy the next time, that He taught him and gave him instructions how to go onwards further in his life.
EG: What do you think God wants to do in the church in America? And why do you think we aren't having the spiritual impact that He might want us to have?
Brother Yun: My real prayer is that the church in the USA would have a passionate relationship with Jesus. If our foundation is not solid in Christ alone, then in whatever we do, those other foundations will influence our actions. I think that is has to do also with the type of gospel that we are preaching. We are not called to determinate other people's failures and sins. We are called to share the good news about our Savior, Jesus, who came to save the whole world.
I'm really worried because sometimes I have seen in Christian media, some publications and TV programs that are accusing and attacking other believers. It seems they don't remember that all of us who have come to the Light will one day have to stand up for trial for everything we have done. When we are attacking others, we hurt the church and it does not bring any glory to Jesus. The Lord is the one who first loved us and that's the reason we should love Him and all who are His followers. When we attack one another, we come to lose all the anointing upon our ministries and our work to the Lord. We are really losing this battle because we are not trustworthy. Our message as we preach it is not trustworthy. The Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists living in this nation, they can hardly believe the gospel because they see all the internal strife that is going among the Christians. So our reputation is oh-so-very low just because of this kind of thing.
So I pray and believe that God is going to bring His church together in unity to stand behind Him to accomplish the Great Commission. Many have different plans and ideas how to achieve that, but the Great Commission is saying to the church that we should all labor together for its fulfillment within our generation.
EG: Can you tell us more about the Back to Jerusalem movement that you and many other Chinese church leaders are involved in?
Brother Yun: First of all, I want to emphasize that Back To Jerusalem is a vision. It is not an organization or the national plan of any organization. It is a God-given vision to His church in China. It is part of the Great Commission and it's about the last fulfillment of the Great Commission, to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth.
When God started to communicate this with his church in China in the 1940's, about 60 years ago about the Great Commission, He also gave us a geographical direction. From the very beginning, it was very clear that from the Great Wall of China to the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem, on this ancient road known as the Silk Road, every nation and people group needed to hear that Jesus loves them and is their Savior. Starting from China and traveling west, our vision is to fill every village and every city, every town, every country with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord has called us to be ambassadors for the Kingdom of God. Not expanding anything of our own; we just want to expand the Kingdom of God. And the Lord has promised that the whole world will be filled with His glory and presence. (Habakkuk 2:14)
Most of the first generation of Back to Jerusalem missionaries with this vision died during imprisonment. Some survived, but many were sentenced to tens of years of prison as they were caught by authorities in the late 1940's. But God-given vision is always greater to us than our lives. So the vision survived even when the carriers of the first generation passed away.
Wherever we are, we consider it our "Jerusalem," so we start in the place where we are and we make sure that there is nobody living around us who has not yet heard and had the chance to receive Jesus Christ before moving on. The church in China is already marching towards the west. These missionaries are present in several countries already.
The reason why we come to the Western world such as Europe and America is to wake up the church to start the work from where they are to meet us somewhere midway. In Chinese, we have a saying that "Foreigners have high noses," which means that Westerners are thought to be proud. But I know that not all are; I have also seen many who are really humble, and they are also needed to reach the world with us.
Again, the Back to Jerusalem vision is nothing more than fulfillment of the Great Commission. It belongs not only to the church in China, it belongs to the church in America, Europe, and around the world—we should all bring the gospel of Jesus Christ, with its power, to those who have not yet heard. I recognize that in the history of Western Christian church there are a lot of failures, and really bad things have happened in our relationship with the Muslims. But I believe and I see that there are many Christian groups growing up in this nation [the U.S.] with true love and compassion towards Muslims. I really praise the Lord for that.
If we really discover our roots in the love of Jesus, He will be able to use us as messengers to communicate that love to the world.
| 2017/11/2 0:46|
| Re: age old issue |
I took psychology in school. At the time it intrigued me. The study of the inner workings of the mind is quite an undertaking. And after all is said and done, you get a masters degree, and you become a master of the mind, imagine that!
The old spec and log scenario post reminds me of a psychology 101 class. The only difference is that you've introduced God's Word into the equation. Something psychology cannot do, and at the same time rightly divide that Word.
The self-righteousness card is always pulled by those who want to make sin lighter than it is. Yet we are told in the passage to first remove the log in our own eye, and then we are in a position to help another with the removal of the spec in theirs.
Worldliness and being conformed to the fashion of this world is no small matter. 1 John 2:15-17, among many other passages, is so very clear on that point.
A brief testimony will suffice. A young lady, who has been in a fellowship of believers for 5+ years shows up on Sunday in her usual attire. She receives the usual response from the other men and women in the congregation. She is invited on this particular Sunday to join another family at at one of the brothers house for lunch. The brother asks a woman who knows her quite well if she would consider stopping at home first and changing what little clothes she is wearing before joining us for lunch.
You see, the brother is the father of some young men and women. The decision by the father was not to offend his own family by welcoming this seductive, provocatively dressed woman into his home. He chose to risk offending the woman rather than his own family.
It's the old self-righteous christian scenario. Wouldn't you agree?
| 2017/11/2 4:44||Profile|
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Luk 7:36-50 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and reclined at table. (37) And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, (38) and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. (39) Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” (40) And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.” (41) “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. (42) When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” (43) Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” (44) Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. (45) You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. (46) You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. (47) Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (48) And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” (49) Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” (50) And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
| 2017/11/2 7:49||Profile|
| Re: nothing |
A survey was conducted recently. Churchgoers were asked,
What's the difference between a christian and a non-christian?
They all answered,
| 2017/11/2 9:31||Profile|
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savannah, was that survey conducted on CNN or MSNBC?
| 2017/11/2 9:40||Profile|