[i]I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps? Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying. For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:[/i] 2Co 12:18-20
Breaking the silence momentarily to comment in a overview, generalizing manner. Referenced the above as the tendency tends to drift towards this at times. And perhaps that word is telling enough to warrant consideration;
Gal 3:3 [i]Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?[/i]
A bit out of context though the principle could be gleaned. Perhaps better still;
Rom 8:14 [i]For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.[/i]
Rather than getting bogged down into particulars, might this be a plea of reconsidering each to his own and to his own ... that is to God, that we will give our accounting to both in the immediate now as well as to the future.
Some questions that are raised;
Are we truly being led of the Spirit?
Are we measuring our reactions and compulsions by Him?
Are we running any of our thoughts and opinions past Him, first?
Is\are these things colored by our particular feelings, emotions, circumstances ... alone?
In other words, are we truly praying?
Do we spend time alone with the Lord...
Are we mindful of each other?
And are we listening to each other, not hearing only, but listening?
This particular forum has always been peculiar and is very much a fellowship and community, a 'church' not of brick and mortar but encompassing quite the far regions of the earth now. It is something to be ever mindful of. It is both a privilege and a responsibility to keep this in mind, especially as we are often giving counsel that can be researched and taken many months into the future even as we are unaware. It is no small matter when we recognize the weight of eternal varieties. Not to over estimate it, but to propose a soberness, a humbling, a certain reflectiveness and prayerfulness that may ride back of all that is said here. Remember that there are many eye's peering into these things, from all walks of life, both the 'known' and the 'unknown', the skeptic as well as the new born disciple and quite a bit of the in between amongst ourselves as to duration and longevity in this walk.
[u]"Playing the ball and not the man"[/u]
A very wise and helpful bit of counsel given here by one of our elder statesman and our great privilege in having his wisdom shared amongst ourselves. It is to certainly promote healthy discussion even dare I say 'heated' if it can be but to the matter and issue at hand. There is zero tolerance for personal slights that are of ill will and intent, of any sort, see again 2 Cor at the top here. There is and always will be a large amount of misunderstandings due to the nature of this style of communication. Make proper amends and corrections in a follow up reply, recant and rephrase, ask another question rather than an assumption and ask for forgiveness where necessary."First the plank." Paradoxically, don't take it personal just as well. Keep in mind that misunderstanding is part and parcel of being a disciple to begin with, a fresh reminder well stated here if just the sentiment could be grasped; [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=9937&forum=45&3]He Answered Nothing[/url] That of 'defending.'
Some of this is redundant I realize but...
There is a great deal to glean from here. From each other, from these great dead men still speaking if we could but hear their souls rather than to minimize or exalt their personalities all out of proportion. To slow down and chew things (good Motherly advise), contemplate and by all means measure and be good Bereans, "[i]test all things"[/i] by the scriptures [i]"Which cannot be broken."[/i]
There is much that is raw and difficult to express when we are talking about such incredible truths. This place is both M.A.S.H unit in the war zone of the world as well as refuge from it. We can learn a lot about ourselves by immediate reflection as well as a backtracking to items spoken many months before. For some of us to retrace our steps can reveal both the embarrassing as well as the growth rings hopefully. Personally it is both humbling and with great gratitude that there is a real forceful looking at things as they in fact are, not as I might suppose or wish them to be.
[u]Whatsoever ye do...[/u]
One of the seemingly overlooked threads a bit back was one brought back up by Josh (Openarmsinc). Before I make this mention want to head off that misunderstanding; It is understood and well to keep in mind that with the volume of brethren and postings here by necessity some things will rise and fall off the main page, not a dig or a slight on anyone. It is one of a particular compulsion personally to just plead again, [i]please search the site![/i] There is many an 'old' posting here that could answer the same questions asked again and just as well many a good posting missed in the 'rush'. More so, just as many with 'unfinished' business and incomplete discussion. It is also to further emphasize just this; There are some hidden surprises here that can be unearthed with a little searching. That also segues nicely into the vast bulk of what is here;
The sermons themselves.
The one in particular brought up by Josh, [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=9708&forum=35&post_id=&refresh=Go]Ten Shekels and a Shirt (Posting)[/url]. Had left off the particular discussion with a question. Beyond the 'cause' there (Paris Reidheads examining of the times, 'humanism") what ultimately is the result of this "so subtle it goes everywhere "humanism"? Is it not the negating of just this;
1Co 10:31 [i]Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.[/i]
Bring this up only in the general sort as to reflect on just what it is we are attempting and 'doing'. Is this our aim and goal if you will? Is this what we are truly after?
Think if we were truly honest it is a hard question. A demanding question. A sobering question.
There is an inherent difficulty being both a 'moderator' and a participant here. Primarily the duty aspect is but to promote 'order' not 'control'. There is a push and pull to attempt to keep things from derailing somewhat from first inceptions and 'mission' that Greg has set forth here. Might I add just how peculiar and wonderful it is that what we have here is a humble man of God, trusting in the Lord, conspicuous by his 'absence' in defending, demanding or controlling much of what goes on here, especially in the forum. There is a great deal of liberty given to discussion of all sorts even if those same ones are adrift from the mission statement granted. Might we be reflective and prayerful, supportive and grateful to Greg for all that he has done and allows within these 'wall's'.
It is here that I found some of the discussion in the [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=9873&forum=35&post_id=&refresh=Go]Revival Idolatry[/url] a bit troublesome. To address it here is a bit out of place and maybe a good point to make in general, is to choose our battles wisely. This is to readdress that we be mindful and prayerful, led by the spirit. Would the Lord have you to be silent on a matter? Not defending, not commenting, just to leave well enough alone? Or perhaps to re-access some things already spoken? I well know as participant just how often I have defied those inward orders, allowed my compulsions to over ride the still small Voice. There is a hesitancy and practically a real not wanting to comment on much of anything right now, the very opposite in all this treatise by way of compulsion.
Are we drifting? I guess that is the main question. Drifting from prayer. Drifting into opinions over reflection and contemplation. Drifting from spending time alone with the Lord and in His Word. Have we asked the question; "Lord, what would you have me to do?" as much as "What would you have us to do?" If we haven't yet discovered it, the "oughts" and "should's" that we can level at each other can go only so far. As a Body, are not the parts are connected and directed by the Head if we are mindful (Col 1) of that fact? Each of us in this moment has whatever particular 'circumstances' we are in. Some to preach and preach boldly, the open air courageous souls from our midst, some to minister to the poor and ill, some to teach and make disciples, some to suffer quietly, both 'injustices', misunderstandings and persecution. Some to pray above and beyond the 'norm'. Some to wait and some of both. A whole vast realm of possibilities and combinations, 'times and seasons' and surely they change as the Lord sees fit.
Joh 4:34 [i]Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.[/i]
Luk 18:1 [i]And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;[/i]