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 Re:

Hi Mike, you write.............


"To these young people, they were worshipping God with all of thier hearts."

I think it was you that said in an earlier post that the Lord only looks upon the heart, not the outward appearence. What we do know, for a fact, is that one is always changed in the genuine presence of God. When I wrote the initial post, I never said, and I still do not believe, that when the younger generation(whatever that means) dance or make noise that they were not genuine. Being genuine is not the point, you can be genuinely wrong. I guess the issue is the difference between soulish worship(which take place in the outer courts) and Spirit filled worship, which takes place in the Holy of Holy's. In this place, a man or woman comes away, changed. That is the common factor whether in this age or in any other. So, we must look for the change. Here is one of the latest movements in "worship," which involves dance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf-RZLNaJ1c

It is known as "Ekstasis Worship." Its based on dance, altered states through repetitive rhythms. Kinda starts with twirling. It is ushered in usually by quoting the King David story. It actually ends up very much like a rave, only minus the ecstasy tablets.
Twirling and dancing is equated with "freedom." I saw a little bit of this at an Assembly of God church when I was in Florida a few weeks ago. Its the higher ends of the soulish state. It actually has its roots in paganism. Beware,coming to a church near you . The need for discernment has never been so great.........Frank

 2008/8/24 10:36
AbideinHim
Member



Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3593
Louisiana

 Re:

Hi Frank,

I agree with you brother. There is some stuff that just crosses the line and is outright fleshly if not demonic. One of the problems in much of the Church is that we have tried to bring entertainment into our praise and worship. I am in agreement with you that much of the praise and worship in many of todays churches is soulish. If we are worshipping God for what we can get out of it, then we have aleady missed the boat. We worship God for who He is and not because it makes us feel good.

Mike


_________________
Mike

 2008/8/24 11:48Profile









 Re:

HI Mike, you write.........


"We worship God for who He is and not because it makes us feel good."

Amen brother. The vital difference between soulish worship and the genuine presence of God worship is, one involves sacrifice, the other involves indulgence. It all goes back to Cain and Able. Both came before the Lord with their offerings, one was acceptable, the other was not. You see, you can enter into the outer courts and remain there. In order to come into the intimate place with God one has to humble himself and enter through the low, broad door. The examples from the OT, the symbolic truth would be the brazen alter. You do not come to this alter "to get something." You come to this alter to sacrifice your sin. The Lord wants us to stand before Him in transparency. So we must humble ourselves and acknowledge our sins, lay them on the alter to be burned. Then we must go and wash in the lavar bowl. This bowl was made from the looking glasses of the ladies as the children of Israel left Egypt. Then we can stand , illuminated by the candlesticks, fed by the showwbread and finally our prayers towards God become incence that ascends to the very throne room of God. This could take place in every church thoughout the land, every Sunday. Jesus has made the way, we only have to follow Him.

What you see in the video I posted is the essence of indulgence. There is no sacrifice there. Yet, before we get self-righteous, we must ask oursleves, are we involved in sacrificial worship? Are we willing to become transparent? Do we understand, as Abel understood? Or do we have the mindset of Cain?..............Frank

 2008/8/24 13:19
AbideinHim
Member



Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3593
Louisiana

 Re:

"The Lord wants us to stand before Him in transparency. So we must humble ourselves and acknowledge our sins, lay them on the alter to be burned. Then we must go and wash in the lavar bowl. This bowl was made from the looking glasses of the ladies as the children of Israel left Egypt. Then we can stand , illuminated by the candlesticks, fed by the showwbread and finally our prayers towards God become incence that ascends to the very throne room of God. This could take place in every church thoughout the land, every Sunday. Jesus has made the way, we only have to follow Him."

Amen Brother! Reading your post made me think of Watchman Nee's article on "Ministering to the Lord or to the House" The reason why much of the Church spends most of it's time in the outer court is because most of the ministry that is going on is to the people and not to the Lord.



Ministry to the Lord
by Watchman Nee

Let us note at the outset that there is little apparent difference between ministry to the House of the Lord and ministry to the Lord Himself. Many of you are doing your utmost to help your brethren, and you are laboring to save sinners and administer the affairs of the church. But let me ask you: Have you been seeking to meet the need around you, or have you been seeking to serve the Lord? Is it your fellow men you have in view, or is it Him?

Let us be quite frank. Work for the Lord undoubtedly has its attractions for the flesh. You may be thrilled when crowds gather to hear you preach, and when numbers of souls are saved. If you have to stay at home, occupied from morning to night with mundane matters, then you think: How meaningless life as! How grand it would be if I could go out and serve the Lord! If only I were free to go around ministering! But that is not spirituality. That is merely a matter of natural preference. Oh, if only we could see that much of the work done for God is not really ministry at all! He, Himself, has told us chat there was a class of Levites who busily served in the Temple, and yet they were not serving Him; they were merely serving the House. However, service to the Lord and service to the House appear so much alike that it is often difficult to differentiate between the two.

If an Israelite came along to the Temple and wanted to worship God, those Levites would come to his aid and help him offer his peace offering and his burnt offering. They would help him drag the sacrifice to the altar, and they would slay it. Surely, that was a grand work to be engaged in, reclaiming sinners and leading believers closer to the Lord! And God took account of the service of those Levites who helped men bring their peace offerings and their burnt offerings to the altar. Yet He said it was not ministry to Himself.

Brothers and sisters, there is a heavy burden on my heart that you might realize what God is after. He wants ministers who will minister to Him. "They shall come near to me to minister unto me; and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood. They shall minister unto me" (Ezekiel 44:15).

The thing I fear most is that many of you will go out, win sinners to the Lord, and build up believers, without ministering to the Lord Himself. Much so-called service for Him is simply following our natural inclinations. We have such active dispositions that we cannot bear to stay at home, so we run around for our own relief. We may appear to be serving sinners, or serving believers, but all the while we are serving our own flesh.

I have a dear friend who is now with the Lord. One day, after we had a time of prayer together, we read this passage in Ezekiel (44:9-26, 28, 31). She was very much older than I, and she addressed me like this: "My young brother, it was twenty years ago that I first studied this passage of Scripture."

"How did you react to it?" I asked.

She replied: "As soon as I had finished reading it, I closed my Bible, and kneeling down before the Lord, I prayed: `Lord, make me to be one who shall minister to You, not to the Temple."' Can we also pray that prayer?

But what do we really mean when we talk of serving God or serving the Temple? Here is what the Word says:

But the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me; and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the LORD God (Ezekiel 44:15).

The conditions basic to all ministries that can truly be called ministry to the Lord are drawing near to Him and standing before Him. But how hard we often find it to drag ourselves into His presence! We shrink from the solitude, and even when we do detach ourselves physically, our thoughts still keep wandering outside. Many of us can enjoy working among people, but how many of us can draw near to (God in the Holy of Holies? Yet it is only as we draw near to Him that we can minister to Him.

To come into the presence of God and kneel before Him for an hour demands all the strength we possess. We have to be violent to hold that ground. But everyone who serves the Lord knows the preciousness of such times, the sweetness of waking at midnight and spending an hour in prayer, or waking very early in the morning and getting up for an hour of prayer before the final sleep of the night.

Unless we really know what it is to draw near to God, we cannot know what it is to serve Him. It is impossible to stand afar off and still minister to Him. We cannot serve Him from a distance. There is only one place where ministry to Him is possible and that is in the Holy Place. In the outer court, you approach the people; in the Holy Place you approach the Lord.

The passage we ' have quoted emphasizes not only our need to draw near to God; it also speaks of standing before Him to minister. Today we always want to be moving on; we cannot stand still. There are, so many things claiming our attention that we are perpetually on the go. We cannot stop for a moment.

But a spiritual person knows how to stand still. He can stand before God till God makes His will known. He can stand and await orders. You who are leaders need to particularly consider this. Can you be persuaded to call a halt and not move for a little while? That is what is referred to here: "stand and minister unto me." Don't you think that a servant should await his master's orders before seeking to serve him? The Sin of presumption

There are only two types of sin before God. One is the sin of refusing to obey when He issues orders. The other is the sin of going ahead when the Lord has not issued orders. The one is rebellion; the other is presumption. The one is not doing what the Lord has required; the other is doing what the Lord has not required. Learning to stand before the Lord deals with the sin of doing what the Lord has not commanded. Brothers and sisters, how much of the work you have done has been based on the clear command of the Lord? How much have you done because of His direct instructions? And how much have you done simply on the ground that the thing you did was a good thing to do? Let me tell you that nothing so damages the Lord's interests as a "good thing." "Good things" are the greatest hindrance to the accomplishment of His will. The moment we are faced with anything wicked or unclean, we immediately recognize it as something a Christian ought to avoid, and for that reason, things, which are positively evil, are nearly not such a menace to the Lord's purpose as good things.

You think: This thing would not be wrong, or that thing is the very best that could be done so you go ahead and take action without stopping to inquire if it is the will of God. We who are His children all know that we ought not to do anything evil, but we think that if only our conscience does not forbid a thing, or if a thing commends itself to us as positively good, that is reason enough to go ahead and do it.

'That thing you contemplate doing may be very good, but are you standing before the Lord awaiting His command regarding it? "They shall stand before me" involves halting in His presence and refusing to move till He issues His orders. That is what ministry to the Lord means.

In the outer court, it is human need that governs. Just let someone come along to sacrifice an ox or a sheep, and there is work for you to do. But in the Holiest Place, there is utter solitude. Not a soul comes in. No brother or sister governs us here, nor does any committee determine our affairs. In the Holiest Place there is one authority only - the authority of the Lord. If He appoints me a task I, do it; if He appoints me no task, I do none.

But something is required of us as we stand before the Lord and minister to Him. We are required to offer Him "the fat and the blood." The blood answers the demands of His holiness and righteousness; the fat meets the requirements of His glory. The blood deals with the question of our sin; the fat deals with the question of His satisfaction. The blood removes all that belongs to the old creation; the fat brings in the new.

But such ministry is confined to a certain place: "They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge" (Ezekiel 44:16). Ministry that is "unto me" is in the inner sanctuary, in the hidden place, not in the outer court, exposed to public view. People may think we are doing nothing, but service to God in the Holy Place far transcends service to the people in the outer court. Ministry Without Sweat

The same passage tells us how they must be clothed who would minister to the Lord:

They shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, while they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within. They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins (Ezekiel 44:18).

Those who minister to the Lord may not wear wool. Why not? The reason is given:

"They shall not clothe themselves with anything that causes sweat" (verse 18 NKJV). No work chat produces sweat is acceptable to the Lord. But what does "sweat" signify?

We all know that the first occasion when sweat is mentioned was when Adam was driven from the Garden of Eden. After Adam sinned, God pronounced this sentence upon him: "Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life...in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread" (Genesis 3:19-19). It is clear that sweat is a condition of the curse. Because the curse rested on the ground, it ceased to yield its fruit without man's effort, and such effort produced sweat.

When the blessing of God is withheld, fleshly effort becomes necessary, and that causes sweat. All work that produces sweat is positively prohibited to those who minister to the Lord. Yet today what an expenditure of energy there is in work for Him! Few Christians can do any work today without sweating over it. Their work involves planning and scheming, exhorting and urging, and very much running around. It cannot be done without a great deal of fleshly zeal.

Nowadays, if there is no sweat there is no work. Before work for God can be undertaken, there is a great deal of rushing to and fro, making numerous contacts, having consultations and discussions, and finally getting the approval of various people before going ahead. As for waiting quietly in the presence of God and seeking His instructions, that is out of the question.

Yet, in spiritual work, the one factor to be taken into account is God. He is the one Person to make contact with. That is the preciousness of spiritual work that is truly spiritual-it is related to the Lord Himself In relation to Him there is work to do, but it is work that produces no sweat.

If we have to advertise our ministry and use great effort to promote it, then it is obvious that it does not spring from prayer in the presence of God. If you really work in God's presence, men will respond when you come into their presence. You will not have to use endless means in order to help them. Spiritual work is God's work, and when God works, man does not need to expend so much effort that he sweats over it.

Let us in utter honesty examine ourselves before God today. Let us ask Him: "Am I serving You, or am I merely serving the work? Is my ministry truly unto you Lord, or is it only ministry to your House?" If you are pouring with sweat all the time, it is safe to conclude that it is the House you are serving, not the Lord. If all your busyness is related to human need, you may know that you are serving men, not God. I am not despising the work of slaying sacrifices at the altar. It is work for God and someone has to do it-but God wants something beyond that. The Sons of Zadok God cannot secure everyone for service to Himself, for many of His own are reluctant to leave the thrill and excitement of the outer court. They are bent on serving the people. But what about us? Oh that today we might say to the Lord: "I am willing to forsake things, I am willing to forsake the work, I am willing to forsake the outer court and serve You in the inner sanctuary."

When God could find no way to bring all the Levites to the place of ministry to Himself, He chose the sons of Zadok from among them for this special service. Why did He select the sons of Zadok? Because when the children of Israel went astray, they recognized that the outer court had been irreparably corrupted, so they did not seek to preserve it. Instead, they made it their business to preserve the sanctity of the Holy Place.

Brothers and sisters, can you bear to let the external structure go, or must you persist in putting up a scaffolding to preserve it? It is the Holy Place that God is out to preserve-a place utterly set apart for Him. I beseech you before God to hear His call to for sake the outer court and devote yourself to His service in the Holy Place.

I love to read about the prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch: "As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said: Separate me Barnabas and Sau1 for the work whereunto I have called them" (Acts 13:2). We see there that the Holy Spirit commissions men to the work as they are ministering to the Lord. Unless ministry to the Lord is the thing that governs us, the work will be in confusion.

God does not want volunteers for His work; He wants conscripts. He will not have you preaching the gospel just because you want to. The work of the Lord is suffering serious damage today at the hand of volunteers; it lacks those who can say as He did: "He that sent me..."

Brothers and sisters, the work of God is God's own work, and not work that you can take up ac your pleasure. Neither churches, nor missionary societies, nor evangelistic bands can send men to work for God. The authority to commission men is not in the hands of men, but solely, in the hands of the Spirit of God.

Serving the Lord does not mean chat we do not serve people, but it does mean that all service to people has service to the Lord as its basis. It is service Godward that urges us out manward. Luke 17:7-10 tells us clearly what the Lord is after. These are two kinds of work referred to here: plowing the field and tending the flock. Both are very important occupations, yet the Lord says that when a servant returns from such work, he is expected to provide for his master's satisfaction before sitting down to enjoy his own food.

When we have returned from our toil in the field, we are apt to muse complacently on the much work we have accomplished. But the Lord will say, "Gird yourself and give me to eat." He requires ministry to Himself. We may have labored in a wide field and cared for many sheep, but all our toil in the field and among the flock does not exempt us from ministry to the Lord's own personal satisfaction. That is our supreme task.

What are you really after? Is it only work in the field, preaching the gospel to the unsaved? Is it just tending the flock, caring for the needs of the saved? Or are we seeing to it that the Lord can eat to His full satisfaction and drink till His thirst is quenched? True, it is necessary for us also to eat and drink, but that cannot be till after the Lord is satisfied. We, too, must have our enjoyment, but that can never be until His joy is first made full.

Let us ask ourselves: Does our work minister to our satisfaction or to the Lord's? I fear that when we have worked for the Lord, we are often thoroughly satisfied before He is satisfied. We are often quite happy with our work when He has found no joy in it. Blessed are they who can differentiate between ministry to sinners or saints, and ministry to Him. Such discernment is not easily acquired. Often it is only by much drastic dealing that we learn the difference between ministry to the Lord Himself and ministry to the House.

Let us seek the grace of God that He may reveal to us what it really means to minister to Him


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Mike

 2008/8/24 14:20Profile
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
The vital difference between soulish worship and the genuine presence of God worship is, one involves sacrifice, the other involves indulgence.



I think I can understand the essence of this statement. Yet, perhaps because of a mistrust of so much power chord music in the church, we can become too hard towards people who experience pleasure in any musical worship. There is pleasure in God. In fact, the heart of the Christian draws deep pleasure in God, and freely relate their enjoyment of music to this pleasure. Is this a purely spiritual thing? I think testing ourselves is a good thing, but less so if we start building rules for others. In our scrutiny of this issue, let's not become simply anti-pleasure. You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm;...because they could not bear what was commanded...But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly.... Or, as it has been said before, under the law we performed a sacrifice, but in Christ we proclaim a sacrifice.

I say this because I have repented of carrying a petty and judgmental attitude into a contemporary Church worship service, wherein anyone closing their eyes and smiling blissfully drew my secret scorn. God forgive me.

Some older Christians understand now that worship is not merely 'music' but how long did it take before they acquired this more mature perspective? And even if one day I understand the full extent of what worship is, I'm not sure I will ever feel right in saying that my worship is a sacrifice. In the meantime let's not shut people out but remember Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

I realize if I see these things, then everyone sees them as well, so forgive my lecturing. It's just that I wouldn't want to trade one kind of soulish religion for another; if you know what I mean brethren.

Blessings,

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2008/8/24 15:04Profile
BrokenOne
Member



Joined: 2007/6/7
Posts: 429
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 Re:

Quote:
I say this because I have repented of carrying a petty and judgmental attitude into a contemporary Church worship service, wherein anyone closing their eyes and smiling blissfully drew my secret scorn. God forgive me.



Oh brother Compton, I had to smile when I read this. I was one of those smiling eye-closers, who all the while scorned the hymn book holders. Thank God He has since shown me the utter foolishness of this attitude by having me in a little hymn book church weeping uncontrollably as I sang from a hymn book.

Oh, the dealings of God. So very precious.

Danielle


_________________
Danielle

 2008/8/24 15:11Profile









 Re:

HI Mike ...Excellent passage from Watchman Nee.......Brother Compton writes....

"In our scrutiny of this issue, let's not become simply anti-pleasure."

I smiled at this comment :-) Yet, in the seperation of the flesh and the Spirit that is what we have to discern. Anyone who has experienced the presence of the Lord would know that there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. I do think that many equate "fun," and "joy," when in actual fact they are totally different. So to compare one to the other may not be accurate, kinda like a straw man.

We have often heard the phrase "To be so spiritually minded as to be no earthly good." Maybe I am travelling in the wrong circles
:-) Thas't just not a problem that I have run into lately :-) Seriously though, we are living in unique times. This is not just an issue of personal choice in music, and to cast it in that light , I think, may cause a diservice to the seriousness of the situation. This is an end times issue that goes to the heart of the Church. This is a paradigm shift. We have a whole generation, and by that I mean, teens, 20s and 30s who have never experienced the corporate presence of God. And so, when things come along, like Lakeland for instance, they are fodder for these false movements. The video clip that I included in my last post should definately be checked out. This is the next wave, and it is one of the highlights of the invasion of the church by New Age thoughts and methods...............Frank

 2008/8/24 18:24
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Thanks Broken One and Frank.

My comments were simply my own experience in trying to navigate the various expressions and forms we find in our churches.

Quote:
This is not just an issue of personal choice in music, and to cast it in that light , I think, may cause a diservice to the seriousness of the situation.



I wasn't talking about mere music choices, but the different manners in which people engage in public worship and our concern whether or not these expressions are soulish substitutions for true spiritual life. I intended no disservice or belittlement to the concern that American Christianity is subsisting on too many empty soulish passions and artificial stimulants. I offered my experience regarding contemporary music, but only to share that I made the mistake of adding my own soulish fear and assumptions to the situation, with the thought that my mistakes could be of some benefit to some here.

(Edit:Obviously our comments can mean various things depending on context. For instance, if my comments below were paired with that "Club Mysterio" video you posted, it might put your hair on end! There is some outright paganism being unleashed on these young people for sure. In that context, I couldn't agree with you more...these young people are unable to comprehend the darkness they are in. It is tragic.

So, once again, my comments were just clarifying we weren't saying all enjoyment in worship is suspect.

That's all. :-)

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2008/8/24 19:35Profile









 Re:

This article when I read it really spoke to me about why we must not be too quick to judge others. I posted this on another thread but I don't know if everyone got a chance to read it:

"Leaping Like Calves From the Stall": An Analogy for Today

by David Johnson

Leaping Like Calves From the Stall

The prophecy given through Malachi is essentially a conversation between God and Israel, as God points out Israel's wrong attitudes and invites them to repent and turn to Him and receive His blessings.

In the final chapter of this short book, Malachi is shown what lies ahead for those who will repent and what will become of those who don't. In Malachi 4:2, God makes this promise: "But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall" (New Revised Standard Version).

What does that tell you? What does a calf leaping from a stall have to do with your future? Undoubtedly, there are several lessons that could be gleaned from this analogy, and an experience from this writer's past can shed light on one of them.

It was that period between late winter and early spring in the Midwest, and we were keeping an eye on a Hereford cow that was due to drop her first calf any day. At this time of year, it can be warm and pleasant during the day, yet turn very cold during the night. We were concerned that she might give birth during the night when we couldn't watch her, and the calf would freeze before we discovered it in the morning. We brought her into the barn and put her in a stall where she would be protected from the elements.

When the veterinarian arrived to check on her, he discovered that the calf was in a breech position, and we would need to help her deliver it. After much effort, the new calf dropped to the floor of the stall, and the cow did instinctively what every cow has always done—she began to lick him to clean him up and get the blood circulating. After just a few minutes, the little fellow got up on shaky legs and wobbled instinctively to the same place every newborn calf has always gone—to get his first meal.

Mother and calf were doing fine, but because of the cold weather, we decided to leave them in the stall for a few more days.

Now, for those who are not familiar with farm animals, please don't be misled by the fact that cows are listed among the "clean" animals. That refers only to the fact that God permits us to eat the meat. It says nothing about the cow's habits of personal hygiene. Cows have no qualms about relieving themselves and then standing or lying down in the mess for days at a time. As the days passed, this stall became quite an unpleasant mess, but the cow and her calf didn't seem to notice.

Leaving the Stall

Finally the day came when it was warm enough to let the cow and calf out of the stall and put them back in the pasture. When the stall was opened, the cow ambled out of the stall and then out the barn door into the pasture, where she immediately began to feast on the fresh green grass.

But the calf didn't know what to do. The stall had been his whole world, and he was terrified at the prospects of having to leave it. Even after we put a halter on him, he planted all four feet and fought with all his might to keep from being pulled from the stall. It took two grown men to finally drag him out of the stall and into the pasture. When the rope was removed, he dashed immediately to his mother and stood underneath her, looking wide-eyed and frightened at all the strange things in the pasture.

As the moments passed and nothing bad happened to him, he grew more and more curious about all the new sights and sounds and smells of the pasture. He ventured a short distance from his mother and sniffed some of the grass and then dashed back under her for safety again. After a few more moments he ventured a bit further away, dashing back to safety each time.

Within a half hour, he was dashing and leaping from one end of the pasture to the other with an excitement and joy that is hard to describe. This new world was wonderful! It was filled with all sorts of interesting plants and animals—tastes and smells he had never imagined while living in his stall. For the first time in his short life, he was living instead of merely existing, and never again would he want the stench and dullness of the barn.

Why had he been so reluctant to leave his stall? Compared to the wonderful world outside, his stall was ugly and unpleasant. But to him, his stinking, fetid, waste-filled stall was "normal." It was his only idea of how life could be lived. It was all he had ever known, and as far as he knew, this is the way every calf lived.

To someone standing on the outside, someone who could see a different reality, the stall was a wretched place to be. But to that calf, it was "home," and he was comfortable there.

The power of what seems "normal" to a person is amazing. People who have grown up in abusive homes tend to view abuse as normal, and the cycle is repeated generation after generation. People who break free of abusive relationships often go into other abusive relationships because it seems "normal."

For most of us the examples may not be quite as extreme, but many of the things we do in our lives, our relationships, our actions, are the result of a negative, dysfunctional way of living that still seems "normal" to us.

In 1 Peter 1:18, Peter refers to the fact that "you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers" (New International Version). Most people don't consciously choose empty, worthless ways of living. They just live that way because it feels normal. Until people get a clear view of the way things should be—the way they can be—they will continue to feel most comfortable with this distorted view of "normal."

 2008/8/24 19:57









 Re:

Hi Brother Compton....I know that brother, that is why I put in as many smiley faces as I could :-) Its not your discernment that worries me brother, its the greater church. I think you may have put your finger on what I was trying to say, it is all about the context. If one believes that the church is just going along as normal (whatever that would be :) then put in that context, then the struggles of bygone generations, and the tension between younger and older people would be simply just that.

I do not believe that is the case though, and I could be wrong. I believe that we are near the Lord's return and that Satan knows that too and he is going all out to destroy that which makes Christians strong and leave them in a weakened condition, ripe for the tribulation. God bless you brother Compton, the internet is a marvelous tool for communication, but as brother ROBERTW and I discussed when we met for lunch the other day, it can also makes our words and our intentions sharper than they are........Frank

 2008/8/24 20:03





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