More than likely this will be a message that will one day be preached and perhaps I am being a bit “trigger happy” in presenting something that I have been feeling for quite some time. Throughout my years in ministry I have heard countless sermons preached which have focused on dynamics of separation, holiness and the church. I have heard it preached with a spirit of vehemence and unlove while I have heard it preached with the slick ambiguousness of a midnight dream. Thankfully, once it a great while there would come the clear resonance of a lucid voice which showed the balance and love which such teaching demands.
Unfortunately, while men today may deny culpability, we are surrounded by various men and women who were under the hands of religious zealots, whose hammer was bigger than their heart. Call it what you want, but red-faced preachers, fire in their eyes who would scream “whore, prostitute and faggot” did nothing to win this world. And yes, I have heard the standard argument in defense of men (men whom I admire greatly who lived Godly and powerful lives) that the world they lived in was different from the world we live in today.
The world in which Jesus was immersed was a fairly civilized world and yet it was always bordering on the razor-sharp edge of barbaric savagery. One need only look at the crucifixion! And yet in the midst of a society that was far more barbaric and unforgiving in nature; a society that would drag a woman caught in the act of adultery and demand that justice be served in way of stoning it was Jesus who stooped down in the sand, writing words which scripture will never reveal, and demanding that “He who is without sin cast the first stone.”
She was a woman caught in the clutches of sin and thrown into the dirt condemned for the actions she had taken part in. Condemnation was the loud voice that cried and yet it was the still and steady voice of a merciful Christ that spoke the powerful words, “Go and sin no more.” Too often we fail to forget, while what we preach may be right and what we preach may be the word of God, it does not mean that the spirit we preach it in is right! Don’t declare unrestrained anger and personal vendettas our righteous anger! It was recently declared by a great man of God: “It isn’t hard to clean OUT a church but it takes a man to clean UP a church.” The old proverb declares that you “catch more flies with honey.”
Unfortunately we are living in a world today which peddles such inebriated ideologies of love in relationship to God. The “icing-on-the-cake” mentality that proclaims the fluff without the foundation. Spiritual playboys like Joel Osteen who built a house on the love of Jesus the Christ and forfeit the foundation of truth, judgment and righteous living. It is a contemporary Christ, with long golden locks and soft features, wearing clean white robes with an adoring look always shining from his face. Beceause of this viewpoint today I feel like the church has reached a point where we are AFRAID of the dynamics of a SOCIAL Gospel, dynamics of grace and the love of Jesus Christ.
And yet we watch the unraveling, as rattling skeletons emerge out of the closets of men we have held dear and precious in this faith. We are watching them spiral out of control, being so swept away by the doctrines of love and charity, that they no longer preach the rigid supports of the building erected on the foundation of Christ. We are terrified, it seems, to embrace the love…joy and external dynamics of charity. Therefore we have become complacent to the world around us not understanding the paradox of Christianity which demands that we be IN the world but not OF the world.
How many Apostolics are weighed down by the insecurity of their conviction and thus what is perceived as arrogance and aloof disposition is nothing more than the lack of understanding. Are they to blame? In most cases they are not! Those of us who were challenged to a be a kingdom of priests, a peculiar people, a valued treasure, a royal lineage; executioners man our watchtowers and we have slammed shut gates which were never meant to be closed. Refuge is the city which we dwell and salvation the walls that stand tall and proud and our responsibility remains to reach a dying and a lost world. Priesthood was meant for SERVICE not RETIREMENT. Royalty was mean for LEADERSHIP not LUXURY. Peculiarity was meant for IDENTITY and not self-righteous posturing. Treasure is meant to sparkle and shine and present VALUE that attracts desire.
However, if salt has lost its savour, then the only purpose it serves is to be cast out and trodden upon. “There is a sort of verbal verisimilitude in the manner in which our Lord alludes to the act: ‘it is cast out’ and ‘trodden under foot;’ so troublesome is this corrupted salt, that it is carefully swept up, carried forth, and thrown into the street. There is no place about the house, yard, or garden where it can be tolerated. No man will allow it to be thrown on to his field, and the only place for it is the street, and there it is cast to be trodden underfoot of men.” Light that doesn’t shine is darkness and salt that doesn’t flavor is useless.
That being said we MUST understand that the purposes of God for the church stand in the continuance of His mission which was to “seek and to save that which was lost.” How can we SEEK if the doors are barred and the gates are shut fast. If we are saved by grace THROUGH faith and faith cometh by HEARING and HEARING by the WORD OF GOD how then shall they receive if we not GO? For a preacher must respond to the SENDING of the Savior for those to hear the preaching of the Word!
When Jesus said “come unto Me,” it was never meant to be the operational direction of the church! We were SENT and if we do not GO then we are failing to adhere to the commandment of God. We preach the unwavering principles of prayer, fasting and Holiness and yet make excuses for our failure to GO. The revival of many nations began with the obedience of a man who responded to the call to move and go! From the moment that Abram responded to the call ,INHERITANCE began to materialize on the horizon of the future.
From the moment of being SENT and his obedience to GO, God began to set in motion BASED ON THE OBEDIENCE OF ABRAHAM dynamics of dominion which would forever affect the landscape of humanity. We must understand that there are various principles of the Kingdom of God that will never operate among us until we GO OUT! When scripture spoke of “these signs shall follow,” it is speaking of progression…of movement! One cannot follow that which does not MOVE! God cannot stand the (IN)Difference of those called to make a difference! (see the church of Laodicea!) Other words for INDIFFERENT? (apathy, impassive, stultify, nonchalant or carefree.) We were called to MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
End of PART 1