THOUGHTS & COMMENTS
19Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 5:)
"I'd think you were a nut."
"If you knew I already had two open-heart surgeries and six bypasses, and you saw me doing nothing but laying in front of the TV and eating hamburgers and french-fries; what would you say?"
"I'd say you was crazy."
"If I had to have you repeat everything twice because I was losing my hearing, and you walked into my room and I had the stereo system turned up to full volume; what would you think of me?"
"I'd think you lost your marbles."
"If you saw a woman running frantically with her clothes on fire about to burn to death, and near her you saw me standing by with a water hose in my hand casually watching the woman while getting a drink from the water hose; what would you say to me?"
"I'd tell you to get that hose turned on the woman and save her life and then go see a shrink about your hard-heartedness. That's what I'd tell you, you bum!"
"Then, you, calling yourself a Christian and believing in a hell where people will suffer and burn forever, but are doing nothing to rescue any of those dying souls; what should I say to you?"
Have you had to punish your child lately? Afraid to because of the possibility of being hauled off to jail?
Originally our Government tried to keep a low profile and let parents run their own families. Strangely enough, it worked! Crime and social order was fairly well in hand in those days. But the times they have changed, and like ol' Wrong Way, time is not going in the direction we had intended it to.
How often have you been invited to a PTA meeting lately? Ask your grandparents how often they were not only invited, but almost required to participate and put there two cents worth into the education of their child.
How about your church; have you found some small discrepancy in the way the church is being run in contrast to what you read in the Bible; or some problem with doctrine that you find contrary to Biblical teaching? Did you present your view to your Elders? I'll bet the likelihood of their quoting 1Timothy 5:1 (the first half anyway, and 1Chronicles 16:22 is very strong, which they have down pat in every translation of the Bible ever published.
Consider God's Word. In the past, how often do you suspect the Genesis account of creation was questioned? Oh, in my life time there was a running theory about something called "Evolution," that was thought of in most circles (that I had any dealing with) rather like something that belonged in the funnies. Then came along the Intelligentsia and proclaimed Evolution the only acceptable belief, barring any other from being taught in our schools. Schools being another area where the tentacles of Government have been felt. Then the churches, not wanting to be left out or look foolish to the "World," developed a theory whereby it could preach Creation, and Evolution. They called it, not surprisingly; "Creative Evolution" (or some such nonsense).
Backward into the World goes the church. Wrong Way strikes again.
From the beginnings of time, at least as it is recorded in the Bible, we were taught to "Fear the Lord;" that God was angry and must be appeased; that we must be good and faithful in order to be in right standing with this angry and wrathful God. No more. Now we are taught that God is: "Peace and Love;" that He wants everyone to be happy regardless if we turn our back on him or not. The Fear of God has departed most of the churches in the same way God left the Temple in the writings of Ezekiel.
Wrong-Way has gone just about as far the wrong way as he can, and is just about to make a crash landing.
The two of us talked for some time about the Bible, and especially about the Holy Spirit since I usually tend to swing the subject in that direction at one time or another.
It turns out this young man was very knowledgeable regarding the Bible, being able to give me verses on topics I brought up (and for which I often had no idea where to find what I was talking about in the Bible).
In the past few days I have been trying hard to find a certain Scripture in the Bible, and was unable to do so. I thought perhaps I was wrong and it was in fact not in the Bible.
I told this young fellow about what I was writing, and what I had found. He quoted the verse I was trying to find almost word-for-word as it is written, but wasn't sure where it was located. I thought it was either in Genesis or in Isaiah, but he was quite certain it was somewhere in the Psalms.
While we were looking for the verse in a concordance in the back of one of the Bibles (trying to find a word that was included in the verse), this young man's wife came to where we were and took over the search. Within two minutes she found it. The verse was exactly as the fellow quoted it, and it indeed was in the Palms as he had said.
Now, if this young fellow and his wife had been a long-time student of the Word, or a Fundamental preacher with years of training under his belt, I would not have been so surprised.
But there are certain groups of people who are well known to preach just a few verses out of the Bible and seem totally unaware of any of the rest of the Word. Of these we expect to receive a blank stare when confronted with anything outside of their realm of expertise. And doesn't a Fundamental preacher love to go to battle with one of these unsuspecting souls?
Well, I suspect that either reports of such denominations are either greatly exaggerated, or those doing the reporting haven't met one such as this young couple. And just what were they?
At the time we were talking he was enthused and somewhat animated, and by all appearances a good candidate for introducing to my website.
The next day I gave him a copy of what I had written that contained the story his comments had stimulated; along with a copy of The Worm and the Thread.
Today I saw him again, and I didn't have to ask if he had read what I had written; his stoic, distant expression and attitude, that I have seen so often from people I have given my writing to, told me all I needed to know.
Not any more. I know where the material I write comes from, and I know it is going to turn everybody away. But that's not my problem. Even if I were to be stoned as were Steven and Paul, it still is not my problem. When it becomes my problem is when I begin to doubt what I am writing, and begin to I think I should stop writing for this website.
I'm only doing my job. I'm giving out thousand dollar bills. My job is not to make anyone take what I have offered them, or to expect appreciation either of the value of the gift, or the giver of what has been given.
And more than other people, I find that I have been wrong so many times and have had ulterior motives that I was unaware of at the time.
But, I must confess, I am a terrible judge of other people, and no better a judge of what is right or wrong. My track record for being right is way down the list of acceptability.
Why do I tell you this? Because, as I have said so many times before; I want you to take with a grain of salt anything I have to say. I want you to doubt my writings and my credibility. I want for you to tear into what I have to say with the intent of proving I'm a fool and a fake.
And I want that no one stand up at the Judgement, point their finger at me and say: "Well, he said, so therefore I did...."
The one we are most likely to deceive, and the easiest to deceive, is ourself. We have certain desires and hopes, and anyone who can promise us fulfilment of those wants and desires, we place our trust in.
Besides those who promise us fulfilment, we place our trust in those we care about, either not suspecting that they will deceive us, or that they are even able to deceive us because of their honesty.
Regardless of the deceitfulness or the honesty of others, it is ourselves who is to blame. We want to believe, therefore we believe.
In the story of The Judgment each of the people who stood before the Throne believed they had done the right thing during their lifetime. But they were wrong. Like taking the wrong medicine for an illness, regardless of how sincere we were when we took it, we must face the consequences for out error.
When we enter another country, we are subject to the laws of that country in spite of the fact that their laws are different than ours. And the fact that we do not know the laws of the land does not excuse us from following the laws of that land.
Christians have taken on the citizenship of a New World. Jesus said that those who come on board this New World should have counted the cost of doing so before they swore allegiance to this New World (Prayer of Repentance and Baptism). We are given a Book of Rules which we are to follow, as well as an Instructor (the Holy Ghost and a conscience) with which to insure our knowing these rules.
But, being human, we, the converts to this New World, still have our feet in the Old World, and have the tendency to want to retreat into that world of fleshly desires.
The law of the New World says we are not to retreat (backslide) and our conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm this in our heart.
But the Old World tells us it is ok, and even good to follow the laws of the flesh. And you very likely find that counselors (Pastors and Elders) of the New World to which you belong confirm your right to backslide, saying you will receive all the rewards "promised" you in your invitation to join the New World.
You, having heard from the "Authorities" what you want to hear, even though it obviously conflicts with the Book of Rules you have read, and your conscience as well, venture into the Old World of self-satisfaction.
After a time of pleasing yourself and not following your conscience, you find that when you read the Book of Rules it appears to support your chosen activities. The verses that run contrary to what you now "believe" seem to fade into the background, while those you have been told are the "true" words seem to pop out at you. Also you find your conscience becoming quieter and quieter, which tells you (that part of you that hears what it wants to hear) that you are on the right track.
At this time we have two primary options.
We can follow the example of the Old World and dig up every excuse and loophole possible with which to get out of our just punishment, and to help us do so we can acquire a lawyer with a reputation for getting offenders like yourself off with as little punishment as possible. The World supplies an abundance of such lawyers, or you can retain that old specialist in crime himself, Satan. (In reality, the two choices are one and the same.)
There is a hitch, however. You must not only belong to the New World in which the Judge rules and reigns over, but you must also know the Judge personally. You must have a relationship that is close and comfortable. The Judge does not accept please from anyone outside His own family, or that denies knowing Him. The Judge takes care of His own, but rejects all those who claim to know Him but does not follow the laws He has established for His World.
There is another hitch as well. None of the above can be accomplished at the time of your trial. It must have been established before the trial. The relationship with the Judge must be created and demonstrated when there is no pressure to do so, proving that it is truly from the heart, and not just a superficial act in order to satisfy yourself.
Judging begins from the day a citizen of the New World is sworn in. Judging at the Throne of Judgment is for those who fail to be judged in their day-by-day experience. And although the Judgement at the end of days will be very strict; the judgment that takes place in our daily lives should be even stricter. And the judge for these daily disobedience should strive to be at least as strict as the final Judge, if not stricter.
The Bible expresses this judgment thusly:
Most importantly we will be allowing that part of God which joins us with the Family of God and to the Body of Christ to grow and mature us into full citizenship of the New World we belong to.
Well, I thought so until I began my tour of the various churches.
I found that the Traditional churches with the liturgical services were almost just alike, and the likeness of them was like unto the Catholic services they were born out of.
Then there is the other extreme, that is the Fundamental Modern Protestant churches that have apparently protested the Protestant churches I have just described that are almost identical to the church they had originally protested and broke away from.
This new breed of protesting Protestant churches are so unlike the Protestant protesting church that I can't tell that they are a church at all. In fact, if it were not for their having a sermon of sorts (some don't even have that, apparently because it interferes with coffee and donuts as well as socializing which everyone knows the church is all about) at the end I would swear I was at a Grange Hall meeting or a rock concert.
World's collide. The church is but a step away from being the same as the World that it is to be so different from, that the World persecutes it for its difference.
Not anymore. In fact should the World (and I'm sure it does) enter into any of the protesting Protestant churches they will feel right at home; or they can attend a Protestant protesting church and get a good mid-morning nap without being disturbed. And if you don't snore, other congregates will just suspect you of being a prayer fanatic and leave you alone altogether.
Here's a few verses of Scripture that might help us to know:
15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (Mat 7:)
I think you will find it written often and very clearly stated that we must beware of what we listen to, and to study ourselves to be approved.
37In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:)
According to the Scripture above a true believer can be identified by the Presence of the Holy Spirit. But, how can we tell if someone (or ourself) has the Holy Spirit? John tells us that out of the believer's belly (the seat of our emotions) will flow fountains of Living Water, and that this Living Water is the Holy Spirit. That says to me a person who has the Holy Spirit will be running over all the time with praise and the Word and love for God and his fellow man, which are characteristics of Jesus. I read from this that a person who is not overflowing is not filled with the Holy Spirit and therefore is not part of the Family of God.
Mark adds this:
22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:)
14I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. 15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doth the will of God abideth for ever. (1John 2:)
7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Gal 6:)
Of course, if they happen to be a missionary (Home missionary I believe they are called), then it could be considered their job to straighten me out. It certainly seems that enough other people, even Pastors and Elders of churches, are approached by these missionaries trying to change their way of thinking.
But that's them. It really has nothing to do with me or why I am writing this piece.
However, it does surprise me when my own Pastor, who I see often, rejects my writings without a word or a comment one way or another. It does seem as if he would make some effort to set me on the straight and narrow as he sees it. This amazes me, and makes me wonder.
Yet it doesn't surprise me for two reasons in particular.
The first reason has to do with what I talk about in these writings, that for the most part, church officials are not as much interested in people as they are in the running of the church.
When I read the writings of Paul, as he traveled the world planting churches and trying to keep them running properly; how he took time to confront individual problems, even by stating their name, it seems to me that that is what the ministry is about.
I see Jesus as well, not concerned about numbers of people, or appearances, but about people. He took the time to listen to and explain to each individual what they sought or needed. He didn't discount people unless they refused to discount themselves or to listen to Him.
I do not agree with all he says, but then again, if I did, that is if I agreed totally with any teacher completely, I would doubt my reasoning ability. I say that we should follow no person of doctrine blindly; if I agreed totally with anyone, that is precisely what I would suspect myself of doing.
This Pastor had a very good standing with the organizational church he came out of, and he had to wing it on his own, not knowing where his next meal was coming from for many years because of turning from the establishment. A person has to be sincere to do such a thing, and very few of us would risk it.
This Pastor told about how those he had known for years, and some he had served with in the Marines with and attended school with, would not associate with him any more for fear of being looked down on by their organizational church. He said that if he had joined some "Cult" they would have invited him to dinner, put their arm around him and "straightened him up" in effort to bring him back into the fold. But since he had gone off on his own, and taught the "Truth" as he saw it, they wouldn't even bother to say "hello" to him.
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