Sunday, April 08, 2012

Behold! A Christ Moment!

You've got to be taught To hate and fear, You've got to be taught From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!

Matt.5:43-48 - Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Rarely have those who name the name of Christ shown such disdain for his words than in the western church. Since politics and nationalism has invaded the church, millions of professing believers exhibit an open rebellion for the words of Jesus even while claiming to follow Him. The grandmother of my children who is a godly woman was recently attending the funeral of her sister’s husband. He had been a faithful minister of the gospel. So in an atmosphere which should have been filled with joy and praise, she walked up to her sister and asked,

“What do you think about Obama?”

Can you imagine such a thing? That question not only reveals the western church’s obsession with American politics, but it obviously reveals a hatred for the current president. And in response to that question, her sister said with repugnance, “He’s a Muslim.” Oh my! In the midst of a home going for one of God’s children, believers cannot even pause their minds for a moment concerning hatred and politics? And when I related this story to someone who is a godly believer and has been for decades, she replied that she believed President Obama was indeed a Muslim.

What is happening to our faith and our hearts? I do not believe President Obama is a born again believer as the Bible teaches. I cannot know his heart, but I have never heard his open testimony. To be fair, the only president in my lifetime who I believed may have been saved is the second George Bush, and I still have no confidence about him either. When I was born again in 1975 I was ignorant of the Scriptures but my conversion was so tangible and life changing that I knew instinctively that Jesus was the only way to eternal life. But George Bush once said all religions lead to God and that is very unsettling. I’m sure President Obama believes the same thing.

But President Obama has professed to be a Christian for decades and has attended a Christian church. And even if he was a Muslim, does that change our love and concern for him as a living soul? The reason believers say he is a Muslim is because they believe he shows deference to Muslim nations in his foreign policy. And of course when someone fails to adequately protect the idol called America even believers let hatred enter their hearts. Muslims, they believe, are our sworn enemies and we must keep them in check. How wonderfully Christian.

But at the heart of the problem is the metamorphosis that has taken place in Christianity. The words of Jesus and of the New Testament as a whole have been swept aside in favor of a more convenient and cultural interpretation and practice. What interests the fallen culture now interests the church. What the fallen culture speaks about is what gives voice to the church. Eternity is no longer fashionable as a consuming subject because the saved and the lost desire economic and moral results now.

And since the church has decided that her views of morality and economics fall into the “conservative” category, she feels very comfortable championing those views in concert with anyone else who does regardless of their spiritual condition. If Hugh Hefner is against socialism, he is our conservative brother. If the stripper is against higher taxes, she is our political ally. If the doctor who performs abortions hates Obamacare, then he is a member of our club. And when someone like President Obama espouses things that are contrary to our moral/economic/political list, then he becomes our enemy. And we all know what Jesus said we must do to our enemies - annihilate them!

But do you see what has happened? The original faith called Christianity has all but vanished and made room for a different practice while retaining some of the tenants at least in doctrinal form. We say we believe the Bible and follow the example and words of Jesus, and yet we do not practice them. OK class, what do we call such a person? Jesus rebuked those who gave lip service to Him but whose hearts were far from Him. But the western church has so strayed that even their lips no longer even present a false front. We speak boldly in direct opposition to Christ’s teachings. Is this not as serious as it gets?

Hatred and judgment are serious issues. And when we say judgment we mean condemnation of lost sinners. We are all to judge spiritually about issues of the Spirit, and especially judge ourselves inwardly. But so many speak with caustic rhetoric about all kinds of people and in so doing they obscure the offer of eternal redemption. And the tongue is a world of iniquity. If you criticize and condemn others regularly, eventually you cultivate an inward hatred regardless if you want to admit it or not. And if you see or hear that person on television that hatred grows in scope and intensity. What a sad commentary of the church that should follow Jesus.

And the preachers themselves practice such things. They speak with indignation about politicians and officials and all sorts of sinners. They complain about the economy while with the same mouth endorse war. What an unchristian mess we have going today! The faith of Jesus exists and is practiced in a realm not of this world. We cannot combine the wrangling and systems of the pagan world with the teachings of our Master. We are to remain separate and rise above the fallen screeches that have no answer and secretly seek their own aggrandizement.

And people claim that there is now a war on religion. And in America they are right. The war is on religion, but it is not on Christ and the true manifestation of His life. Those who follow Christ are to endure hardship and rejoice when persecutions come. But those who complain on media outlets about their first amendment rights and the laws that they deem religious restrictions are acting in direct conflict with the faith they say they believe. Again, it is a convoluted mess.

Let us follow Jesus with all our hearts and cast out all that is not of Christ. We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Let us speak and live according to who we are in Him!


Anonymous said...

God bless you for the message and It is on point according to the bible, but I clicked on the message link above.

The article on Christian post, I read and was glad for the Lord to save this person, but was saddened about his stance on homosexuality which is a lie. How come a "Christian post did not condemn this as false" and also how come you did not mansion this on your post, I am not form USA, and this thing is still sin and will always be.

True following of Jesus is love and also Truth based on the bible.

God bless you.

Rick Frueh said...

I saw that as well. But let us put it in some gracious perspective. Afetr I was asaved from a wicked life in 1975 I held to some very unscriptural beliefs. As with everyone who has no real Biblical background, it takes time. Sometimes much time.

Additionally, one can hold to some unscriptural beliefs and still be saved. The two main truths that are non-negotiable in salvation is the Person of Christ and salvation by faith alone.

For instance, I believe a person can be saved and still be blind to some aspect of his own life. Thank you for your words.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brother Rick

I agree it takes time for new belivers to leave some unscriptual beliefs, as they come to know the word of God better and how to live the new life according to His words.

But brother, I believe you made a mistake by saying "one can hold to some unscriptural beliefs and still be saved" I believe you mean to include Homosexuality as one of it, but the bible clearly says on 1 Cor 6:9-10 "9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

Brother, How can we continue to believe we are saved and inherit the Kingdom of God and still practice or approve of those thinks, when God says otherwise

I may be wrong, but I am sure God will send someone or somehow show the person of his wrongs for him to turn back, but some will not.

The word of God is to be obeyed with His grace all the time.

God bless you

Rick Frueh said...

I do believe that I will respond ton those who comment with their name attatched.

Cal said...

Unknown Commenter:

It also says in the article that the newly regenerated man believes that things that say homosexual sexuality is wrong were later additions.

I don't agree but as Rick says, trust the Spirit to teach and lead him into all truth. That is, seeing more of the Son's face.

Also Rick,
I like to think the last believer on the throne of Babylon was Carter. Everyone hated him because he did things with a firm conscience, even when it was imperative to national security or something else. Only bad presidents can even start to be considered believers in this empire.

Steve said...

I'd agree with "Unknown" above. Jimmy Carter seems the last (possibly the only) born-again Christian to be president.

It's been part of the politics of maintaining their "social-conservative base" for Republicans to profess Christianity, of course. But there's seldom evidence it reflects a heart-conviction.

Bush II may be the best (worst ?) example. His 9/11 anniversary speech in 2002 ended:

"This ideal of America is the hope of all mankind...That hope still lights our way. And the light shines in the darkness. And the darkness will not overcome it."

Applying scripture's words about Jesus to "the ideal of America" is blasphemy and idolatry. Period. It evidences the opposite of a Christian heart.

In Jesus, Steve