Saturday, January 05, 2013

Can Believers Really be This Blind?


CAN BELIEVERS REALLY BE
THIS BLIND?

I had an article all ready to post, but I must address again this hypocrisy which is camouflaged as spiritual and moral boldness.

In the lineage of boycotts (i.e. Disney) or massive support (i.e. Chik-Fil-A) believers and Constitutional rights advocates of all stripes are outraged because part of the new healthcare law includes covering certain forms of contraceptions that are very early abortions. There really is no gospel or redemption in these kinds of movements, and this particular one centers around Hobby Lobby. I have dealt with the principle involved in an earlier post HERE. But let us unpack this situation and some of the inconsistencies involved.

It is so easy to be moral champions because you can clearly show yourself as untouched by the particular moral issue of which you protest. But what about the morals that center on love and mercy and grace, and the overarching indictment of us all - Christlikeness. Let some moral issue (gay rights, abortion, socialism, etc.) raise its ugly head and believers come out of the woodwork to trumpet their self righteous horns. And in so doing, perhaps unintentionally, they present Christianity to the world as a set of moral rules and regulations. Point of order: If you drove 26 mph in a 25 mph zone today you transgressed the law of God just as much as did the abortionist. What condemned the entire world to spiritual death? An abortion? Homosexuality? Murder? Adultery? No, one disobedient bite of a piece of fruit.

So please, let us climb down from our self serving perch and admit that if we were to be judged just by our thought life this very day, we would all wind up in hell if it were not for God’s grace. That really doesn’t sound like a firm moral foundation to me.

The company known as Hobby Lobby is owned by a billionaire who is an evangelical believer. He laments over the required healthcare because of the coverage of some contraceptions which are actually abortions. But by his own words he and his wife have lived the “American Dream” which is anything but spiritual. Hobby Lobby creates much of their merchandise in China which employees massive amounts of slave labor compared to the workforce in America. And here is the real hypocrisy.

China is the abortion capital of the world. So you can complain and take a “bold” stand against contraception in America but you can do billions of dollars of business in a nation which murders millions of unborn babies. And just why would you do business in China instead of America? I think we all know the answer to that question.

Money. Plain and simple. But everyone loves a good moral crusade, especially when you can kill two birds with one stone. Abortion and Obama.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

When you are persecuted for righteousness sake and you do not complain but rejoice, then it is persecution.
When you complain loudly and claim you are being treated unfairly then it is not persecution, it is self pity.


WHAT DO YOUR EYES SEE?

Now we come to the core issue. Do we have a view of God, or do we have a view of self? This is what separates Biblical and spiritual Christianity from earthly and carnal Christianity. This is what separates religion from relationship. This is what separates the Lordship of Christ from the lordship of self. This is the deepest of issues. It determines what kind of faith we have. It is the line of demarcation between the eternal and the temporal.

Where are our eyes fixed? Do we look upon that which is eternal or do we look upon the temporal? Are we willing to suffer for Him, or do we recoil at persecution? Do we leverage democracy in order to secure our rights, or do we humbly submit ourselves in hopes that Christ can be seen in and through us? Do not think for a moment that the owners of Hobby Lobby are peculiar in their beliefs and reactions. In fact, they are in the mainstream of evangelicalism. The western church has become enamored with democracy and earthly rights and to that end believers look to alleviate any and all unfair treatment.

Our Master gave His life for us, but must we get our feathers ruffled whenever we deem ourselves unworthy of persecution? It is quite a phenomenon to watch as the church complains and squawks about the unfairness of this present world, as if we should expect fair treatment. Our reactions mirror the secular world, and our remedies are found in the secular. Protests not prayer meetings; criticizing rather than loving; reason rather than surrender; loudness rather than humility. All these seek not Christ. Have we forgotten what He taught and how He lived, or have we ever really known?

The church houses are dark but the talk shows are lit. The prayer closets are empty but the voting booths are full. We desire his material blessings but not the fellowship of His sufferings. And somehow we continue to cling to some utopian notion about this nation and its roots, and in so doing we have left the Chief Cornerstone upon which all our hopes and truths are built. When did our eyes leave Christ? When were we deceived into playing in the world’s house and by the world’s rules? When did we doubt our Lord’s sovereignty and begin to rely on our own strength? And when did we become blind to the spiritual worth of being persecuted? The modern church has become so accustomed to living in convenience and accommodating surroundings that we cannot abide inconvenience, to say nothing of suffering or persecution.

And because we have changed the truth of God and the definition of discipleship, we now manifest a false construct of Christ who seeks money, complains, gathers petitions, commiserates about afflictions, castigates the lost, demands better treatment, and in general speaks and behaves like those who do not claim Christ. We mock those who bow to the earth while we ourselves bow to the systems in the earth.

I Pet.4: 12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

You see, this is not about battling the systems of this world. This is about the glory of Christ revealed in us through a remarkable life that is at odds with all that is in this world. It’s not about moral issues, although that seems to be the current direction. This is about Christ and His gospel, and us His ministers of reconciliation. We must constantly seek ways to shine Him and not ways to alleviate cultural pain. May God make it so.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks for unpacking this issue. I can just hear Jesus proclaiming the 7 woes upon the Christian world for all the hypocrisy. Perhaps what can be shaken will be shaken so that what is genuine remains.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for saying what so badly needs to be spoken.....I, like thousands, went to Chick-fil-a to support "God's view of marriage" and it wasn't until afterwards that I had a HUGE change of heart and saw where this action protesting a lifestyle (albeit non-biblical) is totally NOT as Jesus would have us mirror as his followers. Jesus would not have protested to create further distance between a Christian and a homosexual -- but through love would not condemn. How horrible self-righteousness in Christian views breeds the very opposite of it's origin. I am thankful for this conviction and sadly am not so quick to be offended and shocked when I hear Christians being tagged as a hate-group. Our eyes need to be opened daily to truly see. Thanks so very much for your service and giving.

Rick Frueh said...

Thank you for your transparent testimony.

Cherie c. said...

Part 1:
I have been lead after reading your post Pastor Rick to say two things, which my turn out to be three or more as the Spirit leads.

One, I hope when I discuss my life it is not being taken as complaining. Like I have said before, if this is the worse it gets, than fleshly I am thankful, but by no means am I complaining. My tears are not because of the treatment I receive it is because of those mistreating me. I cry because they do not realize, or they do but don't believe how lost they are and what they are going to face standing before a Holy and Righteous God, Jesus. As the tears stream down my face, I praise Him to count me worthy to be persecuted for His sake. I would be a liar to say that it doesn't hurt, it does, but that is where the endurance comes in. (overcomer). I am sure it will get worse in this area, but when I speak of the trials I go through, it is only to share with brothers and sisters to let them know that suffering is just what the doctor (Jesus) ordered.

Secondly, I have to admit that I am scared about persecution. Not the event itself, but what it entails. Pain manifests itself in many ways, but physical pain is not something I can endure. Many surgeries have identified this. I pray that I will not fail if the day every comes to have to endure something that would take my life. Not that I am afraid to lose it, but the process it takes to have it taken from me. A few weeks ago I read some of the accounts of the martyrs of the earlier centuries, and if Hobby Lobby thinks they are being persecuted they should read about them.

When I sometimes speak up about the mistreatment, I then repent and ask the Lord to forgive me, as I forgive those hurting me, mocking me. But I also realize that Jesus walked among humankind and knows us quite well. He knows we are weak, and therefore has given us His strength. Glory to God for that strength because I know that I know that I know those days I knew I would not even be able to get out of bed in the morning it was His Strength, and only His Strength that got me up and going. Praise God, LOL whether I wanted to or not. God is so Good!

Cherie c. said...

Part 2:
God has given us a portion of grace He sees fit for us, but we than must pray for increase. This whole story of salvation and abundant life is all about life with Him not here. Yes as being still in the flesh it is going to hurt, but He gives us rest when we need it. I firmly believe that He does not give us more than we can handle, and some can handle more than others and that is where the important work begins. Those stronger should support the weaker.
Oh how the church system has made a beautiful, simple and glorious life of following the Lord a burden. The convoluted and deception WE have allowed to take us away from the Truth. But I believe God knew this was going to happen, that is why He placed people like Pastor Rick where he is to Preach the Gospel. I do not know Pastor Rick personally, but I know him as a brother in Christ and his work goes unappreciated and sometimes it is attacked and it is my hope and prayer that he rejoices in it. But the endurance is he continues this blog in obedience to his calling by the Lord. He faces great reward in the future, but now he must endure (overcome) the arrows.

Thank you again Pastor for the sermon that brings about conviction through the power of the Holy Spirit. Your calling is great and it is a big responsibility, but the service of which you are called is a blessing to us, and I pray to you. The unchurched Pastor gives the Gospel in all its Glory as the two edged sword it is meant to be. Convicting and Edifying all at the same time, it is humbling. God is so GOOD to us!

Brothers and sisters pray for Hobby Lobby, Chik-fil-A, and others who claim the Lord but do not what He commands. This too is another deception to take our eyes off of Christ, and make our flesh rise up where it ought not.

So blessed to be unchurched.

God Bless you anonymous who protested then repented. May God grant many more believers new sight into His Glory and His Will, and lay down their flesh and pick up their cross and follow Him.

Love you all!

Cherie c.

Cherie c. said...

One more thing if I may Pastor....

All the anonymous commentators I would be blessed to know your names so I can lift you up in prayer to our Lord. You don't have too, but it is such a blessing to get to know brothers and sisters in the Lord. Fellowship is so important at these end of days as the Bible says. if anyone of you would like to fellowship please feel free to contact me at genesis2.22woman@gmail.com. God Bless and have a wonderful day.

Cherie c.

Cherie c. said...

Pastor, just found this on youtube after listening to an excerp from Leonard Ravenhill. Wow Pastor, really accompany your post.

Please post if you approve. It is a poem first then a message. So true, and so sad.

The Prayer that Damns Many to Hell

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXYu6x9ywLU

Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

I think you are forgetting the fact that the God of the old testament is the same as He who was crucified for our sins. He changes not. That means homosexuality and abortion are still abominations.

Whilst its true to say their motivation for doing business in China is less than what I would call Godly, considering the need for jobs in the country of their success. You can hardly say that it is giving support to the Chinese government's use of abortion.

I think in a day when good people are mostly saying nothing whilst evil triumphs, it is wrong to criticize someone who makes a stand against evil, even if they are not perfect in all their ways.

mrs k said...

All the prophetic words in this and many previous posts point toward stunning evidence that in the field called America the tares have just about choked out the wheat.

You rightly admonish your readers to study the Word, especially the Gospels, with a hunger to know Jesus and to be like Him whatever the cost. Nothing else matters.

Rick Frueh said...

Evil can only be confronted by the gospel. God does not deal with the world as He did in the OT. He will again, but not yet. The church would do well to correct ourselves.

Cherie c. said...

Pastor,

of what church do you speak of? If we the unchurched are called out, then I am assuming you are speaking of the called out ones? I pray not. If those who are called out are the same as those who are not, then there is no hope at all for anyone living in this country (America) who call themselves Christian, we are all the same. But I can truly say without being self-righteous that I am not one of them. I used to be but not any longer. I am sad about this. It is like my son saying that because I say I am a Christian, that I am like those of the right who say they are Christians but are not. Please don't lump all of us together.

Anonymous,

Like Jesus said:

Mark 10:18
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

Just because they say they are Christian does not make them good.

I work in human resources which include benefits administration. Based upon a company's size is how they are billed for health benefits and what components make up those benefits, i.e. contraception medication. This is purely motivated by the cost. To add these covered expenses will increase the employers cost for the health care.

I do not know much about Hobby Lobby, but from a business perceptive I can say they are not really as concerned about taking a stand as much as paying for it.

This does not give me joy to say, but the truth is what it is. We would have never heard of this company if this issue had not come up.

May God use this issue to bring the ownership of Hobby Lobby to repent and seek Jesus.

Our job is to spread the Gospel, not fight for moral issues. God does not need us to stand up for Him, He needs us to stand for the Faith (not compromise) and preach the Gospel. By doing so we are in essence standing up for Him the way He wants us too, not the way we want to. Obedience is the key to Faithful living and Prayer is the key to everything else. Leonard Ravenhill once asked, Do you know God? Without a resounding Yes, we are not equipped to do what we are called to do. The closer we are to God the further away we will be from this world and the the petty things in it. I, for one, am going to take what I just said and put it more into practice. May God grant us Revival in our pray life this day and the days to come.

Love to all brothers and sisters in Christ,
Cherie C

Rick Frueh said...

I use the word "church" sometimes in a colloquial sense meaning the visible church comprised of a mixed multitude.

Anonymous said...

As an outsider looking into the strange opinions and attitudes of (some) of the American church these past few years, there's an obvious demonic stranglehold that has taken over it. I pray that people will break free from it, but it seems to stick because there is prosperity and money and retirement portfolios and power at stake. There seems to be powerful political players, lobbyists that have highjacked those christian moral champions, seducing them into believing that the wealthy and powerful are in their camp. These wealthy and powerful are NOT in their camp and are using them and if they would, would rule them with an iron fist the first chance they get.

Those in the church who are seduced are being told they are righteous, moral and doing what's right by rich men's standards, rather than God's standards. If the church would do it by God's standards, they wouldn't care if they lost everything they owned. Doing it by the political, constitutional standards protects them and keeps them prosperous, safe, defended, and able to retain control of their lives until their twilight years, where they believe they can retire with great wealth and their stores of gold for them, their children, and their grandchildren.

There is nothing about the gospel of Jesus Christ in this new askew thought-process. Breaking free from it is like, "a camel passing through the eye of a needle" - an impossible task; the secure confident rich man will have as hard a time to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. And so these aspects of the Church are preventing many from entering heaven because they wish to believe a lie.

mrs k said...

Since all sin is an abomination to God, not just homosexuality or murder (abortion), I think it's time for the visible church in America to get a fresh and vivid vision that He is God and He is Holy. We are not.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate the second post by the believer who was involved with the Chick-fil-A protest. This a wake up call to all of us that we cannot serve God and mammon. Chick-fil-A made the right decision and I hope Hobby Lobby will do the same.

It’s painful to see how Christians are reacting to one another over these issues as the world looks on. Here’s a few posts from the Chik Fil A facebook page. The first three appear to be from the church community and the last two from the secular community.

• Let me tell you something Chick-fil-A. If go back on your stance....if you give in to all the hate that has come after you....you will have a whole new group of people who will no longer support you. You can never make everybody happy. You have been blessed because you have stood on God's side since your beginning. Don't mess that up now. I'm truly surprised at your cowardice.
• you Christians make me ashamed to be a christian. no wonder the world hates us. you heave insults at the people we are called to love. what do we say in our churches.. love the sinner hate the sin? shame on you all.
• Your decision to CAVE on your biblical principles that has made your business such a success...LEAVES ME SPEECHLESS !!! I WILL NO LONGER BE PATRONIZING YOUR BUSINESS ANY LONGER !! HOMOSEXUALITY IS WRONG PERIOD ! TOO BAD YOU ARE TOO WEAK TO SEE IT !
• Who cares what a fast food restaurant supports... If the food is good I'm sold! Lol
• "Victory never tasted so sweet. Anyone for Chick-fil-A?"

Jesus warned us that these things would happen towards the end of time.

Matt 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

I never thought I would live to see this day and we truly need to pray for the outpouring of God’s Spirit to help us proclaim His message of love to a dying world.

Acts 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Thank you Pastor Rick for your ministry.

Cherie c. said...

Thank you Pastor.

Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Concerning the thing we say in our churches--love the sinner but hate the sin--that sounds so arrogant to me now. I heard someone from the Gaither's say that it's hard to hate other people's sins because there's too many of us. Hating our own sin is a full time job. So we should focus on our own sin and just love everybody as Christ loves us.

dawnmarie4 said...

Thank you for your voice of reason Rick. It's refreshing.

Rick Frueh said...

Thank you for your blog. Before I wrote the two posts I read some articles including yours. :)

dawnmarie4 said...

Excellent editorials...both of them.

Anonymous said...

This is very clear about the three courses of action that are open to a disciple in this situation.

It is at the point of "crossing" the wisdoms of this world--the "Cross!"--that the world receives witness of the Kingdom of God, by disciples' demonstrations of living by God's wisdom, which is foolishness and reproach to the world. Circumstances such as the one Hoby Lobby finds itself are great opportunities. Oh but costly ones. It is the cost of the Cross. We don't hear preaching anymore about being a peculiar people.

Thanks for this biblical analysis.
victoria