Saturday, August 03, 2013

When the Culture Says "Treat!"


Rom.12: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

One of the most difficult but crucial aspects of being a devoted follower of Jesus is the challenge to wash away almost everything you have been told or taught by the culture in which you live. Even those things that are espoused by the culture that seem to be in agreement with Biblical truth are Trojan Horses designed to bring in falsehoods and even damnable heresies.

I have two dogs and I am one of those embarrassingly open dog lovers. And when I say “Treat!” both dogs come running and will consume anything I feed them. They have come to trust my voice and that word, and even though I have wrapped medicine inside lunch meat they still will eat whatever I hand them. If I fed them poison they would still eat it because they have learned to trust me and the word “treat”. They have nothing to fear because I would never do any harm to my pets.

But such a claim cannot be said for the fallen culture which surrounds us and openly and subtly demands and imprisons all its subjects. We have forgotten that the culture is fallen in thought, word, and deed. It is profoundly working against the purposes of Christ and His kingdom even if sometimes it seems as if it is in agreement with some issues. But when the church, which should have Jesus as the only Lord, begins to trust the culture in some ways it begins to slip into trusting it in all ways. And when the culture says “Treat!” the church comes for that which the culture offers. The problem is that even when the culture says “Do not lie” it still is part of a grand scheme to deceived the people and defraud the Savior. How does that operate?

First you must suggest some morals which seem Biblical, and then you begin to elicit some level of trust and even fondness from those who should know better. A child molester offers real candy while attempting to achieve his sinister motives. In chess it is called a “gambit” as you allow a piece to be captured so you can leverage a better position which can ultimately provide a path to victory. And so it is with that fallen culture which provides a clandestine forum for the evil one to achieve his sinister goals. The devil has had centuries to hone his deceptive skills and he knows how to manipulate the human race. He does use open evil but his forte is using a mixture of good and evil while emphasizing the good and hiding the evil.

And although the culture does not use the word “treat” it does have words and phrases that accomplish the same things. These are some of those words:


Founding fathers

The Constitution




Judeo-Christian ethic

And when believers embrace these treats they embrace evil that seeks to undermine the Word of God and the kingdom of Jesus. Once you receive from the hand of the fallen you cannot just receive that which seems to please God. No, you receive everything connected with the kingdom of darkness. You may not see it or understand it, but this process has emasculated the church and has formed a powerless collection of religious hedonists. And all this has come about even while the church believes it is standing for truth. That kind of deception is very sophisticated.

When the church pays attention to the ebbs and flows of the culture and does battle with carnal weapons it compromises on a grand scale. Eventually what you have is an amalgam of religion and culture and that cannot be considered the faith that follows Jesus. To be sure the culture will give treats with moral positions and fairy tales about the Christian formation of America. And inside those narratives lives a clandestine power which continues to lead the visible church deeper and deeper into the abyss of apostasy. And yet it feels so good to be morally righteous and faithfully patriotic and enjoying the fruits of a decadent culture which thrives on money and self pleasure. And here is the church calling that which is completely against the teachings of Jesus the “blessings of God”. And how can this happen?

It happens by the transitive process. If you receive a genuine piece of truth from the fallen culture it gains some level of trust in your mind. Would you buy a book from Charles Manson even if everything he wrote was moral? Why not? Is it because his fallen nature is more open and pronounced than is that of the culture? And even if much of the culture is openly against Christ morally, you still can soothe your conscience by suggesting we can return to the former days when we embraced the “Judeo-Christian ethic”. There is no such thing. It is a man made concept which joins the morals of the Old Testament with the morals of Jesus. And even assuming that for a moment it is obvious this nation or any other has never been moral at all. It is all an imaginary tale.

The process of deception moves from unwise to compromise all the way to out and out idolatry. And the ingenuous evil is that that same church incorporates the dictates and mores of the culture right into its beliefs and practices and with the deftness of a magician it crafts a divine relationship with the church and the culture. And yet it remains a diabolical illusion. And the illusion becomes reality in the minds and hearts of professing believers. The congregation now lives and breathes and participates in a fallen culture with no struggle to resist, much less to undergo a constant transformation of the mind.

And when the conservative wing of the fallen culture is pro-life or pro-traditional marriage and yells “Treat!” the church comes and embraces that brief and hollow morsel. And so grows the relationship that legitimatizes the fallen and poisons the Bride. It is oh so tragic. The deception has such deep roots that even suggesting a comprehensive spiritual reevaluation many times places you as a radical and a trouble maker. The ecclesiastical princess is quite comfortable and vehemently resists any entrance of the slightest pea under her pleasure stuffed mattress.  

But make no mistake, the culture is an enemy of Christ. Liberal, conservative, and all the rest is a scam and appeals to the fleshly desires of men. Capitalism and war and democracy and the entire landscape have no place inside the kingdom of Christ our Lord. Is it that cut and dry, you ask. What fellowship has light with darkness? Can a room be light and dark at the same time? But that is exactly what the western church is attempting to suggest. We have lost the concept of how completely fallen is this present world. Can a rotting corpse be good for food? Can arsenic be used to prepare a healthy meal?

Is this the way of Jesus? Let a follower of Christ have one vote and let a Satan worshiper have one vote. Is that God’s way? That is democracy at its core. Win by organizing, money, propaganda, and joining forces with whoever is on your temporal side. The whole world lies in the wicked one. Can the Lord Christ and Satan join hands? If that is the way of Jesus then the gospels are a lie. But it gets the competitive juices flowing and it makes us feel so moral. Humility? Meekness? Those are for wimps. Hatred is now boldness. Pride is now patriotic. Having way more than you need is now showers of blessings. The church now grows through strategies. And professing believers are willing to die for the flag but not willing to deny themselves for Christ.

But perk up your ears and listen closely. The world will still call out “Treat!” almost every single day. If Jesus wants you to feed from that fallen hand then go ahead. But I suggest that is not Jesus at all.

I Jn.2: 15 Love 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.
16 For 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.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.


Anonymous said...

And so the saga continues and more will wax cold.

I already know the ending however, and I can hardly wait.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus

Anonymous said...

So true and Amen.

In my small experience here on earth, all I know is what I lived, and I suppose God chose me to be born in Canada. I have a love for my Canadian and American neighbors and know they really mean well and have good intentions most of the time. But as sinners, they and we and I are constantly struggling to fight off materialism and the need for more.

Living in the richest countries, it is SO hard to shake off any unbiblical concepts, which surround us. For instance, if we have to eat, we must work, if we have to work, we have to be plugged into the 'system' - we need social insurance/social security numbers, ID's, we are coded into every system, to pay taxes, and to be taxed. We are in way too deep and how can a true apostle of Christ perform his/her gospel commission? Some in the West, because we are have yielded to our systems, have to stay mum about our beliefs......we must not speak about any sin, or sin in general, as it might offend some.

We danced to the piper, and allowed our churches to 'covenant' with our governments, where they can operate tax-exempt. but now the piper is requiring our half of the bargain.

So the churches are in deep waters. Not only do 'church administrations' have present-day issues to wake up to, the church people are being pulled every which way by every doctrine, and by political wolves who claim they are christians, who wish only to bring the gospel back into the culture. No wonder we don't see any reformation or awakenings here.

We have been ensnared. Sorry this is so long to post, but we've already been ensnared and are now 'reacting' to the shock at how long it took us to reach this conclusion. Now, it appears it would be too late to get out. We've invested our lives in these systems, governments. We depend on our retirement social security checks and our Medicare and our eligible government subsidies. So, in essence, most dare not complain. Or, maybe, we can't bite the hand that feeds us.

I pray that the Lord forgives the church for foolishly getting too near the trap and getting it's foot caught, and instead of cutting if off, it begged the trap owner to let it loose and take care of it.

Can the Lord mend our foolish ways now, without us having to extract ourselves from a system? Or will He forgive us and allow us to continue to be part of any world system? I don't know the answers to this. The 2Chronicles 7:14 verse that we quote may be too late to apply to us now. But there are many other verses that we can apply, verses where we need to get on our knees and ask forgiveness and repent; I suppose in OT times, many would have dressed in sackcloth and ashes...........


Anonymous said...

Jackie, as long as the heavenly Father is still drawing sinners to His sinless Son and Savior, Lord Jesus, 2 Chronicles 7:14 is His Word to Canadians and Americains and every person in the world!! We need to dress in sackcloth and ashes too, for that is a picture of what true repentance is. Stay away from ashes and sackclth but repent!!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Matthew 25:1 "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
:2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
:3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,
:4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
:5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
:6 "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!'
:7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
:8 And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
:9 But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.'
:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
:11 "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!'
:12 But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.'
:13 "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

Man’s idea is to be comfortable in everything. But I need to stay in the Word of God, watch and pray, so that I will have oil in my lamp.


Anonymous said...

The sleeping reminds me of what the disciples did in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus had asked them to watch and pray but they fell asleep.
When times are emotionally fraught we need to feed very diligently from God's word, otherwise we would become less watchful and prayerful.

Who will be ready when Jesus returns? Only children of God!

Just as the door of the ark was shut to non believers, so too will the door to the brideroom's wedding be shut to non believers.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Hi Reine,

If you take notice that when Jesus was telling this story He said "ten virgins", that means ten believers. Five of the virgins were given the oil by the Holy Spirit because they sought it out and asked for it. The other five virgins were buying their oil from pastors, preachers, teachers, conferences and other gatherings. Why pay for something that God states in His Word is FREELY GIVEN to those who ask.

When the Bride Groom finally showed up five virgins had plenty of oil for themselves. The other five were told to go and buy from those who sell oil (ie: the list above).


Steve said...

Thank you, brother, for this teaching. It's a perfect illustration of how we come to swallow the enemy's poison !

And indeed, isn't the gulf between "culturally-Christian" and Christian greater than that between Christian and honestly NON-Christian ?

True of our society, and increasingly true of the Church we live in in America.

In Jesus, Steve

Anonymous said...

The Son of Man would never say, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you' to a believer, but He would say such words to a non believer when He comes as Judge.

These unbelievers addressed Jesus as Lord but it was lip service. They were not born again, for everyone who is born again is invited to the wedding of Our glorious Lord and Savior.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

2Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first,

See what it says “Let no one deceive you”. The other five were deceived into believing they were saved. They thought they were ready for the Bride Groom.

I think that in the beginning they were believers, but they were misled by their preachers, teachers, pastors and the conferences they attended. But they did not have the replenishing of the oil that can only come from the Holy Spirit, through following Jesus Christ. Through true self study of His Word. The other “five virgins” that were turned away after the door had been shut were part of the “falling away”.


Anonymous said...

Joel, we are not told where these "foolish virgins" were in their search for God, except that they didn't know Jesus as Their Lord and Savior. Certainly anyone who isn't saved has failed to humble themselves before the God of the holy Bible.

One of the most common situations in my opinion is, like in the case of Lot's wife, that they are unwilling to leave the pull of the attraction of the world behind them. Their first love is often for God's gifts rather the Giver of the gifts.

A very important common denominator of true disciples is that they are prepared to "leave all" to follow Lord Jesus. Jesus is the way and they were not willing to submit wholeheartedly to Him.

Reine Gnade

Kelli Baker said...

If interested, have a transcribe explaining who are the ten virgins.
If Rick permits, I could send the transcribe to him and those interested in the transcribe can contact Rick.

Anonymous said...

Reine, you are correct in what you are saying. We can agree on this, all ten were virgins, correct? All ten had lamps, correct? All had oil in their lamps, correct? But only five of those virgins had been replenishing their supply of oil, correct? Also Jesus still called the foolish five, that did not have enough oil, virgins, correct? The foolish five virgins, like you said mentioning Lot’s wife, had their eyes on the temporal and not Jesus. So it is my assumption that all were saved in the beginning, but five fell away from the faith in Jesus Christ because they had been deceived. The five foolish virgins we not prepared to “leave all” and follow Jesus, hence they did not have enough oil to last until He came again.


Anonymous said...

Hi Joel, when a person is born again the holy Spirit of God comes to live with them. Where He is, so too is Our heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. They are Our "enough" and they are committed to never leave or forsake true believers.

True believers testify as in Psalm 23 that the Lord is ourShepherd, and that we shall not want. Those in Christ do not want for consolation and comfort and they truly know that they are accepted and loved.

They have an intimate relationship with the risen Lord Jesus and His witness of them will be, "well done my good and faithful servant".

The unsaved person on the other hand is still in his trespasses and sins. The Lord is calling them to repentance, but they are still refusing to heed His voice.

Let's reach out to the untaught and unreached, for that is God's will. Let's show them genuine love so that they have ample opportunities not to hear the words, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you'.

Blessed be the only true God, the LORD God of the holy Bible now and forevermore!

Anonymous said...

I don’t know who you are because you posted as Anonymous, with no name at the end, so I do not know to whom I am addressing. My wife and I left the brick and mortar church to bring the good news to those that are not really welcome in their buildings. Mostly because the ones I teach and minister to have some mental problems. These people also do not have the money to put into the treasury at the church and they do not have the resources to help with the monthly hogging feast they call “fellowship dinners”. We also help with those that are aged and widowed. These people are my friends.


Anonymous said...

In Philemon 24 Paul refers to Demas as a "fellow worker." Later we read, "for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica. . . ." (2 Tim 4:10a)
Titus had been with Paul when he was imprisoned in Rome (Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:10). But, at some point, he decided there was more allure in the world than there was to carry on serving God with Paul.

Demas "loved this present world." What was Demas' error? In my opinion his focus wasn't heavenward. If we don't consistently love the LORD we will seek comfort from somewhere else.

If your status among man up until now has been more important to you than being right with God, then you need to repent.

You need to acknowledge your sin before the LORD God and desire to turn fully to Him.
Dear readers, let's be so attentive to the words of Jesus, so that we never deem the things of the world more important than trusting and obeying Him.

To God be the glory!

Reine Gnade

brcorcoran said...

We have to remember this crucial "biblical truth"...we are saved by "Grace"...not by works...

Concerning the 10 virgins, 5 are not saved.

God's rain falls on the just and the unjust...consider -

A field full of weeds and wheat, both weeds and wheat are starving for rain (revival), then the rain comes, the wheat yells out "praise the Lord", the weeds yell out "praise the Lord"...

Both thrive from the rain that comes down from above...God rains on both the just and the unjust...He is God, Holy, Loving, No Respecter of Persons...

Jesus said the tares will grow right along with the wheat...Tares (Pharisees, religious people), Wheat (true born again believers)

10 Virgins -

5 wise, born again believers, 5 foolish, denominational believers...

Try to tell an upright in the community religious believer that Jesus is the only way to salvation, one that may be a deacon in their organization, loved by many, involved deeply in all the ins and outs of the church organization...many times the true believer will be persecuted...their salvation is their works...

Salvation is by "Grace" and that alone...there is nothing one can do before or after the born again experience to be's a free gift...

Can you loose your salvation?...I was a drunk, drug addict, pervert, bully, hater, racist ect., cursing God, an enemy of God prior to being saved...

Now that I am His child I am to believe He is going to cast me aside because I didn't live up to someone's idea of Christianity?

We have to be very very careful of "self-righteousness"...that is, I have the standard for salvation, if you don't meet my standard, you are not saved...

I'm not in anyway saying anyone on this blog is self-righteous, I'm only trying to make a point concerning the parable...

Anonymous said...

Hi brcorcoran, I share your view that the five foolish virgins were unsaved. However belonging to a certain denomination doesn't in my opinion necessarily rule someone out of being a child of God, for God looks at the heart!

We shouldn't throw a blanket over all who say they are Catholic and label them as unsaved because the LORD sovereignly decides who He saves.

He can save someone who has never sat in a church building and He can also save someone who has sat hours upon hours before not so accurate teachers of God's word!

Reine Gnade

Rick Frueh said...

It is generally assumed that the five foolish virgins were not saved. Since oil is a type of the Holy Spirit, only those with the Spirit are genuine believers. The parable is also a teaching on being prepared for the Lord's coming as well as examining ourselves to see whether we are in the faith.

brcorcoran said...


Hi Reine...

to can be a denominations yet the denomination does not save...salvation by grace, Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

I was a Roman Catholic, went through the confirmation stuff and all that...wasn't saved...

it is those I refer to...they believe they are going to heaven because they belong to a church

Anonymous said...

In my opinion the use of the word treat is very apt. Note how this give me a treat mentality is foolishly encouraged and promoted by many during Halloween.

Note how during Easter multitudes clamor for chocolate and buns instead of the words of Christ.Their error is that desire to treat their belly instead of desiring to feast on God's word.

Note how when multitudes claim to recall Christ's birth that they look for a treat from an imaginary person called Santa Claus who can not do what he claims to do. Is it possible to be more deceived?

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

During the Old Testament
times Satan hadn't yet been defeated. The blessings to the saints that Christ won on account of His courageous loving, obedience to God's will, in willingly dying on the cross, had not yet been won. For example during Old Testament times the holy Spirit did not reside with the believer as He does now because of the glorious victory of Christ.

Right from the beginning of time the LORD has shown us that He alone is God. He gives life and He takes life. He blesses and He curses.

No other god mentioned in any other book is what they claim to be. Allah rushes to tell lie after lie and so do all the other false gods.

The Lord is righteous. He can't behave unjustly!! His sending of the Flood was an expression of His righteous anger as also was the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Reine Gnade

Steve said...

Anonymous' reference to Demas, who forsook Paul because he "...loved this present world...", resonates here. It's exactly the "treats" of this present world (democracy, patriotism, conservatism, etc.) which Rick was addressing...and for love of which people of our time forsake the gospel of the Kingdom.

Jesus addresses the question of preparednesss in those terms as well: that what we love most, we pay close attention to ("analyze"):

"And He was also saying to the crowds, 'When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, "A shower is coming," and so it turns out. And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, "It will be a hot day," and it turns out that way. You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?' " (Luke 12:54-56, NASB)

In Jesus, Steve