Friday, December 13, 2013

The Intoxicating Effect of Condemnation

I Cor.5: I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove that wicked man from among yourselves. (NASV)

Jn.3: 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Will there ever come a time when followers of Jesus truly understand the nature of the gospel? What are people hearing as they sit in pews? Who really cares about souls anymore? Believers now view people by their sins and not their souls. Condemnation of lost sinners is intoxicating to the self righteous nature. Jesus suffers and dies for lost sinners and yet the church treats them like pariahs while they mock and ridicule them. When I was a long haired, violent drug dealer many church people would have condemned me and stayed clear of my company. Thankfully Jesus did not feel that way.

I call it the “Miley Cyrus Syndrome” because she seems to be the target du jour. Here is a girl who was raised in a hedonist home which ended in divorce and she was groomed for Hollywood and came into great wealth at an early age. And now she seems almost out of control and headed for disaster unless something happens to her life. And instead of believers praying for her they castigate her for being an element of a declining moral culture. Let me enlighten everyone, how can something decline when it is completely fallen to begin with?

Do we even believe the gospel anymore? When did our commission change from spreading the good news about Jesus to pontification about the behavior of sinners? And if the church will not be Jesus to these people and reach out in gospel love then who will? Her sins disturb your pious soul? Well your sin disturbs God as well. This business of a sin caste system is nothing but self righteousness all dressed up as morality.

In a diabolical but ingenuous deception the evil one has used that which is right to accomplish a great wrong. The devil has urged us to take up the morality we have learned by God’s grace through the ministry of the Holy Spirit and use it against lost souls. And just why has that happened? It is due in large part because we have fallen in love with America and we seek a more religious and moral culture because these demonstrative sinners irritate us. We watch the television not through redemptive eyes but so we can see sinners committing sins which provide disapproving fodder for our lips so everyone will see how moral and holy we are. I do not care how moral you really are it is all due to the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was so loving to wicked sinners that He was often criticized for keeping company with them. We have so changed the gospel until it is now little more than a church doctrine which provides a ticket to heaven. We have more compassion for an injured animal than we do for a lost sinner marching toward eternal destruction. Carnal politicians stand up and decree a socialism which they believe takes money out of their pocketbooks but are they moved by lost sinners living one heart beat from a lost eternity? How many true believers have had children or grandchildren who have gone far away into the world and have no sense of Christ? And what do we desire? We beg for people to pray for them since we desire to see them come to Christ or even return to Him.

But how would we feel if the church we attended castigated them and called them names and mocked them and their sin? And does someone know Christ who is related to Miley Cyrus and is praying for her? Are they comforted when they hear the most vicious things said about her? Oh, you say, she doesn’t have anyone who loves her praying for her. Ok, then why don’t you stand in the gap for her? Or for anyone?

Self righteousness is an emotional narcotic. It soothes the flesh and creates an inward feeling of acceptance and superiority. How many times have we seen some preacher or professing believer speak virulent words of condemnation about a cross section of people including music and Hollywood celebrities, liberal politicians, and openly gay people? They say the most unkind things and claim they have a divine moral mantle to do so. And then, low and behold, that person has an affair and sometimes divorces and marries his mistress. I have seen it many times. And what is so frustrating about that scenario? It is because that person was so judgmental and spoke with such disdain about those who commit such sins and yet here he is now doing the same thing.

We have never been called to condemn the world or the sinners in it. We are called to a gospel ministry which includes compassion, kindness, and sharing the everlasting gospel. But people like Miley Cyrus provide great target practice for the fallen and self righteous heart. And yet Jesus was accused of being a friend to sinners. How far have we strayed? The problem is that we love our lives and we see some sinners as invading our moral space and contaminating the moral ambiance we have come to enjoy. Did you hear what I just said? We LOVE OUR LIVES in direct disobedience to the words of the Savior we profess to follow.

Please, please understand what I am saying and how it directly countermands all that Jesus lived and taught. Please understand that when we condemn sinners we condemn ourselves as well. Please understand that we now embrace a life that is completely unchristian and yet we call ourselves Christian. Please understand that our Jesus is now a doctrinal puppet who dances to our own thoughts and desires. Please understand that we have isolated our doctrines and once they are in place we are free to think and speak and act anyway we deem is necessary in order to maintain the life we have come to love. And again, please understand that we have come to love our own lives.

Rev.12: 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Stop. Think. Meditate. Consider. Pray. Inquire. Seek. Wonder. Open your eyes and your ears. Look around. This is not Christianity at all. This is a religion called “America” and it has millions of members. Its apostles are the founding fathers. Its Bible is the Constitution. Its Easter is the 4th of July. Its enemies are sinners or unpatriotic citizens or Muslims. And in this religion you can believe in whatever god you chose. You can believe in Joseph Smith’s god, or Ayn Rand’s god, or Donald Trump’s god, or Bill O’Reilly’s god, or Rush Limbaugh’s god, or you can believe in no god at all. As long as you believe in America you are a brother in the faith. It is no longer about the redemption of sinners. It is about the rejection of sinners. It is our inalienable right!

If that is the religion you desire then it is ready and waiting. It is practiced at most local establishments. But please, if you use the word “Christian” make sure you add an asterisk like this – Christian*.

*Warning! This form of the faith continues to evolve. We experienced a major move of God a little over two hundred years ago. We actually believe the New Testament words if they remain in their rightful place – the printed page. You are welcome to join us and feel the intoxicating effects of the condemnation of sinners as well as our complete commitment to ourselves. We love our own lives and are real proud of it!


Anonymous said...

That my brother is Powerful! You are definitely an inspiration in the faith!...

Your posts help me focus on my own personal walk and not somebody else...

2 Timothy 3:16
Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and "profitable" for (instruction), for (reproof) and (conviction) of sin, and for (training in righteousness)

Be blessed and sure of yourself...

Anonymous said...


In that warning should be added that Christians* are only looking for moral infidels.


Anonymous said...

This is a great example of how the Lord maneuvers to carry His Gospel to where He wills, according to where there is a heart responding to the convicting Light. Born ones of His Spirit will endure the persecution because we are in His grip and He is guarding us and we will endure to the end.
HE is building His Church, as He said HE would in Matthew 16:18
"...I will build My church,..."

Pearl Harbor Miracle

Lorena said...

I'd much rather sit at a table with Miley Cyrus than at a table with a group of self-righteous, ranting, uncaring christians, who have more than likely entertained several lustful, sexual thoughts in their hearts through that same day.
And I do mean this.

Steve said...

There is so much Truth (Jesus) here, I could engrave every word on my heart !

But this stands out as key to our failure to "have the mind that is in Christ:"

"...a declining moral can something decline when it is completely fallen to begin with?"

Blessings for this pointed insight, brother !

In Jesus, Steve

Anonymous said...

"...a declining moral can something decline when it is completely fallen to begin with?"

Immorality is on the rise.. Yes, there are declining standard of morality worldwide!


Anonymous said...

Thought -

If we "Christians" are the light of the world, and light holds back darkness -

Is it possible the declining moral culture in America may have something to do with us?

Have we been "hoodwinked" by society, following trends America sets as standards of morality and Godly living?...

I look at Daniel the Prophet's prayer...he didn't blame anyone but themselves for their captivity...

Who is to blame for the darkness in America?...what would the Prophet Daniel pray?...

Just a thought...

Rick Frueh said...

Yes, it is true that the church has lost its salt and light and sold its birthright for a mess of national and moral and political pottage. Like Esau, we desired to satisfy our belly rather than please our Lord.

Anonymous said...

Powerful and true.

Please correct me if I'm wrong. There are two forces at work, the sin-nature, and the increasing sin, the perilous and wicked times of the last days?

I think we can see the moral compass going downward. I remember my parents and their generation observing how things were going downward in a handbasket. I guess as a kid I parroted these thoughts. When I was first saved, I concentrated on only the moral decay sin and didn't remind myself enough that we were all sinners from Adam and that sin-nature would always rise up and stay with us, which of course is covered by the blood of Jesus. But, it still needs to be daily addressed and asked to be covered by His Precious blood, and now I realize that there is Satan's dominion out there, and there is my own sin-nature in my flesh, that I have to watch and keep guard over every day.

It's so true that it is so easy to condemn, and how it's easy to see us as good versus those as evil. I guess the church needs a de-programming of feeling that we are always the good guys and they out there are the bad guys. I can never believe I'm the good girl unless I acknowledge that it's through Jesus only, and even then, it won't be revealed until we see Him after we die, or until He returns.


Anonymous said...

May God in His infinite mercies grant All of us every one,
Who Carries His Name, Godly sorrow, to repent , to be miserable, morn and weep, laughter turn to mourning and
To sorrow, let us be honest with our Lord that we are not living His life , He came to earth wrapped in flesh like ours
That's love, He descended , and we ascend! Made himself of no reputation , that's love, and we are large in our own eyes, he came to be humiliated by
The superiors of the day for our sake
And we complain and murmur because it's
To hard to be subjected for His sake we have much to learn about His Love for man,

Rick Frueh said...

We must remember that the culture has always been completely fallen. yes, we see signs of that fallenness increasing but they only reveal what has always been. The "more moral" culture of the 1950s was an illusion which most of the church still buys into. Spiritual death entered into the world through Adam and no amount of morality can permeate that death.
The kingdom of darkness can never be moral. It can seem to adjust the outer man but inside is still open rebellion against God. But when we are tricked into thinking we can stem the tide of a "declining" culture we lose sight of Christ and we seek that which can never be attained.
If America made abortion and gay marriage illegal and returned to the morality of the 1800s it would still be a fallen culture wich is an enemy of CHrist.

michael said...

Yes, the entire world lies in the lap of wickedness!

I like to include John 3:18** when quoting 3:16&17 then pinch myself remembering God chose me. I did not choose Him.

Also, Rick, you mentioned in the main article how non responsive some if not most of the pious were toward such a hardcore long hair druggie like yourself, quite possibly view you with contempt?

Remember this response or better "reaction" to the instructions to go and lay hands on Saul of Tarsus?:

Acts 9:13 But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem.
14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name."

I believe it's only a natural reaction to have adverse feelings for people that are different than we are, strange or threaten us by who they are.

In any case Jesus died even for sinners who are pious judgmental types and the base market thugs that are used to falsely accuse the Righteous or even the "others" listed at Hebrews 11 and every other kind of person and personality in between.

Here's what I meant by "others":

Hebrews 11:36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.
37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two,[fn] they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—
38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

Steve said...

Hi, Brother James:

"...a declining moral can something decline when it is completely fallen to begin with?"

Just wanted to clarify what I meant by highlighting that point. That our PERCEPTION the world's morality is declining blinds us to the fact it is, and always has been, already COMPLETELY fallen.

Undoubtedly what Rick meant, and what I think is a seminal insight for my thinking. Sorry if I wasn't clear how I was taking that thought.

In Jesus, Steve

Anonymous said...

God bless you Steve.
Steve, I appreciate your comments. I see things somewhat differently.
The point I would make is that when there is a decline in morals there is also a decline in the condition of the heart, mind and soul. When man declines morally he distances himself from God and restoration becomes more challenging than before the decline.


Steve said...

Dear Brother James:

Thanks for your reply, and for putting my mind at ease.

"Seeing things differently" is no problem: rather, an opportunity to double-check my thinking. My concern was that my post was stated so badly that it came across the opposite of what I meant.

The relation of moral decline and distancing from God is rather a chicken-and-egg question, isn't it ? They certainly go in tandem: but I'd be hard-put to determine where it starts.

I think we'd agree, however, that morals are not a stand-alone attribute. And that the sovereign (indeed, ONLY) remedy is an intimate relation with God Himself.

Probably one implication of Rick's post is that our self-congratulatory tendency to compare ourselves with others of God-less morality, takes our eyes off HIM...and robs us of His transforming Presence.

Blessings, brother !

In Jesus, Steve

Anonymous said...

Well said Steve. I totally agree with everything you wrote. The LORD doesn't ask us to determine where our moral decline has started but to more fully trust and obey Him. He is the great healer and as we trust and obey Him more fully we will live more purely before Him.

Thank you Steve for all your commentaries.


Steve said...

And amen to your comments, brother. In all here may God be so glorified !

In Jesus, Steve