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I realize that this article, being “buried” among two hundred others and not to mention the other thousands to choose from, the chances of this being read by the majority are somewhere in the neighborhood of “slim to none.” Yet, I also realize that it will be seen, read and understood by those who are meant to see it, read it and will have been granted the understanding of it.
Not only have I been numbered with the many writer’s at Faith Writers, but I have been just as guilty, if not more so, of contributing to what I now know is a heart wrenching and alarming trend. I know of few others who have excelled in their criticism of the church as have I. A heart condition/attitude which I now see and regret having participated in, but as Paul said, “I did it in ignorance.”
In the past few months I have made my way through a book which is moving with incredible success and force through the ranks of the redeemed and, in my opinion, this book and its sequel are doing more harm than good to the Body of Christ. Well, truth be told, I never finished reading the sequel. I was a little less than half way through what I considered an insightful and very beneficial “read” when the Lord granted me the light to see what it was I had actually been doing in writing any indictments at all against His people.
The first book, entitled “Pagan Christianity” and its sequel “Reimagining Church” are staunch advocates of what has come to be known as the “home church movement” and although both books are incredibly well researched and written just as well as they were “discovered,” there is one great oversight the authors of the books have failed to take into consideration.
Before I go on to state just what that oversight is, I have a responsibility to say that I too have done the exact same thing I see the authors of those books as having done and that is to extensively cite, list and magnify the sins of our brothers and sisters, sins, which, last I heard, have been paid for in full by Jesus Christ at Calvary.
As I eagerly and voraciously read the sequel, the Spirit of Christ said simply, convincingly and with undeniable clarity, “There is nothing at all wrong with the church I can see.” He was not saying He couldn’t see anything wrong, although a soul with a determination and predisposition to find fault would assume that, but what He was saying was, “In my eyes, she is without spot or blemish and I will present her to the Groom who washed her in His blood, at the appointed time.”
If you look back at the dates on which I’ve published my articles at FW, you’ll see a period of time where I haven’t submitted any thing. To be sure, there have been several articles written, but as I “proofed” them for all the things writers look for, I found my self using the backspace key much more than the “send” key. Each article written during this time needed to either endure the furnace of our God who is a “consuming fire” or die in the process; as you can see, all those penned in these past few months perished in the intensity of His atonement.
The absolutely amazing thing is this; that although, to you and me, there seems to be so much going from “bad to worse” in His church, we err greatly and grievously when we fail to realize that He differentiates between whom we consider to be His bride and those whom He knows are His bride. The fact of the matter is, and I could easily conclude with this, is that there hasn’t been a nano-second of time where He has lost control of any thing at all.
Those who are His are still His and those who never were still are not and you and I are not to be the ones to make that determination.
Like it or not, the tares are to be allowed, by us, to grow right along side the wheat and if you’re like me, this is a truth which will ruthlessly “rub you the wrong way.” I’ve taken a few weeks to seek the Lord, to express my consternation and admittedly my fierce objections to His command allowing the tares to remain, and as I learned years ago, if you wrestle with God and win, you lose. But, if you wrestle with God and lose, you win. (Remember Jacob?)
This is neither the time nor the place to list the several reasons I’ve come to see for allowing the tares (as terrible as they are and increasingly so) to remain; perhaps those, such as they are, can be shared in an article later on, the Lord willing. But, for now, I’ll leave you with the thought that I am coming to see and understand more and more.
Read again the story of Nehemiah and the impact/affect on his soul when he’d learned that God’s people were living in less than all that God had for them, just as we are doing in our day.
Notice especially where he says he “mourned and fasted” and above all of that, no matter how good and needful it is, magnify in your thinking what he said to the Lord about the people;
“…and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father's house and I have sinned.”
Traditionally, I would go to great lengths to expound on verses such as this and do all I could to make application to my life and then find a way to “pass it on” so other’s could apply it to theirs, but I’ve come to know that in verses, such as the one citing Nehemiah’s prayer, is that, if you don’t already see it, then who am I to try and make you see?
I’ll only say this much; why did Nehemiah include himself as being guilty of sin which contributed to the (temporary) ruin of God’s people? You’re answer may or may not cause you to “temper” your own articles here at FW; only time will tell.
If you are granted “eyes to see” then you just may find yourself using “backspace” much more than you do “enter.” I believe that if you use “backspace” more in the coming days, you’ll find you will “enter” into an intimate awareness of One who is immeasurably more gracious, merciful and understanding than we give Him credit, or glory for.
I had to backspace before I could enter. If you know what I mean.
(I'll gladly read comments not posted here at my e-mail address: rebuild_NO@yahoo.com)
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Profound. My response is as Nehemiah's, "both my father's house and I (personally) have sinned. Well done, the Spirit has spoken.
Great article and truth we all need to heed. GOD BLESS YOU