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The Lone Ranger
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It has become popular to encourage ‘community’ by saying: “There can be no ‘lone ranger’ Christians”. This is a terrible way to speak about the individual’s relation to church community.
Now, I am certain that someone is able to make a decent case, defending this claim that no Christian can be a lone ranger. I will also admit that this is true in a certain sense. But it is such an ambiguous statement that I feel it is more likely to do harm than good; for the statement does not clarify if it is referring to an outward reality or an internal commitment.
What could be the possible intent of those who say such things? The ‘they’ we speak of is the Church. And surely the Church dare not say anything without a good reason. The only problem is that, for us Protestants, there is no Church. She cannot speak because She has been bound and gagged and shoved into a closet. So there is a great multitude of men(and women) who cry out: “I will speak for Her; and Her message is such and such.” And then there is another who cries out (perhaps a little louder) and says: “She desires you to do this and that”. And slowly, the only importance becomes that of the church doing that which it has intended to do; saying,”Let us accomplish our mission, and obtain what we have set out to obtain.” But what about the Lord?
What does any of this have to do with that ‘lone ranger’?
If this church that we’re speaking of had to contest with a ‘lone ranger’, it’s agenda might be shown for what it is and someone(that lone ranger) is liable to find the Bride in the closet and let Her free. How horrible a judgement would those who bound Her have to come under! “But woe to the man who betrays the Son of Man. It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
My main concern however, is not for that ‘lone ranger’, but for those who are preparing to throw in their lot with Christ, whatever the cost. But having not yet entered that secure place where they are in community with Jesus, they are suddenly halted by the call: “You surely will not go that way; will you? Now, there is no need to put oneself in such a predicament. See. Jesus died on the cross for us so that we might enjoy a better life. This is a good place and if your conscience ever starts to bother you or you feel that your being called back into that place, that foolish willingness to suffer and be humiliated, and you decide to go. Why, who knows? You might never be able to return to us.”
Dear one, flee from this deceptive beckoning. Throw yourself into His arms. He will not let you go. But they will be intent on making sure that you will not thwart their plans.
But, do not think for an instant that I am saying you ought to physically leave the church. God forbid! What I mean is that you must unite yourself with the Lord first, and then you will be able to be part of His body. Every one must be a lone ranger in this sense: That each one has determined in his/her heart that even if every other person on earth decided to pursue their own purposes, he/she will never abandon that One who has called them. And when the Day comes that they enter into glory, they shall hear their Master say,”Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”
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