Am I My Brother's Keeper??!! Part 1
Wednesday Night, February 20, 2002
Recently, a thirty-second pitch for some computer product demonstrated a trait of human nature, and an un-crucified life. You’ll see the point.
A man dressed in black, obviously a criminal, is seen running through hallways and down stairs, trying desperately to elude two security officers in a high-speed foot chase. The uniformed men are carrying guns and communicating with walky-talkies to their superiors as they make the chase. In the background are the sounds of sirens and horns, and a loud-speaker voice yelling, again and again, “INTRUDER ALERT: SECTOR 12!...... INTRUDER ALERT: SECTOR 12!...... INTRUDER ALERT: SECTOR 12!”
The two uniformed men give chase, running and jumping barriers, following closely on the heels of the criminal who is attempting to escape from the scene of his crime. The music is intense, the sirens blaring, and loud-speaker is continuously shouting “INTRUDER ALERT: SECTOR 12!” Clearly the nature of the crime and the chase are very serious.
As the security guards nearly apprehend the criminal, the two armed officers suddenly stop running and come to a complete stop, and the criminal continues running, disappearing from sight. The camera pans to the wall above the two guards, where in large block type it is painted, “End of Sector 12. Beginning of Sector 13.”
The guard brings the walkie-talkie to his mouth, presses the button, and declares to his superiors, “Sector 12 now secure! I repeat: Sector 12 is now secure.” ...as the two security guards holster their guns and turn around and walk slowly back in the direction from which they were running. The criminal has escaped by now, having done his destructive deed, and easily left the premises—once the guards had abandoned the pursuit at the end of their own personal “Sector” assignment.
I know the point will be clear to many of you, regardless of your nationality as you’re reading this—because you’ve seen this same attitude of heart as a temptation within yourself. And, beyond question, you’ve seen people in the religious system take this same attitude as a hiding place for laziness, irresponsibility, and lukewarmness. “HEY! I’ve got MY relationship with God! The rest of that sin around me—the lukewarmness and compromise in ‘church’ is ‘not my problem.’”
“SECTOR 12 is SECURE!” “Hear no evil, See no evil.” Or, like Sergeant Schultz, “I see N-O-T-H-I-N-G!”
Well, obviously, that attitude of caring only about myself, and not His People as a whole, can’t be God’s Heart. Such an attitude of irresponsibility can never be acceptable to GOD. It’s not His “style.” NOR, does it “work” to disconnect from taking responsibility for others’ lives! It hurts Jesus, hurts those we love, and it hurts us! Why is it NOT okay with Father and His Christ to disconnect? Why is it WRONG to just “plug in” for a meeting or “service” now and again, and just lead my “christian life” at home? Why is it virtually worthless to be a “hero christian”—an “independent” “free” christian—putting out a newsletter or web site to say spiritual things—but staying disconnected from the daily Life aches and pains and sweat and tears? Why is it virtually never okay with God for us to just strum our guitars, living out in the boonies or the mountains or farms by ourselves, or in our ivory towers—eating health food, “home schooling” and sauntering across someone’s life now and then for lunch or a “meeting”? Why is that not spiritual (“not like Jesus”)? Why is it NOT okay with God to be disconnected from DAILY experience of Life with others? Why is it criminal to not experience others’ daily pains, be by their sides, helping in their daily temptations? Why is it a shame and waste if we are not sharing in the church’s, the Body’s daily joys—participating as Family in daily life and deeds and chores and errands and “admonishing one another DAILY, so that NONE are hardened and deceived by sin?”
Why? One reason is because, “A little leaven leavens the WHOLE batch,” saith the Lord. IF there is so little relationship amongst the Saints that there can be pockets of sin here and there, unrepented of and undealt with and unnoticed—the “whole batch” is leavened, including YOU. Bummer, huh? But there’s no way around it. You will be leavened, without even knowing it. God said so. You are leavened, if there are others around you wearing Jesus’ Name, who are lukewarm or compromising in their daily situations. What do you really know about their family or child-rearing or job, or their personal entertainment, internet wandering, lustful food or vice indulgence, or sinful habits? There’s no way around the absolute necessity of taking responsibility for the lives of those around us, to “wrestle to present everyone complete, perfect in Christ.” “A little leaven leavens the whole batch.” “See to it brothers that none of you have a sinful, unbelieving heart.” “From the least to the greatest, they all know Him.” In a well-known Old Testament example, “for our learning,” God demonstrated HIS view of undealt-with sin “in the batch” with the absurd and humbling defeat of Israel, at Ai. For the sin of one man, Achan, all of Israel paid a massive price. God has not changed, and is clear on the same matter in the New Testament as well. It’s just His Heart.
Only hard-hearted Cain, with “sin crouching at the door,” would say, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
“Sorry, I’ve done MY job! MY ‘relationship with God’ is fine, and the rest is not my problem. Sector 12 is secure!”
Was that how Jesus viewed it? Oh, my! What hope would we have?! Or Paul, “in the pains of childbirth,” “wrestling mightily to present everyone perfect in Christ.” Is that a passive “us four and no more” mentality? ANY man or woman of God, with Jesus living inside, will view life as Jesus did and does. (1Jn. 2:6) God first, family second, church third? Where did THAT come from?! Not the Bible. “I’m fine with strolling through the garden, humming spiritual songs to myself, having a ‘family devo,’ and rising from my pedestal to pump out a newsletter or website or book, pontificating on ‘what it’s all about.’” Can that be Jesus? No, of course not. He writes living letters, not just notes on the page. The REAL Jesus is IN the trenches—not just humming about it from a sedate self-serving setting or life-style, or writing pretty words about it all. You know?! : ) I know you do.
Now, what’s the alternative to all of that? How should we then see our Roles in life, in a Habitat, a true Church, where Jesus can Reign in His Priesthood? What should we consider our role, instead of the simply “guardians of our own little sector”—the “us four and no more” mindset? What is the alternative to the unBiblical, fallacious and ubiquitous philosophy of “god first, family second, and church third?” As Jesus said, “Who ARE my mothers, my brothers, and my sisters?”
What Vision does Father have for the nature of (100%) of His Church? Who are these with a second birth—dead to the first birth? (Gal. 6:14; Rom. 7:2-4) What is my part? What Responsibility has He granted and called me to 1) with those who call themselves by His Name, 2) with unRegenerate unReconciled relatives and acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers, and 3) with area religious facilities? Do I have a Responsibility? Yes! It is your Highest Privilege to not only be Saved with Him, but to Participate and suffer with Him in “bringing many Sons to GLORY”—“COMPLETE in Christ!”
“The Spirit AND the Bride” say “COME, Lord Jesus!”
With a heart to be RESPONSIBLE, “as if God were making His Appeal through you”—how might we grow into that Holy Place of usefulness to God? “If ANY man speaks, let him speak as the very ORACLES of God!” “You ALL ought to be teachers by now!” “In the Race, ALL the runners run.” “See to it brothers that NONE of you have an unbelieving heart.” “Let NO MAN steal your crown” by convincing you of a clergy/laity system where “it’s not my problem—I can’t do it.” Consider the brief picture that the Apostle John has given us, as a “road map” of sorts, for our Growth into taking responsibility for serving God in others’ lives. Father has called us to be a Holy Priesthood, in the Spirit of His Risen Son. HE has called and empowered all of His People to be ambassadors of Christ, “from the least to the greatest.” The apostle John, in the context of relationship and hating the distractions of the world system, gives us this to ponder. Though it is an odd sequence, John mentions it twice for emphasis, to make certain we didn’t think he got the order wrong:
I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one.
Can we be determined together that ANYTHING our Jesus values...IS our “Sector”? Are we willing to pay the price for the Pearl—and to “seek FIRST His Kingdom”?
Consider these thoughts as some incentive to care for Him and His, to take responsibility to resolve all issues of “leaven in the batch” along with your brothers and sisters.......and we’ll talk more later about Children, Fathers, and Young Men. But first, a dream that seemed pertinent to the topic...........