Truth is Non-Negotiable
Wednesday Night, December 24, 2003
to a brother in an area where a number of folks say they WANT a Lampstand… but this is PAINFUL for them… Of course : )
Hey… We will certainly continue to pray for you and all, as you have asked. : ) Thanks for desiring to understand “what” I said, and “why” I very intentionally said what I did to you about your Hope for a Lampstand there. It is quite encouraging that JESUS wants that there even more than y’all do! But, there is more I need to say, because it won’t just “happen”. Never has, never will “just happen” out of good intentions or doing a “chinese fire drill” of running from religious gimmick to religious gimmick, personality to personality. In just a few more short, quick thoughts, let me say this: until you can embrace what I said to you of Jesus’ Teaching, hard as it seemed to you in the last letter, and why I said it (as unpopular and “optional” and maligned or ignored as many of Jesus’ Teachings continue to be), there is NO chance you will ever have a Lampstand there. A Foundation from the Christ of God will only be a Foundation of “obedience of the Faith.” You asked, remember? : ) Truth is non-negotiable—and the fruit of destroyed or wasted lives is all that comes from the $24.95 solutions from the “authors” who are “practicing medicine without a license”—not living in anything more than what anyone came out of in the first place. They are playing pretty violin songs—on a re-painted Hindenburg—while they fleece the sheep for $24.95 a pop, peddling for profit books on “body life” and “relationships” and the like. And angling to collect their “love offerings.” It’s a very large problem, no less than in Martin Luther’s day.
Radical problems cannot be solved with cute sayings, web sites, and book sales. The tragedy of leaven-filled lukewarmness (even in an “intimate” “house” environment where everyone gets to “talk”) will just go on, and on, and on, and on…… as it has. Year after year, until “ashes to ashes and dust to dust.” A few months of “excitement” is all that dulls the pain—just like the “excitement” someone in the world has when they get a new house, or new computer, or new clothing. But, in time, as thousands have told us worldwide who have attempted to build “churches” and “house churches” based on cute ideas and personalities… it will come back to nothing. Just more torn lives and marriages and teens, for resisting JESUS’ Ways, and the Cross, while embracing another gimmick. No one can have Holy Ground, unless they take their shoes off and deal with the Real Issues of their lives. (Heb.3:12-14; 1Cor.12; Gal.6:1-2; Acts 2:42-47/Lk.9:57-62) My hope and prayer in carefully writing to YOU as I have, is that this is what you ultimately want out of Life. Few will pay that price, of course. It’s too offensive. It’s the Naaman thing.
10Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
11But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.
13Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
Most want a “politically correct” solution that offends (and changes) no one. Jesus was not and is not like that. The REAL thing, that everyone SAYS they want, is RADICALLY different than that which they have always done. Not a “fix ‘er up”—a good book and a visit by a “speaker/author” who “has planted 318,412 ‘churches’ in the last 72 hours. And NOW… he can ‘do’ you too, while he’s in the area. Hang the posters and plan the potlucks! Yay!”
The Kingdom of God does not consist of clever “types and shadows” extracted from obscure scriptures to entertain and impress us until the next “meeting,” as everyone “goes back to their real lives”. The REAL thing is born in the AMAZING and PERILOUS “Skandalon” of the daily Together-Life CROSS.
Few want THAT. Someone’s feelings might get hurt.
And yet, “All who have stood in MY Counsel will turn My People from their sin.” And, “The Son of God was manifest to destroy the devil’s work.” And, “God has elevated Him above His peers, because He hated wickedness and loved righteousness.”
Few want THAT. Someone’s feelings might get hurt.
“YOU BROOD OF SNAKES!” Whew. No room there… for anything other than a “death wish.” Like Judas implied, “Jesus, you can’t start a kingdom by offending all of the wrong people.”
Why DID Judas stay around, in John 6?
Well, AGAIN, I was glad you wrote, and EXPECTED you to do so! : ) And I find NO fault in your letter, or the spirit of it. That was never a question. And, as I said again and again, “most of these guys are mighty nice fellows” and “I don’t doubt their Salvation.” That was never a question, either. But, you don’t NEED more “pretty words” or even “radical WORDS”. Unless you want more of the same man-made confusing shallow things and religious pertinacious otiosity that you have seen your entire life, and most consider “acceptable”—since it allows them to continue to live for themselves and still feel “radical” in their “religious expression.” I think you want, at the heart of it, MORE than that. Perhaps even something that “the gates of Hell cannot prevail against” and that is “the Pillar and Foundation of Truth: the Ekklesia.”
“GOD’S Intent, is NOW, through the EKKLESIA, to make known His many-faceted Wisdom, even to the Principalities and Powers!” That will get you killed, if it’s the REAL thing. The stuff you can “buy” will not even cause any perspiration, let alone blood.
The reason I CHOSE to write to you what I did… was because there can BE NO LAMPSTAND, PERIOD in a place that is borrowing words and platitudes, importing figure heads for the franchise, or searching for “ideas and concepts and methods”—rather than seeing and being willing to experience the rejection and pain and humiliation of a Corporate Cross. Men can “plant” a little happy club about anywhere. But, my assumption is that a happy club that lasts 9 months before the first split, and 36 months before 75% of the teens run into the world (the percentage that christendom admits to) and the divorces begin to happen all over again…….. my assumption is that you want a Lampstand, not a happy club of independent and leavened folks, mind-blocking all of the uncomfortable compromising in order to hope against hope that sitting in a living room is better than sitting in an edifice. That is readily available. BUT, I think you want MORE—and I KNOW Jesus does. And SO… I chose to say what I said to you, and ANTICIPATED that you would have an initially “pained” : ) reaction as you did (which you handled quite well), and that all of this conversation would then take place, in some form or another.
So, here we are. : )
And still praying. : ) Looking forward to the Future. There is AWESOME Stuff available for those who are willing to “search for Him with all their hearts!” And, I really believe you want that, though you will be hated for it. “No man is greater than His Teacher. If they hated Me, they WILL hate you.”