Five Casualties... Out of Millions
Friday Morning, June 29, 2001
Below, we’re passing on some reflections a brother elsewhere had of the recent tragedy, now known worldwide. Add this example below to the recent headlines of escaped convicts and murderers from Texas—who had no problem blending into the religious world, teaching at bible studies, playing christian music from their trailer day and night. Someday all who desire to See will comprehend the point a brother from another city makes below—about the faulty building of “attendance christianity” (whether in homes or temples). Surely it isn’t hard to see that Jesus was not living today’s ways of expressing “christianity.” The faulty building principles (1Cor. 3) of attendance-based, calendar-driven, disconnected living can never result in HIS Church, which would no longer see the gates of hell prevail. Continue to pray to the Lord of the Harvest and have the courage (with no bitterness or wild accusations or reactions) to speak Truth daily into the lives of those around you! For the sake of the Lamb!
Many have been deeply disturbed by the news account of a Houston mother murdering her five children last week. (Some nine months later, she was convicted of murder by a jury of her peers.) Rehashing the details is unnecessary, but the Houston authorities have called the murders the most horrendous in their experience. To true Believers and Disciples of Jesus Christ, the most deadly aspect of this crime, however, is that the parents professed to be Believers. They “home schooled” their children, went to all of the “home school conventions” and were “regulars” at the local christian book store. They named their children after followers of the one True God, Yahweh: Noah, John, Paul, Luke, and Mary.
While not trying to get any unnecessary “mileage” out of this tragedy, let’s not close our eyes and bury our heads in the sand, either. If we won’t be honest enough to LEARN from the fatal short-comings of the christian infrastructure and building principles, “we are destined to repeat them.” If anyone honest needs any further indication that something is horribly, horribly wrong with the prevailing paradigm in christendom, read a few quotes from CNN:
“Neighbors and friends described the Yates’ children as lively, gentle, and bright—everyone seemed to notice their smiles. ‘I always just saw a happy family, and I saw kids playing, kids laughing, the father interacting with the kids,’ said one unidentified neighbor. ‘I can’t say there was ever anything that would have made me wonder what was going on with this family. By all accounts, they were the Cleavers,’ she said, referring to a 1950’s television program depicting idyllic family life.
“Terry Arnold said she adored the Yates children. She works at a home schooling bookstore that Andrea Yates often visited with her children. Arnold said the Yates children lit up the store when they walked in. ‘I would stop what I was doing and play with the children because they were just so pleasant,’ Arnold said. ‘We referred to them as our favorite customers. We’d see them pull up and we’d say, “Hey, they’re here!” So it was—it was fun. We looked forward to seeing them....’
“The Rev. Byron Fike, who presided over the service, said Russell Yates’ strong religious beliefs seemed to be helping him cope. Before the service, which lasted about 75 minutes, Fike tried to shed some positive light on the tragedy. ‘God will use this to bring about good,’ said Fike. ‘There’s been a lot of talk lately about postpartum depression.’ Fike said he hoped the killings would educate others in the dangers of depression.”
A woman who professes faith planned for four months to kill her children. No one was close enough to see through the facade of idyllic family life. And the spokesman for the clergy seemingly (Oh, how I would love to be proven wrong) has no answers beyond psychobabble.
The real and truly “life and death” issue with the prevailing christian way of “expressing” Christianity and “church” paradigm is NOT a simple doctrinal dispute. (Although, today’s “Sunday go to meeting” attendance, speech, and programmed christianity is certainly nowhere to be found in the Bible or the experience and Teaching of Jesus and the Apostles.) Five children died physically. As tragic and heartbreaking and revealing as this is about the faulty forms of Christianity being ubiquitously practiced in most every country today, it is far worse than even that. In actuality, children by the millions will continue to die spiritually (in “youth groups” and the like, worldwide) for the very same reasons...unless something changes.
Had folks around them been building Jesus’ way: totally intertwined daily relationships, one heart, one mind, one soul, contending as one man (no one acting as if “I have no need of you” until next meeting), joined and knit by every supporting ligament, admonishing one another daily so that none are hardened or deceived—odds are extremely high that this and a thousand less obvious things would never “slip through the cracks,” and disasters strike. And because there was too little relationship together in Christ to have caught and dealt with satan’s work much earlier on, there is also insufficient relationship in Christ to heal the wounds, out of Gifts and daily Life. The cost of building out of convenience and the traditions of men is very, very high.
May God deepen our convictions and broaden our hearts for the Work.
Keep in mind that the Message of this writing is that she could have been helped, if the church was building God’s Way. God’s heart IS breaking for the tens of thousands and millions of Andreas! God’s way is that those who are NOT saved (but only religious) would come to know it because of the Quality of Life and daily interactions that allow Discernment and 1000 times the magnitude and specificity of the Word of God to one another’s lives. And those who ARE saved, but very weak and in danger, could be helped by the daily input and melting together of lives and Gifts and love! THAT’S the Message here, not that she was or was not chemically imbalanced, or may or may not have been saved. We don’t know. It is simply that Hebrews 3:12-14 and Acts 2:42-47 (God’s Ways—the Way that Jesus Himself built) solves most problems before they get to this point! The woman mentioned would have been Helped by a Church the gates of hell could not prevail against. That is the message here—not anything about the woman. Physical and emotional, chemical and hormonal, circumstantial and relational crisis DO put massive pressure on all of us! There is no denying that satan loves to press us in every imaginable way. Andrea was undoubtedly under the pressure of most, if not all, of that list of pressures. But that is just the point! SHE MIGHT HAVE BEEN HELPED, if we were Building God’s Way, instead of in “the empty traditions handed down by our forefathers” that “nullify the Word of God.” In most religious environments, PEOPLE NEVER NOTICE whether another is saved, or greedy, or a liar, or manic-depressive, or prideful, or lustful, or if they love the world. OR if they are under great pressure from hormonal or chemical or financial problems. This is DISOBEDIENT to God. Flat out disobedient (Heb. 3:12-14, Gal. 6:1-2, 1Cor. 12). To allow others around us to kill themselves or others, whether physically (as in this painful example with Andrea), or Spiritually (as do a full 70% of the youth in “youth groups” and 50% of the marriages in the “churches,” and over 50% of the businessmen on business trips and the internet), simply because we are continuing to build with the foolish and convenient ways of men...is selfish and rebellious, as well as disastrous. If you read again all of what has been discussed above once again, you’ll see that it is not the woman who is being discussed here, but the ways of men as it comes to christianity. “The stone the BUILDERS rejected has become the Cornerstone” (Acts 4:11).
And, one more thing... Wow, I just hate how so many have heard so much falsehood their whole lives from the “pulpit” (an unBiblical concept of speech-making to Saints by an appointed person). But one of the most dangerous FALSEHOODS ever generated to protect the compromise and disobedience regarding “leaven in the Batch” (1Cor. 5) is the frequent false teaching from the pulpits and seminaries about “the parable of the wheat and the tares.” If you read what JESUS said (!!!!)—the “field” where the wheat and the tares are to grow together until the end of the age IS NOT THE CHURCH—IT IS THE WORLD!!! JESUS said, “the field is the WORLD”—not the Church! There are NOT to be “tares” that are “members” of the Church that JESUS is building! (Mat. 16:18; Mat. 18:15-20; 1Cor. 5:6-13). What an incredible difference! That changes EVERYTHING! Now, we can obey God and “get the leaven out of the batch” (1Cor. 5) as He has always commanded. IF, IF, IF, IF we have sufficient daily relationship, as He has also Commanded (Heb. 3:12-14) we will work out the difference between “weakness” (to be guarded and helped—1Thes. 5:14; Gal. 6:1-10)—and “leaven” unbelief and rebellion and ongoing sin (which is to be “cut off from among you”—1Cor. 5; Acts 3:22-23). We are to live “in the world, but not of it”—to let our light shine before men.
Now this is key. We are not looking to pull away from others in a cloistered environment, to build a utopian society. Why not buy a plot of ground in the country, away from the world? Because JESUS said, “THIS is HOW all men will know you are My disciples—by how they SEE WITH THEIR OWN EYES the supernatural love you have for each other!” We must REMAIN, “in the world, but not of it.” Of course we will have NO affections or “friendships” or allegiances or camaraderie or yokes with the world or the unsaved (whether neighbor or biological relative, according to Jesus). And yet, our devotion to see them bow their knees before the Master and Lover of their souls means that they must SEE and hear the Word of God from WITNESSING “how we love” on “the brotherhood of Believers.”
Just to reiterate, the parable of the wheat and tares (Matthew 13) does not teach that there must be leaven in the Church! In addition to the Words of Jesus Himself IN that parable, this would be in direct disobedience to many other Scriptures. According to Jesus Himself—“THE FIELD IS THE WORLD,” NOT the Church. I apologize on behalf of the clergymen who have taught that falsehood, to the destruction of so many marriages and teens and businessmen and others worldwide.
If you felt like in bringing up the news article known world-wide about Andrea was somehow picking on Andrea, know this: We are, in fact, actually saying the exact opposite! “THIS WOMAN, in spite of her emotional (and perhaps chemical and disobedience) problems, might have been helped and healed...if the churches were doing their part, and building as Jesus designed and commanded!”
Remember what was said? “Had folks around them been building Jesus’ way: totally intertwined daily relationships, one heart, one mind, one soul, contending as one man (no one acting as if ‘I have no need of you’ until next meeting), joined and knit by every supporting ligament, admonishing one another daily so that none are hardened or deceived—odds are extremely high that this (and a thousand less obvious things to the natural man’s eye) would never ‘slip through the cracks,’ and disasters strike. But, because there was too little relationship in Christ to have caught and dealt with satan’s work much earlier on, there is also insufficient relationship in Christ to heal the wounds out of Gifts and daily Life. The cost of building out of convenience and traditions of men is very, very high.”
May God Truly deepen our convictions and broaden our hearts for the work. There IS a Way, in Christ, Built on the Foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, that is seeing “the Gates of hell will not prevail!”
“God’s Intent, is that NOW through the church, that the full weight and glory of the Wisdom of God be openly displayed to even the principalities and powers” (Ephesians 3:10).
Now. Through the Church. “The fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.”
Don’t miss it...by being drunk on traditions of men, convenience, laziness, fear of man, or fear of your own cross. Jesus Himself wants it FOR you—and that births all the confidence in the world for you to risk for His sake, and pursue no matter what all the machinery, hire-archy, and compromising religious lukewarmness around you is willing to settle for. YOU can press on, and press the religious world around you to come to Him and His Standard. “The Stone the BUILDERS rejected...has become the Cornerstone!”