Seeking Truth While It Is Still Day
How would you view the circumstance in which the introduction of principles (mainly of leadership by gifts and openly known maturity, united agreement by whole church decision-making, mainly just the willingness to abandon everything for His Mind and true spiritual Testimony, hugging the Rock and building in great carefulness on Him) into a gathering would be seen as unaccepted by church leadership and also seen as causing schools of opinion and being divisive if introduced to the rest of the flock? In this case, the tables having turned, who would be spreading leaven now?! Would you think of Rom.14 as a wise road here (Rom.14:16-18)?
Also if one is refused from openly sharing his heart and encouraged to find a place more likeminded. And yet there is basically nothing as far as I’ve seen breathing this corporate reality. What to do but pray and witness daily?
And, as for our journey of salvation, now I too believe that there must be an inner “metamorphosis” to begin to fully taste the life that the Lord really has for us. But what about the believer who knew God’s presence, and after awhile there was another much mightier outpour or fire? Now would you think that he was not really saved in the former, and that everyone must have some “experience” to be assured of their salvation? And do you often in the church there run into the danger of refusing fellowship to one who is really saved, but not as whole-hearted or committed or something? How do you receive without any kind of suspicious doubt of something of a welcomed member? It seems there would be much room for error if we took more than our proper place to judge the inner thoughts, intents, and motives.
Hi there. I’ll just reflect on some of your questions in the same manner you asked them, and allow you to carefully consider and pray through them.
First of all, God’s Lambs belong to GOD, not to any mere man or men—so EVERYONE deserves a chance to consider anything you have been Changed by. It is THEIR decision to see Jesus in those things, or not. The SHEEP know the Shepherd’s Voice, and it is NOT for a man-made titled “leader” to be the cork on the bottle. The Church belongs to JESUS. Every individual wearing HIS Name belongs to JESUS, not men. So, it is not inappropriate to put things to read or listen to into the hands of those who REALLY seem to have a heart for Him.
Notice I didn’t say “into the hands of those who you are trying to stand your ground or do battle with.” Jesus appeared to more than 500 after He was raised from the dead, but NOT to Caesar or Pilate or Herod or any skeptics. One would think that He WOULD have wanted to “prove” Himself with those types, but He ONLY appeared to those who loved Him and would pay a price for the Pearl. There is a good lesson in that. We pour out our hearts to those we have reason to think will CARE and pay a Price, not to those who want to argue or debate. Jesus only appears to those who CARE, regardless of Cost.
Also, regarding Romans 14, there is certainly merit in pacing ourselves, and not drawing a line in the sand around externals, IF a person is truly blood-bought and sold out in their daily lives. They’ll come around. It is noteworthy to add, however, that “without Faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb.11:6), and those with “weaker faith” are not to be commended, nor are they to control everyone else with their unbelief or petty weaknesses. That is NOT the context or meaning of the text. God is NOT saying, “Just take the lowest common denominator, and call that Christianity and Church.” NO way.
Fact is, MANY in such “churches” as embrace that faulty view of Romans 14 (those that embrace the status quo, like Laodicea—“anything else is divisive”) defy another few hundred Scriptures. The ASSUMPTION is, in Romans 14 (unlike today), that when we speak of a Church, we are speaking of TRULY CONVERTED men and women who are abandoned to Jesus, “taking up their crosses daily” and have left all for Him. They just need time to grow and understand, but they hide behind nothing, make no excuses, and change as they discover things that are Him. THAT is basic CONVERSION (Lk.9:57-62) and nothing less is a Christian or a Church.
Now, in THAT context, Yes, growth out of previous Jewish backgrounds and the like needs some time to get a grasp on what Father really wants, and who Father really is. There is nothing meritorious about having “weaker faith” and displeasing God (Heb.11:6), and therefore this is NOT where God wants us to end up (“a little hot, a little cold: LUKEWARM Laodicea”). So, if we are really dealing with CONVERTED men and women, with the Spirit of Christ within (Rom.8), we’ll be able to work out what is Right and what is but form and external.
“Admonish one another daily so that none are hardened and deceived by sin,” allows the growing knowledge of God and one another and our own hearts, that the “issues” of Romans 14 will melt into His true Mind on whatever the matter may be, NOT just compromise into some committee majority vote. Phooey! In Acts 15 THERE WAS AN ANSWER, not just “do whatever pleases you, and we’ll let you do that—and we’ll all bend to your weak faith for eternity.” NO! There was an Answer! But, everyone has to CARE and be willing to submit to whatever the Spirit DOES say. Therein lies the rub. Generally, most congregations are ruled by “women and children and men with cloaks” (Isa.3, 5) and the religious unConverted. There is no hope in such a circumstance, other than sweeping Repentance and the Life of God manifest.
By the way, if we are LIVING Heb.3:12-14, we will know in time if a person is TRULY indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Saved, regardless of maturity level at that time, and the “love the Light” and “love the Truth and so are Saved”). It may take awhile to discern between “immature” versus “unconverted,” but GOD LIVING INSIDE a person WILL manifest itself. And one who HAS Jesus within, discerned in DAILY LIFE TOGETHER, we “bear with” and lay down our lives to help mature and protect and “wrestle to present complete in Christ,” while those who are religious pretenders with ulterior motives but have never given their lives away to Jesus REALLY (this is known in the Bible as “Faith” in Christ), these must NOT be welcomed and embraced indefinitely. “ONE MORE YEAR” Jesus said. People do not get an indefinite amount of time to live any foolish or self-centered or unbelieving way they please and continue to call themselves Christians and a part of the Church when they will not “take up their cross daily, and come after Him.” The “rich young ruler” could not “do” enough good and right things to be able to BE with Jesus or His People without SELLING OUT for Jesus. There is not a “half” conversion.
And yet, in an “attend me” congregation or “house church,” it will never be possible to discern the difference, and the Command from God to “remove the leaven from the batch” will prove utterly impossible, if not deadly. Apart from DAILY intimacy in the details of life ( “THIS is how all men will know,” “Admonish one another daily,” “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the Law of Christ,” “Confess your sins one to another, and pray for one another that you may be healed,” etc. etc.). Apart from this Quality of Life seen in Acts 2:42-47 at the Command and Provision of the Risen Jesus, there can be no discernment on such delicate matters of who has the Creator within their bones, and who is simply zealous or religious or sentimental or talented or a hand-me-down from their upbringing, and CLAIMING to be a “Christian.”
All for now.
Love in Christ,