Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Over the last two weeks, I have heard or seen into the lives of many students who are struggling. It has caused me to take an introspective look to see what my own life is reflecting as I see many of them, projecting the world.

These are young men and women who have been deeply committed to Christ, but who seem to be accepting a gospel other than that of Jesus Christ. They seem to have exchanged the truth of God for a lie. A lie that looks like truth, because it has at its edges the frayed ribbons of former glory.

They have taken on much that the world openly accepts and condones to be part of their "christian" experience, yet there is nothing Christlike in it.

Who can blame them. It gets old being the butt of everyone's jokes. Every time I hear or see statistics quoted, believers are on the ugly end of them. We are either being too judgmental, or we are not doing enough. There is no middle ground. Even as I write, I tend to display extremes in Christian behavior. Those who give their lives and those who won't even give their time.

Most of us reside in the middle somewhere. But if we are resting in the comfort of middle ground, then we are not doing what we should to draw others to the hem of His robe.

In Oklahoma, fewer people were baptized last year than in any year prior to record keeping, save the first one. What does that reflect? Is it important? Should it intensify our resolve to get serious about our relationship or should it be further fodder for the fact that numbers can be manipulated to reflect just about anything?

Who in their right mind would continue to follow a "Savior" that brought his followers to ridicule? Why would I share my faith with someone who will statistically reject it? Why risk it? There is enough rejection in this world without having to seek it out by openly living in defiance of all the world embraces.

Does it not make more sense to integrate kernels of deception from our world, into our faith practice so that it is more enticing to others? Would they not more willingly receive it if the price were less?

A "Holy Spirit" will dwell within you? Angels are real? Jesus rose from the dead? Anyone who doesn't believe in Jesus as the Son of God is bound for hell?

Who can accept these?

Let's dilute the truth of the Bible to fit any circumstance we happen to believe in the moment. This way, it will be less offensive. Let's deny what it actually says so that it will reach out an embrace others more readily. Less condemnation would be nice. I don't like being judged.

If I want to live a particular way, who and what is the Bible to say any different. After all, it was written before men and women were industrialized. It could have no concept of our lives today, therefore it could not have less bearing on who and what we are.

Another thing, let me interpret it to say what I need it to say so that I can do what I want, when I want, and not catch any more flack for it. That's a truth I can stand on.

Let there be no more false prophets that tell me what I want to hear to justify any action I choose to take. Let's just strike that part from the pages, or at least pretend it doesn't mean what it says. I could support that bible. Let's call them "preferential prophets." That is more "pc" anyway.

Let's rewrite the 10 commandments to be openly accepting of anything we deem appropriate. Certainly, more will be "saved" if fewer feel condemned.

You know, pornography is really not so bad, for that matter, "child pornography" should be okay in a few years if we can just warm up to the fact that certain people are simply predisposed to it. Let's make that ok.

Alcohol? Smoking anything of your choice? All should be fine. After all, they are refined from naturally occurring products, created by God.

Taking the Lord's name in vain? You know that is so yesterday's issue. Everybody does it. Let's say that is ok, too.

Sex is something all of the animal kingdom does when and where they want. They are just not intelligent enough to enjoy it like we do. Let's lift up shows that make any sexual choice we want to make okay for anyone to watch. It has no real impact on anyone. Their going to have sex at some point anyway. What's the big deal? Let's rewrite certain "scriptural" texts, to reflect our way of thinking.

Our new motto will be, "Absolute Truth is Gone, the Truth of Your Choice has Come."

The new commandment is this: Do what you want, when you want, anywhere you want. If you offend someone in the process? Oh well, it's always easier to get forgiveness than permission.

HAD ENOUGH?


We must recognize the difference between the sheep and the goats.

frustration and what i would like to believe is righteous anger, wells up in me at the realization that those the Lord has placed His hand upon, are embracing lies. i need to reach out in love, to them and to the lost. i cannot tolerate what the 'prince of this world' is offering as an alternative to Truth. i must do what i can to minister to those who are falling down, because surely, i am among them.

dad

11 Comments:

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Gator4God said...

Dad,
This is more true than my flesh would like to admit. Satan has taken the truth from our generation and replaced it with a tale, an easier lifestyle that doesn't involve God, much less glorify Him. My generation has cast off their vision and accepted to live in the now. Let us remember that "If my people cast of vision, restraint, they will perish." Thank you for reminding me of the lie that the devil will sell us.
matt

 
At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey

My speech class at IUPUI is requiring us to write a speech on something that impacted our lives in a positive way. I just wanted to know if it was ok if i used B.J's story. It is one of the most life changing events i've ever been through. i would really like to share it with the class and take advantage of this witnessing opportunity.
Lastly, I don't think i ever personally thanked you. Thank you for being an amazing man of God. You were the one who was there for me before and after i accepted God's truth, love, and grace. I really appreciate what you did in caring about me when i was new to our church. I just really want you to know how much i appreciate that and look up to that.

Thank You

Kraig B.

 
At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good morning, Brent,

Yes, much of today's Christianity is so watered down--lukewarm--that surely God is "spitting us out of His mouth!" And you're right, we must wake up and realize that it is happening. I fear that many don't even know they've been spit out....

An example of looking just like the world is even evident in a popular paraphrase of the Bible, The Message. The "paraphraser" uses words freely and repeatedly that just 10 years ago would have been inappropriate and offensive. AND, some readers still find them so.

"Post moderns" don't want to feel guilty, or offend anyone, or be intolerant, so yes, therefore, they've (we've) changed the rules so that nobody feels uncomfortable.
And if we don't feel uncomfortable, can we feel God's conviction???

It IS a disturbing trend, and it is SO EXCITING to see a minority of Christians living with true integrity and enthusiasm and love for their fellow man. Hopefully I will be counted among this latter group!!!

 
At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. I have spent the last two weeeks reexamining my life and looking to see what truths I have traded for a lie. It may be seemingly little things, but anytime I compromise somewhere, it becomes easier to compromise in other areas of my life. Thank you for your words. So often I slip into believing a lie, that I don't even realize what I have done. I am thankful for people God has put in my life who are willing to expose the lies I have come to believe. I cannot become complacent just because it is easier... nowhere in the Bible does it say I will have an easy life.

Luara Allyn

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger brobrad said...

Brent, you are heartbreakingly correct in what is happening around us.

I couldn't help but think as I read today's post how people see what you are saying, what the Bible says, as "narrow minded".

It is. The truth is narrow and always has been. "Narrow is the road that leads to heaven...."

Those who argue - at least those who see themselves as believers in Jesus who argue that we need to be more open-minded often miss the point. We need to be open-hearted, not open-minded. It is when we open our minds to this world that we put down our defenses and open a door for Satan to fill with what he will.

Thank you for speaking truth boldly.

Brad

 
At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Brittany Di Salvo said...

I needed to hear that, too. Thanks again, dad.

Love

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger Pray for BJ said...

Kraig, we would be blessed to have you share his story...for it is a story that belongs to the Lord and therefore His children, and is not ours alone.

Thank you also for your encouragement! I still remember that night at the altar. I appreciate you! You have blessed me significantly today.

brent

 
At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand today's post. I struggle daily with many of the issues you tackled too. But then I think about Paul's letters, really each book of the New Testament after Acts. They were written in an attempt to encourage or admonish, teach and instruct the believers. And Jesus makes clear that not even the disciples understood His teachings. Our relationship with Jesus is not defined by a set of laws or rules. It's defined by responding to His grace and love over time and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I understand more today about being a follower of Jesus than I did a year ago. And I'll understand more a year from now. I've grown so much recently in my understanding of His Grace. The power of the Holy Spirit can erase all the misguided, psuedo religious notions that move like the wind with culture. He saved me! And if He can save me, He can save anybody. At the least, this generation is searching and seeking truth having been nurtured in the beliefs of relativism. As long as they search, Jesus can be found. He told us that. When they stop searching and think they know it all, that is dangerous. Like Paul, I am convinced that nothing in the universe can keep us from the love of God. He will pursue us even when we think He doesn't exist. And in the end all we can do is point toward the Cross and let each heart decide on it's own. Jesus does the conversion, not us in our power. And He is Mighty to save and deeply forgiving of even the worst sinner. Hope for God is near!
\o/

 
At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right. We can't continue to just randomly walk the walk. We need to be deliberate christians. Jesus was never worried about hurting the Pharisses' feelings or anyone elses' for that matter. He spoke the truth unapologethically. Thank you for this blog and for serving the Lord. You help keep my heart soft.

 
At 8:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey dad.
i miss you. mike misses you too. he's with kraig now though, inspiration for his speech. I just want you to know that i love you and think of you and the girls and bj everyday.
katie waddles

 
At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Linda Anderson said...

This is so true! And it reminds me of the thinking of the Antichrist, who will be coming soon! We need to focus on Jesus and the WHOLE TRUTH of the Bible, not what works for us, and ignore the rest. It is what it is, whether we like it or not!! Being truly in love with Jesus means that we accept and love it all! We need to stop being lukewarm, and get on fire for Jesus, and every word in His Word, as time is coming quickly to a close. Thanks Brent!!!

Agape! Linda Anderson

 

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