God's Truth In Love

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Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 22 – Seed of Disunity

In Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Disunity, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on March 14, 2019 at 10:00 am

At the beginning of 2019 we took on a different approach to finishing both our series on Church Growth, or lack thereof, and the Study of the Book of Proverbs. Instead of alternating weekly between two subjects, as we have in the past, we are proceeding this year by carrying one subject to completion and then next to completion. Please be assured we will finish each subject, Church Growth and Proverbs. We will wrap up the series, “Why My Church is NOT Growing” with the last two postings focused on disunity within the Body of Christ.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 22 – Seed of Disunity

People’s fundamental lack of acceptance of who God created them to be is the seed of disunity. Ironically, it is in those differences that our individual beauty and value is found. In the passage of Scripture taken from Ephesians, chapter four, cited in the last posting, God addresses the need and reason for different spiritual gifts and ministry positions within the Body of Christ.

First, we have to realize that God’s grace is upon us to do certain things and to hold certain positions. If we attempt to act outside of that grace, we will not be able to adequately perform or serve as God intends us to and as is need for the rest of the Body of Christ. Grace enables us to do everything we do in life, without grace, we could do nothing; just as apart from Christ we can do nothing worthy of doing.

The saints must be equipped properly for God work. It is through God’s grace given to the apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors, and teachers that these Believers become equipped and ready to use their spiritual gift and talents for Kingdom service. Additionally, the edification of the Body is the responsibility of these individuals as well. Yet, when these individual and the task they are given to do is not respected by both themselves and others disunity is often the result. If the pastor wishes to be a teacher, he could well interfere with the work of the teacher within that community. If the prophet wishes to be a pastor, he will most likely be a miserable failure and make others miserable in the process. If an evangelist attempts to be an apostle, they will find they are restless in their work establishing churches and longing to be on the road sharing the gospel. If the saints resist the work of these individuals, or worst wish to be these individuals and believe they can do better, they will become agitators and never grow as God wishes them to grow. In all of this disunity will run ramped.

A further and deeper purpose of the leaders is edifying and building the Body of Christ in order to bring it into unity around one faith; faith in the Son of God, Jesus the Christ. To bring people to a fuller and deeper understand of who Christ is to His Church and to them as individuals. In so doing the leaders help the individual members of Christ’s Body to grow up in their faith and become grounded in their doctrine so that they are not easily led astray by false doctrine or wrong teachings.

Growing people often requires speaking the truth to them. Truth should always be spoken in love and for the hearer’s well-being, not the speaker’s fulfillment. We are not to go about bashing people over the head with our “truth”, but we are also not to remain silent when “truth” needs to be spoken. If we refuse to hear the truth, we will not grow as we should in Christ. It is only through hearing and accepting the truth that we can move from glory to glory being recreated in the image of Christ. If each individual continually focuses on the “in love”, aspect of presenting the truth then there will be less disunity caused by correction, exhortation, encouragement, and the like.

We all must do our part for the Body of Christ to be what it should be. We must all do our part to keep unity within the Body of Christ. We must all do our part in actually manifesting unity to the Body of Christ. Finally, we must all do our part to promote unity within the Body of Christ. Then and only then can the Body of Christ be what Christ desires for it to be.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

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Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 21 – Disunity

In Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Disunity, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Righteousness, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on March 7, 2019 at 9:00 am

At the beginning of 2019 we took on a different approach to finishing both our series on Church Growth, or lack thereof, and the Study of the Book of Proverbs. Instead of alternating weekly between two subjects, as we have in the past, we are proceeding this year by carrying one subject to completion and then next to completion. Please be assured we will finish each subject, Church Growth and Proverbs. We will wrap up the series, “Why My Church is NOT Growing” with the last two postings focused on disunity within the Body of Christ. 

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 21 – Disunity

"a healthy perspective overlooks a multitude of "unresolvables" – Dr. James Dobson

Disunity, the lack of agreement or harmony, dissension, is found across the Body of Christ. No denomination, culture, race, social class, or region is excluded from this cancer, which is eating away at the heart of Christianity. What is the disunity all for in the end if we find we are all in heaven together worshipping at the feet of Jesus?

Once we have cleared the hurtles of the Deity of Christ, as found in the truth of His virgin birth, that salvation is through Jesus alone and no other, and that God’s Word, the Bible, is in fact His literal and definitive Word, why would there be any need for division. Nothing outside of those three things will effect a person’s salvation, eternal standing, or qualification within the Body of Christ as a brother or sister. Nevertheless, we have allowed the disagreements about biblical principles that we deem important or a larger priority to drive a wedge between our group and another group, both of which are part of the Body of Christ. With this, I have no doubt God is not pleased and not pleased at all. This is an act we justify, but in truth, we have no biblical justification for before God.

The Body of Christ, individuals, families, marriages, homes, business, government, and our country have suffered due to the lack of unity within the Body of Christ. Separation of church and state in the spiritual realm is a myth and would, nor will, ever be possible. The entire structure of society and life is based upon biblical principles. God has never and will never allow Himself to be left out of the sphere of His creation. The idea that He just dropped us here and left us to our own devices is simply not His way. Yes, He did give us freewill but that is very different from Him acting with apathy and indifference toward His creation.

The Body of Christ is knowingly and willingly hurting itself, its country, and each of its members by continuing in disunity.

Psalm 133 (NKJV)

Psalm 133

Blessed Unity of the People of God

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

For brethren to dwell together in unity!

2 It is like the precious oil upon the head,

Running down on the beard,

The beard of Aaron,

Running down on the edge of his garments.

3 It is like the dew of Hermon,

Descending upon the mountains of Zion;

For there the Lord commanded the blessing—

Life forevermore.

The Body of Christ suffers from a lack of anointing when they are in disunity. Without that anointing, they lack the spiritual power needed to do God’s kingdom work in on earth. That lack of spiritual power leads Christians to the deterioration of themselves as individuals first, then their homes, then their congregations, then the Body of Christ, and finally their society and country. Without the anointing of God, we continually lose ground until the enemy has trampled us.

There is a way out of such a state however, and that way is to repent of our disunity and reclaim our unity. This has always been God’s heart and desire for us as His Church.

Ephesians 4:1–16 (NKJV)

Walk in Unity

4 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Spiritual Gifts

7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says:

“When He ascended on high,

He led captivity captive,

And gave gifts to men.”

9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

To walk in disunity is to dishonor God. We are called as Christians to walk worthy of the name. Walking worthy of the name “Christian” means to be humble, gentle, patient, loving, peaceful, and in so doing we exhibit the greatest form of love for one another by keeping unity within the Body of Christ. If we refuse to do this, we refuse to honor God and to obey His Word.

Even though we have chosen to identify ourselves with hundreds upon hundreds of denominations there is but one Church, one Body of Christ. The Scripture above from the book of Ephesians makes this truth clear. There is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord Jesus our Savior, one faith, let me repeat that – one faith, one baptism, one God and Father; there is only One. How is it possible to be divided when there is only One!

The problem with disunity seems to be found in the fact that we are different. We can be one, we can be unified, and we can be godly and still be different. God created us differently, gave us different gifts, gave us different passions, and chose us for different purposes; none of which He wanted to be used as an excuse or reason to bring disunity to His Body.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 20 – Exclusivity

In Chrisitan Lifestyle, Church Growth, Compassion, Disunity, Exclusivity, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Righteousness, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on February 28, 2019 at 9:00 am

At the beginning of 2019 we took on a different approach to finishing both our series on Church Growth, or lack thereof, and the Study of the Book of Proverbs. Instead of alternating weekly between two subjects, as we have in the past, we are proceeding this year by carrying one subject to completion and then next to completion. Please be assured we will finish each subject, Church Growth and Proverbs. We will wrap up the series, “Why My Church is NOT Growing” with the last three postings focused on exclusivity and disunity (disunity will be published in two parts).

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 20 – Exclusivity

The church congregation should be a place characterized by love, acceptance, and inclusiveness. Yet sadly, so many congregations are found to be characterized by “clicks” which creates an environment of exclusivity.

Exclusivity in the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is defined as:

1 : the quality or state of being exclusive

2 : exclusive rights or services

Exclusive in the Webster’s dictionary is defined as:

1 : reserved for particular persons

2 : snobbishly aloof; also :

Take a few moments an honestly discern what is taking place in your own congregation. Do you find yourself or your group choosing to allow only yourself certain rights, services, or advantages in which other people in the congregation are not allowed to partake? Have you found ways to justify cutting people out of certain events? If you have partaken in this type of behavior then let me ask you a question, “Who made you god?”

Here are more subtle forms of exclusivity that you might find in a church congregation. Making your bible study just for your group. Your small group does not have room for anyone else because you have become comfortable with who is in it and do not want to add anyone else. Your group of friends all work for the same company so you have that in common and accepting someone new that perhaps works for another company is uncomfortable. Our couples group consists of people who all like the same things, we at the same level of incomes, we all have children, and come from the same type of culture; someone from their economic class and without children would not feel comfortable in our group. Lastly, the mother of all justifications regarding exclusivity, we are all the leaders of the church and therefore must remain to ourselves.

How it must grieve the Spirit of God among us when we choose exclusivity over inclusiveness. When we vex the Spirit of God, either as individuals, a group, or the Body we diminish our effectiveness greatly, if not lose it all together. The very act of exclusivity is contrary to a variety of ways Scripture instructs us to deal with one another as members of the same Body of Christ.

Ephesians 4:25–32 (NKJV)

Do Not Grieve the Spirit

25 Therefore, putting away lying, Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 19 – What is our problem with authority?

In Abuse, Advice, Authority, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Religious Freedom, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on February 21, 2019 at 8:51 am

At the beginning of 2019 we took on a different approach to finishing both our series on Church Growth, or lack thereof, and the Study of the Book of Proverbs. Instead of alternating weekly between two subjects, as we have in the past, we will proceed this year by carrying one subject to completion and then next to completion. Please be assured we will finish each subject, Church Growth and Proverbs. We will begin by finishing the series, “Why My Church is NOT Growing” with the focus for the next several weeks placed upon the issue of how “authority” affects church growth.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 19 – What is our problem with authority?

There are so many people in the world who have a real problem with authority. These individuals more often than not have been wounded by people who abused their authority and position in the individual life. This is the heart of our problem with authority as a group and as a society. The abuse and misuse of authority by those who were once trusted.

The bosses did mistreat and overwork the employees. They stole their ideas and called them their own. The mothers did abuse, beat, verbally assault, and neglect their children. Their children in turn grew up and did likewise to their own children, albeit not as severely. The daddies did molest their daughters and break their trust of all men in the process. The Christian spiritual leaders did use their flock for money, power, and prestige leaving some among them in great need and grossly disappointed. Spiritual leaders attempted to control their people to the degree they misused the women for their personal sexual pleasure and left an entire group wounded and spiritually broken. The husband did beat, lie to, verbally abuse, cheat on, and mistreat his wife and call on her to submit and endure such as part of her duty to him. This left the women confused, emotionally abandoned, and alone. On and on I could go with all the reasons we could mistrust authority or do mistrust authority. These examples certainly show what our problem with authority actual looks like and why. With all that laid bare, I still call us to repentance.

If we have misused our authority, we must repent. If we are refusing proper authority a chance in our lives because of the sins of past authority, we must repent. We must as a group, as The Church, begin to live with one another using our authority in a godly manner and submitting to our godly authority appropriately and willingly. It is only through those right relationships that God can work in an ideal fashion.

This concludes the writings on “authority” and its factor in church growth or lack thereof. The next couple of sections, “disunity” and “exclusivity,” will wrap up “Why My Church is NOT Growing.” I pray these writings have been a blessing to you and will be used of God to aid your healthy godly church growth.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 18 – Can authority be trusted?

In Abuse, Authority, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Decision Making, Godly Counsel, Prudence, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on February 13, 2019 at 4:37 pm

At the beginning of 2019 we took on a different approach to finishing both our series on Church Growth, or lack thereof, and the Study of the Book of Proverbs. Instead of alternating weekly between two subjects, as we have in the past, we will proceed this year by carrying one subject to completion and then next to completion. Please be assured we will finish each subject, Church Growth and Proverbs. We will begin by finishing the series, “Why My Church is NOT Growing” with the focus for the next several weeks placed upon the issue of how “authority” affects church growth.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 18 – Can authority be trusted?

An honest appraisal and answer to the question of whether authority can be trusted or not is simply, not always. Authority is not always godly in nature and therefore, not always worthy of our trust. This is where our need for discernment comes into play.

God has granted His people the ability to discern the spiritual nature of those we are dealing with on a daily basis. That said we must always keep in mind that our ability to discern properly would depend upon our spiritual condition at any given moment. Let us presume that a person’s spiritual condition is godly, and they are submitted to the authority of God. In those conditions, one must use their discernment to determine whether a person in a position of authority is using that authority to point people to a greater understanding of Christ and to godliness or if they are using their authority for personal gain and worldly ambition.

2 Corinthians 10:8 King James (AV)

8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:

1 Peter 5:2–3 (NKJV)

2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

We find within the DNA of godly leadership a desire to build up, not destroy. A desire to teach truths not simply command conformity. There should be a desire within these leaders to care for those in their charge, not a sense of mere obligation to do so. If money is the motivator for a leader with authority, then they shall surely be affected by their greed to the point of being untrustworthy.

You can like a pastor without ignoring his obvious character flaws and emulating them, which only leads to your own personal struggles with self. You can love a husband without submitting to his ungodly leadership, which will only lead to the deterioration of your own life and character. You can respect a politician’s views and public service without covering your eyes to his or her compromise, which can place you in a position of supporting governmental changes that are ungodly through your support of the person. In all things, examine these people for godly character and character you deem worthy of emulating.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 16 – “Authority” Who or what holds authority?

In Abuse, Advice, Apostasy, Authority, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Confusion, Decision Making, Religious Freedom, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Truth, Uncategorized on January 31, 2019 at 1:26 pm

As we take on a new year, 2019, we will take a different approach to finishing both our series on Church Growth, or lack thereof, and the Study of the Book of Proverbs. Instead of alternating weekly between two subjects, as we have in the past, we will proceed this year by carrying one subject to completion and then next to completion. Please be assured we will finish each subject, Church Growth and Proverbs. We will begin by finishing the series, “Why My Church is NOT Growing” with the focus for the next several weeks placed upon the issue of how “authority” affects church growth.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 16 – “Authority” Who or what holds authority?

The Word of God is authority to the highest degree because of its ability to address all life matters that concern us. Even though it does not always provide a literally specific answer to a question, such as where to live or what car to buy, it does always provide the life principles that make those decisions answerable in a godly manner. The overall guidance needed for any situation is found in the authority of God’s Word.

Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)

12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Through the use of God’s Word, we are not only able to find guidance for our life situation, but we are also able to have our own hearts and motives revealed to us as we search the Word for our answers. Through our submission to the process of seeking God’s guidance by means of His authority found in His Word, we are able to allow Him authority over our thoughts and the intents of our heart.

It is God’s desire to help us, protect us, keep our lives on course, and lead us out of any places of ungodliness but we must trust His authority in our lives to make that possible.

Ephesians 6:17 (NKJV)

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

Salvation is to be saved from something. To be delivered from sin, danger, difficulties, to be preserved from destruction, etc. This is what God wants for us in this life and in the life hereafter. The Word of God is the authority through which He often makes that possible, if only we would adhere to its instructions.

The authority of God Word, the Bible, exists because it is the mind, heart, and will of God. It is not the ideas of man but instead the ideals and very nature of God Himself revealed to man. The men who wrote the words down on paper were mere secretaries of sorts taking shorthand for their Boss.

2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NKJV)

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NKJV)

For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.

The idea that only a portion of Scripture is true or that it does not mean what it says is simply a lie, one that Satan perpetrates. Where you see the existence of lies Satan reigns because he is the Father of Lies according to Scripture. Lying is a direct by-product of Satan’s influence in a situation or in a person’s life. God’s Word is just that, God’s Word, all of it, always good, always correct, and always righteous in its nature. It is meant to enhance mankind’s life and lead them to godliness in all things.

Psalm 119:160 (NKJV)

The entirety of Your word is truth,

And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.

The greatest display of the authority of God’s Written Word is the impact and transforming power it has on the individual who allows the Word to be the authority of their life. Sanctification comes by the Word of God. Meaning both through the person of the Word found in Christ Jesus and through the power and authority found in adherence to the Written Word.

John 17:17 (NKJV) Jesus speaking.

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

James 1:22 (NKJV)

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

If we refuse to appropriately follow the Word of God, then we will not find the process of sanctification to be manifesting in our lives. By refusing to allow the Word to be our authority we are making ourselves people who simply hear the Word but do not do the Word. We are commanded by God to do both, hear and do the Word. Truth is found in the Word, the Word submitted to becomes Authority, and when truth is discovered in the Word and applied sanctification is the result.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 15 – “Authority” What is in a word?

In Abuse, Advice, Authority, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Christianity, Church Growth, End Times, Exhortation, False Doctrine, Godliness, Persecution, Prudence, Religious Freedom, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Wisdom on January 16, 2019 at 12:07 pm

As we take on a new year, 2019, we will take a different approach to finishing both our series on Church Growth, or lack thereof, and the Study of the Book of Proverbs. Instead of alternating weekly between two subjects, as we have in the past, we will proceed this year by carrying one subject to completion and then next to completion. Please be assured we will finish each subject, Church Growth and Proverbs. We will begin by finishing the series, “Why My Church is NOT Growing” with the focus for the next several weeks placed upon the issue of how “authority” affects church growth.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 15 – “Authority” What is in a word?

Authority according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is as follow:

authority

Function:

noun

1 a (1) : a citation (as from a book or file) used in defense or support (2) : the source from which the citation is drawn b (1) : a conclusive statement or set of statements (as an official decision of a court) (2) : a decision taken as a precedent (3) : TESTIMONY c : an individual cited or appealed to as an expert

2 a : power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior b : freedom granted by one in authority : RIGHT

3 a : persons in command; specifically : GOVERNMENT b : a governmental agency or corporation to administer a revenue-producing public enterprise <the transit authority>

synonyms see INFLUENCE, POWER

Concerning the definition identified by the number 1, for the Christian Community, this relates to the Written Word of God, which is the Holy Bible. The Written Word of God is the final authority in all things. We do not, regardless of who might instruct us; government, Pastor, husband, wife, parent, boss, etc., sin against God’s Written Word. Anyone who is asking us to violate God’s Word is in sin himself or herself and we are not to follow them into sin. We follow God’s Word first, then man second. We also follow God’s Word when our own desires and wants contradict His Word. This is what it means for God’s Word to be the final authority in our lives. We are to subject all of our decisions to what God’s Word says on the matter.

In reference to the definition labeled number 2, we must subject ourselves to God so that any authority we have, in any type of relationship, is properly administered to others. If we hold a position of authority where we are able to teach or through other means influence the thoughts and mindset of another human being, then we owe it to God, them, and ourselves to daily self-evaluate and make sure we are submitted to the greatest Authority, God, our Creator. Without our daily submission to the Almighty, our authority is worthless.

The final definition number 3, puts or pits God’s agenda either in line with or against the agenda of societal government and/or institutionalized religion’s governing bodies. This situation is a bit trickier to deal with. God calls for us to obey the laws and ordinances of man and our Christian spiritual leaders expect when to do so would require us to disobey Him. One might think, ‘Would we really ever have to disobey God in order to obey government or a church leader?’ Yes, I believe that at times we might be forced to make that choice and answer the question of whom we will obey, for ourselves as individuals. The apostles made ever attempt to obey the laws of their land but when they were told to stop preaching the gospel by the authorities in their land, they declined to do so because they knew their greater obligation was to Christ. Our greater obligation will always be to Christ and what Christ wants us to do. We live in a time and in a country that is rapidly changing, and those changes are becoming more and more ungodly. As our society changes, we may find ourselves in the very real position of having to decide to obey God and possibly go to jail or having to obey man and suppress truth.

Acts 5:26–32 (NKJV)

26 Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. 27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”

29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

This is a wonderful example of how we should respond to and interact with governing authorities.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 14 – “Authority” Introduction

In Advice, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Church Growth, Exhortation, Godly Counsel, Jesus, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Reformation, Religious Freedom, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Righteousness, Spiritual Remnant, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized on January 10, 2019 at 12:41 pm

As we take on a new year, 2019, we will take a different approach to finishing both our series on Church Growth, or lack thereof, and the Study of the Book of Proverbs. Instead of alternating weekly between two subjects, as we have in the past, we will proceed this year by carrying one subject to completion and then next to completion. Please be assured we will finish each subject, Church Growth and Proverbs. We will begin by finishing the series, “Why My Church is NOT Growing” with the focus for the next several weeks placed upon the issue of how “authority” affects church growth.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 14 – “Authority” Introduction

What is authority? Whom or what holds authority? How should we respond to and interact with authority? What is our problem with authority? Can authority be trusted? All wonderful questions we will seek to answer in this portion of the series.

In the Book of Revelation, the word “power” is synonymous with the word “authority”. In chapters 2-8, you will find that if you compare the King James Authorized Version with newer translations such as the New King James the word “authority” appears in the New King James Bible where the word “power” once appeared in the King James Authorized Version Bible. This alteration in translations of this word takes place whether the verse is referencing Christ or Satan. Therefore, we can see one key thing about what authority is and means, power, power in some form.

The word “authority” according to the Greek Language Definition, as found in 2 Corinthians 10:8, which we will examine later, is as follows:

Strong’s Greek Reference #1849

1849. ἐξουσία ĕxŏusia, ex-oo-see´-ah; from 1832 (in the sense of ability); privilege, i.e. (subj.) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (obj.) mastery (concr. magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence:— authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength.

Authority is meant to influence. Not only to influence but also to delegate influence, in such a way that people are empowered, not oppressed. Yet, so often evil or corrupt authority seeks to oppress, always has. Authority by its very nature being, a privilege to influence others through a realistic ability to do so, should be administered with competency and a desire for liberation and freedom for those under said authority. This is what Christ wants for us, liberty, and freedom. One administers a certain token of control in order to guide another person to personal liberty, freedom, and the ability to govern oneself appropriately. It takes a strong individual to use authority with honor and integrity because they must have the spiritual and personal power to do what is right in each situation.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 4:25-27 – Focus On Wisdom’s Path (The God Path)

In Advice, Anxiety, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Confusion, Decision Making, Discretion, Evil, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Proverbs, Prudence, Renewal, Repentance, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on December 5, 2018 at 10:00 am

Please forgive my delay in posting, I have had an especially challenging week. Please keep me in your prayers and know that if God should speak anything into your heart as you pray for me regarding my life please feel free to share that with me. God speaks through His people.

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

Note – All words or phrases found in quotation marks are actual parts of the Hebrew definition.

25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Focus On Wisdom’s Path (The God Path)

If you do not look at where you are going you will surely lose your way. We must continually look at and keep our focus on what God wants our life to be, looking straight toward what we want to be, solely focused on our priorities in life – provided those priorities come from an honorable godly focus. There are so many things in life that wish to drag us away from being someone we can feel good about or proud of in a godly way, so many temptation and personal desires that conflict with God’s Plan and Purpose for our life and our personal long-term life goals. V.25

We are all too often allowing our eyes to stray from what is important or worst toward things they should not pursue. This is why the wisest man to ever live, King Solomon, shared the wisdom God had provided him and has counseled us to keep our eyes “straight before thee” where they should be focused on what is good, decent, honorable, and pleasing to God. V.25

We have to actually think about our actions in life, not just flow through life acting on any desire and whim, if we are to be a person of substance, a person of honor, a person of discipline, a godly person, if we want to be a wise person. We have to ask ourselves before we act, ‘What affect will this action I am about to take have on my life, on the life of those I love or on the life of those around me? Can I tell God that in taking this action I honored the life He gave me?’ It is with the answer to those question that we should determine what course of action to take or not take. V.26

In the Hebrew language the word “established” in verse twenty-six has the meaning of ‘standing erect in faithfulness.’ Only through making quality decisions consistently can we establish and enjoy a life of wisdom – a life filled with peace, joy, contentment, and happiness. V.26

We must make a decision to live our life based on wise quality decisions, the practice will not just fall on us. If we want to do something, we must make the decisions necessary to discipline ourselves to accomplish the task. If we wish to be healthy, we must make the choices that benefit our health. If we desire to have quality relationships, we must make choices that promote mutual love, mutual respect, mutual dignity, mutual satisfaction, and mutual honor in our relationships. If we want to maintain a job, a relationship, a marriage, or an activity, we must conduct ourselves with faithfulness to what is required to keep and maintain any or all of those aspects of life. V.27

Faithfulness is something even Christians have begun to disregard in our society. If we want to maintain a job, we must be faithful to show up, show up on time, and do what we are assigned to do. If we wish to maintain a relationship or marriage, we must be faithful to devote our time and energies to that relationship or marriage, investing our heart, our time, our life, establishing and maintaining trust, taking care not to betray the relationship in words or deeds. If we wish to partake in an activity then we must be faithful to show up and do said activity, so the other people involved can know they can depend upon us to be there and be a part of the activity. In order to be faithful, we must remain focused on what is important and keep our hearts, minds, eyes, and spirit way from what is not. V.27, 28

We have to actually do something to keep ourselves from evil, as verse twenty-eight warns us to do. We know that in the Bible “evil” is considered anything that God does not want us to do. With that established why does God instruct us to “remove thy foot from evil” – is there the presumption we are sinning? Yes, a life not ordered in godly wisdom is a life filled with sin. V.28

We are instructed to ‘remove ourselves from sin’ and that often requires not giving into our own desires because the heart is deceitful above all things.

Jeremiah 17:9–10 (KJ-AV)

9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

In the Hebrew language the word “remove” used in verse twenty-eight, when we are instructed to ‘remove our foot from evil or sin,’ means “to turn off (literally or figuratively)” from partaking in sin. We are to “decline, depart, eschew (which means avoid)” anything that God would find displeasing for us. We are to “go aside” to avoid temptation, and “grievously lay away or leave undone” things that displease God. Note that in the definition it is made clear that to “lay aside or leave undone” things that we want to do will be “grievous” for us yet, it is what God requires. We are to “put away or put down” what is displeasing to God and “ remove” those things from our life. God wants us according to the definition to “ revolt against, to be sour to, to withdraw from and to be without” all that we know not to be godly wisdom or His Will for our life. V.27 – Note – All words or phrases found in quotation marks are actual parts of the Hebrew definition.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 11 – The Acceptance Factor

In Abuse, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Candy Cane, Christian Living, Church Growth, Exhortation, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on September 20, 2018 at 9:00 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

Please note this will be my last posting until mid-October. I have something I must attend to. Please keep me in your prayers.

A church that finds the appropriate balance between lovingly accepting people while at the same time remaining true to God’s Word and Principles will grow.

If there is one thing that false religions have learned it is the art of acceptance. Multitudes of people have been dragged into sin and evil out of a desire to be accepted. It is a form of validation we all need to some degree.

Knowing that we are all in need of acceptance, the question then becomes what form of acceptance should be given and what degree of acceptance should the church give. There is a delicate balance between upholding the Word of God while at the same time loving and accepting people. We do not have to validate someone’s sin in order to accept him or her. We can accept them without accepting their sin. We will make that our jumping off point.

The church is called to love people regardless. Loving them does not mean we keep silent about their sin or that we ascribe to a “don’t ask don’t tell” mentality. It means we treat the individuals with the same kindness and respect we would anyone, and we share God’s truths with them as He allow us and opens the door for us to do so. We never reject them because of their sin or because they do not agree with us, and we also never validate their sin or partake in their sin as a means of showing love.

When pressed to accept something in someone’s life which is in contradiction to God’s Written Word we should express our care and love for the person but also express a refusal to embrace that aspect of the person’s life or that particular belief they ascribe to. We explain, with Scripture, why we believe something different than they believe and reaffirm our desire to accept and love them despite the fact that we do not agree with them.

There are those individuals who are hard to accept not because of their choices in life, lifestyle, beliefs, or sin but because they are wounded, difficult, because of their attitude, or perhaps a physical, mental, or emotional handicap which makes relating to them more challenging. In these cases, we must call more upon our own character and spiritual development to step up to the task of acceptance. The ability for change or modification by the individual may not be an option or at least not an option initially. A person with a handicap cannot change their circumstances. A person with wounds cannot change until emotional, mental, and spiritual healing has begun. A person with a challenging demeanor or attitude will mostly likely never change without a community of people who offer them love and acceptance. Therefore, in all such cases it will be up to you to allow God to stretch you spiritually, mentally, and emotionally in order to exhibit His balanced and appropriate form of acceptance.

More individuals would embrace the church if the church would embrace them. If we refuse to accept individuals because we do not agree with them, we are limiting our capacity for love. When we refuse to accept another person, it is because in some way, we have judged that person, or we have judged that person’s actions. Furthermore, our lack of acceptance of them to some degree, despite their sin or issue, is a form of condemnation. Judging that results in condemnation, is not discernment judging [1 Thess. 5:19-21, 1 Corn. 2:14 & 12:3, 1 John 4:1-6, Ps. 119:18, and 1 Kings 3:9-14], it is sinful judging [John 7:24, Rom. 14:1-13 and Matt. 7:1-6]. No one can hear us until they can see us, and no one can see us until they feel a certain level of acceptance from us.

Individuals who have never felt accepted have found a home within the Christian Community and some individuals within the Christian Community have never felt accepted. Fear can hinder a person’s ability to accept another person. If they fear the person’s lifestyle, sin, demeanor, ideas, and/or points of view, they will not be able to accept the person. However, if they can accept the seventy-five percent of the individual that they do like and agree with, they will find themselves to be in a better position to influence the other twenty-five percent of the person or to grow themselves as a person.

Acceptance never makes room for sin, but acceptance makes room for sin to be abandoned. The next time you see the individual whom no one else seems willing to accept and embrace, make room in your heart to do so yourself. You just may find that the Kingdom of God is expanded by one because you did.

Please note this will be my last posting until mid-October. I have something I must attend to. Please keep me in your prayers.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 10 – Abuse and The Church (Spiritual and Psychological Abuse)

In Abuse, Advice, Apostasy, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Evil, Exhortation, Holy Spirit, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Suffering, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized on September 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

One of the worst forms of abuse, in my belief, is spiritual abuse. This is when someone uses the things of God to control, manipulate, abuse, use, degrade, etc. other people. This has been done in extreme forms such as, ‘If I do not get X amount of money from my people God will take my life, close our church, etc.’ ‘If you do not read your Bible daily, God will not have fellowship with you.’ ‘If you are not in church each time the doors are open you are not a committed Christian.’ On and one we could go. I am sure each of you has your own example. The examples provided are damaging forms of spiritual and psychological abuse pure and simple.

A desire for a leader to obtain unquestionable dedication, which is free from accountability to the ones asked to give said dedication, is spiritual abuse. Does the Word of God call us to submit to the authorities He has placed in our lives? Yes. Who are those authorities however, and do we submit regardless? We do not submit regardless. We are accountable to God first, then to other people. We submit to our spiritual leaders when they are following the Will of God as found in God’s Word. We do not submit to sin or follow a leader into sin. How many cults, which started out with religious undertones, ended in disaster? Too many to recall. Why? Because people followed, even in the face of sin, because they believed they were to submit to authority without questioning authority.

A more hideous form of spiritual abuse is to distort and misuse the Word of God in order to get what one wants or justify one’s actions. So many people sit in church with their Bibles closed looking at an overhead screen trusting that the text on that screen matches what is actually in God’s Written Word. It only takes subtle and slight changes to God’s Word to distort its entire meaning and purpose. No matter how long you have known someone and no matter how much you trust them, you should have your Bibles out and open when they are speaking or teaching so that you can confirm that they are rightly dividing the Word of God. Especially grievous to the heart of God is this form of spiritual abuse that uses the Word of God, and God will deal with this abuse quite harshly.

When a person uses another person’s love for God to advance their own cause, regardless of what that cause might be, to get their way, to attempt to mislead or deceive the heart that trust in God both people are in danger. The abuser’s target is in danger of being spiritually and psychologically abused resulting in spiritual and perhaps psychological damage, and the perpetrator is in danger of the wrath of God that does come upon those individuals who use spiritual things to hurt God’s children.

Abuse in the Body of Christ, in all its forms, can stop when we become willing to both speak up and be spoken to when necessary. Accountability is a responsibly not an option. It is the basic fabric that holds the cloth of Christ’s Body together. Without the courage to question our leaders, we will find ourselves impotent and frustrated. Without the willingness to be questioned, we will find ourselves isolated and insolent.

This concludes the addressing of this difficult subject of abuse found within the church and how that abuse effects the growth of individual congregations as well as the universal church, which is the Body of Christ. We will continue to reflect on reasons why churches are not growing from various angles aside from the abuse angle.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 9 – Abuse and The Church (Mental and Emotional Abuse)

In Abuse, Advice, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Christian Living, Church Growth, Confusion, Depression, Exhortation, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Persecution, Renewal, Repentance, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Suffering, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized on August 22, 2018 at 9:00 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

Mental abuse is much more subtle. Harder to spot and much harder to get help with once realized. This type of abuse can be found in the hard and harsh corrections, which have gone in the name of Christ. Abuses disguised either as a form of church discipline or under the guise of being motivated and directed by God to correct a person and proceeding to do so in a horribly cruel manner. Threats and insinuations that are meant to wound more than help. Often bringing about confusion and despair to the hearer instead of repentance, help, and healing.

Yes, there are times when a harsh or hard to listen to Word is spoken in the name of Christ for the edification of the Body of Christ. These postings is one of those times. However, when that word leaves the hearer[s] mentally beaten and bloody with no hope for or direction to change it is useless and can even be an instrument of the devil to further damage the church.

Shunning when used improperly, which it often is, is very much a form of mental and emotional abuse. People look to their local congregations, as a source of community, which they should, and it should be. However, if someone with enough clout and persuasion becomes displeased with a person they can sow seeds of discord with other people and bring about a shunning or rejection of this person. Rejection by a person’s Christian Community can be extremely emotionally and mentally damaging. The Church is Christ representative on earth and we should seek reconciliation and unity. Using rejection as a form of manipulation in order to get what we want from another brings shame on the Body of Christ. Sowing seed of discord through gossip is sinful behavior, which Scripture condemns (Prov. 6:14,19 and 1 Tim. 5:13).

Gossip is a hideous form of emotional abuse. Gossip is a huge problem in any group but is deeply rooted in the Christian Community. People find it easier to talk about people than to talk to people when they feel threatened or concerned. If you carefully examine the content and nature of gossip you find that the gossiper is feeling quite threatened by the person, about which they are gossiping. Often these feeling of intimidation are not realistic or warranted but it is hard to get the gossiper to understand that truth. They must tear the other person down, so they can feel better.

Additionally, you have the classic, ‘I share this, so we might pray for…’ gossipers. I have never had one of these people ask me when they were done sharing their information if we could pray right now for that person. I have my doubts whether they have ever prayed for that person. I find it is best, and I have gotten to where, I cut these people off immediately when they first begin to attempt the conversation. Most of the time the agenda is not one you want to share in.

Emotional abuse can come in other forms as well. Manipulation is a common form of emotional abuse. People have a very tough time being forthright about their wants, needs, and desires. Instead, they choose various forms of manipulation to get what they want. From something as subtle as asking leading questions to find out what one wants to know, instead of asking directly, to acts of extreme manipulation such as attempting to interfere behind someone back and rearrange their circumstances for their own good. These types of manipulations leave people emotionally scarred by the treatment.

Next, we will address spiritual abuse. In my view the worse possible form of abuse found within the Christian community, as to affect someone spiritually is to enter God’s area and sphere of influence and sinning against a person in this area is by far the worse.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 8 – Abuse and The Church (Physical Abuse)

In Abuse, Advice, Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christ, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Church Growth, Compassion, Confusion, Courage, Evil, Exhortation, Forgiveness, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Masculinity, Mercy, Persecution, Renewal, Repentance, Suffering, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized on August 9, 2018 at 11:16 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

Physical abuse also takes place within the walls of our congregations. I have personally read outlines for physical disciple of wives. I have heard the stories of children being physically abused under the guidelines of church discipline. There is no place within the church for the physical abuse of another human being.

In an outline for how to discipline your wife, it was stated that if a woman would not submit to her husband then a certain amount of physical discipline could be used. You could inflict pain but where not to bring about too much bruising, no lacerations, and you were not to break bones. This physical abuse would be increased in nature until the woman “repented” and submitted regardless of how long it took or how many sessions of discipline were necessary to bring about the woman’s change of attitude. These sessions could not however result in broken bones or cuts on the woman’s body.

How horrid that a person would believe that they had the right to inflict physical pain on a woman until she agreed to agree with them! How could one possibly believe that this is real submission? Conformity maybe, submission no.

I once counseled a woman who would not enter a church building. When we started our relationship, she hated the church and all its members. When we were done she still had not entered a church building but was willing to give God another try and Christians a second glance.

Why did this woman have such a hard attitude? She had loved God very dearly and was an extremely dedicated church member, as was her husband who was an elder in their local church. Each Sunday they went to church, worshipped God, and serviced in their congregation. Each Sunday after church they went home where her husband proceeded to beat her. Like clockwork every Sunday after church he would beat her that way she would be healed up enough by the following Sunday to attend church and play the role of his faithful wife always at his side.

My heart broke when she told her story. It was obviously true and very difficult for her to disclose to me, yet, she found the courage to do so. As time went on this woman’s pain eased and her understanding that not all Christians were this way increased.

At a conference once, a woman was struggling with guilt. She felt inside herself that she had allowed her child to be abused but she was wrestling with the biblical principle that she was to submit to her spiritual leaders. In her church children were brought up to the front, next to the pulpit, and physically struck with a belt by the pastor for various infractions at both church and home. The number of licks they received from the belt depended on the degree of their offense. This woman was riddled with confusion and guilt, this was after all how their congregation handled discipline. Everyone else did it and everyone was afraid to question their Christian spiritual leader since this might be viewed as be rebellious or as a refusal to submit. The church and local congregations should play no role in the physical discipline of children.

It takes courage to speak up when we know physical abuse is going on in our congregations. It is easier to tell ourselves it is not our business. How can that be true however? Do we not carry a certain amount of Christian responsibility and accountability with our brothers and sisters? According to Scripture we do. We are required to hold each other accountable for our actions. There must have been someone at some point who suspected this woman was being abused or even knew firsthand she was being mistreated. Many people sat in the pews on those days when the children were humiliated and physically abused in the name of God and correction. There had to some of people who knew in their spirits that this behavior was wrong, yet, they remained silent. We cannot do such, we must speak up! We cannot allow leaders to go off the rails because we are concerned other Christians will think us out of line or rebellious. Our responsibility is to Truth and too upholding the principles of Scripture not to uphold man or man’s ideas.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 3:31-35 – Treatment of People

In Abuse, Advice, Anxiety, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Compassion, Curses, Decision Making, Discretion, Evil, Exhortation, Hate, Hatred, Idolatry, Learning, Peace, Persecution, Proverbs, Prudence, Renewal, Repentance, Spirituality, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on July 31, 2018 at 6:10 pm

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. 32 For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous. 33 The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. 34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. 35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

Treatment of People

How we treat other people has a major impact on the quality of our own life. All too often people attempt to improve their own life by diminishing the value of another person’s life through abuse, mistreatment such as oppression or through using those individuals to fulfill their own perverse needs physically, mentally, and emotionally.

An oppressor is not hard to spot. Most people have had to deal with one or more oppressive person in their lifetime through some form of connection or relationship. We are warned in verse thirty-one to make sure we are not the one doing the oppressing.

“oppressor” in the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary is defined as follows:

1 b : to crush or burden by abuse of power or authority
2 : to burden spiritually or mentally : weigh heavily upon

There are so many ways a person can oppress another person, far too many to attempt to list here. Take a moment and think of a couple of ways a person might oppress someone through the ‘abuse of their power or authority,’ through ‘burdening another person mentally,’ through ‘burdening another persona spiritually,’ and by ‘being a heavy weigh upon’ that person’s life through producing stress or distress.

When God’s finds something or someone’s actions an abomination that is about as bad as it gets. Verse thirty-two makes it clear that those who are “froward” are an abomination to Jehovah God, LORD. The Lord finds such people to be morally disgusting and considers them a person who worships idols (see Hebrew definition below), the idols of their own self-will and the desire to live life accord to their own terms instead of living life according to His Ways, His Will, and His Purposes.

“abomination” in the Hebrew language is defined as follows:

8441. תּוֹעֵבָה tôw˓êbâh, to-ay-baw’; or

תֹּעֵבָה ˓êbâh, to-ay-baw’; fem. act. part. of 8581; properly something disgusting morally, i.e. (as noun) an abhorrence; espec. idolatry or concretely an idol:— abominable (custom, thing), abomination.

Who are the “froward?” One might think it would have to be someone really horrible, evil, and very sinful. No not at all! The truth of who are they and how easily we can be one of them is scary.

“For the froward” in the Hebrew language is defined as literally to depart from God’s Ways and Wisdom or figuratively to be perverse in one’s actions, thoughts, or behaviors. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “froward” as someone who is habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition.”

Verse thirty-two also talks about another type of person, those God defines as the righteous. To these righteous persons God grants a secret. Let us look at what that secret is and entails.

“but his secret” in the Hebrew language is defined as follows:

5475. סוֹד çôwd, sode; from 3245; a session, i.e. company of persons (in close deliberation); by impl. intimacy, consultation, a secret:— assembly, counsel, inward, secret (counsel).

God keeps company with the righteous. They sense and know His Presence in their life. They are able to have a “session” with God where He talks to them and they to Him. God guides their actions through a close relationship where He walks with them daily in intimacy. They are able to “consult and counsel” with God “inwardly” and receive direction for their life and answers to their questions. God is present with them, and for the righteous there is a great awareness daily of His Presence.

Verse thirty-three through thirty-five makes it clear what the oppressors and the froward can look forward to in life because the LORD finds these behaviors such an abomination and wicked – their houses will be cured, their life will be cursed, they will not live in the blessings of God. Only the “just” aka lawful and righteous people will live in the blessings of God.

A person is about as blessed as their actions allow them to be. With minimum obedience to God comes minimum blessings. God does make life tough for those who refuse to obey Him, “he scorneth” their life in an attempt to show them that their way is not His Way and that His Way is far better. Shame is the result of foolish behavior.

Grace is found with those who humble themselves before God before His Will and obey Him. Wise people who honor God inherit God’s glory and live in the blessings of God.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 7 – Abuse and The Church (The Sex Angle)

In Abuse, Apostasy, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Christianity, Church Growth, Confusion, Courage, End Times, Evil, Forgiveness, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Persecution, Repentance, Sexual Abuse, Suffering, Trust, Uncategorized on July 18, 2018 at 9:14 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

When I departed from this topic to take a few weeks to discuss revival we were on Part 6, Repent of Silence, and just beginning to touch on the issue of abuse.

That posting addressed the abuse and mistreatment Jesus suffered because of what He was saying, teaching, and what living. Yet, today we are to present Jesus’ same Truths regardless of whether or not we face persecution or abuse for doing so, for to do any less would be to deny Christ in one form. There are so many people within the Church who are very religious but when faced with the Truths of God’s Word or confronted with the idea of something happening as the Bible indicates, they express every little actual practical hands-on faith, thus abuse often enters the picture. Yet, keep in mind this is only one reason abuse takes place within the Church.

Now to continue with the topic of abuse. In this piece we will address the issue of sexual sin.

Abuse comes for many different reasons in many different forms. One might expect abuse for the world, from a secular sinful society, however when abuse comes from within the Body of Christ people are often caught off guard and the wounds they suffer are so much more severe and long-lasting.

Throughout the course of human history, the church has been, sadly to say, filled with abuses of many forms. Not addressing this issue will not make it any less true, it will only serve to allow it to continue in darkness. Evil prospers in the darkness found in secrecy. Light, the Light, has a way of breaking the power of darkness. Therefore, let us bring it out into the light. The Church, the Body of Christ, its lay people, and leaders alike have abused people. They have physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually, and spiritually abused people. With this God is not pleased! It has harmed not only the victims it has harmed the entire Body of Christ.

The sexual abuses that have taken place within the Church are well known and have been well publicized. They are not however exclusive to any one particular denomination, nothing is found only in one denomination. Christian spiritual leaders having sexual relations with those entrusted to their care has been widespread and has gone on as long as there has been religion. The broken trust that is a result of sexual violation is very deep for the victim and very difficult to overcome. The power given to spiritual leaders, along with the admiration given them, is a hotbed for sexual sin.

Recently it was reported in the news that for years and years a Christian spiritual leader of a very common denomination had been secretly videotaping women changing their clothes in his office. These unsuspecting women would go into the Pastor’s office to change, for their baptism no less, and while there preparing for what should be one of the happiest days in a Believer’s life these women are violated without their knowledge.

A spiritual leader falling into sexual sin with members of their staff or congregation is not something new, but it is always shocking to learn that a man or woman of God you have admired is far from perfect. There are times when the sexual sin is a form of entrapment, brought on by the second party not the leader. We have also found prominent denominational leaders have fallen prey to sexual temptation and sin, even of a homosexual nature or involving child molestation. We simply cannot say we do not have a problem of sexual abuse within the church.

If you are or have been an individual who is being sexually violated or mistreated by a Christian spiritual leader, a lay leader or person in your church, or anyone for that matter find someone to talk to, someone to help you stop the situation. Please listen very carefully to these words as you read them, A CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL LEADER’S AUTHORITY DOES NOT EXTEND TO ANYTHING SEXUAL OR TO ANY FORM OF ABUSE! Flee from the situation immediately and seek quality godly counsel for help and healing.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.