God's Truth In Love

Posts Tagged ‘Acceptance’

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.

Advertisements

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.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 13 – Response to Apathy and Indifference

In Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Exhortation, Renewal, Revival, Truth, Uncategorized on November 15, 2018 at 8:00 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.

Jesus clearly warns His people in the Book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3 against being a cold, loveless, lukewarm, compromising, corrupt, and/or dead church. Instead, we are to put off all callousness, hardness, coldness, and lukewarm-ness and be alert, enthusiastic, and sensitive to the Spirit of God as well as others. Remember the warning in 1 John 2:9 (NKJV) “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.” We must practice love toward those within the household of faith.

We find within the Body of Christ a sense of removal from the world around us. We are different from, but still a part of, this world and our society. The idea that we as a Body are not called to impact our society and world is simply ridiculous. Scripture clearly teaches us that we are to be a light in the darkness and a light to the world around us.

Philippians 2:15 (NKJV)

that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

Ephesians 5:8–11 (NKJV)

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

We are not to sit by and watch our society and world thrive in darkness. We are instead to expose evil by sharing its godly superior. Truth must win out over a lie. God’s ways are to be held up over the ways of Satan or man. We cannot tell ourselves that the issues of the day in our society are of no importance one way or the other to us. Of course, they are important, important to us, important to our future and the future of all the other Christians who will follow behind us. We cannot just pretend that issues are neither right nor wrong, for they are, because God has said they are in His Word. Whether or not we have a particular interest in, opinion on, like or disliked for a topic or issue is irrelevant. What is relevant is what God’s Word has to say about the issue or topic and what God’s Word has to say is what we are supposed to be saying.

We must let go of all apathy and indifference that has permeated our lives personally and our walk with Christ, and instead embrace His Will and His Way of doing things. We must also let go of all apathy and indifference that has permeated our willingness to speak up and reach out in our society or world and instead hold up the Standard of, the Way of, and the Purpose of God as found in God’s Word.

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 12 – Apathy and Indifference

In Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, End Times, Exhortation, Renewal, Revival, Spiritual Remnant, Uncategorized on November 1, 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.

“We crucify ourselves between two thieves: Regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.”

Fulton Oursler [1893-1952], American Journalist and Author

Apathy and indifference are often signs of great fear, fear of making another mistake and/or fear of the unknown. This fear renders individuals without the freewill to choose. Their wills have been given over to the unknown, or better stated, to fear of the unknown. Yet, living in regret of the past or fear of the future has never prevented one catastrophe.

The Body of Christ is filled with apathy. Apathy and indifference according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary are defined as:

apathy

Function:

noun

1 : lack of emotional responsiveness <hid her sorrow behind a dull brooding apathy>

Synonyms impassivity, insensibility, phlegm, stoicism, stolidity, unresponsiveness

Related Words inertness, passivity, supineness; aloofness, detachment, indifference, unconcern; lethargy, torpidity, torpor; listlessness, numbness, stupefaction, stupor

Contrasted Words ardor, fervor, passion, responsiveness, warmth; alertness, awareness, concern, solicitude

Antonyms zeal; enthusiasm

2 : lack of interest or concern <public apathy toward the school crisis>

Synonyms disinterest, disregard, heedlessness, indifference, insouciance, lassitude, lethargy, listlessness, unconcern, unmindfulness

Related Words callousness, hardness, insensitivity, obduracy, unawareness; coldness, halfheartedness, lukewarmness; calmness, dispassion, dispassionateness

Contrasted Words attentiveness, concern, heedfulness, interest; awareness, mindfulness, sensitivity, solicitude; ardency, fervency, passion, warmth, zeal

indifferent

Function:

adjective

2 : of no importance one way or the other

3 : marked by no special liking for or dislike of something

6 : being neither right nor wrong

Having pondered the meaning of these two words, apathy, and indifference, let us examine how we see them played out within the Body of Christ.

There is a lack of emotional responsiveness both to the Person of God and to what our brothers and sisters in Christ are experiences or going through in life. We stand at the threshold of Greatness beyond measure in Christ Jesus and often just walk away without feeling anything or feeling very little. We are not to lose control of our emotions in a negative way, but we are not to be unresponsive either. We are to love Jesus with a passion, and passion prompts some level of emotional response.

We are called upon by Scripture to share in our fellow Believers’ joys and sorrows. Romans 12:15 (NKJV) instructs us to, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” More times than not what people receive from their fellow Believers when they share their joys and sorrows is detachment and unconcern. This ought not to be. We should be interested in and happy for those who are celebrating a success among us. Equally so, we should be sensitive to their hardships, dealing with them with warmth, love, and affection.

There is equal apathy and indifference when it comes to the things of God, what is going on spiritually within the Body of Christ, the issues that concern of our country, and the events going on in the world around us. There is a sense of lethargy and numbness among Christians. The Bible however calls us to pursue God, the things of God, and our life in God with passion and zeal.

1 Corinthians 14:12 (NKJV) Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.

Galatians 4:18 (NKJV) But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you.

Revelation 3:19 (NKJV) (Jesus speaking) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

We are to have a passion and a zeal for the spiritual gifts and talents that God has given us, so that those gifts and talents can be used to build up and edify the Body of Christ. That desire to pursue God in life, and the godly life, should always be present in us. When we find out we are on the wrong side of what God wants for us we should be willing, and quick, to repent.

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.