Tag Archives: Challenge

Why Do We Help Create Division?

Why Do We Help Create Division?

There’s a a lot of angst in the Body of Christ about doctrines and theology. We’ve started to air our grievances in a way that’s completely inappropriate, and we’re training our next generation that it’s ok to speak hatefully toward others in the body of Christ. It isn’t right and it’s gotten out of hand. 

We live in a “Facebook rant” society where we all vent our thoughts/feelings for everyone. This is really doesn’t bode well when you consider scriptures like, “a fool vents all His feelings, but a wise man holds them back. (proverbs 29:11)” Or even the old adage, “if you don’t have anything nice to say…”. 

We ought to be able to teach rightly and walk through scriptures to bring TRUTH, but to attack others and stir people towards anger or even division is not a trait of the Spirit of God. Read the Gospels – it was the Pharisees who were constantly trying to “stir up the people”. And usually from envy (I won’t touch this one, but think about it).

For some reason, we act like people are malicious just because we disagree with them. Like they are willfully leading people astray, but if we were to be honest with ourselves we don’t really believe that. So, if someone is teaching/sharing from a place of genuine belief; don’t you believe that the Lord is well-qualified to deal with them? 

“Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.” (Romans 14:4-6)

If you really believe someone is wrong and the teaching is detrimental, first search the Scriptures. Really, there are a lot of teachings that ultimately come down to interpretation. I’m not saying there isn’t ultimately a right and wrong – but there is a reality to the fact that people can genuinely believe they are in the right – even if you don’t agree. And they aren’t just being evil. So to act as though they are knowingly spreading “false” doctrine is to stir up strife 

Here’s what IS NOT open to interpretation: Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. Jesus is the only way to the Father.  The Bible is the true Word of God.

Other than that, I’m willing to have a conversation, consider why you see things the way you do… and teach to the best of my ability what I believe is ultimately true from God’s Word. That’s what I will be judged for; and not by you, but by the One who holds my eternity.

Abundance vs. Death to Self

Abundance vs. Death to Self

This is a big one to tackle – but I want to address a big doctrinal rift today… 
Consider this: 
What does “abundant” mean? 
No, please, not in a “churchy” way (we seem to create special definitions for everything that really skew us). 
But really – what does that word mean? 
Merriam Webster defines it as: marked by great plenty (as of resources); amply supplied http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abundant
So when Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)” What was He saying? Simply stated; Satan steals – I give. 
Yet, I know many “Believers” who do not believe “abundant” means “abundant”. In fact, when teachers preach that God is a God who supplies abundantly, many people get upset: “You can’t say that!” “That’s carnal/fleshly Christianity!”
Well first of all, Jesus said it – so I’m pretty sure that’s ok for us to say. But I do understand the dilemma. However, beyond that I think, we must realize that this abundance isn’t in a vacuum. Jesus didn’t promise abundance, (1) without trials, nor (2) without an important balance: death to self
In fact all the promises of God are somewhat conditional. If you are willing and obedient, then you will eat the good of the land.”. I hear teachers who teach both sides of this, but often we won’t hear them put together. I’m not saying teachers don’t put them together – but I think we, the hearers, don’t put them together. We hear one side: “be obedient, serve, do what God says!” OR we hear the other side: “God wants to bless you, God will give you all you need.”  
But it isn’t one or the other – BOTH are true. Yes, they are. In fact, they are dependent on one another. 
A great example is the attempt to dissect this verse… i’ve heard it a few different ways: 
Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. (Ps 37:4)
One person will state plainly, “God gives you what you want” and another will say, “No, God will put HIS desires in your heart and therefore give you those things”. 
But in actuality; both are true.
When you “delight yourself in Him” you are going to begin to reflect Him more and more. You are surrendering self and focusing on what He desires. So, does He put desires in your heart? Absolutely. However, that’s not all. God is a GOOD Father. In fact, much of the Word is spent trying to get us to understand that fact. He isn’t holding out on us. He loves to give good gifts to his children! The issue isn’t if it’s “his desire” or “your desire” but if you are submitted to Him. 
Let me clarify: God has NEVER had an issue with materially blessing His kids. It’s just he cares about the heart more.  All the patriarchs of the Old Testament, King David, and on and on – all were extremely materially blessed. It’s not an issue to Him… unless it’s an issue for us. As I’ve heard it said; God doesn’t have a problem with you having money, He just doesn’t want money to have you. So the question isn’t if He is wants to provide abundantly; the question is the condition of your heart to handle it. 
Consider this:
Galatians 2:20 says “I have been crucified” – my life is not my own, I’ve died. It’s not about what I want.
Yet, simultaneously, Romans 8:32 says He will, “freely give us all things.” 
Folks – it’s both. 
We have to live a life that’s crucified and surrendered. At the same time, actually believe that He wants to provide and take care of us. That he’s a good Father and as such, when we live in obedience He’s got us covered. Faith demands we believe what He says, not just what we’ve experienced to date or event what we think He means. What did He say?
He said “abundant” and I, for one, am convinced He meant “abundant.”