Faith Forsaken / Bias Prayers / Free For All~FreeFall
There are 3 topics here, yet they all tie into the same thing, a "movement" WITHIN the Church, yet AWAY FROM the Church. Not the Church building mind you, although thats been an issue too, I'll save that for another time. It's more a movement away from the core values and principles that Christianity was founded on. Yes, sadly all to often the "old timey" Church was heavy on legalism & RULES, but this shift away from the actions of wearing out Bibles on peoples heads may have gone to far the other way -often not even requiring the use of a Bible. Sure many Churches needed to "freshen up" and become "relevant", but lets look at the affect it's had on some core issues that represent the Church.
As with all of my writings, please don't kill the messenger, if something "strikes" you I'm only the writer, I prayerfully write what I feel laid upon me by God and His Word. My desire in doing so is to be obedient to God, and to hopefully allow people to look Prayerfully within to see where they are at in their walk. I can honestly say that there are not specific people on my mind when I'm writing, nothing is personally directed. Although I do see myself more often than I'd like, in the topics I cover. Faith seems to be a bit different these days than it was in times past, by "these days" I refer to a larger time frame than just the now, I'd guess the current industrialized era.
What may have brought this on? I'd venture to guess 3 things, an attitude of self survival and ability, far to many distractions to take and keep our eyes off God, and technology at levels that bring us to rely on "mans inventions" far to much. At the outset the attitude of self survival in this big bad world sounds like a good thing, of course thats where all the great marketing has brought us, key, trigger and buzz words often rule our language lexicon. All to often they actually mean nothing and there is nothing backing them up, but so much sounds good. Be it the ARMY's "Be all that you can be" - giving the Military "power" to make you into something, or just the mans man tough guy ideal - rugged, strong and able, doesn't need anything or anyone - he's a survivor! Think Rambo. All of thats well, fine and good for Hollywood and television, surely God has given some people survival skills, or at least the knack that can be easily transformed into them. But don't we need God too? Thats often not addressed in these prepackaged images. Along with this attitude comes another attitude rather quickly and thats a selfish one, taking away the spirit of giving, and why not, YOU and you alone did it all, why should anyone else benefit or profit from your success.
The next two actually tie together in a way, many of the "distractions" to keep our eyes off God, comes in the form of the technology, that takes our reliance off of Him. The video & audio technology of today has got us more "connected" than ever before (just look at this very forum) yet, most of it draws us in so much that it takes away our "free" time - we have ourselves over scheduled for success and noteriety, what time we do have is spent with all of the electronic novelties before us and the many options that go with each of those, be it the phone, computer or tv, each has their own smaller distractions within the "features" and how they can distract you - 500+ chanels anyone? And how many different things can you get to and access these days from or through a computer, wow. As I said, there is good to all of this BUT, we have that sinful fallen human nature and will quickly find the bad way to use all of these things. In addition people who may have already had problems with an issue, the internet can take a person right back to it from the comfort of their home be it pornography or gambling. So now we've got "sinful" distractions, but truly all distractions are sinful, anything that takes or eyes off of God is a sin.
Now much of this great technology came from our medical and space industries, both advancing at rates that have people becoming more and more reliant on them be it for knowledge or health reasons.Where does God fit into the mix of space exploration? Why do we go these directions just to sate our curiosity, I'll likely ruffle feathers here but, do we really think God would want anyone spending millions of dollars to fly around His universe? When you compare what we've spent to gain no real Godly purpose, and yet let people, including orphans and widows go hungry and homeless, even here in the USA. A country that proclaims "One Nation Under God." All of these "ventures" in themselves often become obsessions for those that do them, yet more with no time for God. So we see and hear about all these great "things" and "abilities" then begin to trust in them. We don't "pray for the crops" any more, we don't need to, our foods all prepackaged and ready at the store, we need only money to attain that. And there it is, that word, that necessary evil - money. An entire book could be done about how much "money" has replaced God in peoples lives as a source of Faith and provision, but heck, that makes sense being as it's what so many have come to "worship", if not money itself than the things it can acquire.
This one is a bit simpler, we often, when Praying "think" that were seeking Gods will, however I fear that, far to often were seeking Gods will based on the choices we want to give Him. An example of this would be, "Dear God, please show me Your will, guide me as I decide between job offer A & B, I'll take the one you reveal.Amen" - Um, how about this "Dear Lord, Father I have these 2 great opportunities here before me, yet, Lord I desire to know Your true will in full, Lord if your desiring me to be at one of these 2 places, or Lord, if theres a whole different plan and Father I need to go a different way." This may not be the best example of what I'm trying to relay, but you get the idea, we work & think in our little world when our God is the God of the universe - why do we limit where He'd place us, perhaps that job loss wasn't so you could get this job over here, BUT, so that you could go do that missionary trip. Think bigger, God is much bigger!
Free For All ~ FreeFall
Oh boy, I don't even know if I need to go into this one, but it'll be fun and maybe someone needs to read it, we never know. The other day something that "seemed" very odd to me, in my mind, but it was on my heart to write to someone, so I obeyed (felt odd) I wrote, then sent, the reply, WOW! It was the exact info that person needed to hear! God uses people still, and we need to be aware, when we don't do what He lays upon us,werer denying someone. OK, that had nothing to do with the new topic, actually more of a Faith and obedience issue. This one is pretty self explanatory, as we see many Churches and "sects" moving to a more commercial, mainline pattern in their style and advertising, we also see a "slacking" of the "rules." Did we go to far perhaps previously with "the rules" becoming more like the Pharisees that Jesus warned and condemned, yes, we certainly did - we let mans application and decision sneak in way to far. But now the pendelum has swung to the point of an often dire lack of conviction. Its now kind of an anything and everything is accepted. This too is wrong, anyONE and everyONE should be accepted, but not the sin itself.
God loves everyone, He desires for all of us to be with Him in His kingdom, this doesn't mean however that He accepts their actions and deeds. Many are steeped in sin, breaking His heart everytime, BUT at the mere mutter of repentance they are forgiven in His heart. It is not for us as Christians to determine or say this person would be good for Church or that one no. We can't determine who should and shouldn't or who will and won't accept God in Christ. We are simply called to direct them all to Christ, He will work their hearts. But, we needn't accept the Free For All lifestyle that they are living either, they are in a FreeFall that we can't stop, we do not have the power - only God does. Finding that right balance is essential, it is found in Love, first for God, then for the world and all Gods people in it, and all people are Gods people - even the ones that don't know it yet and lastly, ourselves.