Arminian Today

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Posts Tagged ‘Worldly Church

How Much Sin Can I Get Away With?

We have such a low view of God’s holiness and His glory that we have given in to the spirit of this world and this age and have adopted a view that teaches us that we want to get away with as much sin as we can get away with and still claim to be disciples of Christ.  We claim we want the world to like us and we want to be “relevant” to them so we seek to be like them, to love what the world loves, to desire what the world desires, to watch and do what the world does.  We want our motto to be, “Hey, I may be a Christian but I am still just like you!”

Even a cursory reading of the New Testament gives us a different picture.  We are to be a holy people (1 Peter 2:9-11).  We are to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).  We are to be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48).  We are to blameless in this world (Philippians 2:14-15; 3:14-16).  We are to not love this world not the things in the world (1 John 2:15-17).  We are to rather set our affections on things above and not the things here on the earth (Colossians 3:1-4).  Jesus didn’t promise that the world would love us if we are His disciples but He promised that the world would hate us (John 15:18-25).  The promise Jesus did give us is that in the world we would have trouble but He has overcome the world (John 16:33).

I have been praying that God would help me to be “that Christian” that others see and mock.  I want to be that Christian that others see and they despise me for my pursuit of holiness.  I am not meaning that I want people to despise me because of my attitude (some “holier than thou” approach) but because I am different, I am odd in comparison to the world.  I love Christ and I adore Him with all that is in me and I want others to see that and know that.  I want to be that Christian that speaks of Jesus in all things (Colossians 4:2-6).  I want to be that Christian that is passionate for prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  I want to be that Christian that is other world focused.  I want my mind to be filled with the Word of God (Romans 12:1-2).  I want my thoughts to be pure and pleasing to the Lord (Philippians 4:8).  I want my language to be full of God’s grace and mercy (Ephesians 4:29-30).  I want to be a man after God’s own heart.  I am so sick of this world, the things of the world.  I want to be desperate for the presence of God in my life on a daily basis.

I don’t want to be like those Christians that seek to love the things of the world in order to be like the world.  I know of people who claim Christ and they will sit on their computers for hours looking at Facebook, Pinterest, etc. but they don’t pray, don’t have a passion for Christ, don’t truly worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24), don’t share their faith ever.  They claim to be justified through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) and to be His sheep (John 10:27-29) but they love this world more than they love Christ.  They will sit and fill their eyes with worldly programs and listen to worldly music but they claim all the while that they are bound for heaven despite not even loving the One who has gone to prepare a place for us (John 14:1-3).  Oh how I long for the Lord to sanctify them!

It is my earnest prayer for a revival of holiness in our day.  I rejoice that the doctrine of salvation is being preached but oh for the people of God to preach and live holy lives.  I pray that we would be different (as God has called us to be) from this world.  Who cares if we have right standing with men if we have no standing with God!  This sinful world should not pull us down since we are dead to it (Romans 6:11-14).  People at our jobs should see the grace of God at work in us (Titus 2:12-14).  The world should see the power of God at work in us who believe, making us more like our Savior and our Lord (Ephesians 5:1-2).  Oh for the people of God to truly be the people of God!

Pray oh saints for holiness!  Pray for the worldly-minded people to be convicted of sin and to forsake this world (John 16:8-11).  Pray for the Lord to be exalted among His saints through holiness.  Rejoice in our salvation but pray also for our sanctification (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

Do Churches Talk Too Much About Money?

Take the title of this post and google it.  You’ll be surprised at how many various opinions come up about money and the Western Church.  Sadly, many atheists see the American Church in particular as a “much-profit” organization that is out to use their “non-profit” status simply to make more money.  I personally have seen situations where someone would like to give some money to someone and the local church would tell that person to give the money first to the church and designate the money for that family in order for it to be viewed as true charity.  Sadly, this was money not given to a poor family but to the pastor who was already making decent money from the church.

This is the time of the year when every ministry I know of is begging for money.  “Get your money in now before the end of 2011 so that we can make your donation with a matching pledge” is the slogan these days.  Just yesterday I received not one but four ministry news letters in the mail all asking me to give to their ministries.  Some are better at begging than others.  Some just offer you a CD or a book for such and such amount.  Some play the guilt trip: “We will not be able to continue as we have if you do not give to us.”  I wish one would simply just ask me to give money because they need it and that is the bottom line.

Many of the churches I have attended over the years do beg for money.  Typically the old “tithing” sermon is best given when giving is down.  Preach a poor exegeted sermon off Malachi 3:8-10 and let the Spirit do the rest.  Preach that tithing is commanded by God (and it was under the theocracy of ancient Israel) and watch the money roll in.  It has been stated that nearly 85% of all giving in the United States in the church goes toward salaries, buildings, upkeep, etc.  Less than 2% of all donations in the American church actually goes toward missions and evangelism.

Yet consider the house church.  Here you’ll find no salaries.  No begging for money.  Why?  Because we have no professional Christians among us.  We are all priests unto God (1 Peter 2:4-11) and all of us are expected to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16).  We have elders who sometimes receive blessings from God’s people (1 Timothy 5:17) but this is not always in money (nor does 1 Timothy 5:17 teach that it is).  We have no upkeep for buildings since we have no buildings.  We do take up monies from time to time to support apostles (church planters) or hurting Christians or even the poor (Galatians 2:10).  We never use the money for any other purpose than what is stated.  We require no tithe.  We require no giving to us at all but we do ask disciples of Jesus to give as He commanded (Matthew 6:2-4) but each person has freedom to do with the money the Lord has given to them as they see fit in the Spirit (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).

I do believe that churches talk too much about money.  It seems much of what is done is often to get more money.  Even “evangelism” events are often not completely seeking to reach people with the gospel but rather to get people to come to that said church so that the numbers increase and thus the giving perhaps will increase.  More people hopefully equals more money but lost is the condition of their souls before God.

Where are the churches who will faithfully preach Philippians 4:10-13.  Sadly, many are true of Revelation 3:17 instead.  I pray that we would never be a hindering to someone coming to faith in Jesus over the idol of money.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/28/2011 at 12:23 PM

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