Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Make You Better

Our lives have been comprised of choices and circumstances that have shaped our characters, leading us to right here. Each of us have made decisions and fought battles. Every one of us has reacted poorly to situations or triumphed when the moment came.

We're human.

We're the battle ground between light and darkness.

That is what is on my mind tonight...

Do you know what most unbelievers that I have invited to come to church with me have said?
"God will probably cause me to burst into flames the second I walk through the doors"

I've invited a lot of people to church over the years, ranging from Atheists to Zodiac astrologists. People tend to know that we've sinned, that much is inherent. We know that God exists even when sometimes we don't want to. We know something is broken, and we are guilty.
I've seen many of these people come to church. Some stayed for a few minutes, some stayed for a few years but not one of them ever burst into flames at the wrath of an angry God who could have just as easily had them slip in the shower to break their neck
People have problems, all people, and problems need to be solved.

I was sitting with my brother in our apartment one day as his feet were draped over the loveseat across from the couch. He was distressed and distraught and he stared up at the bumps on the ceiling with a semi-vacant glare. I asked him, " What's wrong? Talk to me about it" He sighed a deep breath and said " That's not how it works. Crap only rolls uphill"  He spoke of it behind a few closed doors to a pastor and he didn't seem to mind me overhearing on the phone what was going on, but he didn't want to tarnish a perception that He had it mostly together. That is what I took away from the exchange. Though we all sin, Though we all suffer, some feel a need to hide it to try and save face or pride or they aren't ready to fully confront it or whatever. I sat there and felt like there was a lesson that I had learned, but it wasn't the one that was being intended.
My brother has gotten past a lot of this in varying degrees as lessons come around and around.

There it is... do you see it? The connection between the two?

 A party that is afraid to set foot in a church because they believe that one must already have won the war against darkness to be be saved... and another that shows that he is not comfortable with the notion that he has sin for how it would appear to people he's deemed in his mind underlings.

Both situations present that the Church is a gallery where people are displayed like art. One thinking he's worthless, and the other afraid of being appraised. The first things that Adam and Eve did was hide because they were ashamed and naked. I've been in churches where people seem to talk about sin as if it were a disease in Africa that is plaguing some poor impoverished people that they should hold a bake sale to raise awareness for.

I don't think I could ever follow a pastor or a church leader that didn't struggle with sin. If they don't struggle with sin, Our Savior struggled with it and I KNOW they're not better than the best.

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15

He fought sin and won.  He overcame darkness.  Some churches that I have been a part of do seem to have lost some of this... that a Ministry, is to spread the truth ... not that God hates darkness and you must save yourself from bondage and slavery before the Savior can free you from bondage and slavery...   But that God loves, and the Church loves and will be merciful and tolerant. The message that Sin can be beaten isn't accurately portrayed by a people that seems never acknowledge the battle. A doctor doesn't wait for the patient to die before he begins treatment.

I see it in Messianic circles occasionally. We're weird about sin. We generally hate it so much that we pretend that we're without it. We don't understand why other churches don't get our knowledge...  and it's probably because we don't look normal. We talk about sin as a christian disease, As an unsaved disease, instead of a terminal human condition. We'll hide any sense of transparency to curry favor and the illusion of holiness in order to be entrusted with positions of leadership so that people will know how spiritual we are... .... .. but nobody is getting saved.
Because they cannot relate.
unless they pretend to be something they're not.

In that regard, many unbelievers are more honest in their ignorance.

Can you imagine how short the bible would be without the mention of Sin on behalf of the righteous? How minimal the sacrifice of the Messiah would be if everyone pretended to have it all together.
" Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.  Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.  Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins." - James 5

 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours.
We can move in that power.
We can only show that Darkness can be overcome, if we admit that we have struggled against it.
"And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony..." - Rev 12

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