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The Question Is…Where is Your Faith

Some of you may be connecting with the title of this entry 🙂 It’s a mixture of two old-school church jams of the past by the Winans, and the late Rev. James Cleveland….a mash-up of sorts, but this quirky combination-question provoked thought and I figured it was a good time for a new entry. I know it’s been a while.

Since the Presidential election of 2016, my husband and I over time, have found ourselves engaged in many thoughtful, and challenging conversations; in that, the conversations have resulted in our on-going quest to regularly examine our hearts and sharpen our views on what constitutes as biblical maturity and the issues that hinder a person’s growth in faith. The conversations have also helped us to be more compassionate, exercise wisdom, and lovingly disagree while understanding that we are living as sojourners.  We both feel blessed to be living witnesses in a time in history where monumental changes in world structures, culture, technology, and spiritual matters are being disrupted; and like labor pains, these disruptions are opportunities to be used by the Lord God to forge godly character in lives of believers. The way is indeed narrow.

Eras throughout history prove that man’s propensity to become morally depraved is inevitable. Patterns of a moral decline within a society begins with the Faithless, and Idolatrous people of God. We clearly see in scripture. When the “church” rejects God’s precepts and ways, idolatry is not far behind, then the moral decline begins.  Society will most assuredly follow. For it is written,  Judgement begins in the household of God. This moral decline will continue to rear its ugly head in these challenging times. The weak in faith is in danger of varying degrees of unbelief that could result in outright apostasy.   If you are a person prone to the enjoyment of human observation, you’re probably seeing many souls starting display these traits because of a false perception of fear.

My dear sister and brother…what are you fearing? Does it eclipse God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?  

Added Observations

The more we are witnesses to these disruptions in our world’s systems, the more we can  plainly see how finite we are. Men’s hearts are indeed failing them and many of us are afraid.  As we engage with our neighbors, we must foster encouragement of faith.  Some of us have succumbed to join in the sharing those fears instead of sharing our faith.  Though we can empathize, it may not produce the peaceful outcome that we ultimately want. When we engage in conversations purely grounded on fear, we agree with the enemy.  Fear-based opinions on politics, the world’s economic state, and the future of Western Society has most of us tailspinning on speculation and everyone seems to be expert. Uncertainty acts as the interrogator and raises questions of  “how did we get here?” and “who fault is this?’. It looks for the scapegoat to blame for the failures that we fear that could adversely affect many of us for many different reasons. Western Society’s golden calf is the gods of health and wealth, people are happy when they have it, even within the church. A simple disruption of the two creates panic and fear.  To add fuel to the fear, we choose to entertain ourselves through social media. Opposite of peace and truth, the medium is and expert at disseminating mis-information and erroneous opinions with wrongful assumptions.  Mere opinions are more likely to be counted as facts. Users are content to believe what they read without research or self-examination of personal biases. Both sides of the heathen spectrum; Conservatives and Liberals, feed the beast by emoting this energy of fear, doubt, and hatred towards opposite sides and are eager to do the enemy’s bidding. It’s like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and as the story goes, the simple and ignorant will follow and even the very elect will be deceived. What should the manner of life be for the Believer? Should it warrant a different response with corresponding actions that display Elohim’s prominence in our lives or should we respond like slaves to the Piper?

Diligence to Pray and Believe

Obviously, mere citizens are not in positions where we can influence or engage elite leaders of politics, economics, or critical issues involving social injustice and it is most likely that things will get worse before they get better, but the power we possess through prayer to God in Christ Jesus can do so much more to help us and others to endure and overcome. He is our help in the times of need. The name of the Lord is a strong tower, where else should we go? When we choose prayer over man-made solutions; social media or otherwise, it minimizes the likelihood of sinful behavior and helps guard us  from grieving the Spirit of God. Information in itself is simply that, information. It is autonomous. What one chooses to do with it is up to the receiver. It’s not wrong to receive the information. It’s not wrong to have an opinion. The error arises when we respond ignorantly or out of a sinful emotional state. It is unwise. If we’re not careful, we will be more apt to express our views without realizing that we are also becoming stumbling blocks to others by convincing them “our way” is right and they should respond with some since of urgency instead of praying about it FIRST.  In this age of social distancing, which didn’t start with the COVID-19 pandemic, praying for God’s help as a response to an issue doesn’t seem to be as instinctual as tweeting, email-chaining, or posting about it.

My husband and I was also reminded about the value of intentional study-time in the Word. If we believe that the Holy Bible is true, then it should aid us in moving on to maturity and reiterate the importance of a sure foundation of faith. Believers should not allow themselves to descend to a place where we forget the Power of God,  His sovereignty, and His self-sufficient role in this world’s systems. They will fail but God is everlasting…. From Genesis to Revelation….. He IS YWH GD!

Our journey in maturing in child-like faith requires a true affection and love for ELOHIM our God.  Loving the Lord with all that we have fosters a love for our neighbor and everything else hangs on these two. This is a tier 1 issue that is not negotiable. If we love Him, our desire to please Him will be evident. Our desire to please Him will foster a mature faith (usually produced through trials and tests) that is is totally dependent on Him in everything. It is the only the way one can achieve it. If we choose a life apart from Him, primarily depending on “Kings and Chariots”, i.e., the world systems, we must be prepared to be disappointed.

A New Man Requires a New Song

Mature faith is willing to embrace the new man and putting off the old one while recognizing the battle within. In times of uncertainty one must be keenly aware of the tendency to appease internal issues of fear, faithlessness, insecurity, and discontentment. He or she must also be honest about what feeds it. If your eye causes you to sin, rip it out. This may mean a time away from television or social media.  Secondly, he or she must “get real” about their affections toward the Father. Is He truly your all? Do you truly love Him? Do your actions correspond to that love or do they contradict the model and life of Christ?  Maturing faith looks like submission. Submission to Him, submission to your husband, and possibly submission to secular leadership.  Mature faith knows that every area of uncertainty is covered under the sovereign will and protection of our Lord knowing that He is in control and has provided us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places and here on earth. The Believer’s evolution of mature faith is weighted on whether biblical truths are a daily reality.  The greatest urgency in the life of the believer is the exercise of steadfast faith, not faith for the sake of faith itself, but faith in who God’s is the I AM.

Sing:  Why This Fear here . Get this in your Spirit and persevere! Selah.

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The Big Deal About Lies

Narrow is the way

It is truly exhausting to exist with others that profess Christ yet participate in things that support this present culture of moral decline.   Are we the ones swimming against the current or are we going with the flow? In this case, I’m addressing the issue and practice of lying.

Lying is often dormant within the seed pride. Lying and telling falsehoods is a serious problem. It should not be taken lightly.  As evil pervades our society, it is evident that lying and creating falsehoods has become to be acceptable behavior and is celebrated. (source: health benefits to lying #foolishness). Heck, everybody does it, so what’s the big deal? The big deal?

..IT’S LYING!!

Perceptions, Objections, and White Privilege

Recently, I witnessed an exchange between my boss and a fellow employee. The employee asked whether or not we (my boss and I) received a request that required some action…

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The Big Deal About Lies

It is truly exhausting to exist with others that profess Christ yet participate in things that support this present culture of moral decline.   Are we the ones swimming against the current or are we going with the flow? In this case, I’m addressing the issue and practice of lying.

Lying is often dormant within the seed pride. Lying and telling falsehoods is a serious problem. It should not be taken lightly.  As evil pervades our society, it is evident that lying and creating falsehoods has become to be acceptable behavior and is celebrated. (source: health benefits to lying #foolishness). Heck, everybody does it, so what’s the big deal? The big deal?

..IT’S LYING!!

Perceptions, Objections, and White Privilege

Recently, I witnessed an exchange between my boss and a fellow employee. The employee asked whether or not we (my boss and I) received a request that required some action on our part. It was important because it affected her wages. Additionally, she stated that the request was submitted by her supervisor. She was stressed about it because she’d procrastinated until the eleventh hour to follow up.

Lie #1: She stated that she submitted the request to her manager and he sent it to us.
Lie #2: She stated that the request was sent by email to both of us.

My boss listened to the employee’s dramatic performance detailing why she waited so long to follow up. I was hoping that my boss would exercise some wisdom by asking questions that would help this employee’s situation; and at the same time, direct her on the right right path of truth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying she should’ve blasted her on the spot, but communication can be an effective tool to foster integrity.  I viewed it as an opportunity to display God’s grace in Christ, but no dice. The issue was handled quickly and the conference call ended. What followed was a period of uncomfortable silence between my boss and I. We both knew this employee had been lying. After a minute or so, I asked my boss, a Caucasian Sister-in-Christ, how she felt about the fact that this employee was so comfortable about lying. To my surprise, my boss responded with a lie and she acted as if nothing happened.  WHAT?!  I couldn’t believe it! This gave me a moment to pause. I wondered if she was grieved as I was.  In terms of corporate integrity, I wondered if she felt that the matter should be discussed with the employee’s supervisor.  Truthfully speaking, I wondered if the sin of partiality or White privilege would not allow her to see it objectively. As a business professional, I was disturbed,  as her subordinate, I questioned her integrity, then I’m reminded,  “To much is given, much IS required”.

Weight of Responsibility

This incident grieved me a great deal because the employee did not have a sense of consciousness of how her “carefully crafted” falsehoods could’ve resulted in serious consequences; given the right circumstances. It never occurred to her that her lies could’ve caused the loss of a job or an unjustified reprimand. It’s one thing to lie about yourself but it’s another thing when you involve another human being. This is hypocritical of the American culture.

What wounded me most was that my so-called “Sister in Christ” didn’t discern or acknowledge the wrongdoing. She was in a position to lead with integrity but chose to avoid it. Additionally, It was apparent that she didn’t feel empowered to inspire another to change within our immediate subculture. I guess it was too much work.

As Christ followers, we must be vigilant to guard ourselves against lying and being content with the status quo “Bearing false witness against your neighbor” is one of the commandments and it hangs on the law of loving my neighbors as myself.  We also should be willing to address it when it another is harmed by it. The Bible is clear about how to address this issue, even in a secular society.  It is an abomination according to Proverbs 12:22.

Additionally, it is written:

New Testament Christians are exhorted in Ephesians 4:17–32

The New Life

[17] Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. [18] They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. [19] They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. [20] But that is not the way you learned Christ!—[21] assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, [22] to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, [23] and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, [24] and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

[25] Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. [26] Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, [27] and give no opportunity to the devil. [28] Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. [29] Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. [30] And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. [31] Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. [32] Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (ESV)

Truth is not an option for the Believer and loving people in the Truth of God’s word will help us navigate this narrow road if we are willing to face those challenges that are hard and unpopular. No servant is greater than his Master. Selah.

ED

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NEW PODCAST: Stuck in a World of Vanilla — Bad Pastor

While it’s not true you can be anything you want to be, you certainly don’t have to be like everyone else in order to be Christlike. The Bad Pastor pushes back on mediocrity in Christian music and movies, and a culture of conformity in churches. He encourages us that, in a world full of vanilla, […]

via NEW PODCAST: Stuck in a World of Vanilla — Bad Pastor

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Narrow Way Chronicles: Popular, Wide, and Lukewarm Pt. 1

The world as we know it; is gone. The new world order is underway and progressing as expected. America is in a new era; an era that is grandly historic in context of world civilizations and history.  There are noticeable shifts and changes in societal norms, economics, and culture. Moreover, events and occurrences that were once viewed as odd and uncommon are now a normal part of American and Western society. The earth cries out because of the weight of sin.

Judicious Evaluations

This new era is anything short of prodigious.  My grandparents would’ve been astounded and dismayed by some of what we’ve witnessed in this century. Technological advances such as AI technology is moving at such a rapid pace that efforts for global legislation have been expedited.  Along with the technological advances, we also are observing an influx of social reform movements which have outpaced the both the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam war  (1948-1975 source).   Adversely, seemingly successful social reforms movements of today have had little to no effect to advance the cause of Christ. Most aid and help initiatives advancing the cause of moral degradation. The era we are in is an era of darkness aided by Satanic forces which is a precursor to the coming of Christ.  Modern Christians will be challenged and tested in ways we don’t want to imagine, yet,  no servant is greater than his master. The reality is that Satan is a real enemy with a fully functioning military. He’s highly intelligent, but sin is stupid. He is the prince of the air., but his under the sovereign power of God Almighty. He’s recruited apostates and many of the elect will be led astray by their efforts. His efforts have created a perversion of all of God’s creation that includes mainstream culture. It has infected art, politics, and religion; and all of these areas of society are filled with darkness and evil. Much of it is chaotic with the intent to steal glory and admiration from its Creator(see Alice Bailey’s 10 point plan for the NWO). Places and segments of society that would once be considered sacred,  are no longer sacred, and pragmatism is the new politics. Confusion and misinformation are easily accepted. People don’t think to pause, research, and give time for careful consideration.

People are indeed….”carried away”.

Manipulation of information and indoctrination continues to be highly effective. The result?  A world of reactionary emotionalism, impetuousness, impatience, and incivility.  Full-grown adults are not thinking critically and lack the ability to communicate effectively. Much of society is significantly dependent on technology tools and media. As the trajectory moves forward, slaves the to the rhythm of culture become tech zombies living in a world of oxymorons: inclusion within the mass of division and tribalism within cosmopolitanism. This way is contrary to what was once known as free and civil society.  Information isn’t organic; neither is the food. Journalism is a rare treat and newspaper companies are now called online content companies (see Chicago Tribune now called Tronic). This is a new day.

The Concern

So what is the concern? The so-called Christian engages in the same fashion as mainstream society.  Social topics invade and pervade daily living; so much so, that wisdom and worship of the Triune God have taken a back seat. Are we bearing fruit and is that fruit remaining? Are we waging war against sin?  Are we in constant fellowship with a local body or are we now living in Laodicea? Are we more concerned about being right or being righteous? A friend made a keen observation, she says “We are overfed and under-nourished”.  I think she’s on to something….

It is written:

I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am right, I have prospered, and I need nothing, NOT REALIZING that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

I took the liberty of emphasizing the words “NOT REALIZING”. If we are not careful, the Pied Piper of Culture play his way in your life and distract us.   To “not realize” is not also realizing pride, arrogance, and evil way.  It is ignoring that we have a propensity to think or behave in nature we inherently love;  hence, we become the opposite of what we think we are. Instead of being hidden in the character and likeness of Christ, we become more like our old nature:  wicked, spiritually blind, and exposed.

Nothing is hidden from the Father of Spirits.

This is the first of a few musings that will focus on the priority of worship;  and if we are committed to God’s plan in Christ to follow the Way in the new age of chaos? New Babylon is here.

Brothers and Sisters, let us check our hearts, and regularly take inventory of what should be chief among our priorities. The heat is slowing increasing and the cares of this world will turn many away.  Will you endure?

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The BIG DEAL About Voting: Blessed is the Poor

In recent times it seems that the act of voting has risen to a high level of importance for so many. People have become very passionate about it; even to the point of blame-shaming on social media.

The question I would propose: Is the act of voting a moral issue or just another social construct for assimilation?

Patriotic vs Obligation

Over the years, I’ve participated in the so-called American Democratic process. Respective to its history in terms of the Black American experience, I still find myself disconnected from its purpose. Factors such as corruption, partiality, elitism are evident because of the intended outcome. The “will of the people” is still limited to a select few…even on local levels. With that said, I can definitively rule out the moral issue.

With respect to establishing a social construct, most American citizens are taught early on that voting is a right, privilege, and a means to “be heard”. What we don’t learn is the whole history and how individual life experiences can have a profound effect on what we value with respect to these ideas. Just ask a Vietnam Veteran.

If one actively researches, most will find that the origins and purpose of the American voting system were used to create a social construct. Today, the spectacle of elections are more useful to distract the masses.

The only thing that is constant is change….selah

Lulling of Ignorance

As  famed fiction writer Vera Nazarian notes:

“It’s a fact—everyone is ignorant in some way or another.
Ignorance is our deepest secret. And it is one of the scariest things out there because those of us who are most ignorant are also the ones who often don’t know it or don’t want to admit it”.

Ignorance; a by-product of pride, continues to blind-side the Believer.

When one resolves to walk in God’s Truth one must submit this simple but profound truth: There is more to the story and we don’t have all the facts. If it doesn’t make sense, it’s not sensible.

God’s truth fosters the realization that says: Are you willing to renounce human tradition? This renunciation requires a steadfast faith in the Father through Christ!

Without Christ people don’t have the ability to see Truth, and Believers of Christ should walk in compassion toward them; but for those of us that are in the light and love of God’s truth, we have the benefit of His wisdom that is found for those that fear and obey Him (Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name).

A robust study of the voting system in its totality provides a full viable argument of why voting it is futile, particularly for the poor.  Though the origins of the Voting Right’s Act appeared to have retributive effects, it was never intended to act as a fair and just system for the American election process.  Further study shows that Federal “Executive Orders” and “Acts” are not enforced locally. If there’s no enforcement how can we conclude that the wishes of the EO or Act have been carried out? By local police? …PLEASE!!! If you dedicate the time and research, you quickly conclude that voices or votes of the poor people never really mattered, and most likely, never will. Generally speaking, poor people are invisible and expendable. Conservatives think all poor people are lazy and Democrats think all poor people are helpless. Both sides have an agenda and that agenda is under the grand agenda of the NWO. Bush #2 announced its induction on Sept 11, 1991.

Moreover; based on the purpose and origin of why voting exists, I have a personal conflict knowing that my “vote” is an act of allegiance to an individual that I don’t know. I don’t know how he treats his wife, children, or if he lives life Biblically. With respect to these standards, the vote or voice of the vote is an outward declaration and allegiance to an idea or an individual.

Let’s look at voting in the simplistic terms:

The following source is from the website Online Etymology

vote (n.)

vote (v.): mid-15c., “formal expression of one’s wish or choice with regard to a proposal, candidate, etc.,” from Latin votum “a vow, wish, promise to a god, solemn pledge, dedication,” noun use of neuter of votus, past participle of vovere “to promise, dedicate” (see vow (n.)). Meaning “totality of voters of a certain class or type” is from 1888.vote (v.)

vote (v.)

1550s, “give a vote to;” 1560s, “enact or establish by vote,”; see vote (n.). Earlier it meant “to vow” to do something (mid-15c.). Related: Votedvoting

Biblical Application

My family on the Caucasian side says “consideration should be made with respect to God’s sovereign grace. Therefore, gratitude should be the motive”.  On the other side, I hear:  “Black people died for the right to vote!”, so the conclusion is….. I’m obligated to vote. (as If my vote should be some sort of homage to another human!?) That argument conflicts with my resolve to live in the identity that is in Christ Jesus.

Again…I’m struggling to connect.  So now, voting has become an object of focus and a choice between patriotism or obligation..identifying as an Evangelical or a Negro!?…..why!?

“If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your1 life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory”.

Though Paul is referring to deceptive teaching to the Colossae church, this exhortation is applicable in terms of culture; particularly in these last days and I am comforted and confronted by it. 

So……the Narrow way continues

Once again, I am faced with that reality of Christ’s clarion call to enter the narrow way. This time: recognizing that human traditions can conflict with the worship of the One True God; always looking at Christ as the example.

Sufficient is the Holy Spirit’s wisdom, teaching, and guidance in the Word of God! When we view the world’s system through the eyes of God’s love and wisdom, your eyes will conform to that which it watches…and in that view, there is great Freedom!

With careful research, study, and a resolve to walk in love, I was granted the privilege to understand the Amercian voting system in its totality; not for the purpose of throwing stones, but because it provides an evidentiary example of human depravity and the argument that people do not “grow in goodness” with time. Over time society will not move toward a positive change, it will become worse..this includes the elites of the world.  The doctrine of Human Depravity teaches this. Human depravity is real and it pervades every area of human society; domestic and abroad. Having a grasp of solid doctrine is useless if Biblical love is not preeminent. If we love people we must share the truth of God’s word and all its ugliness. Biblical love is compassion and its Truth. Even at the risk of losing everything.

Finally, the question becomes: How can you be so sure that Christ did not participate in the election process?

The scriptures do not say, but we are certain that this type of activity was not chief among priorities, nor was it a priority for the early church. Therefore, I choose to enter the narrow way, no matter the backlash.

 

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Narrow Way Chronicles: Exclusivity of Inclusion

In a recent tweet I shared:

#Pride, #Presumption, and #Partiality create a culture of self-righteousness and hidden agendas. #churchpolitics”.

I thought it appropriate to elaborate because intent can be misconstrued and I wanted to allow for robust discussion.

Today, the term “inclusivity” does not prompt ideas of church unity. Opponents of the Way continue to do a “bang-up” job in hijacking and perverting the Creator’s intent on certain ideologies that is designed to reflect His glory. The ideology of “Inclusivity” is no different. History teaches that diversity and inclusivity have existed since the beginning of time. The Old and New Testament scriptures clearly show examples of communities that included all races and social-economic backgrounds.  It is only after the coming of the Anointed One, Jesus the Christ, do we see intentionality of this idea of Inclusive Communities. ….so let’s not get it twisted. ;-).

The intention of the tweet; however, was addressing my limited time and experience with the subject with regard to church unity. My sincere hope and prayer is that the Holy Spirit will be active in guiding my hand to write; as well as an active guide to those who are reading these thoughts.

It is written, He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches:

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Compassion and True Fellowship

The issue: Are our churches TRULY inclusive? With our drive to expose evil, false doctrine and plant churches, have we created a culture of elite communities? Is the mission still about the Gospel or has the mission become about growing a denomination, positioning for political leverage or making your brand known? Do we reflect true Koinonia or is the local church another social construct that is intended have a “positive” effect on the community? If true Koinonia is the intent, what should it look like and how much of our application is modeled biblically?

I have often been engaged in conversations with persons that boastfully share that they are socially connected with”like-minded” Believers. Notice I didn’t say, fellowship; and, that gave me pause to think (Hence the #ChurchPolitics).

What does the idea of being like-minded mean?

Secular society uses this phrase often. Should I assume that this idea takes on a different connotation because I perceive a spin of conservative Christianity or It is safe to assume that being like-minded is a belief or series of beliefs that is shared commonly through a connection of cultural norms to one may be accustomed; and if not accustomed, Idolize?  We’ve seen this in Charismatic circles.

It is elitism; BKA partiality.

If you initiate a Google search the topic, you will find little teaching or exhortation that addresses this, especially in conservative circles. Largely because most of our siblings still have that big plank in their eye.

Partiality is a sin and it greatly displeases Elohim our God. Because it is hidden, it is easy to deny that we have issues. When we choose to “do life” with people that do not foster sanctification, we stifle growth. Not only of ourselves but others that desire true sanctification.  Jerry Bridges exhorts: “It is not the fact that we are united in common goals or purposes that make(s) us a community. Rather, it is the fact that we share a common life in Christ.

Partiality convinces us that God’s choice isn’t good enough, smart enough, pretty or handsome enough, not quiet enough, or charismatic enough. Partiality says this person is not acceptable to my standards. Partiality shows no grace and therefore, shows no love. This is wickedness.

When we opt in for partiality instead of inclusivity we become complacent in our relationships. We are not intentional with the put offs and put-ons, and we do no “one anothering”.  The result is isolation among the saints. This is a dichotomy of true fellowship. Koinonia and sharing the Gospel is what the Father wants and desires for His children. Lastly, partiality is hidden and presumptuous sins. Partiality is heinous and damaging to the Body of Christ.  In Psalm 19:13 the writer prays:

Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. 

The church is not as inclusive as we like to think we are. Partiality is a real issue, more than we would like to admit. People choose not to bind themselves to a local body because they do not feel loved or safe.  At any rate, Jesus teaches compassion. Though the Savior operated as a prophet, he was remarkably compassionate to sinners. Do we desire or display that same compassion or do we make assumptions about people based on limited information or gossip? Moreover, what are we willing to risk or sacrifice to engage in true Koinonia? If your local body struggles in this area please check out this teaching by Arturo Azurdia of TCP titled “The Antioch Paradigm”.