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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”.

 

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Living to Love and Loving You to Life! Narrow Way Chronicles Pt. 2

None of us can deny that this shift in morality is moving rapidly. This is the destiny. For is written: “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. (2 Tim. 3)

My question to those of us that proclaim our love for people…..How ya lovin’? I want to ensure the clarity here. Though we are vexed by the evil of this current generation, we are still charged to love thy neighbor as thyself. For the sake of time, I will not expose our frailties within our Family dynamics. I will reserve that ranting for another time ;-).

I propose that we examine ourselves in the context of how we should love those that are under the slavery of evil. Ya know..the drunkard (could be your mom, dad, sister, etc.), the (prideful) homosexual (because it is the action of homosexuality that defines you), the abuser of children, etc…… Simple. Tell them the truth. Loving someone to life always starts with the foundation of Truth….and Truth is not relative.

Adulterers, fornicators, idolaters, and those that practice deception (liars), need to know that they will answer to God for this life. It doesn’t matter much to me if they believe in God or not…Most do.  The bottom line is: If you live this life in unrighteousness…you’ll reap the consequences. I speak from experience. More importantly, this life is indeed temporary and we will have to give an account. Each one must consider the consequences of their actions and be careful of engaging to protest, or fight for “false causes”. These are distractions and are designed to destroy humankind.  Most of society is duped into thinking that this is the only life we will have….or we’ll have a chance to do it over again…not true. This thinking is another result of a society that does not follow Elohim’s ways. (Duet. 28)

Truth is love. It may not always feel good, but truth saves lives.

I agree that the delivery of the Truth may not always be with given with an intent of compassion and kindness. This is where most of us fall short. Please forgive us. Some of us fail to realize that words that are delivered with a mean and angry heart have the same result as words that are delivered lovingly and compassionate (Proverbs 18:21). It is written: “For a brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city (Proverbs 18:19 part)”. It can become extremely difficult and scary to keep a balance.

The object of our affection; which are human souls, should always receive the benefit of our sincerity with humility.  We are not charged to change anyone; we are charged to warn, pray, and teach.

Secondly, we cannot underestimate the Power of truth and the innate knowledge of God that is evident in every human. Most of us are well acquainted with our evil nature, but we prefer to justify our actions because we desire what our flesh wants and our perception can be skewed. New Age indoctrination and foolish pagan philosophies are normative in our society….even in religious institutions. However; all of us understand what our inclinations are; and, at times, have chosen be directed by them. Even after a religious conversion. Flesh and desire always wins, but thanks be to God through Jesus Christ we are renewed day by day!

So now…we walk it out ..the heat has turned up and you’re being tested. It’s starting to become uncomfortable. Are you still willing to walk in love? Can you live a careful balance of engaging in a good warfare and loving people to life?

When the person visiting your church reveals their same-sex lifestyle, what will be your reaction? When they decide to share his or her’s struggle (and it is a struggle, otherwise it wouldn’t be controversial)  will you be the person that is willing to disciple them (in love) and bring accountability (in truth) when it’s needed? It’s not hateful to expose evil and reveal knowledge, but it’s hateful if your heart (intent) is to make the listener feel bad. Conviction is not assigned to us. It is the work of the Holy Spirit.  Another scenario: That former prostitute comes to your Sunday services every week, yet doesn’t feel compelled to connect because of her past. He or She’s struggles with going back on the track because she can’t find a job and is starting to feel the pinch of poverty…Are you that person that will initiate connection?..or call to pray with her regularly, put some groceries in the pantry? Are you willing to build a relationship with the purpose of discipleship?  Are you willing to sacrifice your finances (not loan but give it away) if they need to “re-brand” their appearance by taking them out shopping? ….Are you willing to correct others in church when they are gossiping about them? This walk is real. Not religion…but reality.

Are you willing to stop avoiding that family member that needs to know about the Truth of the Gospel? Or will you continue to complain about them?

Loving is risky..but required. Truth love requires faith and prayer. One must have strength and always being truthful.

This is a very narrow walk indeed; however, we are called to live this way only by the Power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus Christ.

So…..HOW ARE YOU LOVING?

Sure, it’s a lie, but it helps the gay rights agenda so let’s just go with it

The Matt Walsh Blog

We all know the score.

This is how the game is played.

They lie, and cooperate with lies, and become willing participants in things that are very likely to be lies, and they do it all for the greater good.

Did you hear about the infamous gay bashing birthday party RSVP from earlier this week? The story set social media on fire. Two gay dads threw a tie dye party for their 7-year-old daughter, Sophia, and invited all of the neighborhood children over to celebrate. But some anti-gay mother (probably a Christian, as countless people on Facebook and Twitter observed) declined the invitation, and she did so in the rudest way possible. Rather than simply offering a polite ‘sorry, we can’t make it,’ she jotted down a vicious anti-gay rant, and sent it to Sophia’s dads.

The note said: “Tommy will NOT attend. I do not believe in what you…

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