Posts tagged ‘faith’

Spirit Revealed

Sometimes God reveals divine wisdom and knowledge directly to a person, through dreams, visions, speaking to their spirit, insight reading (or remembering) Holy Scripture. Sometimes God’s revelation comes through preachers, both those alive now and those whose sermons and teachings have been written down and passed on to us, as well as through faithful scholars who translate the Bible and/or study under The Spirit to discover deeper insights from Scripture seen in history, language, context and writings of past Christians of all ages and in multiple languages. Sometimes God’s message comes through another person’s prayer, or comment, or question, or spiritual act, at times when they don’t even know God is speaking through them! Sometimes God inspires us through creation and the wonders of animals and plants which the hand of God has brought into being and sustained. The Gospel is plain and simple so that even the simplest person can grasp it and pass it on, yet it is so profound that even the most intelligent person can find newness every morning, walking by faith and not sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 ESV) and so The Spirit works all the time in every way to win every person everywhere!

Faith in a Worldly Culture

People underestimate how they are manipulated and controlled by culture. I am not talking conspiracy theories here. I refer to the habits and customs that surround us and which we follow without thinking about even when they turn us into an anti-Christ. This cannot be overstated.

I will speak only of the Canadian culture here (though it is part of what is termed the “western culture”). We have the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This particular cultural institution has become the foundational motivation for congregations that refuse to follow public health orders during the pandemic. Their claim is that they have freedom of religion in this document which means they are exempt from any law which they interpret to persecute their customary practice of religion. Notice that culture plays a double role in this fiasco.

The congregations are enveloped in a subculture that defines worship as meeting in a certain place at a certain time, and they define this further to be the primary definition of their identity. As prisoners of the wider culture of “rights” they use the secular laws to demand their religious laws as having priority over their responsibility for each other, inside and outside their circle.

This use of rights is entirely selfish. They refuse to see this because that would mean reviewing their subculture of privilege, that their right to act their way is superior to all other “rights”.

Jesus had the right to a fair trial, a right which was denied to the Christ. So did Jesus appeal the kangaroo court? Did Jesus whine on the cross about personal innocence and the injustice foisted upon the “Sinless One”?

No, because secular rights, won or argued in secular courts (or even religious courts) betrays an attitude of mastery or control instead of servanthood.

Here is the extreme example to verify the stand of the Bible (Matthew 5:40-41). Jesus taught that if someone sues you for your shirt, give them your coat also. If you are compelled by a military or civic power to carry a load for one mile, then carry it for two. “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44).

If a public health order suspends the “right” of congregations to meet en masse in their precious edifice, then the congregation should not only obey it, but over-obey it somehow.

Instead we have self-righteous religious fanatics demanding their “human” rights to reject the teaching of Jesus, deny their community responsibilities, publicly declare that they have superior rights to others in the culture and forfeit the role of serving in their arena of operation.

What is their justification to abandon what identifies people as followers of Jesus instead of self and culture? They are heroes (self-appointed, alas) who are fighting for the human rights of all religious and spiritual people! I don’t need that. “If God is for us, who can be against us” (Romans 8:31b).

Who Do You Go to for Help?

When God’s people trade away faith in God for religious opinion, whether Israelites of old or self-declared heroes of today, God sends natural or political alarms to awaken them to their sin and bring them back to spiritual sanity.

Sometimes people respond humbly and repent, turning from the off-trail route to the highway to heaven. Other times they decide to find their own solution apart from trusting in Almighty God.

The Lord declares,
“How horrible it will be for those rebellious children.
They carry out plans, but not mine…
They pile sin on top of sin…
They look for shelter under Pharaoh’s protection
and look for refuge in Egypt’s shadow.
But Pharaoh’s protection will be their shame,
and the refuge in Egypt’s shadow will be their disgrace”
(Isaiah 30:1-3 God’s Word Translation©).

In today’s terminology it would read, “They look for shelter in the Charter of Human Rights and look for refuge in their lawyers’ shadow.”

All I know is a Follower of Jesus will never use a secular court case to win a spiritual battle.

He Was Heard

“During his life on earth, Jesus prayed to God, who could save him from death. He prayed and pleaded with loud crying and tears, and he was heard because of his devotion to God” (Hebrews 5:7 God’s Word©). Read more…

Two Words

Reading this past summer I was inspired by the vision of the two Words from heaven. Read more…

My Reality

I hesitate to give this part of my testimony, but I am led to believe it will benefit someone. Read more…

7 Words Ringing

I was in a small American town to visit some friends. The pastor (though I didn’t know he was) tested my faith fairly strongly. Read more…

Eyes Right!

“Peter answered, ‘Lord, if it is you, order me to come to you on the water.’
Jesus said, ‘Come!’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he noticed how strong the wind was, he became afraid and started to sink. He shouted, ‘Lord, save me!’ Read more…

Ignite Life

I was given a copy of a book for Christmas. It’s too intimately autobiographical for me in many places, but like all Christian spirituality it has gems for even people like me. Read more…

Whose Case Is It 4?

When we meet troubles, even if we are mature enough to know our faith is being tested, we can easily see ourselves as the target of this testing. But when we focus on ourselves where does God stand in the picture? Read more…