Monday, April 13, 2009
Standing Up, Standing Out
People often contact me with concern over my challenges to the Body of Christ. Some do so kindly and gently, others get downright ugly. On occasion, I am even charged with creating great discord within the Body. I cling tightly to the Word when I challenge Christians to a higher standard and even, at times, to resist conformity. I believe that the Word of God is offensive, confrontational and absolute. It alone is my measuring rod and my plumb line. I place no value in comparing myself to my neighbor, whether they are “godly” or “worldly” for neither are my model and guide. My goal, my focus is to be like Christ – period. Anything less than this is unacceptable and I, to the best of my ability, strive to only cling to what will produce His attributes and characteristics as the result.
I have come to realize over the last three years that living a life where you only seek to allow God’s Word to guide you can be quite tough. When you allow It to formulate your doctrines, beliefs, expectations and discussions, you will, without question, encounter adversity. What I did not know however is that the majority of the adversity that I have been confronted with has been from professing Believers. Many Christians hold so tightly to their denominational doctrines or their own personal opinions that they become greatly agitated at even the mention of turning them loose. This grieves me, my friend. To give a personal example, mere hours ago I was told that I am “hard-headed, self-righteous, self-seeking, hateful, devil-deceived” and “heretical”… all in one afternoon – all by professing Christians.
Why? Because I challenged the common Christian perspective of how we view Jesus and often miss the great depth and width of God’s immaculate plan. Several of those who contacted me did not even read the article addressing the topic because they had “heard about what it was regarding” and that was enough. My friends, I don’t say this in order to receive your pity or your endorsement. I say it to explain that unless the Body of Christ realizes that She is settling for elementary teachings, She is headed for a great fall. We have become satisfied with repeating empty prayers and sitting idly by as “clergy” and “ministers” do the “work”. It is time for the spiritually deprived Christianity clones to awaken from their slumber and move into becoming Christ-like Believers who will not waiver or settle for anything less than the fullness of what God has for us.
Christianity is so far from its origin, basic biblical truths seem like heresy! It is time for the Body to realize that being "radical" is simply adhering to what God deems as acceptable. We don’t need reformed. We don’t need reorganized. We don’t need new programs and ideas. We need to return to what Christ told us His Church is to be.
I want to be clear – I am not here to coerce or convince. I am here to point to the Truth. I am here to say, are you willing to look at what the Word says about matters and really allow it shape you? Will you set aside your presumptions or personal feelings on matters? Don’t believe the implied lie that you are not capable to study the Word for yourself. Don’t buy into the lie that looking deep into the mysteries of God is opening yourself up to deception. It is why I am alive! It is why I exist! It is my purpose to uncover the treasures that my Father has hidden throughout the ages! We must remain teachable and open at all times to what is presented via the Word. I was recently told by a great friend, “If a doctrine, a belief, an opinion... if it doesn’t line up with what you study in the Word, throw it all out… all of it - period.” What fantastic advice that we should all adhere to.
The bottom line is, I am learning to be more interested in pleasing the LORD than I am in pleasing men. It goes against everything I know. It often seems wrong. It often seems arrogant. It often seems prideful, but never before have I known such peace. Never before has the Spirit of the living God been so evident in my life. Never before has my purpose and destiny been made so crystal clear. Never before has the Word of God become so alive. Never before have I dared to go beyond what is easy and embraced by the masses. Never before have I stood up or stood out as I do today. Never before have I been an Ambassador for Christ, my King, my LORD, my Everything. He is truly making all things new. All praise, all glory, all honor, all that I am is due Him. It is all about Him. All of it. Everything. He is I am.