Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What is BLACK and WHITE and RED all over?

There is a saying that goes, "If you cut the bible it bleeds". Ok, so I know it doesn't really bleed, but I do understand what that means; if you cut out the parts you don't like it to try and make you feel comfortable in your sin, the Bible no longer has any life to it and we're seeing that now in the world. Sadly, so many people out there believe that a gray church and a gray doctrine is perfectly fine, when instead, gray is the color of a shroud...the color of death. Even many pastors these days, often of MEGA churches are preaching a different Gospel and a different Jesus than the one actually IN the Bible...in order to not offend anyone.

Let me tell you an honest to goodness story. Truth because it happened to two very good friends of mine, who were walking in error at the time.

About 3 years ago, my trusted friend and his now wife, also my trusted friend, were living together, had a child together, were engaged...and were asked to be part of the church ministry at the church they attended. To minister others in the Christian life – when they, themselves, were not living it.

Their business and spiritual mentor, who is also a business mentor of mine and a pastor in the Dallas area, visited them for a meeting and as my friend was driving him to the airport the next morning, he asked my friend, “What are you doing to your family?” My friend was confused as asked what he meant. The mentor proceeded to tell him how his lifestyle was not only dishonoring to God, but how he was removing blessings from his family’s life by not going by what the Word of God had to say about living together without being married, etc. My friend was so offended by that!

After he dropped his mentor off he went to the church and said to the PASTOR, “Do you know what I was just told?!” And proceeded to tell the pastor everything that he had been confronted with by someone who saw in black and white, and NOT shades of gray. How he was not living a Godly life, how he was taking blessings away from his family, by living as he was, and he asked the pastor about serving in the church ministry.

To my shock, as my friend was telling this, he said that the pastor looked at him and said, “Well, that’s ok. God knows your heart. He knows that the two of you are planning to get married. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ...” and stopped right there. It made my friend feel superficially good, but that confrontation really disturbed him and God completely grabbed hold of him, and his fiancée. Moreso her than him at first though and she studied on it and researched it and encouraged him to do the same.

After really delving into what the Word said, “offensive” and all, he realized that they were indeed living an ungodly life and it angered him because he realized that the pastor was leaving out some of the most important parts of Romans 8 and doing my friend and his family a great disservice spiritually by cutting out the “offensive” parts.

What he didn’t say to my friend are the verses that continue on to say:

Romans 3c-17
[c]And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

To hear my friend tell his story is a powerful and emotional thing. A room full of men and women and it’s the men sniffling, because to many of them this hit home. He gets angry. He gets emotional. And he is upset that the person who should have told him, “that guy is right, you are not living as you should and, as such, you and she should not be counseling others until you come right with God and change your ways, according to what God says in His Word”...didn’t. Fell short. Taught the gray shades, instead of the BLACK and WHITE truth. Tried stealing his and his family's destiny in Christ. Complacency is a wonderful tool of the enemy and is colored in gray.

The Blood shed for you, me, everyone was RED. The Truth of God is BLACK and WHITE. There are no shades of gray. Preachers need to STOP worrying about tickling ears and growing attendance numbers and instead need to be more concerned with winning souls and speaking the BLACK and WHITE and RED Truth. And there is your answer contained in the title...TRUTH, more specifically, GOD'S TRUTH is BLACK and WHITE and RED all over.

My pastor, whom I love dearly and have known for going on 25 years now, put it best when he talked about going to the church conferences. He said that it is one of the saddest things that he goes to because the first question out of almost every other pastor’s mouth at these things is, “So, how many people attend your church?”, when instead it should be, “How many souls have you saved?” Probably why our church IS fairly large in Austin, without compromising or ear tickling, is because it is one of the churches left here in liberal Austin that preaches and lives out the “offensive” Gospel. No shades of gray. Just BLACK and WHITE and RED TRUTH full of life because the pastor does not cut out parts of the Bible to suit the fickle ear ticklers! He preaches LIFE, not death.

RED is the color of the Blood that was shed. Blood is LIFE. If you cut the Bible, it bleeds...it bleeds out and the message contained within dies.

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