As I was writing the last post, I kept thinking about my friend Bodie's little "fishing story" that I posted on July 1st. It got me to thinking about how I was taught to fish..... the fishing I am referring to is not in the literal sense but in the Evangelical sense.... out of Jesus' exhortation to Peter and those other fisherman guys with Him..... when He exhorted them to leave their nets and He would make them "fishers of men".
One of Satan's biggest religious twists on what's written in Scripture.....only one of many, many twists and distortions..... has to do with this scripture from Acts 1.
"but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses"
The enemy is the Father of lies who would like any who have come to know God and have stopped eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Evil .... to begin to eat from the the Tree of the Knowledge of Good........ it's the same stupid tree!
I think I will take you right down the front page of my new life with God.... I am not trying to put down everything the church has been trying to do to introduce people to a vital, living relationship with God..... I am saying it needs desperately to change... it has been producing intellectual Christians who get disillusioned, burned out, angry, resentful (you get the picture) and turn their backs on the whole thing because things didn't work out quite the way they were presented.
Hopefully....you've been able to see what it is that I got.... at least I have been trying to communicate it since I first put up this blog what seems like quite a while ago now......this is my 130th posting....kind of like a book at this point. And I like to think that everything I write has been about it!
So what on earth does one do with it..... once one gets it ?
Ah....now that is the question. It is always the question. We discover something...something really wonderful... really good.....helpful....exciting.... life changing..... Now.... what do we do with it?
Each time I would go back to the drawing board, I still didn't get it. I was absolutely convinced that I was supposed to do some great thing for God! Even after I saw the horror of what we were doing with the perfect church, it was more that we had messed up by trying to stamp out sin forever among God's people.... ending up controlling them, laying guilt trips on them and telling them what to do with the rest of their lives.... hearing us as God's Oracles instead of cultivating their own personal walks with Him.....
As Hitler gained control in Nazi Germany, the Lutheran Church there was as irrelevant as the churches in America today. My friend Bodie reminded me recently of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's (a Lutheran pastor) stand against Hitler, who was sent to prison and martyred 3 weeks before Berlin was liberated, at age 39. He wrote some letters from prison which were later published.
This is an excerpt from a letter he wrote from prison to his nephew who was to be baptized.
The we in "we are not alone"means whole bunches of people like myself who are of like mind.... who are seeing the same things, saying the same things and it is happening all over the world. For years I was thinking I was the only person in the world who saw it. Old Elijah, the prophet, had that same problem just like old Philip here, thinking he was all alone, crying out to God (having his own little pity party) and what did God say..... “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So much for being alone! :)
All that hot shot stuff? Just the beginning......'cause I saw a problem here. Remember that network of churches? All those thousands of hurting, wounded, bleeding people calling the 700 club for prayer every night? I really wanted to help them. To me, they needed more than just someone to listen to their problem for a couple minutes and pray for them. That was like sticking a band-aid on some huge gaping wound.
I told you about that one.......being destined for greatness. It is powerful. I talked about it a couple days ago..... its power comes from the truth behind it. God has made you great...but greatness in His Kingdom is totally different from the greatness Satan is offering. It isn't Marlon Brando in that great scene from On the Waterfront where he is in the car with his brother Charlie and explaining how it was Charlie who convinced him to take the dive for the mob instead of trying to win the fight.... "Chahlie....I coulda been somebody"...