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Location: Porterville, California, United States

Monday, January 15, 2007

Trouble in The Body of Christ

Somewhat recent events in the politics of America reinforced a concern that I have seen in the Body of Christ for a long time. The events: the Presidential Elections of 1996, 2000, and 2004. The concern is the almost unfathomable and unthinkable fact that good, honest, decent, church-going "Christians" were going to the polls and voting for politicians who are supporters of the wholesale slaughter of babies in their mother’s wombs. But it doesn’t stop there. They were also voting for the same politicians who believe in the murder of full-term babies as they are being born (i.e. the inescapably horrific “partial-birth abortion”), the imposition of homosexuality as normative (even teaching it to kindergarteners!), and the imposition of homosexuals themselves upon our lives against our will and rights.[1] There is an entire litany of evils that they perpetrate including being resolutely and relentlessly against the Christians themselves and everything that they believe in[2]. Nevertheless, they were (and are) being elected into office with the help of “Christians”!

How could anyone who bears the name of Jesus love vote for the purveyors of evil without so much as a second thought or a twinge of conscience? How could anyone, especially the blood-bought, born-again, believers vote against themselves to their own destruction?! How can they fight bitterly for a cause and campaign with alacrity for the very people who hate them and everything in which they believe?!

Now, let’s go another direction. The body is also fragmented into hundreds and hundreds of separate sects, doctrines, denominations, and just about every imaginable schism. Instead of seeking for “the truth” of God’s word, they arrogantly and loudly proclaim that they have “the gospel” and everyone else is wrong (and perhaps even going to hell by not belonging to their specific group). They are the “defenders of the faith” and most others are heretical. Many act more like enemies than brethren.

Let’s also consider how often we have seen a “Christian” (even those in “ministry”) treat a brother or sister in a brutish or even evil manner and be completely oblivious to the fact that word of God, Christ Jesus, is living in that person? Such lack of fruition, wisdom, and such presentation of carnality appears to be the norm rather than the exception. It is easily observable that the body is completely without fruition and maturity. We can find little or no evidence that the Lord of the entire universe is, presumably, living in each of them. How shameful can this be?

This is also to say that we see no manifestation of the power of the Spirit of God as is so clearly demonstrated in the Bible. We are not observing the power which was set into the church for the edification of the saints and to empower them to be witnesses. They have a presumption and form of Godliness but deny the power thereof. This too is more than just sad.


Why?

The question that I was forced to take to the Lord was, obviously, "Why?" Why would Christians do such things and how could they be “Spirit-filled” and still act like undisciplined two year olds most of the time? How is it that the Spirit of the living God can indwell us and there be no power demonstrated to the world? Why is the body of Christ continually being beaten, overcome, and brought into bondage by an enemy who is already defeated? How can an army be empowered by the Holy Spirit and yet be consistently and completely defeated when the Bible teaches “liberty” in Christ Jesus?

There is only one thing that can account for such a contradiction in both common sense and scripture; “ignorance”. In fact, it all boils down to being “willingly ignorant”. “Willingly ignorant” is when you have access to “knowledge”, “wisdom”, and “understanding” (i.e. the Bible and access to God Himself and to revelation knowledge of the word of God by the Holy Spirit) and you do not avail yourself of it. Or you refuse to seek the truth thinking that the (established) doctrines of men are “the truth”.[3] In other words, you refuse to seek truth any longer thinking that you already have all of the “answers”. [4] This is what the Bible says:

Ø “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…” (Hosea 4:6)

It also says this:

Ø “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7)

Make note that the Bible will not require a person to do something that cannot be done. We must “get” or “obtain” wisdom from God’s word as we will not get it through osmosis merely by carrying around a leather-bound Bible. Wisdom is readily available for all but it must be sought after. God will not just “grant” it to us since it’s available through His word and because He has instructed us to obtain it. There is only one specific example where wisdom was gifted to someone. That, of course, was the case of King Solomon. It is error to excise the rest of the Bible and make a doctrine (of getting wisdom by “grant”) on this one example.

The “rejection” in Hosea 4:6 is a “default”. It is a non-seeking of the Kingdom of God and a lack of studying of the Word of God (i.e. a choice not to). It is reliance upon any other “source” instead (or no source at all; either of which produce the same results of the default status of being ignorant). That means that, when you reject “knowledge”, you reject God’s word (the source of all knowledge). God’s word and God are one (John 1:1) so the result is the rejecting of God. Hear again the word of the Lord:

Ø “Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst” (Isaiah 5:13 AV)

This "ignorance" is depriving the body of the fullness of the will of God and bringing them into a bondage/captivity of the triple yokes of “secularism”, “humanism”, and “religion”[5] (all three are “worldliness” because they are without “Godliness”). This condition precludes knowledge of the word of God which, in turn, precludes the blessings of the “New Covenant” and its abundant grace. The covenant promises which Christians have with God in Christ are made of no effect. This ignorance prohibits their coming into the knowledge of “the Truth”. A lack of knowledge of “the Truth” is also a lack of (Godly) wisdom since both are congruent with God’s word. Importantly, a lack of knowledge of “the Truth” is also a lack of knowledge of Christ Himself since He is “the Truth”. Not a least consideration is that a lack of knowledge of “the Truth” represents a lack of freedom as well.[6] There is no reasoning for this condition since all things pertaining to life and Godliness have been given us in abundance.[7]


Repentance from Ignorance

It is high time that we become aware of our status and repent. To “repent” means to “turn away from”. However, that also means that we must “turn to” the Lord. When we turn to the Lord we will find that there is no part of the truth of God’s word being hidden from us. We must seek the Kingdom of God with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our might, mind, and strength so that we are no longer steeped in ignorance, powerlessness, and even deception. Let’s say it this way: all truth, all wisdom, and all power are available in God’s word but we must diligently seek it through study, meditation, and prayer.[8] There are, therefore, no excuses for remaining ignorant and in captivity to the doctrines of men and demons. There is no reason to be defeated by Satan our adversary.

Remember this also: it is never a problem to be in error. God’s grace and forgiveness is sufficient to cover our frailty and our sin. It is, however, a problem to remain in error. Being in error is a problem because we are cheated out of the covenant promises in Christ and from ever arriving to the full will of the Lord. That also means the Lord’s people can suffer unnecessarily (and they surely do) for a lack of understanding such things as “spiritual warfare”. It means that that our adversary, Satan, is victorious though he was defeated 2,000 years ago. We can start where we are and begin the process of becoming manifestly “Christian” with the living word of God (the word of Truth) abiding in us. It is never too late to seek the truth of God’s word.

Though the body of Christ is in trouble, there yet remains hope. If we will humble ourselves and turn our hearts and minds toward God (and not the world), and if we will seek Him (and His Kingdom) first and turn from our worldliness (and our “religion”), we will grow up unto Him who is our Savior. Only then will we arrive at the knowledge of “the truth” and be “free indeed”.


[1] They would even force the acceptance of homosexuals in the pulpit!
[2] Other evils encompass a rabid desire to overthrow (from within) the governmental system we recognize today and replace it with socialism
[3] Assuming that, since they have been around for a lengthy time, they are correct and valid
[4] There is no inactivity in the Kingdom of God since inactivity is “darkness”. That’s why it is necessary to seek after the things of God and to “press” into the Kingdom (of Light). Therefore, inaction leads to the default of ignorance (darkness)
[5] A shocking amount of Protestant doctrine and practice is actually Catholic (an unclean mixture of paganism and Christianity) and it is also “humanistic” through such doctrines as “Calvinism”
[6] “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32)
[7] 2 Peter 1:3. But, remember; just because something is “given” doesn’t mean that is automatically “taken”
[8] There are no other qualifications for being able to receive knowledge and wisdom in the word

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