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Posts Tagged ‘help’

For a week or so some of the people I really enjoy reading and listening to entered into a conflict with one another.  I spent time confused, and also contacted both parties.  They are both busy people with busy online lives as well as having full time offline lives.  Both have been strong in discernment ministries.  I am not as confused, and have decided that there may possibly be error on the part of both individuals.  I refuse to “take sides” but instead am observing and figuring out what is going on.  I am not wise, and am not perfect.  I am sinful, a worm, a needy sinful worm.  I am just a regular mom and Christian out here.  My time is precious to me, and spending time reading and listening to radio shows to benefit my education on biblical issues and discernment is getting mucked up with this thing.  But that doesn’t matter, I can and should always look to Christ first, not to men and women.  You see, whatever wrong that is happening I can commit, I can easily do myself.  Even if there is not a sin involved, any thing I perceive or just imagine may be happening, I could do myself. 

It is my understanding that the parties have been in contact with one another.  It is also my understanding that there is not a resolution, it may mean one of the two is wrong, is disobedient to God in their actions.  It’s not about being loving because attempting to pull a brother or sister in Christ away from error is a deep love.  Speaking the truth is love.  I pray that even if I do not ever figure out who is right or wrong, that God will be glorified.  I will also hope that I do not sin in this situation any further than I already have in thought or deed. 

It hurts to see people who were once on the same side line up against each other.  I believe there is a good reason and God will allow the truth to prevail.  Christ will prevail.

On another note, a friend of mine has discovered she has breast cancer.  She’s young (33) and has 5 children.  She spent two nights last week talking to me…both nights were all nighters for me.  This doesn’t help me homeschool and get things done.  I don’t want to neglect my family, and yet know I needed to be there for her on the days I was able to.  She will find out more this week.  If you read this please pray for her.  She’s scared as her kids will likely end up in a public school though she has deep convictions she should homeschool.  She also has been told she’s bipolar, and has been taking medication.  She is repetative in this extreme situation, telling people the same thing over and over again.  I spent over 4 hours one night listening to her repeat the same story over and over again…maybe 2-3 times an hour.  She is not handling things in a way others can understand.  It’s hard to know what to do for her.  I pray, I listen, that is all I can do right now.

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I have come to a conclusion that there is a disconnect somewhere between those who are trained in Reformed theology and are highly educated and the general run of the mill Christian out here.  The disconnect has to do with the knowledge of church history and the study of historical figures such as Martin Luther, Spurgeon, etc.  I do not have a grasp on this church history.  I do not know TULIP, and need to actually read up on this.  I am a Christian who has really relied on sermon and bible study, that’s it.  I read my bible and listen in church.  I’ve been in bible study groups and been most happy when we actually have studied the bible rather than topics (around here we often say “stupid topics).  I have read a few books that have very little to do with church history.  I recall reading Josh McDowell’s book More Than a Carpenter, Cumby’s The Dangers of the Rainbow, Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth (yes, this scared me in my youth).  I read the Peretti books as well as the Lewis book, Screwtape Letters. Because of interest in popular themes, I read a book about one of the Columbine victims…was the title She Said Yes I also read the book about the McCoy babies and the one by Gracia Burnham about their captivity.   Because of my interest in cults, I have read books about witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, and Hank’s book  Christianity in Crisis.  I’ve gone through various bible study books on many New Testament letters.  I have also read through books of the bible straight through for personal study.  At times I’ve gone through devotionals such as My Utmost for His Highest.  Because of my interest in the music of Rich Mullins, I’ve read a book with his articles and after his death, a book about his life.  I have a Strong’s concordance, an English Greek interlinear and several bibles around the house I dig into.

I didn’t really have leaders steer me in the direction of any kind of church history, or of studies on theology.  It wasn’t even on my radar.  Consequently, I am very confused about what would be best to read, best to search out.  There was quite a curve on reading up on emergent, Purpose Driven error, and contemplative/missional.  I just feel so ignorant, and also wonder if I am going in the right direction.

I am quite concerned for my children, wanting to teach them correctly and help them avoid the pitfalls I have come across.  I would like them to have the correct knowledge, not just for knowledge sake but as a tool to help protect them and also help them proceed as Christians confidently knowing the truth. 

Sometimes I just think, we should be able to just know what we need to know from the bible?  Yes, that would be nice.  Scripture is sufficient.  However, we do need the body of Christ to meet with so we can serve each other and so we can hold each other accountable.  Bereans likely studied scripture and pointed out things to one another.  I believe that’s what the theologians have done through out.  They study the scriptures and then point things out to the body, always teaching and shepherding.  I just want to be sure what I am learning is right, and who to read about first?  An unstudied person like me can find myself using a dictionary just to go through some blog posts of those who study these theologians.  I am perplexed.

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I believe the church is splintering for a reason.  Something is up.  It’s not just fights about carpet color either, it’s about whether or not prayer styles being brought in to church are of eastern root and are biblical or not.  It’s about whether churches should follow plans of men like Warren, Hybels and if they should follow men like Pagitt or Maclaren.  Are authors like Dallas Willard leading us to a closer relationship with God or into works based faith and pagan practice?  It seems like there is a lot of fuzziness in Christianity, a lot of cirlces and rings that overlap.  Some churches are just beginning to use these authors, and preach these methods. 

 

In congregations everywhere on Sunday (and Saturday for some) warnings are popping up in the heads of believers.  Did the pastor just say that?  Really?  Is that what he meant?  What is this new program?  Who is this author?  How annoying to hear quote after quote.  How annoying, we’re using this term again this week, didn’t we have a sermon over this five weeks ago?  I sure wish we’d do a verse by verse study for a change.  Does this passage really mean what he says it means?  What do they mean I need to practice this way?  Is that works?  Did they forget something, like we need to repent? 

All over Christians are finding themselves lost in the church.  What is going on?  Why do we feel like we don’t belong anymore?  We cannot always put a finger on it, but something is wrong.

Then there is the other side.  Some of us have figured it out, and we float from church to church.  We are no longer trusting of men’s tongues.  We know that when you ask questions, things can be worded in a way that is meant to cause you to stop asking questions about the church and begin asking questions about yourself, your loyalty, your obedience, your willingness to change.  We find common ground online with people we do not know, or with distant friends who have gone through this and share a letter or email about their experiences.  Pastors have preached strange doctrines, new things have come up, or grandparents pushed out because they wouldn’t reach the youth.  Church changed quickly and when people asked what was up, and began to point out error, they were ushered out the door.  Some were encouraged to stay a while, but were told their decision to leave was good because they were no longer teachable, no longer with the plan.  “It’s your perception that matters really, so going to a new church where your family is comfortable is best.” 

So now, these people have to watch out for evil in their own approach.  Do they broadcast the problems to the world?  Do they share what they know in public?  Pride may creep in, and these folks have to watch for it.  It’s possible a reactionary church splinter may come off of this. 

It is easy to get trapped and tripped in a “we’re better than them.”  If *they* are telling lies, and are spreading false Christianity, we are still no better.  We are all sinners.  However, how do we approach this without sinning?  We must speak the truth in love.  We must share the Gospel, we must warn others of the dangers.  We must watch for evil that wants so much to make us ineffective.  The world is watching, the church is watching both apostate and true.  Our children are watching.  We need to proceed with wisdom.  Our mouths need to say what God would have us to say, no more, no less.  This is so hard.  If ever we needed to pray, to be close to our God, the time is now.  Draw near to Him, dear saints, draw near.

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