In the Minority

Weekly Sabbath  Survey
In the Minority   —  9-21-13
Years ago,  when I first started learning to choose God’s will for my life, I quickly became  someone very different than the average Christian you might meet around  town. Having His will instead of mine, as in “not my will, but Thine be done,”  opened my eyes to many things. I began to have discernment and to notice  things others did not. Together with my new found friends of that time, I  was swimming against the current of accepted Christian opinion in various areas  of thought. I was in the minority.
Even as I notice the past few years all the books and articles being  written on some of the same subjects or observations in my long ago sermons, I  see that there is no real dent being made in the conventional mainstream of  Christian thought. What the majority does and believes is pretty much the same  pattern developed many centuries ago. There have been fervent groups  that returned to some of the ways of the First Century Church, but they have  always been in the minority, outnumbered by the ones who keep to the time  honored traditions, maintaining status quo. The reformers come and go,  but the institutional church remains.
Maybe you are one of those in the minority. You might feel we aren’t going  far enough and deep enough. You wonder if we should be moving on past the “feel  good” meetings we hold, and get into serious soul searching and letting The  Potter put us on His wheel. You think we should be devouring the written Word of  God like food, instead of eating ourselves into a Maalox moment at every  fellowship dinner. Or, you could be one of those traditionalists who is going  along with the program, but have been feeling something empty in the responsive  readings, rehearsed choir special, and/or the sermons with four points and  a conclusion, not longer than 20-30 minutes. You are beginning to ask  yourself (like I did back when) “Is this all there is?”
A couple of years ago, I read an article written by an in-the-minority  preacher in Florida. I was encouraged and cheered by what he wrote, including  this: God has never used a majority to achieve anything substantive or  revolutionary. It has always been a tireless, committed and courageous remnant  that He has used to accomplish things history will consider noteworthy and  lasting.
An e-mail friend of mine put it this way: There is a sense of  loneliness and isolation that all true Saints feel, as their lives are being  sacrificed one inch at a time, without the approval and encouragement of the  masses in the camp. Jesus was abandoned by all His friends in His greatest hour  of need, and suffered outside the gates of the Holy City of Jerusalem. We are  told to follow Him into that circumstance outside the camp and not stay where  the crowds are huge and the applause and approval are constant.”
“The Camp” would be the place we identify with — our Christian Comfort  Zone. Abraham was the first who left his place of comfort to go out into the  unknown at God’s direction. Over the years I have come to know that it’s OK in  Jesus to be in a small minority. I understand the ‘remnant’ situation, and how  God uses those He has called to graze away from the herd. I am more  comfortable away from the norm rather than with it.
I still interact with the ‘normal’ Christians. I have not ‘forsaken  the assembling together” with other Believers, but I believe that  “church” occurs wherever “two or three are gathered together” in the name  of Jesus. I accept that a lot of other people don’t see it that  way. But to anyone who is remotely interested, I will always be hinting  broadly at the option to come into that over-the-top radical kind of  discipleship where you grab up your cross and haul off to die with Jesus. 
Jesus suffered outside the City gate so that He might  sanctify the people with His own blood. Let us then go forth to Him outside  the camp, bearing His shame.  Hebrews 13:12-13

Charlene  Reams Manning
Believer  in the Lord Jesus Messiah
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