Weekly Sabbath Survey
Our Faith Part 1 — 10-31-2015
At the turn of the Twentieth Century America’s leading newspapers addressed the following question to many notable people: What, in your opinion, is the chief danger, social or political, that confronts the coming century? General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, was invited to respond. He replied
I consider the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be:
1. Religion without the Holy Spirit 4. Salvation without regeneration (being Born Again)
2. Christianity without Christ 5. Politics without God
3. Forgiveness without repentance 6. Heaven without Hell
We might ask today, what is the state of our faith in the 21st Century? How do we stack up in those six problem areas Booth addressed? Bearing in mind that my opinions on certain matters of the Christian Faith are not food for the faint of heart, I offer the following commentary:
Religion without the Holy Spirit. Many years ago Gentile Christianity settled itself into a ‘top heavy’ style of leadership that eventually became Pastor’s One Man Show. When a situation within God’s people goes so off the rails, it grieves the Holy Spirit and causes Him to withdraw. Many churches today (and for hundreds of years) have “Ichabod” written over their door and don’t even know it. If any of my readers think Ichabod is a character in American literature who appears on October 31st for “Hell’s Day” please read I Samuel Chapter 4. You will learn this word is not just someone’s name, but a description of the people of God. The “chabod” part means “the weight or mantel of God’s glory; His presence.” The “I” part means “no or not or without”. We say “the glory of God has departed.” The Hebrew poses it as a question, “Why is the glory/presence gone?” God’s glory, His presence, is expressed to humanity by His Holy Spirit, who is the power source of The Church. Most churches and many individual Christians operate like an appliance that isn’t plugged in to the electricity. No Holy Spirit. No power. Lots of man power. No God power.
Christianity without Christ. This would be the same Gentile mentality not understanding “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.” All that slaying and bleeding is just too barbaric for us modern Believers. We’re all dressed up real nice, greeting each other friendly like civilized people do, thinking we are square with God because we go to the right building on Sunday. We have a New Testament bloodless religion, not that Old Testament thing. God had a plan, but it is too primitive and antiquated for today. However, Jesus was a New Testament man. Rejected by the leadership of His people (the Ministerial Alliance), His death at the hands of Roman soldiers was as bloody as it gets. It was wiping out the sins of THE WORLD! But for many 21st Century Christians, He’s not a real SAVIOR who redeemed mankind. He is a man who died a long time ago. (But not before doing away with Judaism and starting the Christian Church.) He is an insipid weakling, an historical figure with sad eyes in those Renaissance paintings. Very few of us today are still singing “There’s power in blood” or “The Old Rugged Cross.”
Forgiveness without repentance. So, here we are, all forgiven for reasons we don’t quite understand. We just know God is a nice God and He won’t send us to Hell. So, with no humility, no admission of guilt nor anguish for sin. No Spirit. No Blood. No Cross. No Born Again nonsense. No Repentance. No Weeping. And—-No Salvation! It is our pride, pure and simple. The opposite of humility is PRIDE. It is insane, but we actually believe that we are SO GOOD that we don’t need any fixing or molding or changing. Once we stopped drinking, beating our wife and kids, cheating on our husband, or stealing from the cash drawer at work, we think we are great. We don’t want to delve into matters of an unrepentant heart, or a wicked thought life. What we think/feel that nobody else knows about is private! BUT . . . it is a straight path, a narrow gate that leads to righteousness, and only a few will find it. (Jesus said that.) People who are fat, dumb and happy in their sin will not get in. (Please understand, I am NOT talking about being overweight, although many of us [including me] could stand to drop a few lbs.)
Part Two — next week.
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Forward any WSS you feel has merit. (without changes, please) Copyright May 2015
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