Me against all Christendom (who are you?)

In exhibit one, two and three of Me against all Christendom I wrote of those people of God who missed completely what God had spoken to them in the past and what they should have been living in today.  I ended yesterday talking about David and how he went against the political and religious leaders example along with that of the military.  I ended by showing that David’s brothers called him arrogant and wicked for thinking that he knew of and could do something better in the Lord.

So today’s questions is who are you?

Are you like Saul who has the high opinion of the congregation and people look to your leadership?  Do you look on at what I have been advocating here on The Gospel According to the Gospel and wonder what it is that I am saying?  Do you find it intriguing to say the least but not worth personalizing any changes, let alone risk the respect of the others?

Perhaps you are like the house of Levi and the house of Aaron.  You have the responsibility to lead the people spiritually, but it is done so more often as a job and not as a partnership with the Holy Spirit.  Does my blog hint at how things could be but you are not willing to risk what I repeat and defend out of scripture.  Are you so stuck in the rut that man has formed you in, that the real freedom in Christ seems like heresy?

Maybe you are those like the military serving those who leadership is respected in the congregation.  You are the faithful ones doing Sunday school, outreaches and visitations.  You never question what is fed the troops, because you believe those whom you respect are giving you the word God has intended for you.  To show individuality and discernment of scripture is like going AWOL.  You hang in there because you are committed to those you serve with.

Perhaps you are like David’s brothers, who only criticize what I defend as The Gospel According to the Gospel.  Maybe you think I am off my rocker.  Maybe somewhat arrogant but mostly mislead.  Not wicked in heart, just ignorant.  But certainly I contend for nothing that you would make any personal changes over.  Perhaps your goal is to bring me into the fold.

Or you could be like David.  You see with your own eyes the scriptures and hear with your own hart the Spirit and you are vastly aware that the congregation has gone off and served another gospel.  Well if you are like David too, how do we impact the people of God like David?  Are we still tending sheep getting groomed by God or are we now being called to the battle to show the congregation we have and know something better in God.

So who are you?

Me against all Christendom (exhibit three)

In the first two exhibits I have shown how an entire people, even the people of God, can miss what God has for them, including the gospel.  This means the average person to the political and spiritual leaders.  To lay out my third example, I need to do it a little differently.  I have to tell it in a story, a story that retails of a time I was sassing the great I Am.

I am one of those unstable people who can not tell if I am called or not.  The things I want to be and do for the Lord qualifies me as one who suffers from grandiosity.  This according to one of my former pastors.  Anyway in my former life I used to drive a commercial truck and was always gone.  Of course wrestling with a calling does not leave you alone while on the road, it seems to nag one even more.

In my frustration I started telling God he doesn’t need me.  I started to explain to Him that He doesn’t need me because He has this pastor and that pastor.  He doesn’t need me because He has this great man of God and that great man of God.  The further I went down the highway the more complete my list got.  Then I finally summed it up with a long drawn out sarcastic, “And you got Billy Graham!”

Now to exhibit three.

In an instance in my mind, an understanding came to me about the circumstances involved in David slaying Goliath. 

The one who should have led the people into battle that day failed to do so.  He of all people had the right from God to lead.  Instead of leading them into battle, he led them into cowardice.  He failed to believe and act on his Kingship that was ordained by God.

The army was the ones who were experienced in battle.  They had the history and the promises of God being with them in battle.  They knew that all other gods were false gods and could not deliver their enemies.  Yet they who God ordained through the Law of Moses to fight in battle forgot who it was they served and who it was that fought for them. 

The Levites and the House of Aaron should have been the first on the scene to speak the word of the Lord to go forth into battle.  They should have been the ones so close to the heart of the Lord they would known His heart and the obvious outcome of the battle that day.  But they too failed to understand who it was they served and like the Samaritans of long ago and the Samericans of today they literally worshiped what they did not know.

But there was this one boy who worshiped, and he knew who it was to whom he worshiped.  He understood the heart and mind of the Lord that day.  He understood the obvious outcome of the battle that day.  The whole nation of the people of God got it wrong that day, but not this one boy.  Nobody else who had a divine right to lead politically, spiritually or to fight that day had it right.  Their understanding did not allow for faith in God to work on that day.  But God found one who without a throne led that day.  One without a priestly garment or duties understood the heart of God that day.  One without battle experience showed the most courage that day.

Then a heard in my heart a very firm, “I will use who I want, so shut up!”  So I shut up and pondered what I had just experienced and learned.  But I did shut up.

So God has shown me how a whole nation, even a people of God can get it wrong.  God showed me that it is very possible for one to stand up against politics, religion and brute force and say you are wrong!  This is the right way!

Since this experience, I have always felt that the big deal that day wasn’t slaying one giant.  The big deal is standing up to a king and saying I will lead.  Standing up to the army and saying I will show courage.  And standing up to the priest and say, I know God.

We all know that David did a great thing that day, but we seem to not realize that he stepped on a lot of toes too.  Before he slew Goliath, what was it his brothers said to him?

When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”[1]

I know when I say, it is me against all Christendom, it makes me appear conceited too.  I know it makes my heart appear wickedly arrogant to say I know the better way, I know the correct way, walk this way.  I know some only think I come to pick a fight and argue semantics.  But time will tell.  Only God can show in time if I am correct or if I am only a fool.  But for now the scriptures show me I am no fool and I need to stand up and say to the people of God, “You do not understand the gospel you hope in, nor do you practice the faith you say you posses.”

So yes, for now it is me against all Christendom.

[1] I Samuel 17:28

Me against all Christendom (exhibit two)

It is almost unthinkable for us to realize that an entire people of God can miss what God has given to us.  That we can miss what He has spoken to us and instead go off on a tangent that the Lord never intended for us.  While doing this we will invoke God’s name and cloak ourselves in the authority of scripture as God’s messengers to the lost.  Obedience to the ordinances of these tangents will be required, if one is to be considered His.  Yet in all this we only chase a tangent and totally miss as a whole what God has spoken to us.

Again I advocate this is what we as the church have done.  I advocate we are on tangent that looks like the gospel, but instead is another gospel, which is no gospel at all.  But in order to get you to stop and consider this possibility I need to show you that this is not impossible for a people to do.  In exhibit one we looked at what Jesus taught.  In exhibit two we will look at the tangent of the people in Jesus’ day.

Jesus came into adulthood at a time when the leaders of God’s people had ordnances to work out righteousness instead of being imputed righteousness.  They had stayed away from the righteousness that God imputed to Abraham and his descendants for the tangent of righteousness through works.

And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:[1]

Who was preaching this in the days of Jesus?  What leaders of the people defended righteousness by faith as given to them through the covenant given to Abraham?  None, they as a whole had followed a tangent instead of the gospel announced to Abraham or spoken at Mt. Sinai as declared to us in the book of Hebrews.

Until John, where was the message of repentance unto the forgiveness of sins.  Instead the people had the message from their leaders that they need to earn there righteousness.  And they were not righteous until they lived like the leaders, in perfect self righteousness. 

Yet this message of repentance is not a new message. 

Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.  Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?[2]

This message was simply tossed to the wayside for another tangent.  No longer was it the gospel of repentance and turning from their transgressions to become holy, but the adherence to the letter of the Law to make them holy.  The people of God had abandoned the word of God for their tangent.

So blind were they in their tangent, they missed the messiah.  They the people of God who had the enlightenment, let slip from their presence the very King of Life because their knowledge of God did not include the knowledge of the gospel of the Law and the prophets.

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)  Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;[3]

I advocate we too have a knowledge of God today, but not a knowledge of God based on the Law and the prophets, nor based on our New Testament and what it says about the gospel given in Advance to Abraham.  We have been led astray by another gospel that we support from scripture, but our gospel ignores what scripture teaches about our gospel.

I have again given historical evidence that a people of God as a whole can get it wrong.  We can leave the gospel for what seems like the message of the gospel for another gospel.  Just as the number of adherences didn’t make the past tangents valid in God’s eyes, neither do the number of those who adhere to the tangent we follow today.

So today I say wake up church and follow the true gospel of our faith.  Give up your tangent, because as a whole the people of God have it wrong.  Seek out God while He yet may be found.  Then let it be us against all Christendom.

[1] Romans 4:11

[2] Ezekiel 18:30-31

[3] Romans 1:1-3

Me against all Christendom (exhibit one)

I asked if there was any evidence that a whole group of people, even God’s people, could be wrong. I hinted that Jesus taught of such a people. He not only used this example of His people being wrong once but twice. That is right, twice the people of God missed what was right there for them. Not because it was hidden, they just didn’t seek it. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed–only Naaman the Syrian.” Jesus gives us two different examples where the people of God missed completely what was available to them. They were so off in left field that what was meant for them went to the enemies of Israel. Not one widow received the benefit that the widow in Zarephath received. Jesus makes it clear there were many widows who could have been the one to receive from God supernaturally, but the people of God missed what was for them. Like wise the situation is true again with the lepers. Not one was healed in the days of Elisha from within Israel. The supernatural touch from God went to a foreigner. Yes this does show in a type how the gospel will go to the gentiles, but it also shows how a people of God can totally be all in the covenant, but totally be outside of what God would have for them. No body mentioned above apparently sought out God through these prophets. So here we are today and we like them are of the covenant and I contend we, like them, are missing what God has intended for us. We not only miss the promises of His supernatural power moving in us, we miss the very gospel. You may say I am crazy, but at least I know that the people of God with all their promises and covenants and grace can still miss as a people what God has for them. So I am not without some ground to stand on when I say I stand alone and say Christendom has it wrong.

Me against all Christendom (Calling you)

I am in the oddest of places.  I have found faith in God by attending a local church and in the past been involved in several churches.  Not only was I involved in Sunday school and dramas, I was a youth pastor for several years as well.  But in all of this, I find that I do not agree with the gospel the church sells to people.  What puts me in the oddest of places is, I was drawn to God with the church gospel.  I was not drawn to God by what I read in my bible. 

It isn’t that the gospel I find in my bible would not draw me to the Lord, for certainly it would and probably more sincerely.  It is simply a matter of a fact that I never was exposed to the gospel I read.

My blog “The Gospel According to the Gospel” is dedicated to presenting the gospel I find in scripture, defending it and debunking the gospel of the church.  This however puts me up against all of Christendom.  It is literally me against all Christianity.  I as a small voice in a vast arena of voices am trying to change the mindset of the church on what our gospel is.

Is it that I am crazy for thinking that I am right and the rest of Christendom is wrong?  Do I suffer from a messiah complex and try to draw people away?  Is there any bases in scripture for a whole group of people to get something all wrong?  Is there any bases in scripture for all the chosen people of God to miss something, or does scripture show constantly that the body of God’s chosen people always understands, always perceives all things?  Does scripture support mob ideology for the standard of truth or does it support truth?

Even Jesus taught that the people of God as a whole can be totally out in left field, missing what could have been theirs.  Not missing what could have been theirs because it was hidden, but missing what was right in front of their faces.  I too contend that the church misses what should be right in front of our faces, and this being our gospel.  The church proclaims it is the vehicle of the gospel and I contend it is the vehicle of another gospel.  So am I crazy or am I standing up and doing something that will make me distinct from a whole group of people that missed what was right in front of their faces.

Can you think of a whole group of people, that Jesus taught about, who got it all wrong?  Would you want to have been one of the people who got it right?  Even if you were the only one?  If you want to be one of the ones who gets it right, study “The Gospel According to the Gospel”

My Wittenberg door

Since the last couple of post have been not to friendly towards the local church, I think it is important that I list what I see as not only issues that arise from there being no perfect church.  But what I would call a completely different gospel.  So just as Luther posted his doctrinal theses on the Wittenberg door, so do I on this Wittenberg post.

  1. We say faith is what I posses, meaning salvation and adoption.  Instead of what it is, a hope.
  2. We say Christ came to credit us righteousness and forsake the covenant God gave Abraham when he was credited righteousness.
  3. We ignore that we were included into this righteousness given to Abraham through Christ.  Instead we assume we are given credited righteousness outside of the covenant given to Abraham.
  4. We say we find shadows of our gospel in the Old Testament, when the New Testament declares the Old Testament is our gospel.
  5. We say once saved always saved and yet there is no example in scripture of a man where he is able to break covenant with God and have God still embrace him.  Nor has any prophet or apostle spoke this.  We instead formulate this.
  6. We forsake the context of corporate meetings as taught by Paul.  That those who speak in tongues, interpret, prophesy or have a word of knowledge speak at the gathering of believers.  Instead we replace this with the office of the pastor.
  7. We pass out salvation at the altar as if we have that power, when scripture teaches that we will receive the end of our faith when Christ returns.
  8. We profess that God calls things that are not as if they were but tell Him not in our gospel when our hope being spoken of as here and now is taken literally.
  9. We forsake the gifts that God has determined for us that would bring about the manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
  10. We preach a gospel of prosperity and blessing instead of dying to self.
  11. We brag about our contemporary worship and ignore the fact that the above points put us in conflict with scripture, yet we refuse to understand that we are the one who worship in vain because we follow men rather than God.
  12. We consider ourselves a light to the lost, yet we refuse to follow what we are taught.
  13. We put up with all kinds of offense, abuses and those who wish to manipulate us because we believe we do not have a place to stand up for our gospel.
  14. We put up with all kinds of offenses , abuses and those who wish to manipulate us because we do not understand what our gospel is.
  15. We have forsaken Christ as the head of the body and replaced Him with the office of the pastor who tells the other offices at what time and at what capacity they may be able to use their gifts so that the church can be brought into complete maturity.
  16. We abuse the body because we sideline all spiritual gifts and offices to be spoon fed.

Should I praise the church because we still will say people come to God through it?  Come to what, we make them Samericans who worship what they do not know.  This blog is dedicated to the defense of the gospel as we have had it passed down to us by those whose writings we read, not what we naturally assume is the gospel.  This blog is a defense of the spiritual fellowship we see explained in scripture and not what we naturally assume is scriptural.

There are many good Samericans in churches who need people to teach and demonstrate what we have in our gospel even in the face of opposition.  But this does not mean that we have to cow tow to the churches or give place for their misguided efforts by saying, “There is no perfect church.”

How healthy is sick?

Is the church just a little bit in error in some of its application of scripture, but for the most part healthy?  Is the church mostly doing good, even though it has some faults?  Should we continue the mantra of apathy and lack of accountability by saying, there is no perfect church.

Do we realize that if the early church held our modern view we would not have many letters we now enjoy in our New Testament?  Many of the letters deal with the imperfections in the church.  When these letters address sin in the church, other gospels, fights, quarrels and those who push themselves out to be in front, their authors believed differently than we do today.

They didn’t just say, “Oh well there is still some good being done in the church.”  Then leave it at that, as if that is an excuse to live and let live.  Do we not have the eyes to see the spiritual battle to keep the imperfect church pure and on task when we read our scriptures?  How is it we have lost this call to arms today.  What we only think we put on the armor of God for our wee little personal struggles?  Do we belong to the army of God so we can excuse spiritual imperfections and perfect defection?

In the natural do we want to go the restaurant that has been shut down by the health inspector because of fly, maggots, rodents and open sores and dirty hands?  Would it become ok if I made the point that people still get fed there?  No it doesn’t!

How about the physician who is in court for many a malpractice suit?  Is it acceptable to encourage people to go to him for care?  Would it become ok if I made the point that people are getting the care they need to become whole there?  No it does not!

Truly scripture is true of us believers.

“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.[1]

We will never put up with in the natural what we excuse in the spiritual.  We are more shrewd with the things of this world then the things that matter for eternity.  If the master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness, how much do you think He will commend us the people of the light, who lack all shrewdness for the kingdom of light? 

We will fight for our kids, we will fight for our wives and husbands, we will fight for our freedoms and liberties, but we play kick the can with the devil when it comes to fighting for what is really important in the church.

And in all this we seek God.  In all this we ask for His Holy Spirit and His power.  We walk around scratching our heads, asking why He has not given Himself to us like He has the early church.  Hint, the early church was shrewd enough to write letters to the, no church is perfect crowd, and never let them forget who it was they served and needed to obey.  We can’t even get past what the dishonest manager was commended for, and we want Him to trust us with His Holy Spirit?  If we will not do the difficult, what in the world do we need the Holy Spirit for?  If we will not fight for God’s word, our plumb line, on the home front, what right do we have to ask for the Holy Spirit to fight in foreign wars?  Are we now going to cry out to God we have a burning desire to save the lost, only to bring them to what we will not defend.  And we think we do not grieve the Holy Spirit while cry out for more of him.  Hypocrites us all!

[1] Luke 16:8