Tuesday, October 16, 2007
"Emerging, splurging, regurging" it's a "mystery" my friends.
I had a phone conversation yesterday with a friend.
It's was regarding something that happened on one of our favorite PBS shows "Masterpiece Theatre."
I LOVE Masterpiece Theatre...for the most part that is.
Sometimes they might have a series on that I don't like so I don't watch it. No big deal.
The good thing is that their series only last a few shows then it is over and something new starts up and this last one "The Inspector Linley Series"
has been superb.
This last show the other night being the cherry on top of the icing.
Great job to the writer "Elizabeth George," who just happens to be an American WHO writes about Brits!!!!
Well what happened Sunday night was totally scandalous, and so my friend and I HAD to review the details via telephone Monday and go over what had happened because we weren't prepared for it.
I know this sounds utterly mad, but we are "into it" and have been for show after show of this "Inspector Lynley Series."
Someone got killed last night that we didn't expect to get killed.
There was a plot, then a twist to that.
I had it figured out.....so I thought, then it twisted again....a twist here a twist there.....then a twist of fate and instantly, Helen was shot accidentally by the Bosnian girl and she was forever dead.
I was shocked as was my friend. We couldn't believe they would kill her off like that. I mean Lynley and Helen had just gotten back together after Helen's tragic miscarriage.
They showed her funeral. It really is over for Helen now. She is not to be seen and loved no more by Lynley or US the viewers.
After this discussion my friend and I got into an odd "Church" discussion.
Which we sometimes do because we are both believers and this area amongst others comes up from time to time.
This day some subject came up and from there it threaded into this interesting conversation.
This woman......she's been like a "Mother and a Mentor" to me for years and we have a deep relationship from way back and can always speak the truth to one another. Even if she's on one page on something and me on another with an issue or what have you. We can do this because we can, do, and have for years.
We sharpen our swords this way. It's totally safe too.
At one point my friend says to me totally innocently...."I think all the churches are merging belief wise".....ugh....that made me sick because I believe that as well.
And not in a good way.
I then had this to say to her....."you have just made a very PROFOUND and PROPHETIC statement.
"You are correct......the churches are merging belief wise...laying down things they've held to for the sake of peace and unity with one another and we are being set up for the ONE WORLD CHURCH and the church world is preparing to fall right into the hands of the Anti Christ."
She was dead silent after I said that. Because she knows the bible and she knows prophecy, I mean that part of it is a "no brainer" and we both know what is going to happen. The "One World Church" has got to emerge. I mean arise
We have been led by leaders into all kinds of stuff. OR "allowed" by them to go down the trodden pathways to compromise.
It's our faults really in many ways.
Israel always "wanted a King." So do we.
We are the same way. So off we go.....down the brazen trail.
Well hopefully not all of us.
This is why I do what I do when writing sometimes. Not always but sometimes. I want to prompt people to be on guard. I BEG you to study. So you can become "Bereans" basically in knowledge.
As in 2 Timothy 2:15"
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." NAS
I'm not speaking in relationship with joining a Berean movement or church.
I'm talking about personal Bible study.
Study....like in Acts 17:11.
This is going to be so important in the days ahead.
We are "emerging" they say...which really gives me a visual of something like the thing that popped out of that persons stomach during that horrible movie about Aliens. That thing "emerged" out of that persons body.
Did it not? Gross.
I sort of feel that way about the "emerging church".......
can someone explain "WHAT" we are exactly emerging out of. Imean was it ALL so bad. Somethings I can understand. I think we SHOULD always stay "culturally current." But I have read a ton of books and articles on it......the emerging situation.
It's not working for me totally. I'm taking that to be a good thing really.
We are "splurging"......spending gizillions of dollars on the most craziest of things to enlarge our churches or to "keep" our people. To spread our message....whatever. This money "tank" blows my mind especially when I see and hear of the great financial wastes that take place. I can't deal with it.
A recent known Christian person who bought 39 THOUSAND dollars PLUS worth of clothing at "Chicos" and then takes it off their taxes because "they wore it on TV one time" so it's a "write off." Chico's wasn't the only place she bought at.
God have mercy. People are starving all over the world and you must have so many clothes? Stop it.
It's a well known fact that most people only wear 20% of what they own in their closet.
My husband was reading a "new" book we had just purchased.....new to us but it was "used" I might add....there's a new term...used. Buy vintage. It doesn't have to be new all the time does it?
The book was even a tad bent up and beat up but I got it off of Amazon for a great price, so Don was reading this book while basking or "roasting" I should say in my husbands case......at the pool this past weekend while we were away resting.
This book was interesting it's.."Rethinking the Wineskin."
It's not about wine my friends......it's about what holds the wine. The church.
Think with me here......think.
The writer mentions in this book how much money huge churches and denoms, like in "denominations" ...spend....and how much money could be saved by them to further the kingdom if they didn't have such huge buildings and ginourmous complexes, with landscaping and sprinklers and white Christmas tree lights and fountains that.....oh sorry that was me.
So many in our world just need clean drinking water. Sadly.
Anyway....think ......staffs, think power bills, think flushing toilets and sewer overages.....think...A/C bills and cell phone bills and custom jewelry and artwork and figurines and carpets and oh, I can't even begin to think of it all..sigh.
The thought is this... "save money by not having big church structures so we can "further the kingdom." What IF we broke it down and made it smaller? I am NOT against churches. Not at all. It is scriptural to be in a "fellowship" of some sort of another.
I'm not saying not to reach people, because we MUST!
What I AM saying is....."break it down" and make the complexes smaller. They don't have to be Empires.
Have more of them. More worship centers. Even in homes. Hummm......wow that is way too "First New Testament." I guess. I mean it's not even the building in and of it's self....it's what the building "becomes."
I have seen as we all what happens when men build such things, colleges, universities, ministry complexes and so many time than not, such pride comes in and overtakes them or the people there. I do not ever want to see this happen to any man or woman of God. We have to stay humble no matter what size of group we are or become. We are just people.
I JUST knew I was in trouble the minute I started reading that Ron Sider article on "Poverty" in that old Discipleship Journal mag I brought with me to the pool.
I should have stayed with the very "glossy" cake with orange and brown frosting on the cover "Country Living" magazine I had brought along I guess. That thing I read through very quickly. No pain involved. I didn't have to ponder and grieve over it like I did like the D.J. magazine....ugh. Well, I sort of grieved that I didn't have a piece of that lovely on the cake with me to eat at the pool.
Some friends of ours we know gave us a personally "signed copy" of "Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger" book about 15 years ago so I already know what he's all about.
This man will "rock your Christan world" if you let him.
Regurging as in regurgitating. We need to be careful. That's my concern about what's going on with the "blending and merging our beliefs" thing.
That's where we find ourselves. That's what is accepted. It is sooo easy. I understand how it happens. It's the being in the middle of the road that gets a person into trouble really. IF your in one lane or the other. Your safer.
Well you need to "Pick the correct lane" though.
Because if your not lukewarm, then your hot.
Hot isn't exactly regarded as a great thing in our culture either.
For all the wrong reasons.
If your hot, your not "in" or "cool."
If your hot, then your legalistic. If your hot....your negative. If your hot then you are "old." If your hot then your heart may break with the things that break God's heart. If your hot then your a freak basically.
Cold? No one wants to be "cold" of course. I mean what's the point? Why even try. You don't go to anything or stand for anything and you don't care about much other than yourself and your own life.
So why care if your cold right? I don't see many "cold Christians" out there. I mean do you?? Cold hearted....cold blooded, etc. It doesn't even fit.
Lukewarm though....that is a glove we can all slide on our hand, or put our feet into like a pair of slippers. Everyone can do it. It's widely accepted. It's not controversial. It's going on everywhere. You can smile and do it.
Having a "form of Godliness, but DENYING the 'power.'"
I've seen it....I've heard it, so have you....and honestly..... I've lived it from time to time. Not proud of that. But why should I lie" I mean why should any one of us lie.
I'm thinking the Father isn't to thrilled with it either. I mean He says He isn't and that when we do it.....it says "who your Daddy is." Not good.
If we were "real"...we could help each other through the tough times and the dry times and whatever times there are in your or anyone elses lives.
But we can't be real. We can't be weak. We MUST be "on top of the world" all the time....
Have to have our makeup perfect, have a barbie doll figure.....wear the most fashionable clothing of the moment, have the cutest kids in school, have the most manicured yards...and toes...be debt free, have a Masters in Theology, play piano and have kids dancing in the Nutcracker this year..so on and so forth.
It's nearly impossible. Unrealistic. Tragic even.
Many of us are screaming for reality. There must be more.
This is real life right here........
"I fail...you fail." Life is not always grand and I have crows feet forming around my eyes.
You may have gray hair...someone else has a hole in her shoes and it's the best she has. Someone else has only $4.00 in their wallet.
We do the best with what we have. It's the "When life gives you lemons thing." I know many people that have done it and I appreciate that.
I don't want to have cosmetic eye surgery.
You know? Am I so weird about not wanting to go there? Personally I don't want a laser or a knife up in that zone.....especially IF I have to pay for it.
Not when those bucks could be going into the Kingdom.
Besides what I need is liposuction. HA! Just joking...well not really but about having surgery for that.....no joking. I wouldn't do it.
I only want surgery on my heart. That operation is free and it's available to all...you can just call for it and have it done right away too. That's the great thing.
Kids are going through private pain.
A teenager may be pregnant. Did you know that most teens would RATHER suffer going though a "one time abortion" than go through nine months of shame from their peers and family. I mean they won't even give the child away. They just get it over with. Think on that one.
Others just can't get the grades, or they lost their friends because of "stands" they took in moral areas. Other's lost their morals.
Maybe another persons husband left them, maybe they lost their house because of debt. A wife is cheating on her husband. Maybe someone can't find a job. Maybe their spouse suffers from depression.
Possibly you have a health issue.
I can relate.
My life and my world is not perfect by no means yet I am rich and I am healthy compared to many, many. How can we not say we are blessed in the first place?
Yet, standing and watching this emerging church situation "blend" and "merge" into all faiths of all sorts and sizes and lay down their arms and their creeds and morals, and belief systems frankly scares me.
I totally love UNITY..I always have..I LOVE to see the "Kingdom" when it works together..but NOT at "all costs."
We need to be wise.
What ever happened to men and women with the "Crown of wisdom" upon their heads in our churches?? It's dyed black now I think. Hey, I'm not against hair dye, I do it myself....well, I do highlights that is, but what I'm saying is....
"where are the wise men and wise women of the house??"
It's not cool anymore to get old. We cast the "old ones" to the side and go with the youth and zeal.
We just can't get old or look it at least.. We can't have convictions. We must cover our sins and we must dress them up and we must put on the biggest smile you will ever see on TV and you must have a nice outlook.
You can't say this..."I believe in personal Holiness" without someone thinking your a nutburger.
God forbid you are a realist.
I think we have bought a lie possibly. We must face the future, understand what lies before us and see what we can change with God's help.
We will need great "Grace" to get us through and carry us in this season.
The Inspector Lynley Mysteries are a piece of cake to figure out compared to what's happening in the church world right now.
The interesting thing is....we have a book to tell us the ending of what will happen in "Christendom." We should read it.
That always helps before a test doesn't it? To read the book with not only the answers in it...but with the final outcome.
Whew....No surprise endings in God's word.
Stay HOT or become hot or find how to get hot.
Because WE WIN!