Saturday, May 8, 2010

Real M'n'C - V

The second book in line on FishHawk Droppings is [The Minister & The Crackerhead], and it is a fictitious account of an encounter between a more devoutly religious person (The Minister) and myself (The Crackerhead), based upon real events.  This series will be just like it—only these encounters will be real.  Granted, some of the text will have been changed in an effort to protect both the innocent and the guilty, but none of that will change anything about what was being conveyed.  No, none of this is meant to cast aspersions towards anyone, nor to make myself good.  In fact, be assured that I have been made all too painfully aware of the fact that most will not get the point of any of this.  For only those who have been allowed and enabled to understand can, but just how many who can will want to?  Therefore, if you have a question or an observation, please speak up—even if you sincerely believe that I may very well be one of Satan’s worst.

The Crackerhead: How does [Galatians 5:16-25] compare with [Romans 7:14-8:11]?

Minister A: Galatians 5:16-25 describes the contrast between the fruits of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit.  Paul is exhorting the Galatians here to Walk by the Spirit instead of walking according to the Flesh.  The reason he is doing this is to show how trying to please God with works of the flesh will never work and will only produce sin.  The Galatians were being subdued by Judiazers who were teaching them that to be true Christians they had to become Jews even though they were Gentiles.
Romans 7:14-8:11 starts out with Paul explaining his spiritual condition before he was saved.  It also describes what we are all like when we walk according to the flesh. He describes the war between the Spirit and our flesh and how it is impossible to win this war in the flesh.  Then in chapter 8 Paul tells us about life in the Spirit which is possible for us because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as a man.  Verses 5-8 actually match up very well with Galatians 5:16-25.  All believers are spiritually alive, but we don’t all walk according to the Spirit.  The genuine believer will not stay that way though.

Minister B: The Crackerhead is back?  He didn’t know the difference between Gal. 5 and Rom. 7?  Wow, all I can say is just…………………….wow.

Minister A: Just as God draws people to Christ for salvation, He also draws Christians to repent, to draw near unto Him for cleansing, spiritual growth, and direction.  The key to this is humility.  God is working in the lives of all who know Him to humble them through all sorts of means.  Why?  Our salvation gave us eternal life and we are new creations, but we are fleshly, selfish, and prideful along with being uneducated about God and His ways.  We don’t know that we can’t repent by will power alone.  We don’t know that the commands to die to self, take up our crosses, and follow Jesus are requirements instead of optional.  Therefore, God has to humble us.  When we reach the end of ourselves we are ready to walk closer with Him.  God draws near to the humble for cleansing and spiritual healing, but He shuns the proud.

The Crackerhead: What is the purpose of this cleansing?  For if all believers are justified in the sight of our Heavenly Father—why is there a need for personal Holiness?

Minister C: “There are some clusters of Eshcol’s vine which we shall not be able to gather till we enter heaven; but this is a bough which runneth over the wall.”
Yes and amen.  Sadly this kind of experiential devotion to Christ, one that tastes of His goodness and divinity, is being dismantled and abandoned.  How many believers today ever read the Word alone and have tears streaming down their cheeks just because the Spirit has revealed things that they cannot even fully speak?  How many have been listening to someone preach on the radio and almost had to pull over before they crashed?
Devotion today has been distilled into just thoughts.  Listen to meaningless discussions about issues and viewpoints and all the rest, but how often do our ears hear and our mouths speak of the cross?  The cross is being gently and not so gently ushered out of Christianity.
This difficult and narrow path also is wide and expansive in its treasure.  To gain Christ is not just a great treasure, it is everything.  And when we walk by faith through the narrow gate we find an eternity of depth and length and height and width that can never be consumed.  And while deceived men compare notes about giants and grasshoppers, we can feast on the milk and honey of Christ Himself.
I grow weary of all the new talk about everything, we as believers must never be so consumed with chasing the fowls that as Abram did we leave the sacrifice which will always be our very life.
I stand this morning before an all holy and all powerful God completely justified in Christ.  And it was none of me, and yet I feel such a compulsion to love, serve, and worship Him.  Not that I should add to me or my salvation, and not that I would have anything about which to boast, but somehow and someway the Holy Spirit would sanctify my life and glorify my Eternal Lord and Savior with my poor deeds.  The entire path of being His follower is a glory about which only someone who has the Spirit can understand.
And even then we can really understand that we can never fully understand and that is a truth that is unspeakable and full of glory.  I apologize for such a long comment, but your post and Spurgeon’s words stirred up the Spirit within me and I could not keep silent.  God forbid the rocks ever take the place of my lips!!

Minister A: My goodness, Crackerhead, do you ever read the Bible?  We are commanded continually all through it to live lives devoted to God to live Holy and separate from the World as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God.
The cleansing at salvation is a declaration.  However, we still have our flesh.  God uses our struggle with the flesh to build our faith and sanctify us.  So, yes, we must pursue personal holiness.

Minister C: Crackerhead, What do you mean “need”?  If there is not a “desire” to please Him you do not know Him.  I do not want to live for Christ because I NEED to, it’s the LOVE OF CHRIST that COMPELS me!!  And what a privilege it is too!!!!!

Minister B: Good answers from both of you, Ministers A and C.  I hope Crackerhead realizes that the Lord will hold him accountable for what he is doing.  Play now, pay later.

Minister A:  Amen and thank you, Minister B!

Minister D: Crackerhead, why would Paul, John, Peter… write to the ‘elect’, the body of Christ, about anything based on your question?  For fun?  For power?
NO…they wrote them to admonish, rebuke, exhort, guide and to clear up ANY deception that if you say you know Him, but don’t keep His commands, the Truth (Holy Spirit) isn’t “IN” you and you are a LIAR.
Reflect on where the spirit of this desire to ‘just’ be ‘justified’ and continue on in rebellion comes from (sin nature), rebellion from His known will of walking blameless and in garments unspotted.
If someone ‘just’ desires to be ’saved’, and still desires to walk in sin…they haven’t spiritually drank the very blood of the Perfect One, because if they had…they would not any longer wish to trample His perfect blood under foot of their sin.
Many desired things from Jesus, but many only wanted what He could give and never wanted to give anything to Him because they haven’t been born from above….they were ‘just’ simply the same old man with the same old sinful, selfish desires.
No one will walk ( a continue ) according to the flesh and trample Him willingly if they know Him.

Minister A: Amen, Minister D!!

Minister E: Crackerhead’s response makes me wonder if he listens to the teachings of Joseph Prince.
And about repentance, it reminds me of a marriage.  When I got married that was it, I was married.  I couldn’t get more married if I did nice things for my husband and I didn’t become less married if I was mean.  My marriage was a one time event.
But in that marriage I have the honor of getting to know my husband so that I might love him more and more.
Love is an action word.  It means that I find out what he likes and doesn’t like and those things that he doesn’t like, when I do them and find out he doesn’t like them I turn from them and pursue what does please him.
It is an honor and a joy.
I do not please him so that I might be more married that is not possible, I please him so that my life gives evidence that I love him.
But in my walk with the Lord I cannot repent if I don’t recognize it as sin, and if I do and I repent and ‘take off” the sin I need to know what to “put on”.
[Colossians 3:9] Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
So in my desire to love the Lord I do what scripture says… I find out what pleases Him and I make it my goal to please Him. This is my hearts desire since the Holy Spirit resides in me!
[Ephesians 5:10] and find out what pleases the Lord.
[2 Corinthians 5:9] So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
I love the picture of a servants heart in this verse… I want my life to reflect this also….
[2 Samuel 15:21] But Ittai replied to the king, “As surely as the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be.”
Love is humility in action.  It is not about my desires it is about God desires!  I am honored to be His servant, his friend and his child!
This makes sense to those who have the Spirit and it is foolishness to those who don’t.
This Blog’s Purpose is to be Spiritual Food for the Suffering Church.  It is not designed to be tasty to those who are not in the “church.”  It is obvious!
For those of us who like what’s on the menu we say, Thank you Minister A.  We appreciate your faithfulness to stick to the menu!
Praise God.

Minister F: Earlier, Minister B said, “Play now, pay later.”  I may be taking this out of context but …. Christ paid it all.  Past Present and Future sins.  We are all works in process.  Paul says I do what I shouldn’t and I don’t do what I should (Romans somewhere).
In view of what Christ did for us we yearn to be obedient and for fellowship with him.  In that context do we struggle against our sin.  We have no indication of the prostitute that washed Jesus’ feet going on to live a perfect life.
Sorry, I have a use of words issue.  My problem not yours.

Minister G: Minister A, to what degree do you believe that you are responsible for your own sanctification?

Minister A: Amen and thank you, Minister E!
Minister G, our sanctification is synergistic.  We cooperate with God in His plan and work in sanctifying (removing us from sin) us.  We are commanded to be holy, to be obedient to God, etc.  As we do this, God works out our circumstances so that we must exercise our faith in order to be obedient to Him.  That is our part.

The Crackerhead: Unto the extent of my understanding, there are two basic purposes for personal Holiness, and they both have to do with relationships.  For in regards to our relationship with our Heavenly Father, it would be impossible to truly have a very close and personal one with Him if we knew nothing of His ways, and in regards to relationships with others, sin also gets in the way of that.  For sinfulness is harmful—plain and simple.  Therefore, it is in this regard that Holiness is also most beneficial to ourselves as individuals.
In any event, we are given opportunities to give our Heavenly Father the full benefit of our doubts.  For even if you do not want to believe that we did not have to be born into this world as we naturally are in order for us to be able to spend all of eternity with our Heavenly Father in His Kingdom of Heaven as heirs unto all that is His in glory, there is the matter of why we must remain in this world after we come to accept Christ Jesus as our own personal Lord and Savior that should not be ignored.  For it truly is as it is written: For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. [Romans 8:29-30 NIV]
Hence, the matter of being transformed into His likeness that should also be addressed.  For if it is possible for us to changed in a twinkling of an eye at the end of our time as a part of this world [1 Corinthians 15:51-53], then it cannot be impossible for this to happen beforehand, and I am not talking about just the transformation of our bodies, neither [1 John 3:2].  As in regards to synergism—where do we want the line drawn between where our Heavenly Father ends and we begin?

Minister A: Personal Holiness is commanded and it is about ALL parts of our lives not just in relationships, but including our thoughts, our intentions, our motives, our actions, etc.  Everything.  We are called to be holy at all times in all situations.  Our part is to obey God, to draw near unto Him and abide in Christ.  His part is to give us the joy to do these things by His grace.
We are justified monergistically.  That is God’s work alone.  We are sanctified synergistically because we work with God in it.

The Crackerhead: Be assured that it is the same with sanctification as it is with salvation.  For no one can come to Christ unless they be drawn by our Heavenly Father, nor can they be conformed into His likeness without the power of His Holy Spirit.  Furthermore, neither can anyone be saved from eternal damnation without accepting Christ Jesus as their own personal Lord and Savior, nor will they be conformed into His likeness unwillingly.

Minister A: “nor will they be conformed into His likeness unwillingly” 
So what makes them willing?  Of course we know that it is the fact that God works in us that makes us willing.

The Crackerhead: There is an exception to this rule, however.  For in regards to salvation, our Heavenly Father wants everyone to be saved.  Whereas in regards to sanctification, it all depends upon what He wants to accomplish in and through someone that determines to what extent they will be conformed to His likeness.

Minister A: There are really only two groups of people in the world.  There are those who are branches bearing fruit in the True Vine who is Christ and then there are those who either are totally separate from the vine in their rejection of Gospel or they are branches in the True Vine who bear no fruit.  Those branches which bear fruit have been cleansed by the washing of water with the word by Christ.  Their sins are forgiven.  The other group has not been cleansed so are in their sins whether they are in the True Vine or not.

The Crackerhead: I'm confused.  For what I was taught about "Once Saved/Always Saved" was that all who called upon the name of the Lord would be raised-up on the last day regardless of how good of a "Christian" they were, but you (as a Reformed Calvinist) seem to be contradicting this with what you said.

Minister A: OSAS (once saved/always saved) is not biblical, at least in the way you were taught.  While it is true that all who truly call upon the name of the Lord are saved, these will also bear fruit.  There are many who claim to have called upon the name of the Lord to be saved, but never received Him as LORD as well as Saviour.  They prove this by their rebellion and self-centeredness.  They do not abide in Him and are dead wood which will be cut away and burned.  The simplistic version of OSAS you quoted does not take into account the full counsel of God’s Word for there are many passages in the N.T. that teach the difference between genuine believers and false professors.

Minister H: Crackerhead, there is a misconception that once we have Christ in our hearts, that there will be no adversity.  The delusion is that Christ promises you paradise right here and now.  This delusion divides the body of Christ.
The perserverance (I am terrible at spelling) of the saints is not being preached because much of the delusion caters to men’s flesh.  Of course, our flesh wants the comfort of a wide road which is easy, is popular, and never faces rejection.  We all want to pray an easy prayer, put our ticket of salvation in our back pocket, sit on our spiritual sofa, and watch TV.  Oh, and by the way, Jesus, can you pass me that plate full of blessings while you are at it?
This kind of Christianity is not Christianity.  It is idolatry.  It does not crucify men daily, nor does it reward humility or meekness.  It exalts men to “little gods” while reducing Jesus to an idol who promises to give us every desire that our flesh lusts after.  No flesh can glory in his presence.  If we perservere, then we abide in Him.  If not, then we do not.
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  1. Hi, I just wanted to say how much I like this new template, it looks great. Have a nice weekend!

  2. Thanks for stopping by again, my dear Fullet!!! Alas, I was actually shaking when I finally hit the "Apply To Blog" (or something like that) button, and it's all Mama ASID's (the BadGal herself) fault! For she showed me how much nicer this blog could look if I would just get over being such a baby about being so technically-challenged. Anyway, I suppose I will live, and I'm glad you like it.

  3. Whoa!!!!!!!!! You redecorated. I like it. Does this have something to do with that mail you got regarding your ugly house?

    As for your actual post. My only thought here is this:
    In recalling the words "Judge not lest ye be judges" Why is it that so many do so much judging?

  4. Thanks for stopping by again, my dear Ann!!! Well, maybe not. I mean, are you saying that this blog was ugly before?

    As in regards to not judging, that cuts both ways. For our Heavenly Father does not want us to condemn others unless He makes it clear that they are indeed guilty (and by that, I am talking about Him telling someone directly, which is not the same as them figuring things out from reading the Bible), but even in those cases, such condemnation is to be for the purpose of helping to tear down someone's resistance to the truth so that they can be built back up in Him.

    Of course, the other side to that is that far too many use the commandment to not unrighteously judge as a shield. I know that to be all too painfully true because I used to use that defense myself back before our Heavenly Father made Himself real to me.

    Yes, it sounds like a bunch of nonsense to most, but what would you do if you knew that someone you dearly loved was doing something that would eventually destroy them? Would you just leave it alone, or would you at least try to help them to see where they were headed?

    Tragically, far too many in the Christian community have no idea what is what, and when confronted with that, they are perfectly willing to just shrug their shoulders and say something about, "It's none of your business." Now, how can that be true when all of our Heavenly Father's children by faith are supposed to love everyone (including even those who are quite sure that He does not even exist) in the same way as He loves them?

  5. AHAHAHAHAHA - good one Ann!

    I would think that anyone straying past that "certain point" away from the Lord was never truly saved in the first place. Everybody sins, period. I know my list sure is long; even though I try very hard not to sin, it is in me. Here's what our pastor always says, "Church is not a haven for saints; it's a hospital for sinners." (and Amen :o)

    As to the judging that Ann mentioned, there's an awful lot of that going around too (sadly). She's welcome to borrow my favorite retort: "You know, the split second I reach perfection, I'm DEFINITELY going to have something to say about that!"

    P.S. Love the new look - it's great!

  6. Thanks for stopping by again, my dear Jen!!! I really like that quote from your pastor. For our Heavenly Father did indeed establish His church in the name of His only begotten Son to be a safe haven for those who are hurting, as well as a place where those of like-minds could go and not feel so alone (naturally-speaking, of course).

    It is in regards to being like-minded that should make it clearly obvious that something has gone terribly wrong. For all who are truly in Christ Jesus are supposed to be of the same mind--His mind, to be exact, but most in the Christian community have no concept of that. For they have been led to believe that it is up to us to figure things out, which makes differences of opinions a given. Yes, allowances for different stages of Spiritual maturity should be taken into account, but even so-called "babes in Christ" should be able to recognize what is truly of our Heavenly Father and what is not--even if they do not fully understand it.

    It is in regards to such things that I am called to help people to understand, but I am not authorized to actually confront people. For I am to try to reason with as many as will, and this is why I have been instructed to ask a lot of questions in order to bring certain points out into the open. Hence, what this series is all about.

  7. Confrontation tends to make folks just dig in their heels; so there's not much point in that anyway. It's funny though, that people expect so much out of those who attend church. I mean, if it was actually full of "perfect people", would you go? I'm pretty sure I'd be WAY too intimated to attend :o)

  8. Your blog was anything but ugly before I just happen to really like the new look.
    I've been in the situation more than once where a person I dearly loved was doing something that would destroy them. Yes I do make an effort to help them see but beyond that there is nothing I can do to help someone who does not want to be helped. And like Jen said confrontation tends to make people dig in their heels. I've found that the best way to live is to mind my own business. That does not mean to ignore others but to take care of myself and attend to matters that pertain to me.

  9. Be assured that I know what you are saying, my dear Jen. For after I made my break from the way I was raised, I preached many a drunken sermon, with the main theme being that I would rather spend all of eternity in Hell than be like most of the "good Christian people" I had met over the years. Thankfully, our Heavenly Father delivered me from my Spiritual ignorance, and then asked me to help encourage those who know about Him to want to get to actually know Him. To be quite honest about it, that last part has felt more like a curse than a blessing, but it will be as it should be in the end.

  10. I am really glad that you like the new look, my dear Ann, and you are absolutely right that no one can force another to accept what they don't want to. Woe be it unto all who do not want to even try, however. For if refusing to render reasonable aid is considered to be depraved indifference in the eyes of the law in this world, how much more can such inaction be a punishable offense in our Heavenly Father's sight?

    Nonetheless, it all depends upon what our Heavenly Father wants to accomplish in and through each individual that determines a course of action. For what is required of one is not necessarily the same as for another, and it is only in regards to what comes directly from Him that we can be confident about what He wants us to do, which may very well be nothing in certain situations.


Since the Blogger spam filter has been found sorely lacking lately, I will start moderating comments. Be assured that I am only interested in deleting spam. So, if you feel a need to take me to task over something—even anonymously, go ahead and let 'er rip, and I will publish it as soon as I can.