Saturday, May 22, 2010

Real M'n'C - VII

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 Minister: There are steps to be fruitful...effective....productive...stages of maturing in His love...
Being fruitful has a great deal to do with knowledge.  Not head-knowledge but revelatory knowledge...
[2 Peter 1:5-8] shows us this clearly....For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.Again, there is just FRUIT of the Spirit, no fruits.

The Crackerhead: The key lies in what we are given written confirmation of in the first part of the passage that you mentioned.  For it truly is as it is written: Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. [2 Peter 1:1-4 NIV]
In other words, Spiritual gifts are GIFTS of our Heavenly Father's Holy Spirit that serve as obvious proof of the absolute truth of the matter truly being that someone truly is in Christ both for their own benefit and as a witness to others, and it is in regards to us wanting to naturally take credit for what we have been Spiritually given that we diminish the power of that witness.

The Minister: Are you calling the fruit of the Spirit spiritual gifts?

The Crackerhead: Yes!!!  For in the same way as the actual presence of His Holy Spirit is a gift of our Heavenly Father, so are the signs of His work in and through us.
No, this is not to deny that we have any part to play in the process.  For our Heavenly Father wants to have a very close and personal relationship with us, which involves working with us to a certain extent, but where do we want the line drawn between where He ends and we begin?

The Minister: There is a clear demarcation between fruit of the Spirit and spiritual gifts.
A fruit is naturally grown on a tree, it takes takes a process.  Of course it comes from the Lord, but it takes us spending time with Him...
While spiritual gifts (Gk: charismata) as mentioned in [1 Corinthians 12:1-31] and [Romans 12:1-21], are like gifts hung on a Christmas tree.  They are instantaneous.  A person can have a supernatural manifestation of a gift and it still be marred in his character.
The Holy Spirit is given as a gift.  The choice of words is very specific.  The Greek word here is "doreon" and not "charismata" (one used for "spiritual gifts".  Just like faith is given to every man as a gift {Gk: dorea}), but there is also a "charismata of faith" that is totally supernatural and instant, which has nothing to do with the person's personal faith.
I hope that makes it clear.

The Crackerhead: The best example of what I now know to be true about bearing Spiritual fruit is what I have experienced for myself.  For I was raised in Southern Baptist church, and I was taught what is now considered to be a very "fundamentalist" doctrine that placed sole responsibility for the development of my character upon my parents at first and then upon myself.  In fact, I even pastored a small Southern Baptist in the same traditions for a time.
It was not, however, until our Heavenly Father became truly "REAL" to me that I came to know what true holiness was all about.  For what I thought were love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control [Galatians 5:22-23] were just what I had been taught that they were by people not so unlike myself, and in comparison to what our Heavenly Father considers them to be, none from amongst us can bear any fruit without Him [John 15:5-17].
Be assured that I have been given a taste of "His" fruit, and it was given quickly.  For I now look at things in a much different way than I did before, and my attitude in general has changed dramatically.
In other words, the old me has passed away and a new me has come [2 Corinthians 5:17], but I have only been given a taste of what is yet to come [1 Corinthians 13:12].  For it will not be until Judgment Day before my fruit is ready to harvest [1 John 3:2].
Nonetheless, I hunger for more now, and this is the part that I can play in my Heavenly Father's plan for my own life as a part of this world.  For I have been given a choice of being content with what I have been already given or earnestly being desirous of more and more of Him [2 Peter 1:5-11], and it the same for many, many others—depending upon what He wants to accomplish in and through them [Philippians 2:13].
Again I ask, where do we want the line drawn between where our Heavenly Father ends and we begin?  For if bearing fruit truly is mostly our responsibility—so be it, but if it is not—are not far too many being led astray?
Besides, is not the teaching that it is our responsibility to bear much fruit cheating our Heavenly Father out of the full measure of the glory that He can receive from us?  For the more we want to take credit, the less credit we can give Him [1 Corinthians 4:7].

The Minister: I have no idea what you're talking about.
But I assume that you mean that God will bear the fruit by Himself.
However, we can bear fruit only by co-operating with Abba and yielding to His Spirit.
Since man has a free-will, he can either yield or not yield, he can obey or disobey.
There is a criteria Scripture shows us in order to bear fruit..."Abiding in Him".  When we yield to His Spirit, He furnishes the fruit in our spirits.
It is not so about spiritual gifts.  Spiritual gifts isn't the same as spiritual fruit.

The Crackerhead: What I was trying to say before is that what I thought was love before is not even close to what our Heavenly Father considers it to be, and that after He became real to me (as opposed to just being who I had read about in the Bible), He allowed and enabled me to love much more like He loves, which is more passionate and longsuffering than what any of us can even start to naturally comprehend.  I am far from perfected in love, however, but He promises to complete the good work that He has begun in me.
In other words, it was when I began to truly abide in our Heavenly Father that I began to bear His fruit, and even though I understand that I do have a part to play in the process (mainly in regards to wanting to be more and more like Him), I do not consider that part to be of any great significance.  For many of the changes that I have experienced in my character have been done without me even asking for them in the first-place!
Yes, it is entirely possible for our Heavenly Father raise someone from the dead through even the most vile of sinners, but did He not do a similar work in me when He gave me a piece of His heart while I was as vile as anyone can be?  For the most dramatic of the changes that I have experienced so far in regards to the fruits of His Holy Spirit occurred at almost very instant that He brought me into His Light.
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  1. I may have gotten a little lost on the journey through your post today but I think what it all boils down to is this:
    No matter how much you believe, it won't all fall in to place unless you let go and let God take the lead. If you want to follow the leader you need to walk behind him not in front.
    maybe I'm just full of b-o-l-o-g-n-a :)

  2. No, you are not at all off-base, my dear Ann. For "The Minister" here is coming from the position that we are expected to learn how to be more "Christian," which is the way I was taught, but when our Heavenly Father made Himself real to me, He revealed that all that we can really do is learn about His righteousness--not learn how to be righteous ourselves. For whatever TRUE changes that may take place in us is by His hand--not our efforts. Now, as was addressed in the text, this is not to deny that we have anything to do with the process, but we would do well to want to give our Heavenly Father full credit for any improvements in our character, which cannot be done if we insist upon believing that we are expected to work out our own salvation, which is to bear fruit. This is, of course, ridiculous to most. What is even more ridiculous to far too many Christians is that there is nothing good about ANY of us apart from our Heavenly Father--including even those who want to believe that He does not exist. For it has been widely taught that we must come to Him and do this or that before He will have anything to do with us, and that is just not true. Nonetheless, of what good is that to those who do not want to believe it? Thanks for stopping by again!!!

  3. Wow, isn't this the truth we follow and not lead..I love that faith is so darn hard some days however, I do continue to try to be faithful.

    Dorothy from grammology

  4. Thanks for stopping again, my dear Dorothy!!! I am quite sure you meant to say that you hate that having faith is so hard at times. Well, at least that is the way it is for me, and I consider myself to be much more like a Spiritual crash-test dummy than any sort of conquering hero of the faith.


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