Tag Archives: Church

Enough…

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–every one–to his own way…
[Isaiah 53:6]

The Jewish prophet Isaiah wrote this sometime around 700BC. I think that was also around the time that I made the last post on this blog.

However the drought is over. I am no longer going to keep quiet for the sake of a false peace. Starting tomorrow (November 1st, 2011) I am planning to post something at least six times each week. There is so much to say, and so little time to say it.

I am going to begin this hopefully permanent flurry of activity by explaining why the Bible refers to us as sheep, and what it means to have gone astray.

And then I am going to talk about the wolves that have infiltrated the flock. God’s flock.

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.
[Acts 20:28-30]

He doesn’t like it when wolves masquerading as shepherds attack His sheep.

“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds”, declares the LORD.
[Jeremiah 23:1-2]

“Wail, you shepherds, and cry out, and roll in ashes, you lords of the flock, for the days of your slaughter and dispersion have come, and you shall fall like a choice vessel. No refuge will remain for the shepherds, nor escape for the lords of the flock. A voice–the cry of the shepherds, and the wail of the lords of the flock! For the LORD is laying waste their pasture, and the peaceful folds are devastated because of the fierce anger of the LORD. Like a lion he has left his lair, for their land has become a waste because of the sword of the oppressor, and because of his fierce anger.”
[Jeremiah 25:34-38]

Of course, much of the trouble with contemporary Christianity cannot be blamed on the leaders of the churches. We are all responsible before God for our own actions, thoughts, speech and attitudes. We have all – with few exceptions – become lazy sheep, lounging around in the swampy pasture beside stagnant water. We think we can cuddle up with the world – join in with its pagan, occultic pastimes such as Halloween, or its twisted ‘holy’ days such as All Saints Day – and avoid any negative consequences.

We can’t.

Enough.

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Filed under Sheepish Thoughts

I Will Tear You To Pieces…

So when you stretch out your hands in prayer, I will turn my eyes away from you. Even though you offer many prayers, I will not listen because your hands are covered with blood. “Wash yourselves! Become clean! Get your evil deeds out of my sight. Stop doing evil.

Consider this, you people who forget God. Otherwise, I will tear you to pieces, and there will be no one left to rescue you. Whoever offers thanks as a sacrifice honors me. I will let everyone who continues in my way see the salvation that comes from God.”

(Isaiah 1:15-16, Psalm 50:22-23)

When we pray to God, what are we offering Him? In Isaiah chapter 1, the Israelites were offering God the same animal sacrifices that they had been offering since God himself had instituted this bloody system of worship after the Jewish exodus from Egypt. So why were these sacrifices no longer acceptable? Firstly, they no longer had any meaning to the people. It was simply a case of business as usual – this is something we are supposed to do, so let’s get it done. Instead of prostrating themselves before the Lord and weeping at the fact that their sinfulness required the blood of another life to atone for, they killed a few animals out of habit, said the required prayers, and got on with their lives.

And their lives were evil.

Evil. What is that?

Ultimately, evil is not realizing that we are an absolute abomination before the Holy God who created us. Evil is thinking that we are good enough by our own efforts to please God and reach His standards. Evil is forgetting God, and many who call themselves Christians and faithfully attend church multiple times a week have forgotten God.

We carry on with our lives – putting our own desires, comfort and wisdom first. We go to church like good little believers, put our 10% in the bag, and think we are all that and a bag of chips. Sundays and maybe Wednesday evenings we check the right boxes, say our genuinely heartfelt prayers for the poor, suffering world we live in, and think that the rest of the week is ours to fornicate with as we please.

Our Christianity is no longer about God and who He is and what He has done for us. It is about us and who we are and what we can do for ourselves. Our Christianity stinks, because the hands we lift up in prayer are covered with the blood of our own efforts, rather than the blood of the perfect Lamb. Our sacrifice is detestable to God, and He makes it very clear to us what He is going to do with us.

He will tear us to pieces, and there will be no one left to rescue us.

Thankfully, the answer to the problem is as clearly described to us as the problem is.

Wash… become clean… stop doing evil… offer a sacrifice of thanks… continue in God’s way rather than our own ways. God provided Himself as the only acceptable sacrifice. Only God meets God’s standards, and only God was able to survive the punishment due to anyone who can’t meet His standards. Trusting in the Way that God provided for our salvation IS the only way to salvation.

If we go before God with anything in our hearts and minds other than Jesus, He will turn His eyes away from us. Our hands are covered in the wrong blood. But when we turn and follow the Way, and go before God with empty hands and a heart full of thanksgiving, He will show us salvation.

(The doubter) said to Jesus, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. So how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am The Way, and The Truth, and The Life. The only way to the Father is through me.

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Filed under Daily-ish Thoughts