Monday, September 29, 2008

Do Not Yield

"Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me...

But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, "If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?"

Galatians 2:4-6, 11-14




I think there must be many secret societies going on behind closed doors of the church world. I can't understand why whole christian organizations get away with murder, while the people in other similar organizations smile and say "I think they're real nice". Preaching law is akin to spiritual murder. (*2 Cor. 3:6-8

Paul did not privately address a few false teachers (Galatians, he even publicly rebuked Peter! ch.2) with his concerns, he wrote very public letters, showing his anger very publicly, in fact, one might say he ranted and raved when it came to wolves trying to put God's children back under bondage and slavery. He actually pronounced a double curse on anyone who preached any other gospel but the one he preached (*Galatians 1:8-9). This should stop many preachers in their tracks, they should be trembling in fear, but instead they are swaggering drunk with conceit.

I'm tired of the so-called leaders of the church (I'm talking church universal) patting each other on the back, telling each other jokes, and writing up impressive intoductions to each others books all the while one or the other is teaching demonic lies that are destroying the people who follow them. These men are worse than dogs and mutilators of the flesh (*Phil. 3:2-4), they are mutilating souls.

I'm not one of those people who likes to be a watch dog, you know, going around barking about this person in error or that one. I don't think I'm nitpicky, but come on, can't we examine the fruits (or more accurately works) of a ministry and be honest? This peace at any cost idea, love means never telling the truth about the 'important' men of the church, this butter-my-bread-and-I'll-butter-yours doctrine is ridiculous. It's a ring of fear, each man fearing for his own name and reputation, not caring what God thinks of it all but choosing to be ashamed of the Gospel for the sake of his standing among the respectable religious of the 'church'. This makes me sick, really. And angry, angry for the souls of all those who pour out their lives, their families' lives, their wallets, and their hearts to these cowards, thinking that they are God's ambassadors on this earth. They are not. (And I can honestly tell you and I'm not thinking of any particualar ministry here, but more of a jumbled mess of things I've seen everywhere over my life growing up in the church world in general.)

But we are! Every one of us who put our faith in Jesus and his good news. We are not ambassadors who never make a mistake, but we are ambassadors who are not ashamed of the gospel once we have received revelation from heaven of who Jesus really is! And some of the men I'm talking about will live to receive the same revelation, just as Paul did. He was a persecuter of those who in the eyes of the law and religion were crazy fools, but in the moment of the thunderous voice of God and a flash of brilliant light everything changed! So it was for all of us who have received grace and mercy and know we are dearly loved of our Father.

I don't know why, but I feel very compelled lately to speak, or should I say write, very strongly against legalism in the church. At the bottom of it is the violent love of God for his people! I feel his love as I write, I read Galatians and my heart is breaking, tears are welling up in my eyes! God's people have turned away from his glorious grace, from the unsurpassed sacrifice of his only beautiful Son, and gone back to law as a dog returns to it's vomit. It's time to cast out the maid servant's son and stop allowing the legalists to bully the children of freedom!

Let's grow up in grace and stand strong and proud of Jesus! We must never yeild or submit in the face of even the most vicious attacks from those who have fallen from grace, but it is imperative that we preserve the truth of the gospel in these last days. It is not love to watch a brother veer from the truth of the gospel without speaking out, it is hate.

Even as I write this, I'm unsure of what it means for me. I have been careful to avoid publicly criticising people or ministries by name (on this blog, but have sometimes been more specific elsewhere) because of their serious and destructive false doctrines . At this point, I will continue to address the false doctrines without 'naming names'(on here), but perhaps the fear of naming names is not coming from the Holy Spirit. There are names that are named in Scripture, recorded for all time as falling prey to error! I think we have lost boldness and power, not because we love so much, though we like to think of this as the reason, but because we care very much what men think of us or how they might try to slander or persecute us in retaliation! I'm just not sure we can stand for grace without also standing against legalism...it's time to let our "yes" be "YES" and our "no" be "NO"!!!



* 2 Cor. 3:6-8 "He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?"

* Galatians 1:8-9 "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

*Philippians 3:2-4 "Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reasons for such confidence."

10 comments:

dogimo said...

I think you make your meaning quite plain, even without naming names. Those who preach the Bad-News Gospel know who they are!

jul said...

I think you're right! Though I doubt many of them are reading my blog...

I find your blog quite religious and smothering myself, not that I would ever name you publicly.

dogimo said...

>I find your blog quite religious and smothering myself, not that I would ever name you publicly.

You absolutely have my blessing to name me publicly! I love religion. :-D Unashamedly so!

When decrying the ways in which religion is misused, we must not ignore that it can serve an innocent and legitimate purpose! Religion can be a way to turn inessential aspects of life towards the service of the essential. Art, music, culture, organization (bureaucracy), routine (ritual)...certainly none of these are essential! Certainly none can secure salvation for us – but neither need these necessarily be stumbling blocks. To one who lives in grace, these small things can be little sources of joy, ways for us to express and partake constantly of our vibrant, living love of God. Not reminders, necessarily – we should not need a reminder – rather, living expressions.

Even the law itself - big bad law is harmless, unless and until one latches onto it falsely as a means to salvation. Yet that is a perversion of law’s right place! Just as the belief in ritual as a guarantor of salvation is a perversion of ritual’s right place. When we see these perversions, we must recognize that the problem is not law or ritual per se, but this gross distortion of their true place and function.

Our salvation is secured in the Lord. Any attempt to replace the Lord’s redemption with any thing of our own making – whether adherence to law, adherence to ritual, or even the waging of some valiant struggle or virtuous cause – whenever we elevate a thing to the place of savior, that act turns an otherwise harmless thing, perhaps even a potentially beautiful thing, into a weapon in the hands of the enemy.

But as long as we keep them in their proper and essentially lowly place, all of these inessentials can be small yet beautiful means for the faithful to use to glorify God.

dogimo said...

Whoop! That was long.

To clarify - when I say "the law," I mean municipal traffic ordinances every bit as much as the ten commandments. In terms of the soul's salvation...I don't see that one has a jot more value than the other, really!

Because that's not what the law is for. It has zero applicability to salvation.

lydia joy said...

I love your fire and passion!! I just recently was wanting to go back and listen the Grace Hating Spirit series......now I almost don't have to thanks to your string of posts..........!!!!

jul said...

What a compliment Lydia, thanks!

Joe, I too believe that traffic laws are a valuable part of society. I even try my best to follow these laws (along with others such as not murdering or even beating people up without due provocation like self defense...) Yes, God's law has provided a basis for what we call civilization and restrains evil (somewhat) from the outside of mens' hearts by force and fear. I guess I wouldn't advocate ignoring the laws of your country, unless of course they interfere with what God is calling us to do in the earth, so that a law which forbids faith in Jesus or preaching the gospel or having a Bible or protecting people from injustice etc... should not be followed, but we should follow the Spirit of Jesus and he will produce in us the fruits of his character and righteousness, things against which there is no law.

To be honest sometimes I have trouble keeping up with your logic though, you might be a genius, which is not to say I always agree with you but I love how your mind works!

RJW said...

Why can't I write like him? :(

Law when used for its intended purpose is good and right; law when used for a perverted reason: justification or righteousness is no longer good nor right for us because we have misunderstood its purpose- to bring us to the end of ourself.

The law isn't bad, just man's application of it. And so with
music, the gifts of the Spirit, etc.

dogimo said...

I think RJW put it more succinctly than I could! "The law isn't bad, just man's application of it."

But really I ought to shelve my "legalist's advocate" bit. Sure, law may have its proper place and emphasis, but in a world where man's application of law has gone so far wrong - with law emphasized even above God - a fiery anti-law crusade will do a lot more to shock people out of their law-abiding complacency and (one hopes) into a grace-abiding abundance!

dogimo said...

And by "fiery anti-law crusade" I mean - I love what you are doing, Jul!

I don't even think I seriously credited legalism as a danger until I began reading your posts. You are an eye-opener.

Steve said...

Julie

I really like this post.

For too long people have taken certain teachings on gossip and slander and accepted them as "gospel." These teaching have been used to suppress any criticism and discussion in some groups.