Aug. 17, 2016

Cross Purposes 3 / 21st Century Antinomianism

For consideration and contemplation: 1 John 1: 5,6 - “And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and yet walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not practice the truth.” . . . 2:3,4 - “And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 

OK, let’s cut right to the chase.

How do you spell “antinomianism”? This word means: of or relating to the view that Christians are released by grace from the obligation of observing the moral law. Many people, Christians in particular, have never heard of this word.

Scripture is very, very clear on this matter concerning moral law. What will it take to get “believers” back into the Book? “Belief” is not enough, friends - if that means mere mental assent! We need to be clearer on what it means to “believe in” God. 

How is it so many “churches” are being informed by what’s politically correct, rather than by the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit’s Still Small Voice? What is embraced in all too many is anything but led by the Holy Spirit, or taking its cues from God’s Word.

Yes, holy. How is it this very first characteristic of God’s people - made in His image and likeness, yet fallen, and redeemed in order to be restored to that likeness - has been forgotten? Yet so many either laugh at the word or shrink away from it like Dracula from a crucifix. Or holiness is assigned some mundane, vague, “theological” or colloquial meaning. Not only has holiness been forgotten; holiness has become to all too many, whether clergy or “just us folks”, like the child who is regarded as “not right” - hidden away as an embarrassment in the tower of some creaky old mansion. 

So we have churches of no significant power in anyone’s life, nor wielding any powerful spiritual or moral influence in the world. Instead what has happened is an infiltration of New Age concepts and practices, “Interfaith dialog”, the dictates of the political mob, the corporate “make nice” mindset, and the hidden agendas of evil infiltration of every description. Too many are busy putting on their mega church show biz smiles and playing nice, and especially playing to the crowd. Many are busily attempting to become “inclusive” of every vice and wicked practice, in order to grow their numbers and maintain their tax exempt non-profit status, rather than being about the Father’s business of saving souls. (Remember, non-profit means non-prophet, having a swelling bank account at the cost of having no prophetic voice!)

What it amounts to is salt that has lost its savor, with the foregoing being the real description of what it really means to “take the Lord’s name in vain!’ We’ve taken His holy name to ourselves as an assumption because we “believe”, but with little or no spiritually affective power over the evil one, the world, or our ego-flesh. 

Is it any wonder we have a mob mentality administration in this country which thinks it can tell a priest he cannot celebrate mass, or threatens soldiers with court martial who witness their faith on a military base?

Many people do not take Christians seriously at all. Is there any wonder, when the political arm has already been allowed to infiltrate into the churches as it has, with its New World Order values and philosophies? Every spiritual incursion easily establishes a foothold and eventually a beach head, as the spirit of antichrist marches on with a view of nothing less than total takeover. It’s like a spiritual computer virus!

And then comes the cry, “You are treading on our religious ‘rights and freedoms’! It’s unlawful! It’s unconstitutional!” Would to God that we who name His name were as concerned with our connection to God’s divine authority and power over darkness and His word’s directives and ways, as we are with managing the world’s politics. Politics would take care of itself, if we were about our Father’s business!

What has been done with those rights and freedoms? Have we used them for a God honoring life in thought, word, and deed? Is freedom of speech really about the “right” to curse, swear, and use our mouths for every abominable joke, or to ridicule and bully? Have we used our freedom of speech to confront the holocaust called abortion, which has been the law of the land for over forty years? Nearly half a century of bloody murder which nearly makes Hitler’s activity look like a Sunday picnic? And that which calls itself the church turns a blind eye. Somehow I get the impression that this is not what turning the other cheek means, so that something is out of sight and out of mind.

Have we stopped to consider that the standard of the righteousness of God, of holiness in other words, pure and simple - the manifest result of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ in our life - is the most loving thing we could offer people, instead of a social club mentality with no standards of morality? 

Here’s the “clue” from 2 Corinthians 5:21 - “He made Him Who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (NASB) This is what the plan, process, and outcome of salvation is all about. Not a lot of wiggle room for, “I’m OK; you’re OK” here!

Many Christians and the worldly both seem to have a fondness for half truths. Take for example, “Seek first His kingdom, and all these thing shall be added unto you.” I wish I had a dime for every time I heard this text quoted just as it is here, in amazing incompleteness. Somehow it’s so hard to state it in its full blown context: Continually seek His kingdom AND His righteousness... Oh that holiness thing! Righteousness! It sticks in my throat! It really bites! I’d rather sing with Sinatra, “I do it my way!”

My other favorite along these lines is, “The truth will set you free.” Excuse me, but I think a little of that has been left behind as well. My several copies of the Bible all read something like this: John 8: 31,32. “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, ’If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’.” Note the “if... then... and” context.

The people Jesus speaks to here were “believers”. However, the effectual, freeing truth spoken of here is not automatic. It comes at the cost of radical discipleship! To be set free for and by this kind of truth, Divine truth, means a dogged commitment to the word of Christ, not only to the written word of Scriptures, but to the Word Made Flesh, Emmanuel / God With Us, called Jesus Himself, and being led day by day continually by the Holy Spirit of God.

And there’s one more thing which can turn the world around. I’ll finish out with this one, and write about it another day. It’s what I call God’s Four Fold Way To Heal The Nation. (Or the planet!)

 If my people, which are called by my name, 1] shall humble themselves, 2] and pray, 3] and seek my face, 4] and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

(There’s the if... then... and pattern again.)

The best place we can be these days is on our knees before the throne of our Heavenly Father, receiving from the Holy Spirit how these words apply to each and every one of us.