"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Churchman, or Godsman

Hebrews 5:12-14 In fact, though by now you should be teachers, you still need someone to teach you the basic truths of God's word. You have become people who need milk instead of solid food. (13) For everyone who lives on milk is still a baby and is inexperienced in the message of righteousness. (14) But solid food is for mature people, whose minds are trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.       We could call him Churchman, the late bloomer. Churchman sits weekly--or weakly--under sound preaching, likely pointing his mental finger at others around him. He listens. He hears. He applies God's message to anyone but himself. But because of his tenure on that pew he aspires to positions of authority within the body. He may, because of financial success, stoop to buying a teaching, deacon, or even elder position(but never that of janitor). He has crawled into the driver's seat, imitated daddy in turning on the car and putting it into gear, and driven away at idle with his legs kicking the air. Before long he will cause damage, injury, or even death.
      Churchman has stunted his own growth by feeding on the carnal trappings of religion, and will never grow up if he refuses to apply to himself the milk of God's truth. If he were to read this, he would instantly identify several brethren who should read and apply it to themselves.
      Trying to identify Churchman is a fruitless pursuit. The only purpose in doing so would be to apply this message to him, making you just another Churchman. The mature, we'll call him Godsman, is one who partakes of the strong food of God's truth and never swivels his head in a search for Churchman. Rather, on reading this message, he would instantly examine his own life to see if he had, in fact, been Churchman in disguise.
      Churchman has refused to take in even the milk of God's truth. His religious existance, fueled as I've said by religious trappings, simulates life closely enough to fool even his Churchman siblings. So how is he supposed to grow enough to digest God's milk? Vs. 13 speaks of babes in Christ who crave God's milk, thrive on it and grow rapidly into stronger food. What Churchman needs is to be born all over again, to become a true babe in Christ.
      Godsman has already taken in and digested enough of God's milk, and is ready for God's strong food. He has completed his growth and practiced his discernment to where the church can trust his moral and spiritual judgment. Other verses in God's word indicate Godsman will be careful to accept only the ministries and church positions that God has confirmed to the elders and to him. He will not pursue positions of responsibility on his own because he is meek, and not confident in himself.
      Will that lack of self-confidence make him incompetent to execute the responsibilities he accepts? Far from it. He will, daily, fall on his face before God to receive the wisdom and strength he knows he doesn't possess on his own. Then he will stand firm on the Rock to hold up others who are unable to stand on their own.
      If you were to ask Godsman how he manages to live faithfully, he'd confess that he can't, that he's the weakest of the brethren. Then he'd point to another Godsman for the example of godly living.
      I pray to God that He will change my name to Godsman.

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