"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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Syl's E-mail

My sister’s e-mail made me think. Below, I’ve pasted it verbatim:
People in this Country don't realize just how much we have slipped down the ladder to a 3rd World Country until they see what other Countries are doing.  We have to change the "regime" or we will be living in mud huts before we know it.  Now we're sending troops to Africa!  And Christianity is under real fire - just like in the Roman era and we have our own Nero.

My reply follows:

That is, no doubt, where we're headed. But the powers' subtlety keeps most of us asleep. We can do our best to alert the fat sleeper, but our alarms simply blend into his comforting dream. I'm very much afraid he'll soon awaken in one of those mud huts and wonder how he got there.
Christianity's real shelling, however, comes from within. So long as we're satisfied with Religion, thinking we follow Jesus through it, we're impotent. So long as "Revival!" remains in tents and temples, we're doomed to reap the weedy fruit we're sewing. The remnant will, no doubt, soon suffer. I pray I will be one of them.

Does that sound fatalistic? Perhaps, but if today’s YUPie church continues quietly enjoying both our material affluence, and our blindness to our spiritual impotence, we are indeed doomed to mediocrity. Instead of worshiping with hands upraised, we must worship with our hands dug deep in our cash-impacted pockets, to yield fruit proportional to our blessings.

Without our sackcloth-and-ashes repentance, Judge Jesus’ warning to the Laodicean church is even more ominous for us.

"And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: 'The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. "'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"
(Revelation 3:14-22 ESV)

We, as did the Laodicean church, commit the sin of affluence. Yes, SIN!  To the degree that we take our ease while men of God struggle to support their families, while hunger remains within our shores, while the innocents are murdered through abortion, while one person remains ignorant of Christ's loving gospel, we are as guilty as that lukewarm church of the Revelation.
If we’re the fallen world’s best hope for redemption’s message, we will force our Redeemer to get His job done through others. And we will be the eternal losers.

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