Tuesday, January 14, 2014

PC vs. PC

Initially you might think I’m doing a feature by feature blog about personal computers.  Typically that would be between the trendy-cultish Apple Mac people versus the Microsoft driven various brands of white-collar-rule-keeping-non-Mac-PC-users.  But that’s not what I’m writing about.

Several days ago I had this thought regarding the all too common informal term PC or politically correct, that has come to mean; inoffensive, nondiscriminatory, unbiased, neutral, appropriate, and nonpartisan language.  And frankly I’m exhausted by this inane mantra parlayed by the media, politicians, Hollywood, left wing and right wing nuts and lastly and most sadly, the church.

Oh not the true Church.  You know the one that seems overshadowed by the modern PC church of popularity, entertainment and cash flow.  So relax if you believe yourself to be part of the true Church.  You can stand on the sidelines and watch the fray swell regarding this subject.  But please be slow to take up sides, especially when basing it upon one’s own righteousness.

When the thought came of PC vs. PC; this was my grist for the mill.  Politically correct versus being Pneumatically correct – or Spirit correct.

Now granted I truly hate, hate speech.  I was never a name caller nor was my family.  As a matter of fact, I would have been summarily spanked with a belt by my father if I was ever found to be a person of that vernacular.  My dad spent all his adult life championing the cause of the underdog.  Be it any minority of color, lifestyle, or economic disparity – he had a heart for the oppressed of our society and the world.  All driven by a divine compassion and love for people.  So any mean spirited or derisive epithets were NEVER used, promoted, or tolerated in my upbringing.  Thereby shaping my mind, heart and behavior – I don’t name call.

But what I have realized especially recently is a dire and ceaseless juggernaut of culture and religion that will not put up with Truth.  For the lie we are being sold is this: all things are relative, to included truth and a person’s view on anything, anytime, and anywhere.  Ergo the burgeoning and stifling PC police so prevalent today.  Even within our pulpits and pews.

Jesus came into the world to clearly define Truth over lies.  And from the Genesis garden narrative to this very day, we are at odds within ourselves, with all of creation, and clearly with other humans who are juxtaposed between light and dark.  And this battle is in full swing over the solid and sacred ground of Truth, versus the alluring and popular specter of unending lies.

PC vs. PC is all about the present and continuing battle between our propensities to fall towards being politically correct versus being Pneumatically correct – or as the Bible calls it being Spirit led; i.e. Spirit correct.

Being Pneumatically correct will ALWAYS and ever mean that we speak the Truth in Love (the primary goal for the work done by the 5 fold ministry office and the pinnacle of all Christian maturity); regardless of the lions or the possible losses we may suffer.

Being Pneumatically correct is ALWAYS about being in agreement with God.  Yet we live in a church age where too many will pick and choose what they like or don’t like about God and His Word.  All on the basis of their idea of Christian liberty, or the basis that they just don’t like what God has to say, or how it may cause others to feel about them (the person called to cite God’s Word and not themselves or their own opinions).

Far too often we are worried about what people think, and how it makes us feel, or god forbid and worse yet causes us to be ostracized from our circles of acquaintance.  All the while claiming “we don’t want people to get the wrong idea about God.”  When in fact our fear is what silences the only Truth able to save a lost and dying world.

When altars were removed from many evangelical churches some 20 years ago, and pop culture, psychology, step programs, feel-good short sermons, and that cafĂ© feel was added to our houses of worship, plus the best of religious entertainment in word and song – that my friends became the standard for a western, Christian church, business model – and we got the glory for getting the crowds.  But we lost the life giving presence found only through heartfelt and honest soli deo Gloria!  Who gets the glory these days?

We became PC to the world around us by giving up the Spirit and the Word.  We are at a grave loss if we have abandoned our practice of being Pneumatically correct; and supplanted it for being politically correct.  Is anyone up for a seeker sensitive lattĂ© and some new smoke, mirrors and lights instead of the weight of the Spirit?

This thought is deep within me, for I know if we do not stem the tide and watershed of weak pulpits and pews – the Spirit may not strive to be with us.  And because I’ve seen in my own life, and in the lives of other believers, a progressive loosening of once held core values, a decline in true and biblical faith, vision and even holy ideals – I am deeply grieved and once again on my face in repentance before God for myself and His Church.  

The shrinking and easing of church membership “requirements” are a small and lesser seen PC vs. PC conflict, but nonetheless real.  And years ago there was a committee within our fellowship that took great pains and labor to maintain “doctrinal purity” for our ranks, yet their influence seems lesser and lesser – if they still even exist.

And don’t get me started about the broad confluence and brush stroke of “Christian” authors who ignorantly or otherwise have eliminate a proper and Pneumatic use of Bible exegesis, all in the name of book sales.  And worse yet this deluge of “Christian” literature being consumed these days, have all but neutered our ability and our will, to doggedly mine the true gold of God’s Word and His Spirit’s Wisdom through personal prayer and study of the scriptures.  Oh for the clarity of a Berean call, practice, and tenacity to study and prefer the Scriptures and the Spirit, over the popular velvet-tonged ear-ticklers coursing through the cardio pulmonary systems of our churches today.  Simply put, we have an epidemic of spiritual heart disease and head disease, and they seem to be accepted maladies among us.

I must end my thoughts for now, but may God have mercy upon us beyond what He has already given on the cross through His Son.  And may we together (emphasis on TOGETHER), stand our ground in the final hours of this eternal battle – PC vs. PC.

May the Spirit of Truth prevail in us!  

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Day I Disbelieved

I cannot tell you through joint experience whether God exists or not.  What I can tell you is we are in the polarity of two worlds; belief vs. disbelief.

I think it was Francis Shaffer who challenged us to live within that tension.  And countless other theologians challenged us to dissect the two.  But what I now believe is that we are called, within the world of the visible, to believe and die for the invisible.  Few of which are able to muster the grit or soul courage to march into such conflict of reason.

Because what God has called us to is less than reason, but faith.  And faith is nothing less than magic.  And we are taught to suspect magic, but not logic.  So excuse me while I beg the pardon of logistic dialectic theologians.  Because I believe God is real.  But I like card tricks too.

What I struggle with is the Imago Dei that has been defaced by doubt and fear.  For if and when a lie is planted, we fall drastically towards the watershed of logic, which has been planted in our hearts to protect us from magic.  Ergo the crazy religious cycle of grid lock.

Please pause for a moment with me and confess: I do not believe.  And couple that confession with: yet I need you God.  And as we own up to our failure to believe we receive faith to BELIEVE.  Crazy isn't it?  Get it?

I love Jesus.  But I’ve never met Him skin to skin, eye to eye.
Can love be the basis for relationship?  Well I suppose so, because I've loved and it’s been the basis of relationships in the past; but what about God?

Can you in this very moment say aloud; “Father God I struggle to believe that you exist, because my life circumstances are so painful that life feels like you don’t care?”  I mean if God loves me, shouldn't life “feel” better?

Where are you God?  You (if you are God) know the times I've stood in my 32x32 inch fiberglass shower in the basement of my house and cried out God?  I thought you came to make things better?

But now in my life I realize that He did not come to make things “better” but He came to give me access out of what progressively will get worse (sorry to all you Amillennialists).  And that access “out” is by truth.  For every time I embrace a lie my life feels like crap; especially if I’m trying to live for Him.

So I ask you… do you believe what He says?  Or are you in the ditch of disbelief where you wrestle with magic or logic?  Because Paul the apostle told us we are to take captive every thought that presents itself as logical.  And God is NOT about logic and law.  He is about Spirit and Grace.

Is this the day you confess disbelieved?  Or at least admitted your disbelief?  What are you afraid of; God getting ticked off that you struggle with belief or what?

Join me in the confession of faith that says: Lord I cannot believe… unless you impart faith that I may believe.

That, my dear reader, is the power of disbelief...  As we confess our humanity in disbelief, God imparts something.  He imparts an “ear” to hear where there was not an ear.  And as by His grace He provides an ear to hear… faith comes.  But we MUST confess our deafness and our disbelief.

Fear not, for He realizes that we struggle.  Cry out… call out… speak now even your disbelief.  For an honest heart is what He is seeking; a heart that declares the truth of its OWN condition.  Not a perceived religion or bravado.

Join me in The Day of Disbelief.  To God be the glory!

Day 2 of 2014 - RAK