Sunday, September 25, 2011

PLEASE Take the Time to Watch This!

180 is a powerful short film by Ray Comfort. Please spare 33 minutes of your time to watch it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

What You Must Do to Be a Radical Christian.... REALLY???

I first watched this video a long, long time ago, only several years after truly being converted. Admittedly, when I watched it I thought it was great, and shared it with others. But fast forward to Saturday, September 10, 2011...after years of trials, discipline from the Lord, brokenness, realizing how un-Christ-like I am, the Lord ripping away much of the fleshly zeal I used to have that literally wore me forward to that day. Though I still have a LONG way to go as far as maturity and sanctification, the Lord by His grace and providence has lifted the veil from my old ways of looking at the Christian life. And now, watching this video again after so long, I must frankly admit that, well, IT MAKES ME SICK. 

It's revolting...and unbelievable. Is this really what "radical Christianity" is about? The message of the video is essentially this: "So you want to be a radical Christian? This is what you have to do to be one..."

"You must... you must... you must..."

Everything about this video is man-centered. Everything is focused on YOU and YOUR performance as a Christian. There's absolutely no mention of the Gospel; there's no mention of the depths of the cross and the glory and majesty and beauty of the living Christ; there's no admonishment to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, to behold and meditate on Him and as a result be transformed from glory to glory.

No, instead, this video makes you look inwardly rather than upward and outwardly. It's a recipe for condemnation. I would solemnly warn any professing believer who goes around sharing this kind of message to be careful lest they cause one of these "little ones" to stumble by casting heavy yokes upon them that they themselves cannot bear.

And, "You have to weep tears of blood". --Excuse me, but what??? Where's that in Scripture? I must have missed that essential command. The closest thing we can find in the Bible to this astonishing statement is the Lord sweating drops of blood...but apart from Him there is no record of anyone sweating blood for God, let alone weeping drops of blood. I would sincerely like to know if the maker of this video has ever wept drops of blood.

"Every thought, every breath, must be returned unto Him with gratitude and praise... Every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year of your life must constantly be spent on thinking about Him."

Again, these kind of unreasonable demands go way beyond Scripture, and are a setup for a great FALL. What's going to happen when you fail to do this? What's going to happen when, many times, you find yourself not thinking about Christ?

The answer this video seems to imply is, "Well, then you're not a 'radical Christian'. You're in sin." It offers no grace, no mercy. It leaves a professing believer wallowing in condemnation. 

This is not radical Christianity. 

Radical Christianity is beholding the glorious and risen Christ and falling in love with Him. Radical Christianity is Cross-centered and not "radical Christianity"-centered. Radical Christianity passionately desires to worship and adore Jesus Christ because of such a great salvation He's given you, and fervently longs for the whole world to know about such a great Savior. Radical Christianity is desperately clinging to the Lord with all you have because you realize that you'd be utterly sinful and weak and frail apart from Him. Radical Christianity is full of joy, praise and thankfulness for what God has done for you. Radical Christianity basks and rests in the grace of God, and allows it to produce holy living your life. Radical Christianity seeks to live daily in 1 Corinthians 13. Radical Christianity seeks to be like Christ--He is our life.

There are many other things I can say about this video, but I think I'll leave it there; I don't want to keep rambling. I understand that the person who made this video was coming against the lukewarm "churchianity" of contemporary Western culture, attempting to show professing believers that radical Christianity has nothing to do with wearing Christian T-shirts, going to concerts, calling yourself a "Jesus Freak", etc. But I'm afraid the solution for this problem that he presents goes so far the other extreme that it becomes equally harmful...and just as potentially damning.

And to be honest, the video makes me tired. It makes me tired because I've been there; I used to have the same man-centered and performance-based perspective on the Christian life. I used to have the same unbiblical overemphasis on holiness, being radical, and the responsibility of man. I used to be heavily influenced by certain Arminian preachers, and by Pelagian heretics like Charles Finney, who impressed these exact ideas into my mind. And the end result was only condemnation, pride, resentment at other Christians for not being like I was, a critical spirit, and due to the heavy burdens imposed on me, physically and spiritually wearing myself out.

But glory to God, He's delivered me from all of that! I'm free from the chains and bondage of a legalistic and false Christianity. I'm accepted in the Beloved; I'm free to just live for Him. I can go one inch to the left or to the right, and He won't love me any less. My being accepted by God is not dependent on what I do or have done for the Lord, its dependent on what Jesus has already done for ME. How liberating that is! I now longer want to be some superstar for the Kingdom, I no longer want to attain the stature of one of the apostles, I don't want to be known as a great intercessor or preacher of the Word. I'm content being the least of all the saints. My only goal is to be like Christ.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

R.I.P. Tarantula

Our pet tarantula died no too long ago. We found it in the house, "pregnant" with many little tiny babies on its back. At first I didn't know what they were; it looked like the spider with the strangest abdomen I had ever seen...until it started giving "birth" and the little spiders started coming alive, and little by little started coming off its back. It was a good thing it was found and captured before the babied hatched--the last thing we need is a swarm of tarantulas around the house. The kids and I would catch flies and moths and other bugs to feed it and its babies. They all ended up dying, though, and eventually, since I was busy and forgot to feed it, the mother tarantula died as well.