Monday, March 31, 2008

Returning From the Midst of Carnality

I must admit that I have been "hiding" out the last few days, despite the fact that I have had the time to sit and write a post. I have been evaluating my blog's purpose, my blog's audience and which direction the Lord wants me to take. Originally, when I started this blog, 9 months ago, it was to promote the concept to the seeking unbelieving society that one does not need church to find God. It was to protect, proclaim and hold dear the name of Christ that has been abused and misused by so many, so that those who DO seek Him KNOW Him as He is to BE known. It was to be a source of simplicity, in this confusing time of doctrines of  men. For that reason, the original name of this blog was "Confessions of an Unchurched Believer".

However, naturally, my blog attracted those who claim Christianity as a belief, and in this church-soaked society, my claims (which ARE the promises of God) to walk in Faith, in trust in Christ alone, as He makes me stand, outside of any indoctrinated church, has continually been under attack. Hence, I have been led these past 9 months to refocus my blog towards other Christians for the simple purpose that God may be manifest through me... HE ALONE IS ENOUGH.

Yet, during this time I've found myself in debates, defending the truth, defending my Faith, not against nonbelievers, ALWAYS with Christians. Truly...it is an unholy thing to see the fangs and judgements pour forth amongst themselves.

I feel a prompting  return to the original intention and purpose of this blog as I am led to understand it. My soul is weary of the division I've experienced (the very divisions that led me to step away from churches at large). It is simply not my desire or passion to argue, nitpick and debate the Word of the Living God with THOSE who claim the same beliefs. I was not reborn for this purpose. My passion, desire and purpose comes from my FELLOWSHIP with Christ Jesus. That I may uplift and glorify His name. That I may share and in return have shared with me.

Nine months is the amount of time it takes for a child to grow in the womb of it's mother. Nine months is long enough for those to understand who I am...WHY I am... beyond the title of my blog "Confessions of an Unchurched Believer/In Spirit and In Truth". With this contentment in place, I move forward, in hopes that I may touch upon another's untouched heart for the glory of God.

I will be posting, as able, posts that relate to the Gospel in simplicity, in whole, in context, sound doctrine towards the seeking, nonbeliever. Additionally, I will be accepting (as led) links from non faith blogs as an means of drawing the nonbeliever to this site.  As I post towards this audience, I feel absolutely compelled to disable the comment section, in protection of the nonbeliever. As Christ declared so long ago, that we (as disciples) shall be known by our love John 13:35 to one another. It is not apparent in the divisions of doctrines and church... it is even less apparent in the blogosphere. That is not to say, I have not found other brothers and sisters in Christ...you know who you are ;) I have found more rhinestones than genuine gems. I ask of you "are we not carnal and walk as men??

"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?" -- 1 Corinthians 3:1-4

By Paul's very own, spirit-led, definition, (NOT MINE, so no angry comments please) we ARE (as a Christian society) carnal.

The definition of carnal:

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This

car·nal /ˈkɑrnl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kahr-nl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation

–adjective

1.pertaining to or characterized by the flesh or the body, its passions and appetites; sensual: carnal pleasures.

2.not spiritual; merely human; temporal; worldly: a man of secular, rather carnal, leanings.

I am not so resolute in my perceptions, as to limit the power of God, as so many of us do, in opinions and beliefs, for I understand that as many as gone after the ways of "Baal" ( Romans 11:4) "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace"  -- Romans 11:5 A vast majority churches today are the manifestation of 1 Corinthians 3: 1-4. Modern day Christianity is the natural result of this, becoming a culture rather than bold Faith for Christ, we have a bold faith in the traditions and doctrines of our choice.  Are we not carnal and walk as men??

The thirst for adding unto what God has declared (Himself) sufficient is prevalent in the seeking of churches, doctrines of men, the seeking of the physical gatherings, and the keeping of traditions....Are we not carnal and walk as men??

"And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?" -- 2 Corinthians 3:4-7

Yes, it is unholy...the "envying, and strife, and divisions" found in "Christian" forums amongst Christians. And unscriptural... it is carnal... and the carnal mind IS enmity against God....

"For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God" -- Romans 8:5-8 (These are NOT my words, so no angry comments)

So what does this mean for me? Will I disengage from online fellowship with other Christians? No, what this means for me is I will be more guarded against engaging in debates and dialogue with others. These are the standards that I have set for myself, as well as others who choose to engage in scriptural dialogue in this blog:

  • Assumptions/Defensiveness - Don't assume mine or anyone else's intentions or motivations in their comments, unless clearly stated. In any forum, it is better to assume their intentions are good, since other communication clues, body language, facial expressions etc are NOT a luxury. Better to ask a question to clarify their/ my comment than to create a hostile environment by an assumption. This does not honor God and show a loving Spirit
  • Ask a Question/Expect an Answer -If you ask me a question, DO expect an answer, otherwise be sure if you WANT me to answer your question. Too many times, I have found many asking me questions only to become upset at the frankness of my answer. I believe in being respectfully, truthful, I do not engage in glossing over the truth to avoid "hurt" feelings.

    "Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." -- Proverbs 27: 5-6

  • Scripture - I will not receive scripture out of context of it's principle  in support of an an unbiblical belief or doctrine. I am inflexible on this point. However, it is not to say you cannot share what has been impressed upon you by the spirit ( not by a preacher or a book). Be aware, that I may or may not respond as I am led.
  • Opinions - Personal opinions, and perceptions are fine as we all have them. They can be glorified in the diversity that He has created for His purpose.
  • "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

    For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

    Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

    That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive " Ephesians 4: 11-14

  • Personal opinions and perceptions promoted as God's truth are not fine.  I write this noting the impossibility of it, for such unity and understanding only comes from one Spirit as He gives...the seemingly impossibility comes from the divisions and attitudes demonstrated in Christian forums today. Don't confuse what I'm saying with God all things are possible, but without Him all things are IMPOSSIBLE....

I will be putting up a shoutbox in the near future so that I may continue to keep in touch with my brothers and sisters in Christ when comments are disabled (they will not always be disabled). I will be posting the final part in my "Being Wise as a Serpent" series, and then my focus will be towards the nonbeliever. I can only pray that those of you reading this blog have found the same liberty that I have in following the Christ as He wills. For it truly is joy, peace and grace in abundance! May you be blessed herein the Law of Liberty that He has set in  motion upon His sacrifice!

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" -- Romans 8:1-2

So be it....

4 comments:

  1. Hannah,

    What you pointed out about interactions with fellow Christians is quite true, sadly. That said, I totally respect where you're coming from and where you will be bringing your blog. In fact, I applaud that you'll be reaching out to non-believers!

    I've had ideas on such a blog, but I don't think I'll have the time to maintain another, so I'm holding it off. Not to mention that I think I should get out more often to evangelize so if I do set up a blog, that'll set me back to the armchair again -- something I already know I need to get out of more often. ;-)

    I'll miss some of your insightful posts for fellow Christians, and not being able to comment on your posts, but I understand your position. Looking forward to the chatbox. :)

    The LORD guide and bless you in your endeavors, Hannah.

    God bless, and Shalom!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just had a thought: instead of disallowing comments altogether, why not moderate them? That's what I've been doing on my blog if you noticed. I think it's a good way to have some control over what is read publicly and still get some feedback from readers in general.

    You've probably considered that, so it's just me throwing my 2 coppers in.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This may sound silly...but I actually did NOT consider comment moderation....

    That is something I could do...I have a "condition" that comes with pregnancy called the "pregnant brain" I'm continually entertaining my 14 year old by missing the most basic things!

    Yes that is most certainly something I could do :) I was so focused on what needs to be done...

    Anyways brother I'm not going anywhere :) I'll be visiting your blog. In light of my oversight, I probaby will enable comment moderation. Thank you for understanding my desire to follow God's leading.

    I welcome your comments as I know we both fellowship with the same Christ.

    God bless and God Speed!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you very much, Hannah, and I'm glad that I was of some help. :)

    Shalom!

    ReplyDelete

Comments are moderated.

Please note the changes to this blog. ONLY respectful comments and questions are accepted. Special note to other Christians: This blog no longer caters to debate and or arguments about the Bible. If you have a comment in SUPPORT of clear and concise understanding of the saving power of Christ Jesus, you are welcome to leave comments on this blog.