'Be anxious for nothing..." ~Philippians 4:6

Monday, March 21, 2011

RELIGIOSITY STRIKES AGAIN

















I was really encouraged by the message and songs I heard at Zion Church yesterday.
Pastor Battle said,(among other things concerning decision-making and the relationship between Abram and Lot),"To exclude God from your decision-making process is to invite trouble/disaster. Prayer doesn't inform God, it INVOLVES God...Some things, you gotta bathe in prayer...We don't pray about a lot of stuff because we don't want God to mess it up. HOW do we exclude the One who sees all, and knows all?"
One of the songs the music ministry sang was "Revelation". I googled it this morning, and listened to the recording by "Third Day". I posted the link, and Pastor Battle's quotes to my facebook page. Not long after, the following message was posted to my wall:

"What you are portraying here is really a good thing, but we ALL must remember that "JESUS" is no longer on the "Cross". I feel this picture is very hurtful to true christians and saints that truly love the "LORD".. Just my thoughts! GOD BLESS!"

I looked at the words--read them more than once-- and thought, surely, it had to be a joke. God Bless? Seemed more like "You're going to hell if you don't take this post down". I thought about deleting the comment (as I often do when someone goes off the deep end and doesn't seem to know what to say, or writes something negative, unnecessarily confrontational, or inappropriate), but I didn't. I replied--as gingerly and tactfully as I could. How DO we read the Bible and skip over the parts that remind us just how much we desperately need the Lord and how pitiful we are apart from Him? How DO we forget that we are NOTHING without Him, and our self-righteousness is akin to filthy rags? Why on earth are we so quick to argue about the most ridiculous things that have absolutely NO bearing on our salvation? Religiosity struck again, so I wrote the following reply:

"No kidding? He ISN'T? You may want to unfriend me and pray for all of us wretched, FAKE Christians and Aints who don't mind thanking God for, and remembering Calvary. Are you serious? I am my parent's LEAST aggressive child, but... I have a big problem with modern day Pharisees and Saducees who have Bibles but don't read them for any other reason than to beat up on others unnecessarily, come up with un-biblical rules and regulations, and exalt themselves as the greatest in the Kingdom. The Word is very clear about not answering a fool according to his folly, but in case you ARE serious and really do BELIEVE what you wrote, consider this: To forget the cross of Christ and the sacrifice He made would take ignorance to new, oxygen depleting heights. Art is a language of visual signs that communicate feelings, ideas, moods, experiences, occurrences, etc. You are surely entitled to your thoughts, but forgive me if I think they are sorely and sadly misguided. Sometimes we do more harm than good when we make blanket statements. I'm glad my love for the Lord is predicated on what HE thinks and knows. I'm glad His love for me is unconditional and not based on human intellect, opinions, or traditions. A TRUE Christian is a follower of Christ--one who has confessed that He is Lord, the only begotten Son of God; one who, in one's heart, believes that God raised him from the dead. It is what HE has done, and our acceptance of it that makes us Christians--not the art we display or don't display. What should hurt is the way we trip people up with foolishness, and make a relationship with God seem next to impossible."

I am SO glad that man's opinions, ideas and religious crap have no bearing on God's love for me. You'd better know for yourself what it is to be a Christian and not allow flat out foolishness to hinder or define your relationship with God. So. I've been schooled today, I guess. "True Christians and saints who really love the Lord" are hurt by illustrations/paintings of Jesus on the cross. Is that so? It ought to hurt that one person took on the sins of the whole world. Guilt and shame does have a tendency to hurt, I suppose. I wonder if the TRUE Christians hurt as much as Jesus HIMSELF did while he hung ON the cross. I doubt it. I wonder if they are hurt by knowing that his sacrifice is the reason they now have mercy, grace, right standing with God and hope of a home in Heaven. I wonder if they hurt every time they knowingly or unknowingly sin against him on a daily basis.

Do you, but I WILL remember Calvary. I don't know EVERY true Christian and saint on Earth who really loves the Lord, but I know many who have gladly sung "Oh how I love Jesus because he first loved me."---and he demonstrated that love on a tree.
I found a link to the hymn "Lead Me To Calvary". Thank God that Jesus rose again and is now seated at the right hand of God, making daily intercession for me! How I appreciate God for loving me! As for me, forgetting Calvary is not an option.

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I deleted the entire "Crucifixion Art" thread on my facebook page in the hopes of diffusing any further argument. TODAY(3/22) I find out that the person who felt the need to remind me that Jesus is no longer on the Cross, is now sending INBOX messages to people in order to explain herself in case THEY misunderstood! According to the message she saw fit to send to a total stranger, her opinion about Crucifixion art originated in the Pentacostal Church of God in Christ. I'm not one to poo poo on anyone's upbringing or religion, but it is so important to make sure that what YOU were always taught, lines up with the Word of God before you seek to impose it upon others, or declare it the law of the land. Denominational theories, ideas and practices have really messed up the minds of a lot of people--who go through life deceived and believing that what they do, say and believe is more gospel than the actual Gospel. It's sad that the population of hell is going to be overrun by people who went to church faithfully every Saturday and Sunday. Instead of cultivating a relationship with God, they zealously embraced a lot of rules and regulations with which to bind, manipulate, and confuse others--and themselves. Armed with their teachings, they delight in stirring up strife and confusion--and foolishly use the name of the Lord to do it. It's unfortunate that people are more eager to push their own religious ideas than the Word of God. I heard a minister say, "The greatest abomination in the body of Christ is denominations".
I wonder if the woman ever even bothered to listen to Third Day's song? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjMhBMvHmuw&feature=related

Here's a link to "Lead Me To Calvary"
http://my.homewithgod.com/heavenlymidis2/leadme.html

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