Friday, April 17, 2015

STAND UP AND SPEAK UP

Amos 7:7-8

LIFT UP THE STANDARD

For years I have avoided taking a stand on many issues within the Church for various reasons; but that middle-of-the-road position is now being challenged by the Holy Spirit.


I see it happening throughout the Body of Christ as well as in my own life. We can no longer sit quietly by as if everything is okay and it will all work out in the end.

AVOIDING THE ISSUES

At first, it was only the issues with those outside the Church which I would not engage—homosexuality, abortion, atheism.

Then, things began to arise within the Body of Christ with which I refused to take a stand. Usually, that was because I wanted to see how things settled out, since I knew that I did not have a handle on the truth.

Why come down on something with which I did not have the full story?

I’m not sure that my reticence has served me well, though.

Yes, it has preserved me from useless arguments; but, at the same time, it has probably made me appear to be somewhat wishy-washy or milquetoast.

The situation within the Church, though, has come to such a head that I can no longer sit quietly by.

I have no intention of engaging in any kind of argument with those who espouse differing views, though I am ALWAYS open to meaningful debate and discussion when truth is the goal.

My main reasoning is that there are people for whom I am responsible before God, and in that place, I have a duty.

The awareness that I should engage the situation became evident as worked my way through the recent series on DISCERNMENT/DECEPTION.

I have become acutely aware of Amos 8:11 as it operates within our own times.

I see two ‘famines’ in that verse—a famine of the word being spoken, as well as a famine of hearing. Few preachers preaching the Word, and few people able to hear.

I am also painfully aware of the reality of Jesus’ words “…because iniquity shall abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). ‘Painfully,’ because I have succumbed in times past.

NO LONGER ANY STANDARD

I have watched quietly as standard after standard has been cast aside in favor of the “new logic” that comes from a particular insight.

We have failed to maintain the standard of excellence. We have been told in education that the students will rise to the level of our expectations. We are told in the business world to set the bar high. The same holds true for any endeavor towards excellence.

Whatever the standard is, that is the level the majority will attain.

The Church has for so long compared herself to the world so as to measure herself as being “right,” that she has finally sunk to the level of her standard of comparison.

It is the “standard” with which I am most concerned now as I see where the Church and the world is headed.

A standard is something against which similar things are measured. According to Dictionary.com, there are 28 different meanings (applications) of the word, but they all have to do with measuring something.

Generally speaking, we have returned to the days mentioned in the Bible where every man “did that which was right in his own eyes” (Deu 12:8; Jdg 17:6; Jdg 21:25; Pro 12:15; Pro 21:2; Gen 6:5; Gen 8:21; Deu 29:19; Jer 3:17; Jer 7:24; Jer 9:14; Jer 11:8; Jer 13:10; Jer 16:12; Jer 18:12; Jer 23:17)

The only standard of authority now is “I think,” “I feel,” or “my opinion.”

The “opinion” standard has become so prevalent that even among believers the plain reading of the Word may get labelled as “that’s just your opinion.” (This has happened to me. I was so shocked by the retort that I had no immediate response.)

THE WORD OF GOD IS THE STANDARD

Because of this, I have now been forced to take a stand for the Word of God. Ever since being brought into the things of God, I have been one who held the Bible in high esteem as the authority in my life.

Now, though, I must begin to challenge those who say they want whatever God wants, or they want all that God has for them, but they refuse to follow the plain teachings of scripture.

Some of you will immediately retort with, “There are thousands of interpretations. How do you know yours is the RIGHT one?”

Good question.

And one from which I will no longer back down.

First, I share what I share with no agenda of trying to convince anyone. What I have, I have been given, and it is right for me at this time. I put it out there for those who may need what I have. That obviously excludes many.

Secondly, there are two things I know to be true—John 8:31-32 and John 14:26.
It is not a question of who has the “correct interpretation,” but a question of “scriptural accuracy.”

When the plain statements of scripture are either challenged or ignored, it is time for me to speak up.

NOTE: for a good article on what is happening within the Church that is the basis for my change in attitude, check this out. I came across this article immediately after completing this blog post. GOOD ARTICLE

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1 comment:

  1. Good post! Yes, we are hearing the same thing from the Lord. We can remain silent no longer. Ezekial 3 and 33 have been great motivators for me. God bless you as you continue to share the truth.

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