Hi again so soon!
I received the latest issue of the MorningStar Journal in the mail today, and read it immediately. I rejoiced at the testimonies of what God is doing in people's lives, and wept at the credits which were given partly to God but mostly to the church leaders involved.
I cut up the Journal into separate pages, scanned it, and did a search for the word 'carnal'. I found it once on Page 7 in Leonard Ravenhill's article, in which he rants about the lack of zeal which people have regarding spiritual warfare, but the great zeal which people have for worldly warfare! And yet he fails to assign blame for this clearly observable reality as the Scriptures assign blame.
Carnality. Christian leaders seem to have the same inability as Barach Obama to even speak or pen the word. As President Obama could not bring himself to say "Islamic Terrorist", the church does not seem to be able to address the overwhelming reality of "Christian Carnality"!
I have concluded that only a spiritual
person can perceive
carnality, and only God can bring a person to his or her knees in
absolute brokenness and contrition to pray the real sinners' prayer,
"God, have mercy on me, the sinner!" Then the adventure of
abiding in Christ with His spiritual discernment begins!
And yet, the Lord is so gracious.
He treats us with the same
kindness as He treated the messenger of the ekklesia at Laodicea.
He exposes our delusions, and then 'recommends' that we obtain eyesalve
from Him so that we can see, and real gold to replace our fools gold,
and white garments to replace our filthy rags!
King David was correct when he wrote in
Psalm 51 (you know, the 'man
after God's own heart', after his adventures with Bathsheba):
Psa 51:17 The sacrifices of God
are a broken spirit; a
broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
And yet we offer sacrifices galore, but
very little obedience based
on brokenness and contrition.
I must confess that by the grace of God I was only a carnal Christian for a day. I got saved on 5/15/76 based on the verse "Be still and know that I am God". Psalm 46:10.
The very next day I was given the following verse, which changed everything:
1Co 6:19 Or do you not know
that your body is a sanctuary
of the Holy Spirit in you, which you have from God, and you are not of
1Co 6:20 You were bought with a price; then glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are of God.
Bought with a price. I realized that was abject slavery, and the only alternative was continued sin. Yet I was so despondent that I said, "Yes, Lord" to whatever He wanted to do in me and through me, and the result has been that I have joyfully be on the outs with the church leadership for all of my Christian life as I point out these fundamentals of the faith to them. And all the while He Who is Faithful has continued to help me to apply His axe to the root of my tree of the knowledge of good and evil, from time to time as He sees fit. I have come to enjoy the freedom I get every time He takes me to the woodshed, not to mention the increase of joy and and peace and righteousness.
We simply cannot rely on our own interpretation of the Scriptures. I recently met with my buddy Neil, who has the happy ability to perceive things happening in the spiritual realm. We agreed in prayer that Father would do what He was instructing us to do, trusting that 'ten thousand would be put to flight' as we agreed in that prayer. Neil then observed that angels on horses had been dispatched as a result of our prayer. We had always thought that our enemies would be put to flight, yet Neil's perception was that ministering spirits were released to fly on their missions! Quite a reality check for us!!
We have had 2,000 years to discover that even with the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit, we are still failures. That is the point of 'the church age' just as the point of the 'age of the Law' was to convict of sin rather than to instill righteousness.
Well, I won't bore you with more, but I offer this feedback to whomever might receive it, and I request correction wherever I need correction.
Happily yours in Christ and Father's love,