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Challenging, thought provoking issues for the need of this hour.


In this Issue

The Toxic Society
Christianity become a one, day religion
Reason


In Other News

The covering doctrine or the headship of Christ?
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The Toxic Society

Toxin is a poison secreted by a microbe causing some particular disease. (Oxford dictionary).

We live in a Toxic Society:
One in two marriages fail, and where children are involved the consequences are inestimable. Presently Seventy million children go to bed every night in America in a home where only one natural parent is present, and that number is rising. In Australia it is getting up to two million.

A large number of these homes are unable to function normally because of substance abuses such as alcohol, incest, gambling and drugs. Prescription drugs are taken for all kinds of depression because without them millions cannot function; most will never be able to come off them; they are hooked for life. Millions have an addiction to illegal drugs that is uncontrollable. The consequences of these lifestyles are immeasurable as they drive many into dire poverty and suicide, or an early grave. These problems include unwanted pregnancies, child abuse, violence and murder. In Australia and New Zealand we are constantly hearing reports of mothers and fathers spitefully murdering their own children. This is a sign of the last days, where Paul said people would be without natural affection.

As it takes several auxiliary bodies such as doctors, lawyers, ministers, parents and police, to try and prop up each condition the situation is hopeless. Because of this there are just not enough helpers, or money to support them to go around. As the state of affairs reaches critical mass govt agencies are at wits end as they search for answers that elude them. This will continue to be the case until we have a national moral revolution. That will almost certainly never happen.

Countless young children live in extremely dangerous homes in neighbourhoods all around us. Yes, that’s right, their homes are a war zone, and they are always the victims. The suffering and abuse that many of them endure is horrendous. After living the formative years of their lives in homes like these their brains and emotions have been wired for every kind of violent, anti-social and moral malfunction imaginable.

Then we must ask ourselves, that if these statistics for broken marriages is the same among Christians, what percentage of the other stats might also apply? The answer is they are much higher than we are ready to admit. A physician friend told me that 20% of those that come into his surgery for consultation are suffering from life threatening ailments; and that percentage is rising. We may be living longer, but what is the quality of these lives? He went on to say that Christian patients were coming to his practice wanting prescription drugs for what was essentially a spiritual disorder. You can mask spiritual problems, but you can’t cure them with chemicals.

A best selling author who is also medical practitioner writes:
“ I believe that the doctor of the future must not only be a physician but also a teacher. His true task will be to teach people how to live a healthy life. And physicians will not have less to do because of this; to the contrary, they will be busier than they are today, because it is far and away more difficult to keep people healthy than it is to cure them.

 

Christianity become a one – day religion

Christianity over the past 15 centuries has been a Sunday religion with little influence on the remaining six days. We have become Sunday-Mourners, caught in the trap of having to perform and produce on that day. It has become the focal point of all that we seek to do as we congregate, fellowship, worship, break bread, teach, evangelise, heal, trying to demonstrate the gifts of the Spirit and pray the Holy Spirit will fall. I don’t think God is interested in reviving that or restoring anything that promotes any form of religious system. Our lives are a dichotomy. We work 6 days a week and then on the seventh wear ourselves out doing religious stuff for clergy?

We are bound by necessity to perpetrate the system created, and to maintain it in order to keep the people and so we continue to feed them on this style of Christianity. The main course is a sermon preceded by praise and worship as an appetiser to soften you up for the offering. Sandwiched in between all this there might be a prophecy of dubious quality. All this will be topped off with a charismatic hug and an exhortation to come back for some more next week. Thus are the saints fed, watered and bedded down in comfortable carpeted temples, which are nothing more than institutions that have been set up to vaccinate saints for the purpose of retarding them. Not even solid teaching about the Kingdom will produce what God wants if we do not release the people to be led and instructed by the Holy Spirit. Institutions produce weak saints who become addicted to dependency.

Many start cell groups to counteract the formality of the pulpit-pew Sunday syndrome. They hope to improve the situation by encouraging or enforcing relationships, which more often than not compound the problem. They use the cell group night to regurgitate what was said on a Sunday in a more informal setting. In reality it is a microcosm of the Sunday service where the leader reinforces the party line. Bible study and prayer meetings of this nature just increases the frustration felt by the saints. On comes the pressure from the top, the programme isn’t working as the system grinds to a halt. Half the fellowship no longer attends and so is labelled rebellious or independent. Conclusion - House Groups are not the answer to what God wants to do. Neither are the new fad called “House churches” the answer, but more about them another time.

Another point I would like to make, which I believe throws light on the current problem, is that particularly in the Catholic and Anglican tradition the people have worshipped in temple-style buildings so venerated they feel they haven’t “been to church” if they don’t meet in a building. Priests are given the order of service to maintain the tradition. Altars, priestly robes, candles and incense, special holy days and festivals all indicate nothing has changed from the Old Covenant ritual law and practice. As I read the New Testament, Jesus not only abandoned all that, but also taught that we are now His Temple. Altars went out with the sacrifice, and now all the saints of the new covenant through the blood of Jesus, are priests unto our God. Isn’t it strange how we seek to preserve such outmoded, unscriptural traditions? The scriptures clearly indicate that Jesus made all things new, replacing the Old Covenant with a New one that has a new priesthood, and a manner of gathering with new emphasis. The old had become obsolete (Hebrews. 8:13).

In like manner, when the nonconformist movement arose in the l5th and l6th Centuries, reacting against all the old covenant practices, even there they reverted to pre-incarnation tradition. Baptist, Congregationalists, Methodist and others of more recent vintage all sought to build their structure on the lines of the synagogue, which by the time of Jesus had become the local focal point of the Jewish religion. These now well-established denominations, withdrew from the traditional Anglican Catholic Old Covenant emphasis of temple, ritual and principles, and became what was known as “non conformists” taking on the principle of synagogue worship and function. The synagogue evolved in Babylon for the purpose of assembly to hear the law read and taught and it is still with us to this day. The non-conformists chose the same pattern-lecture hall style buildings. Then pews and chairs, suited for listening to the reading and the preaching of the ‘Word’ were introduced. Therefore the pulpit lectern became the central and focal point of all Church architecture of those denominations.

The book of Hebrews states that the new covenant was to be written in our hearts, unlike the Old, which was written down in the law (Ezekiel 11:20, Jeremiah 31:33). The writer to the Hebrews makes this plain. This is the new covenant I will make with the house of Israel; after that time declares the Lord I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbour or a man his brother, saying know the Lord, because they will all know me from the least to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more”, Hallelujah, what a glorious Gospel. Then there are the consequences of the rest of those verses? His law, His regulations, and His Words would be on our hearts and in our minds. Each one will know Him; every new covenant child will know Him, will hear Him and understand Him, not just the priest or pastor, but all His people, every believer. “My sheep will hear my voice,” said Jesus and the stranger they will not follow.

If you are treated like a dumb animal for long enough that’s what you become

I cannot recall any leader that I sat under ever pose the question, “How can you know it’s the voice of God? How can you hear Him?” My mentors were filled with wonderful knowledge; outstanding teachers of doctrine, and although I sat under them for years they never told me that I could know that it was God who was speaking to me until a brother took me under his wing and taught me to listen. How often do you read of a Church Life Class or a Discipleship Course teaching people how to recognize His voice, grow in the Spirit, and how to discern between good and evil Hebrews 5:14.

Those who limit and restrict the work of Holy Spirit in our lives are leading us astray. For it’s His anointing that teaches us and leads us into all truth. The Holy Spirit is the seal of God upon our lives. You will get to know His voice as you wait upon Him. You don’t need to have everything handed down to you via a pastor. Hereby we know that we dwell in Him and He in us because he has given us of His Spirit 1 John 4: 13.

 

The Toxic Society

Toxin is a poison secreted by a microbe causing some particular disease. (Oxford dictionary).

We live in a Toxic Society:
One in two marriages fail, and where children are involved the consequences are inestimable. Presently Seventy million children go to bed every night in America in a home where only one natural parent is present, and that number is rising. In Australia it is getting up to two million.

A large number of these homes are unable to function normally because of substance abuses such as alcohol, incest, gambling and drugs. Prescription drugs are taken for all kinds of depression because without them millions cannot function; most will never be able to come off them; they are hooked for life. Millions have an addiction to illegal drugs that is uncontrollable. The consequences of these lifestyles are immeasurable as they drive many into dire poverty and suicide, or an early grave. These problems include unwanted pregnancies, child abuse, violence and murder. In Australia and New Zealand we are constantly hearing reports of mothers and fathers spitefully murdering their own children. This is a sign of the last days, where Paul said people would be without natural affection.

As it takes several auxiliary bodies such as doctors, lawyers, ministers, parents and police, to try and prop up each condition the situation is hopeless. Because of this there are just not enough helpers, or money to support them to go around. As the state of affairs reaches critical mass govt agencies are at wits end as they search for answers that elude them. This will continue to be the case until we have a national moral revolution. That will almost certainly never happen.

Countless young children live in extremely dangerous homes in neighbourhoods all around us. Yes, that’s right, their homes are a war zone, and they are always the victims. The suffering and abuse that many of them endure is horrendous. After living the formative years of their lives in homes like these their brains and emotions have been wired for every kind of violent, anti-social and moral malfunction imaginable.

Then we must ask ourselves, that if these statistics for broken marriages is the same among Christians, what percentage of the other stats might also apply? The answer is they are much higher than we are ready to admit. A physician friend told me that 20% of those that come into his surgery for consultation are suffering from life threatening ailments; and that percentage is rising. We may be living longer, but what is the quality of these lives? He went on to say that Christian patients were coming to his practice wanting prescription drugs for what was essentially a spiritual disorder. You can mask spiritual problems, but you can’t cure them with chemicals.

A best selling author who is also medical practitioner writes:
“ I believe that the doctor of the future must not only be a physician but also a teacher. His true task will be to teach people how to live a healthy life. And physicians will not have less to do because of this; to the contrary, they will be busier than they are today, because it is far and away more difficult to keep people healthy than it is to cure them.

 

Reason

REASON

Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson; they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18.

The power to think is God’s greatest gift to man.
The man who thinks is God’s best friend and the Devils worst enemy.
The man who can’t think is an idiot.
The man who won’t think is a fool.
The man who dares not think for himself is a slave.
He is always captive to somebody else’s point of view. He is a prisoner.

Reason is the final court of appeal.
Someone has well said: “God governs the rock by gravitation, the tree by a natural law, the animal by instinct and man by reason”.
There is nothing which will act as a plow in the brain more than a question.
Oh, that man was wise enough to know that they should think.

There are just two classes, those who think and those who only think they think. Think!
Classify yourself as much as you like but the fact remains you are one of these two groups.

The progressive thinker has learned to go through the world headfirst.
While others go through feet first.

Question your way into a difficulty and question your way out.
When you ask yourself a question and turn to yourself for an answer and delve till you discover the answer then you are an original thinker.

An original thinker does not ask questions and accept your answers. Nor does he commit your philosophies to memory to recite them to the world.

He asks his own questions; seeks for answers in the word which his inner conscience can own. And because they bear the witness of the Spirit of Christ within him, they sit comfortable with him.
“ By this we know that we abide in him, and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit”. 1 John 4:13 RSV

But this is a people robbed and plundered, they are all of them trapped in holes and hidden in prisons; they have become a prey with none to rescue, a spoil with none to say, "Restore!" (Isaiah 42:22 RSV)
He brought my soul (mind will emotions intellect) out of prison that I might praise His name; the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shall deal bountifully with me. (Psalms 142:7 KJV)

Edmund Burke said that he did not fear the Day of Judgment half as much as he did the day of no judgment.

Proverbs 21:16 says the man that wanders out of the way of understanding will remain in the congregation of the dead. Solution, don’t just drift through life.

The proper use of the human reason would reduce our theological difficulties and ecclesiastical machinery by about 95% and our political problems by 99%.

How pertinent are these words of Herbert Spencer:
“ Several centuries ago there was uniformity of belief. Scientifically, all men believed in the teachings of Aristotle. Religiously, all men were Roman Catholics. Politically, all men believed in a monarchy. A new world opened up to humanity when it was discovered that in all things, religious, political and scientific, every man was, and could be his own philosopher, priest.”

The Renaissance was followed by The Industrial Revolution; then The Technological and Philosophical revolution. Monarchies would eventually be overthrown or stripped of their power. In the middle of all this Christianity is in Chaos. The religious have no answers, because they ask no questions of their source Christ. They have no appetite for truth.

We have as the scripture says gone astray. Our basic problem is that we have gone our own way; we are eating the fruit of it; and it’s very bitter.

In the 70, 80s catechisms were all the rage in America. Pastors in NZ were urged to adopt the practice and indoctrinate their people in a similar manner to the historic churches. But the problem with that approach was that the catechisms were full of answers but no questions? Catechisms should be full of questions not answers.

There is nothing which will act as a plow in the brain, as much as a question.
Information precedes transformation.
Question your way into a difficulty and question your way out.
Ask and receive; Seek and you will find; knock and the door will open said a wiser than I. Hunger and thirst and you will be filled. There is cry no for which there is no supply.
That is if you do it with your whole heart.
This poor man cried and the Lord heard and delivered him out of all his troubles.

Truth is the eye of reason; without it we are blind. Result, blind leaders lead the blind.

Truth is absolute. An argument may be overcome by a stronger argument, but Truth is obligatory under all circumstances in all relations. But it must be the whole truth. Not just the selective truth of some particular man or movement.