Sunday, October 08, 2006

Ben posted a very long post on his blog titled "Bereans or Pharisees?" I have cut and pasted the last half of it here. If we cannot love our neighbor, then we aren't doing it right. Too many churches get focused on doctrine, legalism, etc. I am glad to be part of Amadeo as this is where Amadeo is heading. Being moved by love! The Love of God. Good word Ben!

Here it is:

If our greatest commandments are to love God and love others - then studying God's scripture and gaining knowledge and insights can only be but one leg in our table, not the most important. Yes we will learn to love others by reading his word - but God warns us about putting our priorities and "chips," on the wrong bet. 1 Corinthians 13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." Legalism is steep in spiritual disciplines - and light years away from the heart of this, do that, you must know x,y and z.

There are all sorts of reasons to know the word of God and to to be able to speak the truth boldly (prophesy) and to be able to "fathom all mysteries and all knowledge," but if our exhortation to others to do these things are charged with "expectation," and not "love," then we too are "nothing." There is an order to the obtaining of the knowledge and mysteries of the kingdom and they must be first gained with a love of God and a dependence on the spirit, and they must be sent out as the spirit leads - not by a system.

Yes we plan and prepare and study faithfully - but then we listen to the spirit - and listen to the wide and varied needs of people according to the different place God has brought them - and we do our best to train them up---but our main goal is to love God and others according to the guiding of the Holy Spirit - not through a system. Maybe our system is a Sunday service, and small groups, and groups based on needs...and maybe our system is to teach practical bible knowledge, to engage people in acts of service, and to train them in evangelism by sending them on world missions --- maybe our system is one on one discipleship and maybe our system is to teach an Old Testament book and New Testament book each year, mixed with practical sermons and timely based sermons...and maybe our system involves classes for newcomers, old timers, and those young bucks ready to bash somebody's head with the word of God - young elks in rutting season - that need to be sent either to the back shed, boxing ring, or to seminary. We will have systems upon systems...and we can not blame people for these systems - because we are an insecure lot - we feel guilty and inadequate cause we don't know enough, and we feel guilty and inadequte because we don't do enough...and we are too afraid or too lazy to let the spirit guide us to our manna. We are self centered -wanting to get ourselves right with God as people are starving in countries we could be reaching out to them with the love of God.... We think we need to spend hours training our soldiers on the knowledge of the kingdom while we ignore our next door neighbor- we are worse then those "spiritual leaders and trained blind guides," who ignored the same needy one the good samaritan reached out to. We are busy gaining knowledge, acquiring wealth - and entertaining our own comfort level when Jesus is saying "keep it simple stupid," the laws and the prophets are summed up in "loving God and loving our neighbor as ourself."

And dear church...let the love of God move you to study the:

Gospel: the good news of Christ

but also allow the love of God to move you in your:

service to others....don't be so heavenly minded (into the study of the word, that you are not the word made flesh) or so earthly minded (depending on the systems of man) that you lose sight of those the Holy Spirit is placing in your path to love in practical ways. fear getting lost in the Christian ghetto...

Church...loving those people at all different levels - listening to how the spirit is instructing you to bless each one in unique ways.

Culture...understanding how God is speaking through the people in their culture, time and place is key - the burning bush of our age may be the film reel of a secular humanist.

Worship...will we be more dedicated to worshipping of God or the studying of it is not a competition, but there is an order of priority. We are to be worshippers in spirit and truth...and love leads to repentance - not a car-crash pileup of knowledge.

One last thing must be said about those elks who love knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom... we who are young have it as both a gift and curse that we want to see change and growth - and so we are best at criticizing those who have gotton comfortable, those who have wisdom we have not gleaned yet, and those who have accepted compromise in their own life. And we are unable sometimes to see which ones are wise and which ones have accepted something less than the best. The result of this is we will (as young bucks) act like knwo-it-alls imposing our current world view on everyone in our path - and thinking what idiots they are since they do not have the "enlightenment," we have. And there is no cure for it - other than time, experience, and social skills - even confrontation time and time again will not cure us who are young and idealistic - those of us who others look at and say sarcastically, "look who think he is knows so much?"

Here is a word from another website:

What if we're called to listen more than look. What if more pastors started listening to what God is doing in the lives of his people... and helping them to listen as well.

That's the way it is in the church. Many many many pastor's love rules instead of Jesus. We love theology more than scriptural truth. We stand on our degree's instead of a love of God. yeah we're prostitutes, yeah we're stuck, yeah we need an altar call instead of a new paradigm. Harsh? I don't think so. How many pastors are busy making their congregations twice the sons of hell they are instead of making disciples.

God break our hearts, let us see the world through your eyes, let your church awaken to your will and your desires for your Bride. May your Bride be faithful and beautiful. May she know Her Lovers voice and draw near to you. It starts with your grace God and the pastor's heart. Your kingdom come. your will be done.


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