A CHRISTIAN WARRIOR CHECKS IN
This warrior is on the front line in both physical and spiritual warfare.
Editor: Steve Van Nattan- Blessed Quietness Journal--
The identity of the writer is concealed for his sake.
I simply wanted you to see that the battle can be a "whole life" experience.
We seem to live with the quandary that although we cannot in any way help God, we must still do things that keep our conscience clean. For instance, God says not to give him any rest in the matter of praying for the peace of Jerusalem. It requires personal humility to stay focused on the fact that our prayers in this matter are not helping God. It requires personal humility to believe that by doing the right thing, we are not being God�s little helpers.
This seems kind of strange that God will not allow us to be his little helpers, yet we must realize it is impossible for us to be his little helpers due to the fact that he is all powerful and doesn�t need any helpers � angelic or human. God�s grace is the absolute proof of this situation. There�s nothing we can do to make ourselves one bit better in his eyes. We are either doomed imperfect sinners, or made absolutely perfect and acceptable to God by our belief in why Jesus was crucified for us. There is no in-between-- between doom and salvation.
With this concept in mind, it then falls to us to do good things while at the same time realizing that doing good things (like visiting the sick, giving to the poor, serving as a volunteer in the Israel Defense Force) does not make us personally good. No, we are not good. Yes, we are indeed perfect, but being perfect does not in any way make us good.
What living my own Christian life has taught me is that confirmation of my salvation lies in my desire to keep volunteering to serve in the Israel Defense Force. Actually, the confirmation of my salvation lies in God�s Word, but the fact that I�m addicted to serving God�s people confirms to me that I live and breathe within the living water of God�s word.
It was hard for me to gain humility. The first two times I served in the IDF, I thought it was my duty to be helpful to the IDF. The next two times I served in the IDF, I thought I should take it upon myself to fix the dysfunctional IDF. Being such an arrogant jackass to think that I was God�s little helper, I finally resolved to serve the IDF, and that�s when I finally felt connected to Israel and to God. I think that serving is the key to this Emergent Church nonsense.
The Emergent Church serves itself first and foremost and only. The Emergent Church prays only to itself. Remember how Jesus did NOT pray for God�s help to accept his upcoming crucifixion? Jesus prayed to have the cup removed if possible! That�s why I never pray for God�s help. Anything difficult I have coming up, I pray to God to just do it for me. I don�t want God to help me. I want Him to simply do it all for me. If I have any part in it I�ll mess it up big time and it�ll backfire on me just like everything Wiley Coyote tries in order to catch the Roadrunner blows up in his face, singes all of his fur, and leaves just his white eyeballs sticking out of his smoldering head.
And that�s exactly what�s happening to the Emergent Church. Their grand plans and prayers to themselves are all going to backfire on them � literally. The Lake of Fire is waiting as their reward for thinking of themselves as God�s little helpers. God�s little helpers are totally unneeded by God, but they�re entirely too arrogant to accept such a notion. In their minds, they�re way too cool to have their good works be regarded as filthy rags. They live in nice houses, wear spiffy clothes, listen to cool Christian music, have happening friends, drive good cars. They think that non-Christians will behold their glory and think that if they just hooked up with Jesus then they�d be able to join the ranks of the ultra-cool people, plus go to Heaven eventually.
If God is to be worshipped in spirit and in truth, then there are no sermons worth listening to, no church houses worth entering, no choirs, and no collection plates. I have a Bible and I love to read it. I don�t need anybody to read a Bible to me. I hang out with a few other Christians in their homes or gardens, or they come over to my apartment and I roast coffee for them, or we spend time at the shooting range together, or I serve in the IDF with them as fellow volunteers. But I will never set foot inside what is called a church unless it�s to attend a funeral.
All the Emergent Church has to offer are feel-good-ism, and the collection plate. The money I could throw into a collection plate, I instead use to pay my way to Israel for the purpose of serving in the IDF. And I get all the feel-good-ism I need when I�m in the shower after a hot day of filling sandbags, stringing razor wire, and cleaning the crew-served weapons the IDF uses for killing terrorists all night long. I drift off to sleep at night while picturing vivid images of those who are currently burdening themselves with Jerusalem being cut in pieces � staring in horror at their severed limbs and wondering how such a thing could have happened to them. It feels so wonderful and refreshing to be hated by God�s and Israel�s enemies.
So, what I was talking about being a quandary isn�t really a quandary after all. It�s being able to enjoy God�s victory over Satan and Satan�s servants while doing the right thing. I�m not gaga over Israel and the Jews. I know exactly who they are, and I know exactly who I am, and I have chosen to serve them as Paul asked me to do in Romans 13:30-31, and Romans 11:11. It�s a no-brainer.
I would love it if while I was serving in the IDF, that Rick Warren would return to Damascus and Israel would turn it into a ruinous heap and Warren would never be heard from again. And it would be music to my ears to hear Warren�s followers bleating about how evil Israel was for doing something explicitly foretold in mean old Jew God�s Bible. I would praise and bless God for that.
I�ve seen what you�ve seen regarding the Emergent Church, albeit from a different perspective. I grew up as a [church member] in rural _______________ who got dropped off and picked up from Sunday school each week. I viewed my religious experience as a joke, and laughed heartily as my dad made fun of the preachers about town.
Nowadays when the feel good preacher introduces himself and pumps my hand at a funeral, and asks about my faith, and I tell him I get all my needs met by serving in the IDF, he smiles quizzically and saunters off to find more fertile pickins. He�s not getting any money from me, and he intuitively knows it�s pointless to weasel around about it. I have eliminated all the freaks from my life.
I believe you�re a godly man who was a pastor for all the right reasons, and got left behind by the times. I�ve followed your journal closely since 1998. I�ll bet you shared in some large Christian fellowships at Sunday picnics under big shady trees down by beautiful rivers where you nurtured new followers of Christ. Having never experienced that, I�ve never had my hopes up that things might get better. I always saw things getting worse, and I realized that things would keep getting worse, and that�s how it�s turning out.
I expected the preacher to be a showman, and I haven�t been the least bit disappointed. Yet I always longed for some kind of a church experience somewhere that would somehow be good, and so I searched from time to time, but was always very quickly disappointed. I blamed myself for not knowing enough to look in the right place. Today I accept that I have found the best church experience that there is. I always had it, but I looked at so-called churches full of people and wanted to fit in. The vanity of wanting to fit in. I hadn�t been trusting God�s word that the way is narrow. I looked at the broad way and wondered why I wasn�t like the cool trendy people who were on it.
In March of 2009, I attended a Bible study or adult Sunday school at the Evangelical church in my hometown of about 4,000 people. Some friends invited me and I agreed. I had no intention of attending the worship service after Sunday school until a woman who had cared for my mother with Alzheimer�s and brought my mom a lot of happiness asked me if I would attend services with her and her family. I knew I shouldn�t give in, but I didn�t have the heart not to.
After three to four months I would no longer keep up the fa�ade that I could tolerate the service and I stopped attending. The services featured electric bands, a motorcycle at the front of the sanctuary one Sunday morning, exhortation to attend the inter-denominational service at the rodeo grounds, excited reports from the teenage kids who had gone to [the missionfield] for some reason or other, baptism in the river with breakfast and lawn chairs. I never once heard modern Israel mentioned there. I never heard anything of substance mentioned.
I tried to awaken my friend to what was going on, and how she had been jackbooted. She just couldn�t bring herself to forfeit the life she had let be created for herself and her children within the church.
I watched that evangelical church emerge in 1983, when the members broke away from the mainstream denominations and held services in the high school music room. I attended for a while back then and saw where they were headed � which was nowhere � which is where they are today, even though they have a huge sprawling complex. They are taking up everything you outlined in your article. They have to constantly watch for the next new trendy thing to be involved in so they don�t get stale. They�re slaves to watching for the next new thing, so they can embrace it. Lenin was absolutely right � religion is their opium and they can�t break their habit. They don�t give a hoot about anything other than their Sunday morning fix.
You have hit upon it with the Emergent Church article, but �it� has not yet been labeled. It�s sin, and it�s addiction, and it�s delusion.
I heard it put that addiction is a spirit, and spirits have appetites. The congregations are all in place doing what they will keep doing, and they desperately need to be deprogrammed but they�ll stone you to death before they�ll ever see it that way. Quite simply, they�ve all been given over. Those of us who have been spared, stand here spared, gaping in horror of what we�ve been spared from within not only the emergent church, but the mainstream churches as well.
The evangelicals who fled the mainstream churches smugly thought they�d escaped from something terrible, only they brought themselves and their delusions along with them to the new emergent church. They deluded themselves into believing that the churches were the problem. Whereas they were always the problem for looking to the churches as places where they could feed their addiction to worshipping themselves.
My point isn�t to criticize them. They�re gone. They�re gone to enjoying their reward. I go on with my life and eagerly look forward to walking onto my next IDF base where I will love the young Jew soldiers.
Thank you for writing the article and asking for comment.