Christian life Tag

A friends church home group gathering was having a BBQ for his birthday, I attend and did the Barbecuing for them. The Lord has been teaching me this week is about being a follower of Jesus, and the church and His teaching really took on flesh at this gathering.

The top topics of the night where, sports, politics, work, children and grandchildren, but never was Jesus even mentioned that I ever heard. If anyone did while I was not near them it was brief, quickly mentioned and on the something else if they did.

Is that’s what followers of Jesus look like when they get together? Seriously? Is that what it looks like when people have died to themselves and live for Christ get together? What do they talk about?

When I was part of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, whenever I meet up with another follower of Jesus, whether it was at a church gathering, someone’s house, a restaurant, or running into each other on the street. 80 to 90% of our conversation was about Jesus, the word of God and the mission. Always.

When I look at scripture, read what the life of a follower of Jesus, what the church is to look like, then look how those who claim to be Christians are like, including me, they don’t match up.

When I walk into a church home group, or any home of someone who claims to be a Christian, and Jesus is not the main topic on everyone’s minds, conversations. If the mission and their part in it is not the hot topic. Something wrong with that, very wrong.

So there I was at a gathering of people who claim to be followers of Jesus, who claim they live for Christ, and yet when together they do not talk about Jesus, the word of God, Jesus did not dominate their conversations.

And I asked myself, are these are followers of Jesus? Seriously? Followers of Jesus? The same Jesus who said, you want to go bury the dead, for get you! That Jesus? The same Jesus who said you want to say goodbye to your family, you cannot be my disciple! The same Jesus that said the birds have nest, the fox’s have no holes, and I have no place to sleep, do you still want to follow me? That Jesus?

The Jesus that said “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple! Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple! That Jesus.

The same Jesus that said the purpose of our life is to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

That Jesus?

Are you telling me that people who claim that Jesus is their God, their Lord, their King, that they are willing to die for, be stoned to death for. Be nailed to a cross and die a slow painful death for. Yet when they gather with others who claim the same thing, that same Jesus does not consume their conversations? Does not so consume their life, who they are, that Jesus does not dominate their conversations?

Really, that’s what followers of Jesus look like?

Does that make sense to you?

It’s not that I’m not that I am judging them, it is more like a fear, like a concern, that it has become acceptable in America for Jesus not to be the center of our fellowship, dominate our conversations when we gather. Again, it’s not judging, it’s just I’m deeply concerned at what I see.

I burn to talk about Jesus, talk about the mission, hear what Jesus said that day, week to others, hear about their labor that day, week to preach the gospel and make disciples. Talk about what Jesus has done, about who He is, about His coming soon.

I’m no longer willing to settle for gathering with people who claim to be followers of Jesus and not have Jesus and the mission dominate our conversations. I don’t just want it like it was like in my old days at Calvary Chapel, I want even more than we had then, I want, what I read in scripture, I want to open the book of Acts and say, Wow, we are living this.

This is what God has been showing me in last few days.

i-am-angry

I read a blog post titled “Still an Angry Christian” and its first part “I am An Angry Christian”, by Cindy Brandt celebrating the gift of anger. And it was freeing to read, and it compelled me to write a similar post, being that I too am a Angry Christian, mad as hell might even be a more appropriate title for me.

Reading it has released me to surrender to the fact that its Okay for me to be angry, that I am right in being angry. That personal growth and spiritual maturity does not mean experiencing less episodes of anger, or even about managing anger better, but embracing it instead of fighting it. I am learning that as long as I care for those suffering and the injustice in this world, the mission of Jesus, biblical church, the word of God, my relationship with Jesus, the more anger is going to take up residence in my life, and I might as well get cozy with it.

Others have for so long told me I should not be angry, I should not express my anger, that Christians don’t do that, that Christians are to be filled with “the joy of the Lord” 27/7 regardless of what I am experiencing in life.

That as a Christian, I am to be nice: all the time, regardless of what people do to others, including myself. When things upset me, it is because I’m in the flesh and sinful, and not walking in the Spirit. A godly man never responds in anger, get angry at others or circumstances. Well Excuuuuse Me while I open the window, sick my head out and scream as loud as I can, I’m mad as hell, I am and not going to hide it any more!!!! I am a angry Christian!!!!!!

I hereby declare: I am an angry Christian.

I get angry when I hear about millions of young girls that are taken and turned into prostitutes for sex tourists, used to make internet porn.

I get angry when I hear over a billion people struggle with hunger, and 18 people die every minute from starvation, and most are children.

I get angry when people are hungry right now, have nothing to eat, especially children starving, many even in my own city and I can do nothing about it, and those who can, do nothing.

I get angry when Christians keep telling me to just attend a church, any church, (usually theirs), to just show up for an hour and go home, be satisfied with that and call that being part of a church.

I get angry when Christians tell me to stop being a passionate lover of God in my worship of Him and  come to their church and just sit quietly in the pew with folded hands and show no emotions. ( read more )

I get angry when Christians attack the worship music I worship God to, songs that express my love for God, remind me of Gods love for me, songs that speak from my heart.

I get angry when Christians tell me to stop being non-denominational, stop being charismatic, and join their denomination, join their non-charismatic church.

* I get angry when I want to follow Jesus and live on mission, Go preach the gospel, make disciples, gather with others that are devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. I want to be part of the body church and receive gifts to minister to the body, to pray for one another. And God will not let me, and yet everyone constantly hounds me, nags me to be part of the church, when I want to be, because God has blocked me from being part of the church in those ways.

But I don’t just get righteously angry.

* I get angry when other Christians tell me that I should not be depressed, sad, lonely, just because I do not have love and family, it’s wrong to want to have someone to love and be loved by, have children, when they do.

I get angry when other Christians tell me being single is “a gift from God”, that “Jesus is all I need (more)” when they are married with children (read my post on this).

I get angry when people point out that there are few people who choose to go through life never wanting to love or be loved by another person, and that I should choose be like them.

I get angry when God gives me a word, answers questions through His word and teaching from others, and people who claim to be Christians attack it, rip it to shreds, ultimately crap all over it. (read more).

I get angry when a pastor says from pulpit that singles should spend all their time serving God, yet their church only allows married people to be in ministry and leadership positions.

I get angry because I want to be part of a true biblical church and exercise my gifts for the body, have daily fellowship with others in Christ, but I cannot because there is no way being single at my age I can.

I get angry when I want to go and preach the gospel, feed the hungry, set the captives free, and God will not let me.

I get angry when people who God bless with love and family, say they are too busy, life to full of family things to serve God, and since I’m single that’s my job to do those things, not them. Have they never read “to whom much is given, much will be required” Luke 12:48. or  Luke 9:61-62.

And sometimes, I get angry for no good reason.

If you open your bible and read it, you will find it says to be slow in becoming angry, nowhere does it say never be angry at all. Jesus got angry, and often, even threw a fit of rage in the temple of all places ( that would be like in the middle of a church, full of people). All through out the bible God got angry at both His enemy’s and His people. Anger is part of God’s personality, and we are made in His image.

The problem is not my anger, that I am angry, the problem is the source of my angry, starving children in world of plenty, young girls being kidnaped and forced to be raped hundreds of times a day. People who say they are Christians, attack me for loving God to much, for being too passionate for God, for believing the bible and wanting to do what it says. Condemn me for wanting the church that is in the bible, for wanting my life and the church to be all about the mission of Christ, those are the problems, not my anger.

Anger channels passion, and is often a conduit of love. When God brewed in anger over God’s people in Scripture, it is often a reflection of God’s faithfulness with a people prone to wander. Love and anger are sometimes opposite sides of the same coin. They drive us to pursue justice in the face of suffering. Anger fuels commitment to lasting change.

Just as I want my anger to demand justice for others, that captives be set free, the oppressed be liberated, I need my own anger to demand just treatment for myself. Without anger, Stand up for the word of God and the mission of Jesus. I eventually learn to cope with words that minimize me, actions that diminish my gifts, my walk with God, and systems that marginalize me. My sweet, compliant spirit slowly whittles me down to a mere shadow of myself, one who goes with the flow, maintains harmony, and obeys without question. In doing so, I rob myself of the respect I deserve as a beloved child of God, and I rob my community the gift of my authentic self.

So I am an Angry Christian. Angry, because it is part and parcel of my humanity, part of being a Christian, part of being created in Gods image.

Also read:

Please Stop saying “All you need is Jesus” to singles

Stop Casting Your Pearls Before Swine

is-jesus-all-you-need

There are so many things that Christians say to others that really is callous, and cold-hearted, that does not help others at all, and for me the one that tops the list is for someone to say to me “All you need is Jesus”.  Say to anyone who is single, you don’t need love and family, “All you need is Jesus”. For someone to say, as if to brag, “All I need is Jesus”.

First off I have yet to hear one person say that to someone, that it is true about their life. Yes, Jesus is all we need as to salvation, it’s Jesus + Nothing = Everything. But when it comes to life, living life in America, functioning in life, everyone who says “All you need is Jesus” always has more than Just Jesus.

First, we are Not to go through life alone, After all God did say in the very beginning of creation,, back in Genesis 2:18  “It is not good from man to be alone” God said that of a man that all he had was God at the time, no wife, no children, no career, home, church or even one person to hang out with, all Adam has was God and God alone.. It was while man was in that state of him and God only, that God said, “It is not good from man to be alone”. Then after God said that, He created Adam a wife, then told them be as one and have lots and lots of children. God’s plan for man is to have more than Him for life on this earth, His created purpose included man getting a mate and having children, being a family just like the Godhead is.

Secondly we are not meant to be an inland., Josh McDowell said it well, “When it comes to my salvation, all I need is Jesus; after my salvation it’s, everything is Jesus plus the church… When people preach that all you need is Jesus, they cut you and I off from one of the greatest sources of healing, of sanctification which is the body of Christ. Don’t go it alone – you won’t make it.”

I have heard countless sermons lately about how important it is to be in a church, that it part of God’s design for Christians, we can’t go it alone.

The above two show us already that it’s at least Jesus + mate + children + church are to make up the life of a Christian.

With that said, what angers me the most is this: When someone says  “All you need is Jesus” and they are married, have 3 or 4 kids, lives in a very nice house, with two nice cars parked in the driveway. Has a great career, a job making a fat paycheck, has a fat 401K, holds a leadership position at their church, Jesus is not all they have, not all they have to be happy, fulfilled, content in life on this earth, they have Jesus + +  + + + + + +.

I feel that to say “Jesus is all I need” has become a Christian tagline, a statement to make to look super spiritual to others, and not a reality of their life.

I think it would be real hard to find one person in America that has a clue what it is to only have Jesus, to exist with nothing but Jesus. Or to be a happy, content, joyful, fulfilled person by having only Jesus and nothing else in their life. Everyone I hear who makes those claims is always married with children. Always have good jobs, nice houses and cars, some have lost position in their church of a ministry. Their lives are overflowing with blessings, their quiver is full, they lack no good thing, they have everything that pertains to life, they have a large box full of toys. So of course their happy, content, joyful and fulfilled, they have love family,  careers, home, cars, church, friends and everything else.

I say take away those things and let’s see if they still say that. And let’s see if the proudly proclaim “All you need is Jesus!”. See if after 5 years, 10 years, how about 25 years without those things if they say that, see if then they have a happy, fulfilling, purpose filled life.

What I am saying is a person cannot have multiple sources that give love, meaning, purpose, happiness, joy, life, and claim that only one is providing all that, that all the others are irrelevant.

I just wish people would stop proclaiming, “All I need is Jesus”, telling others “All you need is Jesus” when it’s not true of their own life, Jesus is not all they have. They cannot say their happiness, purpose, meaning and fulfilled life comes from Jesus alone, when their life is filled with love and family (mate and kids), career and good paying job, nice house, nice cars, fat bank account, part of a great church. They cannot separate themselves from those things and say they do not matter when they do matter.They cannot say Jesus is their source when their life overflowing with all of those other life-giving blessings, purpose giving things.

If you have a headache and you take two aspirins, pray and lay down for a half hour and get up and your headache is gone, you cannot claim all you need is prayer to cure a headache. You have to give credit to the aspirin and nap as well, not just to your prayer. Unless you prayed only, you can’t give it the credit, because aspirin and a nap, each will cure headaches. You cannot say All I need is prayer when your taking aspirin and a nap.

Only after you take the training wheels off you bike, can you truthfully say they have nothing to do with me being able to ride a bike, there not necessary.

I really believe people should not tell someone they do not need something in their life, if they have it in their life, do not tell someone they do not need a certain thing to be happy, unless you do not have it in your life and are happy. So, don’t tell people they do not need money to live a good life and be happy, when you have a fat paycheck and bank account, your not living without it, so don’t tell them to. If your married and have children, don’t tell singles they don’t need them, and should not want to have them. You’re not living without them, you were not willing to stay single so don’t tell them to.

Bottom line, Don’t tell people, especially single people that all they need is Jesus when you’re married, have children, great job, nice home, two cars and a place in a church, because Jesus is not all you have.

pigs-in-a-wallow

I kept hearing God say to me “STOP casting your pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6) over and over the past few months related to experiences I was having when I would get a word from God and share with others and get negative blowback from them.

So I concluded that He meant telling nonbelievers, and even though I don’t that I knew of, he kept saying it to me.

This weekend during the Passion 2015 conference he gave me understanding to what he meant via what two speakers shared as well as the Holy Spirit speaking to me again about it, this time more detailed.

He said the church is full of non-Christians, social media is full of people who claim to be Christian, and just like swine they wallow around in filth, even in their own crap, in fact, they love their own crap, that’s why they wallow around in it, to cover themselves in it, it smells good, feels good to them and they think it looks good on not only themselves but on others.

So they love to pull people into their pig pin at rub their crap all over you. When I speak to you, give you a word. When you read my word and agree with it, when My Spirit gives understanding of it, gives you instructions of what to do with, to rub it in their crap.

Stop casting it before swine, to rub their crap all over it and rune it for you. I make you white as snow and then you walk over to them and let them rub their crap all over your white garments, what I have given you, Stop it.

Stop sharing it with those who will only rejected it, seek to cause you to rejected it, they are as Satan was with Eve in the garden, I gave her my word and she let Satan take from her what I gave her, add a big butt onto it, rip it up. Like here they want to cause you to doubt what I said, what my word says, doubt me.

Stop it….Stop it……Stop it!!!! Were you not warned to “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Isn’t that what happens when you share what I give you with swine, when you share my word with swine, they devour you, rip you to peace’s, try to take from you what I give you, turn you away from my word. Stop it, look around you, see the enemy around you.

So I am no longer going to share what the Lord gives me with swine, no longer casting the pearls God gives me before swine to cover in their crap. To take from me what the Lord says, what His word says. With those whom I know will rip it to shreds, add buts to it, belittle me for it.

I am tired of people crapping all over the word of God, crapping all over what God says to me, crapping all over what the Holy Spirit is teaching me, crapping all over my relationship with God.

So swine you can keep your crap to yourselves, wallow around in it all you want, stink up your own life with it, not mine anymore.

This is a weird generation that we live in, that we say things like hey, did you go to church today? How was church? Because in our mind this so normal to us, because we think of church as a building or we think of the church as a service you attend, but that’s not biblical.

When you think of church don’t think movie, think gang.

Think of church like a gang, like joining a gang, you don’t say what time is gang today, how was gang today? No, you jump into a group of people 27/7 you change your identity, have a sense of belonging, you commit your life to it, to the others in it.

You go to a movie, you have no attachment to it, you go to it, you set there for two hour and watch it happen, you have no part in what goes on, then you go out and critique it, whether you liked it or not.

Family, that’s what God wanted. that’s what he wanted of the family, just look at the Bible, look at these people. There was a deep, deep commitment to one another, it was not something they just attended.

In Acts 2:42 it says they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching in the Fellowship to the breaking of bread and the prayers. It says They devoted themselves, in John 17, Jesus prayer was not just that we put up with one another, He says Father want them to be one, I want them to be one just like you and me are, your in Me and I’m in you, that they may be in Us.

Jesus wanted our unity to get to that level that would parallel the father and son in their unity, so he wanted tremendous love in his church.

This is what happened in the first church, they devoted themselves to each other, they devoted themselves to fellowship, this is what matters, this is what needs to happen in the church. this and what God wants of the church.

God says don’t come like your are going to the movies, He said devoted your selves to Fellowship, be one just as Jesus and I are.

Devoted to one another, devoted to this fellowship devoted to these relationships, that is suppose to describe the church, be how it functions.

That’s what church was supposed to be, devoted to this, walking together, your a gang now, your a family now, your body now, one part hurts the whole part hearts. Let’s get back to that.

Church is not something you attend, it changes your whole identity, you have a common purpose now.

You’ve got this sworn allegiance to one another, you sat let’s go let’s go, we see something much bigger than ourselves to devote ourselves to.

In John 13:35 Jesus said “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Do you get that, Jesus said everyone will know your my disciples because of your love for the body. Not because you go to church, not because you say you are, not because you can quote some bible verse. But because you love the body of Christ. And we learn in Act’s 2 he means in actions, proven in daily deeds.

It was that type of love that the world was supposed to look on and go, I want to part of that.

If we can’t get this figured out, does God really want church that isn’t known for its love, it’s just known for a good speaker, a good worship band or good programs, a good juggler to entertain them. Is that really what he asked for? No it’s not.

What does the Bible emphasize.

I’m saying what does the bible emphasize?

If a ten -year-old red read this, what would be obvious to him or her, of what this book emphasizes?

Let’s was look at what God prioritizes and let’s make those our priorities. Not programs, strategies, marketing plans, or charismatic speakers, juggler or a rock show. But love for one another, being devoted to one another, being devoted to the blood and body of Christ.

I’m at an age where I’m going, man, all I want is this, I want to emphasize what God emphasizes, prioritize what God said we are to.

He said this is how the world to believe that you are my disciples. They walk in and go Look how they love each other, look how they are devoted to each other. Their so different yet look at the bond, look at the way they sacrifice for each other. I’ve seen glimpses of this when I was at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa back in the day.

It was that type of love that the world was supposed to look on and go, I want to part of that, part of what Jesus prayed for.

I’ve just started looking at Scripture and thinking if we can’t build a loving church, should we have a church at all? Malachi 2:3 says “Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it.” God’s people where bringing Him lame offerings, not what He asked for, and God said He was going to rub dung in their faces and reject them for it. Think about that, God said He was going to rub crap in their faces. God is never happy when we offer Him what ever we want, only when we bring Him what He wants.

I want that one day, where wherever were so connected ,were not just a bunch of people attending a sermon. But that there’s a deep, deep love like in the early church, where they are giving the shirt off their backs to one another. There wasn’t a single needy person in the place. Where the people are one just like Jesus and the Father are, that devoted to, that in love with each other, that type of church that I want to be a part of.

 

 

I want to gather with People who love God and have a daily deep abiding intimate relationship with God, with Jesus, with His word. Who want a love relationship with the body of Christ so deep so intimate that is a answer to Jesus prayer in John 17:21. Who is devoted to the blood and body of Christ. Who’s life purpose is to Go and make disciples. I am seeking others who want that, who are seeking that, above all else. What I am looking for is what the bible describes as a real follower of Jesus, what the real body of Christ, the church looks like, acts like and is.

We can’t just be a bunch of people that come in the room and face forward and hear a sermon, that’s not what God asked for. You can justify all you want, but that’s not what I see in Scripture. okay where going to be a body.

We’ve got to be a body, be a family, so, so that our neighbors look on they are in awe.

I’m not looking for a place to show up, a place to attend. I’m not interested in helping someone filling up the room with people.

I’m not looking for the right worship team, right kids ministry, best juggler or what ever.

I want a body, I want to be a part of this, what I read about in Act’s, what Jesus said would be know for its love for one another.

 

Did you ever walk in to or join any type of church thinking, here’s my goal to get as close to these people at the father is to the Son.

This is the way he ordained it, this is Jesus prayer, we are totally ignoring his prayer. This is the prayer of Christ, is this type of unity

This is God desire, this is what church was supposed to be. We’ve turn it into something else.

This is how their going to know you are my disciples, love, I don’t care how good the guy up there speaking. I don’t care how good your music is. I care if you have the best childcare workers, best building. it doesn’t matter, love, that’s what matters. This is how you can tell whose of God, whose of Satan.

 

If we want to impact the world, it’s not going to be through preachers and programs and great bands. It’s going to be through our unity and our love.

Part 1-  Church God’s Way

Part 2 – Church – Christ Centered

girlspraying-1

 

Writing about the fallen state of the visible church is not my favorite subject, but others keep bringing it up and this is what the Lord has been showing me.

Regarding fellowship at church, as to going to church for “fellowship” let me define it as I see it in scripture, and what burns in my heart.

To go to church to have 5 to 10 min conversations with people once a week is no way biblical fellowship, that I see in scripture anyway, nor is that what my heart longs for. That’s the same level, depth of relationship I have with the check out girl at the Wal-Mart I shop at. Same as the girl behind the counter when I go to Chipotle. In fact in a way I have more fellowship with them because I see them more than once a week for 10 min.

The fellowship I seek at a gathering of the church, and see in scripture is deep, is wide and 7 days a week (Acts 2:40-46). And as for me I do not go to have conversation about worldly and, trivial things. I don’t want to hear about what cute things their  kids did, the new car they bought, what they did at work, what they think of the president. And I most certainly don’t go to be a target from someone’s networking to make sales for their job or the business they own, or someone trying to sell a house to me. How does gathering with a group of people talking about worldly and, trivial things further me in my walk with Christ, equip me for the work of Christ? It doesn’t.

I go to fellowship in Jesus, about Jesus, with followers of Jesus, to make much about Jesus, I want to hear about what God’s teaching them from the word that day, week, what they got out of their daily bible study. What God is doing through them, their part in the the mission, how God is fulfilling the great commission and Matthew 25:31-46 through them. I want to hear what God is saying to them in their prayers, a word they got from the Lord for the body. I want to Pray for one another, and I don’t mean for things like a promotion or raise at work, a better deal on a new house, but praying things like Ephesians 1:17-23 for each other.

I want to hear about their relationship with Jesus, hear what their part is in the mission is, not their pursuit of money and worldly things.

Yes there is a place and time for chit chat about the other things of life, about the kids and work, but the gathering of the church is not the place or time, no where in scripture do we see that.

When I meet someone for the first time at a gathering I don’t want to be asked, “What do you do for a living?”, “Where do you work?” , I want to be asked “How are you fulfilling the mission?”, “What are your Spiritual gifts?”, “What did God say to you in prayer this morning?”, “What did God say to you in your study of the word this morning, this week?” As you can see those questions can only come from someone who is walking with Jesus, can answer the same questions. They must be a person of prayer, one studying the bible, and living on mission,  a person walking in the light as 1 John 1:7 says.

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:7-8, NKJV).

This verse leads me to see that  fellowship of the saints is defined by our walking in the light as Jesus did.

So then, if we as individuals are walking in the light of the Father as Jesus did, then we are also His sons as Jesus is and it is out of this fellowship with the Father that we also have fellowship with one another. Think how rich that fellowship would be if all were in tune with the Spirit of God as we should be. One person’s light, passion would be illuminating and kindling the other person’s, until all were brightly shining and freely moving under the anointing of the Spirit, and engaged in the mission.

I want to gather with those who are “walking in the Light”, I can only have the kind of fellowship I seek, that I see in scripture in the first church if the others are truly  following Jesus. How can I talking with them about their part in the mission if their not in mission. Talk about the word of God, if they are not diligently studying it daily. Get a word from God from them when they are not intimate with God, a person of prayer, spend time every day before the face of God on behalf of others. I can’t.

Read my 3 part post on

I’m Tired of Church in America

I’m Tired of Church in America Part 2

I’m Tired of Church in America Part 3

breaking-bread-together

How do I fix my eyes on Jesus, how do I behold His glory, gaze at Jesus? The bible,  community of Jesus, i.e. church, where we can make much to do about Jesus, talk about Jesus, the gospel, celebrate with one another who Jesus is and what He has done. Sing to Him and about Him to one another. This gathering, what we call the church should be where I can go and get all that, it is to be a profound boost to the soul, our spirit for the rest of the week.

I Love to set around with good brothers in Christ, have good food, good drink and just talk about Jesus, How God is moving in this, works in that. Dig into the word, and dig deep into the gospel.  That helps me fix my eyes on Jesus, keeps me on mission.

I want to be around people who talk about Jesus, I want to read about Jesus, think about Jesus, talk about Jesus, listen to things that point me to Jesus. I do Not want my conversation at a gathering of the body to be focused on worldly things, the cares of this world. Jesus said Don’t be like the gentiles in Mt. 6:31-32, don’t be concerned with the things they are.

That why when I gather with the body I do not want to talk about politics, work, money, material things. I want to talk about Jesus, the gospel, God, living for Jesus. I want to discuss Jesus, the gospel, Not how to make more money, or be the target for someone’s networking to make sales. I gather with the body to be in the presence of Jesus, and glorify Him, not ignore Him.

When I was at Calvary Chapel, what seems a lifetime ago, there was a group of us that went out for dinner after the Sunday and Thursday night services , with bibles in hand we had dinner while digging into the word, discussing the study we just heard. We would get into the nuts and bolts of life with Jesus. We where there sometimes tell one or two o’clock in the morning. Loved it, that’s where real fellowship in Jesus happens. That’s what a gathering should look like.

For me a gathering of the church must be like this, a place I can go and have fellowship with Jesus in the company of others doing the same thing. Jesus said “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) if that is true, the reason we gather, then how can not every conversation be about Him?

Somebody point me to a gathering of believes that are madly in love with Jesus, are following Him, where all they do when they gather is talk about Jesus, the gospel, and I’m in.

I’m Tired of Church in America Part 2

I’m Tired of Church in America

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As one who is is passionate about a face to face relationship with God, through Jesus, who desires real relationships with other such passionate followers of Jesus. Who are actively living on mission with Jesus, spending their days preaching the gospel, making disciples, and fulfilling Matthew 25:31-46. Those who are truly seeking to “know nothing but Jesus and Him crucified”. Who are joining Jesus in his suffering for the cause of the gospel, to reach the lost. I seek to gather with such people, for the purpose of encouraging and equipping each other for the work. To pray with and for each other. To fall on my face, dance and shout before the living God of Israel in worship together. That’s a gathering of the church that I desire to be part of, seek.

I thought I was alone in my desires to gather with that kind of body, to read the bible and look at a church and see what I read, that looks like and is doing what I reading (especially Acts chapter 2). Then a follower of Christ whom had become my fave pastor for about 6 years, stated seeking the same thing, preaching the same stuff that was in my heart, he also is tired of what we pass off in America as church. Then in 2010 he left his church because he could no longer do church American style. His name, Francis Chan, he is my hero, we are on the same page, of the same heart, and I believe same leading of God. We both want to open the bible, read what it says and do it, live, just do it. And what the bible says about church, we want to have a church that is doing just that, that looks like that, what we read in scripture. Now others have joined us in our passion for real church, like David Platt (read his book Radical) whom is among a growing list of others join us in our quest.

I seek to gather with those whom are “suffering for the sake of Christ” and “I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.” they live their lives striving to fulfill the great commission, in making disciples, setting free the captives, feeding the hungry.

Gather with those who “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus”. Follower of Jesus are in an army, that is at war, and I want to gather with my fellow warriors, not those who in words alone claim they are, but who are actually living it out, daily. I what to live on mission and be surrounded by those whom are also doing so, also sharing in the suffering for the gospel sake, for Jesus.

I do not desire to gather with people to eat donuts and hear them talk about how much money they make, what they did at work that week. The new car or house they just bought or want. Politics, what this party did vs that party, or about who’s in office or should be, the cares of this world (that we are told not to get entangled with, 2 Timothy 2:4) . I want to talk about Jesus, the gospel, souls that where saved that week, the naked that where clothed and those need to be clothed, how they feed the hungry. How they are fulfilling the great commission and Matthew 25, and how can we this week.

I do not want to hear cute sermonettes, I want to hear the word of God taught Word by Word, in light of the gospel, that I am reminded of the gospel, and equipped for good works. Be reenergized after doing battle with the world proclaiming the gospel. Come in weary from my labors for Christ and be sent back out reenergized  that I might go back into the battle, go and tell the world what Jesus has done. I don’t what to be giving good coffee and a great guest experience. I want to gather with those that they and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, and in proclaiming the gospel and making disciples, and actual living it out daily.

I want to Pray with those who prayers are about being strengthened to carry out our work, for our brothers in chains for Christ around the world, that the captives in human trafficking be set free,  the needs of the poor, this sick, the starving billions. And not for the best parking place at the mall, a bigger paycheck to waste on themselves, a even bigger house, more expensive car.

I want to gather with the followers of Jesus who desire to “be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God”. not be entertained for an hour.

Like the saying goes “water seeks its own level”, so I  seek a true biblical church of witch the body is living at the level of life with Jesus that I want. That is “Going”, that are giving food, giving drink, taking in, clothing, visiting and going to. I no longer want to be brought down to the low level that the American church is at. I read the bible, the book of Acts and see what the church was doing, what the disciples where doing and say that’s what I want, the level I want to live at. So I seek a church at that level, and not just a hand full, or a few.

I do not need or want the American church, what I need and desire is to gather with my co-labors in the gospel, God’s coworkers in the gospel of Christ, as the Apostle Paul says.

Read Part 1 here

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When a married man says, “I love my wife even though I Lust after every pretty girl that I see,” is lying to himself, what he’s really saying is his heart goes out to his poor wife while his flesh goes out to every pretty girl. The husband is essentially split in half: he’s not a whole person, he is not wholehearted towards either of them. He isn’t really loving either of them, that’s not love. And this is where Jesus was most clear about real love. There’s a maturity there that does not see in part but loves in full. It leaves the childish ways of playing with toys that you leave on the floor; while yelling at your parents demanding more toys still yet. He is the immature child that has a toy in hand but screams and throws a temper tantrum wanting the toy another child  has, he either appreciates or loves neither of them. Love sees sincerely, without hypocrisy, love seeks after the good of the other, it is single-minded.

Love cannot exist in a lie, saying you’re in love with one while desiring, lusting after another is a lie. Love is bound in truth, and in such it is fully alive.

In Greek there are five types of love, they are found in the bible. One being Eros (???? ér?s) is passionate love, physical or sensual desire and longing.  i.e. Lust. Another is Agape (???? agápe) which means “supreme love, an ‘unconditional love”  as in “I love you” i.e. In love with, the highest form of love.

I believe that too many men sadly and mistakenly marry someone for Eros, out of pure lust for them, not because they are In Love with them, and therefore they lust after others, because their heart is not in the marriage. They are not In Love with their mate, only in lust with them and lust is never faithful, it covets without end. So it will continually seek what it does not have, seeks fulfillment, it’s never satisfied. It wants only what it does not have. But no one who marries someone because they Agape them, are In love with them, will lust after another, they will not because the one has their whole heart. They are satisfied, fulfilled, their heart has what it wants.

I have married guys who lust after other women tell me I do not understand because I not married, which is nonsense. you don’t have to be  married to know that is wrong, not normal. And I have been in many long term relationships and I never once lusted after another woman while in a committed love (Agape) relationship. I was engaged once and I never even as much as noticed another girl. Why would I, I was in love (Agape) with her, she had my whole heart, she was the only girl I wanted, I was in love with her. She meets my every need, she lacked nothing that I wanted or needed in a woman. No other woman could have offered me anything, I was deeply in love with Joan, as the song by Art Garfunkel goes, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, and I did only had eyes for her. My eyes, my heart, my mind desired her alone and none other. That is at the heart of being In Love with someone, you only want  them. That’s how you know they are The One, The Only one you want to spend your life with, and so it was with Joan. I never, ever betrayed Joan even once, not even with my eyes.

So I am speaking from experience, I believe based on my life experience, as well as other married men whom I have known that were in love with their wives that it is imposable to truly be in love with one woman and lust after every skirt that walks by.

I will leave you with the lyrics to “I Only Have Eyes For You”

My love must be a kind of blind love.
I can’t see anyone but you.

Are the stars out tonight?
I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright.
I only have eyes for you, dear.

The moon may be high,
But I can’t see a thing in the sky.
‘Cause I only have eyes for you.

I don’t know if we’re in a garden
Or on a crowded avenue.

You are here, so am I.
Maybe millions of people go by.
But they all disappear from view.
And I only have eyes for you.

img_3321 Shortly after God showed me though the book ‘ Not A Fan ’ that I was not only right in my choice to be a follower of Christ and not be a fan of Jesus. But also showed me to stand on my view on church, what church is to be and what I look for in one and not to compromise on that.

Idleman pointed out in his book that most church in America today are set up to cater to Fans of Jesus and not for followers of Jesus. The thought that came into my head was “Fan Clubs”, that they are, places where fans come to be fans of Jesus. Places where you Never have to make the commitment to follow Jesus. The sermons are tailored for fans, not followers. The services are set up to accommodate fans not followers, for entertainment not worship, for membership in a club, not discipleship,  for inward focus not outward movement. They are set up for weekend Christians, a place where you come to admire at best Jesus for a hour or two, then go on with your life. They are not where you go to become equipped to follower Christ but to be encouraged as a fan.

So I am sticking to my pursuit of biblical church, a gathering of Followers of Christ. Standing by my favorite pastor Francis Chan and his same view of church, “give me what I see in the bible, noting less will do”.

So what do I seek in a church, just that can I open the book of Acts read chapters 1 and 2 and then look at the church and see the same thing? Can I read the bible and every description of church in it and visit a church and say that’s it. If not, its not for me, and I refuse to settle for anything less.

I will not be part of a church that is a Fan Club, for Fans of Jesus, I will only be part of a biblical church, one that mirrors what I read in scriptures. I am not about planting Fan Clubs, but rather Churches that are gatherings of Followers of Jesus.

I am not a Fan of Jesus therefore I am not looking to join or start a Fan Club. I am a Follower of Jesus therefore I am all about biblical Church, that is a gathering of Followers of Jesus Christ.