Sept. 14, 2016.
Recently, there have been a lot of discussions regarding the role(s) of Christians. We have seen and heard from the media several cases where men and women of God are trying to reinforce their Faith whether it is at work or at play and in some cases even within the church. So what should a Christian be in different scenarios and what is the perspective should we take. Now, to be clear it is not my intention to offend anyone who has notions that may not agree with my take on this topic, but to seek clarity and provide reflection on what is probably the main responsibility of any Christian and that is be as Christ intended for us.
This is probably the main reason, many churches or for that matter, Christians have no “fire” to display but rather we go through motions of holiness and we wonder why our Faith is not manifesting God’s Glory or the pews look the same Sunday to Sunday. Somewhere along the line we forgot or were not taught how to "BE" as Christ is and God wants us to be; His ground force, which you can’t be effective without “fire”. Now, some may say not all can have that “fire” referring to Paul’s guideline for the offices of apostleship and we all can’t be in the frontline of things - Eph. 4:11. Yet, any commander in chief would rather have more front liners than rear guards to win a war. Paul was identifying a structure of servant hood but also encouraged all meaning everyone to seek, work towards the higher gifts not necessarily for the higher office - 1 Corth. 12:31. The example is with the first and last Adam. Adam was given a helpmate, Eve who had equality in every respect other than the one of equity in order to work together for the mission of God. Adam being first and man was the leader. This is displayed but opposite with Jesus and His apostles, that regardless of no reputation, position; He led men of status such as Peter, a business owner, Matthew, a tax collector and Luke, a physician and others like Nicodemus, a Pharisee. His approach to developing His followers is equal opportunity with equitable responsibility and gain. The Christian today has those same principles to be followers of Christ. The church of the pews does not have to wait on the pastor to "BE" for Christ nor do they need that office to empower themselves with all the truth and power that comes from abiding in the Word. What is more lacking is the attitude of Kingdom birthright. That being saved I am now subservient to the church, when in reality Christ released us from any form of institution being of law, and to become equitable to all those of Faith. This subservience is revealed often as many quote biblical verses but has little or no revelation of what they are quoting. We are partakers of the Kingdom, builders not widgets of it.
The Christian is God revealed, not as a shadow of His person but a force of His presence. He works through us to set right the course of His Throne and Kingdom. God designed us to “BE” His. His ground force, His heirs and His person; all for a single reason to once and for all set the record straight that He is Lord over all - Col. 1:15-23; says it all. Jesus is firstborn, meaning others are to be born, as you and I. God’s fullness dwells in Christ and so does in us. This as Christ, to proclaim to all creation God and as Jesus, and Paul, become a servant to this cause.
Flush it Out! - Be what God designed you to be, His force.
Sacrifice compared to Comfort.
Boldness compared to Timidity.
Tenacity compared to Complaining.
Servitude compared to Entitlement.
Uncompromising compared to
Giving compared to Taking.
Willingness compared to Coercion.
Purposeful compared to Tradition.
Outspoken compared to Passiveness.
Love compared to Compliance.
Unified compared to Dissension.
Active compared to Complacency.
Now, some may say it is easy to identify flaws and point them out without realizing every time the finger is pointed, there is three pointing back at you. This is last but not least of Christians today. Some are politically correct. Not wanting to disturb the status quo, especially within the church. Jesus constantly challenged, admonished and criticized the “faith” of the day. He spent hardly any time with the authorities of the day, but simply stated, “Render to Caesar” what is his and to God what His - Mk. 12 is: 17. Jesus is being what God ordained Him to be. Jesus' role was to enlighten. He did this with the sword of the Word, the Spirit of God and with the Authority of appointment. At baptism, He was appointed and authorized. Then after His time in the wilderness, He set the tone for His ministry with the Spirit of God and lastly, He used the Word to divide, pierce and cast down as a sword is used to do. Every successive follower did the same, using the principles Jesus used and set as the example. Jesus’ goal in His short ministry was not to be the sole leader managing followers but to empower anyone who willed to “BE” as designed, “take up their cross” - Matt. 16:24; which many interpret to be heavy and a burden; but is really a responsibility, “for My burden is light” - Matt 11:30.
A human being is the ground force of God. Not some but all. There are three types of human factions today. The Christians which are those already or being prepared for the battlefield. The Defectors which are those who having rejected God, oppose us. The last group is the Sideliners neither knowing of nor understanding their stake in this war. Jesus’ ministry focused on this last group and it is where most if not all His miracles were done. He did not choose to debate with the Pharisees and Scribes, where He would have a “political” platform to show them up. He worked around them and in fact ignored them most of the time. Jesus was laser focused on ministering to the Sideliners of the day. He knew the reality He was living in.
To be is already in us for it is the essence of God’s Spirit and why through the bible especially in Paul’s letters there is a continuous thread of renewing the mind to the things of the Spirit and of Christ. - Rm. 12:2. The body is nothing more than the carrier of God’s nature through and in us by our spirit. God designed it this way because He created a deception for satan to bite not once but twice starting with Adam and ending with Jesus. God gave satan the impression of winning through Adam’s fall, thinking he would do the same with Jesus. The DNA of Adam’s spirit is still the same for today as it was with Jesus. To be God’s representative having His thoughts, ways, and actions to confront this world. It is the essence of our be-ing. To have God’s imprint on us and to carry out in acts those imprints. God did not want robots but part-takers, in the sharing of His plans. To put it in practical terms, this world operates under a particular set of laws that requires physical interacts starting with thought; expressed through words and implemented by actions. Which in turn is connected to a Spiritual realm that produces the words we speak based on our desires. God connected both realms so that He could be involved with ours and us with His.
Consider this; if our battle is with spirits then why did God design us in a physical form. God commands Angels in His Spiritual form by speaking, yet we command them the same way, with our words but through a physical form. There is an indication in the bible why this must be so; for “darkness was upon the face of the deep” - Gen. 1:2. This is not the same “darkness” that was separated from the light and called night. This darkness refers to the fallen “spiritual beings” that occupies God’s territory somewhere deep within the earth, otherwise known as the pit - 2 Pet. 2:4. When we consider the picture that is emerging, it is a staging by God to do battle. He is establishing and deploying His troops with strategic outcomes.
The human being or “ground force” is God’s solution to rid the earth of these “fallen ones” and as such has equipped them to function effectively both on the earthly as well as the spiritual plain. We are told to fight this battle we must renew the mind to the things of the spirit - Rm. 8:6. Unfortunately, even after Jesus’ Victory, many christians still fail to do this. They have not taken up their reason for being and join in the fight to shine the light for all to see. The Christian is God’s will which is to reveal Him.
God made us to be a reflection of His very being, which is His nature to operate within a physical body in a physical world. He put into man the breath of life - Gen. 2:7. So by default, He gave us of Himself which is life meaning His Spirit. So we can see, man is made up of flesh, blood, and a spirit and referred to as Adam or human being based on Hebrews. The word human referring to an “entity” from the ground as a man formed from the ground and “being” of a force, spiritual or otherwise. God made man to be a force to be reckoned with. So a human being can be interpreted to mean ‘of ground force” or “man force”. It is why we are to be!
Before Jesus started His ministry, very few men and women knew what it meant to BE a true and complete representative of God. They were more concerned with keeping the law as a way of compliance and not as being a force to be reckoned with. God had to raise up and set as examples; Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, and David; all having one thing in common. They faced overwhelming odds to not only live their Faith but to demonstrate their God. It was the same for Jesus and the apostles. One thing that could not be ignored by them was that they were called to “BE” a leader despite their flaws or family status. We must remember we read them as leaders but they really were ordinary men and women who grew into their roles after some growing pains. A leader is not necessarily ahead of the pack but someone who fills the gap required for the success of the mission. The bible is filled with these gap fillers and their role was no less important than those at the head; such as Esther (Book of Esther). With God, it's about equity, not position. All these men and women had or grew into certain skills, character or mindset. Consider what they would be known for compared to Christians today.
Despite this reality, Jesus was seen, heard and known for His outstanding nature and many having felt His presence in boldness and truth, probably ran away in the opposite direction whenever He appeared in their neighbourhood, not wanting to face their own guilt and failures for not being who God made them to be. Jesus’ example is how Christians should be seen and heard of. Not striking fear but having a boldness about them that causes everyone to take note and be excited as to what will happen, bordering on being controversial. But if we are only nice, quiet and reserved how can this happen. Now, I am not advocating disrespect nor unruliness, which is not necessary to reveal Christ in you, but Christ living in you and through you would not alter His original mission to others. Today, when they see a Christian coming, it is usually with disdain and disrespect. Many in Jesus’ day may have feared, not liked Him and even hated Him, but they respected Him; because they could not deny what they saw and even heard. The Christians today command little or no recognition other than “those people”. The reason for this is there is no “fire” on display as in Jesus’ day. This “fire” was multiplied with the apostles during Jesus’ ministry and without constraints. I have heard from platforms likes this as well as in person several concerns that raise one’s eyebrow as to what is happening to churches around the world, especially North America. Now, my experience cannot speak for every church or Christian, but there is a common theme coming from different sources and locations. The church on a whole is not growing. By growing I mean of themselves at the lowest to the highest denominator because there is no leadership or “fire” in the pews. If this is so, how can we expect it to expand beyond the churches walls? Some have posed the question, “why isn’t my church like in Jesus’ day”? Now, it is easy enough to say, “go find a new church” and in some cases, this may be required, but most churches are genuine but have really become complacent, comfortable and more concerned with meeting government regulations than boldly standing in for Jesus.
Jesus came to empower so that all His followers can "BE" as He was and is. We must never forget this nor water it down. For all are called sons and daughters of His Kingdom having equal claim as Jesus has, but as it is said, “as long as an heir is a child, he is no different than a slave” - Gal. 4:1. This means we cannot lay the sole responsibility of growth at the pastor’s feet but mainly our own. Of myself, coming from a Roman Catholic background, I couldn’t understand why we would use a book as opposed to the real deal, namely the Holy Bible during mass. I guess this started a life-long quest of asking the question, “why”, only to be rebuffed on several fronts, leaving me to go find the truth. To take responsibility and act on it.
The bible for Christians presents that reality of God commanding things to “be or come forth” for there is nothing that is seen that already exists in another form, time or dimension which is what constitutes our Faith - Heb. 11:1. God commanded light to be just as He commanded other things to come forth including man. Yes, the bible does not say, “man be” but that God created man by forming him from the dust of the ground - Gen. 2:7. Now, we can argue the point that you can’t form something out of dust but rather only out of the dirt. The former substance being too light in consistency or structure to be molded into something and that it would take the latter to do such as thing. So when the bible says, “formed out of dust”, it is probably alluding to the mixing of substances so minute that it’s like dust, both tangible and intangible at the same time. Just like a real dust bowl twirling in the wind, we see particles spinning but are also transparent and are difficult to grab a hold of. God was formulating just as a chemist would make a substance to be something or in our case be someone. This only gave our flesh and blood being.
From Genesis to Revelation it's all about God righting what satan did not in the garden but in Heaven. The earth is just the battleground. The Christian is to be on the frontline of this war engaging the enemy wherever the battle is. There are different roles to play and each is no less than the other, but not all are required. In addition, it's not about the quantity but the quality of these ministries. There are ministries, groups or meetings that are nothing more than another reason to gather the flock together but serve no real purpose in winning the battles that the body of Christ faces worldwide. The church is some cases is more concerned with social activities rather than empowering their flock into becoming lions for, “the righteous are bold as a lion” - Prob. 28:1. Is it ironic that a non-apostle became the foremost recognized authority of the Word and is reference practically every time the bible is picked up or preached? Paul was never a sheep but became one to be a lion for truth and the gospels. He was a lion for the truth from day one. A Christian can’t "BE" if he remains a sheep. It is also why Paul encourages all "Christians” to move from milk to meat, which can be seen as a metaphor from sheep to lion and from childish to maturity in the Word and therefore in their walk.
We live in a world which is satan’s playground and we are “aliens” in the sense that we are not of this world but are in it until we have been translated into our real home. The Christian is that man or woman born into a new life ordained by God which by Faith exists for them just as much as sliced bread does. He is tangible and can be sensed, absorbed and be appreciated. He is the originator of the command to “BE”!
ChristnMe @ 2013