Our personal ideologies stink in the nostrils of God.
He doesn’t care what we think.
“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.
They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
But that is not the way you learned Christ!”
We can’t be conformed to the ways of the world like those who have had their understanding darkened, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds through Christ.
I’ve talked a lot about ideologies in months past, mostly political ideologies, but don’t we all have our own personal ideologies? It’s a good thing that the things I personally want done aren’t instituted worldwide, I am pretty sure I’d get a bunch of people killed.
Even as a believers we aren’t in possession of full understanding of everything all the time, yet we think we do much of the time.
“Assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,
to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
I’ve given much thought in recent years about legalistic and denominational splits within the church.
At last count there are 33,000 different Protestant denominations. If we have all put on the mind of Christ and are being led of the Holy Spirit, how can this be? It seems to me like 32,999 of those have certainly embraced a false doctrine somewhere along the line.
Sadly, such is the way of mankind, we are flawed and can only see dimly.
We must strive, however, to ensure that our personal ideologies do not override that beautiful Gospel of which we have been taught.
“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
and give no opportunity to the devil.”
Our words, thoughts and deeds do matter, even though we cannot gain heaven by doing, saying or thinking; the way we behave ourselves serves as an example to the world that we have indeed been changed. If our words, thoughts and deeds are no different than the heathen, then maybe we haven’t been changed by Christ at all.
“Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
We must take every thought before the mercy seat, line it up scripture, from Genesis to Revelation and see if what we think holds water.
In this piece, I could have written that God is a large bird. There are 8 verses in the Bible that speak of His “wings,” but the entirety of scripture doesn’t back up my theory. The Church of the Divine Bird God would be very disappointed to find out that God isn’t a bird.
The Church of Liberal Progressivism will similarly one day be very disappointed to find out that God doesn’t approve of abortion, gay marriage, false religions, illegal immigration, socialism or big government tyranny but Churches all over America are beginning to be deceived into thinking that tolerance and inclusion are synonymous with love.
Obedience to God is how we show Him that we love him.
His love calls the wayward sinner to repent.
His love never provides excuses to continue on as we were when we were still in darkness.
As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t written anything political in a few months, but I felt the need to make that political point as we are touching on the subject of denominations and personal ideologies.
You see, God doesn’t care how smart we think we are.
God demands our obedience.
The danger with our personal ideologies is that they become public ones and public ones become movements, movements become denominations and denominations become millstones hung around the necks of the teachers who have led their flocks astray.
Christian character matters, our thoughts matter and our actions matter.
“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious ,Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
1 Peter 2:1-12
The world is watching us Church and we have a responsibility as living stones of Christ’s Holy Priesthood to be examples of the life changing power of the cross, not examples of our own intellect or desires of our flesh.
We’re so weak, so flawed and so small; yet we are called to great things.
Dear Lord, help us, help me, to walk worthy of Your calling.
Help me to be a light in this dark world.
Help me to rightly divide the Word of Truth and spread the light of your love to a dying world.
Help us all to be humble, yet bold, as we struggle here on Earth and keep our sights set on the goal of Your Eternal Kingdom.Make our thoughts like Your thoughts, let our ways be as Your ways and break our hearts once again that we might live a life pleasing to You.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.