Thursday, August 18, 2011
I am sorely disappointed this morning, both in myself and the American church. I have been reading a book titled 'Radical' by David Platt and it has been very engaging. I have gotten angry while reading it due to the great dilemma's he has created in my mind concerning how I have lived the last 29 years of my life and how I see the great majority of American Christians living theirs. I must say, this book did not plant these thoughts in my mind. I have been thinking them for quite sometime, but until reading this book I did not know how to explain the problem or describe it to others. I will read the last chapter today before I go in to work, and truly, the main issue is a lack of one's dying to self. I am sure all Christians, across the board, have struggled with this, but Americans have a way of not only NOT dying to self, but extravagantly living for one's self, slapping every man, woman and child in the face who has suffered severe persecution for the sake of Jesus Christ. We live as if no one has ever suffered for the gospel's sake. We live because they died and give little or no thought of it. We forsake a great teaching of Christ when we decide to live our live behind our excuses, forsaking the needs of those around us. How can the world hate us when we are just like them? When will our families give us our promised persecution when we do nothing but think of our families? How can we be hated in America, when we are living just like Americans do? It isn't about what vices you've been delivered from since converting to Christianity. It is about what you have done with the great freedom you have been given from those vices that matters. Are you living for yourself? I do not mean, are you still spending yourself on foolish vices, I mean are you, even though converted, living for your self? You can be doing all sorts of Christian things, feeling as though you are not living for yourself when indeed you do nothing except that which is beneficial to yourself. This is nothing but living for one's self! Will you change your schedule for others in need around you, even if those closest to you will be angry with you? Everyone can help out in their free time, even the world volunteers their free time to causes. Are you helping when it hurts? When no one else wants to help out and you are all alone in a situation are you willing to give up your desires, your time, your money and plans so that others can use you up like a few sheets of toilet paper that get one swipe and than thrown into the toilet? This is death to self and it is likened to death because it hurts. It flies directly in the face of how all Americans were raised to think and live and so you must be on guard at all times. American self will not submit to this sort of behavior this side of eternity. We are, as Christians, called to drown self in the pool of others needs and hold him under that blessed water until Christ returns. He will writhe around in selfish anger and cry out for sustenance, but get violent with him! Choke self out until he bleeds, until you sweat great drops of blood doing so. You have been called not to glory in your American freedom, but to spend that freedom on others, even if it costs you your reputation, your family, your money and your precious, precious down time. And so I ask, how is your freedom as an American hurting self or is it this freedom we have still a benefit to self? The answer to this question will tell you how far off the battlefield you have wandered.