Monday, February 19, 2007

a Place for un-Grace

...But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”

But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

Luke 9:53-56 (NKJV)

I read this verse and wonder if Jesus just got done taking His guys through a Bible study of Old Testamant Men of Faith and that day was a study of Elijah. All James and John got out of the Bible study was that men of faith can destroy their enemies by calling fire down from heaven. What would they ask if Jesus had just shared of devotional from Moses' life from the book of Exodus?
"Lord, should we turn their water into blood? Should we send flies? NO! Frogs! Let's send frogs, Lord."

"Let's kill their livestock."

"No wait! I know! Let's send the Angel of Death to take their first born! Yeah. Their first born. LET'S DO IT!"

What throws me a little is that Jesus didn't just roll his eyes and say something sarcastic like, "Let you call fire down from heaven? I wouldn't even let you boys play with matches."

Jesus didn't say anything about what kind of power they had and what they could or coudn't do with it, He just said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them."

It makes me think of this amazing tool we've been given called the internet. One of the coolest things for me is blogs. I can be the writer I've always wanted to be and get feed back in real time. I get to see my words in print. And I can see that someone on the other side of the planet is taking the time to read them. And people can even tell me what they think about what I think. Not too many years ago, only the most wealthy and tech-connected people were able to have this (and before that, you had to be Captain Kirk), but now, little ol' me gets to do it. Right on.

But instead, many of us use this tool to gather a small crowd of wounded or mad or dis-contented or put-off or grumpy people and do what ever they can to take their enemy down. I read an article the other day about gangs in Mexico who upload video taped executions of their rivals to Youtube to taunt each other.

Our forums of free discussion and expression are used for hate, sexual exploitation, and vengence. Even among us who call name the Name of Christ.

It's a place for un-grace.

We can use this amazing tool for communication to spread good news about grace, or we can use this tool to beat those who've wronged us over the head. We can use it for good, or we can use it to destroy.

The past couple of days on this blog have been proportionally huge in this small litte cul-de-sac of the blogosphere. Since Christianity Today posted in their on-line magazine the article called Day of Reckoning. Which, to me, is a scary title because it refers to a Day that Jesus is the Lord over. A terrible day when the enemies of God are cast into a Lake of Fire that burns for ever and ever where the enemies of God are tormented day and night throughout eternity.

It's in this context that the author of the article has placed Chuck Smith and the Calvary Chapel Movement.

I read in places that it is not because people are mad, they just think Calvary needs to repent.

To me, the solution is simple: find a pastor that ministers to you; one that you can receive from and go to that church.

Recently, I took a team to a country in the Middle East where you can be jailed or put to death for meeting. Here in the US, you can go where ever you want.

So go, and be blessed. Participate in Grace. Let God judge His own servants.


Anonymous said...

well said.

Anonymous said...

The last time I posted on PP, this is exactly what I was trying to tell them. Sometimes when you have been hurt in the ministry there is nothing you can do but go quietly into the night. And then you have to let it go and move on. If not you let bitterness grow up in your heart. There are alot of people that need to read and reread Hebrews 12, the whole chapter. Nice post Bryon.

Bryonm said...

Thanks, Charles. If you don't let it go and move on, you chain yourself to the person or person's that hurt you. And you're the one that ends up hurting the most.

I feel like PP has gathered a crowd, but it's not a helpful crowd. Mor misery is spread than ministry.