Post details: God's Station is NOT an Easy Listening Station


Permalink 09:59:14 am, Categories: GraceHead teaching, By Trent, 1310 words   English (US)

God's Station is NOT an Easy Listening Station

It is interesting when you read the preaching in Acts, how radically different it is from the pastoral writing of Paul and the other Apostles. Not surprisingly the reaction to what is said in Acts is different than even what was evoked by Paul's harshest corrections to churches as recorded in the epistles. Obviously, there are things tailored for one audience that is unfitting for the other ... Paul and Peter would not talk to the Sanhedrin in the same manner and tone as they did to their spiritual children and coheirs in Christ. And visa versa.

The result of the Apostle's sermons to repentance / evangelism:
Hearers were "cut to the quick," "cut to the heart," "furious," and they reacted violently, jealously, determined and murderous.
Gamaliel was a rare example of temperance, wisdom, and trust in God ...

Acts 5:33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35Then he addressed them: "Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."

When God speaks, how will most react?

Truth probably won't be comfortable to hear, but a person who purposes to say what is authentic, knows there is a cost to pay in accordance with how attune his listener is to the same reality of which he witnesses truthfully.

How many people, besides John, can write Revelation and not be guilty of blasphemous lies, arrogance, and pride?!? Well, by now we have come to accept Revelation as authentic, and closed the discussion on whether or not John was full of crap, so it almost seems ridiculous to ponder ... Nevertheless, I know that if I plagiarized that book, then for me to do so would be all of those things and more. It would be wrong for me to say, that which was fine for John to write ... and same goes for everyone else.

Knowing how people tend to judge with projection, there is little doubt the anxiety that John had about releasing Revelation to even his closest friends. Surely, many people sneered that it was the rant of an egomaniac, because those who judged would see that they would have written the book as their own rant of their egomaniac tendencies and projected that upon John. It is a simple matter of John having an experience that made it pure / blameless and correct to write that book, whereas nobody else that we can mention would be in the right having not had the same experience as John. Still others may have had a different reaction. One such reaction that was likely to occur might be like the one that Gamaliel had in Acts 5. Perhaps a few others even went so far as bolstering John's book of Revelation with their own experience of the same things and understanding from God that would have collaborated what was written down by him ... though, given the extremely mysterious nature of Revelation, this last possibility seems the least likely to have ever occurred.

Suffice it to say, the most popular response at the time (with few exceptions) was probably harsh critical judgment and slander ... based purely on projection. (feel free to say that I am projecting even when I weigh that likelihood.)

Yet John released it anyway, and God preserved it in the scriptures that we have all come to love and teach. Have we forgotten how far-fetched it would have sounded at the time (or even still does)? I think it is safe to say that the Bible is a collection of scandalous books, that are either based on extraordinary experience or written by some of the biggest blasphemers, arrogant egomaniacs that have ever walked the earth ... and what do you and I believe, except that these are indeed the fruit of God speaking through men!

It is all a leap of faith, but one that is done with little inner-conflict, as we have been herded to that jumping point and leaped willingly ... perhaps thinking there must be safety in numbers ... so lets make the jump together.

The luxury of popular opinion in American culture about the Bible makes all of this an afterthought. Of course, who would argue otherwise about the written Word? It is all figured out, and systematic theology has made doctrine as challenging as a color-by-number coloring-book. Just place a check in the form next to "Yes" next to the "is the Bible the Word of God" question on your instant-orthodoxy-form and move on down the list to the more controversial articles of faith, right? We have lost the impact of the mighty declaration ... a scandalous assertion anyway you look at it ... but indeed the New Testament is a flawless collection of wittings only attributable to God, Himself.

So perish the thought that if the Lord God should speak again, it would be a lullaby gently whispering, for one is not on solid ground to have said that it has ever been a lullaby. Moreover, provided that God is speaking again (blowing the trumpet that He promised to do) one can hardly imagine a trumpet being a good instrument to lull anyone back to sleep. Sounding the trumpet is the alert ... the alarm of war ... it is a blast that shivers the spine and pumps our adrenaline ... like the bugle at a horse race. We only have the luxury in our saturated Christian-culture to have invented a novel idea over the course of history that the Word of God is common to other books in its demeanor... and that it may be thought of as a gentle comfort to any and all that read it. I'm challenging that idea. Moreover, I am calling that notion incorrect and silly with only a few exceptions.

Exceptions? Yes. Indeed there are exceptions. I doubt that Timothy (Paul's protégé) would have been universally disquieted by reading Paul's epistle to him ... as it must have been familiar as his old friend's counsel, even familiar to what the Lord had revealed to Timothy though the revelation of the Spirit and through the gifts of prophesy that were spoken over him (1 Tim 4:14, and 1:18). There are tough parts of 1 Timothy, I assure you, that were needfully chewed for a while, even by Timothy, before swallowing. Yet I hope to establish in your mind the idea that there is no universal response to the Words that God would speak. Nor is there a universal tone to His speech. God is not as concerned with the constraint that man places on Him to be consistent in all ways at all times with all peoples as God is concerned with the effect of His words on His hearers. He desires an effect in human lives ... and His Word never returns to Him void.

So perhaps the amount of alarm when hearing the Word of God has most to do with the quality and experience of the listener(s). God's Word has always revealed something about God ... and man's response and reaction always reveals something about man. Agreed?

Trackback address for this post:

Comments, Trackbacks, Pingbacks:

Comment from: pam [Visitor]
Hi Trent,

There is truth in this and I am sure that if God had chosen our time to send His Son to the earth, the first reaction would be to put Him on some kind of antipsychotic. Jesus was different from the prophets and apostles in that He wrote nothing but directs all of us to Him, personally. He pointed to Himself as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The prophets and apostles pointed only to Him.

Many people still believe the Book of Revelations to be psychotic nonsense and they are free to do so. In none of what is written are we commanded to do all that the writer says but to obey God. The closest that I can remember is that of Paul saying that we should imitate him as he imitates Christ. He is also careful to distinquish when he is speaking by his own reasoning. The writers of the Bible are divorced from the Words they penned. We also should only imitate one another as we each imitate Christ. The Bible does not point us to good men to submit to even but teaches us to submit to Christ. By doing so, we can never be caught up in wrongdoing and the law (of God and of man also) can't entangle us. There are times when man's laws subvert God's Will and our submission to Christ may, at that time, bring us into conflict with governing authorities. It is the same in the Church. We can't always go with the flow of those whom we are in fellowship with. We have to remain true to Christ. There will be some in authority who pick up the Bible and use it as a club to bring people into submission of themselves and seek to subvert the Power of God to their own ends. In the extreme, this is the power of cult leaders over their followers and it is all over the news this week. The followers of this sect believed they were preparing for Armeggedon and were led into that belief because of a man who used the scriptures, the Word of God, to point to himself, to demand complete obedience to himself. This is a subtle twist that always ends in disaster.

When the Bible was made available to the common person, the church was radically changed. The subversive power of such religeous leaders was greatly weakened when people could read the scriptures for themselves. It brought religeous leaders into acountablility. It made it less likely that those seeking religious control over others could succeed. We live in a time when the Bible is taken for granted and left on the shelf gathering dust. People want something more exciting and new and their itchy ears lead them into trouble.

One of the reasons that the Bible is the Word of God is that it is largely divorced from the personalities of the writers. Those writers can no longer subvert the power of God to their own ends. The Words written through them have stood the test of time for thousands of years. This alone testifies to me of their origen as the words of men always eventually return to the dust as man is from the dust. All that is of man will eventually die and crumble.

I don't know about new writings. I have to watch and see how they are weilded by the person from whom they originated. I have to see if they stand the test of time. In the meantime, I have all I need in Jesus and the Bible, in that order.

Permalink 04/08/08 @ 15:08

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be displayed on this site.
Your URL will be displayed.
Allowed XHTML tags: <p, ul, ol, li, dl, dt, dd, address, blockquote, ins, del, span, bdo, br, em, strong, dfn, code, samp, kdb, var, cite, abbr, acronym, q, sub, sup, tt, i, b, big, small>
(Line breaks become <br />)
(Set cookies for name, email & url)

I serve , the Lord.

Please enter the name of the Lord (the Risen One) into the entry area BEFORE clicking on the Send comment button.

Hint: the version of the name is the English version, not the Hebrew way to say His name. All letters are uppercase. Rhymes with "freeze us."

Blog All

Automatically aggregates all posts from all other blogs. This allows you to easily track everything that is posted on this system. You can hide this blog from the public by unchecking 'Include in public blog list' in the blogs admin.

July 2013
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
<<  <   >  >>
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        


this site  web    



Syndicate this blog XML

What is RSS?

powered by