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Contemporary Christianity

Facilitating discussion among Christians on critical topics that we prefer to ignore.

Last modified Nov. 5, 2016

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The Place to Start

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psa. 46:1-3

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom. 8:28

Life in the Kingdom of God is based on a walk with God that is centered around finding our identity, and our sense of purpose and well-being in relationship with Him instead of in the things of the world. The will and purposes of God replace the former self-centered approach. That naturally results in a view of life that is radically different from our previous earthly, secular mindset. freeing us to see the hand and purposes of God in personal, national and global events.

It is important that Christians start to think and talk along those lines. I have written much on that, which can be linked to from the "Inspiration Site Map." However, I have some specific thoughts in two area below, i.e. "The Church, the Body of Christ" and "Practical Action Steps."
Practical Action Steps
  Preparing for "The day"
FOOD, SUPPLIES - I see no need to adopt a fearful, hoarding, Doomsday mentality. Those who advocate such are often motivated by the profit they make in selling you their survival packages. I do however, see a place for responsible planning for what seems to be a likely eventuality.
It seems reasonable to have some dried and/or canned food on hand, and especially items that can be "stretched." Many people will lose their frozen food items. We can rotate our regular food supply through our backup goods and as they move toward their shelf life, give them to people in need and buy more. We're not talking about megabucks - - are we?!
A core factor in how we prepare is whether we primarily want to preserve our own comfort and well-being, or to also represent the heart of God to needy people around us. A compelling motive for me is that I want to be prepared to serve those in need.
God's Presence and miraculous power are being manifested in many ways around the world today. Those who know Him deeply will see more of that in provision, protection, direction, healing and etc in the days ahead. We are responsible to act wisely, and then trust Him for the rest, whether it means prosperity or adversity, life or death, - - - - or - - - ! "Rest" in that!
WATER - Safe water is crucial. Clorox or something similar to make untreated water safe might be a good idea. See instruction here on how to do that.
    OTHER ESSENTIALS - Things like TP, soap and other household essentials can be stocked in a moderate measure without becoming a hoarder.
SELF DEFENSE - Many, including guys I respect highly, are stocking up on guns and ammo. I wouldn't take another's life to save myself nor would Elaine want me to do so to protect her's, and I'm certainly not going to kill to protect "stuff" or to defend "rights." I am not a fatalist but I do believe in a sovereign and all-powerful God who knows my days, as in Psa. 139:16. I plan to follow Jesus to the end and to entrust myself to His care, as He entrusted Himself to the Father. I Peter 2:23 Trusting in the sovereignty and the care of God takes us to places that the mind of the flesh can never go. I encourage followers of Jesus to consider that seriously. Live or die, "we win," and there's nothing that we would kill another for that we can take to heaven with us!
CHRISTIAN PATRIOTISM - I'm struggling to define for myself what that means because of our dual citizenship, i.e. in the Kingdom of God and as Americans. Bottom line might be that if Christian patriots are half as serious as they think they are, they ought to start by fasting and praying for repentance in America, and by inviting others to join them for that. See "Retreat to the Battlefront."
MONEY - It seems likely that in a time of financial collapse, Marshall Law or similar disruption, we might be without utilities, financial services and other support systems for a period of time.
A friend recently suggested having enough cash on hand to see you through a limited time when financial institutions are closed. There may be some merit in that but there won't be much in our house. It will be interesting to see what happens to gold in that time but I don't have any and don't plan to. It is probably true that there will be a lot of bartering going on and it might be good to consider things that others would need.
On this line, when will Christians stop hoarding their money, or spending so much on hobbies, pleasures and things that will go "poof" in that day, and invest more in the Kingdom of God? More specifically, when will we start to look at what we can sell to generate funds for Bible Translation or - - - instead of seeing how many CD's we can accumulate?
How much is "enough"? When will we measure generosity by how much we give in relation to how much we keep? When will we measure prosperity by the measure of God's Presence in our hearts rather than by how much earthly wealth we have? When will we measure financial success by how much we invest in the Kingdom of God instead of in things on this earth? When will we take Mt. 6:19-34 seriously?
UTILITIES - Family heads ought to have a plan in mind to protect their families in the event of the loss of water, power and natural gas. Some in the church family will be in a position to help others in need and ought to be prepared for that.
    YOUR THOUGHTS??? Contact me or
The Church, the Body of Christ
The book THE COSMIC BATTLE AND THE AMERICAN CHRISTIAN (TCB) helps identify some new models for the Church. We're going to need them if we hope to thrive, or even survive in the time to come.
INSTITUTIONAL/RELATIONAL: The present church is institutional in nearly every way including organization, leadership and culture, and that won't work in the days to come. Only a relationally-based Church will survive, let alone be able to make God known to those in need. This has always been God's intention but it will be absolutely crucial in the future. See my notes on ICF and ICF GROUPS here.
The recent successes of LGBT agenda in our courts suggests that it might not be long before churches will be fined and even have their doors barred if they refuse to marry or otherwise affirm those of that community. Such a possibility was unthinkable when I wrote TCB in 2009. Are we ready for that?
MEN: It is time for the men of the Church to talk openly about how we will respond in a time of difficulty and to join together in establishing plans for our families. This is imperative.
CHALLENGES TO UNITY: As stress is placed upon the Christian community it will produce both unity and division. Three primary areas I see at this time are:
Gay marriage - We need to be realistic about the implications of the June 26, 2015 SCOTUS decision on "gay marriage." Denominations and congregations are now identifying themselves and Biblical Christians will be compelled to separate themselves from those who are committed to LGBT agenda but who want to consider themselves our brothers.See: A Biblical Response to the SCOTUS Ruling of June 26, 2015 on What is Called "Gay Marriage"
Israel - One's view of Israel and her place in current events and the futurre usually follows the typical conservative/liberal ideological lines which include attitudes toward LGBT and other social and political agenda. These are often subdued by our attempts to be "Christian" but will force that issue to the surface and will bring the others with it. It will not be possible to preserve fellowship across those lines in the way we have been doing.
Dominionism, with its signs and wonders emphasis and its openness to "new truth" through its modern day apostles and prophets, and its false-gospel "faith and prosperity" bent, will deceive many. It already has and as darkness increases it will have more and more place to hide from Biblical truth. The call to life-changing repentance will be part of the message of any "prophet" who speaks for God.
Theological/doctrinal differences. Christian churches agree on the few absolute essentials of our faith but separate over secondary issues. This is a time when we need to repent of that and bless each other despite our various preferences on secondary matters. However, some will insist that others agree with them, continuing the disunity and confusion within the church and for those who are looking to us for Light. Any Christian who feels the need to convince other Christians of his/her position on secondary issues will serve our enemy more than our Lord. We must be united in proclaiming salvation through faith in Christ, and the Life that gives even in times of trouble.

 * Here’s a bottom-line thought. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by viewing American and world events as a wake-up call. If Christian-Americans were to take this to heart the resultant repentance and new Life would make us more like the people God always intended us to be. This would extend the time of God’s grace upon America; and/or empower us to stand firm and to serve Him effectively through difficulties. If such difficulties are only imagined by some (like me), we would have become a more authentic and vibrant Church and would have enjoyed God in an incredibly richer way. Regardless, we win. And regardless, it would be another proof that all things, even evil, ultimately serve the Lord our God! - Isaiah 46:9-10 - II Peter 3:8-9

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