Tuesday, July 11, 2017

JULY 11 "OUR MOVEMENT DENOUNCED EVERYWHERE"

“The only thing we've heard about this movement is………”  Are you ready for the answer? Obviously the answer is going to be, “it’s the best thing that has ever happened! People are healed, lives are restored, demoniacs are set free, the poor are being fed and taken care of…”  Unfortunately, to our surprise, or maybe not to our surprise, we read, “…only thing we know about this movement is that it is denounced everywhere”.  That’s impossible. How could something so good be “denounced everywhere”. How could something that leaves a trail behind, of such good, not be embraced enthusiastically by every community? This is a movement that carries around it, all the evidence of a remarkable and benevolent ministry.  Paul is bit by a poisonous snake on the island and suffers no sickness. Paul prays for Publius’s father who has dysentery and he is healed. Paul prays for many others on the island and they are healed too. Paul is speaking before this crowd, as a prisoner with his own private lodging and guard. The evidence is everywhere of God’s power and God’s favor on this ministry and those that are part of it, but yet these people look at this movement as one to be denounced. Nearly 2000 years later we can say, “not much has changed”. It is still a movement that is “denounced”. If you are the Born Again Christian at the Family gatherings, you will still be the one to be denounced, there will still be rumors floating around that you have joined some cult and people will look at you with pity. Never mind your life is blessed, never mind your marriage is thriving while others, in your family, are falling apart and/or are divorced. Never mind your daughter is still a virgin and waiting for her husband; while her cousins are pregnant and hooked on drugs. Somehow, someway they are not going to see any of that and they are going to look at your life and the movement you are entangled in as one that is denounced and “should be” denounced by anyone who is in their right secular mind. Do you find yourself desperately trying to sway public opinion that your cause is a good cause? And if you are, ask yourself, is it for yourself you are doing this or for Christ? And you will find the answer to be, “it is for yourself”.  We so desperately want others to know that we are not losers that have fallen in to some cult, some “non hacker club”. We so desperately want to be “saved” “Born Again” and yet still have respect from co-workers, relatives and siblings. The Christian who is going to have peace and joy is the man or woman who quickly learns and accepts that he or she will never be on the respected and approved side of public opinion. Jesus himself said, “Woe unto you when all men speak well of you”. When they day comes that you are a Christian and you have the love and approval of the world too, something is amiss in your Christianity. Not to say that all should hate you. As a matter a fact, as a Christian you should have favor with man, to a certain degree, favor given by God. However, that being said, our movement is still one that goes against the grain of society, it is a movement that fights the spirit of Anti-Christ. And when we as Christians are determined to make Christianity the flavor of the day and as accepted in every household as Oprah Winfrey, then we are either heading to much frustration or down a slippery slope of Christian compromise. Our movement may be one that is being denounced everywhere, but the paradox or irony is, that it is also a movement that is saving millions everywhere too! “For it is foolishness to them that are perishing but the power of God unto salvation to them that believe.”