I have recently received a very major balance adjustment from the Lord.
It began several months ago in late Summer, 2020. I was
re-reading a book by Eddie Hyatt entitled, "1726: The Year That Defined
America". It is a wonderful history of the coming of Christian
settlors from Europe to America, and their desire to found a nation
dedicated to the propagation of the Christian Gospel and the Kingdom of
God throughout the world.
Eddie made a reference to a sermon preached by Jonathan Edwards on July
8, 1741, which was instrumental in promoting what is often called the
First Great Awakening in America.
So I went online and easily found both the text and several videos of
the narration of that sermon called "Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry
God". I found it to be a thorough Bible study and application of
the wrath of God over unrepentant rebels who fail to submit to their
Creator's rule over their lives.
The result of reading that sermon was a balancing in my understanding
and heart of the goodness of God toward those who do repent of
their sins and turn their lives over to Jesus Christ, the Son of
God, for management of every aspect of their lives and fortunes.
Then in mid-December, 2020, I was at the Red Cross Donation Facility in
Toledo, Ohio, donating platelets, and I noticed that the man who was
seated across the aisle from me was reading a book entitled, "When
Helping Hurts". I was intrigued by that title, and had my smart
phone in hand, so I downloaded the Kindle version of that title and
began to read.
I found that book to be all about the error which North American
Christians make when they try to help 'less fortunate' people by
sending money or paying for 'improvements in their lives'.
The conclusion of the book is that merely sending money to relieve
'poverty' tends to result in a dependent attitude in the recipients of
the funds as well as a god complex attitude in the donors!
I suddenly realized that this is what goes on in church every
week! The clergy, in spite of every good intention, creates a
dependance in the 'laity' and a god complex in the clergy.
Neither are healthy.
I have realized for a long time that God did not intend His people to
attend lecture halls every week. He intends for us, as stated
clearly by the Apostle John in 1Jn
What we have seen and heard we declare to you so that you, too, can have fellowship
with us. Now this fellowship
of ours is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus, the Messiah.
1Jn 1:4 We are writing these things so that our joy may be full.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus, The Anointed One, gave clear instructions
which I believe were intended to prevent what I call 'the lecture hall
syndrome' in the 23rd chapter of Matthew's Gospel:
Mat 23:8 "But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' because you have
only one teacher, and all of
you are brothers.
Mat 23:9 And don't call anyone on earth 'Father,' because you
have only one Father, the one in heaven.
Mat 23:10 Nor are you to be called 'Teachers,' because you have
only one teacher, the Messiah!
Mat 23:11 The person who is greatest among you must be your
Mat 23:12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever
humbles himself will be exalted.
I have seen people who were gifted in various ways become much less
fruitful when then gained the 'status' of 'pastor' or 'leader' or some
other title. And this is clearly what Jesus was trying to help us
to avoid in our lives.
And I have also seen gifted people become dull and listless believers
by attending lectures on a regular basis. I have heard the saying
that 'God's people are overfed and under exercised' and believe it to
be generally true in my 44 years of being a born-again Christian and
attending a variety of churches and other religious organizations.
The remedy? In my opinion humility is the remedy, and the only
way to get real humility is to take the yoke of Jesus upon oneself in
order to learn from Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and therein
we can find rest for our souls! Jesus said,
Mat 11:28 "Come to Me, all of
you who are weary and loaded down with burdens, and I will give you
Mat 11:29 Place My yoke on you
and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble, and you will find
rest for your souls,
Mat 11:30 because My yoke is
pleasant, and My burden is light."
And what should we expect to happen when Christians gather
together? I believe that the natural leaders, if sufficiently
humble, would encourage everybody to share what the Lord gives them to
share for the common good. That way God could give all the parts
of His puzzle to any particular group, and everybody would benefit as
active participants. If we continue with our church lecture
halls, we will continue to have the very limited effectiveness on our
own lives as well as in the society of which we are a part.
Lord, prepare us to be Your sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true!
With thanksgiving we'll be a living sanctuary for You!