Opinions on faith and life

Burnout

2010-02-05

This year has started with a bang, both globally and personally. The speed with which Bible prophecies are falling into place is incredible, and the whole world seems to be losing its mind at times. Lots of times. And increasingly so.

But events the last few weeks have been intense for me personally, on a number of fronts. Shocking news has come from several directions all at once, and I see a virtual explosion of professing Christians falling away in droves. Why? Why now?

Certainly the suffering common to humanity has not changed significantly, nor the corruption of governments, nor the relentless attacks upon the Bible and the Christian faith. People who have suffered unspeakable agony for Jesus have held strong to the end, never wavering in their faith, while those living in relative ease seem to crumble almost without cause. Why? Why now?

We can’t brush it off as the result of “modern enlightenment”, of technology, of things learned from archaeology, of some kind of spiritual evolution, etc., because all of those things have been around for a long time; as Solomon put it, “there is nothing new under the sun”. But there seems to be an almost palpable darkness descending on the entire human race, one that even tests the faith of the saved. There have always been times of darkness and individuals who have gone through deep valleys in their lives, but what I’m sensing now is different. And I can’t describe it.

A sign of the end? Quite likely. Maybe Satan knows the time is short and is screaming to try and drown out all truth and light. But whatever it is, I feel a strong need to repeat, again, the basics of the faith, things I consider “givens” which are better than any others. Yes, it’s my opinion, but I’m a-sharin’ it!

  1. Things exist, and they all run down. Therefore there is a First Cause outside of the laws of physics (that is, supernatural) since no physical thing can create itself.
  2. Jesus rose from the dead, proving himself God.
  3. Jesus treated the OT as the Word of God, and the NT is all about Him; therefore the Bible is God’s Word.
  4. The fulfillment of prophecies, esp. Daniel, and along with world events, esp. the return of Israel to her homeland, are further proof of the Bible being the Word of God, and thus the authoritative text on both history and spirituality.
  5. People are mortal because we all physically descended from Adam, who just couldn’t leave that fruit alone. One tree. In paradise. He introduced death to the world.
  6. The earth itself is messed up because God cursed it. Why? Because Adam, who was made from that earth, defied God by blaming Him for his own sin. He couldn’t just eat the fruit, he had to try and pass blame.
  7. Because Jesus became one of us, died for us, and rose again, all God asks of us in order to be reconciled and to eventually get immortal bodies is faith. He’s asking us to just trust Him. It isn’t much to ask. But we can’t see past our suffering, and we whine.
  8. Want ultimate justice? Want eternal peace? Want God to dry your tears and give you payment with interest for all you’ve suffered? Go back and read these points again; there is a God, Jesus made Him known, and proved it with His own resurrection and the return of Israel, along with other fulfilled prophecies.
These are times of depression and blindness and deception, but they are temporary. They will end. And though at times we cannot stand the pain or the hopelessness of the world, we need to remember these basic facts and look beyond our own minds and hearts, our own experiences, and our own human frailty. Hopelessness feeds on self-centeredness, so keep looking up.

Hope that helps!

8 Comments

Lin

And people are leaving the church because it is either focused on felt needs or legalistic with roles and self appointed popes or both.

The folks leaving are not the nominal Christians. They are the ones seeking the full Gospel and those that will go deep. They want to exercise their God given spiritual gifts...not pay someone else to do that for them.

The great falling away is in many church buildings. He has removed His Lampstand. There is only left a form of godliness with NO power of the Holy Spirit.

Paula Fether

Yep.

truthseeker

Paula, how true it is. As I read, I observe more and more women-at the very least-leaving strongly patriarchal churches AND leaving the faith altogether. How sad! Then there are those who are becoming lost in the ecumenical soup. There are also those who are leaving Protestantism in droves for Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Orthodoxy and calling their Protestant friends ’lost’ because they have ’soft theology’. (Not that all Protestants are saved, nor that all who call themselves Orthodox, Catholic or Anglican have beliefs that would disqualify them from true Christianity, either.) What a mess!!!! Additionally, we have countless churches sending missionaries overseas when our own country has a dearth of true missionaries and an incredible need for the spread of the good news of Jesus right here in our own neighborhoods and on our own soil.

Lin, very true, and those of us who leave churches receive all sorts of condemnation and rebuke for doing so. Yet, it is among those who have/are leaving that I find some of my best and deepest fellowship, as you have said. The ’church’ is often such a shell of a place with a few faithful ones interspersed. It is astonishing which verses and passages get ’overlooked’ and which become neon signs. For example, the clear teachings about not calling oneself ’rabbi’ (or pastor, etc.) nor lording it over others, as well as the passage advising those who come to fellowship gatherings to ’let each (not some, or a few) of you bring a song or a hymn, etc., etc.’

Paula Fether

It really is a mess, TS. And it’s because people don’t have a firm anchor in both the Word and the Spirit. They want one or the other, or neither! Then they wonder why the Body of Christ is divided, why it is sick and weak. We are a mission field because we have lost the Way.

truthseeker

Yes, the Word and the Spirit. We really are sick-my people perish for lack of knowledge.

Lin

I think it is likely that our children will see persecuted Christians from places like China coming here as missionaries to share the true Gospel with professing Christians in America who do not know it.

Paula Fether

No doubt. And I expect the NWO to send foreign soldiers to police us, which may bring the needed missionaries.

truthseeker

It seems the foreign speakers (missionaries) I have heard often have more punch in their messages-in part because they have typically had difficult circumstances (and by that I don’t mean things like ’my ipod broke!’ or ’my hair doesn’t look right, what will all my friends think!’, etc.-the trivial drivel we Americans have succumbed to so often) and have come to truly rely on Christ and don’t tend to be dragged down by unneeded church baggage in terms of all the structure, rules, weird doctrines, etc., that shouldn’t be there. They know how to live light and travel light spiritually.