Category Archives: Christian Essay

Ministry Mission

I am a missionary to the church of Laodicea

This ministry is a missionary outreach to the present-day church of Laodicea. The forces of the enemy have deluded many to think they are in good shape. Nothing is farther from the truth. Much of the church is in a complete state of apostasy. Many so-called professional “ministers” turned the church into anyone’s whore for a dollar.  The Holy Ghost has placed in my heart the burden of the word of the Lord to proclaim, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me,” (Rev 3:20).

I will preach the 3S Message — Salvation, Sanctification, and Service

Salvation – Preach salvation first, foremost, and forever

The church has one main function in this world. Preach the soul-saving gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world. It is a ploy of the devil to move our attention to things like style, arts, causes, or politics. ALL functions of the church are only in support of saved souls. We are a failed and apostate church if we lose our single-minded drive to see people saved.

  • 1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
  • Act 17:2-3 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,  (3)  Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

Sanctification – Preach salvation is more than words. Actions matter.

Christianity is more than words. We must be visibly different than the world around us. Many ministries have turned their back on godliness and righteous living. Churches have endorsed and accepted drinking, gambling, pornography, adultery, fornication, lying, hatred, bigotry, and unseemliness for political expediency. Many have destroyed their testimony in the eyes of our children and the world around us. That was the devil’s plan all along.  Bitter tears will be wept at the judgement seat when souls that were needlessly lost are cast into Hell because we looked no different than the world. Our words have no weight if we do not the truth.

  • 2Co 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  (15)  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  (16)  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  (17)  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,  (18)  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Service – Preach and personally demonstrate love is an action.

We are the only Jesus that the world can see. We must be an expression of His love in the world. The goal is to win them to the Lord. We are not ushering in the kingdom of God by changing the world one piece at a time. Jesus is coming back to setup the kingdom. The mission of the church is not to change the earthly politics or culture to realize an incremental second coming. The bible is plain that there will be an instantaneous second coming. We are only demonstrating the love of God so that we may win some to Christ and our compassion compels us to act.

  • James 2:15-16 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  (16)  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

I will stand against the 3P Message — Politics, Prosperity, and Performance

Politics – No place for politics in the Church

Christians have a responsibility to vote, voice opinions, volunteer, donate, pay taxes, and intelligently investigate important civic matters. We should live up to all our civic responsibilities unless those responsibilities directly contradict an obligation to God. However, all of that must be outside the church doors and must be far removed from the pulpit.  God would have all of us to know that we must follow the example left by Jesus and the Apostles if we claim a New Testament biblical ministry. We see no debate between the Publican and Zealot. There are no examples in the New Testament of Jesus or the Apostles trying to affect any political change in their many dealings with political officials of their day. They lived in a world of abortions, social injustice, and unnecessary wars. Their world had more gross social injustice than our modern world. Slaves were raped and killed on a whim. Late-term abortions? Their world allowed exposing live unwanted babies to the elements. Yet, not one example of political activity in the New Testament (Note: any reference to the Old Testament would require us to live under the divine right of kings for it to be exegetically sound).

We must understand our calling. The “Religion of the Yellow Stick” only lasts while you are monitoring and it does not change where folks spend eternity (The Religion of the Yellow Stick was named when native Scots were being driven to church by beatings with the priest’s yellow walking stick). Souls go to hell if we alienate them to force certain behavior. Our job is to preach the gospel and see folks born again.  The new birth is the thing that changes them. Not our domination of the political arena.

  • John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

Prosperity – Calvary is not a cash machine

The evangelical church, especially some broadcast ministries, have completely twisted Christianity. Rice Christians and bread-and-loaf disciples are only faithful while they have a physical need. They church should minister when it can to needs of its members and the community. However, the correct goal is always to win the soul for God. Also, God does supply needs sometimes miraculously. However, the folks in the New Testament usually only had one coat, no indoor plumbing, no personal transportation other than foot, no refrigerator, and no 401-k. The bible is clear that most in the early church were poorer than their neighbors.

Not one instance of Jesus, or the apostles, selling a thousand-dollar seed-faith for some debt reversal. No flying into town on a personal jet. No one selling magic holy oil or righteous rain water to the gullible in the Bible.  The message and goal was simple – you are lost, Jesus came to save you, accept Him and believe for a newness of life.

God has not called me to preach against professional ministers or giving to the church or compassion ministries. There are places that require ministers to be paid because their job is a full-time job. These folks should make what the average person makes in their congregation. They should not starve or do without health insurance to serve God nor should they live like kings.  Moreover, churches and ministries have bills and should also have the resources to minister to the needs of their clients.  However, God would have us to know that there is a place in His work for an Amos or a Paul.  Someone that will work a secular job and fund their ministry without ever asking or accepting a dime. Crooks have poisoned public opinion so much that an Amos or Paul may be the only one that can get the Gospel message to some folks.

  • Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
  • John 6:26-27 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.  (27)  Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
  • James 2:5-6 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?  (6)  But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

Performance – A good floor show is no substitute for the Gospel

Churches have watered down their services. Motivational talks replace preaching. Handshakes and card signings replace alter calls. Danish rolls replace Holy Ghost conviction. Slick homogeneous music replaces organic music sung from the heart with some local flair. Churches in all the denominations are creating a homogeneous seeker-friendly experience modeled from a few mega-churches. God did not call us to change the music tastes of the world. Churches should have their own local flair. The word “virture” in Philippians 4:8 is the Greek word areste. It carries the concept of fulfilling a function instead of being a particular flavor. It is specifically not tied to style nor is it tied to precision of execution. It is tied to function. Yet, there is a drive for churches to be a cookie cutter of some mega-church. There should be enough variety that everyone should find a church that fits their tastes.

  • 1Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
  • Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

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Interaction of Christ and His Disciples with the Government

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

How should a ministry or church model its activity? Follow the example of Jesus Christ! It is impossible to claim a biblical ministry that does not follow the example left by Jesus.  Jesus and His disciples displayed how we should interact in civil society. The Bible contains numerous examples of Christ and the disciples interacting with the civil authorities. Every example was either them ministering to the individual authority figure or responding to a charge for ministering the Gospel. I have found NOT ONE example of a political movement or some political action committee. I am attempting to post a comprehensive list to demonstrate this point. It is a distraction of the devil to engage the church or a ministry in achieving a political agenda.  I strongly encourage everyone to look at the examples below and seek any that I missed. Let God be true and every man a liar.

Comprehensive List (duplicate accounts intentionally left).

  1. Ruler’s raised daughter. Matt 9:18-26. Ministering.
  2. Ruler of the synagogue raised daughter. Mark 5:35-43. Ministering.
  3. Jarius Daughter. Luke 8:40-56. Ministering.
  4. Ruler with a question. Luke 18:18. Ministering.
  5. Ruler of the feast. John 2:9. Ministering.
  6. Nicodemus. John 3:1. Ministering.
  7. Crispus saved. Acts 18:18. Ministering.
  8. Charges brought before Gallio. Acts 18:12-17. Answering charge.
  9. Paul before the high priest. Acts 23:5. Answering charge.
  10. Healing Servant of Centurion at Capernaum. Matt 8:5-13. Ministering.
  11. The testimony of the centurion at the Cross. Matt 27:54. Charge and Ministering.
  12. The testimony of the centurion at the Cross. Mark 15:39. Charge and Ministering.
  13. The body of Jesus. Mark 15:44-45. Charge.
  14. Sick servant of the centurion. Luke 7:2-6. Ministering.
  15. The testimony of the centurion at the Cross. Luke 23:47. Charge and Ministering.
  16. Cornelius. Acts 10:1-22. Ministering.
  17. Paul before the Roman tribune. Acts 22:22-29. Charge.
  18. Paul before the governor. Acts 23:35. Charge.
  19. Paul before the Council. Acts 22:30. Charge.
  20. Paul before Felix. Acts 24:1-21. Charge.
  21. Paul before Festus. Acts 24:22-27. Charge.
  22. Paul in prison under centurion. Acts 28:16. Charge.
  23. Herod and the baby Jesus. Matt 2:1-15. Charge.
  24. Herod and John the Baptist. Matt 14:1-6. Ministering.
  25. Herod and John the Baptist. Mark 6:14-22. Ministering.
  26. John the Baptist reproving Herod. Luke 3:19. Ministering (it is safe to interpret ‘all these things’ as personal evils because that would be consistent with everything else recorded of John as opposed to thinking this were civil wrongs inconsistent with all of John’s other recorded words).
  27. Joanna giving to the Lord’s ministry. Luke 8:3. Ministering.
  28. Herod wondering about Jesus. Luke 9:7-9. Charge.
  29. Warning that Herod will kill Jesus. Luke 13:31. Charge.
  30. Jesus before Herod and Pilate. Luke 23. Charge.
  31. Herod persecuting the church and being struck down. Acts 12. Charge.
  32. Leaders seeking to catch Jesus in His words. Matt 22:16. Charge.
  33. Leaders seeking to catch Jesus in His words. Mark 3:6. Charge.
  34. Leaders seeking to catch Jesus in His words. Mark 12:13. Charge.

I have left off purely religious leaders because preaching the truth and contending for the faith in spiritual matters is exactly what the church and ministries should be doing. So, Paul rebuking Peter is not included nor Jesus discussing the law with the religious leaders.  The leaders trying to build a charge of blasphemy against Jesus is listed.

Old Testament examples do not apply in the New Testament because Israel was a theocratic democracy. In other words, it was both a state and a religion. That is NOT the case in the New Testament. In fact, Jesus specifically said, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” John 18:36.

Jesus is Coming Soon

I don’t care what the apostate church says about gradually bringing in the kingdom with political action committees, voters, and donations. Jesus is coming back suddenly. That means no time to repent. No time to contemplate. No time to make that extra warning. If you have turned your back on God, turn back to him. If you have lost your fire, rekindle it. If you have taken your eyes off of Christ, look again to him. He is the God of second chances. His coming is closer now than when we first believed.

What is Inerrant?

We say the Bible is inerrant. What does that mean?

The Bible says that Jesus was in the grave for three days. Does that mean he was in the grave exactly 72 hours? That cannot be the case. He died late on good Friday. The women at the tomb discovered the resurrection early Sunday morning. That is not 72 hours.

You can infer the value of pi from 1Kings 7:23 “And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.” We know that pi can be calculated by the circumference (30 cubits for the molten sea) divided by the diameter (10 cubits for the molten sea).  That gives us a value of pi of 3. Yet pi is 3.14…

Both of these examples illustrate what we mean by inerrant. We mean the Bible is completely accurate as it was understood within the culture and language of the day.

The gospel writers were speaking within the context of Jewish syntax and culture. The culture and language called any part of a day a day when counting days. So, Jesus was in the grave late Friday night, all day Saturday, and part of Sunday morning. That is three days using the diction of the time.

Ancient writers usually used approximations for measurements with the exception of a few ancient mathematical texts. A calculated value of 3 for pi is completely reasonable when you understand the unit of measurement. A cubit was the length from your elbow to the tip of your middle finger. That can range from 15 to 21 inches. That is a very rough approximation.

This is completely consistent with how we use language today. How old are you? I am 58 years old. Wait, I am 58 years and 6 months old. Wait I am 58 years, 6 months, and 5 days old.

Am I wrong when I say I am 58 years old? Of course not. Neither is the Bible wrong when it says Jesus was in the grave for three days or the bowl had a circumference of 30 cubits and a diameter of 10 cubits.

 

Bathroom tolerance

In Phoenix, Arizona, just use whatever bathroom you come to first. I’m dense mentally, but I’m not the only one. In February, the Phoenix City Council voted to allow admission of any man or woman to all public toilet facilities. Now, why would you do that? Why would you even want to do that? Vote, I mean. Ok, ok, political expediency. But why even demand it? Why force other people to be uncomfortable over something that should cause you no trouble? It must be the forcing that you’re after. There is no problem that I can understand. If you are dressed as a woman and can fool the public, you use the women’s restroom; if you are dressed as a man, the men’s.

Written by Jane Freuler

Treasures in Heaven

Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20). I thought that it meant to give money toward activities that further the kingdom of God instead of buying stuff for myself that can and will be destroyed–yes, by moth and rust and theft but also, as I’ve noticed, by mice and falling trees and tornadoes and even by misplacing something so it can’t even be used. This is true, but the verse is in a context that points to more types of treasure. Some of our treasures on earth that we try to acquire are an impressive reputation (for years I’ve wanted to be impressive) or an ease of living (we worry and struggle to be sure we are well cared for).

But there are other magnificent treasures that we can lay up in heaven for ourselves. We can have a memorial before God like Cornelius did by his spending time in prayer and taking care of others who had needs (Acts 10:1-4,31). And Malachi 3:16-17 says that in heaven there is a book of remembrance where God has written the names of those whose conversations reflect that they take God seriously. God says that those people will be part of His own possession. Now THAT would be a seek to lay up for ourselves in heaven.

– Jane Freuler

Dancing Through Life

Absolutely – what I write is for me. This morning I was moaning about “just going through the motions of my life” and not “feeling it.”

Last night, my emotions of love and eagerness were strong toward Jesus, but so much of my life is not like that. What is wrong with me? What should I be doing? — Echo:  I be doing?  I be doing?

Much in the Bible gives commands to follow which, surely, I am to diligently attempt to do, but my life does not depend on me. Frequently, we are told that it is God who is able, willing, and even determined to grow us to be more like Jesus.

As I was pondering this, suddenly the piece “Dancing – A Parable” came to my mind. Dancing with Mr. Drill is my attempting in my own strength, to keep whatever law I have set for myself (a list to check off).  Mr. Thrill doesn’t show up very often (that’s for sure).

But Mr. Will, a very good dancer and easy to follow, will lead me in my life dance for the King if I diligently (diligently!) let myself be led—depending on and obeying—yes, by the Spirit of the King.

– Jane Freuler
jfreuler@comcast.net

Dancing — A Parable

I went to work with a team that danced in honor of the King. My first partner was a fellow named Mr. Thrill, who was a very good dancer, so my job was extremely enjoyable to me.

One day Mr. Thrill did not show up for work, and I had to dance with a fellow named Mr. Drill. After several days of this, I complained to the supervisor, who said, “Oh, no, no. We fired Mr. Drill. He should not even be here. But Mr. Thrill only works part time. When he isn’t here, you’ll have another partner.”

I went back to work, and was assigned a partner named Mr. Will who, in my opinion, wasn’t much better than Mr. Drill. When I grumbled, Mr. Will said to me, “Think about it. You like the wages, and Mr. Thrill is not dependable. You never know when he’s going to show up. So either dance or quit.”

It was true. I did like the wages. Day after day, as I danced with Mr. Will, I discovered that he was such a good dancer, I could quit focusing on my work so much and spend more time watching the King and enjoying dancing for Him.

I seldom come into work and find Mr. Thrill waiting for me, but sometimes I think that if Mr. Will shaved his mustache and took off his glasses, he would look a lot like Mr. Thrill. Sometimes I wonder.
— Jane Freuler
jfreuler@comcast.net

Jello

Jello is barking at a fly. How can I pray to the great God of the universe when this stupid dog is barking at a fly.

I sat down in my big chair to talk to my heavenly Father about the difficulties of my situation, the people and even potential threats that I’m facing. I must tell Him about this, but how can I concentrate.  Jello, my stocky white terrier, has planted herself, tensed for a fight, in the middle of my bed, which is as high as she can get, to rid us of this dangerous thing.

“That’s stupid. To bark at a fly is stupid,” I yell to try to stop her yelling.

Now wait a minute. Maybe God, My Father, is trying to tell me something. At II Corinthians 4:17 Paul uses the words “momentary, light afflictions.”  I have, as my personal Father, the wise and strong God, Who is totally capable of handling anything life can throw at me. The things that worry me do not worry Him. My forgetting Who He is and focusing totally on my troubles is not really praying. As someone once said, “It (my trouble) may be the truth, but it’s not the whole truth.” The whole truth includes the love and capability of my Father and His involvement in my life.

So when I just worry, even calling it “being in the presence of the Lord,” I am actually barking at flies, and that’s stupid.

Thank you, Jello.

— Jane Freuler
jfreuler@comcast.net

 

Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” and the Devil’s Waltz

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcATvu5f9vE&feature=youtu.be
The opening 7/4 meter says it all — boom-DA boom-DA boom-DA-DA. A 7/4 meter is a very confused meter — stuck between duple and triple time. The beautiful girls behind him with no emotion and a total lack of interest. At a great distance they seem to play instruments that are a lie in their hand when you look closer. This a perfect artistic statement about a state of being appearing one way but actually totally different. Palmer himself says the song describes the hell of addictive personalty — the dichotomy of addiction. It is the rebellion that leads to servitude. The joy that leads to destruction. It is the march to freedom that leads to a waltz with the devil — bum-DA bum-DA bum-DA-DA.

— Donnie Bryson