Thursday, June 13, 2013

Remember Your Brethren in Bonds

Really moving article about remembering our Martyr brethren missionaries overseas (and at home) who fight for Christ every day and how a simple faith is so much better than a tangled twisted religion full of rules and regulations. 

Here's an excerpt: 
"I never found a satisfactory answer to these questions. Not in ATI. Once I asked one of my parents, “If I walked away from ATI, but remained a Bible-believing, God-worshiping, church-going, Jesus-loving Christian, would you think that I had departed from the faith?” That parent answered, “No.” Neither of us said anything else, but in my heart I was crying, “Then WHY are all of these ‘principals’ necessary?” They were such a weight, and not the light burden that Jesus spoke of. They were impossible to live by, and I was not one who WANTED to walk away from the faith. I was not looking for an excuse to live however I wanted.*
Then I started noticing certain people. They were joy-filled like I’d never seen before. They didn’t pretend to be perfect. They just loved Jesus. They were filled up to the brim with peace, and THAT was what I craved. I told myself, “Whatever it is they’ve got, I want it.” Wasn’t that always the mark of a Christian? Others seeing your joy and being drawn to you? Well here I was, the “wiser” Christian, and I was looking at someone I would normally look down on as spiritually inferior, and wanting their peace! “That is the real Jesus, and I will find Him.”
What does Scripture really say? “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt. 5:8). “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God” (Mt. 5:10). Much better, but still notquite what I was seeking. “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31). That’s more like it! What was more interesting to me was that this was the only stipulation: to believe and be saved. To put it modernly, Jesus + Nothing = Everything. Now we’re getting more to the point—salvation is a simple thing. Didn’t Jesus say somewhere that a child could understand it? “And [Jesus] said, ‘Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven’” (Mt. 18:3).
I think of those martyrs. Uneducated. Simple. Believing. They didn’t get tangled up in ‘ologies and ‘isms. They just lived their faith and trusted God. I had found my answer. And I realized that while there were a spare handful of truly biblical teachings in ATI, there weren’t enough fully un-manipulated Bible truths to warrant me spending any more time devoted to a program that had failed me after years of faithfulness to it.

*Do I believe I have the right to do whatever I wish? No—nor do I consciously live that way. In fact, by all accounts, I’m still very conservative, and naturally prudish. There are several things I abstain from through personal choice, such as alcohol, tobacco, cursing, etc., and I have turned down many opportunities in my career because it may have caused a weaker brother to stumble. But I know that if I sin, I have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and the burden of guilt is not one I have to carry anymore."

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