In This Corner

by Cameron Conway
(Vancouver, Canada)

Denomination: Evangelical

In This Corner

1 Corinthians 1:13 “Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”

Question? Can we be Christians without Christ?
Question? Can we preach salvation without the cross?
Question? Can we minister without the Spirit?
Question? Can we accomplish our destiny without God?
Question? Can we follow without changing our own hearts?
Can we?

There are 2 different answers to these honest questions, yes 2 answers but only one is right. How can that be, how can there be more than one answer but only one that is right? Try and pass that off during a Math exam and pass, its illogical; it doesn’t make any sort of sense.

How can 2 answers exist when one is false and one is true. It all depends on which corner you stand in. Also, which set of perspectives you wear over your eyes and heart; I guess it depends on who you ask and how you ask the questions.

It all depends on which corner you stand in, in one corner you have God, Jesus and their Word. In the other is our opinions and traditions . Both have answers but only one side has the answers that are right and true.

One side declares statements such as: Well as long as you go to church every Sunday pay your tithes and keep “your nose clean” you’ll be alright. Don’t forget to give St. Peter a big smile when you see him, you’ll be fine. Don’t worry about taking the Bible literally, it’s just a bunch of kids stories with morals, just be nice to people and stay out of the way.

Pay no attention to most of what Jesus said, just tolerate people and call it love, and that’ll be good enough; oh and don’t forget the bake sale on Saturday...gotta earn those stripes you know. My parents and grandparents went to church/mass so I’m a Christian by default I guess.

Of course I can preach, I graduated with honors, I know my hermeneutics (intro, scripture, 3 points, story, conclusion). I have my “Nelsons Book of Illustrations” I’m all set as long as I have 3 months to prepare and no one better expect me to change my 6 month line up.

I don’t need to change my attitude, God can just love me for who I am. I don’t need to forgive (vengeance in mine says the lord right!). Don’t forget gossip is a way to inform people of things to pray about, don’t you know.

None of these statements are the least bit true or scriptural, rather just easily palatable lifestyles that blend an image of God over a hollow shell (like a chocolate easter bunny, a tasty outside with nothing but air in the middle) Jesus gave us so much and asked so little in return.

He tore down the old religious system of the Law; he set us free from vain religion, only to watch us rebuild and modernize the old ways. He made it so simple (not easy, simple) for us to come to and follow him just look at

Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

1 John 4:14-15 14 “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”

John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:16-18 “:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

All of this He validated on the cross, and insured with his own blood. And all He asks is that we believe and follow Him in His sacrifice, ascension and Kingship. He is Alive in us individually and in us corporately. Whether we like it or not He is alive and wants to rule his church, and not just to be locked in the trunk of someone’s car waiting to be a validation to someone’s tradition.

Must I remind you of Matthew 15:6 “So for the sake of your tradition (the rules handed down by your forefathers), you have set aside the Word of God (depriving it of force and authority and making it of no effect...AMP)”

Jesus has made his word so simple to understand, that we have had to build university’s and organizations in order to misunderstand it. When is the last time you read your Bible, and I don’t mean a glance here or there before you got to bed or on the toilet.

When is the last time you actually read it? It is amazing how clear the answers come when you see it right there in black and white and RED. Where was I? Jesus is not the means to an end, no matter how craftily we polish and present it.

If we can’t acknowledge Him and His word as final authority then we are liars and heretics. Just because something sounds good or appears to work doesn’t make that divine. Have we confused holiness with pragmatism (if it works it’s true and right)?

We can build massive churches, broadcast sermons across the world and develop curriculums and programs all with out the presence of God, and people will follow it because someone sugar coats a few Christian clichés over it and we will buy it. Especially if it requires no emotional or spiritual action of our behalf.

If it makes you feel good and unchallenged it’s acceptable and popular. It’s just like the Chinese preacher said long ago when asked about the things he saw on his journey, “The great things Americans can accomplish without God.” How come we as a collective whole are continue to blindly follow this?

I feel like I’m trapped in a cosmic game of Lemmings, just keep going don’t look up or look down just keep moving keep moving stay with the crowd keep moving keep *drop splat* game over…. Continue???

Today it’s not about repentance it’s about our feelings. It’s not about prayer its about going out for coffee. It’s not about revolution its about the status quo. It’s not about sanctification and righteousness its about making money.

It’s not about discipleship its about book/cd sales. Its not about cleaning our hearts but keeping the carpets clean (like the Todd Agnew song “the blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet).

What should it be all about then? It should be about doing all we can to walk by the fruits of the spirit, and the true character of Christ. To be a shining examples of the love, dominion and power of God Almighty, His Son and His presence on the Earth.

To follow with our hearts not just our minds. To reach out with open hands not the back sides of them. However that looks, be it, laying hands, forgiving, giving, loving, teaching, exhorting, serving, leading, talking, preaching, listening or praying.

Or as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22 “14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. 16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil”

And then maybe we will have no fear to also follow Mark 16:15-18 “15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 .They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

Let me leave you with this picture, imagine a giant room full of people. And over in one corner is Jesus standing alone looking across towards you. You are standing at the opposite end of the room in another corner all alone also. You are trying to look at Him, but the room is full of all sorts of other people all doing their own thing.

You want to see Jesus, but He’s blinded and obscured by the heads and movements of all the people. Will you stay in your corner and only see a glimpse of Him through others? Or will you go over to His corner and see him unhindered face to face in his corner?

1 John 5:1-6 “5 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. 5 And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

Written by Cameron Conway

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