Silencing the Voice of Hope - Blocked again Naturally
Purity 513 09/02/2021 Purity 513 Podcast
Today’s photo of a severe thunderstorm rolling in at Montezuma Wildlife Refuge near Seneca Falls NY comes to us from our friend at Celestial Blue Photography. I just love how our friend captured the beauty of nature in a moment of turbulent transition with the contrast of light and darkness in the midst of this oncoming storm.
It’s Thursday, and as is my habit, I share this photo also because it features a road and I use the theme of roads or pathways to encourage my friends to keep walking or to step on for the first time the path of Christian Discipleship which is that pathway that says I have decided to follow Jesus and there is no turning back.
Not surprisingly when you make that decision to surrender your worldly ways for the ways of the Lord all hell breaks loose in a sense as the world, the devil, and your flesh all come in opposition against you. The cost of discipleship is undetermined, but it often will cost you some relationships as your worldly friends and family will think you have gone over the deep end or just plain lost you mind.
So if we can lose friends and family because of our faith, it should be no surprise that people who don’t know us will also reject us. I have shared in the past that I have been blocked by various FB groups because my messages of encouragement somehow didn’t fit their “spam policy” and I have even had my blog’s link ( MT4Christ dot org can’t put the link it’s blocked) restricted from FB.
So in my attempts to reach more people with the message to pursue your freedom in Christ and live it out every day, I discovered Reddit and started sharing my daily posts on various “Christian” subs. I was immediately “banned for life” from the “r/Christian” sub. Not sure what they share because, you know, I only shared one link and was “banned for life”. So I sort of lost interest in what they might be all about because they didn’t seem receptive to my inspirational photos and simple encouragements.
So then I found “r/Christianity” and they actually let me share the links to my blog for a time. But I got warned a few times that I had to have “meaningful interactions” with other people on “their sub” to remain there. So, I tried by commenting on a few posts but honestly, I’m a busy guy and don’t have a lot of time to engage in “chat rooms” which is basically what they were trying to facilitate, I guess.
I was warned by an “atheist” moderator a few times and he actually was very understanding, and I explained that I wasn’t really trying to “debate” anything and was only trying to encourage people to follow their Christian faith, but I would try to “increase my interactions” to stay on “the sub”.
But then shortly after that came a “Christian” moderator on r/Christianity, who apparently grew tired of my sunsets and messages of encouragement and decided to list MT 4 Christ dot org as “spam”. So I can’t share my links on /r Christianity anymore, I guess.
I get it. It’s your playground and you make the rules. “My kind” isn’t welcomed at r/Christianity. But who is welcomed on the Reddit sub that titles itself “r/Christianity”?
Well if you go there you will see that the typical fare is in depth discussions of theological brainteasers that ask inane questions such as “is it ok to eat meat?” or “What is something you really want to do, but can’t because you are a Christian?” or “Is going to church in person worth it anymore?” At least these are questions, but the overall tone seems to be to doubt the Christian faith and to “work around” and indulge in things that the Bible clearly states are sin. The discussions seem to encourage becoming an atheist more than they encourage living a Christian lifestyle.
If look some more on r/Christianity, you will also find posts labeled “Atheist/Satanic Temple” or that feature stories that make accusations against the Christian faith from sources such as Al Jazeera, the Islamic biased news source. Considering this diverse variety of material that is highlighted on this sub, I find it interesting that my blog would be labeled as “spam” by a “Christian” no less.
But I really don’t find it surprising. While I don’t think of my blog as “spam” and I am not “selling” anything and don’t earn any money from my blog or my podcast, I am advocating for an empowered Christian life of discipleship that focuses on the truth of God’s word.
I apologize but as far as I’m concerned there is no debate. Jesus is Christ is Lord. The Bible is the Word of God, and we are to live our lives based on its principles. It you have a question of whether something is right or wrong, consult the Bible and accept what it says and live by it.
It's a stormy process to conform ourselves to the image of Christ and to consider “what would Jesus Do” and then do it. But Jesus is the Truth, the Way, and the Life, no one goes to the Father except through Him, so it’s His way or the Highway to Hell.
I was on that Highway to Hell and believe me when I tell you I had big problems with changing my ways to His ways after living most of my life in darkness. But when I saw the truth of the gospel and how it calls us to repent, I had a choice between life and death.
My old worldly ways were clearly leading to death, and I used to joked about how they would ultimately lead me to hell.
But thankfully, because of God’s grace and mercy” I saw the truth and chose to live by making Jesus my Lord and Savior. And thus it has become my purpose to endeavor to live the way God directs us to live and to share the hope that is found in Christ alone.
So groups and other people can try to silence my message of hope, truth, and life but as far as I am concerned I have no choice to continue to share it.
So block me if you need to. Ban me for life if you feel that’s appropriate. I’ve been rejected by many on this walk of life but the rejections I receive for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and the benefits of a life surrendered to Him don’t fill me with remorse or regret. Being rejected for cause of the Christ is badge of honor, that I will proudly wear.
So if you want to put me in “Facebook jail”, “Reddit Penitentiary” or actually lock me up like the Apostle Paul, go ahead because I know the One who sets the captives free.
I know that Jesus Christ has rescued me from sin and death and whatever rejections, persecutions, or sufferings this world may bring to my doorstep, I know that they pale in comparison to the glory that is waiting for all Christians when God call us home or when Christ returns.
So keep walking and talking with God. He will see you through the storms of this life and every rebuke you receive for speaking His truth will be crown of glory when you come into His kingdom.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Revelation 21:1 (NKJV)
1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
Today’s verse points the coming kingdom and the culmination of “ultimate reality” when God ushers in a new heaven and a new earth.
If your conception of eternity is some ethereal state of existence amongst the clouds, its time to wake up and grow up by reading the Bible and believing what it says. I often say that “common knowledge is common ignorance” as our society and media share common misconceptions about spirituality and the afterlife that are often based on cartoons, old wife’s tales, and sentimentality rather than the word of God.
Religion as superstition is not just for the witch doctors. Yesterday, I was listening to an audiobook about some of the English Protestant martyrs that died under “Bloody Mary’s” rule in the 16th century and how these reformers saved the Christian faith by insisting on a faith based on the Bible rather than the traditions of men. The book documented some of the Roman Catholic church’s abuses that included indulgences (which is accepting money for the forgiveness of sins), sexual scandals, the worshiping of relics and idols, and the corruption and abuses of power by clergy from the local parish and all the way to Vatican in Rome.
When man “makes things up” that seem good, we go astray. So its very important to know what the word of God says and to have a biblical view of where all of this heading.
While we don’t know when Christ will return, the Bible assures us He will. The Bible also informs us that Christ’s disciples will be known by their obedience. So we have to accept not only “the end times” view for the future from scripture but we also have to apply the wisdom of the Word of God to our lives.
Ignorance is not an excuse. So if you don’t know, endeavor to learn what the Bible says and share it with those around you. God gave us His word and has protected it through the centuries so that we would know the truth about Jesus Christ, His coming Kingdom, and how we should live our lives.
The truth will set you free. So embrace it, meditate on it, and live your faith based on the truth of God’s word. When we walk in the light of God’s revelation for us, we enter the abundant life that He has given us, and we experience the harmony that comes from being at peace with Him.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing Chapter 13.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:
Concepts for Counseling
2. Encourage Emotional Honesty
Counselees are generally willing to share what has happened to them but are less willing to share their failure or complicity in the problem and are very reticent to share how they feel about it. Unless you model and encourage emotional honesty, the chances of your counselees' resolving their inner conflicts and being set free in Christ are slim.
The story was told of a missionary doctor who worked in the jungles of Africa. He labored among the natives, taking care of their physical needs. His real desire was to meet their spiritual needs, but after two years not one native had received Christ. He had modeled the Christian life as well as he could. Then one day his only child was accidentally killed. The loss was overwhelming, and he was overcome by grief.
Not wanting the natives to see his weaknesses, he ran into the woods and cried out to God. "Lord, why have you abandoned me here? I sacrificed my career for evangelism, and I haven't had even one convert. And now You have taken my son. The pain is overwhelming, and I can't go on." He wasn't aware that one of the natives had followed him into the woods and observed his emotional catharsis. The native ran back into the village and shouted, "White man is just like us. The white man is just like us!" Within six months the whole village was Christian.
3. Share the Truth
When Christians seek help, it is usually because life has dealt them a hard blow. They usually think something is wrong with them, and their perception of God is distorted. What a privilege to share with them the truth of who they are in Christ and help them repair their faulty belief system! I keep several copies of the "Who Am I?" (chapter 2) and "Since I Am in Christ" (chapter 3) lists handy in my office. When we lovingly share with people who they are in Christ, we are applying the truth of God's Word to the ailing root system of faulty beliefs. Too often counseling starts by finding out what is wrong with the client. We have the privilege to tell them what is right about them in Christ. This gives them the assurance of victory.
4. Call for a Response
Your role is to share the truth in love and to pray that the counselees will choose to believe it, but you cannot choose it for them. Christian counseling is dependent on the faith responses of the counselees. Our Lord said to those seeking His healing touch, "Your faith has made you well" (Mark 5:34); "Let it be done to you as you have believed" (Matthew 8:13). If those you share with will not repent and choose to believe the truth, you can't do much for them.
5. Help Them Be a Part of the Christian Community
Finally, we need to help people move from conflict to growth by encouraging them to develop healthy, supportive relationships. Progressive sanctification is a process that cannot be accomplished apart from the Christian community. The Christian life was never intended to be lived alone. We absolutely need God, and we necessarily need each other.
It will take us the rest of our lives to renew our minds and to conform to the image of God. We are what we are by the grace of God. All we have and can hope for—as disciplers and disciples, as counselors and counselees—is based on who we are in Christ. May your life and your ministry to others be shaped by your devotion to Him and the conviction that He is the way, the truth, and the life (see John 14:6).
Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.
God bless you all!
Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship