I think if you’ve kept up with my blog you’ve found that I do not go with the general flow very often. It’s probably arguable that I go against the flow more often than not, it’s probably one of my most noted characteristics. I am very strong in my convictions and try to stand by them, even in the face of adversity I try to be a rock. In the past few months I stood against essentially all of my social media friends pertaining to the recent election, and I may write a blog soon about how I think the church turned against the calling of God and commands of God to vote for either option. The common consensus though was that my vote counted for something. That sentiment was quite right from any side of that paradigm even the one where you vote for neither, which many forgot that. That being said there’s been many other situations I’ve stood against the flow and nothing has changed and probably never will.
I named my blog biblicallyinclined because I have a tendency to apply the Bible to everything I can, sometimes following what it says and other times failing to do so. Recently I started a study on Philippians, so far only 13 verses into the first chapter. I’ve always had a passion for the teachings of Paul because we both experienced prison, although my conversion to Christianity didn’t come until a few years later. One of the reasons i am shameful for that time period was that I fooled many people including my own family into thinking I had just backslid away from Christianity, when in fact I personally do not believe I was ever saved. (Another story for another time).
The primary point in this episode is to reiterate that standing behind your convictions isn’t wrong. Also, voicing those convictions is far from judgement. In the past few months I’ve been accused of judging someone for their actions, when in fact I posed a simple question concerning the validity of their “conversion” because of those actions. Which essentially brings me to the point that judgement is different than discernment.
Paul had an opportunity in his life to stay Saul, even though that would have probably kept him blind and he probably would have went half mad in the process. I don’t think that people realize the impact that Paul had on the future of the world. Through the sands of time Paul’s faith in God paved the way for Christianity as we know it today. Had Paul have said “I feel your conviction, I just don’t want to sit in prison the rest of my life” we wouldn’t have the New Testament in the capacity that we have it now. Paul knew why he was going through the persecution to an extent, but he also knew the impact his faith was having on the Christian community. Philippians 1:12 “But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.” Can you imagine the opportunity to be put under persecution to further the gospel? It’s not likely that any of us truest can because we in the US live under this shield of protection called the constitution (although it’s slowly deminishing each day). Furthermore most of us, me included wouldn’t stand up under the kinds of persecution Paul faced. I asked my self why Paul did this and was answered in vs 13 “So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in ALL the other places.” This should be our mind set. “I’m going to stand for God 110%, even if it costs me my life. For Paul it did cost him his life, for Jesus he gave his life, for me and you, what do we go through because we’re Christian? A joke in the locker room at work? Backlash on social media for an “Offensive” post? This cushion we have is killing the church in America and we don’t even see it happening. Who was effected by Paul’s faithfulness? All of the brethren Vs 14 “And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word with out fear.” What happened to the Christians with a backbone who would stand up and say “Hey this is wrong” the ones who didn’t settle for lukewarm? What happened to the faith that standing for right 110% would yield a profitable crop? Pleasing to God. Woe is me that we’ve came to a point that we cherry pick what sounds good and skim over the parts that don’t fit our worldly agenda!
Have I succeeded in every aspect of my life to stand for what is right? No. But trying and failing is human, it’s the mortal sin we hold so close while not even meaning to. Church, if we don’t start standing for right 110% how can we expect God to bless us at all? If we keep muddying the waters, watering down Christianity, if we keep cooling it down to Luke warm how? If we can not be the fire this world needs and a shinning light in the face of evil…even if it’s the lesser evil…we will be trodden down and our flame put out.
“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in NOTHING I shall be ASHAMED, but that with all boldness, as always, so now Christ shall be magnified in my body whether it be by life, or by death (21) For to me to LIVE is Christ, and to die is gain”
One mans faith set the future of Christianity in stone….