Fears and Aprehensions


#1

After the whole Rob Bell fiasco, and all the wolf-calling, heresy howling, and in general plain ugliness of the “orthodox Christian” community. I’ve found myself more and more afraid to ever set foot in any ministerial position, should God even call me to it.

I pray often telling God in my heart that I am not happy with the idea of being called to be a minister (loose sense of the word) because I see nothing but trouble ahead, for both me and my future family. I look and I see people who genuinely wish to do good for the Kingdom, being ripped apart and demonised by the “true Christians” - being called devils, deceivers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, people with evil agendas, people trying to push the flock of God into Hell, and otherwise wicked people…even personal insults, like those who call Rob Bell a closet homosexual because of the way he dresses. (just pulling examples from youtube comments I saw during the whole thing) — and it isn’t just him. Its everyone who dares to have public ministry!

I can’t put it into effective words. It is like I see the whole world of Christendom doing their darned best to strip another human being of not only their Christianity, but of their very human dignity as well. All under the premise that they are “Christians who must protect the sheep from wolves in sheep’s clothing” - but in doing so, must they become the very demons they so claim to dispel? There are false teachers in the world, this is assured. But I can’t help but feel that its just plain ludicrous the amount of “HERESY!” people call, when there is no real call for it.

The worst of it all…is that as a young man, I feel as though the whole world is poised to crucify me right along side Jesus, simply for believing in Jesus even as they claim to believe in Jesus too. And I am afraid to go out and meet the cross they grinningly have prepared for me, and the worst of my fear, my family also (as I believe God will provide me a family). One might say “but it is an honour to be crucified like Jesus!” - yet I say all the more, nails do not tickle the senses so readily…

I do not want my children, and wife, to be harassed as I would be.

I dread the idea of being a minister, because I can already see the conflict and the railing accusations that will be put on me, the damnation they will throw at me, the evil they will do to me, my ministry, and perhaps even my own family. It is my family yet to come I fear for the most.

I feel as though; “If I do not buy from the company store, the company shall murder me, my children, my wife, and my ministry.” It is my own brothers who make me not want to do anything for the Kingdom.

I even feel bad for being afraid.

They make me want only to do my worship in solitude. Like a monk or a hermit. But I know I’d never be happy with that. It is the limbo of agony, between wanting to bless the whole world! But knowing that the religious world will only crucify you for it, just like your Eldest Brother was crucified.


#2

A friend once advised me to “Go buy a bum a berger”. Listen to his story. Tell the good news to people who are ready to hear it.


#3

Amen, AllenS

Lefein, grow were you are planted and let Father open the doors as He leads. Today has enough trouble of its self, don’t worry about tomorrow.

Will be holding you up in prayer.


#4

I hear you, lefein, and I WAS a missionary, and I remain in a full-time job with an evangelical ministry! :astonished: MY wife’s personality is one that hates change (of any sort), so you can imagine how she feels about my recent discoveries re: UR!

But there’s two things I’m realizing, as someone in vocational ministry and excited about UR. Take these if they help you, or leave 'em alone if they don’t, whatever you need to do. :smiley:

  1. I’ve never really benefited from simmering in "what if"s, especially about the future. I have NO IDEA where God may call, and what exactly I may do with whom, etc etc. BUT I KNOW that He is good, and He is faithful, and when/if He calls me to something that will result in persecution, HE WILL give me grace to go through it. I still worry and take criticism too personally sometimes, but I’m slowly learning to really trust Him with it step-by-step, and that’s what He wants. He’s never asked me to have faith RIGHT NOW for all the possible crazy things that may happen in the future, but today I can trust Him for THIS step, and tomorrow I’m pretty sure He’ll be there to help with whatever happens then. :slight_smile:

  2. There’s an interesting paradox that has hit me regarding the UR concept of God as a lot more loving and merciful than any other biblical concept. Knowing that God is like that, makes it seem like a bigger insult/injustice when people who call themselves Christians react in just the ways you’ve described. In other words, I see and am bothered by the gulf between that. The paradox, though, is that this framework which gives me such a great idea of God also gives me the confidence (if I let it) that ALL PEOPLE someday will come to understand God in just this way. So He doesn’t need any special defense or apologetic from me–He WILL BE justified and understood clearly by all people one day. So, the logical result of accepting UR should be that I’m kinder, gentler, less argumentative, and less bothered by those actions you mention. BUT my emotions (correctly) tell me that it’s very very wrong for them to behave that way! From an eternal perspective though, I can ride it out because I know the great reconciliation is a-coming! :sunglasses: (Maybe Paul was referring to something like this in 2 Cor 4:17-18??)

Anyway, hope that helps. Praying for you, brother!


#5

I remember so vividly when it was Alex sharing this same sentiment not too long ago. I wonder how he feels, now, after having come out with much of his church leadership?

I was reading the other day what it means to live as an enemy of the cross and I think it’s different than what many Christians might say today. In Phillipians 3:17-19 it says, “17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame.” The focus seems to be in how we live.

Jesus was obedient to the point of death, but I’ll have to agree with you that it doesn’t sound like very much fun!!


#6

I agree. I’ve long been struck by Jesus’ conversation with the rich young ruler. Jesus told him the truth, loved him, and let him walk away. There was a serenity about that conversation. Jesus was in no hurry. Jesus knew he would come when the time was right.


#7

Hi Lefein
I suspect that most of the ministers I know clearly craved their status and the accolades associated with their position. It is they who should be fearful.
However, I have to agree with you in many ways. If we consider those in scripture who were chosen by God and what happened to them on an earthly level it is enough to encourage us to say ‘please choose someone else’.
I used to sing and pray ‘Oh for a closer walk with God’, and I prayed earnestly, but no more. Yes I want to be closer to God but I really don’t know that I’m ready to pay the price. I’ve experienced enough to know that there IS a price.
I agree with the other posters. I think the best thing is to leave it with God and to just have enough trust in Him to open the right door. He knows what is best for us and He knows what is best for our families. If it was left to me, I would completely ruin my family by spoiling them and never letting them taste the slightest hardship. Thank God He’s in charge not I. This world is not our home. We are strangers in a strange land.

God bless you


#8

Thank you all for your encouraging words. I really think it is more the oppressive weight of feeling scorned by huge groups of people, and demonised - merely for believing in a victorious Christ.

I don’t want the branded label of “heretic” or “satanist” or “devil” or “wolf” - and other such unkind lies. And all the insulting “He’ll go to Hell if he doesn’t repent” essays people write. It seems overwhelming.


#9

One of the reasons I’m so passionate about this forum, is that it hopefully provides at least one place to encourage people exactly in the position you’re speaking about and for those who do end up getting excommunicated/rejected.

I agree that’s it’s one thing to go into the lion’s den yourself, it’s another when you have a wife & children to protect :neutral_face:

I made the hard decision to go public with my church because I felt I couldn’t remain silent (i.e. I felt I would be misleading people is they thought I agreed with them when I didn’t), not only because I see EU as true, but because I see ECT as getting in the way of many people coming into a relationship with God today. Thankfully on the whole my church has been caring (I think they see me as going through a period of misguidedness) and willing to talk about it. Although we were asked to leave the house church we had been attending (& hosting) for a number of years, which was quite upsetting to my wife in particular. Fortunately, the house church we were moved to, has been welcoming and things are going well so far. I expect that there will be harder times ahead but I try to trust that God is in control.


#10

One other thought is that it’s hardest being rejected by other Christians, people who claim to know & love Christ (& may genuinely think that that are being loving by rejecting the false teacher).

On a positive note, a number of us think that change is in the air and that we are about to see a revival, possibly the biggest ever (although that might just be my optimistic postmillennialist thinking coming through :wink: ).


#11

This comes to life as I consider the seriousness of what coming out means for a lot of us, especially ones that are in the ministry and might not be able to provide for their family. At least we aren’t being put in prison, having our property confiscated, getting killed literally…not yet anway, hopefully not ever!

I don’t want to make any of us feel guilty for having real concerns, but there is so much scripture that seems to address hardship as par for the course and something many that have gone before us have been through. We are assured reward is a coming!

Just realized Moses didn’t even know Christ in the way we’d usually think, but the point is well taken that he had faith that God was going to use him and that it would all be worth it!!

This really puts things into perspective!! It starts to make some of the comments said about us look like candy! It really is something to consider what it means to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. Oh!!!


#12

Great words from Hebrews, Amy. And earlier in the same chapter:
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10.23-25

… which describes perfectly this thread and in fact this whole forum. So be encouraged Lefein and everyone else. Today is the day of resurrection, our day, the day for Easter people to rise up and rejoice! The bad news variety of Christianity is on the way out and its death throes are not going to be pretty.

This thread also got me thinking how valuable an international EU conference might be. I’d be happy to organise. How does Barcelona 2012 sound???


#13

Sounds lovely but probably only feasible if we got a large anonymous donation from Rob Bell :mrgreen: