I write often about the discipleship required to know truth in every sphere of society. I am usually speaking of learning truth through reading, listening to lectures or podcasts, learning in training events, classrooms, conferences, and small groups. But there is another level to learning truth and it involves learning to recognize its presence or its absence through spiritual discernment.
Recognizing truth or the lack thereof in this manner requires having your senses trained. I remember a conversation with a good friend one day. He was warning me about articles from a certain “news” source for they lacked truth and often good sense. I remember bursting out a bunch of questions. What are your sources for this? Did you research these articles and find out their information is wrong? Where can I find a good source that disqualifies this website as a source of truth? He did not have the answers to my questions. I was poised to dismiss his claims. He told me it was obvious to him that the site lacked credibility. It took me sometime before I could understand this. The website was saying things my circles validated as true. These were not questioned. I did not choose to dismiss him out of hand, because I knew him to be a wise friend. However, I had not yet gained understanding.
Once I learned to see from my spirit, to discern, I recalled this conversation and realized just how obvious I recognize malarkey even when others think it credible. Malarkey always has just enough of truth mixed in to make it believable. The spiritual discernment of truth heightens the natural senses as well to recognize where truth is lacking. The lack of spiritual discernment decreases the ability to see truth in the natural or to recognize where it is missing.
On the eve of 2018 the Lord impressed upon me that any difficulty I would experience in 2019 would be a matter of perception. The struggle would be against old thinking. Time and again in 2019 I would find that word from the Lord a comfort as I worked to renew my mind. I had to stop anticipating struggle. This required an adjustment forcing me to stop assuming a potential obstacle would become a hardship.
Worry creates a storm of difficulty that the thing itself would never bring if we did not add worrying about it to the equation. Worry gives us a reality of the worst happening when it is our worry creating the storm of negative emotions and not whatever is actually transpiring.
The Lord worked with me throughout 2019 to think differently. To lift up my eyes to Him and off what I perceived as roadblocks or difficult experiences to see His goodness through each and every obstacle of life.
The exodus of Christians from church has become epidemic. There have always been Christians who, for whatever reason, never joined church, but this is something different. This exodus is comprised of long time faithful church members who are now giving up on church. I’ve read the Relevant Magazine articles and the ex-church bloggers who recount all the reasons that church, or “organized religion”, detracts from their relationship with Jesus. These writers post their 95 theses of the failures of the church on the virtual wall and walk away.
I’ve heard a litany of reasons. The list is usually different with a few similarities emerging as writers on the subject have provided the language that justifies the trend. The language is catching on. I read a blogger today describe “the organized Christian Church.” He didn’t describe any church I’ve ever been a part of. He also threw in a complaint about mega-churches for good measure. The blogger had real dissatisfaction with what his church experience offered. I’ve heard many frustrated people both in and out of the church give their reasons why church is no longer for them.
I can give a Scriptural argument for remaining joined to the church via a local body of believers, but it won’t help. I’ve even heard people say these arguments are just how pastors keep people trapped in church.
There are two things I can offer to the subject. Continue reading