Monday, April 15, 2013

The Consequences of Words

For the past few weeks I’ve been e-mailing back and forth with a seminary student who is on the threshold of losing his faith. He is in his third year, having first walked through the halls of his school with a burning love for God and a desire to follow Him, and now, three years later he is teetering on the edge of the abyss known as doubt and despair.

In his first e-mail he began by explaining how he’d had zeal for God in his youth, but no direction or instruction in regards to practically living out the Word, being a disciplined believer, and walking the narrow path of faith. Hence the reason he decided to borrow a bunch of money and go off to seminary. He wanted to get to know God, and apparently nobody told him the best way to get to know God is on your knees, in your prayer closet, with your Bible beside you, and a desire to receive.

The reason this young man is on the edge of losing his faith is because what he was taught about God during these past three years made God out to be no more than a magic genie whose singular desire is to bless you, and having fallen on hard times, the young man concluded that God had failed him by not continuing to bless him as He once did.

In subsequent e-mails, as we continued to communicate, this young man said before he’d gotten to seminary, he’d never felt entitled or as though God owed him anything. After three years of being told he was special, and could readily claim all that he desired, he started to believe it, and is now bitter toward God for not meeting his demands.

Honestly I don’t know how much headway I’m going to make – although we keep writing back and forth – because every time, I get the patented ‘I told my professor what you said, and he said you were wrong.’  

If I’d given my own opinion on any given matter, I admit there might be a chance of my having been wrong, but all I did was quote scriptures from throughout the Old and New Testament disputing some of his assertions. As such, if I was wrong, then so was the Word of God, and if that’s the case we have far bigger issues to deal with than whether or not God owes us prosperity in this life.

Words have consequences, and what we sow in the lives of others – especially those new to the faith, or those trusting us to feed them the truth of God’s Word – will either bear good fruit or bitter fruit. We will either see the men and women in whose lives we speak Jesus growing in the faith, becoming self-sufficient, reading and rightly dividing the Word for themselves, or we will see them linger in this semi-comatose state for the rest of their lives, having their expectations of what they were told God was dashed and broken upon the jagged surface of reality.

Some men love the notion of having others dependent upon their words, their teachings, or their doctrines. It is those men who nurture and foment dependency upon themselves rather than Christ that we should flee from, and do so speedily.

The walk has never been about a man, a denomination, a tertiary issue, or some other thing overzealous and underworked individuals concoct in the hopes of catching a few more innocents in their web of lies. The walk has always been about Christ, and any man not consistently, joyfully, vociferously, adamantly, and singularly pointing the way to Him, is not one of His ambassadors nor does he have your best interest at heart.

This protracted interaction with the young man has been troubling me for the past few days, reminding me just how easy it is to twist someone’s theology, and as consequence distort the way the see God for themselves. I thought I’d share it if for no other reason than as a cautionary tale, and ask if you would, please say a prayer for him. His name is Anthony.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


Lee said...

My heart goes out to Anthony and I have and will pray for him, but we each have to come to the place of realizing that the Word of God must judge us and our motives and not allow any person to judge the Word of God. So many today are SELF styled critics and editors of the bible instead of submitting to and allowing the amazing word of God to do it's miraculous work in our lives! I came to Jesus with the same horrific background as my sister. I received the truth of my being a sinner in need of repentance and deliverance.
At about the same time my sister ended up at the local "mental health" clinic. Some 40 years later, she has still not forgiven our parents and the others who were involved in our past, she is always drugged up with prescription anti depression drugs and is no better than she was at the beginning of her expensive "treatment" . Instead I was set free from hatred, rage and a whole list of other evil things and habits by the singular power and glory of my savior and the glorious power of His word!!. I wouldn't trade with her sitting in dark rooms and hating for anything. The only difference between us is that she refused the truth and chooses to remain in her sin. This young man has to make a choice of who he is going to believe. Man or the one who inspired the bible. It is truly a choice between life and death and his entire future lies in the balance. I pray that God will give him a great hunger to search out the scriptures for himself . I have seen this happen again and again and it always breaks my heart, but I know that the Holy Spirit is faithful to teach and reveal himself to us but we must desire truth regardless of the cost. I pray Anthony will choose life!

marshall warren said...

How did the church ever get caught up in thinking you can intellectualize, (that is go to a college,take courses and learn spiritual truths)the Word of God with its truth and power. Anthony is another victim of the deception. The Holy Spirit has sanctified us unto obedience. The mind can't grasp Spiritual Truths, only our spirit can. I will pray for All the Anthony's.
God bless you,
Marshall Warren

Barbara said...

Does Anthony want to believe God or what the professors, who he paid so much money to hear, have to say? He needs to make up his mind. The reason he fell on hard times is because he wasn't following Christ as a disciple; he was just studying how to get closer to God, or so they told him.

The only way you get closer once you are saved is to keep stepping out in faith. The more you do what God told you to do, the more he will tell you something else. If you don't do what he says, he starts to abandon you and actually persectue you. God is not a magic genie at all. He has as temper and he gets mad. If you don't do what he expects, expect a beat down.

No you won't hear this in churches. They are just feel good clubs for liars. Jesus didn't hang out in holy minded congregations; he went among the sick and lame and sinful. I suppose his disciples will be wandering among the same people then.

Attending a temple went out with the old covenant. Now we are the temples and are to bring the word to the lost world. People who reject the word are not lost, they are just hypocrites. You shake the dust from your shoes out of their presence and move on.

Holly said...

Dear Michael- Just yesterday I attended a "mentor program" for youth at a church. The bishop spoke & warned the youth that there will be those who "fire scriptural bullets say 'The Bible says we shouldn't do this' etc. He made fun of this. It seemed to me he was teaching us to disreguard the Word, and that is a dangerous teaching...

meema said...

Satan’s Most Effective Lies

There is no God.
If there is a God, He doesn’t really care what you do.
If you believe there is a God, then He has to bless you.
If He doesn’t bless you, then that proves there is no God.

I'll pray for Anthony that God will open his eyes and bring him out.

For Christ,

Anonymous said...

I did and will continue to pray for this young man. What jumps out at me is that the primary problem seems to be that he believes man rather than God - he keeps going back to what his professors are telling him even when you point out that the Word of God says otherwise. When Paul lists all the difficulties he's been through - shipwrecked, beaten and stoned, hungry, thirsty, cold and naked - it's real hard to hang onto the idea that God says our life in this world will be a piece of cake with no discomfort. In a certain sense, this entire scenario encapsulates the decision resulting in salvation or destruction: do you believe God, or do you dismiss what He says and believe man instead? Does Anthony believe the bible is the inspired Word of God? If he does, what is his reason for believing professors who contradict it? Does he not know that false teaching and false prophets (profits as well!) abound in these days? When he says he had zeal for God years ago, was that true zeal for the true God or was he in love with this flashy, false, prosperity-based gospel? Did that zeal lead him to read his bible enough to detect false doctrine when he encountered it? Sadly it appears it did not, or he would not have borrowed large amounts of money and given it to these people. That is how their gospel works for them. They get rich, and tell others, 'See, it works.'

Barbara said...

It is all a matter of what spirit you follow. If you see that your life is not bearing fruit of the spirit, that you have lost your zeal and your faith, then you know that you have lost your first love. He should focus on the things of God and not the promises of men. He should fast and pray and seek the Lord as to why he is feeling abandoned.

You think that the answers are in books and other men's speeches, but all those are are little baubles that amuse you for a moment but don't really test and grow your faith. Faith wihtout works is dead. The only way you can work your faith is by stepping out in obedience.

That is very hard by the way. That is why I think what Christians need to learn is how to do that. They need practice and training in it. Usually you just disobey and you life goes into a whirlwind. Then when you are all beat up, you say you are sorry, but then probably still don't know how to control yourself.

Lizzy said...

Hi Michael,
I would like to address something in one of the other comments, specifically this comment: "If you don't do what he says, he starts to abandon you and actually persectue you. .... He has as temper and he gets mad. If you don't do what he expects, expect a beat down." That really bothers me. The way I understand it, God is not sinful like us, but rather His anger is righteous. He does not abandon us, persecute us, or lose His temper. He doesn't "get mad" in the same sense as sinful humans. He is always perfect and in control of Himself as well as Lord of All, and in total control. He does not have tamtrums like people do who don't get their own way, but rather shows great patience, & long suffering. He sends numerous warnings for people to turn from their sins. He wills to relent of any punishment,if only people would turn from their sin and back to Him. He longs to forgive. But mankind loves darkness and sin. Only after sin has reached its fullness, does God exert His holy wrath. He is a holy God. He judges with wisdom and righteousness. There is no darkness in Him. He makes no mistakes. His wrath is in complete balance with His love and wisdom. He shows justice for the oppression of sinful man against another. He is a just judge, showing His wrath against the wicked, but tender mercies towards His children. He disciplines us in love, not in unhealthy attitudes, but as a loving Father corrects a son whom He loves.

Barbara said...

Lizzy, I think you worship the tooth fairy.

Barbara said...

You know, I hate when people try to oversentimentalize God and then attack people who don't see Him the same way. They want God to be the leader of their feel good, self ocngratulatory, popularity cult. If you don't have the same opinion of someone as they do, you are out. You are called a trouble maker, a liar and a fake Christian. I say this is deflection of guilt onto the victim.

I don't want to worship some undiscerning hippie god or some shmoozing cruise director of life god. I am not worshipping a cheap, happy meal God. I am sick of people pushing this concept. If you want to worship some fool in the sky like this, that is your problem, don't push it on me.

Lizzy said...

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.