Monday, February 22, 2016

The Book Saga

I've been away for a few days just getting some warmth back into my bones and visiting friends, so I've been unable to update you on the book saga. All but two of you did not receive the books I sent, so the packages are lost somewhere, the post office will not be any more specific.
That said, new books have been ordered, and as soon as they arrive, I will ship them out since I have all your addresses on file. I am so sorry for this whole thing. On the other hand, you've got to smile when the enemy gets petty.
Please keep my family and I in your prayers, and I will do likewise.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Scalpels, Cleavers, and Grenades

I really should stop giving this thing oxygen, but I can’t help myself. The reason I feel the need to revisit this situation is because I believe it is a teachable moment for everyone including myself, and though some seemingly no longer have need of teaching –  for they have reached the pinnacle of all wisdom and knowledge – I still learn something new pretty much every day of my life.

It’s not that I am a slow learner, but life is infinitely more complex than a soundbite, or a tweet, or heavens forbid a hashtag campaign. As human beings we can do the wrong thing for the right reason, the right thing for the wrong reason, and yes, we can even do the right thing for the right reason but go about it in a very damaging and counterproductive fashion.

Although a black robe might be slimming on a man such as myself I have always found it a dangerous practice to play at being judge, because I’ve seen far too many who have taken to judging others like a fish to water only to wither and slink away when the limelight inevitably turned on them, and they were shown the same level of grace and mercy as they had shown others in the past.

We confuse judging with being judges, I think, and this is where we veer off the path into the land of self-righteousness and spiritual elitism. We are called to judge; we are not called to be judges. When we judge a thing, we weigh the facts and if deception is present, we proceed to excise said deception from the body, but when we play the judge, we pass sentence, condemning someone to eternal damnation without the possibility of repentance, reconciliation, or redemption.

Maybe some folks really do believe that when James writes there is only one lawgiver and judge he was talking about them, but I’ve always been lacking in the self-image department, so I’ll pass on making that sort of claim.

The world needs both butchers and surgeons. It needs men who know how to wield a scalpel, and men how to wield a meat cleaver, but I don’t know if the church necessarily needs both. Butchers dissect dead things. Surgeons do their utmost to remove the offending growth while still keeping the patient alive. What victory can one claim if in getting to the tumor he has sliced through three major arteries and the patient has bled to death?

There are those rare occurrences wherein even a grenade is necessary, but you pull the pin and lob the grenade only after you’ve made certain there will be no collateral damage, no friendly casualties, and no innocents maimed, wounded, or even killed by the action. Anything less is dereliction of duty, and you hear of soldiers being court martialed for maiming or killing innocents even in live combat situations. The fact that it was live combat is not sufficient justification. A soldier is held to the standard of his office, and expected to carry out his duty in a manner befitting said office.

The Word of God calls us to be surgeons not butchers. It calls us to identify the offending member and remove it while keeping the body alive, intact, and causing as little damage as possible so as to allow for the healing and restoration of the body in the shortest amount of time.

As for those of you who took issue with my sarcasm it is a coping mechanism for me. I either turn the valve and let out some pressure once in a while, or I become bitter in my heart, and become of no use to the Kingdom. It is also my way of highlighting the absurdity of some of the arguments we make as believers, and my radio program next Thursday is actually entitled ‘Christians Say the Darndest Things!’

If all it takes is a little sarcasm to offend you unto death, then I fear for you, for the future holds much heartache and tribulation for believers, things much worse than a wee bit of dripping sarcasm. You are in my prayers.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Into The Fray Part 2

A couple days ago I posted a few thoughts on an upcoming conference I will be attending in March. To those of you who seem to have no issue with not only judging but passing sentence on the matter, I’m hoping you could help me out a smidge. I’m having a hard time finding the memo wherein this upcoming conference changed over from a call to repentance and a time of worship, revival, and restoration to what I am assuming by the tonality of your vitriol a black mass séance held on the night of the full moon, wherein many a chicken and not a few sheep will needlessly lose their lives.

I am finding it very difficult to reconcile what I know of this upcoming event and some of the speakers that will be attending it with words like Luciferian, works of darkness, demonic, from the pit, and other such pabulum.

Did the Nicene council reconvene without my knowledge and decide that though the declared purpose of this gathering is worship, revival, restoration, repentance, and a return to righteousness in Christ it is in fact a nefarious plot to brainwash those in attendance and make them all diehard followers of Harold Camping?

A couple of you have quoted the passage in Corinthians, and if this were still an issue presently, then there would be a need to sit down and discuss it, but to the best of my knowledge I do not know of any ‘wicked man’ who will be speaking at this conference.

While I’m at it, D. Pearcy, if you happen to be reading these words, not only did I have the courage to post your comment, I’m actually going to take a few minutes and address it.

What can I say? When you got me, you got me. You are absolutely correct. I already spent the money I was paid for this conference buying an island one over from Mel Gibson’s island and upgrading my private jet, so now I have to go along just so I don’t lose out on my ‘financial gains’. The fact that I rent an apartment in a dinky town in Wisconsin, drive a Dodge with over 100K miles on it, and sell stuff on eBay to support my family, that’s just for the optics. It’s just window dressing. I am secretly a millionaire, and I hobnob with other millionaires in secret hideaways in the mountains.

I realized that by the tone of your comment you neither know me nor know the ministry I am part of. It is also likely that you do not get my sense of humor, so just to make it clear, yes I was kidding about the jet, the island, and the secret hideaways. What I do not kid about is the reverence I have for the work of God, and my willingness to sacrifice everything for it.

It offends me that though you do not know me, you assume that after 30 years of ministry I would throw away my integrity, the reputation of this work, the memory of my grandfather and my mother, but must of all that I would betray Jesus for money. For this assumption sir, may the Lord rebuke you!

To those of you who encouraged me through your comments, I thank you. To those who had sincere questions and concerns, I hope I’ve been able to alleviate them. And, to those for whom no explanation will ever be good enough, who are convinced of a thing even though all evidence points to the contrary, may God open your eyes, and when He does may you have the humility to repent to those you have wounded and besmirched.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Into The Fray!

I consider myself as having pretty tough skin. Growing up as a fat kid who wore polyester pants made by his grandmother, one got used to insults, taunting, teasing, and an amalgam of other not-so-nice experiences. In many ways my childhood seasoned me and prepared me for adulthood, and so I am not easily offended.

Someone really has to go out of their way to offend me. I don’t take everything personally, I don’t try to find issue where no issue exists, but there are certain things that are like live wires for me, and after a handful of e-mails hitting one such live wire, I’ve decided to voice my opinion on a certain matter, for whatever my opinion is worth.

As some of you know I am scheduled to speak at a conference in March. It will be held in Dallas, and I received my invitation sometime after the entire fracas and drama unfolded. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s better that you don’t. If you know what I am referring to, then this post is for you.

I will not sit here and armchair quarterback what happened. What I do know from countless mediations and requests to counsel couples is that there is never one party who is exclusively innocent, nor is there one who is exclusively guilty.

The reason I felt I needed to write this post today and clarify the situation is because of certain assumptions that are being made as to my person; assumptions I will neither let stand nor abstain from calling out.

The first assumption that is being made by those of you bombarding me with e-mails demanding that I denounce this conference, remove myself from the roster, and vilify everyone who is connected to it is that I did not pray, seek the face of God, or receive a release to go before agreeing to appear as a speaker.

If you assumed this, you are dead wrong. I grew up traveling with a man whom I consider one of the most genuine men of God I have ever known. The fact that he was my grandfather plays no part in this, because if I had seen hypocrisy, doublemindedness, or inconsistency in his life I would likely be a very different person today, and not writing this post. It was his genuineness, obedience, and faithfulness to God that stirred in me a desire to grow and mature in the Lord. I learned a lot from my grandfather, including praying and seeking the face of God upon every invitation one receives to go and speak anywhere.

It has been my practice ever since God has called me into ministry, and it will continue to be my practice until either God releases me from this calling, or I go to my reward.

Whether a home group of five or a congregation of 5000, when I am invited to speak I take the time to pray, and do not agree to do so until I receive a release from God.

The second assumption that is being made is that I have to choose a side, do it now, and be vocal about it. Actually, I don’t. I choose Jesus, I will always choose Jesus, and I will always be on the side of Jesus. Big boys who have squabbles need to put on their big boy pants, and put the Kingdom of God before their own egos, taking the entirety of the situation into consideration and not their own agenda or proclivity.

As long as I am allowed to preach the Gospel of Christ, am not asked to tailor my message, or withhold what God has commanded me to speak, I will go and preach wherever the Lord releases me to go, and preach the Gospel to all who would hear it.

We must put souls first, and though there might be a hundred voices clamoring to be heard, the truth will rise like a phoenix, and the seeds of truth will be planted in the hearts of the hearers.

It saddens me that though the hour is so late we are still so childish in our thinking. It saddens me that though the hour is so late we are still more worried about our reputations and how we are perceived by one segment of Christendom or another than whether or not we are doing our utmost to trumpet the message of the cross of Christ.

Perhaps what saddens me most of all is the sheer relish and giddiness with which some purported believers are viewing this situation, trying to stoke the flames, and do what they can to create an all-out blood feud among the children of God.

The easiest thing to do is sit in the shade with a cold drink in your hand and comment on how poorly those laboring in the field under the hot sun are doing, or sit on the sidelines and either cheer or jeer while others are doing battle, bloodying themselves, and giving their last full measure. If you’ve never plowed, if you’ve never planted, if you’ve never prayed for God to send the rain so that the seed would take root, if you've never done battle and been on the frontlines, yet find it perfectly acceptable to sling mud every which way because you’re bored and have nothing better to do, then I beseech you, repent, and seek God’s forgiveness.

I could say more, but self-restraint is a gift I am learning to exercise more frequently of late. I will, however, leave you with this. In the early 90’s my grandfather was called by a representative of the Mormon Church to go on a speaking tour. After praying and receiving a release to go we went, did a handful of speaking engagements, and saw hearts turned to God, even though at the time some people declared that by agreeing to go and preach to Mormons we had effectively destroyed our ministry, nevermore to be revived.

Some twenty years later we are still here, still feeding the poor, still clothing the naked, still preaching the Gospel, and yes, still hearing from some of the individuals who attended those meetings and whose lives were forever changed.

Mark 2:15-17, “Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, ‘How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard it, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but the sinners, to repentance.’”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.