It only takes knowing what the enemy targets to understand what he fears and considers calamitous regarding his plans. The two-pronged attack upon the church, as far as Jude was concerned, was turning the grace of God into lewdness and denying the only Lord God and Jesus Christ. Those were their two points of attack, and that’s what their entire mission revolved around.
It wasn’t about whether believers should or shouldn’t have beards or about whether or not they wear a wedding band. Nor was it about whether to call Him Jesus, Yeshua, or Lord. It’s not as though if you cry out Lord or Jesus, your message goes directly to spam or His phone flashes ‘unknown caller.’ We’re trying to convince people that the sinless Son of God, who died on the cross for our sins, suddenly caught a case of sanctimony and pretentiousness and will not answer our cries unless they are formally submitted.
Sometimes all you have the strength for is to cry out “Help.” Exhausted, beaten, bruised, and barely hanging on, all you can do is let the tears flow and open your heart to Him, and that’s enough for Him to fill you with the peace that passes all understanding.
If you cry out to Jesus with brokenness, humility, repentance, and sincerity of heart, His answer will never be, “Why doest thou not address me in Hebrew or ancient Sumerian?”
Some of the things we choose to bicker over are childish on the best of days and a waste of time and energy every day. While we’re busy going back and forth about whether we should attend church on Sunday or Saturday or if we should attend church at all, the enemy’s primary focus is still to pervert grace and deny the singularity of Christ.
He’s not trying to convince anyone that there isn’t a god, a spiritual force, or a supernatural entity; the devil’s trying to convince everyone there’s a plethora. It’s like Baskin Robins. Why settle for one flavor when you can have thirty-one? Nine out of ten heretics approve! The tenth one thinks he is a god, and his narcissism won’t allow him to share the platform.
Perhaps that’s how they’re able to sneak in. We’re so distracted with the foolishness that we overlook the real danger. We’re at each other’s throats about issues that are not salvific, and the salvific issues get chipped away every single day.
Even a little doubt can cripple your conviction and hamstring your faith. It’s not that you’ll stop running toward the prize altogether, but doubt will make you slow your pace, and the more you give heed to it, the more corrosive it will become. With enough doubt and enough time, you’ll have once-professing Christians not only turn from the faith but become militant about opposing it.
They feel compelled to share their newfound atheism and declare its benefits as though they were part of some multi-level marketing scheme, and for every new person they convert, they get a free vacation. I never understood that level of compulsion. It’s akin to people who are part of a group that decides to part ways and must declare their departure publicly and vociferously. It’s not an airport lounge; you can leave without making an announcement.
Some people do it to elicit sympathy, others do it to elicit attention, and others still do it hoping someone tries to stop them. Still, whatever the reasoning, it’s self-centered and hedonistic to go out of your way to make sure everyone in the world knows you no longer belong to the Piggly Wiggly loyalty program.
The devil sows doubt like a farmer sows seed. Your heart is the soil; if a seed can take root, it grows and spreads like a mint bush in your backyard. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, go buy a mint plant for a couple of bucks, and plant it. Three years later, you’ll have so much mint everywhere you’ll be forced to pull them from the ground, roots and all, just to save your grass. Mint is invasive. So is doubt. It will spread for as long as it’s allowed to spread and take over areas of your heart you had no intention of surrendering.
Jude saw the dangers and warned the church, but rather than taking his warnings to heart and being vigilant, they chose to ignore his writings as though he was of lesser spiritual mettle than other contributors to the New Testament. Is it possible we don’t give the half-brothers of Jesus the respect they deserve because we don’t like the things they have to say about heady topics we’ve predetermined the narrative of?
I keep returning to the principle of all scripture being by inspiration of God and profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. Once we accept that truth, our theology becomes more fleshed out, more complete, and not so one-sided and unyielding.
I’m well aware that we all have our favorite scriptures, our favorite doctrinal pillars, but we cannot exclude significant portions of the Bible just because they conflict with our view on a given doctrinal point. If both were under attack, most people today would defend their denomination rather than Jesus. Your membership to a given denomination will not gain you entry into heaven. Your being washed in the blood of Christ, sanctified, and set apart, will.
When it comes to setting up defenses, whether of a castle, or a belief system, you first prioritize the most important aspects of your defense to the least. If it’s a castle, your priority is defending every point of ingress, knowing that if the enemy can breach the gate or the walls, it’s all over, but for the body-positive lady singing.
When it comes to doctrine, whether there is carpet in the sanctuary or we let brother Rooster play his guitar during worship are tertiary matters compared to the Lordship of Jesus and other fundamental teachings of the Bible, basic principles that support the foundation of the faith. If we consistently focus on the superficial and let the enemy mutilate the essentials, we may win a battle here or there, but we will lose the war.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
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