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Old 02-20-2018, 09:01 AM   #27
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 540
Default Re: Greetings and introduction

Originally Posted by Steel View Post
If I had received a penny each time I thought to myself how "...upside-down..." (messy, messed up) this world we live in is, I'd be a wealthy man... But praise the Lord... His thoughts are not according to my natural human thinking.

There is hypocrisy in me... And there's hypocrisy in you, Koinonia... So what ground do we have to point fingers at the hypocrisy we think we see in others.

Honestly... I'm in no hurry to see yet another problem... In anyone or in anything. I've seen enough problems in my life... I'm tired of seeing problems.

Back on 1997, when I first came into the church life — the overarching church life, not the more specific, Recovery related church life — things were not going well for me. At the time I was living in an apartment that I couldn't pay for, and would soon have to move out of; and the electricity in the apartment was already disconnected. I remember lying in bed at night and reading the New King James bible that my brother had given me... And doing so with a small flash light... No real knowledge of where scripture had come from... No real knowledge of related doctrines, or certain teachings... No real knowledge of related rules or regulations... Just me, with nothing much going for me (in a worldly sense) and what I was reading in this bible... And I was fine with it... I never felt that something was missing... All I remember feeling is that there was so much to gain... Why hadn't someone shown me this thing called a bible before.

Some years later I created a company called A Gift of Light... Why?... Because that's what I felt scripture was... A gift of light.

But as I went on in my walk with the Lord things related to my disposition towards the things of God (the church, pastors, religion, doctrines, teachings) began to get complicated ... I started to see "...problems..." related to other believers... I started to see "...hypocrisy..." related to other believers... I wanted everything to be perfect... And things weren't perfect... Why couldn't everyone just be poor and reading scripture by flashlight in the darkness... I can't begin to tell you how filled with life I was during those hours... I'd smile with the Lord... I'd weep with the Lord... I'd see my fallen self with the Lord... I'd hope with the Lord... I'd trust with the Lord... I'd be encouraged with the Lord... At nighttime, lying in bed, reading that bible with a flashlight... I believe I was truly hidden in the Lord... In those hours He was everything to me.

Even now as I sit here writing this there are uncontrollable tears flowing from my eyes as I remember what we, the Lord and I, experienced during that time.

And I had no clue about anything regarding scripture knowledge from any particular ministry. All I know is that for me, at that time, being able to lie in bed and read my bible, even by flashlight, was something I somehow, dispite all the negative in my life, desperately clung to... All day I would be trying to figure out stuff related to my daily practical living... But late at night, I could hide myself away from all that... And it wasn't as if I was spending the day thinking about it in this manner... I wasn't saying to myself "I can't wait for night to come so I can hide myself and read scripture with the Lord."... No... I barely knew what to think about from one hour to the next... And going to bed was simply something that I did because there was nothing more, practically, for me to do. But when I went to bed, I would find my secret hiding place waiting on me.

In the above paragraph, where I describe myself as having "...desperately clung to..." reading my bible by flashlight in bed at night... I struggled to find the proper words to use... I wanted to use maybe "...appreciated...", or maybe "...enjoyed...", or "...cherished...",... But none of them properly expressed what I felt... The truth is... I "...desperately clung to..." reading my bible by flashlight in bed at night... And this is how my relationship with scripture began.

And it is how my relationship with scripture is today... When I read scripture... Whether it be in the day or in the night... Whether it is in a meeting hall full of people, or in the fellowship of just another believer... Or just by myself... For me... There is no light other than that coming from a small flashlight... Because everything else is just darkness... And that light, I have come to know... Has a Name... And is a Person... Christ Jesus... And what this Light reveals in and through scripture is simply Christ Jesus.

Today I know that my secret hiding place is simply the revelation/realization of Christ Jesus... The revelation/realization of Himself to me... By Himself.

And even now, some twenty years later... I still desperately cling to Him.

And I know that nothing else matters... Because in doing only this... Desperately clinging to Christ Jesus... Everything is actually... Right side up... Meaning... In proper order.
Steel, I readily acknowledge that there is hypocrisy in me. The difference is that I am not wielding spiritual authority over others. I respect your experience of the Lord, but your spiritual justifications for unjustifiable legalism is a cop-out, and it means that no one in the LC system is ever accountable for anything. If I choose not to have a beard for spiritual reasons, that is between me and the Lord. If the LC in Austin chooses to make clean-shaven-ness a requirement for service, that is legalism and a likely stumbling to others. If LC leaders refuse to deal with sexual immorality and blame innocent people for criticizing, that is spiritual abuse and a huge stumbling to others.
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