Saturday, July 6, 2013

Are We Still Dangerous?

Followers of יהוה used to be dangerous.
We used to be a threat to the ruling powers of this world.

Think of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.'" (Dan. 3:16-18)
Think of Ester.
"Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, 'Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?' Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 'Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.'" (Ester 4:13-16)
Think of Daniel.
"Then the presidents and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. Then these men said, 'We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.' . . . When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously." (Dan. 6:4-5, 10)
Think of Jesus, himself.
"Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, 'Come here.' And he said to them, 'Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to safe life or to kill?' But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved a their hardness of heart, and said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him." (Mark 3:1-6)
Think of Paul.
"Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one--I am talking like a madman--with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked  a night a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? If I boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands." (2 Cor. 11:23-33)
Think of the Early Church. 
"Polytheists’ belief in the power of the gods, their desire and need to be worshipped by humanity, and the fear that society would lose the gods’ favor or be destroyed in retribution, made this a frightening prospect. Just a couple intransigent Christians who refused to make these offerings, could put everyone ... from the town to the province to the entire Roman state ... at risk. For some, this made their very presence a danger." (
Think of Martin Luther
"Since then your imperial majesty and your lordships demand a simple answer, I will give you one without teeth and without horns. Unless I am convicted of error by the testimony of Scripture or by manifest evidence...I cannot and will not retract, for we must never act contrary to our conscience....Here I stand. God help me! Amen!" (
Think of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"The man who felt all the force of the pacifist position and weighed the 'cost of discipleship' concluded in the depths of his soul that to withdraw from those who were participating in the political and military resistance would be irresponsible cowardice and flight from reality. 'Not,' as his friend Bethge says, 'that he believed that everybody must act as he did, but from where he was standing, he could see no possibility of retreat into any sinless, righteous, pious refuge. The sin of respectable people reveals itself in flight from responsibility. He saw that sin falling upon him and he took his stand.' Here he acted in accord with his fundamental view of ethics, that a Christian must accept his responsibility as a citizen of this world where God has placed him." (Introduction to Bonhoeffer's Life Together by John W. Doberstein)

Why were these followers of יהוה so dangerous?
Because they looked to יהוה as their highest authority.
"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matt. 10:28)

But Christians are no longer dangerous.
Because we are filled with fear.
Fear of fellow man.
Fear of our own perceived neediness.

But what if this neediness is just a lie?
What if this neediness is really just an exaltation of our own psychological desires and lusts?

What would happen if we stopped focusing on the temporal and looked to the eternal?
What would happen if we stopped focusing so much on our humanity and looked to our adoptive, divine inheritance?
What would happen if we stopped focusing on our psychological needs and looked to the spiritual blessings of our sovereign Master?
What would happen if we stopped focusing on "me" and looked to "Him"?

What would happen if we stopped living as if we are chained to this world and instead realized that we are free?

We would be . . . dangerous.

From "Darkest Valley" by Group 1 Crew:
"Now I'm a PC but with a MAC face.
Too smart to get caught up in the rat race.
I don't need the cheese.
I don't need my life fast paced.
I don't need the lights.
I don't need to play the hard case.
All I need is you.
All I need is simple blind faith.
Now my eyes are open seeing HD.
Definition of a prodigal who has been set free.
I can tell you stories
Where this world has tried to take me
through the darkest valley.
But His grace was there to save me."

Are we dangerous?
Or are we too worried about gaining acceptance, affirmation, love, happiness, etc.?
When we focus on those things, we are completely enslaved by the people in this world because they are the gatekeepers to our psychological fulfillment.
Our hands become tied behind our backs.
We are no longer as effective in God's army.
We are no longer dangerous.
We are just like everyone else--
only a nullified threat to the kingdom of Darkness.

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