Saturday, January 13, 2007
Jay Bakker...a punk, under God.
It reminds me of the spiritual "balance and tension" that the book of Jude speaks of:
"....keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy." -Jude 1:21-24
I see great wisdom in these verses concerning our life and our work of living among, reaching out and God willing rescuing those lost and submerged in the world.
Love must be the root of our perspective. Compassion for the lost, love for those whom the Lord died for. Holding a general understanding that everyone, no matter how "polluted" they may seem or how far gone they may appear...matter to God and should matter to us. God’s mercy is not just something you receive, it is something that compels you to share it with those who need mercy.
But in living out that love and compassion we are warned to do so with a godly fear. Understanding that the same things that are consuming others in the fires of sin can spark in our own heart and start a fire.
The fear of being burned doesn’t stop us from drawing near enough to the fire to snatch someone out of it. But we should never grow careless in our efforts to reach those who are already burning in the hellish flames of eternity. They are like the men who were slain by the fires that leaped out of the fiery furnace that was being prepared for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They are not in Hell yet, but Hell’s fires have been kindled on Earth, just like Heaven’s kingdom is partly here too.
The appetites of the flesh can become a fire that burns out of control, we need to learn to keep the the embers of our humanity within the furnaces God’s has allowed for them to burn within. Flames outside the fireplace are bad...in the hearth, they can warm us.
There are many things in our culture that are “polluted garments” that we should have nothing to do with. We need godly wisdom to discern what has become so polluted that we should only view it with...hate.
In the end there is an amazing promise for furnace finders...God will keep you from stumbling and will make you stand and will fill your inner life with great joy. Soul winners understand this spiritual joy like few others.
I pray that Jay will heed the warnings of the scripture concerning reaching out to those in our culture who are dead and lost. He is a punk....and like most of us punks we can get tangled up in stuff that ends up destroying the good we set out to accomplish.
God have mercy, it's a wonder we get anything right.