The great English evangelist Leonard Ravenhill, a dear brother in Christ that I once had the privilege of corresponding with, said, “That world out there, it’s not waiting for a new definition of Christianity, it’s waiting for a new demonstration of Christianity!” This is along the lines of what I have writing about here at Apprising Ministries myself. These noisy cymbals and clanging gongs like Rick Warren and Brian McLaren and Rob Bell talk much of love…love of man. Shouldn’t really surprise us, as it is written – People will be lovers of themselves (2 Timothy 3:2).

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:2-4, KJV)

A New Demonstration Of Authentic Christianity

Sadly, there are those who misunderstand what this labor in Christ is actually about. Briefly, I was once simply the pastor of Connecticut River Baptist Church, a very small SBC church which meets in the home of one of its members. My main field of study for the better part of eighteen years has been Comparative Religion, apologetics and non-Christian cults. As such my primary focus at CRBC was preparing this little flock over which Christ had made me His undershepherd to evangelize their community.

When AM was given this website the Lord changed my focus as He has led this ministry into “discernment” work functioning as a kind of small spiritual military police unit in this Truth War. Naturally this means I take some pretty heavy fire from enemy guns as I press the attack at these deceiving spirits in their sordid little strongholds from which they teach their doctrines of demons. However, since you can’t kill a dead man, and you can only scare someone not afraid to die, in the strength of the Lord and by His grace we persevere.

But there is more to AM as well in that being a pastor-teacher, as God allows the time away from the fracas, I love to share devotional teachings as well. This is one such time. What will follow is a wonderful teaching by Charles Spurgeon, who unlike today’s man-lovers in the Ecumenical Church of Deceit (ECoD), was a man powerful in Christ. The prince of preachers will encourage those of us who may be a bit weary from the battles and the sufferings which inevitably come into the lives of genuine believers who truly belong to Jesus Christ.

The Resurrection Power Of Christ Is Found In Suffering

A.W. Tozer, who was actually a friend and mentor to Brother Ravenhill, reminds us of what the shallow centered on the self ECoD–victim of the psycho-babble which passes for theology in the new reformation of Robert Schuller–has long ago forgotten about the trials inherent in the actual Christian faith. Therein the Resurrection power of Christ is revealed as people come to see that:

Slowly you will discover God’s love in your suffering. Your heart will begin to approve the whole thing. You will learn from yourself what all the schools in the world could not teach you–the healing action of faith without supporting pleasure.

And yet the selfish and superficial teachings of today’s evangelical leaders would rob us of these teachings so necessary for true soldiers of the Cross of Christ. In their place we receive rubbish like this type of tepid tripe from contemplative Max Lucado found in a greeting card sent in jest to AM by one of our discerning readers because she saw right through it. And notice how his mystical practices are taking him away from a love of the Truth:

God rewards those who seek Him. Not those who seek doctrine or religion or systems or creeds. Many settle for these lesser passions, but the reward goes to those who settle for nothing less than Jesus Himself. And what is the reward? What those who seek Jesus? Nothing short of the heart of Jesus. Your passion for Jesus is contagious–keep seeking His heart. You’re making a difference! (emphasis his)

*Wiping a tear from my eye and fighting my gag reflex* Take out the name Jesus and this could have come from any number of self-help books offering no real hope or power to anyone. Is it any wonder then that the wise Christian looks to the older saints who were willing to be wounded in order to be fully used by God. Consider the following from Oswald Chambers offered here as an antidote to the foolish flu virus carried by Lucado. Chambers is commenting on John 12:32 where our Lord says – “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me” when he says:

Very few of us have any understanding of the reason why Jesus Christ died. If sympathy is all that human beings need, then the Cross of Christ is a farce, there was no need for it. What the world needs is not “a little bit of love,” but a surgical operation.

If you can help others by your sympathy or understanding, you are a traitor to Jesus Christ. You have to keep your soul rightly related to God and pour out for others on His line, not pour out on the human line and ignore God. The great note today is amiable religiosity.
The calling of a New Testament worker is to uncover sin and to reveal Jesus Christ as Saviour, consequently he cannot be poetical, he must be sternly surgical.

We are sent by God to lift up Jesus Christ, not to give wonderfully beautiful discourses. We have to probe straight down as deeply as God has probed us, to be keen in sensing the Scriptures which bring the truth straight home and to apply them fearlessly (My Utmost for His Highest, 264).

God’s Gift Of Beauty Through Trials And Suffering

I said recently in An Emerging Evangelical Corpse you had better wise up to the fact that this wrong view of God’s love is coming from deadly contemplative spirituality (which is actually mysticism) within the Emergent Church and is right now killing your mainstream evangelical denominations and seminaries. And in the eyes of God you keep your silence at your own peril. O that our Christ will send us some real men of God with the spiritual guts to teach His people the whole Truth like Charles Spurgeon does here.

In this holiday season I offer a real gift for those of you like me who might be in the furnace of affliction and adversity. Let us join together and pray that God won’t let us out one second sooner than what it takes that our glorious and majestic great God and Savior Christ Jesus may make draw from us beauty from ashes of the useless self we once were. Today I implore you, let us join together and follow the Spirit ouside of the dying evangelical camp. C’mon, for that’s where we’ll find Jesus:

Do you know that God has beauties for every part of the world, and He has beauties for every place of experience? There are views to be seen from the tops of the Alps that you can never see elsewhere. Aye, but there are beauties to be seen in the depths of the dell that you could never see on the tops of the mountains; there are glories to be seen on Pisgah, wondrous sights to be beheld when by faith we stand on Tabor, but there are also beauties to be seen in our Gethsemanes, and some marvelously sweet flowers are to be culled by the edge of the dens of leopards.

Men will never become great in divinity until they become great in suffering. “Ah,” said Luther, “affliction is the best book in my library.” And let me add that the best leaf in the book of affliction is the blackest of all the leaves, the leaf called heaviness, when the spirit sinks within us, and we cannot endure as we wish could wish.

Those who have been in the chamber of affliction know how to comfort those who are there. Do not believe that any man will become a physician unless he walks the hospitals, and I am sure that no one will become a divine or become a comforter unless he lies in the hospital as well as walks through it and has to suffer himself (At the Master’s Feet, December 20).