Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Relationship, pt. 3

Part One, Part Two

Relationship originates with God.  He is the source and the explication or definer of relationship.  Relationship is what God both says it is and what it should be.  What matters is what God knows about relationship, not what someone thinks about it.  He has missed it if he is happy with his relationship, but God isn't.  It isn't about a person's happiness, but about his pleasing God.

Threats to True, Biblical Relationship

If a person goes through a short 70-100 year life, less or more, and he doesn't please God with relationship, then he has failed.  The eternal relationship with God supersedes all other relationship.  No relationship with a person can be right if, first, he doesn't have a right relationship with God, and, second, if his relationship with people isn't what God wants.  Someone might like either his relationship with God or with people, and yet God doesn't like it. The first concern for anyone is who he is attempting to please with his relationship.

A second threat to relationship comes from how someone either informs or judges relationship.  Almost everyone judges relationship today based on what he likes and wants.  Then some conform the Bible to what they want as a means of justification of what they want.  Just because someone likes his relationships and they make him feel good doesn't mean that God likes them.

"Relationship" Churches in Evangelicalism Fooling the Young

In the introduction to part one, I talked about how evangelicals today use relationship to pander to people.  They tolerate and even laud a wrong relationship that might please their devotees or demographic targets.  This audience becomes a victim of a ploy.  The apostle Peter portrays their method in 2 Peter 2:3:  "through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you."  They are using "relationship" as part of a sham.

"Relationship" churches offer unscriptural relationship under the guise of biblical relationship.  People want relationship.  This is part of being made in the image of God.  Everyone has a vacuum, an innate emptiness, without relationship.  If it is filled with God, actual God, the only God, the absence of human relationship can be endured.  However, these churches use that desire, and the people who want to get that kind of a relationship are actually just getting gotten, taken advantage of by people.

The fraudulent relationship isn't tested by scripture.  Testing the relationship is what isn't acceptable.  It's a "good" relationship because the adherents like the relationship.  It please them.  Relationship itself becomes the goal, having one, one that pleases those in the relationship.  They both like what they get from it.  It isn't based on the Bible.  When someone does apply the Bible, that is what becomes the problem then with and for the relationship.

The churches that emphasize this "relationship" create opportunities or forums for "relationship."  There is a Christian cloak to it all, to justify its existence, but the lure is the music and recreation and entertainment that the target audience would like.   "Love," not a biblical love, is getting together and enjoying the same thing without judgment.  Everyone is tolerated and they all feel good because of it.  The feeling is assumed to be the Holy Spirit.  These churches strategically say their opposition cares more about rules than relationship.  God had rules for Cain when Cain wanted a relationship.  He resented God for it.  Rules are an enemy of this kind of relationship.

Tolerance in relationship has grown exponentially in "evangelical" churches. Dress how you want.  Dancing.  Even cursing.  The Bible doesn't forbid a four letter word.  The saltiness in speech is just someone being genuine, not attempting to put on airs, as a modern Pharisee might.  The movement provides an ecstatic spiritual experience like what the Corinthians enjoyed.  More than anything, don't judge.  Don't give anyone disapproval.  What is not tolerated is disapproval, because that is poison to "relationship."  God wants relationship, so the poison to the relationship, disapproval, must be rejected.

Evangelicals have deconstructed relationship like the postmoderns.  They've taken the terms and redefined them.  "Light" is no longer holiness or purity, obedience to scripture, but a kind of honesty about what's really bothering you.  Sharing what's a burden or a problem.  Someone might be judging you for doing something the Bible doesn't forbid, like watching Game of Thrones.  These restrictions are just the painted on spirituality of hypocrites.  Authenticity is light.  This is a form of liberalism, where terms like "light" are allegorized, subjective and a-historical.  It's actually what the cults do and the basis of new, false religions.

Social networking is perfect for faux relationship.  No one lasts online by rebuking bad behavior.  The only bad behavior is intolerance.  It's all positive all the time.  It's easy to join and keep racking up followers or supporters if you don't judge anything they do, again, except the intolerance of those who point out something sinful and admonish it.

The relationship strategy is akin to a gym, which welcomes fat people and offers them pizza.  By creating a no judgment zone.  No one needs to improve or even work up a sweat.  Many of the same characters who appreciate the "relationship" churches would think those gyms are a joke.  When a worldview is wrong, it's always full of contradictions like these.

"I love you" doesn't really mean, "I love you."  It means, I accept you like you are.  You don't need to change.  You're fine like you are.  Love rejoices in the truth and rejoices not in iniquity.  It speaks the truth.  The "relationship" church says, love casts out fear.  They don't mean what the verse in 1 John means.  They mean that "relationship" means no fear, especially not the fear of authority, proceeding from God.  The fear of 1 John, the apostle John, the apostle of love, is the fear of the world.  If you love God, you'll do right, even with the threat of the world, because you love God.  His commandments won't be burdensome to you (1 John 5:3).  The "relationship" church says, you shouldn't have to fear intolerance of your bad behavior.  Their teaching is a total perversion which is part of the perverted "love" of these "relationship" churches. The person who really loves you won't approve of your sin and might bring fearsome confrontation, like God did on Mt. Sinai, because he loved Israel.

The Allure of "Relationship" Churches

What I've been describing constitutes a large and growing number of professing churches today.  They are especially sucking up millennials and gen-Zers who once attended more historical Bible believing and practicing churches.  There are a number of factors, as I see it, some far more negative than others.

First, young people want acceptance from their peers.  They don't like the feelings of rejection from the world, which is worse than ever for biblical Christianity.  These "relationship" churches offer them what they want, the no judgment zone. Their own former churches are old and square, full of people who don't really "get it."  Very often these young people have to trash and scorched-earth those churches, their former churches, to justify moving ahead.  Most of them will regret it later.  The relationship churches encourage it.  Guiding others to reject historical Christianity, their old churches, they call spiritual help, which poses as helping others see the "light" (the Freudian light as described above).

Second, some of the young people that have flocked to the "relationship" churches also very often weren't seeing much occur in their own church, perhaps were not being grounded scripturally, and they were getting a hard time from their parents and other authority in the church, often a combination of all three.  Parents may have "pushed them away" with some regrettable carnal weaponry, out of frustration and some anger.  The "relationship" church gives approval and "respect."  It isn't actual respect, because that requires a hierarchy that starts with the true God.  If the relationship was about God, it would be careful with scripture and care greatly about what God said about everything.

Relationship with Parents Forsaken

What is ironic for "relationship" people in their "relationship" churches is a bad relationship with parents, parents who want to reconcile with them.  In the second table of the law, the primary relationship is with parents.  Honor thy Father and thy Mother.  If you are not honoring your parents, then your relationship stinks.  You may think that your parents aren't so hot.  That is typical of a lot of millennials and gen-Zers, who put respect of themselves above all others, and listen almost exclusively, like the very failed Rehoboam, to either people their age who approve of them or people a little older who are using them by giving them the approval they crave.  They are making merchandise of them, perhaps justifying their own view of the world by gaining a coalition of adherents (people who will drink their koolaid).

Read Proverbs and its agreement with the foundational relationship of parents to children.  Today's generation of young people had a lot of expectation of parents, desirous of parents who will please them as children.  Likely the parents have sacrificed a lot for the children, even if they haven't been the best parents.  They've not done more than God, but what have the children done for the parents?  And scripture doesn't require much of the parents except to raise children to follow the Lord, to attempt to make them and help them to do right.  The requirement in the ten commandments is for the children to honor their parents, not vice versa, but children today act like the command is the reverse.  These are the most fruitful target audience of "relationship" churches.

It should be tell-tale to anyone with discernment, the control of the Holy Spirit or scripture, that churches that encourage conflict with Christian parents are false.  These relationship churches feed the discontent of the young to divide them from their parents.  The goal should be reconciliation and biblical relationship -- honor thy father and thy mother.  Whatever gap in communication between parents and children should be mediated, giving a hearing to both the child and the mom and dad.  It is no kind of Christian counseling that excludes the parents and especially listens solely to a young person with no hearing of his parents.

In the last days, men shall be lovers of themselves and disobedient to parents.  This describes the era in which we live.  If you still claim to be a Christian, you should consider that, because that can't be you if you are saved.  If it is you, then like Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 13:5, you should examine yourself whether you are in the faith.

Every person will stand before God and God will judge his relationship.  God is judging relationships.  Someone might have relationships and like them.  In the end, what matters is whether God was pleased by them.

To come back to my point.  Relationship proceeds from what scripture says about relationship.  It must be the authority for relationship.  It wasn't with Adam in the garden, so he abdicated headship and Eve did what she wanted.  The relationship between man and woman became cursed.  The only way back is still a biblical way.  That's what I want to write about relationship as we move forward in this series.  This Bible contains massive amounts of material about relationship and if relationship doesn't conform to that, it isn't relationship at all.

To Be Continued

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