I do hope you become a Patreon of mine. I don't take a salary from 66Books, and so I am using Patreon to try and raise some income for me. Click the Orange Button and become a Patreon.
Well, this last week, (it was sitting outside of Starbucks on the drizzle, with an empty coffee cup between my legs, and a pink woollen blanket over my head that got me thinking about how to raise money for personnel and ministry in a persecuted 21st century, and out of that came some thoughts on the Kidding of the Kingdom.
It makes you think…..
For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: "In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." But you would not. Instead you said, “No! We will flee on horses” — Therefore you shall flee! And again, “We will ride on swift horses" — Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift! One thousand shall flee at the threat of one, At the threat of five you shall flee, Until you are left as a pole on top of a mountain And as a banner on a hill. (NSB)
The breaking of the current ‘Kingdom’ that kids itself
The Kingdom of God as we perceive it in the world today, the Kingdom of God as it is presented to the world today, the Kingdom of God as it is touted and talked about today by Christians in the early 21st century, is both broken and corrupt, and the present economic and market forces display it to be so. Do I have your attention!
As the church in the West dies off, the resources of the fruit of its fields, that is, chiefly money and manpower, become scarcer and scarcer. Local churches with buildings and paid staff to take care of, and Para-church organizations with the same and often ‘then some’ obligations, all now find themselves competing for a piece of this ever-shrinking pie of money and materials in the Christian market-place Yes, I said ‘competing,’ and yes, I said ‘market-place.’
In missions and churches over a century old, once the silver of the great grandparents former funding has been finally used up for the upkeep of the present church and its modern day mission, and the buffer funds are about to be utilized to keep the boat afloat, God amazingly, and yet predictably, usually directs the board and leadership in a ‘refocus on its core callings,’ which, in turn, is usually manifest in cost saving ‘staff layoffs,’ project ejection, and the selling off of buildings which are now too much of a burden to be used. At this point, God also directs the various leaderships to overlook previous doctrinal disagreements and disputed church practices, and go partner with similarly economically failing ministries to pool their shrinking resources. God seems to get more ecumenical as economics diminish? Go figure! In addition to this, on the ‘trading floor,’ that is, on the field of play, on the mission field, funds and manpower which were once shared with partners in the Gospel will now be withdrawn, will now be trimmed down, will be reallocated, and will no longer be granted to those organizations, whether large or small, which are now deemed to be the future takers and competers for the ever so scant resources from the same field of service they are all so feverishly harvesting. In other words, if your growth is at my diminishment, then I shall not contribute to my own demise! Add to this the restrictions placed on the slush funds of Christian hoarding, that is, grant making trusts, and the Kingdom of God increasingly becomes simply the dying social arm of failing governments that hate it anyway, and are happy to use us all as ‘useful idiots’ before we breathe our last. For example, I investigated an exceptionally large ‘Evangelical Christian trust fund’ just the other day who would only consider making grants to ESTABLISHED state charities which are NOT involved in proselytizing. I laugh and weep at the same time, for behold, this is the Kingdom of God as it stands today in the West. Of course, all of this is not really the Kingdom of God at all! No, this is simply the outplaying of market place economics. It is the cut and thrust of business and the desperate attempt of entities to stop from going broke.
Look now, do you not see that God is destroying this ‘you have got to be kidding kind of a Kingdom.’ Look now, forget the wealth of the church of Rome, forget the billions of Anglicanism, they are not the true church, they are Anti-Christ, and as the Russian Mafia is well funded by the devil, so are they. No, I am talking about the true church here, and as the Irish got the Potatoes and the Arabs got the oil, so Islam is now able to fund itself throughout the world, whilst the true church dies in financial famine. This is the judgement of God.
Our spiritual poverty, blindness and nakedness is now being manifest in the material realm, and for sure, this legacy poverty is part of God’s judgement upon a compromised church. I wonder if we shall only find our true spiritual power in the simplicity of the Gospel once more? If so, my question then is, “what should our response to these things be?”
I believe that God is bringing us back to a stripped back simplicity? I believe that God is once again showing us that His blessing is not manifest in material and financial largess? I believe that God is showing us that whatever it is we do for Him, indeed, whatever is done by Him through us, is “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.” I believe this is the case.
Meanwhile, consider what is called the Kingdom of God today. See the fights for funding, observe the unholy alliances, feel the cold shoulder shunning of those who see you to be in competition with them, then chuckle at the core realignments, shake your heads at the sell-offs and the layoffs in the name of Jesus, and then rejoice, yes I say rejoice! For this is not the Kingdom of God, no, it is just the outworking of business and market-place economics of people trying to stop themselves from going broke. Yes rejoice at this, and again I say rejoice! For out of these ashes there just might rise a glorious church once more, even a Kingdom not of this world, a Kingdom of heavenly might and supernatural power…..Maybe. Meanwhile, the teeth of need still bite deep.
Listen: Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him. For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; You shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; When He hears it, He will answer you. And though the Lord gives you The bread of adversity and the water of affliction, Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, But your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it, "Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left…..” (Isaiah 30:18-21 NKJV)
Pray: When the towers fall O God, O God when the towers fall, open up the springs of water upon all our high places, yes, let streams and rivers of living water flow down and out, and let sunlight flood our darkness. Then, loving Savior, come bind up the wounds of Your broken and impoverished people, as You come and heal the stroke of our wound once more. Amen and let it be so.
Don't forget.....becomea Patreon and help me write and minister.