Friday, May 9, 2008

The Most Dangerous Thing!

Oozing from the darkness it comes, lurking in the night, and creeping in the shadows, the clutches of its cold hands steal the life from its victims – no one is safe, no hiding place can be found – it knows where you are AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

I love people! Talking to them, hanging out with them, and gaining their perspective. I have heard a number of different opinions on the most dangerous thing! That which is infiltrating Christianity and leading thousands to hell!!!

Just the other day I heard someone say – “The most dangerous thing in Christianity is legalism” then later that same day – I heard a preacher on the radio state “The most dangerous thing in Christianity today is this false grace message in the church!”

Hmmm how can two things be the MOST dangerous… I know for instance my wife is the “most beautiful” – She shares that title with no one, and I can think of none who match her beauty – for that cause she is the “MOST” – ( which denotes a singular position or as Encarta Dictionary states “the best of all” – but I digress – my theme is not the value or debate of the over use of “most” – nor the intense beauty of my wife - but instead to opinionate on what I believe to truly be the most dangerous thing, of which neither of the above mentioned(legalism or false grace) holds that title.

The most dangerous thing in Christianity is religion without love. There is nothing as heinous, dangerous and deadly as this. When we fail to operate in love, we get legalism, false grace, and all sort of other symptoms – all of which are only effect pointing to a root cause and lack of true love is that cause.

When we live in loveless faith the actions we perform are based on either mere duty or fear, neither of which is really all that pleasing to God …

(1 Corinthians 13:3) If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

(1 Corinthians 13:1) If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

Loveless faith produces strange doctrines, and church splits, immorality and gossip. Loveless faith is the root of symptoms like: prayerlessness and dull dry worship. Loveless faith is the reason we don’t read like we used to and witness like we once did… Love wanes… and when this happens we lose our burden for the lost, our compassion for others and our patience with the world, and the body of Christ!
Sadly some have only had religion, some denominations are founded on loveless faith, and when love is absent – fear is present – and fear and love – well they don’t mix! You see perfect love casts out fear

(1 John 4:18) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Interestingly enough some denominations are completely fear based, and do the things that they do based on fear… The disciples of those denominations often times are prophets of fear, breeding more prophets of fear, who breed more prophets of fear…

(Matthew 23:15) "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

Lack of love creates pride, arrogance, selfishness and self centeredness… If you continually are asking “What about me?” – and “No one ever considers me” and other similar statements – You may be lacking in love…

(Matthew 5:44) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
(Matthew 5:45) That ye may be the children of your Father …

(Luke 6:29) And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
(Luke 6:30) Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
(Luke 6:31) And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
(Luke 6:32) For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

How Important is all this?
What is the most important commandment? Studies reveal that many have stated
- Thou shalt not kill
- Thou shalt not commit adultery

As being the top two, however interestingly enough neither are correct! Instead the most important commandment is LOVE

(Matthew 22:36) Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
(Matthew 22:37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
(Matthew 22:38) This is the first and great commandment.
(Matthew 22:39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
(Matthew 22:40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

See when you have love you wont kill, steal or commit adultery – you wont be legalistic, nor will you be involved in false grace – because love:

is not self-seeking
it keeps no record of wrongs.
rejoices with the truth
it is not easily angered
Love is patient
love is kind

You can find all these attributes of love in 1 Corinthians 13…
How is your love life anyway? You know what I mean – Are you loving?
Loving in your relationships with friends and foes?
Loving in your worship?
Loving in your bible reading?
Loving in your marriage?
Loving in your doctrines?

Its worth asking since all the law and all the prophets hang on love