"Christian Insanity" January 2011
I am sure you are curious about the title and wondering where this is going. First, let me give you the definition of the word insanity as found in the dictionary. “Insanity, craziness or madness is a spectrum of behaviors characterized by certain abnormal mental or behavioral patterns.” I don’t know how to describe some of what is going on in professing Christians with a more accurate definition. I have done a “double-take” on so much of what I am seeing and hearing lately. I wonder- have we gone insane? Before I proceed any further, I want to make it clear that I am not trying to place myself as a judge of others. It is not my intention to condemn or criticize. I am truly and genuinely concerned at what I see happening. But as a child of God I, along with everyone else who is in the Body of Christ, am commanded to speak the truth in love. “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” (Ephesians 4:15) We are told to restore those who are taken in a fault. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1) We are to preach the word not popular opinion. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:1,2) We are also commanded to judge righteous judgment. “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24) There is needed correction that cannot be ignored when a soul is going astray because they don’t know the truth. Our correction is actually a warning of love. But much of the time these corrections are misconstrued as being judgmental. The Bible is very plain that we are to do it. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:1,2) Why? “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6) So if it is wrong and people are believing it, it has to be corrected, or else they can be destroyed.
I want to bring some subjects to light this month that are of a great concern to me because I see so many professing Christians involved in them. One subject that is shocking is that of being involved with another person while still married to your spouse. I am not just talking about having an affair or cheating on your spouse. That is wrong and it is against the laws of God, it is a breach of covenant against your spouse and it is a sin against your own body. “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18) The Bible is very plain about committing adultery and fornication. It says, “Thou shall not commit adultery”. (Exodus 20:4)) How could it be any plainer! Yet there are Christians who justify being intimate with someone who is not their spouse.
One thing that has amazed me beyond words- other than to say it is insane- is for those people who leave their spouses for someone else and announce that they are engaged. They aren’t even divorced yet. How can they be engaged to someone else? I know people personally that are living like this. They see nothing wrong with it. They seem to be happy with the situation. How can you be engaged to someone when you are still married to some one else? And to top it off, not only are they engaged and say they feel happier than they ever have, they will tell you that they are so thankful to God for bringing this wonderful person into their lives. PLEASE!!! Do NOT bring God into this... He has not sent this person to you. You have been set up by the devil and have fallen for his wicked devices. God is a God of healing and restoration. He does not have you break one of His commands so that He can get a “blessing” to you. On the contrary, He blesses obedience, not sin.
You would expect a person who is living in the world away from God to act this way and believe that there is nothing wrong with it, but for a professing Christian? Do you understand why I use the term “insanity”? What are we thinking? We aren’t! I said I know someone personally who is doing this, well sadly, this is not one isolated case- it is becoming more and more frequent; I know several people and it has not just started.
Another subject I want to address is this infatuation with vampires that is sweeping the nation. Everywhere you turn- television, Internet, etc.- are pictures and advertisement for vampires. Last year a series of movies came out about vampires. It portrayed what was considered a family of “good vampires”. Not only did those in the world flock to see the movies, a big majority of those in the church did as well. I even heard of youth groups studying from the books and watching the movies.... in church! Recently, I wrote a morning devotional on the subject of this infatuation many in the church are having with the vampire series. I got quite a few replies. Many agreed with what I said. Some tried to make a case for the movies by saying that they were “good vampires”- they did not survive on human blood, they knew they were doomed so they were trying to help others, and one person went so far as to say that they were exhibiting the same good works that Christians do. What?! It was no surprise to me, although it should have been, when some of the replies said that they felt the same way I did and tried to warn the young people in their church about how destructive and demonic this was only to be ridiculed and not allowed to speak by church leadership. This same thing happened when the Harry Potter books and movie were first coming out. The ones who tried to warn those in the church of the danger behind them, were labeled as a heretic, dogmatic, ignorant or accused of being judgmental. How sad! I submit to you that if the church is no more discerning than this- if we don't know right from wrong, good from evil, what is acceptable and what isn't when it is so obvious- no wonder we are weak. No wonder we aren't winning spiritual battles, casting out devils, bringing freedom to the captives and have the anointing to open prison doors to those who are bound.
These are only two of the areas that so many are falling into that should be so blatantly obvious that they are opposed to the Christian belief and teachings of the Bible- there are many others that would shock you. When I think about how any believer could think that either of these two are all right, it is beyond me. But I do have some insights as to why I believe that so many are heading in these and other misguided directions. I am only going to address a couple of those reasons, although there are many more, but I don’t have the space to write about them all in this newsletter. And I will also give you the solution to the problem that causes you to fall into these erroneous beliefs.
One reason is because of ignorance. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6) Why we don’t feel uncomfortable being involved with certain things that are displeasing to the Lord is because we don’t know what God say about the subject. Some Christians just don’t know what the scriptures say for themselves. They have depended on others to tell them what it says. Or they have thought their feelings were the voice of God- if it felt good, it must be God. Just because it “feels” good or right does not mean that it is God. The Bible even says that sin feels good for a short time. “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” (Hebrews 11:24,25) If you don’t know what the word of God says you will always be going in the wrong direction and falling into the snare and temptations of the enemy. “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29)
What is the solution to the problem of ignorance? The first step is to start reading and studying God’s word. Find out what it says for yourself. “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39) If you don’t read it and study it, how will you have an understanding of what true Christianity is. How will you know what God considers right or wrong? How will you know what is and isn’t the voice and will of God? It is all found in His word. If you don’t have a clear understanding of what you believe you will get into trouble. And how can you have a clear understanding if you don’t know what it says. As you read it, you will soon learn what pleases and displeases God, and what you should not allow into your life. You will begin to gain a knowledge of the truth. Many Christians who exhibit wrong behavior or fall for the lies of the enemy do so because they do not have the knowledge of what is “the truth”. When faced with a problem or temptation they lean to their own humanistic reasoning. Our reasoning is false and will lead us astray. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5,6) “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23)
Or they try to depend upon their own wisdom, but it is earthly, sensual and devilish. It justifies having a godly and ungodly attitude. It allows for both to be part of our lives- blessings and cursing, love and hate, evil and good, right and wrong. “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” (James 3:9-15) The bottom line is that we don’t know how to govern ourselves. We tried to the whole time we were living as sinners away from Christ, but it only got us into a mess. Since we can’t direct our own lives, God has given us His word to show us how. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
Another reason I want to talk about as to why we go in certain directions even though that direction is against the teachings of the Bible is found in James 1:14- “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” (James 1:14) We go in a particular direction even when it is the wrong way because “we want to” go in that direction. We are pursuing what we want and desire. And we try to justify what we are doing by saying, “God told me to do this or that”, or, “God gave me this”, or “This is the answer to my prayers”. We have deceived ourselves into believing that God was in it when all along it was not God but our own desire. It was something that “we” wanted or wanted to do, so we did it. James also said this, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” (James 1:13) You weren’t led by God to do that. You were led by your own sinful desire and desperately wicked heart. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) It was not God, it had nothing to do with Him.
The answer, or solution, to being lead away by your own lust is to have a “heart change”. This happens initially at the “new birth”. You become a new person. Jesus came into your life and His nature was reborn in your heart. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) This heart change, as I said, happens initially at salvation but from that moment on we are to be constantly growing and changing. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” (1 Peter 2:2) You have to do more than just read and study the Bible, you have to let the word of God begin to transform your thinking. Look at the definition of the word insanity again: “Insanity, craziness or madness is a spectrum of behaviors characterized by certain abnormal mental or behavioral patterns.” The key to the problem and the solution lies in this: “certain abnormal mental patterns”. The word mental means of the mind, involving the mind, or related to the mind. That has to do with our “thinking”. If a person “thinks” something is right, then they have no problem with it. If they “think” it is wrong, then they try to avoid it. Joyce Meyers says, “Where the mind goes, the man follows”. This means that what you think dictates or governs what you do. So if your thoughts dictate your behavior, then you must be careful about what you are allowing to influence your thoughts. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7a) That is why you need to let God’s word influence your thoughts. You do this by renewing your mind with it. Once you renew your mind with God’s word, your thought life is going to change. If your thought life changes, your direction will change because it will then go in the direction that is being governed by God’s word. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
The second answer to as to how to stop following after the desires of our heart instead of what the word of God directs has to do with “dying”. Jesus taught us that if we were going to be His disciples, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) To deny ourselves means to give up ownership of our own lives. It means to give up our own personal dreams, ambitions, desires, wants and rights. In other words, “die” to our own will. See, we don’t belong to ourselves any way. Our salvation was bought and paid for by the price of the Blood of Jesus. You have been purchased- redeemed. So you “belong” to Him- He now has “ownership” of your life. It is not about what you want to do with it any more, it is about what the “owner” wants to do with it. (It is called being His “bond slave in love”.) “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)
“Take up his cross daily.” The cross was not just an object made of wooden beams, it was a place- a place of death. Everyone who was hung on a cross died there. Jesus took up His cross and died on it. The cross is also a place of surrender to God’s will. “...nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42) So you see, when we “die to self” and “live unto God” our lives will go in the right direction because it won’t be us who are making the decisions, it will be Him who is leading the way. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) When that happens, the “insanity” will stop. “Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:17- Amplified Bible)