Today’s guest post comes from Georgia in South of America and it was written by my friend Clint Byars of Forward Ministries. What Clint wrote about is something I have been realizing more and more. Thanks for this grounding reminder!
Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Luke 9:1-2
Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.” Luk 9:49-50
If they’re not against me they’re for me… Really? That’s how Jesus answers the disciple whom “he loves.” This is John, the one cuddling with Jesus at the last supper. What an amazing attitude Jesus displays. John says, they haven’t followed you, they haven’t gone to our school, they don’t have our culture, I don’t think they’re qualified so I told them to stop. I didn’t think they should be walking in that kind of power so I forbid them. Hello? Have you ever been told by some Christian that you couldn’t do what Jesus said to do? Jesus says go for it!
Who is this guy? Just a few verses before he’s found doing the stuff is where Jesus gave the 12 power over demons and told them to go heal people. How in the world is this guy already doing things the disciples themselves struggled with. (remember when they came back and asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast our devils and he told them it’s because of their unbelief?) This guy, who is not even named, must have heard Jesus giving his disciples power and decided it was for him too. I want to meet that guy in eternity. Keep in mind, it’s not til the next chapter that Jesus sends out the 70. I want to be that nameless guy, out there doing the stuff, unknown by the formally called disciples, blowing things up for the Kingdom.
There’s another key point to this story. Obviously this man had not been included in Jesus’ inner circle, hearing the detailed explanations of the parables which Jesus gave to the 12. He most likely didn’t have his theology worked out, yet he took Jesus at his word and started operating in Kingdom authority. And Jesus’ attitude is to leave him alone. I find that amazing and incredibly encouraging.
You see, the disciple John made the distinction “he follows not with us.” This mindset is far too prevalent in the church today. We have the conservative crowd, the denominational crowd, the grace crowd, the grace crowd that thinks they’re more grace than the old grace crowd, the prophetic crowd, the anti-church crowd, the gung-ho church crowd… feel free to continue the list. The attitude we’re seeing is that because someone is preaching something different than us, they’re not following Jesus the way I do, therefore they must be wrong somehow. They very well may be, but it’s not your place to forbid a fellow brother who’s out there following Jesus the way they follow Jesus. The very attitude of Jesus himself is to let them do their thang (don’t worry, that’s not a type-o, I’m from Georgia). The Holy Spirit is much more capable than you to lead people into truth, I say we let him do his thang and get out of other people’s business.
It reminds me of the military industrial complex. You know, the corporations that profit from war. The military industrial complex likes war because it benefits them, they need an enemy because they get something out of it. Today we seem to have a MILITARY INDUSTRIAL CHURCH. A mindset that always needs an enemy to fight so our system is validated, making us feel special. When you’re known more for what you’re against than what you’re for, you may be MIC minded.
John was stripped of his elitist mindset through Jesus’ response. No doubt John believed he had something this man didn’t. He thought he was special somehow. He thought he was closer to Jesus than this man. Of course I don’t really know what John thought but it’s evident he believed it was ok for him to do what Jesus said and it wasn’t for this man.
Ask yourself these questions
- Am I always finding things wrong in what other people preach?
- Do I consider people who don’t follow Jesus the way I do dangerous?
- Do I think every Christian should focus on the same things about God that I do?
- Am I always arguing doctrine with fellow brothers and sisters?
- Am I always making snarky comments about people’s ideas about God?
- Am I always fighting the devil and looking for demons in other people’s lives? Oh wait, that’s another blog…
Please, leave people alone, let them follow the Holy Spirit for themselves. Better yet, give them a call or sit down for coffee, you may find you have more in common than you think. You have the same Father and that’s what counts.
Last night I made a few e-cards to show the inferiority of the law covenant compared to the grace covenant. This green one on the right has gone pretty viral in Facebook Christian Land. Since I only have a couple of words to convey a thought on an e-card, a few people got pretty upset with me. It’s been a while, I was almost getting worried…
Some of the comments I received made me once again realise that there is a fast amount people inside Christianity that have no clue what Christianity is really about. Some still think it is a system of rule keeping designed to make us more holy. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A very common rebuttal to my grace statements is of course the 12 Commandments. Yes, you heard right. The 12. People believe that the original 10 Commandments are still laws we are under in the new covenant, plus the 2 greatest laws Jesus mentioned about love. Generally people have no problem with accepting the ceremonial and other traditional laws are scrapped, but they become very offended when you want to scrap the big 12. (13 if you count tithing).
The problem with trying to divide the law into applicable and not-applicable is that the law is not just a set of rules, it is a covenant. A covenant can not be altered once cut. Hence why Jesus said that heaven and earth will end before a single jot or tittle is removed from the law (Matt 5:18). That covenant stands exactly as is did when it was first cut and you can’t erase just over 600 of the laws because you don’t feel they are still applicable. That would be like me divorcing Rensia’s body and only remaining married to her severed head. Graphic illustration I know but the principle is the same.
Paul warned of this deception of chopping and changing rules men feel were applicable in Galatians. He wrote that if you want to live under this law covenant that you are to indebted to live under all the laws unless you want to become cursed (Gal 3:10). The Old Covenant is a complete package. The New Covenant is a completely different package. You can’t mix the two for old wine does not go in new wineskins.
Another ‘concern’ they have when you say the laws have been scrapped is that people are going to just run out and commit horrendous acts of pagan immoral indulgence. I have never met a single Christian who did that when I told them about grace. I’m sure there are some who have done that, and I would wager they are few are far between. And if that is how they interpret the grace of God in the first place, then they have actually totally misunderstood His grace. (Tit 2:11-12, Jude 1:4).
The fact of the matter remains that in the New Covenant, God very clearly makes known His thoughts regarding the Old Covenant. It is weak and useless (Heb 7:18) and makes nothing perfect (Heb 7:19). It does not impart life or righteousness (Gal 3:21) and it has un unbearable yoke (Acts 15:10). It only ministers death (2 Cor 3:7) while at the same time veils people’s hearts to see God (2 Cor 3:14-15). The law is not of faith (Gal 3:12) and whatever is not of faith is sin (Rom 14:23). Which is why the law was given in the first place; To increase sin! (Rom 5:20). For more descriptions of the law covenant by God, click here.
That last point is actually pretty interesting. People tell me that grace preaching will increase sin when actually the Bible says the law increases sin. So saying grace causes people to go out and sin is very unbiblical! (Tit 2:11-12, Jude 1:4). The law only reveals sin. It’s like a mirror that shows you your face is dirty. You don’t wash your face with the mirror, you use water. The law is the mirror, Jesus is the living water. Once you are clean, washed by His Word, the law testifies to your righteousness because as He is so are you in this world (1 John 4:17). The law reflects and testifies to the fact that you are perfectly clean, for in Christ, His fulfilment of the law becomes your fulfilment of the law! That is righteousness by faith!
And that is news worth getting excited about!
This year I have decided to take part in the MOvember campaign to raise awareness for Men’s Health issues, and more specifically, prostate cancer. If you’ve never heard about MOvember, let me quickly fill you in.
Every year during the month of November guys from across the globe dedicate 30 days to raising awareness. They do this by growing magnificent moustaches. On the 1st day of November each Mo-bro (Mouchtache Growing Brother) starts clean shaven and over the course of the next 30 days they grow and style their very own moustache.
During this time you can show your support to a Mobro by making a donation on their Mobro-page. If you would like to support me in this cause you can head over to my Mo-bro-page and help support me. All donations go towards raising Men’s Health awareness as well as funding research to find a cure for prostate cancer.
You can also see the progress photos of my mo-growing efforts which I upload every day on my Mo-bro page.
“As our forefathers always knew, the moustache is the mark of a man. Today, it is a man’s ribbon, a symbol to spark conversation and help change the face of men’s health.”
It would be really awesome if you could help support my mo-growing!
‘Mo’ you later!