Sunday, December 01, 2013


I'm going to start off with a rather long sentence. Read it carefully, please.

I'm of the opinion that were Christians to be truly biblical in relational matters, especially in marriage and family life, it would upset the apple cart of our culture beyond measure and that's because the American culture DOES NOT equally respect the female gender, as evidenced by the inequality of pay between male and female employees when in the same positions, and, were true believers to magically begin to follow the bible and have true respect for women as equals with men, which present day Christianity doesn't do and is more like the American culture in this regard, it would be tantamount to the kind of turmoil Jesus caused when He brought about a radical change toward equality regardless of race, gender, or social background, to the life of His own religious and secular culture.

I told you it was long!

How transforming and disturbing Jesus was at the time of His first advent. Remember He lived in a hierarchical, racially biased, male-dominated culture and religion, whether pagan or Jewish. But, alas, it will take His second advent at the end of the ages for the American culture and culturally influenced Christianity to truly be transformed on that issue. That is unless one truly becomes a biblical Christian. [Meaning the biblical materials serve as a guide for life when properly understood.] Then it would be seen as a reality, albeit in a microcosm, in a marriage and family life where there is mutual respect, mutual value, mutual submission and love, all under Jesus as Lord. That sounds like the picture of a truly biblical local church as well, by the way.

Another thing, we must never forget that Jesus was identified as one who "ate with publicans [tax-collectors who were the dregs of society] and sinners." [Luke 15:1-2] May that same charge ever be laid at our feet as His followers and people of His Kingdom. Whatever one's definition of "dregs" of society [some would say religious people are] we are to recognize and embrace their value as a human being and be ready to express grace, mercy, and love to whomever fits your particular definition of that word "dregs."

I may hold to a different definition of "dregs" than do some. I don't mean to be cruel here, but I'm rapidly approaching a belief that the "real" dregs of society are, as in the day of Jesus as well, the religious people who think more of their belief system than they do of the mind boggling reality of God's revelation of Himself in His Son seen in His receiving of the "so-called" outcasts of His day. I'm not sure the same isn't happening today. That "They were first called Christians" event was in Antioch and was prompted because the people saw believers embracing people of every stripe some of whom were then broken by that love and the gospel that followed and came to know the love of God in Christ. "See how they love" was the testimony of that day for believers. That love is still the biblical standard for us I believe. it would transform this day as well.

Lest someone hear this as love with no doctrinal foundation or lest someone think this love will lower the scriptural standard for immoral behavior, let me say, I do not mean that at all. I DO mean that the same love, experienced in Christ and founded upon the truth of scripture WILL be shed abroad by the Holy Spirit to people who may be a bit unlovely. This is what surprises those in their theological cages they've built for themselves. In other words, it isn't any less important to love the elder brother of Luke 15 than it is to love the younger one. [The prodigal] My problem used to be not loving the younger guy of Luke 15. I learned better. Then I struggled loving the elder guy. But when God's love is REALLY shed abroad through me it will go to both the elder and younger bros. [The legalists and the immoral ones] just as the father did.

Finally, I'm afraid what I've said all says more about me than anyone else. I recognize I'm a work in progress and, as one of my favorite commenters Aussie John says, it comes with some "ego bruising" going on if real growth happens. It's happening and my ego is no longer in tact. Not that it has grounds to be intact and, after all, this is a "praise the lord" thing as you can see.

What I've attempted to describe here, I believe, is completely counter to culture. It's a different culture altogether and, frankly, it's not a religious thing at all. It's a Kingdom thing entirely.

Paul B.


Aussie John said...


Loved your "long sentence". I'm not sure what my English teacher, who rapped my knuckles for long sentences, would say about it, but who cares, it was right on target.

" It's a Kingdom thing entirely".

Oh! Yes!

That's the truth which is the root cause of EVERY problem effecting the church as we have traditionally known it, simply because our traditions, and denominational mores, including the one Wade has just posted about, ARE NOT KINGDOM THINGS!!

My friend,we have failed every new child of God by not helping them realize that their conversion is simply the beginning of a life-long journey in which "... "ego bruising" going on if real growth happens" is a necessary part of the journey, for which I thank our loving Father!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Aussie John that there is 'no gain without pain' in the Christian's life. "We must go through much tribulation to enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).There is a Divine purpose in suffering: conforming us to the image of His Son (Rom 8:18-39).

Congratulation to OZ for re-gaining the Rugby League World Cup(34-2)....lots of bruising there !


Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J, Gordon,

I even believe there is a painful side to genuine love and I've found out that love brings a tribulation OF IT'S OWN. Some people might call it "tough love." But by that they usually mean pointing out someone else's sin.

However, I believe “tough love” REALLY means going down deep in our OWN life to do battle with the reality of our OWN garbage.

Garbage like our OWN temptation to be more concerned about being right than being gracious and deep enough to face our OWN twisted need to have the last word and to win an argument even if we have to be argumentative and angry to do it.

In other words, facing our OWN propensity for winning at any cost. That's what I see plaguing so many modern day Christians. That's been a painful but needed journey for me. as well, but tough love demands it.

Aussie J, I hear this truth in so many of your comments and Gordon, I'm believing your's will prove to show the same.

That's tough but needed stuff.

Joseph said...

Christians are charged to be ready to answer in their beliefs, to study to show themselves approved...a process in which the Holy Spirit can work within us, transform us, relate His heart. Too many believers try to speak up for God, not really familiar with the heart of God, and probably would do better and make more ground if they just would say, "I don't know, but let's look at it together."

Paul Burleson said...


I think you are a first time commenter and, if that's true, welcome.

Rest assured that as the Spirit brings you to my mind, and I've a feeling that may be frequently, I'll be praying for you and yours.

I'll be reading any followup reports and thanks for an open door to at least an Internet relationship my friend.