The Sunday Morning Tune-up ~ “When the Wicked Arise,”

“I coulda been a contender!”

Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy…He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church…For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? …But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all…For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints…Let all things be done decently and in order. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:1,4,8,24,33,40

“When the wicked arise,” the 2nd half of Proverbs 28:12 reads, “men hide themselves.” And sometimes they hide so well they are unable to find themselves. I have a spiritual warfare brother who shared something more common than you would think in Hostage Rescue situations. In a sort of Stockholm Syndrome-like trance where the hostage exhibits a reluctance to be rescued, the rescuer looks him in the eye and says if you want to live follow me. From that point they are rescued consciously on their own two feet, or unconsciously over the rescuer’s shoulder…that’s actually a very good picture of too many of today’s men held captive by their own fears.  Ann Barnhardt described it perfectly, “That is, men, wallowing in their own effeminacy, tell themselves that what they see happening right in front of their eyes “isn’t really happening”, or is “no big deal”. It takes them far, far too long to respond, if they even respond at all, and our culture is now so far gone that men will now even DEFEND THEIR ATTACKERS purely in order to avoid acting like men and defending themselves, much less the women, children and elderly around them.” ~ “…and they all just sit there.”

Thus, sayeth the Lord, “but he who prophesies edifies the church…,” and He most certainly knows that of all men, it is the churchmen who are in the greatest need of edifying…without which rescue becomes highly unlikely. “But as for me, I am like the (Psalm 52:8) green olive tree in the house of God;”

The majority of us have no ear for anything but ourselves, we cannot hear a thing God says. To be brought into the zone of the call of God is to be profoundly altered. ~ Oswald Chambers, The Voice of God’s Nature

“Profoundly altered” barely scratches the surface brothers and sisters. When one fortunate enough to hear God is in the zone, nothing else matters. And I mean absolutely nothing. So, let us unpack the rest of what He had to say to me this week. Early in the week He connected J6 and the enemy’s attempt to destroy us to Nehemiah 4:15 “God had brought their plot to nothing,”. And then He tied the opening 1 Corinthians 14:4 prophesier to the Proverbs 28:12 threat to the Oswald Chambers’ voice of God to The Letter of Jude!

WOW…40 min on a 25-verse epistle that barely scratched the surface and yet revealed so much!! If you really want to understand what happened to the church, do yourself a favor and rent the movie On the Waterfront. It’s ALL there! In the scene above, washed-out prize-fighter Terry Malloy played brilliantly by Marlon Brando has just had his “I coulda been a contender” epiphany and is unloading on his mobster brother in his tortured rage. What does Terry Malloy have to do with Jude’s letter? Terry Malloy IS the church Jude was writing to my friends. Jude saw Terry all the way across the millennia and exchanged his original theme of common salvation for dire warning in verse three. He saw the verse 4 certain persons have crept in. The certain persons paid Terry not to do his job…to take a dive as it’s called in the boxing world. The Terry Malloy’s in our church pulpits, as Jude was well aware, are infinitely more devastating to society than one crooked sports racket. Terry’s soul was the only real soul at stake along with the money of those who bet on him. I loved my former pastor. I trusted my former pastor. I saw the wolf in my former church, I heard the voice of God, and the pastor knew…it broke my heart, but the wolf stayed and I left. The key to the dive is this. They can’t see you taking it. The Terry’s in the pulpits are like baby-kissing politicians…gotta make it look good…clouds without water, autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead.  The most important word in Jude’s letter to my mind is the word contend, and not just contend brothers and sisters…Jude is calling the brethren to contend earnestly. He’s calling us to fight as if our eternal lives depend on it, which of course they do…

Those of us, remnant though we may be, who are His called, beloved, and kept, relying on His mercy, peace, and love will continue to contend earnestly for the faith which was handed down for ALL the saints as we pray for the Terry Malloy’s in today’s pulpits to find the same redemptive heart Terry himself finally found on the waterfront…before all time and now and forever. Amen.

~ Dedicated to Nicole…who knows this walk as well as I.

About Chip Murray

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