An Ishmael & some good counsel… (edited…)

Posted: May 4, 2008 in Commentary

In a familiar story in the Old Testament, we read of Abraham, the recipient of a promise from God, who goes about trying to help God out with a plan of his own….

He takes Hagar to bed and sires a child, Ishmael.     The fruit of all this scheming and trying to help God out is enmity between the child of the promise and the child that came about from his own workings.

I am bringing this story up here to explain to those who have checked in to this ‘blog (or to my prior ‘blog) why I have taken content down and do not anticipate adding any more.

Either I am not in a place in my life to offer service this way – a very plausible reason – or I am being distracted from some higher (or, at least, other) purpose that He has for me by attending to this matter… or for reasons that I will not understand on this side, I cannot find peace within me in pursuing this ‘blog.

So… I must follow that Light.

I offer these words for Single Christian Men who come this way:

Walk in forgiveness.

Walk in forgiveness towards the /redacted names are edited out here……./and so forth in the Evangelical world, big and small. They, too, are part of the Great Family, as are you with all of your ideas that are less than well founded.  To let a root of bitterness form in you would be as insidious as allowing an addiction into your life.    “Walking in forgiveness” does not mean “shut up and obey your betters.”      If you fail to walk in forgiveness, eventually your ability to clearly see things and your sense of balance will begin to be distorted.

Separate “Church” from “God” in your thinking.

Yes, the fellowship is where you are called to be.  They are also not God.  This is not rocket science.   The kinds of attitudes and social skills that allow for success in the fellowship only randomly correlate with having a life with God that is vital and real.    Don’t hold God responsible for woundings that other believers give you.

Walk in Prayer.

If you have a real prayer life then you know what I mean.  If you don’t have one, cultivate one.

Study the Scriptures

When the time comes they will be fuel for the road.

Someone of high visibility once challenged me at a blog where a point was being disputed to write a “biblical dating” model.

My response:   I’d like to, but it has been done already.  Here it is, from 1 Timothy 5:

1 Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

I note here for those of you who missed it that younger men are to be treated as brothers. They are not to be treated as children.

If you have not done something worthy of rebuke or shame, then do not receive shame.

You are not doing something shameful by desiring or seeking out female companionship.    Your masculinity is meant by God for good, and it is not something that needs to be “fixed” by Christianity.  It is rather meant to be restored.

…..Nor are you sinning by honorably interacting with a woman outside of what some church elder has decreed. This is also not rocket science. It is, in fact, boundless nonsense for someone to say that you have.

You are also not worthy of rebuke by virtue of your state as a single man. Again, this is also not theological rocket science.

You are not doing something worthy of rebuke by having questions, and needing good answers to them. Take note of the man (or woman) who rebukes you for having a question or who insists on defining for you what your question is, and observe him the way you do a salesman rather than a teacher.

Walk in Faith.

If you know that you have His word on something, hold to it.  Be open to revising your ideas in the light of new wisdom and insight.

Be humble.

Humbleness is not humility in the sense of being “humiliated.”   It is rather a correct assessment of the situation.

Enlarge your understanding.

Reading authors like C. S. Lewis, Hugh Ross, and so forth will always strengthen and deepen you. Cultivate your mind just as you have an instinct to strengthen and feed your body. Learn to recognize and dismiss the “fluff.”

Purity is not ignorance, and ignorance is not bliss. Nor is ignorance a virtue.

Self explanatory.

Fix your eyes on Jesus.

The author and finisher of your faith.    Have courage.   Be at peace or go to war as necessary and as you have wisdom to, but fix your eyes on Jesus.

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