Believers, this one's for you.
OK, just to be clear, pellucid even: this is not a Humor Piece. I checked, and my tongue is nowhere near my cheek. Neither am I lurking at the bottom of this piece waiting to go "Booga-booga: GOTCHA!".
The whole plumb line concept is one of comparing summat to a Standard, God's Word, or in lesser instances, to a Word-influenced view of things, so here is one for you to practice upon: In your koinonia , your fellowship, your church-going, do you find that what you would refer to as your "Christian life" (if such reference should be made at all), would be a Thing To Die For? To be more clear, is what you experience in your worship, and all the other attendant things rolled together as "church" comparable to what the New Testament reveals as what men and women died for gladly?
To be clear: Is what you have worth dying for?
You who believe that the gifts and callings of God are without repentance, and that at this juncture we do not know even as we are known: when was the last healing you have seen? I mean New-Testament-level eyeball where there wasn't one, atrophied limbs made new and functional Before Your Very Eyes, lunatics restored to mental health and functionality. Like that. I'm not talking about leg-lengthening Holy Ghost chiropractic, and "It's gone, it's gone, my Headache's gone!" stuff. (Not to give short shrift to osteo- and cranial health...I'm talking about verifiable, the doctor looks at the case history, and at the current health of the patient, falls on his face and cries "The Lord, He is God!" cases.)
Not to put too fine a point on it, but when was your last dead-raising? The only time I hear about it is when gold-encrusted, Nehru-jacketed hucksters tell us second-hand about some villager in Darkest Africa. No video, no photos, no doctor's affidavits.
At this point I say to my Pentecostally-minded friends that I'm asking what MUST be asked, if one is to be true to the Blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony.
To them wot bristles at the idea that God deigns to poke his Providential Proboscis into our doings, other than answering the occasional plea if it be His Will, and beyond lobbing a Book at us, what precisely in your life measures up to the lives you read of in that Singular Book? Is what you live day-to-day of such a quality that you would gladly bare your neck to the imam demanding your subservience to Allah Or Else? Does the church you worship with resemble the fellowship you read about in Acts, and the epistles, beyond hewing to a list of Acts of Worship which should be accomplished on Sundays?
Please, please, PLEASE, I am being earnest here (to which some attach Importance). I am not merely stirring the pudding in a talk-radio way. In the Church at the Beginning of the 21st Century, is there Life in our life? Are we born again, or just signing up to a list of "I believes". Does the world see our discipleship in the miraculous nature of our love for one another -miraculous in the sense that I seek good for others, without an angle of my own? When we say God is love, do we believe it, that He as a Father seeks the BEST for us, even in His strictures, and that he abounds toward us, always, that we may abound to others? Is there any difference at all in my life, as compared to the world, beyond that I say grace and do not beat my spouse? (Nowadays, perhaps this is difference enough....)
Does anyone else see these questions as important? Honest, this is NOT a judgment piece, either. I am not pointing a Bony Finger, at least not without three others pointing back. I am asking myself as surely as anyone else. I am not asking for confessions or flames. If you have summat to offer, that's great. I love your comments, but I am not attempting to force self-justification. The Gospel works, or it doesn't. The Christian faith is a reflection of Jesus being The Way, the Truth, and the Life, or it is one more sad and impotent religion in a world with too many of those already.
I am almost mumble-one and have issues with depression (gee, ya think?) , but I refuse to think that this is all a function of age and wacky brain chemistry. If our society is "post-Christian" then there must be a reason. Either God is NOT faithful (any hands...anyone? ...Bueller...?) or we have not been.
In this, I can only see an either/or.