29 July 2015

How to Avoid Spiritual Suicide

by F. X. Turk

This is going to be the last post of my summer vacation from hiatus, and it was originally going to be on the topic of how the family has been redefined, given the state of current events.  However, let me say that the most enjoyable part of taking a summer vacation from hiatus is the feedback from the readers, on and off line.

The down-side of that is that many of the wrong sort of readers also feel like they need to let me know they are still at it.  However, that down-side helps me remember why I am on permanent hiatus in the first place: Jesus never called us to be virtual slaves to people who are more interested in arguments than truth, but he did call us to be members of the body of Christ, which involves being in real relationships with real people and finding out that our theology is only as good as the love it can create in all situations from the worst of sins to the hardest of life's trials to the joyful moments when God's blessings are evident.

To that end, I have a few words until we meet again. If there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection or mercy, do me a favor and find common ground in Christ by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose. Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had: when he existed in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God as something to be held onto, but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death —even death on a cross!

If that's not the foundation of your theology, reconsider it immediately as this is the Jesus who rose from the dead, and we are to be imitators of him.  Imitating another Jesus is spiritual suicide.

How do we know?  Because as a result God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow —in heaven and on earth and under the earth— and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

So then, my dear friends, just as this has always been about you personally whether I have been blogging or on hiatus, continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence, for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort—for the sake of his good pleasure—is God. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish even though you live in a crooked and perverse society.  Shine as lights in the world by holding on to the word of life so that on the day of Christ we will all have a reason to boast -- that none of us ran in vain, and none blogged in vain, and we are found faithful in that final day.


Robert said...

Thank you for this Scripture-filled encouragement. I pray that you are encouraged as you take up the same endeavor for you and your family.

Michael Coughlin said...


Good post.

Doug Hibbard said...

This is right in line with what we're working on learning as a church around here. Hold to the truth, and commit to love the ones holding on beside you.

If you get far enough south on Arch Street any time, the coffee's on me.


Neal Doster said...

“Jesus never called us to be virtual slaves to people who are more interested in arguments than truth”

We all have an opinion and often get caught up in defending subjective beliefs. I pray as Christians we will come to know the objective TRUTH of God’s Word and be one voice in the world. That our light would so shine in this darken world resulting in our Father being glorified.
I’m grateful for godly men and women who have come to realize that there is something far greater than ourselves, our preferences to defend. May indeed we come to love ourselves less and others more but God supremely.
Thanks Frank (and Paul) for the admonitions in this post.

St. Lee said...

I saw what you did there, ...it would be pretty hard to find any fault with those words.

My only complaint might be that I wish that while you were on vacation from your hiatus that you would have written more posts.

donsands said...

Edifying words Cent. Awesome really. I don't like to say awesome for pizza, or a soccer game win so much. But I do like to keep awesome to complement God's truth, which you nailed big time here.
Thanks bro.
It's nice to come back and visit you Pyro brothers. BTW, I read an article by Phil in Table Talk; Ligoniers incredible magazine.

Have a great rest of the week, drawing close to Jesus, our Lord, and Savior, and God, and Friend.

Jamie said...

A very humble and repentant thank you.

Marla said...

Amen, and thank you Frank.

Merrilee Stevenson said...

Frank, I have much respect and appreciation for you. Thank you for pouring yourself out here for as long as you did, taking on issues that few would have the courage to address. I've not been as regular here as in the past; I blame it on adding another baby to the heap of children in our family, and more competition for my time. I know that the demographic of target readers here are mostly church leaders, but this housewife and mother of six certainly has benefited from the things I've read here over the years, and I believe it's helping me as my husband and I raise our kids in the fear and knowledge of our Lord Jesus in the midst of this crazy world. And if there's any subtle lesson to be learned from this post, it's this: Nothing. Nothing compares to the Word of God. Nothing reaches into a person's soul and cuts to the core of their being like the Word of God. While I think you're an excellent writer and pretty neat guy, the words that really made me say AMEN were the ones the Holy Spirit breathed out. Keep pressing on to be more like Jesus. There are so many who are encouraged by your example.