Tree of Life Blog

Engaging Culture with the wisdom and power of Christ!

Tag Archives: guilt

Popularity Doesn’t Matter

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Just as it is dangerous to follow a preacher or teacher because they are popular, it is equally dangerous to follow a preacher or teacher because they are unpopular.

I have been a follower of Andrew Wommack since 1998, when he rocked my world with a message called “Two Kinds of Righteousness”. Back then he wasn’t on TV in Europe, and nobody in the circles I moved in knew who he was.

Now Andrew is one of the leading TV ministers in this nation and his ministry has garnered a measure of success and his Bible Colleges are taking off and his conferences are growing, I actually know people who have stopped listening to his ministry, stopped going to his conferences, stopped being part of it all because “I’ve heard it all before”, “I’m on the new thing”, “I want to be on the fringe”.

Sometimes the fringe is exactly where it is happening. Sometimes it is just the lunatic fringe. Some people actually like being unpopular and being persecuted – sometimes they deliberately choose to go to a church that rejects tongues or healing or the grace message because they enjoy the feeling of being rejected and being persecuted. It makes them feel better than other people. Not being secure in their righteousness, they like being around people they feel superior to because that assuages their sense of guilt and inferiority.

Sometimes they come up with increasingly outlandish revelations in the name of grace most of which tend to universalism or a licentiousness which even our worst religious accusers wouldn’t dream we are capable of. Just to stay persecuted. Just to stay on that high of being on the “cutting edge”.

The fact is some days they will praise you, some days they will crucify you. Learn to live immune to both through faith in His work. Don’t let a need for popularity lead you to disobedience, and don’t let a need for unpopularity lead you to disobedience.

Find out where you fit into the body of Christ, get there and stay there.  People left Tree of Life Church because it was too unpopular, and people have left the church because it was too popular.  Being popular doesn’t mean anything – honouring God does.

The Death of Conscience

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The Death of Conscience By Rebecca Hagelin

(from: http://www.worldviewtimes.com/article.php/articleid-5224/Brannon-Howse/Rebecca-Hagelin)

Our teenagers are more sexually active than any generation of youth before them. They also are consuming more pornography and compromising basic moral standards more often. It seems that many of them have lost not only their innocence, but their conscience, too.

The plethora of negative and immoral behaviors glorified by a media world that’s gone stark raving mad — combined with graphic, non-judgmental sex education and a highly sexualized culture in general — causes many of them to lose understanding of what is wrong and what is right.

When a young child’s sensibilities are constantly violated, and he begins to ignore the natural pangs of guilt after yielding to cultural pressures, he can end up being miserable, and begins to develop a hard heart and weak spirit.

If we as parents blindly turn our own hearts away from them because we’re scared of confrontation, or because we’re too lazy to do “the hard stuff” like fight for their integrity, we have a hand in dooming their young spirits to inner torment. And, ultimately, if the pattern continues, to the loss of basic decency and sensitivity to evil.

In chapter 32, the Psalmist reflects on the misery that comes with ignoring a guilty conscience:
“When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me. I moaned all day long. Day and night you punished me, my strength was gone as in the summer heat.”

Do you really want your child to live that way?

It’s critical as a parent to take control and do everything in your power to make certain that the culture does not molest your child’s young mind. Setting standards for media consumption can help avoid a lot of regrets, especially when it comes to the evil of pornography. But since we are all sinners, we also need to learn to recognize when our children might be feeling uncomfortable and guilty — and offer them hope and a way out of their despair.

Talk often about God’s miracles of forgiveness, redemption and restoration. These concepts are foreign to our modern world, yet they are as tranformational today as they were for the Pslamist and when God offered his forgiveness to a sinful world as he sent his son to atone for the sins of all who would accept him.

I John 1:9 promises: “When we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Our children experience the beautiful gifts of wisdom and grace when we help them develop their conscience and teach them how to respond to feelings of guilt. We need to be bold about sharing with them the life-giving power and joy that comes with confession. Tears of repentance over wrongs done makes our hearts strong, yet maleable in the hands of a a loving God. Ignoring our sins turns us into desperate, weak souls with hearts of stone.

In Psalm 32, the author actually begins the passage with what we can look forward to when we confess our sins to the loving and merciful God:
“Happy is the person whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs have been pardoned. Happy is the person whom the Lord does not consider guilty, and in whom there is nothing false.”

The forgiveness and joy that comes with sincere repentance is the  best news mankind has ever heard! Have your own children heard it?‬

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