Monday, March 10, 2008

Orphan Heart and Opposition

Last week in my home church I preached a message on the story of Abraham and Lot and the journey of an orphan heart, tying it into spiritual adoption and the need of us all to relate to God as Father and trust Him alone for our identity, provision, protection and security. Afterwards, one woman came up to me absolutely livid. I was caught off guard by her, since I had just been talking with a woman who was in tears at how moved and encouraged she was by the message. On the contrary, this woman told me that I was on a dangerous path and she pleaded with me to seek God in prayer about the direction I was heading. She likened my teaching to what she called, “Focus on the family and Josh McDowell” Christian-psychology, family idolatry. She began defending the Gospel like I was denying the depravity of man and everyone’s original spiritual state as “dead in sin” and therefore “children of Satan,” claims that I completely agree with. She went on and on with great emotion and passion for the things she was calling me out on.

My initial reaction was to defend myself. I knew that she had misunderstood me and I also knew that I agreed with most of what she said about the Gospel. I also knew that I don't even read Dobson or McDowell, and I wanted her to know it! But that would have been fruitless in that situation, and to my great rescue, along came another man who wanted to encourage me and I was able to turn my attention away from her. When I turned back she was gone.

After that it did not matter how many “well done”'s I got, I was shaken up and hurt. My father-in law pointed me to David's response to Shemmi's stones, and I began seeking my Father as to what He wanted to teach me through this direction opposition. And that is where I want to get your feedback.

* Why does the Christian church throw up flags when emphasis is made on God as Father and our need to relate to Him on the level of “Daddy”?

* Are we born as “literal” children of Satan (is he our natural father?), or are we yet children of God who have rebelled against Him and therefore come under submission to Satan as our “father”?

* Is it wrong to use language like “orphan heart” to describe the tendencies of a wounded orphan's heart (and thus our own hearts), when it's not Biblical language per se?

* Why do people have such a hard time applying the Gospel outside the context of “sin”, in terms of the ongoing healing of the heart (psychology term?) through the wounds that we have received from others?

If you'd like to hear the sermon yourself you can at: http://www.gracecommunitybible.org/listen/podcast.php

Thanks for the help! Keith

6 comments:

Aaron said...

WOW Keith! Man my heart hurts with you. If I would have been there I would have taken her to the side for you and talked with her at length so that you could enjoy being used by God to point people to the heart of our Father who I call my Daddy!

Are you coming or what?

Peace

Keith said...

Thanks Aaron. I wish you had been there. Can't wait to talk to you in person in one week from today!

BigPapaBub said...

Keith, don't let this lady discourage you. Most Christians don't realize the power of the gospel to transform every aspect of their lives. Adoption is a beautiful picture of gospel. God takes those of us who were not his children because of our sin and purchases us and makes us joint heirs because of the work of Christ. I love you man. Keep preaching the gospel. Give this lady time and she will see what your saying.

Love

Bub

Keith said...

Bub, thanks for the encouragment. I think you are right on in saying, "Most Christians don't realize the power of the gospel to transform every aspect of their lives." We tend to have such a tunneled view of the Gospel that to see it as something that both confronts and impacts every area of life on a daily basis is almost unthinkable. This lady wanted to defend sin as the root issue, which I agree with, but there is also the issue of being sinned against, hurt, and unjustly treated. I think this is where I was coming from, beyond the heart sin issues that the Gospel naturally confronts. She couldn't see that. She's a good lady, just a wounded lady in her own right in need of that Gospel she was defending to come and bring healing to her own heart and life. Unfortunately, she (like I often do) was looking for something to react against defensively, instead of asking the Spirit of God to bring conviction to her own heart.

Anonymous said...

Hello Brother,

I know that if you got a response like that and you were speaking the word, you just ran in to a "pharisee older brother" heart.

If it wasn't out of love. What spirit was it?

Jesus talked about that spirit in the tale of the prodigal... the older brother was so hung up on himself he couldn't rejoice over the fact his brother came back to right standing.

The truth is, the word shows us our father was Satan until we submit to Christ and are "grafted into" the family of God. The word also shares that our hearts are desperately wicked.

Jesus had this conversation with the pharisees. They claimed Abraham was their father and Jesus confronted them that if they were of Abraham they would know God and His Son but because they were of their father the Devil, Jesus rebuked them, and in so many instances demanded they repent.

The Bible states we are born with hearts that are wickedly sinful.

Even orphans have parents, sadly those parents often have chosen to give up on the job on them, or something tragic has happened.

I think that's why it says we were dead in our sins, and trespasses and that if we knew the Father we would know Christ. (So by knowing Christ we know the Father and are brought into the family of God.)

I found your blog while looking for a new christian band name, "orphan heart" was a term I looked for. It's funny how God allows what the world calls coincidences, but we know different.

God bless you, you are wise in posting for wisdom from others. There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. Pretty sure that's a proverb. :)

We always have to ask, "What does the Bible say?" Regardless of what we think.
God bless you, I keep a blog at www.dreamerkid.com if you ever want to stop by. -Dave

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