My concern is that by asserting that our “Mercy Ministry” involvement is a test (there’s actually a section titled “It’s a Test”) and that the “mark of true faith is life poured out in deeds of mercy” (that is, an abundance of charitable works) - we are starting to resurrect what Jesus nailed to the cross: that is, our inability/and or failure to pass the test. Am I missing something? Michael
Hello again, Michael
No, I think you’re seeing it rather clearly. :) The usual Biblical quotes you’ve noted are so far taken out of their original context as to demand something that was never there to begin with. The irony behind their misuse only underscores the self-righteousness of those who attempt to produce the life of God from their own efforts as had been exposed via those letters.
Also, in the past, I’ve felt tormented by the fear of not really being saved. So, I feel indignant when someone casts such doubt upon a congregation of believers. Michael
The funny thing is that those to whom those particular letters were addressed seem to have also been in doubt about their salvation for the very same reason as yourself! The doubting and fearful were being told not to listen to the promoters of self-righteousness who set themselves up as being better than they. The whole point of the letters was to bring confidence in place of fear on the basis of the very real and miraculous life of God’s spirit that had been given to them. Instead of fakery and religious illusion they testified to a reality of the heart set free. For such a heart produced what the arrogant only pretended to have.
I sense that there is a fear that if we concede there is freedom to give or not to give as we see fit (or “purpose in our own hearts”) — that giving will be stingy and there will not be the “outpouring” that is envisioned. Michael
With good reason! For they well understand how stingy the self-righteous heart really is because it is exactly what they have experienced through all their self-imposed laws and formulas. So they insist that it is the same with anyone else, and in doing so they are denying the very reality of the spirit of Christ they pay lip-service to.
But I cherish my freedom. I don’t want anyone take it from me or those I love. Michael
Yes, and I encourage you to stand strong in this freedom! For this is the freedom of Christ for which we were set free!!