Fixed on Christ

If a disciple of Christ is outside of the institutional church, does that mean there is something wrong with his or her witness before the world? I guess that would depend upon their walk in Christ. If this disciple had a love for lost souls, showed God’s judgement on sinners, tempered by His Grace and Mercy in Christ then that might be a start to know who they are in Christ. If they minister to poor, sick and destitute. If they visited their brothers and sisters in prison. In summation if they followed the Commandments of Christ as set out in the New Testament in Love, then the fruits that we see will be an indication that this brother or sister is secure in the Lord.

It all starts with fear of the Lord followed by a humble walk, knowing God has power over all. So why are the people inside the churches so concerned about us outside the camp if our heart, mind and soul are fixed on Christ?

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20 Responses to Fixed on Christ

  1. Mickey Merrie says:

    But Al!
    Fruits are so “old fashion” plus they are seasonal… That must be why so many in the institutions are focused upon gifts! They seek to squeeze the fruit and “fix” some new magic fusion drink…

    One of Mickey’s rules for long life: “Know matter how good the sermon abstain from the Kool Aide served afterwards.”

    Sorry brother, I’m in a strange mood tonight I guess!

    I appreciate your blog very much and hope I got a little smile from you tonight! LOL

  2. Al Nelson says:

    🙂 God Bless brother, glad you stopped by. Hope things are well with you. The truth is old isn’t it, but it’s the old original truth that saves as we both know. Blessings in Christ

  3. fleebabylon says:

    “So why are the people inside the churches so concerned about us outside the camp if our heart, mind and soul are fixed on Christ?”

    Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition…”

    To answer your question partly, for the same reason the pharisees were so concerned with Jesus and his disciples. They hold to the traditions of men, the wooden vessels of pulpits and pews, and many other such things which almost always results in rejecting the commandment of Jesus and the apostles. They are always very concerned when Jesus frees someone from their power, control, and traditions. Yet we know that some of them will be freed one day too by the grace of God.

  4. I really think that question and discussion goes both ways.

  5. fleebabylon says:

    “Not going anywhere with it. Just pointing out the obvious, that it’s a statement that goes both ways, if you just reverse the point of view. Nothing more, nothing less.”

    Deistami,

    I am concerned for those inside the institutional church and their witness before the world because they make a mockery of the very thing Jesus died for (a group of called out ones) by presenting him and his redemptive purposes falsely to a lost world. For instance Jesus warns about people dressing up and using religious titles and that is what the entire institutional church system is built on. that is one very samll example that takes away from the wonderful reality that Jesus died to purchase for us.

    Hope that helps lead you in the right direction.

    Jim

    • Anonymous says:

      First not sure what wrong direction you think I am going in based off of one very simple comment and the fact that you don’t know me or my background. Second your comment is one i expected and nothing you stated was anything new to me. But you did prove my point that the original statement goes both ways. But you are assuming that just because someone is in an institutional church that they are of it. There is nothing wrong with someone’s witness from a church anymore then there is something wrong with the witness of someone outside of the church. Wouldn’t it come down to their walk in Christ as stated above.

      there are many reasons why someone may attend a church, that doesn’t mean they agree with the system or follow along with traditions of man. There are people making a mockery from inside and outside the church that to goes both ways. Only God knows what is in a persons heart and soul whether in the church or not.

      And just because I make a statement also looking from the other sides point of view doesn’t mean I am part of a church. Simply pointing out there are several sides to everything and that there are those on the other side facing the same type of attitude from those outside the church. Nothing more nothing less.

      • Al Nelson says:

        If I might interject, there is only one Truth and that of course is God’s. While it’s true in a general sense that there are false within and without the system, the antichrist system is in full swing within the system. The clear call in Revelation 18 is to “Come out of her my people.” So then there is a better way than this religion. I can understand being lonely and wanting fellowship. I have been there. I can understand the Lord sending someone in to the system to call people out. In some ways I am doing that through this blog and as I interact with others that come into my life, or I theirs. So what Jim is writing above is true. We were called not to go to church once or twice a week, but to be the Church, the Body of Christ. To worship in Truth and Spirit, that wherever we meet and whenever we meet in His name, there He is in the midst of us. We are not tied down to schedules or traditions of men, but wherever the Spirit leads. That is the freedom of Christ to call men unto Himself. There is a system that tries to take the place of Christ saying they serve Him but they serve the church instead of Christ. Lest in the day of judgement they will say to Him “Lord, Lord”

        21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Mat. 7:21-23)

        Blessings in Christ. Jim go ahead and reply if you are so led.

  6. fleebabylon says:

    Diestami said:

    “First not sure what wrong direction you think I am going in based off of one very simple comment and the fact that you don’t know me or my background. Second your comment is one i expected and nothing you stated was anything new to me. ”

    I never said you were going in a bad direction, I am sorry you took it that way and feel your response is a little defensive and contentious based upon that. You asked a question and I gave a short answer to try and give you an example of what you were looking for. If you take it at face value what I wrote is true. When you say those in the institution my understanding of that is those who support denominations financially and through dedicating their time. That is what I meant is a mockery (among other things).

    Sorry again if I caused you undue offense but I fee like you are coming out swinging looking for a fight and I am not interested. I did not intend to say that every person is making a mockery but as a whole, these things were not ordained of God and yes they do mock Him. Just as if I am harsh with my wife and other were to see it I mock Jesus who loved the church and gave himself up for her. I hope that helps, and I do hope the Lord leads you in all truth (just as I pray for all the brethren I know and fellowship with). Maybe that is a better way to say it?

    God bless -Jim

    • Anonymous says:

      First I wasn’t offended or being defensive, although I can see how you would take my response in that way. When someone responds with “I hope that leads you in the right direction” it does make me think hmm they are under the impression I’m am going in some wrong direction. Second I didn’t ask a question, I simply made a statement that the original statement can go both ways. I understood where the original post was coming from that is why I said nothing you said was new to me. I also didn’t say I disagreed with anyone on what they said. I honestly don’t want to argue back and forth on this and that or that and this. That is why I just left my comment simple and said it was nothing more nothing less then me looking at it from both views. Why cause I see it all the time.

      I personally have learned that if you lose sight of the other sides point of view whether you agree with it or not, you lose open and honest communication and you can lose them all together. I find when reading blogs the ones that i find good reads are ones that look at it from both views. I myself have been on both sides of the original statement. I know what it is like to be judged for being a member of a church by those who identify more with the organic church and I know what it is like to not belong to a church and be judged by those in the church. I know the many concerns from both sides cause I have been on the receiving end of both sides.

      I have had the honor of visiting some places that were true churches led by true teachers. I feel sorry for people who have not had the opportunity to come across at least one in their lifetime. I say places because some some were not what many think of as typical churches and really they weren’t. They were mearly a place where people started to gather to listen to someone who was really led by the spirit. They were not ordained ministers or people who went to some biblical school to be preachers. They were everyday people like you and I who lived day by day by the bible, they lived for nobody but Christ. They would talk about jesus and his teachings to anyone who wanted to talk about it. They didn’t have to have a blog to reach people or advertise or even to go out and preach on a corner. These were people that after just one conversation with them you wanted to go back for more and you wanted to share this person with everyone that you could. It wasn’t that people going to them were worshipping that person or holding him up on a pedestal it was the words and messages that he passed on. They inspired people to read the bible everyday and to live every moment as Christ would or would want. There are those who are truly gifted by god with the word. They are very very few and far between. They are the ones that either you need to go out looking for them or you are led to them. I met one by pure fate. Ironically I got lost when visiting another state and found myself in the middle of nowhere. Tired thirsty and hungry after having to abandon my car that broke down for no reason and walking for miles to find a town. I ended up sitting down in the middle of a 4 way stop in the middle of a dirt road trying to decide which way to go. It was over 100 degrees that day and I was getting sunburnt and was afraid cause I was alone. The last thing I remember saying was please help me with my head buried in my hands. Then someone tapped me on my shoulder and said are you lost

      I was startled and looked up to find an older man in overalls. I said yes and I don’t know which road leads to the nearest town. He looked at me and laughed and said none. But if you follow me down this little path it will. Sure enough down this little path that was right by me through some woods there was a little town not to far off of it. He said had I followed any of the main roads I would have been walking for miles and miles to get to this town where this little path that cut through the woods led right to it. When I tell the story I see now how significant everything thing was that happened that day all the little details. This little man is one that I speak of. The town had a church and a minister but this little old man who had never been to a church a day in his life was the true teacher of the bible in that community. The story is super long and I don’t really have time to go into such detail about it other than that my life spiritually was changed that day by my encounter with that man. He has since passed on and I met one more man just like him who to has since past on. When anyone talks of either of them they talk about their love of the bible their love of Christ and how much they inspired them spiritually to be closer to god and to have only one book to guide them through life.

      I have also been to one church that under the organic church’s definition it would be considerd an institutional church. However it was far from what many organic church members accuse the churches of today of being like. Again a lot to say about it that I don’t have time to put into words but when people are constantly coming down on churches today this is one church that I will defend. I know there are more out there like it. Once again they are few but out there. They simply preach the word nothing more nothing less. They have a preacher who was appointed by the individuals of the church to lead. He is just like the older men I met above and he wasn’t easy for them to find. You can go into the arguments over appointed people and organizing of religion not interested in going there don’t have time to do that barely had time to type this up. But it is one church that I was invited to while visiting friends and family that is truly about living by the bible. People are encouraged to study on their own, open discussions are welcomed. The church is always open for anyone who wants to come and have discussions or if they are seeking guidance on something that they are confused on. The preacher is not paid he actually works outside of the church. Any money that is brought in goes to the church which are the people of the church. So much is set aside for upkeep of the building but the majority of the money or offerings such as clothes and goods for the pantry are purely for those in the church or those in the community that find themselves in hard times.

      I have not found a church or anyone not of a church to fellowship with that even comes close to the ones above where I am currently. So for now I simply read my Bible everyday ask for guidance and keep an open yet guarded heart and mind to one or someone that may come my way. Al as far as your blog I do have to ask because a red flag came up while reading a blog post from another persons site that you reposted. In the post it had a quote from Frank Viola what exactly are your feelings on Frank Viola or those associated with him?

      • fleebabylon says:

        Thanks for sharing that, very encouraging in the Lord (except for the fact you are having trouble finding good brethren to fellowship with – but that is a common thing in our day).

        -Jim

        • Anonymous says:

          I should clarify that better. I haven’t found fellowship in people, like I found with those two men. I do have fellowship with other people but it is not the same as the time I was given with them. They were the kind of people that to me were like a compass. We all at times are swayed a little by the world or get to caught up in the world when things get hectic. They never did and just simply being around them without them having to say anything to you, you were just redirected towards God and reminded that’s the way I should be going. Like I said people didn’t worship them it was just being around them made you think that’s the relationship I want to have with God, that’s the understanding I want to come so easily to me. They were living examples of what a true walk with Christ is like everyday of your life and simply being with them the short amount of time I was blessed to have known them they let me walk that path with them and the journey is much easier when you are walking it with someone who knows it well and never strays from it. I felt like God led me to those people just to give me a glimpse of what my walk could be like. I know that they were not meant to stay with me cause that would be to easy. They themselves put in many years before their walk was that easy for them. No my spirit and soul would have to put in the time to truly transform. I’m by no means there yet, but it’s a journey. And what kind of journey would it be if it was so easy to reap the reward without having to put in any effort. I think for all of us, we can see where we are now and look back at our journey so far, from where we came and appreciate the walk so much more. I think you work harder at holding onto that relationship that develops cause we all know from past experiences how easily that relationship can be lost.

  7. Al Nelson says:

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write so much. It’s difficult sometimes to understand where each of us are coming from. Certainly there are assemblies that are walking closer to what Christ has called us to. I yearn to be a part of a growing ekklesia where I am. I think the Lord will be faithful to add me where He needs me in due time. For now I minister wherever and to whomever the Lord leads me to or puts in my path.
    Regarding Frank Viola, I am peripherally aware that Frank has been influential among many coming out of the church system. I have read articles from other authors that have quoted Frank, but again it’s probably been over 7 years. I have heard reports that he may be off on one thing or the other, but I honestly haven’t followed up on that. When I re-post from other sites, it’s not that I agree with everything that author believes, but I find a truth in what they are writing in that particular post. If you have a particular concern I’d love to hear from you via e-mail sometime. Blessings in Christ!

    • Anonymous says:

      As for Viola. I am often reminded that Satan transforms into an angel of light and his ministers into ministers of righteousness who quote scripture and often speak a lot of what others want to hear. I have looked into him extensively because he has a huge influence over people right now. I have learned he is one to avoid and to avoid others influenced by him. If they quote him, and agree with him I have to assume he plays a role in their wlk. I think that when you are taking on the responsibility of leading others to Christ, you need to be aware of other paths you may be leading them to. So someone writes something that sounds good to you, you may not agree with everything but that particular article had a lot you agree with. You post it because of that. Others who come to your blog see it and are directed to it. Do you know the author personally? Have you read all his blog posts to see if he is someone who is leading people in the right direction? Or are you just assuming that because he states a few truths that everything else he writes must be truths to? He quotes a person who is questionable and you stated you have heard reports but didn’t follow up to see if there is any truth to that. In doing that you may be leading those who are new in their walk to someone who may take them in the wrong direction. That is my concern. For instance I have read your blog and you make some statements that are true yet I have read I few things that to me are questionable and some where I felt you twisted the word a bit to make your own point of view (which is alot of what Viola does) Even though I agree with a few things you say I would never direct someone here. One I don’t know you. Two some of your posts are questionable, three you share posts referring to questionable sources. It would be irresponsible of me to share your blog with others who may be very easily influenced and not take the time to look into things for themselves. As far as Viola you would have to do your own research and come to your own conclusion.

      • Al Nelson says:

        Well, you are certainly entitled to believe as you want. If there is anything you think I have twisted or that I’m wrong you haven’t contacted me to discuss it, So we can’t come to terms on anything without discussion. I am always open to discussing Scripture through e-mail or by phone. But we also need to be good Bereans as well don’t we. There are many things and people to investigate. I’m not sure there is enough time in the world to look at everything. I’ve tried. I’m at a place in my walk where I am building relationships with other Saints on the foundation of His Truth.
        I do not and cannot claim perfection in myself, just the perfection that Christ is working in me. My purpose is to point to Him. I have briefly looked at Viola and there are some things that bother me as well. Most of which is the way he markets himself which turns me away without further investigation from the get go. Frankly, for the most part I hadn’t read his book because I didn’t want to pay for it. If someone has a piece of Truth in Christ I think it should be freely given just as it was freely received by the person with the info.
        So I guess I’m still waiting to hear from you. Maybe after a few conversations we’ll find out one or the other is completely nuts, or we may find we both have a love and yearning for our Lord Christ.
        lastdaysoftheage@yahoo.com

        • Al Nelson says:

          The Lord is teaching me many things about fellowshipping with other believers. He is teaching me to stand in His Truth, He is teaching me to be humble. He is teaching me to have preference for my brothers and sisters, to lay down my life for them when they need to talk, pray or need assistance. I have not learned these things from Viola, not that you are saying I am. But I am also deeply concerned that you would accuse me of twisting the Word of God to my own intent without confronting me about it. My life and purpose in Christ is to speak His Truth and not my own. My aim is to put Him ahead of myself. Am I perfect. No. But I seek Him continually. Please contact me as soon as you read this so we can discuss your concerns. My e-mail in the post above. Your silence is not a vindication of me, but perhaps a statement of dis-trust that needs to be clarified. Let us seek the Lord in these matters!

  8. ian vincent says:

    Hi bro, re: the subject, i think there’s three options, not two:

    a) Institutional Church
    b) alone or “outside the camp” or “the wilderness”
    c) Biblical fellowship, which Jesus sees as His Church

    b) should lead to c) and. if after many years it doesn’t then something is wrong in the life of that believer.

    I’ve seen on Facebook and forums that a lot of “out of church” Christians in America don’t want c) a Biblical church, and there could be several reasons why they don’t want it.

    • Al Nelson says:

      Thanks for sharing that Ian, it’s true some don’t want True fellowship in Christ. I think some meeting in True fellowship sometimes go back to a) as well. At least in part. Practices of the institution are added when they aren’t necessary or are a hindrance or divisive in some way. But that of course is for another discussion.

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