(Please note, links are used in place of footnotes for references and citations. Please review each link in order to get the full teaching on these matters. Also, you can pause the Audio podcast to follow a link and resume the audio when ready.)
INFLUENCERS: “One who exerts influence – a person who inspires or guides the actions of others.”
The appearance and presence of INFLUENCE peddling is on the rise. It would seem that everyone wants in the game, whether for commercial purposes, political reasons, social purposes or for religious reasons.
Now, the question is (as it always has been) who do you listen to? I have wondered about this, and, I have been searching for a leader on this matter.
After many failed associations, I have decided to “hitch my wagon”, so to speak, to LEADERS who are mature and stable and balanced by the Word of God. (This goes for friends too.)
SET THE PARAMETERS
It’s not that I will exclude someone as a friend based on these criteria, but, I heard a sermon this past Sunday, which helped me set the parameters for my search.
And, since there are so many ‘wannabes’, fakes and frauds vying for position, perhaps this criteria and these parameters would be of interest to you, also.
Now, I am only taking excerpts, ideas and principles from Pastor Trent Casto’s message, who is the senior pastor at Covenant Church of Naples, Florida. You can get the entire message here, also:
The first command in 2 Corinthians 6:14 begins with, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers…” This was written by the Apostle Paul to the church at Corinth in the first century AD.
His purpose was to instruct and warn followers of Jesus about relationships and the influence they can have on a person, whether good or bad
In our culture, as the violence and hatred between groups of people grows, and the government becomes more intrusive and threatening, and huckster are constantly at work to deceive and defraud us, we have to ask, “Who can I trust”? So, Paul advice is not only good for forming relationships, but for your personal safety.
We should know that Believers and Unbelievers have different moral values, belong to different spiritual spheres and serve different masters, and that seems straight forward enough.
But then we are faced with the challenge “Tares” within the church. (A “tare” is a weed which resembles a head of wheat, a kind of darnel, resembling wheat except the grains are black). How should we tell them apart, so we can find trustworthy people?
Here is Biblically based advice and very wise counsel from Pastor Trent Casto as he quotes the late theologian, Frances Schaeffer, regarding relationships and associations and our need to be careful to avoid becoming separatists, isolated from others and the world, but also not to be drawn into alliances that would compromise us and our mission.
The two terms he used were “ALLY” and “CO-BELIGERENT“:
“An ALLY is a person who is a born-again and fully devoted follower of Christ with whom I can go a long way with, down any path.
“A CO-BELIGERENT is someone who may not have any sufficient basis for taking the right position, but takes the right positions on a single issue. I can join with this person without any danger as long as I realize that he is not an ALLY, that we are cooperating only on a single issue.”
1. So when it comes to issues of the common good, such as ending abortions, preserving religious freedom, healing racial divisions, or relieving poverty, we can be CO-BELLIGERENTS and cooperate with people or organizations who do not share our Christian convictions. But we must not be drawn into becoming full ALLIES and careful not to disclose detail about our organizations, personnel or our ongoing methods, lest our CO-BELLIGERENTS would use these against us on other issues.
2. Secondarily, but just as important, we are defined by our associations. This can hamper the effectiveness of our mission going forward.
3. Finally, we can be INFLUENCED by close relationships and continuing associations. Should this happen, be certain you are at risk of losing your “Savor and Light“, and if that happens you are rendered impotent.
Where is all this going? A new era has dawned. It would be prudent to understand and accept the fact that things will never be what they have been in our past. We can never go back.
We have entered a new era, and we are seeing things, both amazing and terrifying, on a worldwide scale. We are seeing things in America we would never have imagined could happen. Yet, here we are.
Read what has already happened:
Click above image for link
“The foundation of The Global Governance Foundation has a set of core values, a belief system, which contains ideas that are foreign to the American experience, and ignores other values and ideas that are precious to the American experience.
The values and ideas articulated in the Commission’s report are not new. They have been tried, under different names, in other societies. Often, the consequences have been devastating. These values, under new names, have been emerging in UN documents since the late 1980s, and have dominated international conferences, agreements, and treaties since 1992. This set of core values underlies Agenda 21 adopted in Rio de Janeiro. Virtually every international treaty and agreement introduced during this decade reflects this set of core values. The Commission’s recommendations to achieve global governance seek to enforce these values through the programs authorized and implemented by a global bureaucracy growing from a revitalized and restructured United Nations system.”
We, Christians and Conservatives, are just now awakening to the fact that we are in a war for our very existence. An ideological WAR has been raging for the past 175 years.
Alarmingly, this ideological phase of this war has been won and the enemy has advanced their ideologies, methods, agenda and troops, taking up positions in our nations highest offices, in our states legislatures, our city governments, in our universities and in our churches. They are living in our neighborhoods and sleeping in our beds.
And, still, we cry out
‘Peace, peace!’ but there is no peace.“
Verse 1. “Now as to the times and the epochs, friends, you have no need of anything to be written to you. verse 2. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.
verse 3. “While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.
Verse 4. “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;
verse 5. “for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;
Verse 6. “so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk drunk at night.
verse 8. “But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
verse 9. “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, verse 10. who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. verse 11. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”
Please read and re-read this until is sinks in, the TIME IS NOW! TODAY IS THE DAY!
- SEARCH OUT AND MAKE ALLIES
- CAREFULLY CRAFT “CO-BELIGERENT REALTIONSHIPS”
- AVOID UNHOLY ALLIANCES
Your Brother and Friend,
One thought on “UNHOLY UNIONS”
This is excellent! It seems, on the surface, easy to understand ALLY. The grey area, for me, has been dealing with those who are not necessarily enemies, but certainly not ALLIES.
CO-BELIGERENT makes it clear.
Thanks so much for your thoughtful and timely writings.
L-RD Bless, Keep, Shine. . .