Through The Cracks Ministries
No one Lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead He puts it on a stand, so that those that come in can see the light.
--Jesus (Luk. 8:16 NIV)
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.
--Paul (2Cor. 4:7 NIV)
It is through the cracks in our humanity that the light within often shines brightest
-- Randy Constan
Why I've started this work
God's love covers everything! If you have sought or are seeking God and yet have found organized religion to be a continual hindrance, I have plenty of good news for you starting with this: You have come to the right place!! It is my goal to share God's awesome Love and unending commitment toward all those who entrust their lives to Him and in doing so, help YOU toward trusting Him (or trusting him more than you ever did before!)
But... please keep firmly in mind that what I am proposing and encouraging here has everything to do with your personal relationship with God, and nothing to do with religion. As an organized body of believers religion can do wonderful things, and certainly has always done so in areas such as humanitarian outreach. But far too many people are falling through the cracks in Christian ministry and fellowship, and the reasons could fill many volumes. Christian religion earnestly tries to draw people to God but sadly convinces many people to run from him. And when you consider that according to Jesus this is supposed to be a faith based on inclusion of everyone (John 6:37), this is beyond unacceptable. Even the multitudes that have experienced God's wonderful presence in their lives are often discouraged, beaten up, and convinced to give up on God entirely, all because of Christian religious teachings and methodology. In fact if there is a devil at work in the world today, it is a sad but irrefutable observation that religion may be one of his greatest tools. And perhaps the biggest travesty of all is that the purveyors of this situation seldom even recognize themselves as the cause. Invariably they also claim to "hate" religion and just don't see that they themselves are part of the problem! Here are just some of the many ways people fall through the cracks:
The list goes on and on, leaving huge portions of believers to feel that they have literally fallen through the cracks in the religious system. Meanwhile the church merrily ends up seeing itself as "purified" with all their undesirables gone. God has promised to never leave or forsake his children, no matter who else does (Ps 27:2  Heb 13:6), but the problem is not God. It is simple human pride and prejudice hiding behind the masks of justification and religion!
Common Sense Christianity!. I said that my goal here is to share God's Love. Let's start with the basic assumption that actions done in love are those done with someone's growth and well being as the motivator (self love also qualifies). M Scott Peck, in his now famous book "The Road Less Traveled" described Love that way, and I believe it is in agreement with both biblical and gut level definitions. So if we believe that God indeed loves us, we can at least be sure as we seek Him for the things we need and deal with in this life, whether spiritual or material, He will not let us down (Matt 6:31-33). Common sense also tells us if God didn't love us enough to see us through anything that came our way in this life, that would not be love at all. Jesus warned us that in this world we would have tribulation (John 16:33), and tribulation often means dealing with problems and issues that don't always simply "go away". Some problems and tribulations are our own making, and others without a known origin (except to those who claim to know everything, of course). But regardless of how or why problems, concerns, or issues come about, our job then as fellow Christians... indeed as fellow human beings, is to offer acceptance, comfort, encouragement, and help to brothers and sisters undergoing such trials. Unfortunately, Christians often choose judgment instead, driving those most in need of fellowship away.
So yes, it is high time for some common sense Christianity, and you'll hear me use that phrase quite a bit. The bible does warn against relying to heavily on our own understanding, but as we seek the lord we are promised wisdom for the asking (James 1:5), a renewed mind (Rom 12:2), and a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:18) to replace our hearts of stone. Such Wisdom and renewal means that we can trust our own common sense more and more, and recognize instinctively when the things being preached or taught to us are simply wrong. If someone with 10 years of theological training offers to explain to me why I should mistreat someone, I can say "no thanks" without any reservation at all, despite my lack of a doctoral degree. Yet we often hear wrong preaching on many issues, knowing in our heart of hearts that it should be challenged, and do nothing. We dare not even discuss it, lest we cause division in the church. Such silence is at times wise, but sometimes it is simply acting (or failing to) out of fear or laziness.
The purpose of church. A few words back I mentioned how believers are often scorned for receiving challenging new insight from the Lord. The Christian Church, if anything, has the task of taking the wonderful news of God's goodness, mercy, and Love to the world. In fact the bible declares that people would recognize the Christians by the love had for each other (John 15:35). Yet for as long as man has sought to gather in the name of the Lord, they have continually formed cliques and clubs that by their very nature exclude everyone that does not think exactly as they do. The very core of Christianity is the demonstration of God's grace given to His children, and yet it is the exception rather than the rule when believers cut their fellow family members any slack. The many radically different Christian groups that claim to be the "enlightened" ones proves this to be true.
This is all a part of human nature and there is a proper time for it. Many of us have learned the difficult lesson of marrying or starting a business with the wrong person and indeed, some relationships do call for very careful scrutiny. But such scrutiny has gone totally out of control in Christian fellowship, and it is completely misplaced. The bible puts us all on equal ground by saying that we all fall short of God's standards (Rom. 3:23-24), and speaking to believers says any man who says he is without sin is deceiving himself (1 John 1:8). These and many other scriptures are there to guard us against judging our brothers and sisters and preferring instead to treat everyone as family.
That is what a church is supposed to be! In a family, everyone is invited to gatherings. Even the ones that didn't vote the way you did in the last election. Even the odd or 'not so perfect ones'. That weird uncle that never stops talking about war stories, and even that silly cousin Debbie's brother that wears a house dress. Everyone is invited to the table, and everyone's talents are appreciated. Because the thing that counts... the only thing that bears any lasting importance... is being part of that family. In the kingdom of God, in the family He invites us to, that is the way it should be.
Only a few things are necessary... really only one! (Luke 10:41-42) That famous passage in the bible tells of the day Jesus entered the home of Mary and Martha. Mary was spending all her time at Jesus' feet attending to him and taking in every word, while Martha became progressively angry because she was doing all the cooking and preparation. Yet Jesus told Martha that she was working too much, and that it was not necessary. "Only a few things are necessary, and really only one" he said, "Mary has chosen the good part which shall not be taken away from her".
Many have rightfully used this passage as an example of how much more important it is to listen and attend to the Lord than to work for him. Yet we can't seem to get this basic tenet of doctrine straight. Only a few things are necessary... really only one! The bible says that if anyone confesses Christ with their mouth and believes in his heart that God raised him from the dead, they shall be saved; (Rom 10:9) Who is saved? Anyone... that has received Christ, that's who! And that means that whatever we perceive our brothers and sisters to be going through, if they are trusting the Lord, then they are family... period!
Not an easy calling! This is a tall order my friends. We all come to the Lord with different baggage, this author included. And our tendency to judge each other is as deep rooted and old as the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. A curse then, and a curse today. As a result, multitudes that do not fit into the "cookie cutter" molds set out by their local church remain isolated in their faith. So to re-cap, this page, this work, is the beginning of my efforts to accomplish all of the following:
This page is basically an introduction. I have much to share, and hope you will take the time to browse the Main resource page during your visit. As the site grows, your patience is appreciated, and your correspondence welcome.
|-- Warning and Disclaimer --|
|1.||The purpose of this site it for encouragement. While I am always willing and open to discussion of any subject which is hindering someone's spiritual growth, I am not interested in engaging in debates for the purpose of proving or disproving the correctness of anyone's theology. Nor will I censor any material from this site which I feel represents a resource of encouragement to anyone.|
|2.||The presence of links to other resources is not intended to infer agreement or approval of everything you may find there. A link may have been deemed useful at the time it was posted, but content changes rapidly and without notice on the internet. In fact, I rely on and encourage your feedback if following a link reveals some obviously destructive material that is contrary to the purpose of this site, or if the link is no longer active.|
|3.||While it is my intent to make these pages as universally viewable as possible, there is always the chance of browser incompatibility issues.|