This in not an indictment of the present-day Christian
broadcasting platform nor the teaching and preaching
available, per se, through that medium. Rather, when
'weekly viewer ratings' determine the continuation or
termination of a Christian centered program ... the
worldly system is imposing its censure. The Apostle
Paul was not a very popular messenger to the at-large
community nor was his message without prejudice.
John the Baptist, and even Christ for that matter, did
not have
carte blanche to preach and proclaim the
gospel in any and all quarters.
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is
common to man: but God is faithful, who will not
suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but
will with the temptation also make a way to escape,
that ye may be able to bear it."(1) The word
"temptation" here can be read as 'adversity',
"escape" as a 'means to an end', and "bear it" as
capacity to 'endure' and 'undergo hardship'.(2)  So
often God's immediate purpose is not necessarily to
'deliver us'
out of the present adversity in which we
find ourselves, rather it can be to 'perfect' and
'mature' us by developing our perseverance through
trials and tests inherent in living out our temporal
life.  Predominately in America, does the Christian
church exuberantly preach avoidance of suffering,
sacrifice, hardship and lack at all cost?  Interestingly
enough, the Apostle Paul wrote more about the trials
and tribulations endemic in the Christian walk(3)
than he did about prosperity, over-abundance,
plenty or the increasingly contemporary theme of a
'conflict-free' life in Christ.
We have virtual 'communities and neighborhoods' on
the internet, virtual money (E-Card) and virtual
'realities' on prime-time television. The Christian
church today is faced with 'sophisticated'
competition vying for the minds, souls and hearts of
mankind and she (the Church) will most likely
endure great temptations and trials in these last days;
the subtle character of these temptations seem so
often to go beyond the spiritual discernment of many
men and women positioning themselves in leadership
roles and church stations. 1 Cor. 10:3 was written
the Church
at Corinth and needs to be read in that
context, as well as applied in the life of the individual
believer. The Christian church will continue to come
under temptation(s), yet God will make a way for
her as she is faithful, obedient and willing to endure
that which is necessary for her perfecting. Christ is
not coming back for a bride in-waiting that is not
perfected, rather for a church "He might present it to
Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or
wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy
and without blemish".(6) Neither is Christ coming
back for a 'virtual-type church' that is void of His
commandments, precepts, decrees or the sufferings
and hardships evident in His perfecting work.(7) "He
that can not endure the bad will not live to see the
good".(8) The emphasis here is on one's willingness
and ability to
'endure' so that attempts to avoid the
bad do not negate one's obtaining of the good.
"Virtual" is defined as "Existing in essence though
not in actual fact, form, or name ... a product of the
imagination".(4) The further the Christian church
navigates into realms of entertainment, drama,
illustration, theatric productions, 'click music' and
'gimmickry' ... the more
virtual it becomes. The
'electronic church' (TV) is already 'virtual' and
spawning certain
ministries that, at times, conjure
the imagination and attempt to impart a sense of
virtual belonging and participation. The Apostle
Paul also wrote about these episodic events in 2
Timothy, "For the time will come when men will
not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their
own desires, they will gather around them a great
number of teachers to say what their itching ears
want to hear. They will turn their ears away from
the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep
your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the
work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of
your ministry."(5)
"May the Good Lord grace us with the perseverance
to endure all that He would require of us in order that
our character and hope be made true to Him and
without fault".
Virtual-type Christianity will be
operating on this earth as the wedding supper of the
Lamb commences in heaven ... don't be one that was
called but never accepted the invitation(9) ... "For
many are called, but few are chosen" ... it is your
choice to be chosen through accepting Him.              
(1) 1 Cor. 1013  (2) Strong's HG Concordance  (3) Luke 9:23   (4) American Heritage Dictionary   (5) 2 Tim. 4:3  (6) Eph. 5:27
(7) Rom. 5:3-4   (8) Yiddish Proverb, 'Bits' [8/99]   (9) Matt. 22:14
Amen Ministries of Austin    -   -   P.O. Box 27683 - Austin, Texas  78755