Who Are You?
By Pete Garcia
I have had an epiphany last night. For the longest time, I believed that God has called me to be writer, to convey His truth in these last days. However, I have also taught and preached, and both of these things I loved also. What God brought to my mind last night was that although I used those things as a platform that is NOT why He chose to spare me. He called me to be a disrupter, or a change agent, whose sole purpose was to get believers off the fence they have become so accustomed to sitting on. Given this new understanding of my intended role and that we are in the final stage of the Church, I am beginning to see my role very clearly now.
Although I was raised in church, I was not always like I am today. In fact, for a good number of years, I was what you would call, an active member of the backslidden congregation. I was more interested in being in the world, and having the world accept me, then I was about spiritual matters. By the time I joined the Army in my late teens, I was virtually a CINO (Christian in Name Only). I can tell you with 100% authority, that there is no more miserable person on the planet, than a CINO. It makes you bitter, envious, and angry, because you want the best of both worlds, but cannot have either.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” – Matt. 6:24
My readers from back in the Omega Letter days will remember that I have spoken previously about that time in my life where the schism first occurred. I have no intent on rehashing all of that now, but for context, it began back in 2007. At that time, a series of events occurred all in close proximity and it really turned my life upside down and spun me around. Since then, my life has been a journey of intense personal growth, exploration, and spiritual development like no other. This is also not to say that it has all been roses since.
When I sit down and count the cost of what this calling has taken from me, I have come to realize it has been significant. I have lost relationships, friends, career paths, job opportunities, and most importantly, contentment (contentment in the form of accepting my status quo). However, I also realize (as did Job) that I have gained more than I have lost. I have a beautiful wife and family, I have a career and a roof over my head. Most importantly, I know who I am in Christ and what I have to do.
Some might attribute being a dissenter or change agent as to one who is simply causing dissent, strife, or division in churches (Prov. 29:22, Romans 16:17, 1 Tim. 6:3-5). That is not what I am called to do. In the each of those references, the context of the passage is centered on an individual (or group) who seeks strife and dissension for the sake of strife and dissension. Furthermore, the scenario (particularly in the NT) is that the dissenter comes into a church who is already teaching sound doctrine and seeks to disrupt it. I am not called to sound churches, but to the dead ones, and to Luke-warm Christians for the sole-purpose of waking them up, to show them the lateness of the hour, in whatever manner I can do that.
When I first began this journey, I have to admit that I did this in an unbiblical manner, because I did not apply the most important ingredient of declaring the truth in love. I was like the proverbial hammer in a world full of nails. My message was correct, but my delivery was terrible. It took the love and patience of my wife and children to temper that fire that was roaring inside of me. Although I do not claim to be a prophet by any stretch of the imagination, I believe the principle below is equally appropriate to my situation.
“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” – 1 Cor. 13:2
Therefore, I am today, a much gentler version than I was when I began this journey. That is not to say my understanding and acceptance of Biblical truth is lesser, because that remains carved in iron. What has been tempered, however, is God taking that hammer (me) and forging me into a useful instrument. In the forging process as you know, you superheat the metal and then hammer it until it reaches the shape you want it to become. I suppose part of that epiphany is finally recognizing that the hammering was not arbitrary, but purposeful to God’s plan. He was not torturing me for the sake of it as if He delighted in my pain and discomfort. There was a rhyme to His reason. This is also not to say that I have arrived, far from it. He is still shaping me daily to become the man He has called me to be.
To The Luke Warm Church
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” – Revelation 3:14-22
Therefore, even in my understanding of what my role is in this day and age as a change-agent, there is no current-consolation or benefits to the task at hand. People do not like their status quo challenged. Moreover, since churches are filled with people, and these people are connected by making the church an organization or worse, a business, it should be understood that churches like their status quo being challenged even less. In Jesus’s day, He only had one temple and three religious groups to contend with (Sadducees, Pharisees, and Scribes). Today, we have thousands of temples, thousands of equally divergent groups, and millions who worship everything from Allah to Jedi knights. We live in a post-modern (denies absolute truth), post-Christian era, which is attempting to fill the gap formerly provided by Biblical Christianity, with anything and everything else.
“When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind.” – C. S. Lewis
Evangelical Christianity used to be the last stronghold of western Christendom. Even now, this is increasingly being replaced with a growing number of unorthodox, pseudo-Christian offshoots in the form of Emergent, Seeker-Sensitive, Prosperity Gospel churches. These have taken the orthodoxy (and orthopraxy) of biblical Christianity, and increasingly blurred the lines to accommodate a culture in rapid decline.
In these groups, it has become increasingly popular to promote a false narrative and image of Jesus Christ. Instead of being God in the Flesh, their Jesus has been relegated-down to the quintessential SJW (social justice warrior). Their Jesus never asks them to look at absolute truth, or make personal changes to their lifestyles; he seemingly only cares about socialist issues such as gender equality, open borders, and global warming. Their Jesus is a COEXIST kinda guy. Just powerful enough to be an icon, but not powerful enough to actually save anyone. This is why the dominant church in this era is the Laodicean church; they have become the church who caters to the will of the people. Therefore, if the people live in a culture where homosexuality and transgenderism becomes the new norms, it can be expected that, that this is also reflected in the pulpits.
Therefore, as one appointed by God to unapologetically point out theological and doctrinal error, I realize that this must be done in love with meekness and gentleness, in order to have any effect for good. I also realize that this comes at a cost. If I am a voice for Biblical truth, in an age when truth is subjective, I will always appear the crazy, foolish, tin-foil hat wearing “doomsday” Christian always going on about the coming judgment of the Lord. I will be perpetually be the outcast at the denominational church as well as the object of ridicule by the secular world.
“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.” – 1 Cor. 1:27
Although the worries and cares of this life are fleeting and momentary, as are its elusive definitions of right and wrong, do not worry if I choose not to conform. Do not worry about me if I appear the dissenter or disruptor to the status quo. Do not worry about me if I remain obstinate to accepting sliding morality, or shifting cultural norms. Do not worry about me if I am ever against the grain, and choose not to ‘go with the flow.’ Worry about me if I no longer care, or I appear accepting or tolerant to the things of this world. Because…
“…the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” – 1 John 2:17
I understand that I am in this world, but I do not have to be of this world. I understand why my life was frequently wrought with trials and tribulations, and why the things of this world cannot satisfy me, nor anything else other than that which the Lord has provided. I finally understand now who I am, but who are you?