The Gospel is BAD news

to the accomplished Christian, in business, ministry, politics, amateur sports, academia, whatever.  It’s BAD news to the Christian good at a hobby.  At parenting.  At leadership in the Church.  At whatever makes you feel good about yourself, worthy.  The Gospel is BAD news to you, because it says your worthiness/somebodiness is filthy rags.  The Gospel is BAD news to believers with something to LOSE.

The Spirit uses the Gospel to EXPOSE you to yourself, for the fraud you are.  You claim to treasure Jesus and His imputed worthiness, but what you REALLY treasure, is your own worthiness.  You find Jesus and His imputed worthiness UNsatisfying, and that’s why you have idols in your life, and the biggest idol of them all, is your own worthiness.  Pride, not humility.

But.  Once you are EXPOSED for the fraud you are, there is HOPE.  Jesus came for frauds, for failures, for losers.  You QUALIFY for grace, because of your failure to find contentment in Jesus and His imputed worthiness, needing NOTHing else.  All else is sinking sand.  This problem you have, is the leaven of the Pharisees that Jesus EXPOSED.  The Pharisees imagined themselves followers of God, but they were frauds, just like you.  And I.

Think I’m being extreme?  Consider how you would feel about yourself, if tonight you lost EVERYthing.  Job, health, relationships, home, cars, savings, bank cards, your precious reputation, and you became a single homeless person with zero friends, under a bridge.  Would Jesus be enough for you?  If He would, then you are no fraud.  Dave and so many others are frauds.  Thankfully, Jesus’ love extends to frauds.

Accomplishment/somebodiness/reputation/success is not bad, but it’s very dangerous.  “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees,” said Jesus.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, in hopes that the Spirit transforms us Christians to become such undone, contrite, humble, lovers of Jesus and others, that the seculars around us want what we have

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Why are we Christians so unfruitful

with the seculars around us?  Jesus said, “You cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me.”  Do we remain in Jesus all day long?  No.  Whyzat?  We are created-dependents functioning as independents, wise in our own eyes, leaning on our own understanding, confident-we-know-what’s-best — analyzers/judges of everyone and everything.  We remain in OURSELVES as we go through our day — as self-reliant as the seculars around us.  Apart from Heaven, we have nothing they don’t have.  We do not reproduce because the Jesus in us is contagious to no one because of our independence — we don’t ASK Him and THANK Him about everything as we go through our day, but rather we ASSUME or willfully DO.  And because we KNOW what’s thankable and what’s not.   So we don’t go through our days curious and expectant to see what He does NEXT, in us, others, circumstances, but rather go through our days feeling alone and in charge.

I can’t prove this, but I’m convinced that the early believers had a contagious Jesus that made them reproducers — amazingly  fruitful with family and neighbors and co-workers.  They had something we don’t have.  The powerful humility of Jesus-dependency.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who works hard to appear humble and gracious on the outside, but can’t make it happen on the inside, and is therefore chief needer of fresh convictions of the sin of independence throughout his day

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Why can the Church not see

that WE are the Israelites?  We Christians worship the idol of independence/confidence-we-know-what’s-best, leaning on our own understanding, wise in our own eyes, not ASKing about everything, not THANKing about everything — especially the harrrd, not curious/expectant to see what Jesus does NEXT, in us, others, circumstances.   In awe of human accomplishment/somebodiness.  We work hard at having the outsides of our cups clean, but live in denial of what’s going on inside, because we treasure our own worthiness more than the imputed worthiness of Jesus.  Living without Gospel-awareness, or if we have that, without self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness.  When we live independently as we do, we experience life under The Curse — circumstance-dependent for our joy and peace.  We claim to be followers of Jesus, but we are followers of ourselves — self-reliant, trusting in lies.  We have Heaven, but we don’t have the benefit of Jesus in daily living.  And the Jesus in us is contagious to no one.

Richard Lovelace in Dynamics of Spiritual Life says that whenever the Church in the USA and UK over the past 300 years has been as saltless and impotent as It is today, there has ALWAYS been a widespread awakening.  So in my less-sane moments, I’m irritated with the Church, including myself, but in my saner moments, I’m THANKful that the Church is exactly as we are.  Gives me HOPE for a better tomorrow.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, chief idolator, chief Pharisee, chief ranter, chief needer of the Spirit’s fresh conviction of the sin of independence/confidence-he-knows-what’s-best, so he’s freshly enjoying everyone and everything just as it is

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There is no power in independency.

Only in Jesus-dependency.  The independent is wise in his own eyes, leans on his own understanding, does not ASK Jesus about evathang, nor does he THANK Jesus about evathang, and he is not curious/expectant to see what Jesus does NEXT, in him, others, circumstances.  There is no contagious Jesus in an independent.  Only in a Jesus-dependent.

Independents are great at getting things done with human power, and they succeed in business, government, education, but not in the Body of Christ.  Or saying it better, success in the organized Church is measured the same way success is measured in business, government, education — by human standards, human power.  Lives are not transformed into Jesus-dependency by human power, human planning, human execution.  The Holy Spirit is not needed for success in business, government, education, nor in the Church as we know It.  Better strategies will not produce a better Church.  Better humans will produce a better Church, a much-different Church, where the Jesus in humans is contagious to the other humans, as it was in the early Church.

—Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who thinks he sees the problem but feels powerless to be different or make a difference, unless the Spirit works

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We are not a nation of the humble,

but a nation of fools: proud, defensive, confident-we-know-what’s-best, wise in our own eyes, leaning on our own understanding, critical-judgmental, competitive, willful, agendafied, self-absorbed, angry with the opposition.  Independents, not God-dependents.  Believers in a sovereign nation, not a sovereign God.  Obsessed with being the Superpower, with being superior.  Self-appointed PolicemanOfTheWorld.  Chastising other nations.  If power corrupts, Superpower corrupts supremely.  We are a nation of ambitious fools, obsessed with somebodiness.  Not a humble nation that minds its own business.  Not a humble people who enjoy everyone just as they are, especially the opposition.  And Christians are no better than nonChristians, but we Christians imagine ourselves Jesus-like: humble, gracious, unconditionally loving, selfless servants of all, enjoyers of enemies.  Fools, all of us, Christian and nonChristian, self-deceived about the extent of our pride, fool-likeness, worldliness.  Fools are always self-righteous, contentious, uncompromising, clear-sighted about the weaknesses of the opposition, but blind to our own issues.  Our increasing political divisiveness will end badly.  Civil war.  Our only hope is a Holy-Spirit-led awakening that humbles Christians into an other-worldly humility and other-worldly love that causes seculars to want what we have, instead of being so turned off to the message of the Jesus we proclaim.  Jesus is not the problem.  Seculars are not the problem.  We are the problem.

—Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, chiefest of fools, chiefest of the self-righteous, the one most needy of further overhaul by Jesus’ Spirit, no matter how much he’s been overhauled to date, not proud to be an American, not proud to be a Christian, but embarrassed, in a Saturday morning rant, hoping to return on Tuesday to being the chief confessor instead of the chief accuser

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The USA is headed for civil war,

because there is no humility in our land.  Self-righteousness, divisiveness, acrimony, pride, we have in abundance.  There has never been a civil war between humble men, humble factions.  Only the proud/independent/confident-we-know-what’s-best/willful are on the opposite sides of civil war, leaning on our own understanding, wise in our own eyes.  The humble are observers, not combatants.  Only the proud have a craving for violence, to justify our rightness. Prov 13:2  Only the humble are capable of the kind of unconditional love that reaches the conscience of the opposition.  Only the humble are capable of compromise.  Democracy requires humility.  Among Christians, humility is only found in those who are freshly convicted by Jesus’ Spirit, of our pride/self-righteousness.  And it doesn’t last long.

—Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who usually keeps his thoughts on politics to himself, but on this Saturday, he’s decided to come out of his cowardly closet and opine, and then return Tuesday to being the chief confessor

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We Christians live in denial of our unhappiness,

unfulfillment, dissatisfaction with Jesus and His imputed worthiness.  Self-awareness and self-acceptance are the biggest needs in the Church today, but the problem goes unrecognized by the vast majority of Christian leaders, who themselves live in denial of their unhappiness, unfulfillment, dissatisfaction with Jesus and His imputed worthiness, ever striving, never content, blinded by ministry idolatry.  Whyzat?  Organized religion weirds people, makes us self-absorbed idolators, wanting to be better, do better, so we cannot bear to look inside and discover we are such failures at obeying, following Jesus, thanking Him for everything just as it is, experiencing the peace of His absolute sovereignty.  Denial defines us.  Like it defined the Pharisees.

“I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men: God gives a man wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them.” Eccl 6:1,2.  Not just financial wealth, but ministry wealth, and honor, too.  We believers have a bottomless pit of need for worthiness of our own, and we are never satisfied. Jesus is never ENOUGH.  A stillborn child is better off, than a believer who is not enabled to enjoy himself just as he is, others just as they are, including jerks and enemies, and SovereignJesus and His genius plan for all of us, just as it is.  We all live in denial.  There is no contagious Jesus in us, because there is so little of Him in us.  We live in denial of what miserable failures we are in being fruitful evangelists.  Nobody wants what we have, because we don’t have anything better than what seculars have, except for Heaven.  Our joy and peace is just as circumstance-dependent as theirs.  We wannabe somebodies as much as they do, and are just as horrified at losing the measure of somebodiness we have, just as avoidant of being losers/nobodies.  And just as willful/impatient/independent/prideful/confident-we-know-what’s-best, just as much leaning on our own wisdom, being wise in our own eyes, just as much control-freaks, just as stressed.  Though we imagine ourselves way-more humble, loving and emotionally/spiritually healthy than we really are.  The wicked seem to be others, not us.  Not saying we’re the wickedest we could be, but that we are bigtime self-deceived about our wickedness/independence/pride.

Five years ago I stumbled across a free e-book that Jesus has used to grow me yet-more self-aware and yet-more self-accepting.  I’m becoming a different person than I was five years ago.  Best thing that’s happened to me since I went through Sonship in 1984.  I’m happier, more peaceful, more contented, than ever in my life, and I think those around me feel better loved.  If you vibrate to the message of this email, suspect you need Jesus to grow you further in self-awareness and self-acceptance, lemme know and I’ll send you a copy of the book, and some notes I’ve written about it.

—Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who is normally just the chief-confessor in his Tuesday posts, but this Saturday has decided to make an exception, and come out of his cowardly closet about what he really thinks, and then resume his role as chief confessor on Tuesday

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Why are we a deeply-divided nation politically?

No humility.  Humility is required for dialog, compromise.  Pride is clear-sighted about the weakness/sin of the opposition, but blind to my own weakness/sin.  Pride fuels war, ISIS, superpower status.  While pride ridicules the opposition, humility respects the opposition, listens to the opposition, attempts to understand them, find common ground.

Wonderful opportunity for Christians to be salt and light in our deeply-divided land, by a contagious humility.  We Christian leaders/followers are skilled at pseudo-humility, but real humility is impossible.  Humility/Jesus-dependency/faith/repentance is not something I can generate from within.  Only happens through the convicting work of the Holy Spirit.  Until the Spirit enables us to see the logs in our own eyes, so that we are contrite, undone, we believers will not have a contagious humility, our nation will continue to be deeply divided politically, and we will continue to be a big part of the problem.  And the pre-believers around us will continue to be unwowed by, uninterested in, our Jesus.

Brothers and sisters, what can we do?  We can ask for the Spirit, claiming the promise of Luke 11, that if we ask for the Spirit, He will give us His Spirit — fresh conviction of sin/idolatry.  We who see the problem, are the weakest links — the ones most needy of further overhaul, no matter how much He’s overhauled us to date.

–ShepherdDave, who sometimes sees the problem, but is powerless to convict himself of the sin of confidence/independence/worldliness/pride

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