The Cornerstone Initiative
"Rejected of Men -- Chosen of God"
The Bible has foretold that Jesus would be the cornerstone of the new spiritual temple of God (Ps. 118:22). The Lord Jesus Christ applied this prophecy to Himself (Matt. 21:42). Simon Peter further explains the prophecy (I Per. 2:4-12). As the living stones who make up the house, we face rejection of men even as Jesus was rejected by the religious leaders of his day.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I would like to appeal especially to you, my fellow Christian rejects. I know how you feel. Like Jeremiah (Jer. 18:18; 20:7-9), we feel the fervor to want to serve God. But we have been stopped for no Biblical reason from Christian service. The real reason we were stopped was envy. Sadly, the ministry is full of threatened little people who really can't do the work of serving Christ. But they are bureaucratic past masters at protecting their jobs from people who can show them up by being too enthusiastic and too competent. Our very passion for Christ threatens them. Our every success for Christ threatens them. So they work behind the scenes to undercut us and steal the credit for our work. Crying, "It doesn't matter who gets the credit," they put their names on our work, then destroy our reputations to ensure that we can never threaten them with the truth. We are guilty of the ultimate sin, the sin most victims are guilty of -- being in their way.
In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 18, and the Gospel of Luke, chapter 17, the Lord Jesus Christ told us how Christians are to handle disagreements among themselves. But the church, from ministers to members, usually prefers to sweep it all under the rug. The ministers dismiss God's Word by saying, "People won't go for that," and blaming the victims by saying, "Your problem is you think you have rights." Modern Christians are lulled into a state of apathy by teachings that it is the End Times, so let's give up and relax, because we are supposed to lose. Don't count on your fellow Christians to back you up -- they won't want to get involved. The very fact that you got smashed is to them proof that it was God's Will for you to get smashed. So live with it. Most modern Christian leaders and laity disregard God's Word on conflict resolutions like they do the rest of the Bible.
Why has the Church come to this miserable state of affairs? As churches grew in size and number, the bureaucrats began to take over. Church administration is a gift of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:28), but not the only gift. Administrators tend to think they ought to run everything, so they promote other administrators to positions they are unqualified for, like pastors and teachers. The Bible's spiritual qualifications are ignored (I Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11), and positions are given to people who play office political games the best. No wonder we're losing.
Another reason for the Church's decline has to do with the Church's attitude. Many Christians, from pastors to parishioners, are suspicious of enthusiasm.. As John Elderidge said in Wild at Heart, churches like nice people, not passionate people. Passionate people tend to make other Christians from clergy to congregation feel threatened. Clergy feel like, "If this layman is so enthusiastic and good, how does that make me look?" Congregants feel like "If this layman is so enthusiastic and good, how does that make us look?" The answer to both questions is the same -- it makes the leaders and the laity look bad! Rather than try to improve, the church responds by squelching people who really want to serve God. When the church declines as a result, they blame the End Times for their own failures. The qualified workers depart, embittered and discouraged. Meantime, the ranks of leadership are filled with unqualified but connected people, who are told their shortcomings are proof of God's election! No wonder we are losing!
The Cornerstone Initiative is an appeal to Christians, rejected of men but chosen of God, just as our Lord Jesus Christ was rejected by the religious people of His day. This is designed to be carried out by any dedicated Christian with a minimum of cost and training. And it doesn't involve helping me build a multibillion dollar mega-church! I sincerely hope this is an answer to your prayers. God bless you, Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Following is a list of articles on how to start witnessing.