They bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made

Isaiah 2:17-18 (34 kb)

I am finding it extremely hard and challenging to write these days.  I have plenty to say and write about concerning the world and daily news, but this is not what this blog is about and writing about trivial things or regurgitating and chewing what someone else has said would most certainly not serve the purpose for which it came to be.  I owe it to myself and to the One who often inspires these words to have dignity, and therefore I will rather remain quiet when I have nothing worthwhile to say.

This blog was born out of a desire to put on “paper” my personal ramblings and impressions as I plod along the weary and lonely journey called “Christianhood”. It was born out of a strong burden and sense of responsibility in my spirit to declare what I see and experience in the Christian world today. I often hate what I have to say, but I know that denouncing these realities will at least help in some small way to raise awareness about the hypocrisy and deception in Christian Leadership today; denouncing these realities is in essence the lesser of two evils.

Try as I may, I find it so hard to be positive about what Christian Leaders are doing in and through churches today, with the exception of a few individuals of course.

Yesterday alone, I revisited the websites of various Christian leaders whose journey I have observed from afar for years now.  These are all individuals who at some point through my own journey were used by God to draw me closer to Him, to wake me up, spiritually speaking.  I have a spiritual attachment to them and though it may not seem so from what I am about to say, I care deeply for these individuals, I pray for them and I wish them well.

Having said that my heart sinks every time I revisit their websites or read their input in social media, a tool God has put in their toolkit to bring the power of His spirit to millions of people, to touch with His grace and healing power the lives of countless souls across the globe, to encourage and edify the nations, to lead by example those who are weak, to emulate Christ’s journey onto the cross by sharing with others the hardship, and daily struggle to carry their own crosses. I checked the input through social media of five of these Christian Leaders yesterday.  These are all very influential people in the circles they move in.  Some of them globally, some of them locally.  All of them blessed to be in privileged  Christian leadership settings;  their potential to influence others and the world in general is phenomenal, and yet, what did I see they all had in common after barely minutes of reading what they write in social media today?  A desire to be known, recognised and rewarded for the work of their own hands.  None of them could possibly come across to the reader as faithful stewards of the Lord Jesus Christ who are prepared to lose their life in order to find it, who will always come last in order to be first.  The word that springs to my mind and I am certain to millions of others when reading their writings is PREEMINENCE. Nothing could be further from what the Christian Spirit is all about.

All five Christian Leaders have been using for days, weeks and some even months their blogs, twitter entries, pulpits, and even radio and TV appearances to self promote the work of their own hands.  Every single one of these individuals has used their last entries in some or all of these avenues to promote their church, church service, sermon and mostly their latest book, by advertising it as when selling a car, by informing the reader of how to get hold of a copy, by endorsing time and time again their own work through the recognition and acclaim from others who have read it, often bigger fish in the Christian world than themselves and nearly always the person they are striving and aspiring to become and whom they see as the be all and end all of how far you can go to be the most influential and recognised in Christian circles today.

Many of these leaders would make a killing in the business world.  Indeed, their work in the secular world would be much more God-honouring than the self-declared callings they hide behind. Their marketing, PR and advertising skills put many big companies in the professional world to shame.  Some of them stoop so low as to sell their churches to the masses by advertising as the reason to pay them a visit the arrival of some celeb or well-known person, be it in the secular world or in religious circles.  It must make Jesus weep to see the length his “servants” go to in order to draw attention to themselves and their achievements instead of His. What does this say my friends about where Christ sits in their equation, in their understanding of who sits on the Throne, of who deserves ALL the glory and ALL worship?  Quite frankly, I felt appalled, sick, disgusted and seriously depressed about the reality that so very many Western Christians are following and basing their religion and religious practises on individuals like these, who are all about themselves and their exploits.

I am a Christian.  I have faith, so when I go to these websites it’s always in the hope of finding encouragement and edification.  There is no need to preach to the converted, right? but what about the millions who are lost, who are searching, who are desperate to find that one voice which by the sheer transparency and vulnerability of its words reveals a person who transpires the very backbone, the very heart and soul of the One they claim to follow themselves? What happens when the millions who come across the words of these Christian leaders in social media are faced with the shocking, starking contrast of what they were desperately hoping to find and what they in fact read? What does that do to the human spirit?  What does it do to hope? What does it do to faith? I tell you what it does.  It kills the soul!

Isaiah 2:22 (30 kb)

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7 thoughts on “They bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made

  1. I’ve always struggled with the zealous marketing of ministries and/or leaders of themselves and their products. It’s my thinking that God raises people up and needs little help from us to do it.

    Now, do I know the proper balance between marketing and humility? Not really, but I do have two heroes of the faith.

    Corey Ten Boom refused to take an offering for her ministry. She stated that she was not a beggar, but a daughter of a wealthy King.

    Basilea Schlink did not put prices on her books. If people needed them, they could pick them up for nothing or they could give a donation.

    Both women did great things for the Lord and isn’t that what it’s all about?

  2. Hi Larry,

    Thank you for your comment.

    That is just it! Marketing and humility should not be in the same equation, at least not when it comes to following Jesus Christ, surely not.

    If we have faith in God raising up men and women to achieve His purposes, what on earth are these guys doing shoving the work of their hands down their followers’ throats? If they truly believe God has placed them in a role of Leadership within His church, isn’t God, God enough to also lead people to these books, sermons, churches and ministries without its leaders marketing their own achievements to the death (not of self, I must add)?

  3. Larry,

    Thank you so much for that link. I can’t believe how similar the message underlying in that article is to mine, and how we were both writing it about the same time yesterday.
    It is always encouraging and reaffirming when others are feeling, hearing and seeing the same things, and it is specially encouraging to see that others are also prepared to take the risk of saying what nobody wants to hear and many refuse to admit in order to raise awareness, and hopefully challenge the status quo.

  4. Absolutely! This was one of the major reasons we had to walk away from “church as business” and never ever go back! I guess I should not say never — but really truly I can not imagine ever being called back into that system, way of doing things. God woke me up one morning in the midst of our season where we were “helping start a church” here locally — and I felt so clearly the impression of Him telling me – I do not need you to market my church! Very powerful. It is my job to sell His beautiful Church that HE will present to Himself radiant & without blemish. It is not for sale. ❤ We are not a business!

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