Recently a dear friend sent me an email to let me know that a well-known Christian writer was offering a bumper gift of free books written by himself and others upon the condition that we bought his latest book. Immediately enticed by the thought of a free gift, I took the bait and purchased his new book, and as promised, once I informed the author that I had made the purchase, a link was sent to me from his website with the promised bumper gift, which by the way was for the most part the ability to download for free various books and audio and not as I had hoped a physical, tangible gift to be received on the post, which was a bit disappointing, but that is more to do with my own personal preferences and not the nature of the giver.
Once I had downloaded most of the stuff, the excitement of the free gift ebbed away, specially when I received another email from this author’s website to say amongst other things that a free copy of another of his books would be automatically sent to all those who subscribed to his blog. Another condition, I thought! This is beginning to smell of egocentrism and idolatry and it is certainly not pointing me or anyone else who comes to this author’s site primarily to Jesus or more importantly emulating God’s unconditional love, a God who gave his one and only son to set us free and to redeem us to Himself. For as one freely receives one should freely give. Somehow, these words did not ring true in my heart when I thought of this author’s tactics to attract readers to his site and ultimately to increase the number of people following him. I personally know self-confessed men and women of God who will unashamedly use the arena and the platform God has blessed them with to market, promote and push their egos forward and simultaneously brag about going out on mission to the poorest countries for a couple of weeks a year as if one washed clean or cancelled the harm and the defiling done by the other.
Now, when I take a step back and ponder on what the picture of today’s church looks like, I see what I have described above as one of the primary reasons why the Western church is in decay at is very core and why hundreds of people are marching out from their local churches with absolutely no intention of ever going back, and worse still why many unbelievers will automatically keep their distance the moment they find out that you are a Christian. Why? Because they simply cannot and will not wish to dig in any further when they see the hypocrisy of a system, a set of beliefs and a large number of people within this group who perpetuate and condone the worship of other gods whilst claiming to love above all else the one and only God. Who would be stupid enough to fall for that kind of on your face, down right deception, right?
This morning as I was having breakfast all alone in the kitchen (my favourite time of day) I felt utterly convicted for being one of those who is simply perpetuating this situation and fallacy by the mere fact that my own blog as of late no longer seems to point people to Christ, no longer does what it says on the tin, but often it points to other people’s wisdom, knowledge or discernment and even more disappointing is the fact that by doing this God never gets the glory, the praise or the love, but it is instead given to countless individuals who have been set apart by God for a specific purpose and as time has gone by that direction has been lost and everything they are about and everything they do reflects not the glory, power, grace and love of God, but their own ingenuity, enlightenment and self-worth.
There is a reason why my blog has erred from where it was supposed to go and that is simply the fact that these days I don’t abide in His word and His presence as much as I need to. This is another big factor in why those set apart Christian leaders who are out there pushing forward their own findings, revelation and vision forget in the process that they are simply mere clay in the Potter’s hand and not the finished article which is ready to be put on a shelf for everyone to admire and enjoy. Only Christ, I say it again for my own benefit as much as anyone else’s reading this, only Christ is worthy of such adoration, glory and praise. And the very sad part of all of this is that the majority of such individuals were destined for great exploits for God, for unimaginable intimacy and a supernatural walk alongside Christ himself, but unable and unwilling to take the path of self-sacrifice, anonymity and suffering, they push for the mirage instead, pursuing a great following as the credentials one needs in the world today to have influence for Christ and to have a life-altering, transformational and redemptive effect upon the lives of others.
Many people like myself are these days shouting to the four corners of the earth the deception and hypocrisy that abounds in the church system today and why this is causing floods of Christians to leave such pools of stagnant water, but few are prepared to be radical in how they tackle this problem, in how they offer themselves as living sacrifices in order to enable Christ’s bride to receive a heart transplant which presents her to the Groom without spot or blemish.
I want to have that kind of radical approach to changing the face of The Church, the Body of Christ, and I have to start somewhere, so I will start by simply ceasing to publish on this blog anything written or said by anyone else other than Christ himself. This blog was born out of a desire to share with you all what Christ has done and continues to do in my life and that of my family, and I would be an utter fool if I truly thought that posting, promoting or glorifying what another brother or sister in Christ has said or written has the same power as the words of Christ himself or if I thought that by pushing forward as the panacea the knowledge and revelation attained by another Christian individual, I am pushing forward the redemptive power that only the blood of Christ is able to transmit. Radical thinking I know, for some perhaps even too much of an extreme attitude to have, but everything else has been tried and tested and failed. We are all full of good intentions and the determination to give everyone the benefit of the doubt but when it comes to the Kingdom of God, short-changing does not cut it. I don’t want to look back a few years down the line and see that the Church is still in the same sad, ill state because not only did I and everyone else not do anything in my own walk to change it, but because I was in actual fact an active agent in promoting, praising and glorifying men and women above Christ himself.
It is simple: anything that detracts the light from the Saviour himself, is as good as darkness and becomes a betrayal to the Father’s heart, for one cannot be content to belong to the darkness and the light at the same time and one most certainly cannot be a part of the Body if that part is holding a lampstand that points to itself and not the Head.
I don’t discount that some of what these individuals are putting out there is indeed born of the Spirit of God and being used by God to bring renewal and growth in the lives of certain people including myself of course, but if at the same time they are intent on drawing attention to themselves and their work first and foremost to then point people to Christ, the later cannot justify the former and the former cannot be used as an excuse to whitewash and exonerate the latter. In Christ, we can only have one Master and not two can be served, revered and worshipped at the same time. Let’s today choose whom we shall serve and commit with our every breath to such a choice. Double standards and hypocrisy never enlarged the kingdom of God and they never will, no matter what you are made to believe by those who have vested interests in persuading you otherwise.