THIS BLOG NO LONGER DOES WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN. OUCH!

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.

2 Corinthians 4:6 (38 kb)

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.

Jude 24-25 (111 kb)

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9 thoughts on “THIS BLOG NO LONGER DOES WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN. OUCH!

  1. Publishing is a tough business. It can easily turn any author into a beggar, hoping to swim with the sharks by stepping on the toes of his audience. My writing heroes of the faith have been Corrie Ten Boom and Sister Basilea Schlink who would not stoop to begging for money and were willing to give their books away, knowing God was their financial source and not book sales.

    I’m looking forward to more from you. God bless you.

  2. St. Terese de Lissieux did something similar, she stopped reading everything except the Bible.

    Gratis accepistis, gratis date (Mt 10, 8)

  3. gosh Mercedes, I will have to think about this. I’m so surprised by your words. The only thing I’m thinking at this point is that you have not ever read one piece of his work. This author’s work & words, if you would read them — point to Christ alone more than any other works out there today that I have come across.

    God used his words so much in my life to stir my affections for Christ & affirm so much of what His Spirit was doing in me.

    I know this author must be in a hard place…. want to get out this message that I truly believe IS from the Lord…. but believing the way to do it is through the marketing/publishing machine…

    but isn’t it true Mercedes…. that we DO want THOSE type of men to be the ones releasing books and blogging & having lots of people read their things don’t we!?!? Just like we want people like my husband to be the men who are in management & business positions!!??!? Just because people are trying to sell their products, doesn’t mean they are focused on themselves & not Christ, does it!? You lost me there…

    There will always be soo many books, resources, writers, blogs…. don’t we want Christ centered men with truly Spirit lead work to be the ones getting the attention!??!?!?! I’d rather THOSE be the works that are given recognition & popular vs. ungodly, divisive, non-Christ focused works.

    If you will open your hearts to his words, I do believe your affections for Christ and Christ alone will be stirred and the Spirit will use His work to give you better deeper clarity & understanding. I have so many of his articles & books that impacted me greatly I would recommend to you!!

  4. Dear Randi,
    The purpose of my blog was not to criticise this author’s work, far from it. I was referring to the marketing tactics that countless Christian authors and preachers/pastors use to enlarge their camps. There is no denying, as I clearly said on my post, that God can and does use the writings of many Christian writers, as is the case with this one, but what I do have an issue with is why the very people who preach about the power of God and the need to trust him no matter what, then need to resort to marketing techniques and cheap tactics to get more readers on board. Surely, if God has put you on such a platform, He is perfectly capable of getting you to be heard by those individuals who need to hear your message, with no efforts on your part to self-promote. To try and get there by your own efforts kind of denies the very faith one claims to have. I always remember about the 99 sheep left behind to go and find the one that went astray.
    I do not personally doubt the authenticity of this particular author, who am I to do that? But I do know from people I have shared my journey with that there is a very fine and treacherous line between sharing the gospel which points to Jesus and choosing to detour by pointing others to myself firts in order for them to get there. There are so many individuals out there right now Randi, you and I both know this, who are absolutely worshipped and revered by the crowds as having the last word on what God is doing and thinking at every given minute. We hold their words close to our heart like gold and silver. Christ alone is worthy of such veneration and love, and by putting people like this author on a pedestal, we take away from the glory and praise that is meant for only our Lord. We create a dependency on these individuals and inevitably they become our idol, and inevitably they think of themselves highly than they ought to. I am not saying this guy does, but I do see that many who entered the road of self-promotion end up that way.
    You are a dear friend and though we have not met, we have had many exchanges on email and on the blog, enough to know each other’s hearts I hope, and I would never want to offend or upset you, but at the same time I have to write what I see. I have lost two good friends in the past in a similar fashion because I have a tendency to be perhaps too harsh in my judgement (some people will see it as honesty and not dressing up words or beating about the bush in what I am trying to say).
    Incidentally, I have read a couple of books by this author and various posts on his blog, but as I said, this was not meant to be a personal attack and for that reason I never mentioned any names. I simply want to raise awareness about how easy it is to put a price, a condition on something that has been given to us for free. Outsiders get the impression that there is always a catch with Christianity. Promises are made to entice you through the door but then there is always a condition or something expected of you. I want to be the kind of Christian that would rather give nothing to another if giving always meant having to have something in return. Where is the love in that? My aim is to become more like Christ, He gave it all expecting nothing in return.
    You are my sister in Christ and I love you. I would hate for this to come between us. Can we perhaps agree to disagree?
    God bless you.
    Mercedes

  5. Of course, Mercedes… you don’t have to worry about that. Disagreements don’t scare me and I don’t have to be in agreement in my friends. 🙂 I am not easily offended and I know I’m not perfect and very well could be wrong.

    That being said….. I hear what you are saying, “trust God… but then resort to marketing tactics”…..

    But that to me sounds way too close to some people’s incorrect idea that “trusting God” means doing nothing and just waiting things to plop in our lap.

    God gives us intelligence and opportunities and skills and that IS Him working. Look at Joseph being in charge of government, economy, politics – he was in such a position of authority and look at how he handled the famine.

    Even using marketing, is a learned skill…. the truth is, if the people didn’t like this author’s material and didn’t benefit from it spiritually…. there is no marketing that would help it continue to thrive.

    Marketing is not evil. We have to be careful here.

    Just like medicine is not evil. We can trust God to take care of our bodies…. but we also can trust that He gifted us with beautiful inventions like medicine to take care of our temple in ways other than natural ways.

    We can’t divide our lives into “good” and “bad”…. when all things are put under His Lordship…. they can be sacred & good! Including business practices, marketing, medicine, anything!!

    Do you hear what I’m saying? I don’t know if I’m being clear enough.

    I AGREE that His CHURCH should not be marketed….. remember, that is a lesson that I personally learned so strongly… because I was a marketing student…. and saw it happening and that is how God released me from the institution. I agree the Church is not a business and should not be marketed to….

    but this author does not take any personal profit from his books…. it all goes to the poor. He does not try to market himself and get a following of people for Sunday gatherings, to be their “preacher”, to build a Church……

    I’ve never seen him promote his face anywhere/everywhere. I actually do not know anything about him at all!!! and I’ve been reading his work for years!! I’ve never read a post that was about himself. He is careful in his speaking/traveling.

    He is probably the most distant author from the people who read his work… because of that reason. He doesn’t want people to follow HIM. He wants people to read his work… fall in love with Jesus, surrender to Him and then take what they have learned into THEIR Church/community.

    we can not judge his heart or motives, simply because he uses marketing and business to promote his material.

    • We no longer have the need to agree to disagree because I actually agree and take your point wholeheartedly, but I do insist that this was not meant as a personal attack on this author but more about the trap that many Christian authors and preachers fall into and often try to pass to others as evangelising. This is out there in The Church at large, and it has epidemic proportions.

    • I have a feeling we will meet here on earth first. Watch the space! Last time I said that to another blogosphere friend in the States, I was giving him a hug a couple of years later on the other side of the Atlantic.

      God blows my mind away!

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