MANIPULATION, DECEPTION AND CONTROL ARE ALL SUSTAINED AND FED BY LIES, SUBTLE LIES, BUT LIES NONETHELESS- PART 2

Continued from Part 1

“Today’s culture of independent individualism has created many spiritual orphans – “bunny believers” who hop around from one church to another without any identity, accountability, or commitment. Many believe it is possible to be a “good Christian” without joining (or even attending) a local church, but God would strongly disagree.”

Let’s take a closer look at the magnitude of the deceit that lies within these lines above. “Today’s culture of independent individualism”, so far so good. Reader is engaged by a statement that no one can deny. But then the author goes on to associate this independent individualism to be the direct cause of being “spiritual orphans”. Can such a type of Christian really exist? Not according to the Scriptures that I read, not according to the Father that loves me and promises me that He will never leave me nor forsake me. No term used by Church Leadership and Church Growth Gurus gets me more enraged than this one: “Spiritual Orphans”.

No person who accepts Christ to be Lord and Saviour in their heart and soul can be a spiritual orphan. This is a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron and proof that for the author of this devotional and all those who follow him and so many like him, when they call Christ Lord, that is where in their minds His lordship ends, because God, our Heavenly Father, is clearly not sufficient as a Father to anyone who comes to Christ, He is not the Head, the pillar upon which everything stands and has its being.  Christ is clearly not enough in order for God to act as our Heavenly Father who tends to our every spiritual need; putting his son on a cross is not enough. Membership in a church or even attending one is what is truly needed for us to be true sons and daughters of the LIVING God. Indeed, if not being part of a church family makes me a spiritual orphan, you are saying that God is not my Father, for orphans do not have one. Such a statement denies the very core purpose for which Christ died on the cross: the veil was torn, God’s wrath satisfied and the door now open for anyone who is in Christ to have direct access to The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Where in that can one come to the conclusion that anyone called a Christian who is not part of a church is a spiritual orphan? The deception and false teaching in this is so huge, so on your face, so obvious, that sometimes it is the very fact that it is staring us in the face, that makes us mistake deceit for truth, because our eyes are only focusing and our discernment is being impaired by what is seen and not by what is unseen.

The patronising, arrogant and insulting litany goes on as Christians who are not members of a local church are described as “bunny believers” who have no identity, accountability or commitment. Identity? I thought it was Christ and our faith in Him alone that defined our identity. Sadly, today being part of a local church only defines your identity as that of someone who supports this or that vision of a particular pastor or church leader. Accountability? Easy to be accountable to people who buy into what you are selling, who believe in your authority, because it is they who put you on a pedestal and even if you err from what is Godly and truth, you will not be made truly accountable, because it is easier to go with the flow and the flock than to be singled out and ostracised for being true to the voice of the One and Only Shepherd who deserves our sole worship and blind obedience, for trying to put a stop to the lies, falsehood and deceit.

Commitment? Commitment to what? To a set of rules and obligations I must abide by in order to comply with what is expected of me as a Christian individual who defines himself as a member of this or that Church Family? Yes, I have experienced that kind of commitment. The kind that puts a yoke round your neck and fills you with guilt if you do not pick up a chain and pull as hard as you can  in order to sell and market whatever it is this or that pastor is trying to sell to the world so that they can earn their claim to fame in Christendom and beyond. The kind of chain that makes you feel held and secure, a part of something bigger than yourself, something worthy, something lofty, only to then one day look down at your hands and feet and realise that what you are actually enjoying is an illusion of freedom, freedom  to sacrifice, serve and financially support the leadership and captain at the helm of that vessel you have been chained to. Then one day you finally pluck up the courage to stand up, be counted, demand your true freedom in Christ, seek after the Holy Spirit’s guidance to fulfil what it is you were called to fulfil in the sphere God has placed you in. It is on that fine day that your chains will be cut and your body and soul thrown into the open seas. Whilst evil intended for any shark to feed on the carnage that such fleshly crusades leave behind, God will use this painful experience to peel off the layers of bondage and deceit thrown upon you by the very ones who pride themselves in helping you to discover freedom in Christ. You will be immersed in abundant waters that will never run out; you will never be thirsty again and you will know what true freedom in Christ really is meant to be.

But here is the mother of all lies, la crème de la crème of deception which seeks to manipulate and control under the guise of passion, love and devotion: “Many believe it is possible to be a “good Christian” without joining (or even attending) a local church, but God would strongly disagree.”

Again, we must be reading scripture inspired by two different Gods. The one I read conveys there is no such thing as a “good Christian” for we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Can it be that the person who has written this has established this distinction in order to convince his readers that there are two camps within Christianity: the good and the bad ones, the godly and the ungodly, the saved and the unsaved perhaps? Not explicitly said but thrown in there as a little hint, a mere implied suggestion just to catch the attention of those who can be easily swayed by fear and the kind of truths that are made truth just because an ” important” and influential majority in a particular field has declared it so.

I think what the author is really trying to say here is “in order to be a genuine, true Christian” and not a “good Christian”, for again this term is another oxymoron. If there were good Christians as opposed to bad ones, wouldn’t that mean that the need for Christ in their life would become obsolete, that God gives them a special treatment just because they are good and where is that righteousness come from: them being in Christ or their own achievements and goodness? Again, statements like this one challenge the very pillars the Christian faith stands on, on a monumental scale, so I will not be the one to read something like that and swallow it whole in the hope that it will go down and produce the effect it was intended for. It is easily done, just put “God would strongly disagree” at the end of your statement and that will surely have the desired effect on the reader. Where is the grace, the non-judgementalism, the humility that surely should be so characteristic of those who ceremoniously like to label themselves as Christian Leaders or biblically put “servant to all”. Now there is an incredible contrast between what Jesus defined as “leading” and what church leaders have decided it should mean instead. Such utter violation of what is truth in Christ should send our alarm bells ringing, but do we listen? No, it is easier to go on as we are and pretend we have it all figured out.

I hope one day the person who wrote this article looks back and ponders on the question: Did my words bring freedom or bondage to millions of Christians out there who are not part of a church/church family? Did I transmit grace to those who do not share my views or did I cast them out as “not good enough” with my judgemental heart? Did I truly manage to convince non-church going Christians that they are in the wrong, that they are lost, without a compass or did my frivolous, obnoxious assumptions only serve to confirm the very reasons why they either broke loose from the Church system or stopped going to a particular church in the first place?

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MANIPULATION, DECEPTION AND CONTROL ARE FED AND SUSTAINED BY LIES, SUBTLE LIES BUT LIES NONETHELESS – PART 1

PART 1

The following devotional written by a very well known church leader was forwarded to me this morning.  I am not one to take on personal attacks. I believe God’s truth is powerful enough to vindicate me, but I also know God has put a fire in my heart to stand up and be counted for what is truth. I am also not one to witness outright lies about something as important as what defines the authenticity of a Christian, and remain silent or do absolutely nothing. There is a fine line between Christ’s teaching to turn the other cheek and the lukewarmness which allows deception to take root and strangle and snuff out the LIFE that the Spirit of the Living God brings, for if we do nothing in the face of darkness and bondage we only serve to condone and perpetuate it.

Please read the article below which is offensive and insulting to me and so many thousands of Christians out there who are not part of a church and/or church family (another conveniently made up term that serves to make the yoke of legalism even heavier).

The devotional reads as follows:

A Church Family Identifies You as a Believer

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:35 NLT)

The Bible says a Christian without a church home is like an organ without a body, a sheep without a flock, or a child without a family. It is an unnatural state. Ephesians 2:19 says, “You belong in God’s household with every other Christian” (LB).

Today’s culture of independent individualism has created many spiritual orphans – “bunny believers” who hop around from one church to another without any identity, accountability, or commitment. Many believe it is possible to be a “good Christian” without joining (or even attending) a local church, but God would strongly disagree.

The church is so significant that Jesus died on the cross for it: “Christ loved the church and gave his life for it” (Ephesians 5:25bGW).

Except for a few important exceptions referring to all believers throughout history, almost every time the word “church” is used in the Bible it refers to a local, visible congregation. The New Testament assumes membership in a local congregation.

A church family identifies you as a genuine believer. You can’t claim to follow Christ if you’re not committed to any specific group of disciples. Jesus said “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35 NLT).

When we come together in love as a church family from different backgrounds, races and social statuses, it is also a witness to the world (Galatians 3:28).

___________________________________________________

 

Deception begins from the very title of this “Devotional”, for a Church Family is not what identifies us as believers, at least it is not what identifies me. What should identify us is our love for God above all things and our love for one another, our acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, repentance of our sins and a desire to become more like Christ, to honour, praise and worship Him in everything we think, say and do.

I would be failing my calling to follow Christ, and I would be falling way too short of that calling, if people said of me that what identifies me as a believer is belonging to a Church Family. What a pathetic state of affairs that would be, personally and for the whole of Christendom. There is no biblical foundation to support such a statement made on the title of this devotional. Period!

Paragraph 1. Where in the bible does it say that a Christian without a church home is like an organ without a body, a sheep without a flock or a child without a family and that it is an unnatural state? Do you see with what subtlety someone’s words and conclusions can put chains on people where Jesus meant to use us to bring freedom to them, freedom from the religious legalistic spirit that the Pharisees displayed in abundance just as so many Christian leaders display today? Then the author of this devotional goes on to quote Ephesians 2:19 as saying: “you belong in God’s household with every other Christian” (LB). My Bible actually says: “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with CHRIST JESUS HIMSELF AS THE CORNERSTONE” (Emphasis is mine). From where in that Scripture can we conclude that a Christian without a church is incomplete, lost, without guidance or not cared for? Last time I checked, Jesus said to me: “My sheep know MY voice”. It is therefore the Shepherd’s voice and guidance which make me HIS, it is my obedience to Him that define me as His and not the being part of a flock, as nice and comforting as that may be.

It all comes down to the ongoing debate about what constitutes The Church: is it a physical building, a concrete gathering of believers or rather a SPIRITUAL body made of hearts and souls which are sold out for Christ?

To be continued in Part 2

HE will slay the monster of the sea (the gliding, coiling serpent)

On watching the news this morning yet again I feel like I have had a nudge from God to pay attention to what is going on all around us currently in the world.  Believe me, I have had utter aversion towards anything to do with current affairs and the news all my life.  From a young age, I suffered daily nightmares about terrible earthquakes, and although I was born in a country, Spain, which as far as I am aware has not suffered, at least during my lifetime, any significant earthquakes, the mere vividness of my dreams made me shake to the core with fear and trembling at the prospect of ever experiencing such a terrifying circumstance.  Now, the nightmares about earthquakes have become fewer and far between (although they are equally terrifying and at a devastating scale when they come) and have been replaced by nightmares of engulfing tsunamis which leave behind equal death and devastation. Go figure! My parents, even into my adulthood years whilst I was still living at home, tried to instil in me a sense of duty to keep up with the papers, the daily news and to try to have a general understanding of current affairs, to be aware of what is going on not just in my own little bubble but at a larger scale in order to be able to have a grown up conversation and to feel able to mix in different circles and bring something to the table.

The more they went on about me reading the papers, the bigger my aversion towards them grew. Then I moved to the UK and after marrying my English husband, just when I thought I left behind the days of utter guilt for being such an ignorant individual who refuses to be concerned with the ills of the world, my in-laws began to pick up where my parents left off. That didn’t work either!

Interestingly, in the last few years as my faith in Jesus Christ has grown deeper, I find myself miraculously drawn to anything to do with current affairs, news, natural disasters and so on.  I know God brought this about because human effort failed before and no one has been able to make me do something I had such a clear aversion to. Now, when God puts something in your heart that no living soul has been able to imprint, you can bet your bottom dollar there is a clear purpose in it, a use, a function, a fruit that is to be nurtured, grown and harvested at the end of that process.

It is for this reason that when I felt the Lord’s nudge this morning to pay attention to the news again today, I knew better than to ignore it.  As I turned onto SKY news, I was struck by the image below of a giant serpent-like creature called an oarfish which has only recently washed ashore on a beach in California. In fact, another one washed ashore on another Californian beach I believe only days later. These hideous and hellish looking creatures do resemble serpents and we all know or should know what the serpent represents in Biblical terms.  Faced with that, I begun to think to myself: Can you imagine if on reading my daily portion of Scripture today, there is a mention of a serpent or something that may give me a spiritual dimension as to what it all means? What are the chances and if so, what is God trying to say to me, to us, to the whole world, if anything?

Rare: This snakelike oarfish measuring nearly 14 feet long was found on a beach in Southern California on October 18. Speculation is rife over whether the sightings prelude an earthquake

Together with the image shown on the news was given the commentary that many in the California area are terrified, because they see this oarfish coming to land as a sign that these creatures are fleeing from something they see coming, they sense is looming.  Whilst you may be laughing your head off at this point, know that similar occurrences took place  months prior to the Japan tsunami and earthquake of 2011. Now, we all know how prone California is to earthquakes and seismic activity be it at land or at sea, so then I begin to sense that this is indeed no laughing matter but more like a “sign”, like the signs and wonders God spoke off being so prevalent in the last days.

I turn off the TV and sit at my desk and open my bible where I left off yesterday and guess what?

Isaiah 27, 1

27 In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword—     his fierce, great and powerful sword— Leviathan the gliding serpent,     Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea.

Some people look to the future, to scientific advance, to progress, to man ultimately trying to be God and finding a solution to all our problems. Truth is we will never be able to do this; we are human and imperfect and last time I looked, none of the humans I know were anywhere remotely near becoming perfect, faultless, flawless beings, starting with Moi. Yes, we find cures to diseases and we come up with awe-inspiring technological advances but parallel to all that progress is the sin that tails right behind us all creating a whole load of new challenges brought about by our own pride, foolishness and inability to learn from our mistakes. So you see, what we manage to achieve on the one hand with our smugness, we immediately render ineffective by the whole bundle of new problems we immediately have to face, having only just solved the previous ones, and more often that not these problems are the result of our own stupidity and inability to act responsibly towards our own selves, each other and the world around us.

But, fear not, for there is hope. We know that no matter how much tragedy or disaster comes upon us, and this is the message one has to walk away with from all of this, is that God is ultimately in charge of it all. That serpent-like fish that washed ashore may well be a warning of things to come in the natural realm, but we do well to hold onto God’s promise of what is also to come in the Spiritual realm: God will eventually kill “the serpent” or more poignantly to the news just reported, He will slay the monster of the sea.

Whether you believe in Him or not, Christ will ultimately reign victorious and the snake will be trampled upon and will exist no more, so don’t put your hope in your ability to run fast to beat the snake, the earthquake or the tsunami. Put your trust in the one that DOES HAVE all the answers, Christ risen, who overcame even death.  He sits victorious on his throne knowing how to get through it all, knowing that God is so much bigger and greater than any disaster or fear. Hold on to HIM in these uncertain times we live in, cling to Him for dear life. Only He will provide you with the internal peace, wisdom, grace and fortitude to face what the days ahead hold for all of us, whatever that may look like.

I leave you with an image which beautifully captures what God’s promise is to us regarding the serpent’s threats and its constant assailing and putting us down so that we cease in our striving to follow Christ.

Incredible: An 18-foot-long oarfish found dead in the water off Catalina Island near Los Angeles

“The earth dries up and withers”. Is God’s word fiction or the reality unfolding in front of our very eyes?

I have often been told that my outlook on everything is rather pessimistic and yes, that is true to some extent. I do however strongly feel that one has to have a certain pessimism built-in within them if they are ever going to have a genuine fear of the Lord, which we know from the Scriptures IS the beginning of wisdom. I think it is important in all areas of life to not be over pessimistic but neither over optimistic. I like to be real; I like to keep it real and I like to be realistic.

I know that our Heavenly Father is Love but I also keep close to my heart and spirit the certainty that God is a Just God in equal measure, a loving Father and specially the only ONE who knows it all, despite the fact that so many who are seen as men and women of God today think they too know it all. God alone can see the end from the beginning and the purpose in everything, the true “bigger picture”.

What we do know for sure, for those of us who accept the Bible as God-inspired and as the revelation of who Jesus is and why He came to the world and why He will come again, is the fact that there will be a day of Judgement. Many Christians shake in disapproval and with righteous anger when they hear such statement mentioned, because to them God is above all else love, and talking about judgement is something which in their eyes is non-sensical seeing as Christ has already paid the price for our sin on the cross and therefore what would be the need or the point of God judging men on that final day or even today? Personally, I feel that this type of Christian attitude does away with the need for ongoing repentance, contrition and the determination to go through a process of sanctification until the day we die; all absolutley vital and key steps in becoming more and more like Christ, which is ultimately what one would hope all Christians are striving for, even when we know we will never be like Him, not really. It is an attitude that brings forward countless of new converts, but the question we need to be asking ourselves at that point is: what are they really converting to seeing as the concept of God’s judgement and our need for repentance and humility are so paramount, clear and prevalent throughout the Scriptures?

Though we don’t know when the end will come, we know without a doubt that it WILL come and we have a pretty good description of what will happen when it does, both in the Old and the New testament. Listen for example to this fragment in the book of Isaiah (Isaiah 24, 4-13) and ponder afterwards whether you see any similarities with what is going on in the world today:

The earth dries up and withers,
the world languishes and withers,
the heavens languish with the earth.
5 The earth is defiled by its people;
they have disobeyed the laws,
violated the statutes
and broken the everlasting covenant.
6 Therefore a curse consumes the earth;
its people must bear their guilt.
Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up,
and very few are left.
7 The new wine dries up and the vine withers;
all the merrymakers groan.
8 The joyful timbrels are stilled,
the noise of the revelers has stopped,
the joyful harp is silent.
9 No longer do they drink wine with a song;
the beer is bitter to its drinkers.
10 The ruined city lies desolate;
the entrance to every house is barred.
11 In the streets they cry out for wine;
all joy turns to gloom,
all joyful sounds are banished from the earth.
12 The city is left in ruins,
its gate is battered to pieces.
13 So will it be on the earth
and among the nations,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest.

A view from the International Space Station shows bushfire smoke clouds over southern Australia.

As I was reading these words this morning, the images of the fires currently devastating large areas of Australia and also recently in various States on North America immediately came into my mind. Fires of uncontrollable scale are raging, more and more landscapes are becoming desolate. “Earth’s inhabitants are burned up…” we read in Isaiah. It all seems far too immediate and current already! We are getting to the end of October by which time the weather in the UK has already turned nasty weeks prior, and yet this year we are enjoying spring-like weather at the moment. Temperatures are so much milder (17 degrees forecast for tomorrow) and you do get the sense as you are out and about that indeed the whole earth seems to be warming up at an alarming rate.

Lines of scorched earth and huge smoke plumes from wild fires in Australia were visible from the International Space Station on January 8, 2013. Credit: NASA/Chris Hadfield

Only today as I went out for a walk with my dog, I had to contend with fighting off wasps which themselves appeared disorientated and bewildered as the autumnal landscape which they are not familiar with surrounded them. Little did they know, it was them who did not belong in such a landscape at such a time and not the other way around. I think there is a hidden message in that somewhere, but it is not coming to me right now. I will ponder on that a bit later perhaps!

I am not deliberately trying to be a scaremonger, far from it, but one cannot deny that there is a general sense of inevitability and bewilderment amongst earth’s inhabitants today. We realise we have neglected our duty and responsibility of looking after our planet and everything that is in it: our marriages, our lifestyles, our children, our relationships, our morals or lack of, and yet we continue doing “business as usual” instead of actually trying to either repent and change our ways, instead of humbling ourselves and finally recognising that neither we are God nor will we ever be, instead of putting aside our differences and concentrating on what we have in common: our humanity and those things which are vital to our existence: our planet and everything that lives in it.

Christians, the people of God, above anyone else should lead by example by coming alongside each other in unity to encourage and bless each other as we seek to do God’s will, and yet, disunity, pride and a desperate need to stamp our own identity and validity above anyone else within the Christian world is only too apparent when one ponders on the dozens of different Christian denominations and church identities we see all around us. We brag about how good we have it in our own church, how our church’s vision is the one that clearly capture’s God’s heart for His people, belittling in this manner what any other Christian individual or group may be doing be it in their community, for each other or in the world, instead of joining forces as the Body of Christ should to compliment and enhance what each other is doing. The problem with that is the results would no longer point to how amazing WE are, but to the kind of God we claim we serve.

I also see Isaiah’s prophetic words coming to pass not only in the natural world but much more so in the spiritual realm, amongst all Christians, as a scattering of God’s people of biblical proportions is taking place in the world today. Whilst in times past during so called “revivals” Christians were known for their gatherings together and their fight for a common cause and purpose, there is today a great sense of so many individuals being scattered outside of the “Structural” and “Institutional” fold, individuals who are searching for the one and true God whose temple is not made with human hands. These people who are being scattered are also experiencing a tremendous and unrelenting time of draught but the difference is that their draught results from God’s mercy and not his judgement, as He seeks to remove from us anything or anyone who is not from HIM or who deviates us from our true purpose in Christ, anything or anyone who is stopping us from following HIM and from doing HIS will.

I think I should finish with another portion of Scripture which pretty much sums up what I am trying to say here:

Isaiah 26, 7-11

7The path of the righteous is level;
you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.
8 Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws,[a]
we wait for you;
your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts.
9 My soul yearns for you in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for you.
When your judgments come upon the earth,
the people of the world learn righteousness.
10 But when grace is shown to the wicked,
they do not learn righteousness;
even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil
and do not regard the majesty of the Lord.
11 Lord, your hand is lifted high,
but they do not see it.
Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame;
let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them.

A rare but powerful and bright light in the ever pressing, ever suffocating darkness

THE STENCH OF HALF MEASURES AND COMPROMISE

My last post spoke about the tendency within Christian circles to put teachers, preachers, evangelists, writers, etc on a pedestal and the danger this poses of detracting from the glory and praise that should only be for God by promoting, publishing, ranting on and raving about their messages, writings and sermons.

Judging by the content of some of the comments, I clearly may have been a bit harsh in my zeal to call things what they are and not what they appear to be, and as always I apologise if I have caused any offence to those who read and who avidly, persistently and faithfully support a specific Christian individual/individuals and in doing so inevitably gravitate towards elevating that person’s status above that of other Christian folk and particularly and more worryingly above God himself.

When I wrote that blog post I had absolute peace in my conscience and a wonderful stillness in my heart, but as I tried to explain the content of the post through the comments, a sense of guilt began to creep in. I am very conscious that sometimes in my zeal, I can be overly passionate about the point I am trying to put across and in doing so, I appear to lack in compassion or grace towards the sinner and/or the people I am referring to or the wrong attitudes and choices I bring to the fore, and so a few days after having written that post, I felt an unease about potentially having offended anybody or having misjudged this whole issue.

As I always do when my soul is in turmoil, I sought God, I grabbed my bible that morning and continued reading the gospel of Luke where I had left off quite a few days prior.

I will not add or take away from the word of God to defend my position on this issue of The Church’s idolatry by making men and their works the object of its adoration and praise. I will just let the word of God speak for itself, and share that when God wants to communicate encouragement, discipline, reassurance or a warning, He can be and IS incredibly specific. See for yourselves and amend your ways accordingly. I hope that by not promoting and glorifying another Christian’s work on my site any more, I am beginning to correct mine.

Luke 18, 18-19

A certain ruler asked him (Jesus), “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”, “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good – except God alone.”

Deuteronomy 5:6-7 (32 kb)

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)