Sunday, September 28, 2008

Untouchables, Elliot Ness Was One Of Them, But Are Ministers Suppose To Be?

Is Criticism Always Wrong? Are The Messages From 'God's Anointed' Beyond Critique?
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What do you think and say to that? I say the answer to those questions is: No! The Bible teaches all of us to be humble fruit inspectors and carefully weigh the messages we hear—in and outside the church house—against the Word of God. It commands: "Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil" (1 Thess. 5:21). We are all to be warned, because a hypocritical teacher who mixes in error has God on his tongue and the world ..along with your wallet on his heart.

My wife, Liney, and I happened to be watching a movie last night, about a local church just filled with rank hypocrites. It would have been funny too if it wasn't so sad! We've actually seen a few churches that were like that one. Keep in mind that we've also seen many healthy growing ones led by spiritual Christians who consistently live the life.

But man, I just hate hypocrisy don't you? I know God certainly does! There are way too many posers and frauds in many areas of our society today, but they certainly shouldn't be in church …remaining that way. Actually, Christ-centered churches are great places for fake people to run to… and to be permanently changed in the Word is uncompromisingly preached and taught. But some religious folk (many alleged Christians) stubbornly refuse to let go of their ongoing hypocritical lifestyles and this always exacerbates things down here and confuses watching cynical unbelievers …just exactly how the devil (not merely a skinny powerless rock star looking dweeb in stretchy red microfiber spandex with a rubber tail)... likes it to happen.

Bosch said, "Hypocrisy is a common sin that grieves the Lord above; He longs for those who'll worship Him in faith and truth and genuine love." If you think about it, every time a Christian sins, they are acting the hypocrite and that type of ugly creepiness could potentially become a long-term deadly lifestyle for any one of us …if it's left un-confessed and un-forsaken. Do you have a problem with this? Bail on that wierdness today! It seriously bugs the Holy Spirit! It's way disgusting! Those who would effectively fish for men and women must learn to hate hypocrisy and all mere lip service that sounds so pious ..I mean really.. choose to hate it to the same degree that God hates it! It's totally up to you if you will be an authentic doer of the Word!

Of course there are countless non-Christians out there who also act the hypocrite when they go against their own ethical standards ..that they've set for themselves in their minds, and for some—who still have a not-yet-seared-conscience—it's hard for them to live with themselves.

I personally don't feel I can ever hear enough messages that strongly slam hypocrisy, pride, spiritual compromise, and duplicity—especially when someone is speaking of such sins in the context of the Church or in preacher's lives. Character matters. It's I want Christ's love to have it's way in and through me. It's because I don't trust in my fleshly nature inside, that unendingly wars against the Spirit. It's true, Christians have a sort of civil war going on inside of them that the Lord will lead them to victory in .. if they really want to depend upon Him and win.

Whenever I've been tempted to do anything wrong (which would make me a hypocrite if I were to give in), my fleshly nature has always been right there telling me to: Go for it! Gotta die to—rather than feed—that nature.. to what I often feel like thinking, doing or saying.. that is clearly wrong! There's too much at stake for people around me.

I have walked in Your truth. I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, nor will I go in with hypocrites. I have hated the assembly of evildoers, and will not sit with the wicked. —Psalm 26:3-5

Those false teachers who are so anxious to win your favor are not doing it for your good. —Galatians 4:17

Maybe you've seen a cheap loaner movie about Christian hypocrites and false teachers before? Of course the failing people of the world, the preacher-haters, and the bitter people who have been hurt or let down by Christian leaders ..often love to mock and point a finger of accusation at the failings of the righteous and of the Church in general… even though many have no message to help anyone ..anywhere ..very long.

And of course all that doesn't lessen or excuse such hypocrisy in the least ..or the severity of this wide spread problem of people who claim to have the only holy Solution inside along with the viable answers in how to live life (from the Bible). Sometimes we so called saints, need to listen up and be teachable even if it's an unclean bird delivering us the goods. More importantly, we need to take heed to what God has said...

There were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. —2 Peter 2:1

Liney and I don't see many of these low budget movies, but the preaching pastor in that B-flick was like a lot of American pastors of this decade who never crack the Bible open for a second, or believe it for a minute, or actually depend upon it's Author's empowering grace to live it ..for one moment.

There was only one kid in the entire movie who was a real Christian (you know it's never going to be a parent who "gets it" in movies these days). But that preacher never quoted one verse or out of context and wouldn't have known the difference if he did. His words and life missed it—didn't square with the Scriptures, even though he was kind of idolized by his flock that would indeed rock in a contempory way. He had somehow customized his own flashy style of moralizing sermonettes for the Christianettes, yet he was one thing on the pulpit and another thing off the church campus.

That sicko-church was so messed up, all the way down from the pastor to the pew ..and to the kids in their "small" church school. Yup, those kids were attending simply because they wanted to avoid their own parents and a home-schooling experience away from their rebellious friends. Have you been a part of something like that and now wonder where you stand spiritually? Do you need a healthy Christ exalting church with a humble ..but bold pastor who is the real deal?

Once in a while, it's kind of interesting to see how secular movie makers in the world tend to view the Church of this decade, huh. Of course there are lots of mockers out there, but sometimes secular thinkers are intellectually not far off ..and spot-on. If only Christians and churches would police themselves biblically, they wouldn't ever need the lost to blow the whistle on ..or address their behavior and attitudes. I personally am still so glad to be in Christ (who is more than wonderful—never fake or false!) and I feel radically privileged to be a part of the only Organization (Organism) ..imperfect as it is.. that Christ left behind when He ascended and even promised to build.

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