Recently, I attended a church and spoke with the Pastor as to the purpose of his church. This church intrigued me in that there was no church building to speak of but a single multi-purpose building that served all the church’s ministries. As our conversation continued, the Pastor said they were community focused to the extent that their service was held in a basketball auditorium which became available for use by the local community. Here, I thought was a fresh outlook on the mission of the church. Everything about this church was to reach out to the community and its congregation including providing grief and relationship support groups. The church service was packed and his sermon was pretty good focusing on a fruit of the Spirit. Reluctantly, I had concerns for what seemed good on the surface but where was the Righteousness. For without the core foundations, this church was really just a social service using the flag of Christianity. As I digested my conversation with the Pastor and observed the procedures of the service, somethings became apparent and contradicted some our fundamental Christian principles.
There were standard prayers read from a paper pre-prepared prior to the service; the pastor did not seem enthused about prosperity, specifically wealth for the body; he proclaimed coming to church is only about serving and the biggest concern that blared out, was that he prayed to Jesus concluding the prayer with, “in your name we pray”. Now, I appreciate the fact some churches are conservative when it comes to the “wealth message”, and part of being a Christian is to have a servant heart walking in unconditional love to others. But to pray to Jesus as a core pillar of your church? In addition, a casual review of the congregation revealed the majority did not carry a Bible or follow the scripture readings on their smartphone. In fact, the Pastor quoted equally if not more authors of the Faith compared directly from the Bible. At last count they had over four thousand registered participants; but for me, I rather have small numbers with Spiritual manifestations rather than large numbers with no Righteousness seen in the leadership and the congregation of the church. Needless to say, there are grave concerns about this church and its leadership. For surface indicators are not a true reflection of an active and Spiritual led church. Some say, “Who am I to judge”?
6) The Pastor has at his disposal the body of Christ for Faith, Hope, and Love. He chooses to segment the service into a list of task to perform before time runs out. Yet, the original church sought and expected the leading of the Holy Spirit to determine the service direction and time spent. When last has your Pastor invoked the Holy Spirit before and during their service.
7) The church body, for the most part, does not grow because Pastors treat and see them as invalids needing and requiring empathy and compassion thinking they are a shepherd and the church their flock. Yet, Jesus’ and God’s use of this analogy is one of leading the sheep through the wilderness, facing trials and tribulations to reach green pastures. Every sheepherder will tell you unless you drive them, then many sheep will die before reaching the pastures for rest. Jesus' goal was to strengthen His flock to be resolved in fighting for the Kingdom, and not to pacify them into a lullaby.
So what is the body of Christ to do? Unify for the effective workings of the Spirit! The Bible provides great examples of the body under unification by the Spirit conquering and delivery the flesh from the bondage of darkness that opposes the will of God. A good example is when Joshua obeyed God in destroying the walls of Jericho. Joshua led this charge and the people, soldiers, and priests unified in body, mind and spirit - Jos. 6:20. This will is all that should matter to the body of Christ and should constantly be on the lips of those who by privilege and responsibility lead a church, the body of Christ. This body does not belong to any man regardless of their status within the church and through the ministries of apostle, prophet, teacher, pastor and evangelist. As Paul admonishes, so must we each other especially those in leadership, saying, “we are not of Apollo or Paul, but only of Christ” - 1 Cor. 3:4. We must seek to power the church by casting the vision; setting the standard; establishing the workings of the body and most of all manifest the gifts of the Holy Spirit. A church can’t be Christ’s church without a Righteous and holistic mandate. It is why in Revelations to the seven churches, Jesus makes it clear although there were doing good things, He still had to accuse them of not fulfilling their Righteous mandates.
The message of Salvation is simple and straight forward requiring no details but only Hope, Love, and Faith. That God loves His so much that He through Christ died for all so as to conquer the chains of death by His resurrection. The rest now becomes how we practically live, propagate and demonstrate the Christ that lives through us and reveals God. To be clear, without the practical manifestation of the Spirit; there is no purpose for it in the first place. As the saying goes, “so Heavenly minded, but no Earthy good” and “talk is cheap whereby actions speak volumes”. People are drawn to the message and person of Christ more by what they see and experience rather than by a good sermon. Now, there are those who say, “A good preacher can motivate many to accept Salvation”. There is truth in this, but no man or woman of the early church including Christ was painted as a gifted orator. In fact, the talent of the tongue is discouraged by the Word and as Jesus exclaims, “do not babble on like pagans,for they think that by their many words they will be heard” - Matt. 6:7. He is saying, God is not impressed by how well the message is delivered, especially superficially but more that it is delivered. Paul was not an orator who had followers because of charisma, stature, and disposition. He was anointed and walked the talk; these things which are available to all in the body of Christ. God uses mainly those who is least expected to champion His cause stating, “use the foolish things of the world to shame the wise” - 1 Cor. 1:27.
What is more crucial to the Faith is the inward man and the gifts of the Spirit that manifest for the cause of belief. If there was “no proof in the pudding”; then what would be the justification of sacrificing the flesh for the unseen. God did this specifically to show up the flaws of the flesh as well as demonstrate His nature and Kingdom. We are no longer living in the days of Paul when the gospel was considered a new philosophy to be debated, amended and assimilated into the different cultural societies of that age, and where it took practically all of his life and others to establish the basic foundations of the fall of man; their journey from darkness into the light and the freedom of truth as revealed by Jesus. We are in the age when all is attainable, the gospel is in plain sight and faces it biggest and final challenges. Which is completing with the world that has gotten louder, complicated and where darkness is unabashed to reveal its intent to destroy and crumble the standards of the gospel. When blinded men are compromising for peace and security by watering down the buttresses of the Throne of God. We are in a battle that many will not reach the end of the tunnel into the light of the day.
January 25, 2017.
Power the Church.
God states after Adam and Eve have disobeyed Him that, “they now know of good and evil as we do” - Gen. 3:22. There are no secrets in Heaven; a need to know or information based on status, class or quality. God is transparent, fermenting unity for His Kingdom plans. Some things are hidden for its strategic timing, but is revealed to all who buy into His Kingdom promises. The power of unity is not reserved for Heavenly places but even darkness can use this power for their purposes. When man became unified to build the tower of Babel, God says, “let us confound their language, lest nothing be withheld from them” - Gen. 11:7. God knows the power of unity and so does satan. God interferes whenever evil has rallied man for their disobedience to the will of God. We cannot be naive to believe we do not have opposition to God’s will for peace and prosperity for all those who have surrendered to His sovereignty and His Kingdom decrees. The church needs unity to fulfill the Lord’s Prayer, “your will be done on Earth as in Heaven” - Matt. 6:10.
Now the church is the body of Christ and is encompassed within the five-fold ministries including pastors, teachers, evangelist, apostles, and prophets. All these require unity of the body. Now, to be clear unity is not only compliance to the leadership of these and other ministries, all working towards a single end and that is the Kingdom order that is ordained for this Earth. The power of unity within and by the church body has a boarder definition and requirement and is based on the Word, prayer and everything else the body is called to be and do. All ministries consist of two main components. The leadership and the following or rather the purpose and the support, respectively. These two main components must find common ground with Biblical Revelation for their very existence. It is obvious for the five-fold ministries but not necessary for the several church ministries that occupy and use resources and has become nothing more than an extension of social services.
He, satan has successfully created division within the Faith with different denominations, beliefs, and creeds. We should not be surprised for he is the anti-faith proponent and seeks to sow doubt wherever he can. It is the body that has allowed him to do this and allowed theologies to create large rifts proclaiming their denomination are closer to God and His Word than the other. The leaders of the various denominationhave yet to focus on the core Kingdom principles and use these to unify the body for the effective workings of the body. To debate, these differences are futile for unless it is clearly outlined in our only foundation which is the Bible it is of little consequence for the true understanding of God and His Kingdom. The church has been given the power and fails to utilize it.
The church is not a building but rather a seed bed for God to move with Revelations through His Holy Spirit. There is leadership hopefully anointed and there is the body, the force, and power, trained up for warfare. The church is not a “safe space” for the Faithful to recharge and get their weekly injection of inspiration and empathy. Jesus states in His ministry with these Words saying, “think not I come for peace but I come with a sword” - Matt. 10:34. Later before He gives the final commission, He states, “trouble you will have in this world but have no fear I have overcome the world” - Jn. 16:33. Lastly, and certainly not least, Jesus makes it clear He has to go to the Father for the next phase of Salvation and that is, “we will do as much and even greater things than He did” - Jn. 14:12. All these indicate a battle and more work to be done. This work is not limited to only a few, but to all of the Faith in whatever capacity we mature into and the Holy Spirit guides us into. This is why Paul exclaims, “we fight not against flesh but wicked spirits in heavenly places” - Eph. 6:12; and "to run the race set before us" - Heb. 12:1. Paul’s entire set of books is all about accepting the great commission; preparing for the gospel; battling and defeating anything that is anti- Christ. Next to Jesus; Paul is used by God to be a strong example of the Christian Faith; and is why he took so much time to correct, admonish and instruct wrongful thinking and actions for the rest of the body.
The church’s power in many cases has been curtailed or all together tourniquet into a mere trickle of the Blood’s and Spirit’s power. In many cases, they have become more institutionalized rather than being dynamic and free flowing. What this means is that man has ordered God rather than being led by the Holy Spirit, which was sent specifically for the body and ultimately the church for the workings of Salvation. Yes, there are churches that allow the leading of the Holy Spirit but as part of the body, one can only evaluate growth not by mere numbers but more so by the Spirit of that body. Does the church and body of Christ spend more time on social activities; a carnal endeavor or do we experience the Revelation of the Blood and God through miracles and the manifestations of the Holy Ghost on and through individuals as well as the church as a whole. Christ tickled with the Word but drew men and women onto Him by fire.
8) Most Pastors will tell you the church you attend is because you have been planted there and you should stay there from cradle to grave. Yet, the Bible makes more reference to abiding in good ground, surrounding oneself with a Righteous company and seeking the Kingdom. It is the body's responsibility to go to a church that feeds them. Pastors are responsible for training up their congregation into Righteousness and not just to accommodate them.
9) Stop the guilt. Many churches preach from a guilty perspective, constantly reminding their congregation that all have fallen short and we are just sinners waiting for Salvation’s full promise. Yet, Jesus, Paul, and others proclaim to be empowered having every right of the Kingdom and to mature into the gifts and the fruits of the Spirit. Encouragement is used and declaring the old man is dead and long will live the spirit man, with a renewed and Righteous Spirit.
10) The general tendency of a Pastor is to control and micromanage, after all, they are responsible for the church. This has some truth in it for without order there will anarchy. Yet, Jesus, the final authority on the church only sought to equip and draw out of His ordinary apostles what was hidden and dormant in them due to tradition, laws, and sin. He proclaimed to set the captives free from all these chains man became burden with. The church congregation has many talents waiting to be used for the Kingdom but sadly due to the insecurity of many Pastors, never is given the opportunity to be used and developed for the Kingdom. To think that a Pastor is the only one anointed would be a grave short coming of the body and church.
Whether you accept it or not, as a part of the body of Christ, you are involved in God’s will. The extent you participate in His will is both a personal choice and a command. For until the body comes to the full knowledge and understanding of their role, then the level of effect is measured. How much unity is within the body determines the level of success for the propagation of the Faith and Salvation. God utilizes this unity or causes it to be ineffective. In Lucifer’s excommunication and subsequent exile from Heaven and God, it was not so much his desire to attain his own throne and kingdom; for we as the body have been promised our own Godly Kingdom, being made the Righteousness of God and to be transformed into the perfect image of Christ. It was the act of disobedience and the disunity that resulted in God’s wrath to maintain order and to protect His Throne from anarchy. A Kingdom will and cannot stand when there is disharmony and disunity and is why Jesus makes the statement, “Ifa kingdomis dividedagainstitself,itcannotstand” - Mk. 3:24.. God makes two early statements in the life of man that points to this.
It takes leadership not accommodation to lead a church and if God’s mandate is Salvation outside of the church, then any lack of growth has to do with the man in the mirror. Pastors only need to take their inspiration and example from Jesus and Paul who both were actively propagating the gospel, building the Faith and demonstrating miracles. If a church does not at least have these three prime characteristics and all that has resulted from their leadership is a comfortable, happy and socially acceptable citizenship, then what difference are they to what every other social service and community outreach strive for. Each member of the church ought to be active participants bring with them their individual growth from rightly dividing the Word but ultimately how these resources are used is the responsibility and initiative of the Pastor. For who doesn’t want Jesus in their presence every Sunday morning.
Flush it Out! - I can’t hear you because your actions speak louder than your words.
In this age where it is expected that many will fall away from the Faith because of unrighteous pastors, it is prudent to judge where you attend church. For a Pastor will be held extremely accountable for his flock not being clear on their Christian walk and worst losing their Salvation - Jm. 3:1. It is not enough to confess Jesus is Lord and Savior. This is clearly stated by Jesus saying, “I do not know you, depart from me” - Matt. 7:23; even though so-called miracles were performed and it was done in His name. Jesus is admonishing us to be holistic, whole and complete in the Christian Faith and is why we as individuals are to “rightly divide the Word” - 2 Tim. 2:15; not depending on the Pastor to be our go to guy for our Christian Faith. As God is, so is His Kingdom having no division or divisiveness in it. So must the churches of the Faith.
No Pastor doesn't really want an unfruitful church but unfortunately, has settled for it with only the fruits of the Spirit. Nothing is wrong with this but it is not all the body is called for. Every member is a potential Spiritual warrior not being tapped into. Consider what tradition and the norm of many churches do compare to the Biblical church.
As mentioned; the church consists of leadership, the body, and the Spirit. The ministry of Jesus was this exact composition, where He was the leadership; His followers the body and the miracles by the Spirit. Paul’s ministry was the same. Paul is known for his leadership, developing the church body and promoting the manifestation of the Spirit through the body of Christ. Many of today’s church have yet to fully model this from the two most Biblical and Kingdom icons. It can be an uphill road with many whining along the way.
1) Sermons are limited based on time and concerns by Pastors to teach at the basic level. Yet, Jesus nor Paul never waterdown the Word or what is required to have the Faith walk.
2) Many churches only use music to set the tone for their service, often limiting the number of songs. Yet, God says, the sacrifices of Worship, Praise, and Thanksgiving brings Him into our presence and moves Him to meet our needs and wants.
3) Many churches use the service for a sermon on Biblical teachings only. Yet, the Bible says it is every Christian responsibility to rightly divide the Word, seek His Kingdom and pray for wisdom and Revelation. Something that is hardly promoted or has been reduced to booklets produced by the church.
4) For we wrestle against spiritual wickedness in high places. Yet, the Pastor does not or underutilizes the church body to engage in spiritual warfare during a Sunday service which provides him with the greatest number of participants that with unity can affect the Spiritual realm.
5) The Sunday service has the largest body available for the effective workings of the Holy Spirit to pray for God’s Kingdom to come and manifest in miracles and manifestations. Yet, Pastors do not take advantage of this body to orchestrate for the gifts of the Spirit to bear witness to the body for maximum impact.
The church has yet to attain the rich pastures that God’s Kingdom when fully revealed will provide. Jesus came to empower the church for the battle that must ensue before His reign is to be established here on Earth. Just as a General would do, Jesus gave the vision and purpose for us; providing all that is required to engage the enemy. Too many churches are still waiting for His leadership when He has already given them the mission and marching orders for their purpose. Now, there are churches engaged in the battle and you know them “by their fruit” - Matt. 7:16. But they carry more load because others have yet to understand their mission muchless join the battle. Many Pastors whine that it is not an easy task to motivate and actively engage the church. Yet, these same Pastors tell you they have been anointed by God to shepherd a church. It is why God says, we will be accountable for every word misspoken - Matt. 12:36. For if Jesus was anointed and accomplish so much in so little time, what is a Pastor’s excuse, especially when they have little to no opposition to their mission.
ChristnMe @ 2013