Today my heart is heavy because of the foolishness that is out there in the church world.
SO much mega, and celebrity status and "who knows who. OR "this ( I won't mention what this is....fill in the blanks yourself it's easy) thing we are doing will take us to a 'national level'" FOR WHAT I SAY??? Are we just doing things in our churches, ministries and such to get our names in Charisma magazine or other Christian "mags" that are out there. What is our motive in what we do? Are we so infatuated by this celebrity world that we have to be up there in the "lights?"
People we need to get a grip. This is not to be our purpose I don't care WHO you are. We are not to be self seeking....not for ourselves and not for our CHURCHES or "ministries." All these things bring about pride and it takes a very special person to stay humble once their name is brought to the forefront of the world wither the Christian world or the WORLD.
Well unless it's all about bringing in the bucks and sometimes it is isn't it? It takes a lot of money to pay for our monstrous buildings, and monstrous homes, (I say that plural too for those of you out there in that boat) oh yeah and monstrous boats, and monstrous cars, (right plural again because you can't have just a few right?) and our many monstrous vacations and "ministry trips"....that I love ....."ministry trips".........and don't forget..never mind.
I suppose that one would have to do something to generate income to pay for these things and more.... Hummmm.......
The church world makes me sad and mad at times. Not all the time though. But today yes. Can you tell?
Last night I wanted to be sick ( read on as to why) and I was somewhat.
After coming back from two days of being out of town, during which time my husband I totally pondered back and forth "who are we and what are we doing in this life?" Much of that came about after being asked five million times by friends and well meaning souls....."What are you all doing now?"
My response was...jokingly..but truthfully, "Oh, we are on the FIVE year 'Sabbatical'" that stopped that talk right there.
It wasn't all bad and actually it's good for us all to question ourselves and check our purpose in life and ministry and family or whatever. We ourselves have decided, that we will continue to do what we are doing for now. We will continue to "do whatever our hands find to do" as far as ministry goes, but we aren't moving off to Alaska right now or to New Zealand and starting a church. We want to get our last two children raised and they need some security. Even if Don and I don't. They do, it's their personality types and we can't uproot them at this point in life. They have 2 more years left in High School and this is important to them.
More on that in another blog.
Upon hitting the city limits of Baton Rouge we get "sideswiped" by a report regarding "Christendom" in all it's vain glory.
QUOTE: "spiritual leaders" that have "mega'ed and "SEEKERED" their way into the church worlds hearts and made themselves millionaires off the backs of well searching souls and hurting people all along the way including themselves, now...hurting more people with new torrid reports of improprieties in their lives and ministry. Not that I don't have "Grace and Mercy" for even the worst of things and people, but really.....it's getting old some of this stuff.
Frankly.......I'm very sick of it and we do not want to be a part of it.
Don't even put my name alongside any of it. Some of us have had enough of the "celebritism" of the church and that is the issue that keeps these tabloids in business. Why do we keep repeating the same issues?
This should be simpler right, I mean you would think, I mean after witnessing all the things we have regarding corruption and fallen leadership in the church that we would be through with all the "man or woman following"...and please do not take me wrong....I am not even trying to judge people.....yet we CAN...and we should, if you don't believe me...you might want to READ THE RULE BOOK!
Yet I realize this isn't going to get any better because we are like Israel in many ways and they always wanted a "King"....and sadly....we are the "Laodician Church"....this is the age or "church dispensation" (time) we are living in and the "church" is sick, well the church "thinks" they are fine remember this......
Rev 3:14 ¶ And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
It's to the point that the world can't get a clear vision of "who" a decent Christian leader is. Or even a "Christian" in many cases anymore. I am not at all saying I am perfect in fact, I am not, even I get a little road "anger" living here in Baton Rouge and have other issues that I am working out with fear and trembling.
Come on, if we are honest, we all KNOW what our imperfections are and hopefully are working on getting them ironed out.
I am SO not telling you to follow me. I wouldn't do that. I am in this race as well and I fall on the course too....but I don't set myself us as the "Example" or the "LIFE COACH" or the "LEAD" whatever either. IF you do that or know someone who does then you have every right to check their lives out and you should.
Enough with the corky names that we try to "seeker sensitise" for the church nowdays because we don't want to appear "religious"......because DUH....it still is. It's JUST as religious.
But it's 2007 religious. So we don't notice it as much. Sounds new and trendy and all but it's the same ritualism that has been there forever folks, get a clue. I know we have to distinguish people according to what they do etc. But we don't have to be nutburgers. Please just keep it simple and fitting. No need to get crazy or haughty and prideful about it.
If your a Pastor...then call yourself one but more importantly act like one for pete's sake. SOME OF US are sick of the setting up of people on pedestals or more importantly, in many cases..."leaders" putting themselves up on these stands yet acting like they are humbled all along the way while they did it. They created this whole drama, the whole entire gimmick to make themselves "celebrity personalities" they use their "communication skills" and they say they "aren't preachers, they are communicators".......whatever..... and then they are suddenly "appointed" to some height that is elevated. That is why stages are made people.
I understand that the person needs to be "seen" especially in a crowd, but in many cases it does something to some of these people's "heads and hearts."
Do I think that we have to totally abolish the "church images" to keep it pure or to keep it non religious? No. It's all in how it's MARKETED. Oh excuse me..I mean...handled.
When people have got to be so "visual" and so "seen" and so "promoted"....that is where the trouble comes in. Many Pastor's, Leaders, whoever......do not promote themselves. If you want names, I can and will give you some names of people I personally know and can attest for.....but more importantly, just think about the diligent Men and Women of God who oversee churches that struggle.
Say...."Innercity churches, rual churches, mission churches, or churches in Foreign churches." Especially those in "closed countries." They can't even promote themselves or their churches unless they WANT to be killed.
These churches may have leaky roofs or windows, some can't pay their utility bills. There are those that have 30 people or less in their congregations, and they can't even pay their Pastor's so those that minister there have to work a job to take care of their families AND Pastor their churches.
What about Pastor's in other countries that don't have the MEANS that most American churches have. Yet they do what they can with what they have. I have SEEN these kinds of churches both abroad and here in America. Maybe you have too.
ARE they any less in the eyes of the Father? I don't think so.
My husband and I went to one of "those" churches last week to help out. They had lost their Pastor. The Am service had 11 people....the night service even less. Yet there was a remnant few. The Pastor that had been there........had stayed for a long time and was faithful in what he was called to do. No celebrity status in that kind of hard work. Yes they needed some "updating" in some things, but when you haven't any people or money because you can't compete with the mega churches, then what can a tiny church do?
Who made you a "Bishop or a Prophet, or an Apostle."
That is really something isn't it? My husband and I were invited by a friend of ours to a "service" one night years ago where they were going to "appoint" this man as "something" of sort sort or another during their meeting. We went to just support the guy and his family. Not that we were in agreement with what was happening. It was important to him that we were, he really, really felt that they were going to make him an "Apostle" so in kindness, we went.
They had a Pastor from Los Angeles come in especially for this service and during it....he gave the title of "Evangelist' to our friend.
He was deeply disappointed. He thought he was an Apostle. He was absolutely sure they were gong to name him as an Apostle. But...HAD HE EVER STARTED A CHURCH THOUGH like an Apostle would or do a missionary endeavor or any kind of new ministry.
Odd that he didn't know that part. Besides the Pastor was the "Apostle" and there couldn't be TWO of them in that church...I guessing?? It was sad. The guy got totally messed up and quit his GOOD job and all kinds of other weird stuff. We've lost touch with him and his family but I hope they are okay.
Now if your church structure or your denomination uses such terms for leadership that is one thing, but all of a sudden this is like a "Cool Trend" to be named such things......but why? I don't get it.
IF I were one of those "CALLED offices" ( and I say "called" because MANY are not called by God they ....they just go on their own) mentioned in the bible....I sure wouldn't go around calling myself one and I SURE wouldn't make YOU call me one.
I've met some, some Apostles, and some Prophets, REAL ones, and funny thing is......they never call themselves those names. I hope those people who do use the names.......ummm.......are prepared to die like the Apostles did.
FYI....you might want to check out the "Foxes Book of Martyrs" and see how that goes.
Another fine example is this one: this past spring, a friend of mine was having a garage sale. I went to dump a few things of my own and to help her as well.
After lunchtime some customers drove up in this lovely big black Mercedes. Two women got out and one had on the loudest outfit and had the loudest colored hair I have ever seen. I thought she was going to an LSU game or something. Well I didn't really think that, because of the formality of her dress...but actually she could have if you get my hints. OF course they were the pickiest and cheapest customers, wanted everything half price, ect. ect. finally the "loudly dressed etc. one" one decided on some items and that was interesting in itself as well.
I won't say what they purchased but they wanted it all bagged up like Dillard's. After that, I offered to "carry" things to their car. I felt I could be a servant and do that and it would help them on their WAY if you know what I'm saying.
When I got to the car and placed the items in the back seat.....the loud one asked me "where I fellowshiped" and I told her and then she proceeded to tell me she was "Apostle, Prophetress so and so".....
WELL OF COURSE SHE WAS AND I SURE COULD TELL IT!!!
That's my point.We all have see this kind of gross abuse and it is gross people.
Stop the games okay it's time to really get serious, or be spewed.
I've never been spewed, but it's not sounding too fun. Well that is if you don't count riding on the "water log ride" at Six Flags in St. Louis as a kid. I mean you sort of get spewed over the top and into the water below creating a huge spray that soaks you. PROBABLY not the same.
Jonah was spewed right?
Personally, from what I have read of the account, I don't think he enjoyed it too much but look what great things he accomplished after the fact. Sad thing is......we won't get a second chance if we get to the spewing pot.
It's over for the church by then. We better get it correct NOW. I'm speaking to myself as well okay.
If your a Christian...then can we just be "sons and daughters" of the King and act like it?
We shouldn't have to title ourselves or wear Christian TEE SHIRTS or jewelry...or whatever. Not that you can't do those things. However, YOUR LIFE should SPEAK the loudest for "what you are, and what you live.
For who you are, for who you love and serve."
I don't need your calling card. I WANT to see it in you.
You don't have to be perfect. There was and will only ever be one perfect person on this planet. But PLEASE do stop mixing "the Good the Bad and the Ugly."
It sends a mixed message.
My advice to everyone is this.
Follow Jesus. He will NEVER fail you.
I promise you this.
Don't set your eyes on man, ever, ever.
This is a fool proof way to get through the days ahead and hang on my friends...... it's not going to be pretty.