Sunday, August 13, 2006

Spiritual Pedophiles

I Cor.3:1-3 - And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat, for hitherto you were not able to bear it, neither yet now are you able. For you are yet carnal.

The vast majority of evangelical church goers must be classified as babes in Christ. With little if any meat being taught in the average activity laden local assembly, topped off by a Sunday morning thespian extravaganza complete with entertaining special effects, the average Christian has no real opportunity to grow. Now only God knows who has been born again and belong to Him, but suffice to say most of those who are saved are babies in Christ. Like a giant Spiritual daycare center the "leadership" plans many activities to keep the attention of these little ones because, as in the natural, their attention span is very short and they demand constant attention and entertainment. Like jingling keys in front of infants these baby believers are carnal and need a constant diet of special singers, special speakers, special days, special videos, special programs, special themes, special offerings, and all sorts of attention grabbers. So as the high priced chaperones sit in the ecclesiastical park and watch the babies play on the various swings, jungle gyms, and see saws as provided by these hirelings and paid for by the babies' own money, along comes some familiar strangers to the "park".

Now these strangers are very friendly and sociable and they readily make friends with the overseers. With promises to the daycare heads of unlimited growth and with that increased income, the trained workers have made a treacherous alliance with these strangers. These strangers embrace an attractive policy that has been around since Eden's sanctuary and they express an outward love and affection for these babies. They don't have to secretly climb an unguarded section of the playground fence, no, they walk right through the main gate held open by the ones that have been entrusted to care for the Spiritual well being of these little ones. Oh these strangers are particularly subtle and creative, they can't be recognized as Mormons, Jehovah's Witness, or other well known strangers that would have never been allowed into the playground. No, they wear a bright badge of "evangelical" and without any screening they pass right through as invited guests.

Now once inside these "guests" unfurl a vast array of bright trinkets that quickly draw enormous crowds of unsuspecting babies. With spiritual candy they entice the carnal youngsters, and soon they have made friends and followers that throw away their milk in favor of this new and effervescent, spiritual elixir that seems to satisfy what their flesh has been craving. Oh how wonderful are these new "evangelicals"! But as everyone seems to be having a great time they keep hearing cries from outside their playground.

"after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock"

"even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies"

"And they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables"

"Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness"

"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ"

"and through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you"

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith..."

But as they heard these warnings the strangers assured them that these words came from men of old and outdated minds so pay no attention. They just want to spoil our party the men told them and of course they believed them. As they gained a deeper trust from these babies these men began to be embolden in their approach. The babies had been taught that Jesus had built this playground alone, but these new "evangelicals" informed them that Jesus is known by many names. Allah, Moses, Buddha, Mary, and really any other name can be used as a synonym for Jesus, it's all the same person. They changed the curriculum, redefined terms, made the Bible an elective, and rearranged the entire approach to everything. And most disturbing of all these new teachers removed what little Biblical clothing these babies had, and then behind closed doors of deception they spiritually raped these carnal youngsters with such skill and adeptness that it was pleasurable. Yes, these monsters were spiritual pedophiles whose mission was Spiritual rape all along and that even now have impregnated new generations with deeper and more profound deceptions that promise to draw larger and more captivating crowds.

One day we will stand before the Great White Throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. On that day we will witness throngs that once played in these new evangelical playgrounds who responded to all the various messages that had departed from the only message that saves as taught clearly in the Word of God. Millions upon millions of unsuspecting earth dwellers that had been assured of their eternal destiny, are now discovering they were spiritually molested and raped by the father of lies and his emissaries. They are lost forever in the second death. Please don't let the shocking metaphor obscure the central truth I am humbly but forcefully trying to present. All the new purpose, seeker, and emergent movements and all their tributaries, no matter how genuine their authors are, are part of the end time destruction of the Truth. Spiritual pedophiles that prey on baby Christians whose Spiritual overseers themselves have been deceived into being joyfully complicit and reimbursed with fame, success, numbers, accolades, and most of all money.

A colossal tragedy of immeasurable proportions.

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived, But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.


luvvom said...

These people don't yet understand who they really were before Christ saved them, otherwise, they would fall before Him with a heart over flowing with unspeakable gratefulness for His mercy, grace, and salvation! I just came from church and it was indeed the best sermon my ears have ever heard in my life. Was it a new message? No! It was one that I have drilled in my head year after year after year. What was different about this message you ask. God Himself opened my ears and gave me a heart of understanding. My point is we can be sitting under the best and most accurate teachings in the world (we should be for that is God's command), but until God in His own timing opens our ears and gives us His gift of REALLY understanding His word it is just a heavy burden that we carry in our hearts. Truly, only His Word can set us of free, but only He can reveal His word to even His own children. I can't imagine what we are going to learn once we are in His presence. Until then, Rick, keep proclaiming God's truth, because there is someone out there who has heard your message all their lives but today might be the day that God opens their eyes and gives them understanding for His Word to continue the change for His glory. Praise and glory be to our God of mercy and grace and all things that are good, holy, and righteous, Amen!

Mike Ratliff said...

Well done Rick. This very topic has been heavy on my heart all week. I was contemplating writing a post on "no church is better than a compromised church" kinda message. Your's fits the bill very well. The key to this happening, of course, is the complete lack of spiritual discernment because most believers are spiritual babies. They don't grow because they aren't discipled. Their leaders are hirelings who care not for the flock. They care only for themselves. They have been deceived.

As you know, I am churchless right now. It bothers me some, but not as much as I thought it would. To be free from the circus and political nonsense and power grabs in a typical one paster SBC church has been a wonderful blessing. I walk even closer with my Lord than I did before. I worship Him. I pray. I do miss the fellowship. However, I have been contacted by a couple of my former students from the class I taught. They have "suggested" that there is much discontent in that body since we left. They have said that they simply felt that they needed to "get out", but weren't sure why they "felt" that way. My post, "Tough Nut to Crack" was read by some of them. They then emailed me with questions. When I explained in more detail some of the things that happened, they said stuff like, "Now I see!"

Anyway, this is a timely post and you did a very fine job of ananlogizing this issue.

In Christ

Mike Ratliff

Charlei said...

And yet the "special days" and entertainment continues on and it's about looks, about appealing to people instead of appealing to God. How wrong, and how sad.

We need to follow in the truth. There are times and places for some play, but God did not design the church to be a daycare or a recreation center intent on making us "happy." It is there to build people up spiritual and raise up generations to serve Him and show the world His greatness.


Renee said...

There is nothing more to say (you have said it so well). I am left speechless. I am printing this one out for my pastor to read.

Thank you my brother.

carla said...

I've never thought of it quite that way.

Matthew said...

you were not able to bear it, neither yet now are you able.

It seems to me this passage is specifically pointing out that it's important to feed on food that is appropriate to your maturity. I certainly agree that many pastors today are preaching for spiritual babies. But if the majority of the church are spiritual babies, it strikes me as being a particularly good idea to feed them appropriate food.

You're also completely ignoring the tendency many of these churches have towards providing more intimate settings for delving deeper into the Word of God outside of Sunday morning. This is something that is always encouraged where it is optional. Whatever they are called, Bible studies, small groups or home churches, they are a fantastic place for a group of people to have intense and meaningful discussions over the Word of God.

Certainly some of these groups are more tea parties than anything else. But let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. Bible studies are a well-established supplement to Sunday mornings. And every Bible study must to be different to meet the needs of it's participants. Not everyone is at the same level of spiritual maturity.

Renee said...
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Renee said...
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Renee said...

I would respectfully disagree...if these intimate groups were teaching anything close to biblical, the church would not be the exact carbon copy of the world here in America, now would it? And America, professing to be over 80% Christian? Hmmm... One has to ask...what are they learning (or better yet what are they NOT learning)?

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Matthew - Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I am sure that there are fellowships that strive to teach the truths of God's Word, but they are in the minority. Just having a small group discussion is far from a guarantee of Biblical depth, and many times it adds to the confusion. Check out some of the Sunday School curriculum and it is my personal experience that it is purposefully culturally oriented. Many churches now consider Sunday School a place for people to establish relationships and teaching as secondary. Some of the "pitches" for new teachers sound like "all you have to be able to do is read, we provide the material as well as the questions". And some of the discussion questions are somewhat like "If you were hungry would it be alright to steal a meal?". Situational ethics, something Dr. Phil could teach. And let's face it, if they have a prayer time it is a shallow "pray for my neighbor's surgery" type. And we Americans can't endure more than 45 minutes of anything, so the average church goer did not get up early to get on his face before the Lord that resurrected that morning for him, no mostly they arrive just barely on time at the building having spent more time combing their hair(the outward man) than in deep and personal worship(the inward man). And to top it off the preacher takes 40 minutes to talk about many aspects of our earthly life so that many times it sounds like a motivational seminar. Next small group ask some of these questions: How did people get saved in the old Testament? What are the feasts and what do they represent? Why do you believe in the Trinity and is it essential for salvation? You will find as have I that most people do not know where to begin with those kinds of questions because THEY HAVE NEVER BEEN TAUGHT. Many of the church goers have been saved for years and have a complete copy of God's Word which is not what the first century Corinthians had, so why is the average American Christian yet carnal? Because the preachers keep them that way by continuing to feed them "appropriate food" as you put it. We will see where the church is headed, and in view of where it has come - we're in big trouble!

Lindon said...

Rick, Amen. My former mega has this view that Sunday morning teaching is for new people. It is very 'light'. Their goal is to feed people into small groups. But that is light, too. And only about 3,000 of the 20,000 members go to small groups.

Do you know my shame that I bought into this philosophy?

Mike, I can understand your view that no church is better than a compromised church. I am having this same discussion with my cousin right now. She moved and is looking for a church.

Now, we are wondering if it is not better for us to be in these Bible studies and lovingly questioning things using scripture. At least until they throw us out. :)

terrilynn said...

Although I am concerned about apostasy, and what is happening in the American churches and I do so respect your passion and love for our Lord, as one who has personally suffered spiritual rape, I have to question this metaphor.

"One day we will stand before the Great White Throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. On that day we will witness throngs that once played in these new evangelical playgrounds who responded to all the various messages that had departed from the only message that saves as taught clearly in the Word of God. Millions upon millions of unsuspecting earth dwellers that had been assured of their eternal destiny, are now discovering they were spiritually molested and raped by the father of lies and his emissaries. They are lost forever in the second death."

Especially the terms; "unsuspecting", "molested" and "raped". If we as mere sinful humans can and do have mercy on such victims of these crimes, would not God, whose mercy is infinitely deeper than anything we could ever even imagine have, mercy on such?

Your metaphor casts our Saviour in a very unseemly light, when it is truly the "father of lies" who should be cast in that light. We need to be careful about how we portray the Lord with our words.

I say with with much love and deep respect, in Christ.


Sherry said...

Matt 15:13,14 Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

As someone who is completely driven by the Holy Spirit I see right through alot of evangelicals. The blind leading the blind is driven by Satan himself to cause division and diversion. When someone is TRULY LED by the Holy Spirit, they will know exactly what those verses mean.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was a powerful reading.

A partial description what has happened to my daughter ... while I held the door open for the pedophile to come in.

Oh my, the sorrow I feel.

Forgive me Father ...