Sunday, February 07, 2010

The God of the Church

There is a god who is worshiped and revered above all other gods and God. This god is sought with countless hours of sacrifice and energy, and for this god many will gladly give up their very lives. This god reigns supreme in the church of Jesus Christ, and although this god has another name he still rules in the affairs of the western church. This god has changed the gospel and compromised even the most committed saints. He laid the foundation for his authority slowly and with clandestine cunning, but eventually he ascended to his throne openly and with the applause of those who claimed to follow Christ. He now enjoys the attention of the church both personally and collectively.
When this god sends his blessings Christians are happy, and when his blessings fail the church is despondent. There is no sacrifice too great to please and appease this god. Many will sacrifice health and family to offer acceptable obedience before this god to elicit the blessings they seek and realize can be gained through this god. The God called Jesus is no longer in authority over the western church but the church has been careful to speak his name and present all sorts of contorted caricatures that have a whiff of Christ but are cleaver and self serving imposters; this god being the most prominent imposter of them all.
This god offers himself to everyone and is no respecter of persons. He has molded himself so as to claim that not only is he not against the Lord Jesus, but he is indeed the Lord Jesus. This god comes as light and is committed to everyone’s well being and earthly life. He has surreptitiously removed scores of Scriptures from the New Testament, and those he cannot hide he reinterprets to fit nicely into his “ministry”. Many former generations that followed Christ would believe it would be impossible for such teachings to be embraced by anyone and yet this god has accomplished the impossible. Western believers by the millions believe, receive, and practice his teachings while still claiming to follow Christ and believe His Word. To say it is a paradox is to treat it much more lightly than the situation would warrant. It is blind rebellion against the Lord God and His Christ and it is utter and profound apostasy.
This god is much more interested in practice than he is in theology. He ignores the core teachings listed on the church statement of faith and instead he makes his own disciples from the members of that very church. His technique has been an amazing success and millions now profess to believe and follow Jesus and yet openly follow this god. And tens of thousands of churches that claim to believe the Bible openly disobey some of the most overt and simple commandments and principles. And unlike many followers of Christ, this god doesn’t just receive worship on Sunday morning. His followers bow before him every single day.
Throughout the western landscape are monuments erected in honor and glory to this god. He is relentless in his pursuit of followers and his thirst for obedience is insatiable. He is generous to those who will seek him and follow his leadings. His motto is “more” and to this end there is no such thing as compromise. He operates within many different institutions and he is not impressed with small sacrifices; he demands complete and consistent loyalty to his cause. Through many decades he has bestowed his blessings upon the western believers and the church in general, and without the church realizing it his blessings have become chains.
This god has many names. Greed, avarice, hedonism, and the love of money are but a few. But the name he prefers is “Blessings”. There are many roads to Lord Blessing and all them are good and right, and if by chance you can connect the Lord Jesus to any of those roads all the better. But to do that you must ignore or at least change the clear teachings of Jesus and the New Testament as a whole. Here are some of the verses that must be eviscerated and repackaged to accommodate Lord Blessing.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

There was a day when followers of Jesus did not even count their lives as precious, to say nothing of their possessions. But the western church of today infuses the evil culture with billions of interest dollars because of the massive debt they incurred on their buildings. Have you ever heard of a church borrowing a million dollars to give to missions? But most churches think nothing of getting into presumptuous debt as they build larger and more elaborate buildings.
And the average congregation member is currently heaping up money for retirement which may never come while believers in Darfur and elsewhere starve. Lord Blessing is a demanding god and he cares nothing for starving people in other and distant parts of the world. Who is my neighbor? Is it whoever lives in a 25 mile radius? The same state? The same country? Are we as Christians held accountable for the dire needs of people around the world? And given the amount of waste, entertainment, debt, and other misuses of our monetary recourses can it really be said we are doing the work of Jesus?
So Lord Blessing whose middle names are “material” and “self” continues to play his flute and the church continues to dance. There are those instances where preachers are revealed to have million dollar houses, jets, and all kinds of hedonistic lifestyles. But do not be fooled into thinking they are an anomaly. They are just the magnification of the general spiritual condition of the western church in general. Why does a pastor of a larger church get paid more? In my experience he has a larger staff and generally the pastor of 100 members works as hard and sometimes harder than the megachurch pastor. Many large church pastors also have investments on the side as well as their high priced salary. The Apostle Paul was born 2000 years too early. The reason the pastor of a larger church gets paid more is because the church is modeled after the secular business community.
We are blind and in darkness in the west. We have left the life of Jesus while still dotting all our doctrinal “i”s on paper. In fact, if a group of believers decided to live like Jesus here they would be considered a dangerous cult. Jesus asked, “When the Son of Man returns will He find faith on earth?” He would find an organization that used His trademark, but in reality it would be an aftermarket brand that is non-compatible with the original. The western church today worships Jesus with their lips and Lord Blessing with their lives. The god of the church is no longer Jesus.

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