Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christianity - Doctrines Without Christ?


I do not have health insurance and I do have health issues. So from time to time I must go to one of those Doctor’s Walk-In deals. So I like to go very early for obvious reasons. This place opens at 8:00 AM so I got there at 7:30 AM and sat on the bench outside. A few minutes later a lady drove up with her husband in the passenger’s seat. She told her husband to stay in the car and she came and sat next to me. She was in her ‘70s.

We said hello and I mentioned that we were supposed to get rain. She agreed and said we needed it and God supplied it. I replied that yes, it rained on the just and the unjust. She asked me if I was part of the just. That opened a door for me to share Christ and she told me she was a believer and attended the Assembly of God church just down the street. I mentioned that perhaps we would not have to wait long for Jesus to come. She agreed, but here is where she revealed what millions of professing believers have living in their hearts and what thousands of churches feed them from the pulpit.

She said that the end would come quickly if Obama had his way. What?? Where did President Obama come into this conversation? I told her that President Obama was just a man and that the growing evil was because of spiritual wickedness in the unseen realm. And she replied that Obama was the king of those wicked spirits. Just then the clinic opened and we both walked in.

Now that kind of conversation is a replica of millions of conversations between believers. Some, if not most, are much more virulent and caustic as it pertains to President Obama. Yes, this lady was in her 70s but she is indicative of the spirit and attitude that now pervades the evangelical church. It is nothing less than hatred, pure and unvarnished. Dress it up in red, white, and blue, or hide it behind a convoluted righteous indignation, or contend you dislike socialism, or even suggest you are standing for truth, but regardless of how you present it, it is at odds with the gospel and the teachings of Jesus. Completely.

But this is what has happened to the western church. We have fallen in love with the Babylonian system and we have become accustomed to our hedonistic surroundings and with that we have turned our back on the teachings of the One we say we love and follow. And the political system has assimilated the church at large and now people who claim to be followers of Jesus can and do openly express hatred for men like President Obama, even to a stranger like me. I remember Franklin Graham on television referring to the President as “Obama” and after someone corrected him he said “President Obama” but you can be sure in the company of his own peers referring to the president as “Obama” is not only commonplace and used as a pejorative, but there are probably more labels that are much more demeaning.

This kind of rhetoric reveals not only a hatred for liberals and gays and the President, but it reveals a hatred for Jesus and His teachings. It is the language of darkness. You cannot serve Jesus and America. You cannot serve Jesus and conservatism. You cannot serve Jesus and hate sinners. You cannot serve Jesus and love money. We have lost the faith and now churches live and preach a diluted brand that is not only mangled by the culture but it is spiritually toxic. I say it again, Christianity as defined by believing in and following Jesus has become rare here in America.

It is baffling how we can get so deceived that we can no longer even read anymore. Just read the words in red and you have to see just how incongruous the practice of our faith is from that which was lived out and taught by our Master. Patriotism, nationalism, capitalism, and other philosophies have muscled out the faith that portends to follow Christ. And not only do people like the woman at the walk in clinic remain blind to it, but for the most part they practice it daily. And anyone who listens to men like Limbaugh and Hannity and Beck and agree with them is not walking in the Spirit but in the flesh. You cannot fill your spirit with hatred and falsehoods and then pretend to love and follow Jesus.

We have a handful of neatly crafted doctrines but void of Christ. Oh we may present our Trinitarian and virgin birth and Scriptural inspiration credentials, and we may even be clear about the exclusivity of Christ, but somewhere between those doctrines and our living revelations Christ has become lost. George Washington and Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich and even Mitt Romney have replaced Jesus. Do you thing that is hyperbole or an overstatement? I contend it is even much worse than that, and since we have completely lost the truth, we are blind to the depth of the deception.

Even men like Ravi Zacharius appear on Joyce Myers’ program and laud her with compliments about her teachings. Why? Because he also is imprisoned by nationalism and the ghost chasing of healing the morals of the culture. The evangelical world has absolutely lost its spiritual mind. And woven into this deception is a type of Christianity that can literally practice things completely at odds with the teachings of Jesus and yet claim to be “orthodox”. Our hollow doctrines have become our idols.

Following Jesus within a fallen culture is not easy, but we have made it quite convenient. We are allowed to have a critical spirit and criticize lost sinners. We are allowed to collect sums of money to one day lavish upon ourselves. We are allowed to offer poor excuses for a prayer life. We are allowed to seek out worldly entertainments. We are allowed to visit great monuments erected to men. We are allowed to hate and despise. We are allowed to complain about the cost of living while others starve. And all this under the banner of following Jesus. But we are only fooling ourselves.

Christianity without Christ is paganism. We can still have our baptisms, our communion, our Sunday gatherings, and even our Bible readings, but without sincerely following His teachings we are just following ourselves, and that is paganism. Or as I might define it - Pagianity.


Anonymous said...

There is truth in what you say. The reasons, however, could be many and varied. Some people are not genuine believers, they may just subscribe to the Christian religion as a way of life. Then there are those who just don't know how to think clearly - they follow a train of thought, then come to an irrelevant conclusion. Ultimately, this is a result of not knowing God's word. Majority of Christians would rather read 'christian' books, attend churchy seminars, follow 'guided' programs etc. It's just like playing 'Chinese whispers'. If people who call themselves Christians would read their bibles and study God's word properly, their lives and opinions would be so different.

JMD said...

Most certainly our President cannot and should not be blamed for all the ills of this country nor the world. Having said that it is obvious that some of his (and others) particular policies are not ones that Christians should emulate or support. Clearly we are to follow Jesus, not man or government.

Rick Frueh said...

Ye, he is pro-choice and has overseen a giantic increase in dropne deaths. But even if he was "conservative" our Lord is Jesus.

JMD said...

Rick, I do not wish to strive with you over President Obama but to say he is pro-choice doesn't really tell the entire picture. He fully supports allowing or killing a fully viable late term infant. You may check his stand on the issue. Not only does he support, endorse this stand but has encouraged those in the USA and in the world to do so also.

Rick Frueh said...

I understand. But to divide abortion rights into categories gives the indication that late term abortions are more horrific than first day abortions. They are all equal in God's sight.
We must stand firm in our moment of conception perspective and not leng increased opposition just because the unborn baby has taken on some human shape.

JMD said...


Anonymous said...

Thank the Lord who gives us teaching, through Rick Frueh, and points out how our thinking can be influenced by Satan's minions, spirits of hatred. It's subtly invaded the hearts of christians; it calls itself "wisdom" or "discernment", yet many christians will sit and complain about the spirits of wickedness and blame one man, President Obama, for unleashing that wickedness? Who has betwitched these people into thinking that?

Have these people considered that there have been many many Americans, politicians, governors, founders, builders, growers, authors, professors, teachers, actors, philanthropists, legislators, judges, every religious doctrinal believer living in the USA since it's beginnings that never followed or glorified, or served Jesus? Since the birth of America, there have been murders, killings, wars, cruelty, slavery, lack of mercy, atrocities done to other human beings, renegades, frontiersmen who conquered by cruel force, cheaters, usurpers, blasphemers, and then some. What real christian can say with certainty that there has NEVER been an individual who has not brought God's wrath on this continent? Wicked men, ruthless dictators, ungodly, unruly, unapologetic, arrogant, warmonguers, wife beaters, children molesters, porn moguls, churches that hid child abuse, loving pets and animals more than loving children, greed, every sin that is mentioned in the bible, happens daily in the USA as well as in every nation. What in the world can President Obama do to make God so angry that these christians feel that the US is in the throes of great tribulations?

There is a wicked spirit; one that has been unleashed. It is vile, and racist and this spirit wants a scapegoat. It's hate. It's condemning. This spirit condemns one man and blames one man for all the problems of the country. This vile spirit affects every christian that doesn't bow to Jesus Christ. This vile spirit is a hateful bigoted racist judgmental unmerciful hater of one man that Jesus Christ has died for and Who loves with a love that we cannot fathom, and who offers His Love to him and his family. Our Lord and Savior when he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, asked His Father that we may be One as He and the Father are one. And Jesus prayed for those who were not born yet and prayed for their salvation. He shed His blood for President Obama and loves him, and hears the wicked voices, and weeps when each christian repeats these lies that the enemy of our souls spreads.

Dear Jesus. forgive this nation and all of us. We plead the blood over every living man and woman, including a kind and caring father and husband, President Obama and his dear wife Michele and their beautiful girls.

Christians who are so deceived that they parrot what they hear from the enemy should be on their knees praying for all those who have not heard, or received, but should NEVER curse men and talk about them as though they are forever lost. It's reprehensible that we hear christians speaking like this. We are indeed in the last days. And the christians are proving it.

Anonymous said...

With the vast events taking place daily and biblical prophecy unfolding before our very eyes, I know Jesus' return is soon and my heart is breaking, surprisingly not as much for the lost as it is for those who profess to be Christians, however Jesus will say to them, "...depart, I do not know you...." So many are being lied to and led astray and feel the false sense of security of salvation. They believe in Jesus, but they do not have a relationship with HIm. Believing is not enough - even the demons believe! So many professing Christians have been and are being led astray....the tag they wear is just that. It's a label, bumper sticker, whatever you want to call it -- it's no surprise these people are not living the transformed lives of Christ living through them. They are void of Christ and just don't get the truth. This is why lukewarm Christianity is the majority and hate is being spewed out instead of love. These Christians are not followers of Christ at all -- they are believers, but they are not true Christians. False understanding, false label, false lives being led down a path that will lead to nowhere -- nowhere with Christ, I fear.

Julie Wilton said...

This makes me weep. I need the Lord's forgiveness...