THE SERVANT CONDUIT
THE SERVED MASTER
In God’s redemptive plan He uses people to spread His gospel and eternal Word. And inside that plan He would call men to be shepherds to His flock. The Spirit would call a man, equip him, and ordain him to be the conduit through which God would minister and feed His people. We call them pastors or preachers and they were to be used of God to minister God’s Holy Word and to draw people to a closer relationship to Christ Jesus.
There were many challenges to men like that. They would have to immerse themselves in God’s Word and in prayer, they would have to draw very close to Christ themselves, they would have to give their lives for the sheep, and they would have to be extremely careful about being idolized themselves by people. God will not share His glory with another and these men were to be conduits of His light and not generate their own carnal light.
If these preachers and shepherds walked in the power of the Spirit they would have to walk in unusual and profound humility as well. They would have to deny themselves and lift up Jesus. And when the Industrial Revolution came they would be put to a very difficult test. Would preachers allow themselves and their name to become a “brand” and be used as advertisement in order to generate book sales, conference attendance, church membership, and greater and greater recognition throughout the culture? In essence would these men allow the hedonistic culture to use them in the same way it uses rock stars, Hollywood actors, television people, sports figures, and politicians?
And now in so many cases these men, and now women, not only allow themselves to be marketed like some new cereal, but they even embrace the promotion and work with the advertisement campaigns. Yes, they love the applause of men. Those who were to be servants are now served. Those who were to be conduits are now masters. Those who were to spread His message now spread their own and at a sizeable cost to others and at a sizeable gain to themselves. It is a monstrous exhibition that betrays the very fabric of God’s Word as well as completely misrepresents the Christ Himself. The present ecclesiastical construct exists within the power of the culture and it bears carnal fruit.
Gone is self denial. Gone is personal sacrifice. Gone is being clothed with humility. Gone is any vestige of the teachings of Jesus. Gone and rejected are the words of the Baptist who said, “He must increase but I must decrease”. It is impossible to completely reveal the spiritual treachery that now exists and is practiced in the ecclesiastical construct in the west. It has no relationship to Jesus or His teachings. And those who have certain titles not only perpetuate this fraud, but they continue to expand and build upon it. And year by year the entire spectacle grew into a more repulsive monster until what is generally referred to as the church is little more than a collection of people who are comfortable and contented and who receive the self affirmation they desire every Sunday.
And in the midst of it all are the preachers. Now most of the local preachers have no notoriety outside their parochial ministry, but many if not most follow and adhere to some well known preachers. Yes, they are a part of the hedonistic and capitalistic culture which has placed a stranglehold upon the church. Set up a national conference, advertise with some famous preacher’s names and some famous music people, and make it sound like you will not want to miss it, and you will have the desired results. And the result will be a great attendance, much excitement, thousands of dollars spent on all kinds of things, and all the speakers and singers being well recompensed. It resembles a rock concert.
We now have quite a number of famous preachers and their famous subordinates and many of them have established their own brand complete with logos and mantras. And this phenomenon is not limited to the liberal wing of evangelicalism. The orthodox crowd has their heroes as well and many of them are literal millionaires. And the unspoken and spoken suggestion is that they speak and teach things that you need and can only get through them. And with all the books and CDs and conferences and speaking engagements and radio and television you would think that the spiritual condition of people might be soaring, right? You would be wrong.
In fact you can take a faithful and committed member from an orthodox church, and take one from a Roman Catholic church, and take one from a Pentecostal church, and take one from a non-denominational church, and take one from Rick Warren’s church or Joel Osteen’s church or many others, and you may be surprised to find that the overwhelming distinguishing factor is what they say they believe. Their lives and how they live them are almost without any dramatic difference. They borrow money. They drive cars with many accoutrements. They enjoy certain forms of entertainment. They have compartmentalized prayer times. They support their preferred political figures. They pledge allegiance to America.
Now either there is something wrong with that or there isn’t. How can a group of people strongly condemn others whose teachings and practices are unbiblical, but when their lives are compared they are really not that much different if at all? Can the faith be so heavily weighted toward what we say we believe until what we do and live is optional? Can we live a western, capitalist, and hedonistic lifestyle and yet use our doctrinal statements to insulate us from having to answer to the New Testament for how we live? We have the structure we want and we have the personality we want and we have the affirmation we want and we have the teachings we want and we have the Jesus we want and with all that we do not want to rock the boat since it seems to be floating downstream just fine.
The entire American public is consumed with a celebrity preoccupation. The newspapers have a gossip and entertainment section. The television has entertainment and gossip programs. People follow the latest scandal of some Hollywood or sports figure, and when a baby is born to so called British royalty people are mesmerized. And much of the church is just as interested. The entire spectacle is a spiritual scandal in and of itself. But that is the evangelical world in which we now live. Special speakers, special music, special teachers, special conferences, special activities, but all this with a surprisingly little amount of special surrender to Christ.
And on and on it continues as the western version of “Christianity” continues to spiral into a full blown exhibition of capitalist hedonism. And conducting this carnal orchestra are those who are supposed to be the leaders by teaching and exemplifying the Lord Jesus. It’s a three ring circus but it attracts millions to its show.
Really don’t mind if you sit this one outMy words are but a whisper your deafness a shout…