THE HOLY GOD
A pastor is a spiritual shepherd who feeds and protects the sheep. Joel and Victoria Osteen claim to be pastors but they are no such thing. But Victoria Osteen stood before the people and openly revealed the heart of the modern church. Watch this 30 second clip.
I have rarely heard a more succinct revelation of a fallen and religious heart. And as the prophet said, “And the people love to have it so”. The entire concept is that exists for the pleasure and happiness of man, and that He feels good when we are happy. That lie is so layered it is almost impossible to fully unravel the completeness of its deception. But at the core of such a diabolical falsehood is that most of the church does not know the True and Living God.
The Apostle John would lay his head upon the chest of Jesus in love and companionship. But when that same man saw the glory of the Risen Christ he fell at His feet as though dead! The average “worship” time in an evangelical church centers around the well rehearsed music and the wonderful praise team and its leader. After fifteen minutes or so it ends with a prayer and the people sit down. So John falls at His feet as though he were dead and we sit back down as if nothing happened? But in reality nothing did happen. We feel blessed and refreshed and we are now in a good mood. Yes, we sang songs and perhaps clapped and lifted our hands but we did not meet God.
Worship has become an event. “The worship was great this morning!” “Come visit our church. We have great worship.” Now we can grade worship as if it was a contest. It is all about the music and the leader and the songs and how anointed the worship leader is. It has long since ceased to be about God. As people look around and clap and sing without being affected except feeling “happy” there are created being around God’s throne who do nothing but say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” And yet we can pretend to worship and quickly change to some announcements. We are not fooling anyone.
The Apostle Paul met with Jesus and he was struck blind and yet people can go the entire week without prayer and on Sunday morning they worship God? No, this is not true worship and the object of our worship is not Jesus, it is our own flesh and a god of our own making. In the Old Testament they fashioned a calf out of gold and called it god. In these dark days the church has fashioned a man out of gold and called it god. Gone is the majesty. Gone is the glory. Gone is the holiness. The priest would wear “holiness unto the Lord” on his priestly headpiece. Today men and women wear “Santa Claus” on their hearts.
It would be a monumental undertaking to fully expose the spiritual treachery that goes on in most evangelical churches. How many times after the worship music ends does the church leader say something like “God is good, isn’t He?” As flippant and meaningless as saying “God bless you” when someone sneezes. When does the man of God stand up with tears running down his face and through trembling lips and a contrite heart he says, “Oh my dear believers God is a holy God and I am undone this morning.”? I am not suggesting that must happen every time because even that can become a tradition and a form, but why does it never happen?
Holiness is not just some attribute of God that we learn in systematic theology. It is not gained by not sinning or doing good works. God IS holy. It is part of the makeup of His eternal Being itself. There are no human words that can fully reveal the Thrice Holy God. Only the Holy Spirit can illuminate a man’s heart with thoughts and impressions and revelations which pull back the veil a little more and allow him to see more of Him from whose face the worlds fled. And when we receive that astounding vision by the grace of that same God we cannot remain the same. To see the Lamb, the Lion, the Redeemer, and the Lord of Lords permeates our beings and burns within us. This is the God of all creation and He is holy.
So how can a group of people come together and worship this august and holy Being without sometimes being completely undone and filled with awe and repentance? The answer is simple. They, as Mrs. Osteen correctly pointed out, have come to feel happy. But the church has concocted a redundant spectacle which excites the flesh. For the most part people come to church for the community and not to meet with a Holy God. Just the carefully orchestrated order of service and the time allotted shows a disrespect for the Spirit and for God. Sunday after Sunday people come and go just like they did last week and like they will next week. It is a finely tuned religious pageant designed to uplift spirits and make people return. But it is not a genuine hungering and thirsting for the presence of a Holy God.
And this is also why a fallen culture as wicked as this one can not only live comfortably alongside professing believers, but it can even go to church! That is an astounding revelation. Unsaved people of all stripes sit Sunday after Sunday in church pews and even like the pastor and the music and enjoy the human fellowship. But God’s presence was not there or they would either flee or believe. Does that seem like some throwback to more archaic days when God used to manifest Himself among His people? Yes, it is. And that is deeply sad.
But let us not plead ignorance. God will not share His glory. God does not exist for man’s happiness. God is interested in man’s holiness not man’s happiness. Many sinful things make men happy. When a married couple who are millionaires and dressed to the nines stand before people and speak damnable lies it reminds me of when the antichrist will profess himself to be God. In fact it is that same spirit that speaks through false teachers like the Osteens. But it is not enough for us to point out these heretics and their lies. No, we must examine ourselves and pursue holiness. And just what does “pursue holiness” mean?
It means to pursue the Crucified and Risen Christ and until He fully apprehends you.