BETRAYALMatt.17: 22 And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:
These words were spoken about the coming passion and crucifixion of our Lord. We understand that. But the spirit of that betrayal remains today. We have become callous in some ways to the monstrous betrayal all around us and especially by those who claim His name. If we were to be transported back to 1960 and made to sit in front of a television set and listen to so called Christian preachers we would literally be broken, horrified, and immobilized in disbelief! And yet today it has become so commonplace that we can label them as heretics and false teachers without the corresponding righteous emotion which should be felt deep inside of our hearts.
There is a leviathan of betrayal in our midst that is growing with each passing day. It should shock us much more than it does. The kind of betrayal which is being exhibited within western evangelical circles cannot be completely put into perspective except to say it is completely within the lineage of Judas and his betrayal. It is not enough to feel immensely offended at the betrayal of heretics. This betrayal has many tentacles and influences that may not completely imprison us as they do others, but they can and do seep into our thoughts.
In the end the entire concept of the faith which follows Jesus has been compromised. And the breach widens daily until it is a full blown betrayal whose connection to the true faith has been stretched so far it breaks. And now that which is defined as the “Christian faith” is completely different than what the Scriptures clearly and definitively teach. It has become a well oiled ecclesiastical machine which runs on organization and a business model. But it is a betrayal nonetheless.
And here is an ingenious part of the betrayal. Within this betrayal there is a discernment group which clearly identifies false teachers and heretics. Do you see what has happened? Those who are active citizens of the betrayal reveal the monstrous betrayal of others and in so doing are blind to their own compromise and betrayal. Just because we can printout and point to an “orthodox” doctrinal statement in no way insulates us from being under the spell of the betrayal. We may not be a part of Joel Osteen’s betrayal, but how many of us spend sacrificial time in a prayer closet? We may never embrace the compromises of the prosperity message but how many of us consume the Word as if it was our life? We may reject the Rick Warren’s of this world but how many of us deny ourselves of anything?
Let us be painfully honest here. The overwhelming majority of western evangelicalism is never coming back. The monster is so large and so hungry it will never let go. But these are the days of the individual believer. We are responsible for our own lives before God. The hirelings are busy with buildings and activities and conferences and with building their own little kingdoms. Preachers see collections of sheep and not individual sheep. And churches are so large that most shepherds do not spend any time in prayer and fasting for their own spiritual health as well as begging God for His anointing and power.
Just the way the western church practices its faith is an amazing betrayal and is in no way a reflection of Scripture. These are also confusing times. When a young believer or even a shallow believer tells you they are attending and enjoying the large church down the street we need wisdom. We cannot just pull the carpet out from underneath them, but inside we still grieve. It presents us with a conundrum.
But to be honest how many believers are even interested in knowing anything about investigating the elements of their own betrayal? We are much too busy in Martha’s kitchen as well as all the demands of a western culture. Our daily schedule has been laid out for us in terms of years. And when we do see some daylight we can always squeeze in some entertainment. Let’s say you and I were whisked away by the Spirit and allowed to spend two hours in heaven before the Risen Christ. Upon our return our lives were revolutionized and the things of this world literally meant nothing to us. We were consumed with serving the One on whom we had gazed. Now the difference between our commitment then as opposed to our commitment now is the exact quantity of our spiritual compromise, or in other words our unbelief.
And every ounce of unbelief is an ounce of betrayal.
Let us acknowledge the diabolical genius of constructing a faith practice which loudly proclaims to believe in Jesus and yet whose practice does not follow Him at all. That is some spiritual magic. But if you are weary and tied of the same old religious practices then perhaps you are ready to look deep into a mirror which can reveal your own betrayal and which can lead to fresh rivers that run with the waters of life. Perhaps you are ready for a far more dangerous and less popular path. Perhaps you are ready for a new beginning in which you leave the comfort of the known for the uncertainty of the unknown. Perhaps you are ready for two things that have been lost to the western church.
Repentance and Jesus.