Liberal Christianity in All it’s Acceptable Glory

Have you ever wondered what “liberal Christianity” is and what it’s agenda is?

{Hint… there really isn’t any such thing as liberal Christianity, there is only True Christianity and many kinds of False Christianity.} That being said, “Liberal Christianity” is a way of belief and crosses denomination lines. It is widely found in many American churches and denominations.

There are many markers of “liberal Christianity” with tentacles of truth that are mixed with lies, but 2 of the main ones are….

1. The lie that the Bible cannot and should not to be taken literally. It is promoted as a guide to live by, but not as absolute Truth. This lie is very subtle because it doesn’t deny that the Bible is God’s word. It just questions your ability to understand what God really meant when He spoke about homosexuality, about killing babies, about adultery, about lusts, about drunkenness, about holiness, about obedience, etc….

Liberal Christian thinking vehemently argues that true understanding of Scripture will reveal that God doesn’t judge anyone, and all are accepted and loved by God, therefore as Christians we should do the same. Repentance and forsaking of things the Lord calls sin aren’t accepted as a required lifestyle for those who would call themselves Christian and be accepted as such, but rather a “Fundy” way of interpreting scripture.

This is the first of the 2 main foundations stones that those who accept this thinking use to build their house in the sand. “Liberal Christianity” has to get you to consider the age old question of “Has God really said?” It has to get you to accept the lie that Scripture is open to interpretation based on the days and times we live in and to the feelings of others who call themselves “Christian”. Therefore, absolutes that offend people are not accepted as “loving” and/or “Christlike” and feelings are given much more credence then literal Scriptural writ. {Especially “hurt” feelings.}

2. The second lie is that Christianity is all about “loving” everybody. This type of “love” is about such things as; acceptance for all people, getting along with everybody, social justice, equal opportunity for all, same sex marriage, world peace, etc… It absolutely does not include open rebuke of sin, {unless of course it is to rebuke “old school Christians” for being “unloving” when they declare unpopular truths. Truths such as “Sin separates you from God” or “Jesus is both Saviour and Lord, therefore he deserves and  requires obedience”.}

This second lie is also very subtle because to be “born again” means you die and God imparts His very Nature into you. His nature will indeed move you to both compassion for the lost and love for the brethren. However, good works do not prove you are a Christian. And certainly being accepted by others doesn’t prove Christianity. The ongoing history of the suffering of true Christianity gives witness to that, starting with Jesus Himself.

We are warned of many false prophets, wolves in sheep’s clothing and Satan himself appearing as an angel of light, so we know evil can and does present itself as godly, even through good works.

To sum it up, the main objective of “liberal Christianity” as a message is the same as all false messages, it is to silence bold and clear scriptural Truth. It creates a false god that is to it’s liking rather then worshipping God as He describes Himself in the Bible.

Posted in 5 facets of falsehood, false gospels, wolves and falsehood in church | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

{gasp!} How Dare You Judge Me!

“You can’t say that! We’re not supposed to judge!”

Isn’t it strange how people who arrogantly dismiss what God has to say about their lifestyle, are so quick to tell you what {they think} He says about “judging”!

They say it with a look of in-credulousness that you as a professing Christian would dare violate such a “basic tenant of the faith”!

“”Do not judge, or you too will be judged!” is thrown at you triumphantly, an arrow proven to be a powerful one because most Christians want to be loving and kind. They have no interest in making enemies but they do want to stand for Jesus.

How many times have you had the wind taken out of your sails with that lie? And that’s what it is, just another lie, an effective arrow from the enemy’s arsenal.

The verse quoted is from Matt 7 of course. But Jesus isn’t forbidding us to judge. He is saying we have no grounds to judge, IF we are guilty of the same.

There is a process to judging correctly, but judge correctly we must!

“You hypocrite, FIRST take the plank out of your own eye, and THEN you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” If you don’t have a plank in your own eye, you have permission to say what Jesus says about the matter. Not quarrel, but firmly stand on the truth of scripture as revealed by the Holy Spirit. Not man’s opinion of scripture.

How to go about removing a plank? Judge ourselves first.

Some examples…I should not rebuke a person who is in open sexual sin if I am secretly into porn. I should not instruct a thief in righteousness if I drive the company car and use their gas to run my errands {assuming it’s against company policy}. I should not correct a liar if I falsely blame others for my mistakes, etc….

A hypocrite’s words have no power, so lets remove planks if we have any, and speak! We are responsible to boldly speak forth truth in our generation to the world around us, and that includes the church!

Posted in false gospels, kingdom principles, spititual abuse, wolves and falsehood in church | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Peace On Earth

“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” Jesus, Luke 12:51.  Or…

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Jesus, Matt 10:34

Then He goes on to explain further that a person’s worst enemies can turn out to be even his closest family, friends and “Christian” ties.

How does this reconcile with the vision of peace and utopia for Christians? A Christian world where everybody is accepted and we all affirm each other and get along just peachy?

A Christian world view where the believer who, {just as an example}, has convictions that sin should still be actively avoided by those who profess Him, and dares to say so, is tagged as one who is “operating in a wrong attitude and/or spirit of legalism”. Because the goal is to have peace between men at any cost.

Peace, in spite of beliefs that conflict with scripture, error, and downright false teaching becomes the proof we have finally got this Christianity thing right, by George! To have enemies means a lack of “holy Christian love”.

Enter the sword.

 And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved. Jesus, Matt. 10:22

Jesus did not come to put people at odds with each other, it is the Sword that does that.

The sword cuts between light and darkness, truth and lies, good and evil and it is just getting ramped up. It started a long time ago and it will continue to increase.  It will culminate in a great end time battle shortly in which the enemy of our souls will get his.

Jesus came to bring peace between God and man. To bring satisfaction to the requirements of death for sin.

Peace to your conscience when you forsake that which you are instructed by Him to forsake. And take on that which you are instructed to take on.

But not peace between all men.

Posted in encouragement for the Body, false gospels, institutionalizing the church, kingdom principles | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Fear of the Lord

The Fear of the Lord

I decided to try doing a study on the Fear of the Lord.

In today’s church era of “Freedom and Grace” with dubious explanations of what Biblical freedom and grace actually are, it seems when I mention the Fear of the Lord it is usually met with resistance and fears of “Legalism and Law”. But there is a lot of scripture on the subject, both Old and New.

I must confess when I started the study I was almost overwhelmed by the sheer and vast number of scriptures on the subject. It is obviously not a side issue or a minor note with God. I believe I can safely say that, based on the amount of scripture He has dedicated to it.

So I decided to narrow this writing down to just scriptures from the books of Psalms and Proverbs. Not because they have the most scriptures on the subject, they don’t. The main reason I chose them is because they have clear and concise quotes that can not easily be misunderstood.

The following is only a portion of the scriptures concerning the Fear of the Lord mentioned in Psalms and Proverbs and a very small representation of the Fear of the Lord from the scriptures as a whole.

I do acknowledge it is rather lengthy, but it is all scripture and I double-dog dare you to actually read it! And I hope it helps you draw closer to the Father.

A. What is the Fear of the Lord?

1.To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Pro. 8:13

2.The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous. Ps. 19:9

3.The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; sound understanding belongs to those who practice it. Praise of God endures forever. Ps.111:10

4.The fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Pro. 1:7

5.The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Pro. 9:10

6.The fear of the LORD teaches wisdom, and humility precedes honor. Pro. 15:33

7.By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil. Pro. 16:6

B. Benefits for those who Fear the Lord

1.Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. Ps. 66:16

2.The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. Ps. 25:14

3.The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Ps. 34:7

4.But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, Ps. 33:18

5.But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow. Ps. 60:4

6.Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. Ps. 85:9

7.For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; Ps. 103:11

8.As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; Ps. 103:13

9.But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children Ps. 103:17

10.He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. Ps. 111:5

11.He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. Ps. 145:19

12.The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Ps. 147:11

13.The fear of the LORD adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short. Pro. 10:27

14.Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge. Pro. 14:26

15.The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil. Pro. 19:23

16.The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches, honor and life. Pro. 22:4

17.Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. Ps. 34:9

18.You who fear him, trust in the LORD– he is their help and shield. Ps. 115:11

19.He will bless those who fear the LORD– small and great alike. Ps. 115:13

20.The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death. Pro. 14:27

C. What should be our response to the Fear of the Lord?

1.Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. Pro. 23:17

2.Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. Pro. 3:7

3.I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts. Ps. 119:63

4.Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Ps. 2:11

5.Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. Ps. 33:8

6.Let those who fear the LORD say: “His love endures forever.” Ps. 118:4

7.You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! Ps. 22:23

D. God’s warning to those who do not Fear the Lord.

1.Of David the servant of the LORD. I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Ps. 36:1

2.God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change– he will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God. Ps. 55:19

3.Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, Pro. 1:28-29

E. God’s willingness to teach us the Fear of the Lord.

1.Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Ps. 34:11

2.Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Ps. 86:115.

3.My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding–indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. Pro. 2:1-5

Posted in church and the Holy Spirit, encouragement for the Body, kingdom principles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What is a “Usurp Authority Over her Husband” kind of Woman?

What does a “usurp authority” woman look like? I’m not sure any of us really know, even those who are constantly warning us about the dangers of this somewhat unidentifiable person. We are thrown elusive hints and innuendos about questionable behaviour to look for, as a means to help identify her.

From what we are taught most of the time, she seems to resemble ‘Rosie the Riveter’, flexing her sizable muscles as she throws her weight around and runs roughshod over a husband who can’t rein her in. Taking charge, running the show and generally making a fool of herself while he and a paralyzed congregation stand by, seemingly helpless to stop her.

Let me assure you, there are scores of women in the body of Christ who are absolutely terrified of being labelled a “usurper of authority” over their husbands. They live in fear of the humiliation and shame that accompanies  such a verdict being handed down from their peers. It effects every thing they say and do in the church setting.

{In some circles, of course, any woman who preaches or has a leadership role is labelled as “usurping authority” over her husband. That is not where I want to focus. Those folks are entitled to their opinion but this post is not for them.}

No, I want to address those who have spiritual understanding in this area and know that there is neither male nor female in the Spirit. And consequently there is neither male nor female in the work of the Spirit either. It is as the Holy Spirit wills.

As examples of women who do not usurp authority over their husbands, we are often pointed toward prominent ministers like Joyce Myers.  We are further assured that since she has her husbands blessing, approval and permission to preach and teach, she is operating within the will of God.

This subtly or not so subtly lets the ladies know they will need their husbands permission to pursue a similar course, should the Lord put it on their heart to do so.

I have several questions. The first one is, what do you say to a teenage girl who says “I would rather never get married then to worry about having to get my husbands permission and approval to do the will of God.”

The second one is, what do you say when that same girl asks, “If I have to have my husbands permission to do the will of God, why doesn’t he have to have mine?”

The third one, again I need an answer for the same young girl, “Why do I have to ‘adjust to and support his calling’ but he has to ‘give me permission’ to operate in mine?”

Last but not least, this young girls conclusion. “Something ain’t right about that and I don’t believe it! Nor do I receive it.”

I couldn’t have said it better. Or asked better questions. And quoting a friend, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!”

Anyone who has done the most general of studies on the subject will know to “usurp authority” simply means “to dominate“. Why do we keep warning women about the evils of dominating her husband in this context? In the context of doing something for the Lord?

And why have I never, in thirty years of church life, heard a sermon on the evils of a husband dominating his wife while “doing ministry”?

We have a hierarchy mindset in the church that is very much like the class system in other nations that we Americans find so horrifying. This ungodly class system is considered “normal” in Christian marriages as well as the church establishment.

To do what God puts in their hearts to do, lay people are taught they need approval from clergy and wives are taught they need approval from husbands. Instead, husbands and wives should be encouraged and taught to seek the will of the Lord as one will for the two of them and submit to that will as one unit.

I believe it is wrong to presume any of us have the right to give another person “permission” to do the will of God. I say that isn’t “normal” Christianity at all.

Posted in husband and marriage, institutionalizing the church, spititual abuse, wife and marriage | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Church Leadership, or what leadership is not!

I no longer consider someone to be a “church leader” simply because they hold a title or position, whether it be the position of pastor, deacon, or head of ministry etc… In fact, I believe many “leaders” today are self appointed leaders to self created positions.

I do have some friends that I would call “leaders”. They are humble and love the Lord. When I look at them I can safely say they have what it takes to be an example for other people. They have the capability to inspire and teach. Their character, lifestyles and desire to seek Jesus and His righteousness are good examples to follow, therefore I consider them to be “leaders” in the Kingdom.

Many people in the church world might consider my “leader” friends ineffective and unimpressive. They can’t whip up a big crowd or produce a big budget. My friends don’t have huge followings, in fact some of them could even be labelled as ‘loners’. However, that puts them in good company considering Jesus Himself would be considered ineffective, unimpressive and a loner by today’s church leadership standards. He was considered a failure by the “church” of His day.

But I digress.

Today I would like to write a bit concerning how I came to this conclusion of “leadership” or rather, this conclusion of what leadership is not! A little something personal about myself.  Including why I have developed an automatic reaction that I call the Turtle Routine when a so called “leader” crosses my path in life.

Definition of my Turtle Routine is as follows:
*Pull into my shell and cautiously peep out, thereby preventing my head from getting stomped on and giving no opportunity to have my neck severed.

*Taking some time to assess the situation before I make a move and cross the road just because everyone else does.

*A significant lack of confidence that many “leaders” are what they profess to be.

I have been contemplating recently on some of my personal experiences with some “church leaders” and came up with a rather grim series of events that spans about 30 years of walking with the Lord. I have listed some of them below.

First, I grew up Amish and was “excluded” from that church and it’s leaders when the Lord gave me revelation and I experienced the new birth that included a radical change in my life. In their opinion I was operating in pride and sin because I left the church. They felt I was deceived to believe I could be put right with God by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ alone.

In all seriousness I must say, I was not without fault in some of my responses during the events I’m sharing in this post. In this particular one, it certainly didn’t make it easier for me when I quite boldly told them I didn’t believe they knew the Lord they professed to serve.

I had to come out.

From there I became a member of another church in that area that was comprised of many ex-Amish. I had that privilege taken away when I insisted on being rebaptised as a believer. I didn’t regard my  baptism in the Amish for the purpose of becoming a church member, as a truly scriptural baptism. The leaders in this church were hesitant because they didn’t want to insult the Amish and insinuate by rebaptism that Amish baptism wasn’t a “sufficient baptism”.

I’m sure having my membership taken away from this church had a lot to do with the fact that after months of stonewalling on their part I gave them an ultimatum. I informed them I hadn’t changed my mind about being rebaptised and if they wouldn’t accommodate me, I would find someone else that would. I was labelled as rebellious. And I did end up having to find someone else to baptise me. So I left.

The third event came after moving to another state where I became a part of an exciting new non-denominational church consisting of many new converts who had come out of dead religion. Coming out of death with grave clothes still hanging on and an unwillingness to part with some of those grave clothes, like inflated egos and power trips.

While attending there I began to receive revelation and spiritual understanding of scripture and to see that God uses women in ministry as well as men and that women are equal to men in His eyes. Furthermore, I was beginning to feel He wanted to use me.

Eventually  I was labeled “a Jezebel” and told I needed to leave or they would be forced to close the doors of the church! I was informed I had such a powerful and negative “Jezebel effect” on the preachers there, that they were essentially paralyzed and unable to preach if I was in the room!  I could have called their bluff and stayed to see if they really would close the doors of their newly remodeled church building. But I didn’t do that. I left.

Again, I’m sure my situation wasn’t helped by the fact that I left some pamphlets in the leader’s mailboxes, presenting argument from scripture that suggested they were the ones that were actually operating in the spirit of Jezebel, not me!

Number four, moving on to a third state where I attended a Prosperity/Faith camp Bible School for a year.

After I had been there for some time I started to receive merciful revelation and understanding of scripture that I thank God for! I came to understand that taking money from the people for “the ministry” and drawing exorbitant salaries from that money to fund very extravagant lifestyles was not pleasing to God.

Through a personal experience He made it abundantly clear to me that He would judge them for their greed and I didn’t want to be a part of that judgement and eventually I left.

By this time I had a little wisdom and I didn’t issue any ultimatums or leave any pamphlets when I left. But I have continued to be vocal about the error I see in the Prosperity/Faith doctrine.

Next, I felt the Lord was leading me back to the state I was born in and where I had started from. I needed a break so I began attending a mainline denominational church where I could sit on the back pew and do the token one hour Sunday morning ritual for a while. That pew got very uncomfortable as I started to learn a little bit of the history there. That along with the constant push from headquarters with their annual vote ‘to accept or not to accept’ homosexuals in the pulpit, made it difficult.

The Free Mason influence was very strong in the church and among its members. But we were assured from the pulpit on a regular basis that God loves, loves, loves everybody and ungodly lifestyles and unscriptural beliefs didn’t seem to be a big deal. In fact, it was all about love, love, love and acceptance. And then more love! And more acceptance.

I couldn’t take it any more and moved on.

The latest and my most recent encounter with “church leadership” came while attending a local non-denominational church that claimed to be ‘Spirit filled’. After attending there for a short time I felt led to encourage the congregation on several occasions to repent of sin.

Soon I started to feel invisible daggers, you know, the ones where you can feel the coldness even though the faces are smiling?

The messages there were about a wonderful ‘new revelation of grace’ that in reality has all the ear marks of the scriptural definition for lawlessness.

In the meantime, I was privately labelled a ‘legalistic law preacher’ by the powers that be. Their diagnosis of my problem was; I did not fully understand freedom nor the grace of God because I was raised in legalism . I keenly felt the cold shoulder of un-fellowship so once again I left.

About six months later the front page of the local newspaper headlines read, “Local Pastor charged with Child Solicitation”.

It was him. He had been involved with an under age girl in the congregation and got caught. And to my indignation and dismay, it had started during the time I was attending that church.

Needless to say, these experiences have opened my eyes concerning “leaders” in the church today!

I am in no way suggesting God doesn’t appoint leaders in the Body of Christ. Scripture is quite clear He does. Nor am I saying that every “leader” in the respective churches or denominations I’ve mentioned in this post are bad people. Many love the Lord and serve Him. But the reality is, too many of the  compromising on exalted pedestals of “leadership” today, bear little resemblance to Jesus Christ.

I was contemplating on all this and it has moved me to rejoice in the faithfulness of God! His faithfulness to bring me out and bring me through and keep me!

He who said “Follow me…” He is my Leader!

Posted in false gospels, institutionalizing the church, kingdom principles, liberty and sacrifice, spititual abuse, wolves and falsehood in church | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

{Guest Post} Are Amercian Christians called to be political

Once again, the younger generation speaks. Paz delves into the political arena with thought provoking and personally convicting words about American election. Not that voting in of itself is wrong, but rather the dogmatic American ideology of the process. I was challenged by her words as I’m sure you will be too.

The American Presidential election is a only a few short weeks away. And each Sunday, ministers all over the country are exhorting their congregates to get out and vote to insert a reason (uphold religious freedom/against abortion/support God’s cause, etc.)

The average evangelical churchgoer is often made to feel they are failing God if they don’t vote.  They are not being “salt and light”, they aren’t “holding back the enemy”, they are failing to “pull America back from the brink”.

Every four years, laboring ministers do their best to whip a heavy, creaking institution up to enough speed for a mighty collision with the political powers.  Kind of like two medieval knights jousting.  The impact, if the church ever built up enough steam they say, would be spectacular.

Many Christians get starry-eyed at the thought of the church becoming a powerful political force in her own right, a Christian “enforcer” of sorts.

So, is this right?  Are Christians required by God, by their mandate to be “salt and light”, to be politically active?

Last week, late Sunday morning, I was sitting in a living room, talking with a small group of people, and the subject happened to turn to America.

One man started talking about how American Christians have the responsibility of saving America.  He believes that God favors America and wants to bless her, but Christians have to step up to the plate.  We have to stand on our covenant, that America is absolutely still a Christian nation, and that President Obama was most certainly wrong to say otherwise!

When I first heard what President Obama said (in 2009 in a Turkish press conference) that “we [Americans] do not consider ourselves a Christian nation,” my spirit quickened and the Holy Spirit brought to mind Caiaphus, the high priest of Jesus’ day. 


John 11:47-52 records that Caiaphus prophesied Jesus’ death.  “Now this he did not say on his own; but being high priest that year he prophesied”. It was because of the position he held that the Spirit prophesied through him, not because he was a prophet, or even a godly man. 


I believe Obama’s statement was prophetic.  And this isn’t the first time I have felt he has (unknowingly) made prophetic statements over our nation.  Such ability to prophesy has nothing to do with Obama the person; it has everything to do with Obama the President.  Many presidents, kings/queens, and prime ministers throughout history have been led to prophesy simply because of their position.

So, if America does not consider herself a Christian nation, what does that mean for the Christians?  What is our responsibility?

I started out by examining Jesus’ life on earth.  Keep in mind, Jesus lived in a very politically volatile society.  There were the Jewish Temple politicians, the Pharisees and Sadducee s and their government.   There was the monarchy of (evil) Judean kings and their government.   There were the Jewish rebel factions fighting a guerrilla war for their various beliefs.  And over all of this, trying to keep everything from flying apart, was the mighty Roman empire, the Caesar.  There were Roman governors, Roman military, and of course, Roman tax collectors.

Each group had its own political agenda, with plenty of infighting and shaky alliances between them.  The situation was so bad the first thought Jesus’ followers had was, “He has finally come to set things straight! Hallelujah!”  They were confused and disappointed when Jesus told them, “My kingdom is not of this world”.

In fact, in spite of the political situation around him, Jesus never preached politics.  Instead, he stayed focused on his mission – the advancement of the kingdom of God.  The transient kingdoms of this world were not Jesus’ (or any of the Apostles’) focus.

Some argue that Jesus wasn’t politically involved because he couldn’t vote.  By contrast, we should be because we can.

Nothing Jesus did showed him to be a person careful of his public image.  He was an extremely bold and controversial figure in his day.  He could have exhorted people to rise up against the evil government.  Many expected him to.  But he didn’t.  He preached the kingdom of God, the truths of repentance,  righteousness, holiness, and justice.  His message was to the individual heart, not the government.

The problem today is that too many in church are Americans first and Christians second. 

As a nation, Americans are quite egocentric.  I read a good newspaper editorial recently that pointed this out.  For example, if talks break down between two middle-eastern nations, we immediately ascribe it to something our President did or didn’t do.  If a nation experiences social turbulence, we immediately credit American influence at some level.    We tend to see everything that happens on the international stage as developments of decisions we have made, policies we have enacted, stands we have taken, videos we have posted to YouTube.

While America does have world influence, I don’t believe it is any longer as great as many Americans assume.

Now, just wipe that foam off your mouth.  I am not an anti-patriot.  But this idea that we as a nation are so important, so powerful, indispensable to the world and to God, is nothing more than pride.

Just as God is no respecter of persons, I believe He is no respecter of nations.  It is those who fear Him and work righteousness who are accepted by Him.  America does not get some type of “free pass” simply because of her godly origins.  The only nation that could possibly make a Biblical case for any sort of special consideration in God’s eyes would be Israel.

I bring all this up to point out how this egocentricity of American culture has been carried right into the American church pew and made itself at home.

American Christians mistakenly believe that not only are most world events ultimately  developments of this nation’s actions, but also most national events are developments of the church’s actions –  results of something the church is or is not doing right.

Christians pray, they vote, they fight, all to uphold this struggling society on God’s behalf.  They lament when ungodly men and women take office because they blame ungodly laws for corrupting the land.  But I take a different view.  Wicked governments do not make wicked nations, wicked nations make wicked governments. 

It is not about a battle for righteous laws, it is about righteous hearts.  

I thank the Lord for those believers He has called into political office and activity.  I thank Him for all those He has appointed to administer justice and hold back evil for the sake of His name and His people.  But God is not depending on American believers to save the USA any more than he depends on Iraqi or Saudi or Chinese believers to save their respective nations.

And I don’t believe God holds America in some special esteem;  He loves His peopleIt doesn’t matter which geographical nation your body lives in; when you were born again you became a citizen of “a holy nation, a peculiar people.”  That is the nation He loves. 

So, back to the original question.  Do Christians have a spiritual obligation to vote?

In this, as in everything, you are to be led by the Holy Spirit.  He may tell you to vote.  At other times He may not.  Seek Him to find out.  Be salt and light as the Lord directs.  And never make the mistake of assuming that just because someone ungodly takes office and a nation suffers judgment that God’s hand is not in it.

God cares about the affairs of men, and He does intervene when called upon; but He is no more interested in establishing a human government on the earth right now than he was in Jesus’ day.  His kingdom is not of this world.  He blesses the nations and individuals who follow His ways and judges those who don’t.  But neither choice affects His sovereignty, or the ultimate success of His purposes, in the slightest.

Regardless of what happens in the American political arena, stay focused on the kingdom you are an eternal citizen of, the kingdom of God.  Work to advance that kingdom.  Everything else is just temporary.

Posted in church and the Holy Spirit, church as a Bride, Guest post, kingdom principles, the younger generation speaks | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

{Guest Post} testing the spirits–critical; Gifts of the Spirit #3

{There is a younger generation rising up. And with all force of the Holy Spirit they speak boldly. This post is one of those voices crying from the wilderness. To keep from focusing on the writer, this person prefered a new name for the blog. Paz, who is born the first time somewhat reserved; born again as a dedicated temple of an outspoken Holy Spirit. A guest post from Paz}

So, what are the gifts?

First of all, I do not believe Paul’s list to be exhaustive in the sense that the Holy Spirit is confined by it.  I do believe the list broadly covers the various categories of gifts and that within these categories, where people actually minister, there is a wide variety of individual, unique “flavors” expressed by the Holy Spirit.

The expression of a gift through a human being is as unique as everything else about that human being.  Two people may have the same gift, but the nuances of the gift in operation will be different between the two.  All expressions of the gift, however, will be in keeping with the nature of God and the Holy Spirit.

So, the gift list (in a compilation of different scripture translations) is as follows:

  • wise counsel/advice (wisdom)
  • clear understanding (special knowledge)
  • simple trust (great faith)
  • power to heal the sick
  • power to work miracles
  • ability to prophesy (proclaim God’s message to the people)
  • ability to discern whether a message or gift is from the Spirit of God or another spirit (distinguishing/discerning between spirits)
  • ability to speak in strange tongues or unknown languages
  • ability to interpret and explain what is being said in tongues

A perfect church fellowship would have all these gifts operating on equal footing, with equal respect and freedom, among the various members.  Living and fellowshipping in this ideal way  would result in a complete and perfect image of Christ, whose Body we are.

The beauty of God’s design is that each member is necessary.  No one gift is “more important” than another.  I love how The Message translation puts this:


            “No matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of.  An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster.  . . -the ‘lower’ the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary.  You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. . . If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher.  If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?”   1 Corinthians 12:18-24        

If you see someone “operating in their gift or ministry” and they are proud, arrogant, and walk as if they are more important to the body than you are, it does not take the gift of discernment to realize something is very wrong there.

So far, I know there are at least two general ways to “go wrong,” as it were, in situations and places where the gifts are operating.

In the first case, you can have someone who truly has been anointed by God and gifted by the Holy Spirit in a certain way but the person has gotten slightly “off” in their ministry.  They may be in sin or some error in their life.  This does not mean, however, that the gift originally given to them by the Holy Spirit has been removed.  It has not.   For a time, the person may be able to continue to operate under their anointing and the Lord may continue to minister through them, although possibly in a limited way.

Those with spiritual discernment, especially those with the gift of discernment, will often pick up that something is not quite right and be cautious of the person; they will be lead to take great care and carefully examine everything coming from that person. 

After a time, if the person does not repent, the Lord will withdraw Himself.  The shell of the gift, the natural talents, the charisma, the ability to evoke the same emotional responses that were once real responses to spiritual experiences – all the methods of the gift – may remain, but the lights are out.  The Power is gone. 

To the spiritually undiscerning, everything may look the same.  There may be no change in the natural, the person may continue to operate in their “ministry” without hardly a ripple to indicate any alteration in course.  But in the spirit there is a vast difference.  With their heart hardened by their persistent refusal to listen to the Lord’s correction, this person will abuse whatever traits of the gift that remain and will increasingly veer ever further into error, taking others with them.

In the second case, there are people who operate in a false gift.  It is not given by the Holy Spirit; it is a counterfeit.  There is often, if not always, a wrong spirit attached to such a person and who operates through the false gift.  Contrary to being afraid of believers, this spirit thrives on operating within the church setting, and as high up in a leadership position as it can get itself.  The person is always in considerable pride, although it can be very difficult to perceive because there will often be a front of false humility. 

False humility tends to operate in the opposite of what a person is saying. In other words, for example, they will say, “I do not want to be the leader of this group (of believers) because I’m just another believer like you.”  When in reality, they actually operate within the group by doing the opposite and do most or all of the speaking or teaching. Undiscerning believers, especially young ones, are susceptible to its deception.

Everything about this “gift” or “ministry” will closely mimic the real thing while all the time subtly working against actual Truth.  The wrong spirit will often masquerade as the Holy Spirit, leading the person in error to say such things as, “The Lord told me”, or “The Lord is showing me”, etc.

Again, those with spiritual discernment will be aware that something is “off”, sometimes very much off!  The Holy Spirit is faithful; He does not fail to lead you into all Truth and keep you away from pitfalls and dangers as long as you are willing to be lead Take everything before Him.  He is your only Guide.

Stay with Him, even when it becomes uncomfortable, even when there are those around you who are afraid to go where He is leading you.  For He alone is able to keep you and eventually present you faultless before the throne.

Posted in church and the Holy Spirit, encouragement for the Body, Guest post, institutionalizing the church, kingdom principles, liberty and sacrifice | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

{Guest Post} participating with the Spirit–a healthy Body, Gifts of the Spirit #2

{There is a younger generation rising up. And with all force of the Holy Spirit they speak boldly. This post is one of those voices crying from the wilderness. To keep from focusing on the writer, this person prefered a new name for the blog. Paz, who is born the first time somewhat reserved; born again as a dedicated temple of an outspoken Holy Spirit. A guest post from Paz}

We opened up the topic of the gifts of the Spirit by looking at exactly what their purpose is and why we as the Body should walk in them.

In our scripture passage of 1 Corinthians 12 Paul lists some of the different gifts available, and includes some general information about the operation of the gifts.

Paul starts out the gift list by first emphasizing that each person in the Body of Christ is given gifts by the Holy SpiritHe closes the list by again emphasizing how everyone gets a gift, everyone is expected to participate in the functioning of the Body.

Too many church members read only half of Paul’s verses: “He (Holy Spirit) alone decides” and, the Spirit distributes gifts “as He wishes”. 

They use their half-verses as excuses not only for why it is perfectly OK that they don’t practice any gifts, but even why they really are (probably) more holy than you are, seeing how they have just “submitted” themselves to the Spirit’s will; and surely He knows where to find them if He ever has a gift He wants to give them.

They choose to ignore the very next words after their “half-verses”, where Paul clearly indicates that every individual can expect to receive something.  This makes it their responsibility to seek the Lord on this issue and pursue a direction they may not be comfortable taking. 

If God expects everyone to work in His kingdom, then it is only fair that we can expect Him to be willing to equip everyone.

On the flip side, there are other members who read only the other half of Paul’s verses.  They label everything as a “gift” and service to the Body.  Mowing the church lawn all summer?  It is your gifting.  Cooking for all the gatherings?  Your calling.  Providing childcare during service each week?  Your ministry.

Now, I do not disparage anyone who is working for the kingdom and for the King with a whole heart.  There are many different true callings and works assigned by the Lord,  but we are talking about spiritual gifts here.  And the key thing about spiritual gifts?  They are spiritual!

Spiritual gifts impact the spirit realm, not the natural only. 

And real spiritual gifts only operate where the Spirit is.

It is relatively easy to know whether the Holy Spirit is in a place or not, for “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” – every  time.  If there seem to be spiritual gifts operating where there is no Holy Spirit you can be sure that at best these gifts are fake replicas of the real thing, and at worse, they are being operated by spirits that are not the Holy One.  This is why we are repeatedly admonished to “check the spirits”.

This open, “freedom atmosphere” that is one mark of the Holy Spirit’s presence and a necessary attribute of a place where gifts can routinely operate, is often a stumbling point for churches. 

It feels too dangerous, too uncertain.  “With only the Holy Spirit in charge”, they ask, “how do we control things?”

While some church leaders worry that such a “non-leading” approach would simply lead to chaos within a group, I would ask them: “Do you have chaos in your own physical body?” 

Do not confuse compromise with unity.  While many church members live only in a state of tenuous compromise with one another, the members of my physical body live in perfect unity.  And my human body is the pattern of the spiritual Body of Christ.

My eye does not fight with my hand over where my hand reaches.  Neither does my eye tell my hand what to do.  And they do not work so smoothly together because they have mastered the art of compromise despite their extreme differences.  They just both do as they are instructed by my head.

This is unity.  That my legs may simply take off walking some day and drag me with them to places I don’t want to go is the least of my worries when I wake up in the morning.  Why?  My legs are in submission to my head, of course!

The only time I would run into trouble is if somehow communication from my head going to my legs were interrupted, say if my spinal cord were severed.  If that happens, my legs immediately become powerless, useless for what they were created to do.

My head directs, coordinates, and orders all activities; it makes all decisions; it guides all actions of the body to benefit, preserve, and care for the body. 

In fact, no member of my body is independent!  My body is one entity made up of many, extremely varied parts.  “For in fact the body is not one member but many.”  No member of my body can survive without the other members.  And no member can function, or even survive, separated from my head.  Does this sound familiar?

If there is a lack of unity in a church, there is a lack of communication between a member or members and the Head (that is Jesus, not lead Pastors).  It is a “vertical” problem (with Jesus), not only (and sometimes not at all) a “lateral” one (with people).

If spiritual gifts (members of the body) are missing entirely, only the Holy Spirit can provide them.  They cannot be “assigned” or drafted into service.  The good news is, the Lord is building up a whole body, full, complete, and equipped for every good work.  So if there are parts missing where you fellowship, He is capable, ready, and willing to provide them.   Maybe through you!

Posted in church and the Holy Spirit, encouragement for the Body, Guest post, institutionalizing the church, kingdom principles, liberty and sacrifice, the younger generation speaks | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

{Guest Post} sick churches are missing their parts; Gifts of the Spirit #1

{There is a younger generation rising up. And with all force of the Holy Spirit they speak boldly. This post is one of those voices crying from the wilderness. To keep from focusing on the writer, this person prefered a new name for the blog. Paz, who is born the first time somewhat reserved; born again as a dedicated temple of an outspoken Holy Spirit. A guest post from Paz.}

For a long time, I did not understand the gifts of the Spirit.   I knew they were mentioned in the Bible, but I had never heard a detailed message about them.  Because the topic of the gifts was never highlighted by any ministers I listened to, I just kind of relegated it to the “minor details” section of Christianity.  There, sure, but not critical to my daily walk.

The Holy Spirit has since corrected me.  He has taught me (and is still teaching me) that His gifts are not only important but essential.  They are not a side issue.  Without the gifts, the Body of Christ (which we are) is not complete.  And where this incompleteness will show up every time is in how the Body operates, in its effectiveness.

The Holy Spirit is our operating power, both personally and corporately.  His “tools” that He gives us, through which His power is expressed, are His gifts.

A church without the operation of the gifts is a church operating without full power – spiritually ineffective.

When writing to the Corinthians the first time, Paul discusses the gifts.  And he discusses the gifts in the context of the corporate Body (in particular, 1 Corinthians 12).  This is the first important thing to remember.  Many things the Holy Spirit provides us with are for our personal walk and relationship with Jesus, but His gifts are given to each one for the Body

Paul put it this way, “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other,” and “The Spirit’s presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all.”

The real thing, a true gift of the Spirit, is always geared toward benefiting the Body of Christ.  While the person operating in it is often blessed too, the gift is not something that directly benefits them.  It is a service they render to the Body as an instrument, a conveyor, of the  Lord’s power in that area. 

The second thing that is important to remember, is that the gifts are given to each person.  The gifts are for the corporate Body, but given to individual believers.

“Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefitsAll kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people!” (v. 7, Today’s English Version).

Paul next provides a list of the different gifts and emphasizes how everyone is given something.  Nobody is just a pew warmer.

There is no part of my body that is just “there” to fill space.  Why is the Lord’s Body any different?

Each of my body parts does the specific job that it was designed to do.  And if the designated part doesn’t do its assigned job, the job doesn’t get done.  If my eyes go blind, can my kidneys or my legs just make up the difference and start seeing?  No!  And again, why would we assume the Lord’s Body is any different?

One reason so many corporate churches are blind, deaf, lame, and suffer a host of other ills is they have sick, squashed, or missing parts.

And this is not the Holy Spirit’s fault.  He is the one responsible for dispensing the gifts and He is faithful.  “It is the the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts.  He alone decides which gift each person should have” (v. 11, NLT).  If gifts are not operating in a corporate body of believers, it is not by the Holy Spirit’s will but by the people’s choices. 

First of all, the Holy Spirit does not give power to unbelievers and sinners, even those who call themselves Christians and attend church.

Second, the gifts of the Holy Spirit work His way, and for His glory.  If you want the gifts you have to be willing to let only Him be in charge, not a man or a committee.

And third,  the church must be willing to allow the operation and manifestation of the gifts.  The Holy Spirit does not override anyone’s will.

But, if you are willing, if you really want to operate in the gifts to further the kingdom of God on this earth, then know that the Holy Spirit desires to give them.  He is eager to express the fullness of the beauty of the Body of Christ.

Posted in church and the Holy Spirit, encouragement for the Body, institutionalizing the church, liberty and sacrifice, the younger generation speaks | Tagged , , | Leave a comment