There are only a few occasions when I have gotten angry about the actions of/comments from a Christian that many people hold in high regard. I am fully aware that if you compared my life to Jesus, I would wear a (metaphorical) muddied, filthy sinful rag, compared to the pure white robe he wants us to dress in, so I have no right to judge, but certain things that are put into the media and displayed as “Christian” are far from biblical!
Last Sunday, a Church leader was on a popular discussion tv show and was reported to say the following
“I cannot bring myself to believe in a Satan who is an embodied angel thrown out of heaven”
“My God has no space for some kind of tempter”
What bible are they reading?! The church leader even said that “the devil in the book of Job is a kind of Joke figure”, how on earth can you possibly say that the Devil is a joke?! I was even more amazed that people said how well she did, and one person who stepped in to defend the minister, when they were criticised, wrote “you are an inspiration!” Has the Anglican church’s resolve to be in “communion” with as many people as possible, really allowed bizarre theology to be preached from the pulpit?! Have they not heard the phrase “if you try to please everyone, you actually please nobody”?
A few years ago, there was a preacher with a massive healing ministry, the top evangelical leaders in the USA supported him and there were thousands of people flocking to his events, a few weeks after one his largest “events” it was revealed that he was cheating on his wife, with one of his staff, and there were reports of him not actually “slaying people in the spirit” but using physical force to push people over and disorientate them instead, 6 months later he was back on the “God channel”?! I am sorry, but if your actions behind the scenes are ungodly and you show no remorse when they are revealed, there has to be questions about your theology and integrity!
There is another man with a ministry, which appears to have no beneficial dealing mainly with “getting drunk on the Holy Spirit” and “getting high on the Holy Ghost”, (apparently he was a former addict to drugs and alcohol, then he discovered how much happier the Holy Spirit made him, so wanted to get “high” everyday!) He went to Bethlehem and sniffed the dust from the places where Jesus was supposed to have lived, he came to the town where I live, fortunately a family in the church, where he was due to run a weekend course in “mysticism”, flagged up their concern and many others then looked into it. The leadership team of that church were still willing to invite him to preach and teach, despite most of the long-standing members of that church “fleeing the ship”. Ironically, one of his “disciples” went off and created his own even more extreme ministry which even the original guy had to admit was OTT and un-biblical (acts included smoking from a lego brick?!)
Finally the ones that really get my hackles up are the “tele-evangelists”, they ask for money, “bribing” you with a CD or a book, (and even a green handkerchief!) They will broadcast from anywhere including stadiums with revolving globes and man-made waterfalls, to studios that have their own private security company guarding the compound. Where did Jesus tell us to do that?!
The bible says in Matthew 24:11 -12
11-12 “In the confusion, lying preachers will come forward and deceive a lot of people. For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.
I had a conversation, a few years ago with an Anglican priest who informed me that, according to their theology, priests are accountable to God for their parishioners, in the same way, if we know the truth and allow deception to be spoken through us, we are ultimately going to have to face up to that on Judgement Day. But if we hear deception preached from the front or in the public and we do nothing about it (the best way is to challenge the speaker quietly and respectfully) we are also going to have to deal with the consequences on Judgement Day!
The devil is a “tempter” and a deceiver telling us “half-truths” to start us on paths that seem all innocent and before we know it we are knocked off-track and in a mess that only God can help us with! The Devil cannot control us unless we allow him to, if we allow thoughts like:-
- “God doesn’t seriously expect that of us, we are in the 21st Century not the Dark ages!”
- “O that’s ok, Jesus didn’t say anything about that!”– (remember you may find it ok, but people who have struggled with temptation or addiction they may find it a “stumbling block”)
- “It’s only a bit of fun, no one is gonna be hurt”- (The big test of whether it is sinful is whether the act is showing love or showing lack of love!)
Like it or not we are in the world, we are meant to engage with the world, but not conform to the world’s standards (because we all know what the “world” considers “acceptable” is not actually beneficial to society!
The challenge for us all is to speak up! Be ready to give the reason for the hope that you have in Jesus but also be ready to challenge un-biblical beliefs and actions from fellow believers (with respect and gentleness)!