What an Age we are privileged to live in! Especially within our Americanized Christian Heritage. With such a proliferation of the Gospel, the Good News is spreading to the whole world, as prophesied. Along with this amazing Evangelistic sweep has come all the hugh churches, hugh congregations; with all the bigger than life Christian teachers and preachers. This Americanized grandiose promotion of Christianity proclaims a platform of faith which shouts only the very best for the Kingdom of God and Gods people. All fine and well, but a question arises within my heart. The question? At who's expense?
We have heard and certainly have been taught that the laity is to support the Church with their tithes, offerings, pledges and gifts. We are to serve the Church and support its vision with all its programs, and do our utmost to get involved as a member of the Church. All fine and well again. But that same question arises within my heart. At who's expense?
It does seem like thousands of Christians are packing into all the latest and greatest ministries on a nationwide basis. One only has to view these great halls and cathedrals full to the brim from their television broadcasts that can be seen weekly. With just the click of the remote control you can visit several Churches all in the same day, little-less the same hour. And what a broad representation is presented. Every Church service polished and entertaining, from the opening greeting to the final benediction. Everything in-between, including the songs and music so professionally organized and right up to par with the best that television has to offer. But again, my heart cries. At who's expense?
So much is happening so fast within the Christian Faith Movement nowadays that one must prayerfully inquire and pay attention to ones own beliefs in God first-most. Or otherwise face the outcome of being irresponsibly swept along in the glitzy rush of sermonetts and Christian commercialism. Unabashingly promoted within todays Christian ministries is the finery of the rich and the opulence of the wealthy. All supported by scripture and revelations. Our teachers and preachers seem to have stepped out of the latest coterie. All supported by scripture and revelations also. Each professionally staged to present a plethora of Christian virtue and wisdom. Acoustically enthralling, at ever increasing volumes, to heighten their anointed effects. Such powerful men and women within such ministries professionally honed to set an appearance of godly quality. All upheld through various scriptures and grand revelations. Each one always offering more godly quantity as the Honored One's being blessed within God's Kingdom. The constant call for tithes and pledges is lawfully coerced and fittingly rehearsed by scriptural reference into the ears of its ever growing populace of followers. If you are not legalistically condemned to contribute, you stand the chance of being swayed into the lucrative collection pans of reaping what you sow into the ministry. Or you might be sympathetically persuaded to endorse one of their trinkets that can be purchased for a gift offering. All for the Glory of the Kingdom of God and to Missionize the world. Yes, yes, all fine and well, but once again, at who's expense?
With utmost conviction and heartfelt knowledge, I truthfully believe our God is allowing ALL these happenings for an eternal merciful purpose which is being worked out right in our mist. But without our recognition most of the time. God is trying the hearts of His People. Trying and allowing His People to see all these events and to even be partakers of these events. Trying, in the purest definition of the word, the hearts of His People to see if faithful men and women will remain through it all nevertheless. Trying the hearts of His People to purge and purify from the least to the greatest. Trying the hearts as with fire to see exactly what will remain. Truly, only that which is born of God will remain as His Word declares. But in the meantime, this North American Gospel is allowed to mesmerize the masses and deceive even the very elect if possible. But it is not totally convincing, because of the truth that has been given to us by the Holy Spirit. It will not be possible to deceive God's elect.
Only, in the meantime, look at the onslaught of pollution that has entered such man made temples trying to house the Spirit of our Lord and promote the Kingdom of God. Consider the double minded messages that are being broadcasted that plague the minds of the believing listeners. Consider the anointing that is being taken for granted and being mimicked, along with the Holy Spirit who is steadily departing from these deadly monoliths. Consider the 'Rhema' word that is sorrowfully missing in most of these Theatrical Churches. Consider the 'Logos' word that is killing with its legalistic 'pharisee spirit' which has engulfed these Churches ever so cleverly disguised.
Has anyone thoughtfully inquired what will become of all these great Church buildings if more of God's people are laid off from their jobs? Oh yes, this does happen to Godly people. Has anyone inquired what will become of all this as the in-discretionary money of its followers dwindles in this common market that is even now faltering? Has anyone inquired what will become of all this as the EEU and the One World Government come into power? Do we even here about any of these types of things happening? These are actual events, just to present a few, that are now happening and looming up on the distant horizon. All this has been forewarned according to Gods economic plan, as foretold in Bible prophesy. Are we paying attention to God's plans for this world or our own plans for our world? At lot of questions I know, but there are more people than meets the eye thinking the same.
Satan has once again resurrected the old prideful devises to misdirect any faithful focus from glorifying Jesus Christ to glorying man first and the plans made in man's image. In a grand final effort as the Angel of Light, our enemy is still robbing, stealing, and destroying right in-front of our eyes. Certainly orchestrated in a refined process of pollution within the Church walls itself our enemy has set Kingdomly Brotherhood at a premium, manipulating the Word of God to fit the kingdomly needs of today for mans own benefit. We have yet to see what God does through the Holy Spirit with all of this. We have yet to stand accountable before our Lord. What I definitely know is the purging is but for a season and that season is coming to an end also.
Isaiah 53:5-6 is the final summation. "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
Our only refuge is in Jesus Christ the Lord. He is going to soon return to claim his remnant. The remnant that have remained in faith through it all and awaiting His call through it all. Jesus Christ the hope of Glory and our soon present King.
You made your point very well. Although I do believe this did all start within the United States, it has most definitely spread off shore and is now happening in churches all around the world. Australia included. And as Pastors and congregations continue to gauge success by the world's standards, it will continue to happen until either our awesome God gives His Bride a huge shake and brings us back to the reality of His glory alone, or, as you concluded, Christ returns in Glory! One thing I have noticed over the last few years, is that there are actually many who are looking at these "Christian Superstars" (churches, ministries and men) and starting to seriously question whether everything with the banner "Christian" is truly representative of the Gospel truth. Anyway, very thought provoking commentary. You brought up many points that I've, personally, had to work through over the last 3 or 4 years as things have changed in many Australian churches. With love, Deb