Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Importance of Being Earnest (not about the play) (08/04/11)
TITLE: His Name Means Money
By K Godfrey Easter
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Jesus taught His disciples that it’s not how well a sermon is received by its audience that counts. What matters most to Christ is the preacher’s character after the sermon has been preached. When even gifted shepherds don’t practice what they preach or when they twist God’s message for selfish gain they spread spiritual confusion on to the sheep, like cancerous cells through an attacked body. God is not the author of confusion, which begs an even greater question: was God even the author of the well received sermon preached by the hypocritical, manipulative or leaven spreading, yet well respected Pharisee? Case in point…
Not too long ago, I viewed a sermon preached by a highly esteemed, prosperity-gospel-preaching pillar within the upper echelon of mainstream Christian leadership today. His last name means money. This was a few years back when Christ personally convinced me (when Christian leadership couldn’t) that I was, in fact, born same-gender attracted to the extent that I couldn’t remain gay. In his sermon the Christian icon with a doctorate degree from some Christian seminary attempted to convince me that as a believer, I could command God. He used Isaiah 45:11to solidify his wayward instruction to thousands in his congregation and watching, as I was, via some unfortunate Christian network. He taught that from that passage and others that God had given us permission to command Him to do our bidding. His message sparked my curiosity enough to try that spirit whether it was of God or not. So, I took His bait and digested the entire chapter, verse by verse. Man, was I unpleasantly surprised to say the least. I discovered that God had not given me, anyone else or the unrestrained preacher permission to command Him of anything. On the contrary, God, in His infinite majesty, was, in truth, asking us how anyone could even think of commanding Him for anything based on who He Is.
Elohim proclaimed through the prophet, Isaiah, that He, alone, made the darkness and the light. He made the sun, moon, and stars appear and remain in the sky. What God expressed in that passage was so transparent that I could only surmise that the well respected scriptural expert was pulling an ungodly stunt. I guess he needed to pay on the note on his personal jet or a mortgage payment on his mini-super-dome-mega-church. I don’t know.
Any gifted person has the ability to draw a crowd and retain them. To me, that’s no big feat. The late Michael Jackson drew multitudes with his gift until the world crowned him king of pop music. He made them scream, cry, sprint, shout, dance and faint from some spirit, too, just like what we see on Christian television every night and in congregations every week. Gifted athletes fill stadiums to capacity weekly just to be seen manipulating worthless cowhide. So, just because shepherds can fill mega-churches each week by the fruitless words they preach doesn’t say much, really.
Pulpits hit the nail on the head in urging every believer to read our Bibles more earnestly. All of us should seek to better personally know Our Father who art in us and who is in Christ Jesus. The Old Testament, from Genesis to Malachi, helps us to better understand who God is, His nature… His ways, so that we may better love Him back. Throughout Hebrew scripture, God is found pointing us directly to Christ. Then from Matthew through the John the revelator, we find Christ pointing us directly back to God-- the perfect Circle of life-- that’s when He’s not exposing the unbridled injustice, unfairness, manipulation and hypocrisy that within the pulpits of His day-- just like it can be clearly witnessed in Christian pulpits today.
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