Tag: American Church

America Needs To Blush

Blushing“To whom can I give warning? Who will listen when I speak? Their ears are closed, and they cannot hear.
They scorn the word of the Lord. They don’t want to listen at all. So now I am filled with the Lord’s fury.
Yes, I am tired of holding it in!

“I will pour out my fury on children playing in the streets and on gatherings of young men, on husbands and wives and on those who are old and gray. Their homes will be turned over to their enemies, as will their fields and their wives. For I will raise my powerful fist against the people of this land,” says the Lord.

“From the least to the greatest, their lives are ruled by greed. From prophets to priests,
they are all frauds. They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions? Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush! Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered.
They will be brought down when I punish them,” says the Lord. (Jeremiah 6:10-15 NLT)

Isn’t it time to seek the Lord? Isn’t it time to be ashamed of our disgusting actions? Don’t you think it’s time we learn how to blush?

“Oh, brother. Here we go again.”

Yep.

“But, brother, Jeremiah was giving the nation of Israel the “what for”! This is the United States of America, not some nation given over to idolatry.”

Oh, really? Please explain to me the difference between Israel’s love affair with everything but God and this nation’s love affair with everything but God.

No difference.

Okay, you say Israel was held to a higher standard than our nation. Since they were “God’s people” and had been “preached to” for centuries, God required more of them.

Are you sure that’s the case? This nation has been inundated with preaching! Good preaching, bad preaching, false preaching, loud preaching, quiet preaching, dry preaching, and even Godly preaching; we’ve had it all.

To whom much is, or has been, given, much is required.

I believe God is requiring the Church in America to repent of idolatry, repent of ignoring and scorning the Word of God, repent of greed, repent of living a life focused on pleasure, and repent of twisted thinking – calling evil, good, and good, evil. It’s time to stop treating people’s mortal wounds with years of humanistic counseling, and speak God’s truth into their lives.

It’s at the point in time when America the Beautiful must look into the mirror once again at her abhorrent image. How can we say we’re a Christian Nation, in God we trust, when it just isn’t so?

It’s time we let our nakedness, our lack of God’s covering and protection, be as embarrassing to us as it is to the Lord!

It’s time we learn how to blush.

Agree? Disagree? Please comment.

Take Off That Red Cape!

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Clark Kent, that mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet, was quite a man. He could do all the things Superman could do (because that’s who he really was), but didn’t do anything unless he was wearing his big “S” and long red cape.

Wonder what the deal was. I mean, when he learned of trouble, especially if Lois was involved, he’d find a closet or phone booth, take off his glasses, remove his suit, and voila! He’s Superman!

But why couldn’t he fly, hit people, lift buildings, and dazzle Lois while wearing his “reporter” clothes? He was the same guy, he just looked different. Was it that people wouldn’t receive his help if he didn’t look like a superhero? Would people say, “who does he think he is? Why, we know his parents and they aren’t anything special!”

I don’t really know, but maybe it had something to do with public perception and expectations. Everyone had their idea of how a superhero should look, dress, talk and act. Maybe the adoration and praise from his adoring fans helped give him the super powers he demonstrated. And maybe, just maybe, he longed for the worship of others; he needed the worship and praise of others to help him get through life.

Pastoring, preaching, ministering is usually non-eventful. Most preachers DO NOT ” ring the bell” with every message they preach! Most weeks, even the busy ones, can be mundane and repetitious. Make phone calls, hospital calls, study, pray, visit Sister Ima Complainer and Brother Noah Good, mow the lawn, clean the church…week in and week out. So tempting to look for something, anything, that will put some “wow” into the ministry and get a larger audience (I mean, adherents). Never mind that the work they’re doing IS making a difference; no, they want others to know how super they really are.

Have you noticed how the churches in America are so competitive? Who are they competing with? Their brothers and sisters in Christ. For what? More people. Sound like a great thing? Keep in mind most “church growth” is really saints moving from church to church. Why do most move? They’re looking for the guy in the red cape that can put on the best show in town!

I suppose that’s a natural thing, eh? But the Apostle Paul didn’t think it was a commendable trait to act “naturally” or “carnally” (1 Cor. 3). He told the Corinthians to quit putting one person above the other and, instead, look to Christ. He said believers should be “spiritual” people.

Regardless whether or not people expect to see me in a red cape, I must remember who I am with or without the cape. God didn’t call and anoint me to put on a show, win people’s approval, sell the most tickets, or even leap tall buildings in a single bound. Now, He may have me do it now and then; but you can be assured He won’t have me changing in a phone booth before I do! He won’t have me pasting on a special smile for the cameras, practicing my “anointed gyrations”, or anything else just to make the next “show” more exciting than the last.

I am who I am in Him. And He made you who you are in Him! He is our strength and power. He’s all we need! So take off the red cape and comb your hair! Get rid of the cute little curl; that one that makes you look like that certain super guy.

Maybe when the American church decides to quit idolizing the ministers, and the ministers stop seeking and feeding on the praise and worship of the people, God will really "put on a show" that will change lives for eternity!

May we see Him demonstrate His speed, power, and ability…amen.

Arise, Shine!

Sunrise
Please don’t misunderstand me…
I am not a gloom and doom kind of guy; but I have been spending time meditating on the Word and praying for and about the present day Church. While I may write things that seem like I’m ragging on the church and ministers, I am totally in love with Jesus AND His Church! And though I believe the next year will be extremely challenging and ministries will be sifted and shaken,

I see the Glory rising through those who won’t, and can’t, be stopped!
Malachi 4:1,2 – The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed roots, branches, and all. “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Isaiah 60:1 – Arise, shine, for your light has come; and the Glory of the Lord is risen upon you.

Men and women of God – let go of the things that cause you and others to stumble in darkness. Embrace the changes the Lord is bringing you through.

Hate what He hates, love what He loves; and He will anoint you with the oil of joy beyond what you’ve experience thus far.

Days of Brightness,
Days of Freedom,
Days of Refining and Defining the Church.

You know what? We’re going to need each other…

Could Jesus Be An American Preacher In 2013?

American Church

What if Jesus was a Preacher in the American Church in 2013?

What would that look like? Would He know how to grow a church? Would He have a “staff” and what would that look like?

Could the Apostle Jesus plant a church in today’s society, economy, and denominational organizations?

How would He go about doing it? Who would He ask, what forms would He need to fill out, what extra training would He need before He would be given permission. Would He need to have a core group before beginning the work and what if He wasn’t the right age to connect with what the demographic researchers determined was necessary? Would He wear the title of “Apostle” like a badge that demanded recognition and obedience? Would He demand the tithe from His “children in the faith”? Would He serve others or expect everyone to serve Him?

Suppose Jesus came to church this year as a Prophet of God?

Who would listen? Would He even be invited to speak “a Word from God”? Who would give Him permission to speak? If He revealed too much of our hearts and lives, would someone shut down the meeting? Would He advertise in Christian publications, using full page, full color ads, describing Himself in such a way so He could get more meetings and publicity? Could He hold citywide crusades? Would He go to small venues, or would there need to be enough people to “support the ministry”? Would He “sell His services and prayers” for a nominal offering to help support the ministry? Would He promise a hundred-fold return for every nickel given? Would He be a person of integrity – and actually pray over each letter received, like He said He would – or would His staff collect the money from the envelopes and toss the letters?

Maybe Jesus would arrive as an Evangelist!

Healing, casting out devils, preaching the word of deliverance to those who come to the meetings. But, who would come? In fact, who would even schedule Jesus to have a meeting? The American church doesn’t need evangelistic meetings anymore, do they? After all, the local pastor can give “his” congregation everything they need. So really, no need for an evangelist. Just forget it.

Do you really think Jesus could last as a Pastor/Shepherd in 2013?

For how long? Could He make it 7 years? Could He handle loud music or old hymns? Would it make any difference to His church if He was bivocational? Would He sit in His office before “service”, not speaking to anyone so He didn’t “lose His anointing” or would He greet and hug, receiving all who came to Him? What organization would He have His preaching papers with? Would He go to “ministers meetings” for fellowship or would He stay in His own little world, complaining of how busy He always is? Would the congregation have to wait for months to schedule an appointment with Him? Would He return calls to missionaries or another minister, or would the calls be ignored? Would He allow His tee time to be interrupted by a telephone call from another minister, who just needs some encouragement? Would He realize Who is supposed to lead the local church, or would He maintain His “called right”?

Possibly, Jesus would show up as a Teacher.

Would He arrive with certain demands regarding His accommodations and meals? Would He speak at the people or to them? Would He have well staged theatrics and cute sayings, or would His teaching go beyond the use of clever and persuasive words designed solely for crowd pleasing. Would the message taught change lives or only sell books and build publicity? Would He speak to a waitress in a restaurant with the same “sincerity” He uses to teach the masses? Could He work hand in hand with the other ministries in the church? Would He yield the platform to someone less “gifted” if Father God had a different plan that day? And, how many houses would He need to demonstrate just how prosperous God had made Him?

We’re going to find out!

Jesus is wanting to minister as an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher – through you and I! I recall Jesus’ ministry throughout the Gospels, ministering as those gifts mentioned above, and I see the need for a lot of change. In me.

Maybe in you.

You and Jesus will determine that.

 

 

 

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