EP25: A lazy sanctimonious Christian helps no one, ever, contrary to what Jesus called all of us to do.
Context: Matthew 15:1-14 [Amp]
A changed mind is a terrible thing to waste.
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I have NO idea how much time we have left. It all seems so dark and unattainable and scary. We spend our entire lives for whatever the epilogue is for us. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder.
Actually, I’m talking about retirement.
The way of the world today, in the past couple of decades, has made it harder, if unattainable, to “retire” in the true sense. GONE are the days of the gold watch, pension, health insurance and life insurance that was freely given to long-time employees. GONE are the days of a job that allowed you to save money for a down payment on a house, saving for your kid’s college, or just being able to live until you die without starving or languishing in a subpar nursing home ALONE.
Now dump covid on that. That’s the retirement most Americans are looking at right now.
The way of the world is choking all of us, without apology, financially and spiritually. We are obsessed with the next dollar because it could be our last. I do not understand why the government steals our money all of our working lives just to push us off the edge, thanks for nothing. At times it keeps me up at night, steals my breath and my joy and my peace. The amount of pure evil is blinding.
We may be retiring soon but that doesn’t mean ministry is over. And it shouldn’t be for you, either. That is one thing that cannot be stolen from us. The promises of God and Gospel of Christ are relevant to a still dying world. We can never allow the enemy to surround us with lies ever again. We may not be able to age out the way we hoped so we’ll redeem the time, love our neighbor, restore that which was lost.
Someone, somewhere still needs to hear what God wants you to say. Speak up until your last breath.
Mine was FABULOUS. Really. Every lap around that mountain gives us the opportunity to learn, even if you’re doing the same thing over and over. This unscheduled “trip” was not a journey away from Jesus and ministry, but to clarify and make clearer the Man He is and the words in red.
Some of my mountain trip was my renewed interest in the Jesus movement from decades ago. The kind of hippie way of following Jesus seemed so pure and unencumbered. Yes, there were issues with the doctrine, but the essence was of it reminded me of the unhindered love of the Gospel preaching to every creature without fear.
We fear mean people. We fear backlash. We want ‘peace’ but not the peace that passes all understanding. I, too, wanted to be LEFT ALONE. But ministry is PUBLIC, so says the Book of Acts, which has no end until Jesus comes back.
So, what cool stuff did the mountain trip teach me?
Your opinion has VALUE.
It is acceptable to listen to and glean from other ministries.
Strengthening discernment is the best workout EVER.
No two ministries are ever exactly the same.
Love does not mean acceptance.
Perhaps the hardest thing for a Christian and Minister to do is accept who WE are rather than caving to others. And by that I mean other ministries or the sister who prays more or the brother that gives more, etc. YOU and I are completely unique in our walk with the Lord and we should give a great big HALLELUJAH for that! Jesus wants us to be fishers of men, not a bunch of Stepford wives and clones.
Christians use social media to demonize other Christians and ministries. Shame on them. God hears them. But didn’t I do the same thing “in the name of Jesus”? Sadly yes. But then the mountain showed up! Thank God for the mountain!
Believers do not have inherent light, but we do have reflective light. So let your light so shine, for He is our source, a public acknowledgement of Jesus. Angry social media armchair preachers are the clanging cymbals of “ministry”.
To make sure I was correct, that I was reading scripture correctly, I asked a Pastor, with whom we are ordained, a question: Can Christians ‘judge’?
Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment,” (John 7:24).
Christians take ‘judge righteously’ out of context, definitely making their own rules as they judge along. But remember that the Bible does give us ‘rules’ to judge by. For instance: homosexuality, abortion, idol worship, adultery, to name a few. As Christians, we are to ‘judge righteously’ THE SIN, not the sinner. Unfortunately, the opposite is the usual ‘norm’.
As a sinner, before salvation, I made many mistakes that were evil and should have been judged with righteous judgement. And in a perfect scenario, the person who called out my sin would lovingly follow up with the Gospel and leading me to the Lord. My conversion did not happen that way, but it should have. Judging without having Biblical precedence leads the sinner to see a wagging finger, not a loving gesture.
To answer the question I gave my Pastor, YES, we can and should judge, or discern, righteously especially to the brethren, the House of God, and the sinner. BUT it has to be the intention to set the sinner free, and to give the brethren correction if they sway from the Truth.
We are all accountable to a Holy God, saved or not.
“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1Peter 4:17)
Never would I have thought that any church or ministry would be prochoice/proabortion. Or at least that’s what I believed 35+ years ago. We’ve been in prolife ministry since 2008 and I am still overcome with sadness and horror of how the Pulpit handles the subject of legal baby killing – abortion.
I had a prophetic dream last night, one that should chill a Pastor to the bone. God showed me many things in this dream; He used my husband, my adult son, his pregnant girlfriend [which is actually not the case btw], and a host of people who were supposed to be family and friends. It was dark, it was foreboding, and it was hard to see. But first let me say that God shows me many things in dreams but never do the characters look as they normally do, actually unrecognizable. It like looking at your child, knowing it’s him [or her], but looks completely different. However, let me get to the dream…
God used people I love and trust to get the point driven home. My husband was going to take my son and his girlfriend to get an abortion. Naturally, I was horrified and couldn’t figure out why he was not. Every time I tried to talk to them, there was distraction. Everywhere I turned there were people telling them the abortion is okay. I spoke, I yelled, I pleaded, I physically pushed people back, and barely a head turned my way. I saw a slight eye glance to me from the ‘husband’ as if he unacknowledged or dismissed me. As I turned, they disappeared while other family members sent me to where they said they were, and it was someone else laughing at me. I woke up.
Here is the interpretation: The Evangelical [Non-Denominational] Pulpit is silently accepting abortion because of personal situations that make it okay to them, preaches nothing in the meantime to soothe their troubled and sinful acts of abortion. SO, my husband and I are ordained ministers, my husband having been a Pastor in our home and an associate at other churches in the past. I love him and trust him, as well as our family. The Church becomes a Christian’s family, the Pastor the head of the home and Church, thusly trust is assumed much like with your natural family. In my personal story, I trusted my mother and family, but they turned me over to the Devil, to abortion.
Bottom line: The Pulpit is the CULPRIT, ‘do as I say’ rather than be the example. The Church is continually hoodwinked because Pastors step away from the Word and the Resurrection to silently accept abortion [and other abominations]. The Bible has never said abortion is a viable way to correct a sin problem, not one time. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin NO MORE, not cover it up and shut up.
Out of great failure comes testimony. I am reminded of Who is Light and who is darkness; we cannot see in the dark:
‘Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12
Without THE Light we see nothing and know even less. How can the Church expect to know if the Pulpit will not preach and teach the unabridged Word of God?
Jesus is the Light, He is the Answer. I believe the Pulpit forgets that Jesus was tempted for 40 days and is quite aware of ALL sin, especially ones committed in the dark like abortion. But He does offer us HOPE and a cure:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2
This, my friends, begins in the Pulpit and should spread like wildfire throughout the Church and beyond. The Will of God is not darkness even though He is there in those dark times. Abortion is never the right answer to any question. A weak Pulpit is what ails the Church and chooses the battles that have no eternal value.
The prophetic dream I had should be a wakeup call to every Church-going Christian who supports their Pastor and his Ministry. I’ve always said ‘If you don’t ask, you won’t know’ – do you know your Pastor’s position on abortion? Have you ever heard the word abortion from the Pulpit? You have a right to know.
My husband and I were having a conversation about being a public witness. What I mean by ‘public’ is sidewalk ministry at the abortion facility or street ministry at strip clubs, bars, for example. Public means what and where is legal. Public means public, anyone can be there…even the opposition.
In public ministry people love to battle, to justify sin, to embed their superiority. But the truth is they know they’re living a lie out loud, they know way deep down that this lie they live is getting harder and harder to keep up with.
When I remember who I used to be before Christ, I had to keep my justifications in absolute order so that I wouldn’t seem WRONG or in error of a badly lived life…after all, who’s life is it anyway? I thought it was mine alone.
GETTING TO THE POINT: There was not one time that I was ever confronted with a public witness for Christ, not at the abortion facility where my mother forced me to go to OR at the local night life clubs/bars I used to frequent.
Do we know we are a sinner? Yes. Even if we have one shred of ‘morality’, we know that we are failing God and slowly losing our life to sin.
A public witness does what Christ told us to do, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to EVERY creature”. Being a public witness for Christ is not a comfortable thing to do, people don’t like being confronted with a jealous God.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25, NKJV
Most people are caught up in a worldly web of deception, a web of discontent…a web they feel they cannot be free of. And like most people, I wanted someone to come along and save me from this horrible life…was I worth more than a glass of vodka and a pack of cigarettes? As I sat in that bar every day….I mean EVERY DAY….I wished for that great guy to come along and save me. And one day He did. But it wasn’t who I expected.
I didn’t believe in the supernatural, I saw only in disparity, what was around me. Never was I told I was better than the next cocktail, the next guy, the next party. I HATED to look at myself in the mirror, I HATED what I saw, I HATED ME. And the reason I hated me was because I allowed it.
Much like the woman at the well [John 4], I gave up. This life is what it is, I can’t change it, my family left me, my children left me, my dignity left me. All I had left to do was die.
But then Jesus came, He didn’t say I feel like going to Samaria or say maybe I’ll go through Samaria…Jesus said He NEEDED to go through Samaria. He met her where she was, at the well. This was her divine appointment with her Savior.
Street preachers and ministers meet people where they are to preach a loving Jesus who wants to save them from this existence of stacking sin in a neat pile. We are all the same, we need a Savior to be saved from this life….we have enough ‘friends’ to help us out with sin.
There is no judgement, just “Go and sin no more”. One day your accusers will go away, one at a time. And Jesus will be there for you. That’s the Jesus I know and that’s the Jesus we preach.
“When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:10-11
Street preachers/ministers are Christian Public Witnesses, just like the Apostles. Christianity hasn’t changed – we’ve changed it. We keep putting Jesus in a nicely decorated box called the Church. Church was NEVER a building but a concept and a reality since the first century.
Churches are full of people and Pastors that are hearers only. The street affords nothing but the purity of the Word and the intent behind it because I did not get saved in a church, I was presented with the Gospel by a man who was led by God to tell me about Jesus. You see, He came to where I was – at work and hungover.
Thank you God for bringing Him to me.