Sometimes, the truth hurts, we all know that. But when we are speaking up for a jealous God, how far are you willing to go to defend the Gospel? Is it worth risking the amount of followers and friends you have? Because in short, and from personal experience, you will always offend someone when you are presented with the task of speaking the truth...
Your own evil will discipline you; your own apostasies will reprimand you. Recognize how evil and bitter it is for you to abandon the Lord your God and have no fear of me.
A little over two years ago, I confronted some pastors about a serious decision they were about to make, and I shared with them what God showed me about this, offering guidance so they would avoid making the wrong choice...You are probably thinking I am going to say that all went well, that my word was well received, that there was a happy ending to what could have been a disaster, right? WRONG! Not only was anything God had told me not received, but I was never asked to minister in this particular church anymore. These pastors all but went out of their way to avoid me henceforth.
No matter the outcome, no matter they never asked me to minister there again; the point is, at that particular moment, God had a specific task for me to carry out. Before I came to these pastors, I had my own choice to make, obey God or cower down and say nothing in order to keep the peace and be asked to come back anytime I wanted. My response was unwavered, even knowing the outcome may be against me. Whatever decisions they made after was between them and God.
This story is not for the lukewarm Christian community. It is not for the seat fillers who like to go to church on Sundays, so they can later say they did their good deed for the week, or held up their spiritual responsibility; during a time when the church desperately needs revival more than we ever have, the mighty warriors for Christ must understand the responsibility we have to correct what we see is going on all around us...but sometimes, that correction is inside the church.
Week after week, I watch people filling the seats of the local church, the same mundane expressions on their faces, which appear void of spiritual comprehension and clarity. I watch as people take out their phones and open up social media platforms during the service, yes, right in the middle of the pastor giving the sermon. Occasionally , you hear one of these shout out an “Amen!” to keep from appearing as though they are not paying attention.
The cause of this dead behavior with the same weekly routines, and no changes in the atmosphere?...The majority of churches cower with fear they may offend the wrong person if they tell the truth...Pastors becoming too proud and commercialized, covering their eyes when they see a need for correction or guidance; thinking they can handle the problems in their church on their own, and have no need to listen to anyone outside of their own circles, even if they are fully aware of a growing cancer on the inside.
The results?...lack of spiritual growth and maturity inside the church. Church leaders believe they can do it all on their own, and no longer look to others for guidance and prayer, but the biggest mistake...no longer looking for the Lord within the church walls.
Jeremiah 2: 8
The priests quit asking, “Where is the Lord?” The experts in the law no longer knew me, and the rulers rebelled against me…
The church is not only doing a disservice to its congregations, but to the next generation of believers who will, if the Lord tarries, become the next leaders in the church. I remember hearing from a church leader several years back, when confronted with how they might personally approach someone in their congregation who allowed their children to run around the church sanctuary, climb on the altars, and play around with worship instruments (these kinds of things were literally going on weekly in this church). This leader’s answer was more disturbing than watching the out of control youths in the act; this leader responsible for shepherding a flock of believers, replied simply, “Well, I allow it, because at least they are not running around in the streets or in a club!” Let me note these children were elementary aged. Of course they were not running around the clubs, they are too young to get inside of one!
It is situations like the above that have molded the church to what it is today; a body of lukewarm believers without a pulse, who lack the fear of an Almighty God, lacking discipline and knowledge how to model to our youth the respect and behavior appropriate for the house of God. Church leaders making detrimental decisions for the worst, which often results in a toxic split, hurt feelings, jealousy, lack of operation in Spiritual gifts; ultimately creating a proud, arrogant group of believers who know they are seeking something more, but for the life of them, are unable to figure out why they are not getting what they ask from God.
The good news? I have sought the Lord to show me other believers who will stand up for what is right in Christ. Believers like us who do not care what it costs them to admit they are fed up with the lukewarm, mundane acts of the church. God has shown me many like us who are tired of the routines, and tired of whining believers constantly wondering why they “never feel close to God”. Every time I write, every time I hear God telling me to say something, I am aware of the consequences that may follow; but I said it before, I have a job to do for the Lord! How will you respond when God gives you the task that may cause conflict or loss of acquaintances? Whose side will you jump on when confronted with a difficult conversation that God is telling you to have?
Do not participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them.