Deceitful Christianity

First, let explain last week’s blog entitled, Remnant, Arise! I feel the Lord is calling me—and this has been confirmed through several sources—to stand up and be a voice for the Bible-believing remnant within the United Methodist Church. What I wrote last week was actually written to be a magazine article—that may or may not end up in publication. I will be doing more writing along these lines as the Lord leads, grateful that He speaks to me in the midst of writing. I am convinced that part of God’s call on our congregation as a gateway church is to be a voice “crying in the wilderness” for (especially) the United Methodist Church to bow in submission before Her Lord, King, and Spouse.

We live in a time when many deceitfully use the Word of God in attempts to promote themselves and their political/religious agenda’s (See 2 Corinthians 4:1-2). This is certainly true of those on the “progressive” or liberal side of things who pick and choose Scriptures to promote a cheap form of “love” over the transforming Love of the Holy Spirit. The level of deceit is breathtaking—as pundits who present themselves as Scriptural experts twist, slice, and deny the Word of God to justify sexual sin, shallow preaching, and shameless political pandering and posturing.

But the libertine left is not the only place where the Word of God is deceitfully twisted. Pastor Duane and I just returned from the Voice of the Apostles Conference in Nashville. The teachers and speakers were fantastic and the worship was truly powerful—yet it was impossible to ignore some of the fleshly, immature, and sometimes deceitful behavior that was taking place—all in the name of Jesus and His Spirit…

There were some who would scream loudly or blow shofars—every chance they could. Others made sure that no one missed their flagging, dancing, shaking, or weeping. While ALL these things have a legitimate place within Biblical Christianity, any with the gift of discernment could soon see that some of these folks just wanted to look “holy” as they drew attention to themselves—and away for God.

Duane actually saw one man throwing gold glitter on people’s chairs in a section of the room where most of the folks were up front praying. While this person may have thought he was helping people believe in manifestations such as “gold dust,” God does not need help manifesting a miracle! Faking or exaggerating a miracle to “build faith” is deceitful… and worse!

I was approached by a pastor I’ve known for years who was attempting to bring me to a place of “holy laughter” through the use of human suggestion.   I saw others who purported to be healed on one day—and sick again by the next. God will not be mocked, and yet there are some who are healing-prayer junkies—who love being prayed for almost as much as they enjoy being sick…

You know me well enough to know that I believe and have experienced the reality of almost all of these manifestations.   Healing is real. Dancing humbly before the Lord is real. Holy Laughter is real—as long as it emanates from the Spirit of God and not by the power of contagious laughing.    God pouring forth gold dust on occasions of worship is well documented—and never created by gold glitter and a manipulative human…

Why would people—on both ends of the spectrum—misuse and deceitfully use the Word of God? Why would people mock God by faking miracles? Why would people teach—claiming that they believe the Bible—when they are willfully and defiantly misquoting it, ignoring sections of it, or flat-out lying about what the Bible says? Because people are broken—we are all self-centered fleshly jerks capable of the most twisted things in our own flesh…

Is there a cure? Yes! The early church practiced it and the early Methodists demanded it. The cure is a life built on the “Means of Grace.” People who actually read the Bible with ears to hear the Word; who pray for real and not just say that they do; who actually fast; who worship the Lord in private even more than they do in public; who tithe, serve, and are determined to grow up—these people are the ones who don’t feel a need to be seen, to show off, or to prove how spiritual they are, and certainly know the Word well enough to not deny or twist or misuse Him.

As your pastor I pledge to continue to protect you as best I can from the pollution and poison that comes from both extremes—the flaky right and the libertine left. Jesus is alive and He works miraculously—and I long for people to be fully immersed in all He does and all He is. But it is impossible to keep the flaky and the phony out if you are unwilling to spend time with the Lord yourselves—and trust me as your pastor.

God has such a high calling on this congregation—to be truly Spirit-filled and truly Word-based. It is an amazing privilege I hope and pray we take soberly and seriously—despite—or more rightly, because—of all the goofy and ungodly stuff that is swirling around us…!


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