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Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 13 – Response to Apathy and Indifference

In Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Exhortation, Renewal, Revival, Truth, Uncategorized on November 15, 2018 at 8:00 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

Jesus clearly warns His people in the Book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3 against being a cold, loveless, lukewarm, compromising, corrupt, and/or dead church. Instead, we are to put off all callousness, hardness, coldness, and lukewarm-ness and be alert, enthusiastic, and sensitive to the Spirit of God as well as others. Remember the warning in 1 John 2:9 (NKJV) “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.” We must practice love toward those within the household of faith.

We find within the Body of Christ a sense of removal from the world around us. We are different from, but still a part of, this world and our society. The idea that we as a Body are not called to impact our society and world is simply ridiculous. Scripture clearly teaches us that we are to be a light in the darkness and a light to the world around us.

Philippians 2:15 (NKJV)

that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

Ephesians 5:8–11 (NKJV)

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

We are not to sit by and watch our society and world thrive in darkness. We are instead to expose evil by sharing its godly superior. Truth must win out over a lie. God’s ways are to be held up over the ways of Satan or man. We cannot tell ourselves that the issues of the day in our society are of no importance one way or the other to us. Of course, they are important, important to us, important to our future and the future of all the other Christians who will follow behind us. We cannot just pretend that issues are neither right nor wrong, for they are, because God has said they are in His Word. Whether or not we have a particular interest in, opinion on, like or disliked for a topic or issue is irrelevant. What is relevant is what God’s Word has to say about the issue or topic and what God’s Word has to say is what we are supposed to be saying.

We must let go of all apathy and indifference that has permeated our lives personally and our walk with Christ, and instead embrace His Will and His Way of doing things. We must also let go of all apathy and indifference that has permeated our willingness to speak up and reach out in our society or world and instead hold up the Standard of, the Way of, and the Purpose of God as found in God’s Word.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

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Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 12 – Apathy and Indifference

In Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, End Times, Exhortation, Renewal, Revival, Spiritual Remnant, Uncategorized on November 1, 2018 at 9:00 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

“We crucify ourselves between two thieves: Regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.”

Fulton Oursler [1893-1952], American Journalist and Author

Apathy and indifference are often signs of great fear, fear of making another mistake and/or fear of the unknown. This fear renders individuals without the freewill to choose. Their wills have been given over to the unknown, or better stated, to fear of the unknown. Yet, living in regret of the past or fear of the future has never prevented one catastrophe.

The Body of Christ is filled with apathy. Apathy and indifference according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary are defined as:

apathy

Function:

noun

1 : lack of emotional responsiveness <hid her sorrow behind a dull brooding apathy>

Synonyms impassivity, insensibility, phlegm, stoicism, stolidity, unresponsiveness

Related Words inertness, passivity, supineness; aloofness, detachment, indifference, unconcern; lethargy, torpidity, torpor; listlessness, numbness, stupefaction, stupor

Contrasted Words ardor, fervor, passion, responsiveness, warmth; alertness, awareness, concern, solicitude

Antonyms zeal; enthusiasm

2 : lack of interest or concern <public apathy toward the school crisis>

Synonyms disinterest, disregard, heedlessness, indifference, insouciance, lassitude, lethargy, listlessness, unconcern, unmindfulness

Related Words callousness, hardness, insensitivity, obduracy, unawareness; coldness, halfheartedness, lukewarmness; calmness, dispassion, dispassionateness

Contrasted Words attentiveness, concern, heedfulness, interest; awareness, mindfulness, sensitivity, solicitude; ardency, fervency, passion, warmth, zeal

indifferent

Function:

adjective

2 : of no importance one way or the other

3 : marked by no special liking for or dislike of something

6 : being neither right nor wrong

Having pondered the meaning of these two words, apathy, and indifference, let us examine how we see them played out within the Body of Christ.

There is a lack of emotional responsiveness both to the Person of God and to what our brothers and sisters in Christ are experiences or going through in life. We stand at the threshold of Greatness beyond measure in Christ Jesus and often just walk away without feeling anything or feeling very little. We are not to lose control of our emotions in a negative way, but we are not to be unresponsive either. We are to love Jesus with a passion, and passion prompts some level of emotional response.

We are called upon by Scripture to share in our fellow Believers’ joys and sorrows. Romans 12:15 (NKJV) instructs us to, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” More times than not what people receive from their fellow Believers when they share their joys and sorrows is detachment and unconcern. This ought not to be. We should be interested in and happy for those who are celebrating a success among us. Equally so, we should be sensitive to their hardships, dealing with them with warmth, love, and affection.

There is equal apathy and indifference when it comes to the things of God, what is going on spiritually within the Body of Christ, the issues that concern of our country, and the events going on in the world around us. There is a sense of lethargy and numbness among Christians. The Bible however calls us to pursue God, the things of God, and our life in God with passion and zeal.

1 Corinthians 14:12 (NKJV) Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.

Galatians 4:18 (NKJV) But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you.

Revelation 3:19 (NKJV) (Jesus speaking) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

We are to have a passion and a zeal for the spiritual gifts and talents that God has given us, so that those gifts and talents can be used to build up and edify the Body of Christ. That desire to pursue God in life, and the godly life, should always be present in us. When we find out we are on the wrong side of what God wants for us we should be willing, and quick, to repent.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 4:14-19 – Wicked and Evil or Wise and Shining

In Advice, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Decision Making, Evil, Godly Counsel, Proverbs, Prudence, Truth, Uncategorized, Wickedness, Wisdom on October 24, 2018 at 1:32 pm

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

Note – All words or phrases found in quotation marks are actual parts of the Hebrew definition.

14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. 16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Wicked and Evil or Wise and Shinning

Wickedness and evil behavior however severe or minor in the eyes of man is something to be avoided at all cost. God warns us to turn from evil before it consumes us or consumes parts of our life. (verse 14-15)

There are those who hunger after evil even to the point of losing sleep if they cannot find a way to partake in the evil they desire. Almost like a drug that someone is addicted to, evil calls after the wicked person. There are people who simply enjoy causing hurt for other people – hard to conceive for those who truly love God, but it is true. (verse 16-17)

You can see evil on a wicked person. There is a darkness on their countenance and vacancy to their eyes, an aura of darkness around them that cannot be described in words. Similarly, it is true of a Believer when they are actually living for God, there is a light that shines from their countenance, a light in their eyes, an aura of godly spirituality that is seen and detected by most people, sensed with mixed reactions. (verse 18)

Some people are draw to, and interested in, the light they see in this type of Believer, while other people are uncomfortable around the godly spirituality they can sense coming from the person. This tends to be true whether either type of person can detect exactly, or understand fully, what it is they sense coming from the dedicated Believer.

When you look into the Hebrew language at the meaning of the words and phrases in verse 19 it is extremely interesting and supports a principle we find in many other parts of Scripture. “As darkness” and “not at what they stumble” denotes the concept of those people who regularly do evil, sin, not understanding why “misfortune” and problems seem to continually plague them. The definitions define the person’s life as a life in continual decline, “decaying” and filled with “misfortune.” (verse 19)

The godly Believer continues to grow and shine brighter and brighter as their spiritual life with God progresses, they grow and slowly change for the better, whiles the evil person continues in a life of misfortune and trouble, they rarely change or grow as a person, have little desire to grow or change, and their life is slowly decaying away. (verse 18-19)

Which type of person will you choose to be?

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 11 – The Acceptance Factor

In Abuse, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Candy Cane, Christian Living, Church Growth, Exhortation, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on September 20, 2018 at 9:00 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

Please note this will be my last posting until mid-October. I have something I must attend to. Please keep me in your prayers.

A church that finds the appropriate balance between lovingly accepting people while at the same time remaining true to God’s Word and Principles will grow.

If there is one thing that false religions have learned it is the art of acceptance. Multitudes of people have been dragged into sin and evil out of a desire to be accepted. It is a form of validation we all need to some degree.

Knowing that we are all in need of acceptance, the question then becomes what form of acceptance should be given and what degree of acceptance should the church give. There is a delicate balance between upholding the Word of God while at the same time loving and accepting people. We do not have to validate someone’s sin in order to accept him or her. We can accept them without accepting their sin. We will make that our jumping off point.

The church is called to love people regardless. Loving them does not mean we keep silent about their sin or that we ascribe to a “don’t ask don’t tell” mentality. It means we treat the individuals with the same kindness and respect we would anyone, and we share God’s truths with them as He allow us and opens the door for us to do so. We never reject them because of their sin or because they do not agree with us, and we also never validate their sin or partake in their sin as a means of showing love.

When pressed to accept something in someone’s life which is in contradiction to God’s Written Word we should express our care and love for the person but also express a refusal to embrace that aspect of the person’s life or that particular belief they ascribe to. We explain, with Scripture, why we believe something different than they believe and reaffirm our desire to accept and love them despite the fact that we do not agree with them.

There are those individuals who are hard to accept not because of their choices in life, lifestyle, beliefs, or sin but because they are wounded, difficult, because of their attitude, or perhaps a physical, mental, or emotional handicap which makes relating to them more challenging. In these cases, we must call more upon our own character and spiritual development to step up to the task of acceptance. The ability for change or modification by the individual may not be an option or at least not an option initially. A person with a handicap cannot change their circumstances. A person with wounds cannot change until emotional, mental, and spiritual healing has begun. A person with a challenging demeanor or attitude will mostly likely never change without a community of people who offer them love and acceptance. Therefore, in all such cases it will be up to you to allow God to stretch you spiritually, mentally, and emotionally in order to exhibit His balanced and appropriate form of acceptance.

More individuals would embrace the church if the church would embrace them. If we refuse to accept individuals because we do not agree with them, we are limiting our capacity for love. When we refuse to accept another person, it is because in some way, we have judged that person, or we have judged that person’s actions. Furthermore, our lack of acceptance of them to some degree, despite their sin or issue, is a form of condemnation. Judging that results in condemnation, is not discernment judging [1 Thess. 5:19-21, 1 Corn. 2:14 & 12:3, 1 John 4:1-6, Ps. 119:18, and 1 Kings 3:9-14], it is sinful judging [John 7:24, Rom. 14:1-13 and Matt. 7:1-6]. No one can hear us until they can see us, and no one can see us until they feel a certain level of acceptance from us.

Individuals who have never felt accepted have found a home within the Christian Community and some individuals within the Christian Community have never felt accepted. Fear can hinder a person’s ability to accept another person. If they fear the person’s lifestyle, sin, demeanor, ideas, and/or points of view, they will not be able to accept the person. However, if they can accept the seventy-five percent of the individual that they do like and agree with, they will find themselves to be in a better position to influence the other twenty-five percent of the person or to grow themselves as a person.

Acceptance never makes room for sin, but acceptance makes room for sin to be abandoned. The next time you see the individual whom no one else seems willing to accept and embrace, make room in your heart to do so yourself. You just may find that the Kingdom of God is expanded by one because you did.

Please note this will be my last posting until mid-October. I have something I must attend to. Please keep me in your prayers.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 10 – Abuse and The Church (Spiritual and Psychological Abuse)

In Abuse, Advice, Apostasy, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Church Growth, Evil, Exhortation, Holy Spirit, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Suffering, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized on September 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

One of the worst forms of abuse, in my belief, is spiritual abuse. This is when someone uses the things of God to control, manipulate, abuse, use, degrade, etc. other people. This has been done in extreme forms such as, ‘If I do not get X amount of money from my people God will take my life, close our church, etc.’ ‘If you do not read your Bible daily, God will not have fellowship with you.’ ‘If you are not in church each time the doors are open you are not a committed Christian.’ On and one we could go. I am sure each of you has your own example. The examples provided are damaging forms of spiritual and psychological abuse pure and simple.

A desire for a leader to obtain unquestionable dedication, which is free from accountability to the ones asked to give said dedication, is spiritual abuse. Does the Word of God call us to submit to the authorities He has placed in our lives? Yes. Who are those authorities however, and do we submit regardless? We do not submit regardless. We are accountable to God first, then to other people. We submit to our spiritual leaders when they are following the Will of God as found in God’s Word. We do not submit to sin or follow a leader into sin. How many cults, which started out with religious undertones, ended in disaster? Too many to recall. Why? Because people followed, even in the face of sin, because they believed they were to submit to authority without questioning authority.

A more hideous form of spiritual abuse is to distort and misuse the Word of God in order to get what one wants or justify one’s actions. So many people sit in church with their Bibles closed looking at an overhead screen trusting that the text on that screen matches what is actually in God’s Written Word. It only takes subtle and slight changes to God’s Word to distort its entire meaning and purpose. No matter how long you have known someone and no matter how much you trust them, you should have your Bibles out and open when they are speaking or teaching so that you can confirm that they are rightly dividing the Word of God. Especially grievous to the heart of God is this form of spiritual abuse that uses the Word of God, and God will deal with this abuse quite harshly.

When a person uses another person’s love for God to advance their own cause, regardless of what that cause might be, to get their way, to attempt to mislead or deceive the heart that trust in God both people are in danger. The abuser’s target is in danger of being spiritually and psychologically abused resulting in spiritual and perhaps psychological damage, and the perpetrator is in danger of the wrath of God that does come upon those individuals who use spiritual things to hurt God’s children.

Abuse in the Body of Christ, in all its forms, can stop when we become willing to both speak up and be spoken to when necessary. Accountability is a responsibly not an option. It is the basic fabric that holds the cloth of Christ’s Body together. Without the courage to question our leaders, we will find ourselves impotent and frustrated. Without the willingness to be questioned, we will find ourselves isolated and insolent.

This concludes the addressing of this difficult subject of abuse found within the church and how that abuse effects the growth of individual congregations as well as the universal church, which is the Body of Christ. We will continue to reflect on reasons why churches are not growing from various angles aside from the abuse angle.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 9 – Abuse and The Church (Mental and Emotional Abuse)

In Abuse, Advice, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Christian Living, Church Growth, Confusion, Depression, Exhortation, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Persecution, Renewal, Repentance, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Suffering, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized on August 22, 2018 at 9:00 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

Mental abuse is much more subtle. Harder to spot and much harder to get help with once realized. This type of abuse can be found in the hard and harsh corrections, which have gone in the name of Christ. Abuses disguised either as a form of church discipline or under the guise of being motivated and directed by God to correct a person and proceeding to do so in a horribly cruel manner. Threats and insinuations that are meant to wound more than help. Often bringing about confusion and despair to the hearer instead of repentance, help, and healing.

Yes, there are times when a harsh or hard to listen to Word is spoken in the name of Christ for the edification of the Body of Christ. These postings is one of those times. However, when that word leaves the hearer[s] mentally beaten and bloody with no hope for or direction to change it is useless and can even be an instrument of the devil to further damage the church.

Shunning when used improperly, which it often is, is very much a form of mental and emotional abuse. People look to their local congregations, as a source of community, which they should, and it should be. However, if someone with enough clout and persuasion becomes displeased with a person they can sow seeds of discord with other people and bring about a shunning or rejection of this person. Rejection by a person’s Christian Community can be extremely emotionally and mentally damaging. The Church is Christ representative on earth and we should seek reconciliation and unity. Using rejection as a form of manipulation in order to get what we want from another brings shame on the Body of Christ. Sowing seed of discord through gossip is sinful behavior, which Scripture condemns (Prov. 6:14,19 and 1 Tim. 5:13).

Gossip is a hideous form of emotional abuse. Gossip is a huge problem in any group but is deeply rooted in the Christian Community. People find it easier to talk about people than to talk to people when they feel threatened or concerned. If you carefully examine the content and nature of gossip you find that the gossiper is feeling quite threatened by the person, about which they are gossiping. Often these feeling of intimidation are not realistic or warranted but it is hard to get the gossiper to understand that truth. They must tear the other person down, so they can feel better.

Additionally, you have the classic, ‘I share this, so we might pray for…’ gossipers. I have never had one of these people ask me when they were done sharing their information if we could pray right now for that person. I have my doubts whether they have ever prayed for that person. I find it is best, and I have gotten to where, I cut these people off immediately when they first begin to attempt the conversation. Most of the time the agenda is not one you want to share in.

Emotional abuse can come in other forms as well. Manipulation is a common form of emotional abuse. People have a very tough time being forthright about their wants, needs, and desires. Instead, they choose various forms of manipulation to get what they want. From something as subtle as asking leading questions to find out what one wants to know, instead of asking directly, to acts of extreme manipulation such as attempting to interfere behind someone back and rearrange their circumstances for their own good. These types of manipulations leave people emotionally scarred by the treatment.

Next, we will address spiritual abuse. In my view the worse possible form of abuse found within the Christian community, as to affect someone spiritually is to enter God’s area and sphere of influence and sinning against a person in this area is by far the worse.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 8 – Abuse and The Church (Physical Abuse)

In Abuse, Advice, Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christ, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Church Growth, Compassion, Confusion, Courage, Evil, Exhortation, Forgiveness, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Masculinity, Mercy, Persecution, Renewal, Repentance, Suffering, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized on August 9, 2018 at 11:16 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

Physical abuse also takes place within the walls of our congregations. I have personally read outlines for physical disciple of wives. I have heard the stories of children being physically abused under the guidelines of church discipline. There is no place within the church for the physical abuse of another human being.

In an outline for how to discipline your wife, it was stated that if a woman would not submit to her husband then a certain amount of physical discipline could be used. You could inflict pain but where not to bring about too much bruising, no lacerations, and you were not to break bones. This physical abuse would be increased in nature until the woman “repented” and submitted regardless of how long it took or how many sessions of discipline were necessary to bring about the woman’s change of attitude. These sessions could not however result in broken bones or cuts on the woman’s body.

How horrid that a person would believe that they had the right to inflict physical pain on a woman until she agreed to agree with them! How could one possibly believe that this is real submission? Conformity maybe, submission no.

I once counseled a woman who would not enter a church building. When we started our relationship, she hated the church and all its members. When we were done she still had not entered a church building but was willing to give God another try and Christians a second glance.

Why did this woman have such a hard attitude? She had loved God very dearly and was an extremely dedicated church member, as was her husband who was an elder in their local church. Each Sunday they went to church, worshipped God, and serviced in their congregation. Each Sunday after church they went home where her husband proceeded to beat her. Like clockwork every Sunday after church he would beat her that way she would be healed up enough by the following Sunday to attend church and play the role of his faithful wife always at his side.

My heart broke when she told her story. It was obviously true and very difficult for her to disclose to me, yet, she found the courage to do so. As time went on this woman’s pain eased and her understanding that not all Christians were this way increased.

At a conference once, a woman was struggling with guilt. She felt inside herself that she had allowed her child to be abused but she was wrestling with the biblical principle that she was to submit to her spiritual leaders. In her church children were brought up to the front, next to the pulpit, and physically struck with a belt by the pastor for various infractions at both church and home. The number of licks they received from the belt depended on the degree of their offense. This woman was riddled with confusion and guilt, this was after all how their congregation handled discipline. Everyone else did it and everyone was afraid to question their Christian spiritual leader since this might be viewed as be rebellious or as a refusal to submit. The church and local congregations should play no role in the physical discipline of children.

It takes courage to speak up when we know physical abuse is going on in our congregations. It is easier to tell ourselves it is not our business. How can that be true however? Do we not carry a certain amount of Christian responsibility and accountability with our brothers and sisters? According to Scripture we do. We are required to hold each other accountable for our actions. There must have been someone at some point who suspected this woman was being abused or even knew firsthand she was being mistreated. Many people sat in the pews on those days when the children were humiliated and physically abused in the name of God and correction. There had to some of people who knew in their spirits that this behavior was wrong, yet, they remained silent. We cannot do such, we must speak up! We cannot allow leaders to go off the rails because we are concerned other Christians will think us out of line or rebellious. Our responsibility is to Truth and too upholding the principles of Scripture not to uphold man or man’s ideas.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 7 – Abuse and The Church (The Sex Angle)

In Abuse, Apostasy, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Christianity, Church Growth, Confusion, Courage, End Times, Evil, Forgiveness, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Persecution, Repentance, Sexual Abuse, Suffering, Trust, Uncategorized on July 18, 2018 at 9:14 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

When I departed from this topic to take a few weeks to discuss revival we were on Part 6, Repent of Silence, and just beginning to touch on the issue of abuse.

That posting addressed the abuse and mistreatment Jesus suffered because of what He was saying, teaching, and what living. Yet, today we are to present Jesus’ same Truths regardless of whether or not we face persecution or abuse for doing so, for to do any less would be to deny Christ in one form. There are so many people within the Church who are very religious but when faced with the Truths of God’s Word or confronted with the idea of something happening as the Bible indicates, they express every little actual practical hands-on faith, thus abuse often enters the picture. Yet, keep in mind this is only one reason abuse takes place within the Church.

Now to continue with the topic of abuse. In this piece we will address the issue of sexual sin.

Abuse comes for many different reasons in many different forms. One might expect abuse for the world, from a secular sinful society, however when abuse comes from within the Body of Christ people are often caught off guard and the wounds they suffer are so much more severe and long-lasting.

Throughout the course of human history, the church has been, sadly to say, filled with abuses of many forms. Not addressing this issue will not make it any less true, it will only serve to allow it to continue in darkness. Evil prospers in the darkness found in secrecy. Light, the Light, has a way of breaking the power of darkness. Therefore, let us bring it out into the light. The Church, the Body of Christ, its lay people, and leaders alike have abused people. They have physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually, and spiritually abused people. With this God is not pleased! It has harmed not only the victims it has harmed the entire Body of Christ.

The sexual abuses that have taken place within the Church are well known and have been well publicized. They are not however exclusive to any one particular denomination, nothing is found only in one denomination. Christian spiritual leaders having sexual relations with those entrusted to their care has been widespread and has gone on as long as there has been religion. The broken trust that is a result of sexual violation is very deep for the victim and very difficult to overcome. The power given to spiritual leaders, along with the admiration given them, is a hotbed for sexual sin.

Recently it was reported in the news that for years and years a Christian spiritual leader of a very common denomination had been secretly videotaping women changing their clothes in his office. These unsuspecting women would go into the Pastor’s office to change, for their baptism no less, and while there preparing for what should be one of the happiest days in a Believer’s life these women are violated without their knowledge.

A spiritual leader falling into sexual sin with members of their staff or congregation is not something new, but it is always shocking to learn that a man or woman of God you have admired is far from perfect. There are times when the sexual sin is a form of entrapment, brought on by the second party not the leader. We have also found prominent denominational leaders have fallen prey to sexual temptation and sin, even of a homosexual nature or involving child molestation. We simply cannot say we do not have a problem of sexual abuse within the church.

If you are or have been an individual who is being sexually violated or mistreated by a Christian spiritual leader, a lay leader or person in your church, or anyone for that matter find someone to talk to, someone to help you stop the situation. Please listen very carefully to these words as you read them, A CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL LEADER’S AUTHORITY DOES NOT EXTEND TO ANYTHING SEXUAL OR TO ANY FORM OF ABUSE! Flee from the situation immediately and seek quality godly counsel for help and healing.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 5 – Repent of Silence

In Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Church Growth, End Times, Exhortation, Jesus, Persecution, Prophecy, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Remnant, Spirituality, Truth, Uncategorized on May 30, 2018 at 11:44 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

“Jesus had to suffer as the natural outcome of all that He had been saying and doing. The people were increasing rejecting His (Jesus’) message, and the religious leaders were plotting to rid themselves of Him (Jesus). This was the inevitable consequence of the radical message He (Jesus) had presented to a spiritually deaf, dumb, and blind world.” – Bill Crowder Simon Peter A Rock Moved By God Bible Study

Most people would tell you they would never deny Christ, yet they do each time they remain silent while words are brought forth in front of them that deny the truths, meaning the Principles, Ways, and Will of the Word, Jesus. Jesus made it clear He was, and is, Truth.

John 14:6 (NKJV)

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

In the Greek language the word truth, means one thing “verity – truth.”

Verity means according to the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary:

“something (as a statement) that is true; especially : a fundamental and inevitably true value”

When Jesus would say “verily, verily” I say… He was saying, ‘I am now going to teach you the principles of truth.’

Synonyms for “verity” are truth, fact, principle, reality, sincerity, factualness, and actuality.

Why would people remain silent instead of speaking out the Truths of God as found in His Word? The answer is simple and heartbreaking – fear of abuse. What will happen to me if I speak out? What will these secular people, this secular sinful society do to me? What will carnal self-serving Christian do to me? Sadly, all too often the answer is they will respond with some form of abuse.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 4 – Personal Repentance

In Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christ, Christian Living, Christianity, Encouragement, End Times, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Learning, Persecution, Prayer, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Remnant, Renewal, Repentance, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Remnant, Spirituality, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on May 2, 2018 at 6:12 pm

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

To follow the will of God is to prosper; to rebel against the will of God is to be destroyed. – Mencius

Again, this will be challenging but it is what God wants said, THE CHURCH MUST REPENT, which means individuals must personally repent!

Each day when we arise, we make a choice within our spirits regarding whom we will follow. As the days turn to years the choices are many and the reasons for our choices varies but nevertheless they are our choices. Either we will follow our own will, the Will of God, the will of another person, or we will drift aimlessly through our days with no sense of direction or purpose. Whom we chose to follow, as well as choosing not to follow anyone and just drifting through life, affects and effects both other people affects and effects the Body of Christ as a whole.

Much like ripples on a pond our choices are ripples through life, ripples which begin with our personal choices, then reach out to our spouse and/or family members, from there out to our local congregations, next the Body of Christ, and ultimately to the world as a whole multiplying as they go. One wrong or selfish choice can affect the lives of a dozen people or more. Yet, do we look at each choice that way. Do we consider this truth when we are deciding whom we will follow each morning when we open our eyes to greet the new day? We should, and we can.

Joy has slipped from the lives of individual Christians and from the Church as a whole because for too long we have chosen to do things our way instead of choosing to do things God’s Way. We have awakened morning after morning choosing to do our own will, the will of another, or even the will of Satan himself instead of doing the Will of God. That choice day after day has drained the joy from our lives and that draining of joy has extended much like those ripples on a pond, to the entire Body of Christ to some degree. Where we were once excited about fellowship with Jesus and fellowship with each other now we are lifeless and somewhat empty. That can all change.

We as individuals have an option to repent, repent from self-will and once again make God number one in our lives. Our joy can be restored through our repentance. Once our joy is resorted we can begin to see the ripples on the pond extend to our spouse and family, our local congregation, and then to the overall Body of Christ.

We as a group, the Body of Christ, also need to extend that repentance to our local congregations, in respect to how we have done things, how we have neglected people or even mistreated them at times. Then we will begin to feel the impact of that repentance on the overall Body of Christ. Once that has taken place we will begin to see people once again attracted to the Church and attracted to what God has to offer their lives.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 2 – Motive

In Apostasy, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Exhortation, God's Voice, Godliness, Holy Spirit, Humanism, Prophecy, Remnant, Renewal, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Truth, Uncategorized on March 24, 2018 at 2:46 pm

This blog will alternate weekly between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

Always remember however low you set the bar in life you will come in yet lower, just below that bar; so you might as well set it very high, at least then, you will make it eighty-five percent of the way.

I will start out by making it plain that this blog topic is not meant to tear down The Church but instead to build up The Church through an honest call to repentance and change. If The Church refuses to look honestly at itself then it will not be capable of turning back to what Jesus intended it to be at its conception. An honest appraisal and review will go a long way toward restoring our, meaning the Body of Christ’s, reputation with the world and our own members. Refusal to assess where we are at is a call to march toward death. The Church is hemorrhaging now from its wounds and we must be willing to stop the bleeding in order that we might survive, and even thrive.

That said let me be the first to say as a Child of God, Christian Writer, Christian Spiritual Leader, and fellow member of the Body of Christ; I have made MANY mistakes in my forty plus years of Christian life and service that have reflected poorly on The Church, God, my family, my fellow Christians, and myself. I am the first to say, ‘I have failed many times to live up to Christ’s ideals.’ Yet, my failure to live up to those ideals does not make those ideals, God’s Standards, any less true, any less God’s Principles, or any less the real ideals of our Savior, the Christ, Jesus.

Therefore, since none of us are without sin, without failings, let us approach this issue within the Church and Body of Christ with humility and hold fast to the truth that we are to have mercy over judgment. We are only to use this blog discussion to make us, as the Body of Christ, better not condemn or judge the Body of Christ or any member therein, in an ungodly way. Never forget how much mercy your Heavenly Father has shown you. We as a Body of Believers can discern the truth, face the truth, and tell the truth without crossing that line into condemning or judging. That is all this blog seeks to do and all I want it to exhort others to do. Do you love people? Do you love your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? I love people so I need to “speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.” – James 2:12

The stories and examples given in future blog entries are real accounts which have been witnessed by me, told to me by the person it happened to, happened to me personally, and/or told to me through a third party or anonymously. No names or actual locations will be noted in the examples. Therefore, the privacy or confidentiality of no persons, including myself, will be violated in anyway.

Let this blog discussion be a tool in the hands of the Master Craftsman so that His Church might arise once again and be an example to the society in which they live.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 1 – God Moving

In Apostasy, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christianity, End Times, Exhortation, False Doctrine, False Teaching, Fruits of the Holy Spirit, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Jesus, Prophecy, Remnant, Renewal, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized on March 10, 2018 at 8:58 am

This blog will alternate weekly between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

You see your church is not growing, so now what? It is time for those who can see to begin to speak to the church about why it is not growing and what God wants done about this sad reality. The next few years between 2018 and 2021 are going to be critical for The Church, The Body of Christ, Jesus’ People as God begins a powerful transforming move of His Spirit.

Are you personally ready to face Truth, to face God and what He is saying to His People? Is your group, your church, ready to embrace a move of God that will transform lives and your church permanently? If you are, then I recommend you follow this blog (at the bottom of the page is a “follow” button to sign up for email delivery), then buckle your spiritual seatbelt, take off your blinders, unplug your ears, and get ready to face Truths that will change you and your church in almost every area.

God has something to say and do – encourage every person you know to listen, and watch God do what only God can do!

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Church Shooting – Questions about Spiritual Abuse and Hypocrisy

In Abuse, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Confusion, Courage, End Times, Evil, Exhortation, Fear, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Hypocrisy, Jesus, Persecution, Religious Freedom, Renewal, Revival, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Spirituality, Suffering, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on November 28, 2017 at 8:47 am

Please feel free to send me any of your own thoughts or questions, locate and click the comment link below. I will continue to address them in follow up posts. This post and/or related posts will be the only post[s] I will be making available for the next few weeks, as I believe this topic needs to stay front and center for a season.

Several thought and questions have come my way. I will attempt to address these in this and the next posting.

Persecution and Church Effectiveness

I do not agree that there is one source for the anger and hatred toward the Body of Christ, the Church. Is there hypocrisy in the Body of Christ? Yes, absolutely. Is there spiritual abuse within certain denominations? I would say there is some spiritual abuse within all denominations as well as within churches that have no denominational affiliation. Have both hypocrisy and spiritual abuse affected the effectiveness of the Body of Christ? Without a doubt. The cause of persecution directed toward the church and the ineffectiveness of the church is not “just” or “simply” hypocrisy or spiritual abuse nevertheless I will address both.

There are different forms and motivations for hypocrisy. There is worldly hypocrisy (Matt. 23:5–7), legalistic hypocrisy (Rom. 10:3), evangelical hypocrisy (2 Pet. 2:10–22), and hypocrisy satanic (2 Cor. 11:13–15). Therefore, attempting to get into each in any depth does not truly serve any purpose in addressing the concerns here. Different groups or denominations may in fact show various forms of hypocrisy somewhat distinctive to that group but despite the current popular fade I do not believe “rebranding” those denomination is the answer. Dealing with the hypocrisy, the spiritual abuse, and the spiritual deadness is the answer!

There is a general distain for organized religion in the form of denominational religion for religion sake. It does seem as though people have assigned certain perceived acts of hypocrisy to certain denominations. The denominations answer to how turned off people are by organized religion is to rebrand themselves. However, a denomination renaming themselves to hide or remove all traces of denominational affiliation is counter productive in the long run because they go from being perceived as hypocrites in a specific area to being perceived as both hypocrites and deceiver regarding who they are and what they stand for.

We are seeing a great deal of the “rebranding” today because non-denominational congregations are the fastest growing and largest congregations in America today, while denominational congregations such as Baptist, Assembly of God, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, Methodist, etc. are shrinking and dying off all together. There is a very good reason for this dynamic, one I believe is God driven (I believe this based upon something God showed myself and many other godly spiritual leaders in the 1990’s about what He would be doing with the Body of Christ during our lifetime). My response, I too left denominationalism at that time and involved myself in beginning what would become a very large non-denominational church and school of ministry.

To say that the ALL of the persecution or ALL of the ineffectiveness the Body of Christ is undergoing at this point in the history of The Church is NOT OF GOD, would be inaccurate – aspects of the persecution are God driven, some are society driven, some are sin driven, and some are driven by evil. To place a single label on any specific persecution can be vey difficult.

Spiritual abuse to me is not a denominational issue it is an individual issue with a leader. Leaders who repeatedly spiritually abuse their people should be removed, period! People should not put up with spiritual abuse, nor should they allow hatred to build for a denomination because they were spiritually abuse by an individual within a specific denomination. Spiritual abuse happens almost everywhere unfortunately from the Catholic Church to a non-denominational church and all denominations in between.

I acknowledge that the spiritual abuse is there, and I sympathize. I have seen it, counseled those who have been through it, and heard of all kinds of spiritual abuse – ranging from sexual abuse, verbal abuse, public shaming, manipulation, gossip, character assignation, exploration for greed or profit, deliberately damaging a person’s reputation with people through misrepresentations, lies, and gossip, leader driven shunning, over working people, misrepresenting the Scriptures, and so forth. All spiritual abuse causes wounds, wounds can cause anger if not dealt with correctly, anger can lead to bitterness, and bitterness can lead to persecution of a person or group. If you have been spiritually abused in any manner get godly spiritual and emotional help from a godly minister, please.

It saddens me that both of these issues, hypocrisy and spiritual abuse, have diminished the respect people once felt for Christianity as a whole and Christian people in general.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Church Shooting

In Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Confusion, Courage, Encouragement, End Times, Evil, Exhortation, Forgiveness, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Holy Spirit, Humanism, Jesus, Mental Disorder, Mental Illness, Peace, Persecution, Prayer, Prophecy, Psychiatric Drugs, Religious Freedom, Remnant, Renewal, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Spiritual Fruit, Spiritual Remnant, Suffering, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on November 8, 2017 at 6:43 pm

This will be one of the longest pieces I have written for posting in a couple of years but if you will stick with it and read the whole thing you just may find it was well worth your time. Please feel free to send me any of your own thoughts or questions, locate and click on the comment link below. I will address them in follow up posts. This post and/or related posts will be the only post[s] I will be making available for the next few weeks, as I believe this topic needs to stay front and center for a season.

Since Sunday afternoon I have prayerfully contemplated how to address this matter, when to post this piece, and the content of this posting. Ignoring what happened in that congregation, to those members of the Body of Christ on Sunday morning during their time of worship was not an option but providing an answer to the “Why?” questions regarding why it happened was also not an option. Therefore, what to do, I asked God and myself. My answer, not to attempt to provide any answers or spiritual platitudes that hurt more than they help but instead to simple reflect on several insights provided throughout the week that should be reflected upon and considered in light of the tragic events of Sunday, November 5th, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas at the First Baptist Church.

Compassion, a word, or a choice.

It is my desire through this posting to allow God to use me to express some thoughts for reflection that might actually help us, us being the Body of Christ, really help us in due course and overall instead of just soothing us and placating us. The safest and simplest way to approach this topic would be to demonize the man who killed all of these people and move on. However, to handle the situation with that type of approach would be very spiritually short sided for a godly Christian spiritual leader. As Christians we like to say that we have compassion but how many of God’s people can find compassion for this man, this gunman, that killed their brothers and sisters in Christ? Compassion for what he must have been going through to turn to such a horrible and evil act. We, the Body of Christ, should have compassion for both, the victims, and the perpetrator.

The persecution of the American Church, the Body of Christ in America.

For far too long the Body of Christ has buried their heads in the sand when it came to persecution in America. The persecution, again, in America, does take another form now, then it did during the early church’s history, and a different form than it does in other countries. In America Christians have become targets of lawsuits for living out their beliefs. They have become targets for those who wish to use the legal system to try and silence Christians from expressing their beliefs in a public forum. Christians have become people targeted by a psychologized society that believes psychology has all the answers and that there is no place for God in the equation, a society that refused to accept absolutes or the individual who has firm beliefs and refuses to back down or be quite about them. Christian who still believe that talking about Jesus in their everyday lives at work, in businesses, and other public forums is a normal way to function and their God given, as well as constitutional right, are considered extremist that people avoid. And in the most extreme form of persecution we find our dear brothers and sisters of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, who suffered a persecution unto death by someone who was so hurt, damaged, angry, and/or evil that he chose to express it through killing – just as nine of our brothers and sisters were persecuted, being killed by a gunman in June of 2015 in South Carolina at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Body must face that they are being persecuted in various forms in America and band together to resist such persecution while at the same time showing compassion for the spiritual blindness that causes their persecutors to act as they do.

It was once said to me when I expressed concerns over the fact that a congregation only had one race and culture represented, ‘Don’t you think it is simply because we all tend to stick to our own?’ Well, for the record, no I do not think that is why you find congregations with only one race or culture represented. Yet, when persecution happens to the Church the barriers of race, culture, education, and economics are quickly dropped to band together for a greater cause, Us, The Body of Christ. I was in Charleston, South Carolina shortly after the killings that took place there and every race, class, education level, culture, and economic group of Christians were represented at that church in a powerful show of unity and spiritual support. In those tragic times we can find the time to leave our congregations and reach out to other congregations or members of The Body of Christ in general, however, this should be a regular practice at all times. There is no doubt that the Bible teaches us, and the history of the Christian Church teaches us, that God uses persecution to grow and/or change His Church and people.

The influence of evil.

I was interviewed a few years back for a book on a serial killer who had once tried to kill me along with about a dozen other people the early 1980’s. According to the author of the book I was the only person he could find to interview, most of the people were dead and a couple unlocatable. The interview was many hours long and during the course of this interview the author wanted to know how I could consistently express so much compassion for this serial killer knowing so much about his history and all the horrible things he had done, and how could I show no anger, bitterness, or resentment toward the man who had been the source of my physically body being damaged to the point that I still lived with the results causing difficulty and pain in daily life. These questions opened up the door to discuss the influence of evil. There was one profound thing that God over the years had helped me to understand, which helped me place the responsibility for evil acts where it lay – with Satan.

That truth was…

Evil causes psychological damage, and psychological damage opens the door to evil.

As long as the psychological community continues to disavow the spiritual side to mental and emotional problems we will continue to see people who never actually get better, change, or heal. As long as the Christian community continues to either, a) ignore the emotional and mental damage done through the wounding of people or b) allow themselves to become so psychologized they no longer make the spiritual connection to a wounded person’s emotional and mental problems, we will continue to see ourselves as a Body grow spiritually weaker and weaker as our biblical worldview becomes overshadowed or at least mixed with a secular worldview. We must find the balance that allows the Church and the mental health community to both realize that they have pieces of the puzzle that will help wounded people become whole again.

Church effectiveness and respect for Christianity within our society.

People do not respect the Christian community like they once did in America. This is our fault, the Body of Christ’s fault in general. There are so many reasons this has happened over the years there is no way to exhaustively address the reasons. However, just to address a few: 1 – We have become too much like the society in which we live. If you are no different than I am in your standards and practices why should I respect you. 2 – Our behavior whether it was intended to be or not “appeared” or “appears” hypocritical to people. We need more transparency that allows us to share our own struggles, yet still promote God’s Truths and His Standards for how we are to aspire to living our lives. 3 – The Body of Christ lacks backbone anymore. What might the zealous Peter and bold Paul say about the stands we take today for Truth or lack thereof, and the boldness we lack in expressing Truth as found in God’s Word.

We lack effectiveness in our society today as well. We lack effectiveness as Christians because we have either checked out of our society or we wish to avoid the ugly side of our society. We are barely able to allow ourselves the ability to remain in relationships long enough to allow ‘iron to sharpen iron’ much less invest ourselves relationally with those who might need our help. What happen to the need to show agape love for people, that love Jesus asked us to show, love that is displayed by our actions, our investment, and our involvement with people.

Proverbs 27:17 (NKJV)

As iron sharpens iron,

So a man sharpens the countenance (character) of his friend.

John 15:13 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Luke 6:35 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.

Matthew 5:44 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

In the early 2000’s two young boys barely in their teens living in the Pensacola, Florida area are convicted of killing their father and burning their family home down. Allegedly a result of years abuse and the influence of a child predator who also lived in the area. On the road leading up to their home, which was located in the 1,100 block, there were eight churches before the 1300 block and 4 churches within the 1070-1200 block. All of those churches in that community but how many of those congregations were “in that community” with their time, actions, involvement, and love – especially if some people in that community were tough to love.

Now back to this shooting at the Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The sheriff, Tackitt, in an interview stated that the pastor of this church, Frank Pomeroy, had stated in the past that he did not want the gunman, who had previously been involved in the congregation, in his church and asked the sheriff, “How do I run him away from my church?” – yet this was not the pastor present on the day when the gunman killed 26 of his congregation members (25 men, women, girls, boys, and 1 unborn child) and injured 20 more. The gunman’s mother and father-in-law were members of the church, also not present on the day of the shooting. Dare I pose the question, but I must, how might things have been different had that pastor reached out with love, invested his time, and attempted to help this damaged young man instead of searching for ways to ‘run him away from “his” church?’ Yes, pastors must protect the flock but protecting them does not have to involves ridding yourselves of all those you deem undesirable, it should instead involves helping those you see who are wounded or damaged by life.

Religion acceptable, true godliness is not – a hate breeder.

People are watching what the Christian Churches are doing to each other and to their own people. It is not just the churched that are affected when things are not handled in a godly manner, those looking from the outside or sidelines are also affected. Far too many godly people who love Jesus have left many church congregations and many have been incredibility wounded by their brush with religion. Religion seems to be very acceptable in most of today’s churches, but true godliness or aspirations to that end is not welcome. Sadly, in far too many congregation it is not acceptable to believe that God’s Truths are still a valid standard for living today. We live in an age where the loveless, the compromising, the corrupt, the dead, and the lukewarm churches (Rev. 2-3) reign and truly devout congregations aspiring to God’s Principles and acting with Jesus’ agape love are rare. Religion in every capacity has taken over and controls the leadership thus by extension the people. They do not hunger or thirst for Jesus and to grow in Christ, they do not long for revival to sweep across our land, they are just about the business of church. My biggest challenge and greatest heartache is dealing with the types of Christians, Spiritual Leaders, and churches found in Revelation 2 and 3- the loveless, the compromising, the corrupt, the dead, and the lukewarm.

These types of congregations and individuals have hurt so many people who truly love or loved God, desire or desired to be all God wanted them to be, and yearn or yearned to see the Body of Christ be all Jesus means for it to be. The religious people and congregations have caused wounds great enough that individuals have pulled back from the poison of religion without godly spirituality. Let us never forget that our LORD, our Saviour, Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ, was persecuted, maligned, and His crucifixion brought about through the Religious Leaders of His day! If devout people can be affected by a religious society this way, how much more would a wounded or damaged person be affected by this type of treatment from people who are supposed to be “the best people on earth” – Christians? I have heard it said that this man who was the gunman in this attack on this small church was an atheist, and very vocal about his atheistic views. Atheist do not go to church, seekers, the confused, the agnostic goes to church in search of something – if religion is all we have to offer them, then I fear their hate for us will grow.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Evil Transforms (If We Let It) – Pt. 31 – Take Back What the Enemy Has Stolen

In Advice, Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Courage, Depression, Devotional, Encouragement, End Times, Evil, Exhortation, False Doctrine, False Gods, False Teaching, Fear, Forgiveness, Fruits of the Holy Spirit, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Holy Spirit, Humanism, Idolatry, Jesus, Loss, Love, Marriage, Media, Mental Disorder, Mental Illness, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Religious Freedom, Remnant, Renewal, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Spiritual Fruit, Spiritual Remnant, Spirituality, Suffering, Truth, Uncategorized on June 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm

This piece, will be the last in our review of David Kupelian’s book, How Evil Works. Please find a link below where you can purchase the book from Amazon, should you desire to do so. This book and review of it has been such a blessing to my readers and myself, we are so grateful that God led David Kupelian to write the book.

To effectively combat an enemy, one must understand both their enemy and themselves. Seek to gain godly wisdom and understanding. Act and respond in accordance with that godly understanding and godly wisdom. How one responds to the evil and hated that is unleashed in our society and world is a key element in how well they are able to resist both and be a godly spiritual activist for Truth.

Control of oneself and one’s own actions is essential to being powerfully effective. As the author points out, ‘there is a world of difference between righteous indignation and seething hatred.’ As Christians, we want to possess righteous indignation but we do not want to enter into that realm with our Enemy, and enemies, who reside in seething hatred. The author also points out that righteous indignation is based on a strong sense of justice. However, seething hatred is always found to be self-destructive, out-of-control rage. We must rise above the temptation to hate those who hate us so we can embrace a truly righteous passion to right the wrongs we see strangling God from the consciousness of our country.

There is a universal human imperfection that we all suffer from. However, we cannot allow our own imperfects to render us mute when it comes to what God wants from us as a people. I have said more times than I can count, ‘Just because we do not live up to God’s Standard does not mean His Standard changes or that we have a right to try and pull God’s Standard down to our level so we can feel better about ourselves.’

There is a moral compass, the needle of which is our conscience, and every individual is born with one. We must employ methods to jump-start people’s conscience whenever possible. There was a saying that went around years ago within the Body of Christ, ‘Stop trying to be the Holy Spirit for people.’ This was a most destructive statement for the spiritual well-being of the Body of Christ. Why? Well my brothers and sisters the Book of Hebrews was written to address the issue of apostasy, and command Christians to cling close to Christ and God’s principles. Our part in seeing that takes place is exhorting one another toward living out God’s principles. You cannot very well do that if you see sin and never say anything about it to anyone, you never call sin sin and call for repentance from sin and a return to God. A novelist George Orwell has been often quoted as saying, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Hebrews 3:12-15

12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,

Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

We must be willing to act when necessary as well, not just talk. There are those individuals who are so disconnected from their conscience that Truth does not compel them to do the right things. That is when the application of proper pressure done in godly way becomes necessary. Even after that there will be some individuals who will still remained unmoved.

To quote the author, Kupelian, in the last sentence of this book, “Truth is enough – because when properly honed and targeted, it is more than sufficient to annihilate all of their grand seductions.”

When Jesus was answering Pilate, He stated the following.

John 18:37 (NKJV)

Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”

Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

Are we supposed to do something different from what Jesus stated here He came to do, “bear witness to the truth” – yes or no? No, I do not believe so, nor does the author of this book. We are God’s people and as God’s people we should stand for Truth forever!

How Evil Works

http://www.amazon.com/How-Evil-Works-Understanding-Transforming/dp/1439168202/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443464127&sr=8-1&keywords=How+evil+works

Evil can be understood and overcome before it transforms our country entirely. Evil can be understood and overcome before it transforms someone you know or even you. Knowledge is power and without it we will perish. We need to be extremely knowledgeable when it comes to evil.

Hosea 4:6 (NKJV)

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

Because you have rejected knowledge,

I also will reject you from being priest for Me;

Because you have forgotten the law of your God,

I also will forget your children.

The Marketing of Evil

https://www.amazon.com/Marketing-Evil-Pseudo-Experts-Corruption Disguised/dp/1942475217/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483474172&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Marketing+of+Evil

Evil is sold in our society just as anything else might be sold, through marketing. Satan has marketed his product through those willing and those ignorant to his schemes. Through his craftiness he has turned the minds of even Believers to think that tolerance of his evil is some form of love. In so doing he has transformed to a large degree the once Devout Church and transformed our society to an enormous degree. He has not accomplished this without his workers however, the willing, the sold out for their own gain, and the ignorant masses following blindly behind the majority.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.