Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Great Description

Today I read a great description of my former pastor on a blog I like to visit called "Loving Jesus, Leaving Church". There is a link to this blog on my blog list. The sentence went like this,"A charismatic personality, a silver tongue, a Bible college education, administrative gifts, leadership skills, and the ability to inspire people are about as useless as a tie in a jungle if one is lacking a Christ like character."

As I read this I realized that this described my former pastor so accurately. Only instead of leadership skills he had dictator abilities. I also realized that a tie in a jungle is probably much more useful than he was. Maybe I would compare him to a glass of sand for a man who is dying of thirst.

My earnest prayer is that all of us would surround ourselves with and listen to those who provoke us to be more like Christ and not those who would teach us to be selfish, self centered, money hungry blessing grabbers focusing on ourselves and our lives instead of reaching out to a lost and hurting world.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Whose Place Is It

I have been thinking about many of the teachings that I received at my former church. We were taught,(from the old testament of course), all about "the man of God" and how important he was. We were taught that we NEEDED a "man of God" to submit to, to speak into our lives, to hear from God for us, to correct us, to pray for us, that we were to give to him, serve him, honor him, highly esteem him, call him by the title of "Pastor" just as we would Father or Teacher. We were taught that he was never to be questioned, his actions were never to be questioned, his absolute authority was never to be questioned, he was never to be treated as a common person, that he was accountable to no one, that he was to be catered to, set apart, pampered, and doted on.

Now that I look back, no wonder there was so much teaching from the Old Testament on some of these things. In that dispensation of time the people needed the priests to hear from and talk to God for them because Jesus had not come. Yet in this time, the way some of these new breed of so called pastors demand and desire to be treated, goes way beyond the treatment of the Old Testament priests. The place they want to occupy in our lives entirely oversteps their bounds.

I see that this new breed of pastors wants the place of authority in our lives that the priests of old had and even more. They are not satisfied that you give to the body of Christ, to missions, to the poor, to the needy,or to spread the gospel. It has to be to their church and what they choose to use your money for. They are not satisfied with your money alone either. They want your total commitment, your loyalty, your honor, and your time.

When Jesus came and died for us and rose again, HE became our high priest. When He sent the Holy Spirit to live on the inside of us from the moment we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, He expects us to listen to Him...... not a man. He wants us to follow Him.....not a man.

I have begun to see that these men want the place of God in our lives. Why else would they want us to follow every word that proceeds out of THEIR MOUTHS????? Why are they tickling our ears with promises of wealth and riches, control over all our circumstances, excused sin with no responsibility for it. ( I am not saying that our confessed sins are not forgiven and washed away by the blood of Jesus, but I am saying that sin has consequences) Why are we not seeing people in these churches have a burning desire to serve others, devoting their efforts to reaching the lost, feeding the poor and helping those in need? On the contrary they are taught that the poor and the needy are not "good ground", that they need to give to the prosperous. How far from the teachings from Jesus is this????

Is this different than the devil wanting the place of God in heaven? It seems that God's place in our lives should be for Him and Him alone? I have wondered how I allowed that to be invaded in my life for so long before I saw the truth. It may not be the same thing but it is frightening to me how much authority and influence I allowed a man to have on and in my life.

So, whose place is it to occupy the office of speaking into my life, teaching me, correcting me, guiding me, intercede for me and for me to submit to? IT IS GOD'S PLACE. I have decided never to give it to a man again.