Wednesday, March 22, 2006

# 136: WARNING: Do Not Read

Do not read this post if you feel you are a spiritually spineless sissy. The reason being, the graphic information contained within may upset some to a degree that it will remain vivid for life.

Religion is not just somewhere to go on Sunday morning and then be good the rest of the week; Christian spirituality has a life-or-death implication. Question: If your spiritual life and the lives of others depended on it, would you do everything in your power to make it life for yourself and others? Certainly. But then, you could say to yourself, “Wait a minute; this can’t be true—our lives are not in danger.” To be certain, you consult with several professionals. They say the same thing: “You are in no danger; the recent scare tactics you mentioned are faults.” Reply: “Oh, thank goodness."

Let the original pro (Jesus Christ) ask you several questions: "You say you are a genuine Christian: saved, born again, and Spirit-filled. If that is the case, are you doing everything in your power to promote my cause? If your honest answer is yes, you may be deceiving yourself. Could you do more to further my gospel message? If you say no–except for a rare exception–that is a lie."

If most church-going Christians truly knew the seriousness of the spiritual life, they would start shaking in their boots and never stop. What they believe about the New Testament isn’t worth a pot of beans. What counts is why people live the way they do, and how they live. The “why and how”’ must be to live in obedience to ALL that God commands. The result: When they live as ordered by God Almighty—regardless of the cost or consequence—their LIVES of belief, holiness, obedience and genuine Godly love are the ONLY evidence which can/will unequivocally prove to God, self and others, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their connection with Christ is valid. When any of those qualifying factors are missing, ambivalence may be the reason.

The phrase “make every effort” is mentioned no less than 7 times in the New Testament. Does that tell us anything? That holy book is not a series of friendly suggestions. Its contents are explicit commands from God. Then, some will necessarily say, “Well, that depends on one’s interpretation of what are suggestions and what are outright commands, and if they apply to us.” That type of theology lets everyone off the hook, regardless of what little, if anything, they are doing to further the main cause of Jesus Christ.

The most prevalent form of deceit used by the clergy is to use the word “culture.” When interpreting disagreeable and unnatural verses, the alibi usually is, “That pertained to a culture of 2,000 years ago; that doesn’t apply in 2006.” Another way they eliminate many other hard-edged commands is to say, “That only related to the rich young ruler, and doesn’t concern being wealthy or striving for wealth in general nowadays.” Or “the meaning of ‘Consider others better than yourselves’ only applies under particular circumstances, and doesn’t apply to everyone at all times, etc.” Therefore, many of the New Testament commands that don’t invoke a smiley face are given an interpretation to the point that they no longer are valid, and therefore don’t need to be obeyed in our modern culture. Of course, most of those hush-hush verses are simply not mentioned behind the pulpit. By the way, there is a comprehensive list of anti-wealth verses taken from the New Testament found in post # 127. Also, an excellent section on a self-test of one’s spirituality can be found in post # 112. Click on “Table of Contents.”

Although we are to love our neighbors by feeding them when they are in dire need and be concerned with other critical humanitarian needs, that is not the main thrust (our job) of why Christ came to earth. He came to save us from our ignorance of what is required to live in a way which is pleasing to His Father. Again, those requirements are to live a life of belief in OBEDIENCE and devotion to ALL that His book commands.

Even though I believe the New Testament is inspired by God, there still are some contradictions and errors, mainly because it was written by fallible men many years after the fact; nevertheless, it has proved to be the touchstone of God’s truth, but only to those who are His. To others (agnostics, and even some who call themselves Christians), what the Bible teaches is out-of-date foolishness that is not to be taken seriously.

Repeating, what the religious clergy has done is to emphasize pleasing Bible verses that keep their ministry going and secretly negate those that are out of line with our human nature. And for those who exclusively depend on what is taught from behind the pulpit, without cross-checking with what the Bible teaches, they are going back into the ignorance of the Stone/Dark Ages when the masses could not read for themselves and had to depend on what was taught to them verbally. They are missing the essence of the Gospel message that Christ came to reveal. Christ died to save humanity by His death, and in concert with that, by teaching us the truth, He becomes our supreme example. His death alone will do no one any good if a life of truth doesn’t follow.

And that is what is absent in America and the world. In fact, I truly believe the hearts and minds of most American Christians are impervious to what is needed to live life to the fullest; that is exactly what Jesus Christ teaches, but only to those who are aware of that need. Are you a needy person, or are you content with the life you are now living? Tough question, isn’t it? Most of us would rather be content with the easy-to-live-by junk we are accustomed to than admit we are spiritually needy; if we did admit to our shortcomings, we would have to work our buns off to live up to what is expected of every true believer, as dictated in Scripture.

Nowhere in Scripture does it say that the Christian life would be a “walk in the park” or “a piece of cake.” It is a life dedicated to God’s standards. Some might ask, “How come Billy Graham never preached that kind of stuff?” All he said was to “Come up to the front right now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and you will be eternally saved.” That’s it. In that case, the time-honored saying is true, “Easy come, easy go.”

It is hard to believe—with all the knowledge and modern technology we have amassed in the last 100 years or so—how egregiously ignorant most of us are concerning what is required of us by Jesus Christ. As I have already mentioned over a dozen times or more, the culprits for this deplorable condition of the Christian church are the professionals (the clergy). The laity is also responsible because of their naïveté. They go to the professionals every Sunday to hear the truth. What do they get in its stead? A partial truth (a song and a dance) which is worse than no truth at all. Exposing the spiritual killing they are engaged in is the purpose of this blog. Do they know the seriousness of what they are teaching or not teaching? The real treachery is that a church building is where people go to hear truths about God; that is where these deceivers hide.

And then some may wonder why I continually vilify these wolves in sheep’s clothing. I can truly understand why more people don’t aim their guns at this villainous group of charlatans. Most likely, the reason is that most don’t know how bad the situation really is, and they don’t want to be hated and rejected or called a religious fruitcake. Even though I am certain a few of the clergy are honest to the Holy Scriptures, the majority are the arch enemies of God and His Son. My love for them is spilling out in the post, thus allowing God to knock some sense into their heads by exposing their shenanigans; hopefully Christ will save some of them, if and when they start telling the WHOLE TRUTH. If not, I believe there will be a special hell reserved for them; if there isn’t, there should be. Check out Luke 12:47-48. These verses tell that there are degrees of punishment, depending on how much people know and don’t know, and why they don’t know.

Also check out post # 107: “Hatred, Persecution and Hardship.” That post will show many of the verses that predict how people who boldly speak out on religion’s atrocities against God (like myself) will be treated, and much more. For those who read # 107, ask yourselves this question: Why don’t we see all this hatred and persecution against Christians in America today? I don’t know what your answer is, although it may be, "We have religious freedom in America." Sure, freedom to be slackers. My answer is this: We are either doing something very wrong, or more rightly, we are leaving out something extremely important. Although this post exposes the errors of the organized church per se, it also gives an unpopular remedy.

After all of this tough talk, I have to say that on the surface they are nice, kind, considerate and loving people. With that type of a genuine facade, deception–whether inadvertent or deliberate—is quite convincing. In my lifetime I have had several preachers as personal friends in a one-on-one friendship. In fact, my father-in-law was a Baptist minister. I think I know them well enough to speak so dogmatically as to what they are made of and what they live for. Of course, I have to say that there are exceptions, I hope.

The most flagrant teaching that many, if not most, churches preach, which is TOTALLY contrary to New Testament instruction, is that it is acceptable, even recommended, to aim for material/financial prosperity. The clergy's alibi for this teaching is this: God wants the very best for His people. Usually the references given come from the Old Testament, referring to Abraham and Solomon, when it was believed that wealth was a sign of God’s approval. They say, “There is no limit as to how rich one can be, as long as they use some of the money to do God’s work; the more one has, the more they can do for God.” For example, look how much more a millionaire can do of God’s work than a poor person, or one who is well-off but still not a millionaire. Sure, how much tithe will the church receive from the rich? A big (meager) 10 %.

Big church politics says, “Wealthy Christians can build orphanages in third-world countries, pay the salaries of missionaries, help build churches where there are none. . .”; this list can go on and on as to all the benefits of being a rich Christian. I am not saying it is wrong to help those in need. The only thing is, this is the problem with that type of theology: Christians have, or should have, Jesus Christ as their primary role model/paradigm. Therefore, when the wealthy are esteemed by the clergy as being pillars of the church and/or members of the board, many make it their goal in life to get rich and become prosperous so they also can help where it takes big money. For that reason, holiness, godliness, and many other Christian attributes are set aside in a quest for wealth so that they too can be generous Christians. Please remember, as some evidently have forgotten: Even though Jesus gave to the poor, if and when He had extra, the main reason He came to earth was to bring salvation to the world. And displaying that salvation to whomever is our primary mission (to continue His work). Of course, some believe that is the clergy’s responsibility. What a sly, although congenial form of deceit, regardless of how or when it originated. Show me one New Testament verse that even implies such a thing.

Wealthy people are usually looked up to by those who would like to be wealthy also; then they, too, will be admired. This seeking wealth for God would become–if it hasn’t already—a vicious, nonstop cycle. One of the most ungodly attributes about being well-off is a silent, secret pride that sets in and says, “God loves me more than you; I am better, smarter, more loving, etc., than you.” Guess what happens to the critical verse, “Consider others better than yourself”? As the Apostle Paul said, wealth brings many temptations that entice followers of Christ to fall from grace—what good is helping a large number of poor people when one is going to hell? All that abundant charity isn’t worth the loss of one's soul. Another problem: When people have more than needed, they usually live an extravagant lifestyle by buying and having much more than they deserve or need (waste and excess).

I could go on and on with this subject. Instead, I strongly recommend for anyone who needs Biblical proof of what is being said in these last several paragraphs—and much more on the dangers for Christians to be wealthy—to click on the Table of Contents, # 116. There is a multitude of New Testament verses in it which make this extremely important subject crystal-clear. Let me end with this short but poignant thought about the false value of wealth in the Christian life.

Jesus Christ was a radical's radical by literally turning the world’s values upside down: His life and teachings destroyed just about every beneficial rule our human nature (survival of the fittest) taught us. In short, ACTUALLY following what the New Testament teaches, without any mealy-mouth (easy-does-it) interpretations, is genuine Christianity. All else is hell-bound, religious heresy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very shorts, simple and easy to understand, bet some more comments from your side would be great