Saturday, March 24, 2007

# 192: Playing the Part of a Fool

The main purpose of this blog has been to expose the diluted, watered-down "christianity"–which is no Christianity at all—which is presented by the majority of organized religion. Along with that, I have been attempting to clearly display what has been missing in their dogma/theology. I will not spare any tough or highly descriptive words in portraying the deadly damage they have been committing since the beginning.

From my vantage point, it is understandable why they preach what they do. Most, if not all, of those behind the pulpit, the clergy, go to some seminary school or Christian college for a number of years. That schooling is not free, although I don’t think the tuition plus room and board are as expensive as secular colleges. After graduation, most will become associate pastors to already-established churches. A few may attempt to start their own church from scratch. Either way, they are hoping to make at least a living wage. And that is totally understandable.

Included in that schooling, there must have been a course that teaches the dos and don’ts of being a successful pastor. Even I, who don’t claim to have any religious title other than an ambassador for Christ, and a Biblical aficionado, quite often receive emails stating that I should buy their course/books on how to increase church membership, and how to make first-time visitors permanent members. Here are two examples I received in the last several days:

Church Giving. Church leaders do not want to have to worry about it and church members hate to hear about it. But every ministry in your church depends on it. What if there was a Biblical way to increase giving that respected your members AND worked? No more high pressure, no more constant "passing the hat," and no more budget shortfalls. Find out the methods used by thousands of growing churches to increasing giving the painless way. In Him, --Curt Gunz; Here's the link for more information.

A visitor took the first what? When someone visits your church for the first time they have taken the first step. They are saying, "We are interested in your church." Are you going to meet them half-way or is the unspoken message, "If you want to become a part of the church here, fine; but do not expect us to go out of our way to help you"? Now, I know you would never say would not even think that. But, when someone visits a Sunday-morning worship service and no one from your church follows up with them, that is exactly what you are saying. You need a simple but effective way to contact them and let them know you care. REACH OUT! (the resources that have helped hundreds of churches grow) will show you EXACTLY what to do to "Crack the Code" of a great outreach ministry. In Him, --Curt Gunz Here is the link for more information:

P.S. Do you know all nine "Secret Codes" for a great outreach ministry? I bet "Secret Code #6" surprises you.

Again, back to wanting to be successful pastors; it is perfectly normal for any of us, if we were in their position, to desire the same.

After all is said and done, this new group of pastors is eager and ambitious to put their skills into practice. Now the question remains, will their ambition for size of membership and the quantity of donations be matched by their integrity to teach what the Bible commands?

Undoubtedly, I am certain that this new class of clergy desires to be Biblically informative, and at the same time present the gospel message in a way that would not turn off the laity. Therefore, those who are articulate at the sleight-of-hand form of communicating (hypnosis by charisma) will, most likely, end up with a large congregation, even mega-churches. In turn, those clerics who desire to be true to the gospel, the ones whose preaching is more comparable to the New Testament, will offend some who desire to leave church on Sunday morning on a positive note. These churches will never grow in size, to any great degree. The reason being, many who think the Christian religion is all peaches and cream will label those types of churches as a bit negative and go elsewhere.

I know there are not many of these small true-to-God congregations, but fear not, they are there. For whatever reason, I have not been blessed to participate with such a congregation in the forty + years of my devotion to Jesus Christ. Also, you must remember, just because a church is small in membership does not automatically make them true to New Testament teachings. I have attended several small congregations; I was surprised to find them as dead as doornails, not only in their preaching, but the smell of death could not go unnoticed.

The unanswered questions in my mind are these: Are these preachers consciously aware that the main purpose in their preaching is to somehow form a large church? Or is it to show and tell what is required in Scripture; to live in a manner which pleases the Lord? Are they aware that preaching difficult-to-apply Biblical commands is not a popular or smart way to run a church? Or do they truly believe what they preach—and don’t preach—is the way a church must be run, to be successful and "approved" by Jesus Christ? And who wants to be associated with a church that is not successful?

This blog's main goal has been to tell what the New Testament teaches, especially obedience to Christ’s commands, which the vast majority of religious organizations do not preach to any great extent. I keep asking the question, why not? And even if they did preach according to the New Testament, would there be any enforcement? 1st Timothy 5:20. "Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that others may take warning."

The strongest emphasis of organized religion requires all to attend church services. And I agree; disciples of Christ need fellowship: to get together and encourage one another, to share their joys, make their difficulties known, and teach each other, as it commands in Hebrews 10:25. I ask, what does that verse have to do with going to church for an hour in Sunday School? Church activities usually consist of saying a prayer or two, singing a song, taking a collection—the most important part—listening to a sermon which is intended to make everyone feel as if we are doing our duty, etc., and finally, shaking a few hands, saying a few hellos, and that is it. Where is the fellowship and worship of God? Fellowship, to be of any real value, must be an informal, intimate gathering: getting to know each other as members of one family, God’s family. For information on the benefits of the House Church, click on # 96: The House Church, along with an unnumbered post that followed.

This blog challenges any person, clergy or laity, to defend their church-going Christianity as authentic, according to what is taught in the New Testament. Said another way, it would be an informative addition for bloggers and even myself to know what type of legitimacy they (churchy “christians”) claim to substantiate their form of love, worship and obedience to Jesus Christ, through their church attendance.

The point I am making is this: When someone tries to sell you a recipe or formula for an extremely valuable commodity, but without your knowledge fails to give you the complete blueprint because of fear that the remaining instructions, which are hard to accept/understand, would make most think, "Thanks, but no thanks." Of course, a person who knows no better would continue to accept the partial formula as valid since it is coming from a "person of God," and since the outcome or finished product would not be known in this world, the fool keeps on accepting the partial recipe as all that is needed for this valuable commodity, which is eternal life.

I truly believe no person in their right mind desires to be made into a fool. When someone makes a fool of themselves through the efforts of a slick con artist, most likely they will be on their guard so that it won’t happen again. But what about when, in the name of freedom of religion, con men/women are given religious legitimacy by the IRS? Then, to make their case more reasonable and logically correct, the Holy names of Jesus Christ and Jehovah are graciously promoted. And to make their legitimacy even more convincing, the majority of people who call themselves Christians NAIVELY take part in that scam, while joyfully giving 10% of their wages, their time and their devotion to keep the holy-bull scam going.

Listen to the dictionary’s definition of a fool: 1) a person with little or no judgment, common sense, wisdom, etc.; a silly or stupid person; simpleton; a mentally retarded person; 3) a VICTIM of a joke or trick; dupe. Here is the meaning of the word “scam”: to cheat or swindle, as in a confidence game.

What is the main reason so many people are making fools of themselves? The answer is so simple, it is scary. They do not compare what is being taught and not taught from the world’s pulpits, with the Holy Bible, primarily the New Testament.

Even though the plan of Salvation is simple in theory, there are many Bible verses that are not easy to understand, while a few defy all comprehension. There may be several reasons for that: the change in the meaning of words and traditions over time, translating from one ancient language to another; and, I am sad to say, the actual tinkering of people in high religious places. That’s okay; still, the biggest portion of the New Testament is fairly understandable, even though it will take much more than just one reading; the only exception is the book of Revelation, which is mostly symbolic, as it displays an irate God displaying His vengeance through His powerful angels. In fact, I believe many verses in the Bible are fluid, in that as people continue to grow into the likeness of Jesus Christ, more complete definitions come to the surface.

There are several other reasons why correct understanding will not be possible for some: when anyone does not have an active desire to obey what is being taught; when a person does not have a passion to love God with all their faculties; when a person is not actually born-again and does not possess the Holy Spirit; and finally, when a person does not make every effort, by their life, to advance the cause of Jesus Christ. Repeating, nevertheless, as a person continues to grow into the likeness and holiness of Christ, these hard-to-understand portions will continually manifest more of their true meanings. As mentioned previously, the New Testament is written in a secret code, in that what one reads must be experienced, if even to a small degree, to arrive at a better or more complete understanding.

I believe there are at least three basic reasons why people who call themselves Christians don’t read and reread the Bible over and over again from cover to cover, especially the New Testament. They may not be aware that the main reason for having an attachment to God’s book is to make absolutely certain we are attempting to believe and live exactly as the Bible dictated. That reading must include obeying the active parts, which will be disagreeable to our human nature, along with the easy and passive, though vitally important, verses of accepting the work of Jesus Christ through faith.

The first reason for lack of reading, most likely, is that there are more interesting activities to engage in other than reading the Bible; the second reason is that many people are just plain lazy and would rather listen to some preacher tickle their ears; the third reason is that many people don’t understand the depth of what they are reading. Again, repeating what was mentioned in a previous paragraph: The main reason for that lack of understanding is that much of the New Testament must be experienced, if even to a small degree, in order to make any sense.

There is a guarantee from God and also from this blog that if a person becomes an ardent reader of Scripture, with a pure and holy motive so as to learn what is the right way to live and believe, they will soon see through the duplicity of organized religion. It will in no way be easy to live as Jesus Christ commands, but it can be done.

For those who decide to read the New Testament and are left with questions which have no seemingly logical answers, send the question/s to this blog in the comment section. There aren’t too many Biblical questions that don’t have an appropriate answer.

In conclusion, there is no legitimate reason why good, intelligent people like you and others have to make fools of yourselves by blindly believing what is preached from many pulpits, or I should say, what is not preached. If you are a churchgoer, or have a friend/s who goes to church, tell them about this blog. Why should these subtly deceptive church leaders who claim to be ministers of Jesus Christ continue to make fools of you and many others? Let the millions of other fools support the clergy’s devious intentions. They will always be around. As P.T. Barnum once said, "There is a sucker born every minute."

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