Skeptical

I’m really, really skeptical about popular evangelists. I’ve found, more often than not, charisma outweighs Christ in their ministries. I’ve noticed there is often more “share this post” than “share the Message”. I’ve seen little mention of Jesus and lots of mention of an ambiguous, flippant, passive allusion to God. I can search weeks worth of posts and find little to no scripture, just motivational messages that would be fitting of a fortune cookie.

Jesus didn’t have to be flashy, loud or fashionable. He didn’t please the masses by telling them what they wanted to hear. He didn’t rely on the comfortable, politically correct definition of “a god” to coax folks to an ever-changing bandwagon. Here’s the thing… if it’s satisfying to the world, it’s not satisfying to God. Christ didn’t live in a big house, with a fancy car *and* ignore the need of the sick around him. Christ heals, sits with the broken, guides those who would have been damned and opens his arms to the rejected.

Present tense, y’all. He lives.

What we need is more Soul food, and less empty calories.

Christ said things that made people uncomfortable, because you cannot grow in your faith by being trimmed to conform to the world’s standards. You become a lukewarm version of Christ, molded by the world’s definition. You’ll sway in every wind without stopping to see if your branches are breaking.

I am not a Bonzai tree.

Say it with me. “I am not a Bonzai tree.”

As Christians, we are not here to become palatable to the dying world. We are here to love them, and introduce them to the Living Word.

One of the popular evangelists I referred to made a post once saying something about even when we aren’t ok with who we are, God is ok with who we are.

No. He’s not. I wrote a blog entry about it, but He wrote a whole Book about it.

See, He’s so NOT ok with who we are that He sent his Son to die on the cross. Not only did He fill the voids where we lacked, He makes us NEW. We are sinful creatures (I, myself, the lowest of these) and we have all sinned and fall short of the glory. Romans 3:23 says so. And while we, as the saved, are now seen as spotless (1 Peter 1:19)- it’s not because we, ourselves, are ok. It’s because His son, Jesus, died and made those who accept salvation that way. None of that glory comes upon us because of anything we’ve done (“…you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers…”). You’re not ok. I’m certainly not ok. However, by the Grace of God alone, we are made perfect. THAT’S the beauty of salvation.

Here’s what I’m trying to get across. 1 John 4 says this:

“4 Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. 2 This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet[a] acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. 3 But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.

4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 5 Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. 6 But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.”

It’s ok to question and discern what you’re being told. Just because someone talks loudly, is fashionable, says things that makes you feel good or otherwise puts some religious icing on a message does NOT make it Godly. Take that message apart, line by line and compare it to scripture. False teachers are as real and abounding today as they were when John wrote his message. The difference is, now, they’re a lot more accessible. Pray over what you read and ask for discernment. Don’t be fooled by those who speak from the world’s viewpoint, just because the world listens to them. There is a spirit of deception, that makes it easy to be complacent with mediocrity.

False teachers say, “There’s no need to grow or continue the race. You’re ok just the way you are, right where you are. Here, let me trim those branches for you. After all, sedentary is satisfying.”

Don’t buy it. Guard yourself against it.

Christ says, “Follow me.” (Mat 16:24)

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