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Friday, December 27, 2013

Compromised!


Although you hate to do it, sometimes you have to admire the enemy’s battle tactics. It’s hard to do when you’re engaged in warfare with him, and you see that his plans are bearing fruit, but if you can muster the wherewithal to take a step back and objectively assess the situation from afar, you come to realize that the enemy’s long term strategy has worked brilliantly.

I’ve been mulling over the situation I addressed in my previous post for the past few days, looking at it from different angles, and wondering, sometimes out loud, why so many pastors are still silent on this matter, and why the supposed spiritual leaders of our day are pretending as though this is a nonissue, and not deserving of their time.

I did not come to the following conclusion lightly, I did not come upon it haphazardly, but the only thing that makes sense, the only answer to the question of why are the leaders silent, is because they themselves are compromised.

In light of recent events certain truths have become undeniable. Among them, the undeniable truth that Paul wasn’t just nitpicking when he said a bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, not quarrelsome, not covetous, and the list goes on.

Paul didn’t just pull some virtues out of a hat with which he decided to burden the leadership of the congregation, he itemized the virtues a leader ought to have in order to be above reproach and have the ability to speak truth with authority.

The reason all these things are prerequisite for someone to be a bishop, or a leader in God’s house, is because if he is these things, then he is in no way compromised, and when he speaks against sin, it will not be from a position of hypocrisy, or ineffectualness because he is guilty of the selfsame things, but a position of authority and conviction.

The enemy’s master stroke was to convince the leaders of God’s house that we need to become like the world in order to attract the world, and once we became like the world, we lost our flavor, we became compromised, and the enemy had something he could always point to if ever we thought it necessary to speak against sin.

The mammoths, the gargantuan, the spiritual giants of our day, are pretty much all compromised in one way or another, some in more extreme ways than others, but all because they did not meet the requirements set forth by the Gospel, and also because when they did not meet these most basic of requirements the congregation just winked and shrugged their shoulders.

Now, because these men have so many skeletons in their closets that the doorframe is threatening to buckle, they are silent for fear of someone turning the door handle and peeking in.

Having studied up on this man from Louisiana a bit more, I believe the fact that he is the husband of one wife – his sweetheart from his early youth –  because he is a temperate  man, not given to wine, not greedy for money, and not covetous, the enemy had nothing on him, and nothing he could be shamed with.

Why the deafening silence? Because unqualified men have hijacked the positions of power in God’s house, and the sheep are so distracted and indifferent, that as long as there’s no video of the guy doing something tawdry, they’ll go along to get along, and sweep it all under the rug.

Sin has neutered the leaders of God’s house, and now they are as silent as church mice, because they would rather the spotlight be on anyone but themselves.

I don’t have to go through the list. You know the list already. You know the prominent names, you know the sins they fell into, you know they never stepped down, or removed themselves from ministry, and in knowing this, you likewise know why they are silent, and why they will continue to remain silent no matter how brutal the onslaught of the enemy, or how violent the campaign against the saints.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

May the love of King Jesus fill your hearts this Christmas season. May you be with those you love, and understand the beauty of what the birth of Jesus truly means for each one of us. 

You are my brothers, my sisters, my friends, and with a joyful heart I wish you all a Merry Christmas. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Cowardly Lions


Recently, a man from Louisiana did something which in the eyes of many was vile, inflammatory, explosive, incendiary, unacceptable, and worthy of scorn….he quoted the Bible!

With simple words, in his simple way he called sin by name, and reminded all who had ears to hear that God is not mocked. Though some might insist that special dispensations are being handed out like foam fingers at a football game, the Word remains the Word, and  the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and whoever loves and practices lies, are still found outside, not having entered through the gates into the city.

Since one of the worst offenses for a sinner is to be reminded of the consequences of their sin, the backlash was quick in coming, and this man was summarily let go from his job on a television show about the business he’d built from scratch making duck calls of all things.

What rubs me raw and infuriates me to no end, is that the selfsame ‘spiritual leaders’ who threatened to march on Washington because some senator attempted to have them audited, are thoroughly silent when it comes to standing with this man and echoing his sentiment, in that sin is still sin in the eyes of God.

Oh, you cowards. Oh, you spineless, gutless succubae whose only interest is the padding of your billfold and the maintaining of the lifestyle you’ve become accustomed to. Will you not defend the Gospel for fear of being labeled a zealot? Will you not defend the Gospel for fear of no longer being loved by the world?

I do not know this man from Louisiana, but I do know character when I see it, and right now, as things stand, he has more character than every televangelist put together.

Stop calling yourselves soldiers of the cross. Stop calling yourselves ambassadors for Christ, stop lying to people and insisting that you are transforming the world, you cowards!

It is the world that has transformed you, and now, when it counts you side with the world because you love the world so.

If your convictions will not compel you to take a stand, perhaps you can be shamed into it! Perhaps that’s what it will take, and even then you will find a way to soften the blow, to dilute the truth, to make those who would preach the Gospel seem fringe and unloving.

You may think yourselves lions, but at best you are cowardly lions. At worst, you are the tools of the devil, pretending to serve Jesus while leading people to hell because you don’t love them enough to tell them the truth.

Ezekiel 18:20-21, “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

An Answer to a Friend


Legend has it that after many years of paying tribute, a Wallachian lord had finally had enough and refused to pay any further levies to the Ottoman Empire. Shortly thereafter, the lord found himself surrounded on all sides by an Ottoman horde, something not wholly unexpected. For the moment the lord, his family, and his men at arms were safe behind the castle walls, and since the Ottomans could not penetrate the walls, they decided to lay siege to the castle.

From the first day of the siege, the lord, his generals, and his eldest son would wake at dawn, dress in the most resplendent armor they possessed, and walk the battlements of the castle until noonday.

One day turned into a week, a week turned into a month, until finally the lord’s son could take it no more and asked his father, ‘why do we do this? They will either wait us out, we will starve, and they will have won, or they will grow tired and move on sparing us. Why do we get up every morning, put on our armor, and march along the walls?’

The lord looked at his son, then met the eyes of every one of the men marching with him that morning and simply said, ‘because we must.’

I know it’s hard! I know it’s getting harder with each passing day. The sense that those who get it get it and those who don’t never will, is palatable. Many men I am honored to call friends and brothers in arms share this selfsame feeling, wondering, and often aloud, why they continue to do what they do when they seem to be oscillating between preaching to the choir, and preaching to those whom they sense will never hear.

The cold hard truth is that we are all human. Every one of us, to the last, no matter how well respected or esteemed, is in the end human. We are all frail creations with needs and heartaches and pains and setbacks.

The only difference is, those of us who are screaming into the void until our lungs give out drew the short straw and we were called to speak.

We do what we do because we must. We do not do it for glory, or fame, or recognition, we do it out of obedience and because we were commanded to.

In our frailty, in our weakness, in our hardships, we press on, we press in, and put on the armor and walk the wall, because we must.

This right here, this banging a few keys on a laptop and hitting ‘send’ is the easy part. The hard part is what none of us talk about because some might see it as boasting, while others might see it as whining.

The hard part is agonizing over the message time and again until you are certain it is what God wants to communicate. The hard part is praying for others who call or write in even when you know you need prayer just as much as they do. The hard part is being looked up to as something more than what we are, and seeing the flash of anger on people’s faces when you try to tell them they are wrong in thinking you are special.

We do the work because we are called to do the work. Not because it’s convenient, not because it’s easy, not because we have nothing else on the books, or we’re in perfect health, or all the bills are paid.

Jesus never qualified His sending forth of His disciples with, ‘if you want, if you can, if you’re up to it, if it’s not too much trouble, or if you can get a book deal out of it.’

Jesus just said go, and they went, and they turned the world upside down.

The person I’m writing this to knows it’s for her, but it’s not just for her. It’s for all of us, whether we are called to ministry in a greater or lesser capacity. We all make up the body, and no member is greater than the other because we are all dependent upon the head of the body which is Christ Jesus.

Pray for those still willing to walk the wall! Pray for those still willing to stand guard! Pray for those still willing to speak the truth, because they are a dying breed, and if they are done away with, then hope is truly lost.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Call To Arms Part 9


Another reason many believers suffer defeat at the hands of the enemy is their ignorance of the weapons they have at their disposal. You can have the most up to date gear, the most technologically advanced armaments, but if you don’t know how to use them, or what button to push, or which way to point it, chances are all that gear will only slow you down when you’re trying to run away.

Most individuals have a vague understanding of the weapons believers have access to, but as far as a deeper understanding of how they are used, or when they ought to be used, that is something beyond their grasp.

As previously mentioned there are weapons of defense, there are weapons of attack, and there weapons that can be used to both defend oneself, and attack the enemy if the need arises.

Romans 13:12, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”

This armor of light Paul speaks of in Romans is also referred to as the armor of righteousness in Corinthians. It is something we, ourselves must put on, after we have cast off the works of darkness, and broken ties with all it entails.

God will not dress us when we can dress ourselves, just as any parent will not insist upon dressing their child once that child has learned to dress themselves. Our slothfulness and distraction prone mindset oftentimes steers us toward the conclusion that if the armor of light is not fastened upon us, it must somehow be God’s fault, and not our own.

The Word never insinuates we ought to let God dress us, it tells us to dress ourselves!

Another aspect we must take into account is that the works of darkness and the armor of light cannot overlap. We cannot continue to cling to the works of darkness while simultaneously putting on the armor of light, because they repel and reject each other, forever at odds, forever foes, forever mortal enemies.

The gray area of the spiritual man only exists in the duplicitous man’s imagination. God sees either darkness or light, good or evil, saved or lost. God does not work with shadows, with gray areas, nor does He approve of the barely getting in mindset so many find wholly acceptable in His sight.

When we put on the armor of light, we are of the light, we serve the light, we defend the light, and fight on behalf of the light. We cannot be divided in heart or mind and still claim to be of the light.

It is because of this inescapable truth that I am reticent in giving men and women who would twist the Gospel, and attempt to sidestep the Word of God a pass, or the benefit of the doubt. This is doubly true of those who have risen to prominence, and see themselves as spiritual leaders of authorities.

Each of us must measure every word, each of us must weigh every thought, each of us must compare every teaching to the Word and make sure it is in harmony with it, and this need is amplified tenfold when men stand before other men and attempt to teach them the mysteries of God.

When the Word of God speaks of armor, certain things are implied just by the word itself.

First, one needs armor only if he is expecting battle. Second, one needs armor only if he has an enemy who is skilled enough or equipped enough to hurt them, wound them, or maim them in some way. Third, one needs armor only if confrontation and battle are imminent, a given, and no means of a ceasefire or armistice exists.

You don’t see men walking around in armor during peacetime. Every soldier in the midst of battle, however, is fully equipped, having put on his armor with the expectation of what is to come.

Because we have foresight, and the Spirit of God has given us insight as to the reality of battle, we do not dawdle or delay, we do not put off or ignore, we put on the armor of light, and prepare ourselves for battle as a good and faithful soldier ought.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Call To Arms Part 8


When it comes to weapons, there are weapons of defense, weapons of attack, and weapons that in a pinch can pull double duty and be used both for attack as well as for defense. The believer’s arsenal of weapons is clearly itemized within God’s Word, and this is done so we can go through the checklist, inventory our gear, see if anything is missing, and if we are, in fact, ready for battle.

Although the notion of preparedness has fallen out of favor in recent times, like so many other practical and necessary virtues, one understands the true importance of preparedness only when it’s too late.

If I realize my shield is rusty and my blade is dull only as I take my stand on the battlefield, it is likely too late to do anything about it. In the event that we did not do our utmost to prepare for the eventuality of battle, even before the battle begins, the enemy has a distinct advantage because of our failure to assign the correct level of importance to the task of making sure our armor and our weapons are as they ought to be.

Nowadays Christians seem to be suffering defeat at the hands of the enemy more than at any other time in history not because the enemy has gotten better at what he does, but because the average believer has grown more slothful, more indifferent, and more concerned with the affairs of this life rather than the life to come.

The devil is still the devil, but the caliber of soldier has consistently decreased over the years to what is now a woeful, unacceptable level.

We play church, we play soldier, we play at being saved and at obeying God’s word, then wonder to ourselves why defeat seems to be a constant, like an ever present shadow, never far, and always in sight.

There was a time when believers were encouraged to spend time with God in prayer, when they were encouraged to read the Word of God and learn to hear His voice rather than buy the latest and greatest teaching series on how positivity can transform your life, or how you can spice up your love life the Christian way.

Incrementally but consistently we’ve made the Christian walk about ourselves rather than about servitude toward God, and every teaching seems to be focused on how we can better enjoy this present life, and exploit God’s love for us by continually demanding material excess.

It is a sad and tragic thing when an entire generation goes from knowing God on a personal and intimate level, to only knowing men who know God and speaking of them in hushed and reverent tones as though they were something more than mere men because they have a relationship with the Father.

It is in the fact that we see things such as prophecy, dreams, visions, revelation, gifts of healing, discernment, tongues or interpretation of tongues as special or rare that we can know just how off track the church has gotten, and how ill prepared we are when it comes to the spiritual aspect of our existence.

Such things ought not to be the exception within the house of God!

The power of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the leading and guidance of God, all these things ought to be a given for believers, for fellowships, for congregations, and for all who name the name of Christ.

If the biggest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn’t exist, the second biggest trick he ever pulled was to convince the church that it is powerless, and absent of authority.

We have adopted and embraced this victim mentality, wherein ‘the devil made me do it’ becomes our go to motto, and rather than stand and do all to stand, we accept defeat as a given, as something we are meant to experience as sons and daughters of God.

It is a lie! We are not meant to suffer defeat at the hands of the enemy. We are no meant to be vanquished by the darkness. We are meant to overcome evil, we are meant to overcome the darkness, we are meant to fight against principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this age.

We suffer defeat at the hands of the enemy because we’ve talked ourselves into believing that we can be defeated. Rather than stand, we justify cowardice by telling ourselves there’s nothing sinful in going along to get along, and rather than fight we do our utmost to be inoffensive to the enemy, being silent when we ought to speak, and being static when we ought to act.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Call To Arms Part 7


A soldier without weapons is a soldier at a disadvantage. Even though the movies insist that one man with a toothpick, a shoelace, and a compass can take on an entire army on foreign soil without knowing the terrain, between the guy with the knife and the guy with the gun the guy with the gun usually wins.

If two men of equal proficiency only differed in the weapons at their disposal, then logic would dictate the man who was better equipped, who had access to more weapons, would win out over the one who was not.

Meeting the enemy on the battlefield is a hard enough task when we are fully equipped, and have every weapon at our disposal in our arsenal. Even then the devil gets in a few blows, and even manages to fell some, men who we thought undefeatable, and beyond the enemy’s reach. This often happens if the individual in question is either distracted or not sufficiently equipped for the task at hand.

As I’ve said before, the easiest way to get one’s clock thoroughly cleaned is to underestimate one’s enemy, and go into battle unprepared, unfocused, and ill equipped.

We cannot take anything for granted in battle. No soldier ignores the fundamentals of making sure his gear is clean, and that everything is working as it ought, because he knows his life depends on whether his gun will fire, or his sword will cut.

We must make it a priority to not only make certain we have all the weapons we can get our hands on in our possession, we must also make certain they are ready for warfare when the time comes.

I have quite a few friends who are into guns, who own guns and enjoy shooting them at the range or to go hunting, and to the last every man is meticulous about cleaning his weapon after use, making sure everything is as it ought to be for the next time he goes out shooting or hunting.

This notion of always being ready, of always having sharpened swords and battle ready armor must be as second nature to us, an extension of who we are, and what we are.

A soldier never stops being a soldier, nor should a Christian ever stop being a Christian regardless of his surroundings, or the people he comes in contact with.

I see a man in uniform and I know he is Navy, Army, Marine, or Air Force based on the aforementioned uniform. Men should likewise be able to tell we are Christians by our countenance, our conduct, our speech, our decisions and our behavior.

No, it’s not about works, it’s about mirroring Jesus. It is not about earning our salvation, but rather about manifesting the fruit salvation ought to have wrought in us upon encountering the Christ.

Words without action are meaningless. I can tell my wife I love her, but if my every action contradicts my proclamation, she will realize something is amiss. She will see that all I am doing is saying some word which have no meaning because there is no action undergirding them.

Many today say they love Jesus, then never do a thing to show that love. They have no desire to spend time with Him, they have no desire to serve Him, they have no desire to obey Him, they have no desire to know Him, and yet, they proclaim, and vociferously so that they belong to Him. Many today say they are soldiers for the cause of Christ, and never follow through in defending the selfsame Christ for whom they said they were a soldier.

It is because they follow through with action that some men are counted to be men of their word, and not simply because they spoke the words.

I know men who are men of their word, and I know blowhards who talk a big game but never follow through with anything. I know men who say little and do much, and I also know men who say much and do little.

It’s not about the words, it’s about the action, it’s not the theory, it’s the practical application of faith and salvation that we must endeavor to live out daily.

The same is true for those who consider themselves soldiers for Christ. There is a marked difference between a man who says and a man who does, and the man who does usually doesn’t say so much. The man who does knows the hardships of battle, he knows the draining effects it has on one’s vitality, and he knows there is no glory in war but only in victory, and as such does all he can to stand victorious when the dust has settled and the departed have been counted.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.