Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Obvious Lies Part 5

The fifth obvious lie believers tell themselves, one which has been proven a fallacy due to anecdotal evidence, is that the most damaging attacks against the church come from without and not from within.

Somehow we manage to comfort ourselves with this lie even though all evidence points to the contrary, because if we were to acknowledge the fact that the most damaging attacks against the household of faith originate from within, we would likewise have to accept the premise that the devil has placed his minions within the church to carry out their nefarious plans, and the discernment that ought to be a staple of any fellowship was nowhere in sight in regards to these individuals.

What’s worse, is that even after such men are proven, beyond doubt to have been living in sin willfully and habitually, they continue to have their defenders, who call them ‘men of God’ and attempt to justify their sin. There is no call for repentance, there is no call for removal from authority within the Body, there is just a shrug of the shoulder, a roll of the eyes, and an unspoken agreement that as long as the crowds come and the tithe is collected, we will overlook even the most heinous of sins, and heretical of teachings.

Because men have become stars rather than Disciples of Christ, there is no longer any accountability either to Christ, or to His Body. They do as they please, being a law unto themselves, and whatever sins they commit and damage they perpetrate upon the household of faith, they find a way to justify it, most often blaming the devil rather than their own weakness and inattentiveness.

The sad reality is that we accept this lie and do so with great regularity. We tell ourselves this lie continuously because to accept the truth would mean to look at our own selves and realize we did not use all the tools at our disposal to prevent the catastrophes being perpetrated upon the church by men claiming to be spiritual leaders, pastors, evangelists, and other high profile, big name entities.

To acknowledge the truth would mean to acknowledge our own culpability in the matter, and accept responsibility for our indifference and apathy.

When Jesus commanded us to ‘watch ye therefore’ we always assumed it was for someone else, someone with more responsibility or a more established reputation within the church, and so we passed the baton of being careful regarding those we would let teach us and guide us to others, who in turn passed it on to someone else.

We’ve come to believe that as long as the individual has a diploma, then they are called and equipped to teach the truth of God’s word, and guide people into a closer more intimate relationship with Christ. When even to our own ears what they are teaching seems anathema, we tell ourselves they must nevertheless know what they’re talking about because they have a diploma, and we don’t.

If there is one mistake we made as the church, it was underestimating the devil’s patience and willingness to take his time and put all the pieces in place before the final assault. Even though he knew his time was short, even though he knew the clock was running out, he also knew that the most damage would be done to the household of faith from within its walls rather than from an external source.

He knew this, of course, from prior experience, because each time the church was persecuted, beaten down, trodden underfoot and thought to be extinct, it rose again, stronger, more vibrant, more powerful, and more committed than ever before.

Much like the coal which external pressure turns into a diamond, the church seems to thrive under pressure from without.

Knowing this and seeing his plans come to naught time and again, the enemy switched up his tactics, focusing on attacks from within, attacks meticulously planned and ruthlessly executed, to weaken the resolve of the Body, and to bring shame to the name of Christ.

With each pastor exposed and publicly shamed for being less than the man he presented himself as being, with each evangelist having to apologize on national television for his behavior, with each worship leader caught doing untoward things with individuals who trusted them, the light grows that much dimmer, and those who have not as yet laid down their arms grow more weary still.

No possible good can come of lying to ourselves, especially when in the same breath we demonize those who still have the audacity to call sin, sin, and who insist upon the truth of Scripture.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


FionaB said...

What you say here reminds me of something I read from A.W. Tozer a while ago..."The fashion now is to tolerate anything lest we gain the reputation of being intolerant. The tender-minded saints cannot bear to see Agag slain (see First Samuel 15), so they choose rather to sacrifice the health of the Church for years to come by sparing error and evil; and this they do in the name of Christian love....Timidity masquerading as love has allowed useless forms and unscriptural practices to persist in many a church till they have slowly smothered the life out of it and brought it to desolation".

Yet another frustrated Christian said...

FionaB, you hit the nail on the head. I've left a church because the pastors are over-bearing and controlling and elevating submission as the pinnacle virtue of Christianity. I know others have left as a result. When I spoke to an elder I respect about why I was leaving and asked why he never spoke up about the different legalistic decrees being sent down from above to keep the sheep in line, his response was, "well, they aren't asking me to do anything immoral or unBiblical, so I just submit." In the mean time, the pastors just steam-roll over the sheep and cause emotional damage. When the elder trotted out the verses that talk about submitting to the elders/overseers, I reminded him that for every submit and obey passage, there are probably 5 warning about false teachers, false prophets, and bad shepherds. There are whole chapters dedicated to warning the sheep to be discerning and flee the power hungry. But because this man's needs were being met by these pastors and he didn't want to give up "his" church, he keeps his mouth shut when the pastors behave like control-freaks. It's so sad. They actually preach a decent gospel message, but they are moving toward dark/mood lighting, loud music, and puppet-master behavior with the small groups. People with discernment recognize they want to rule a mighty church kingdom and so they are building that kingdom, using worldly techniques. All for God's glory. Sigh.