Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Whom, Indeed!

 Sometimes common sense goes a long way. Logically thinking through a situation can get you out of a bind that no amount of kicking and screaming would. The notion that eschatology, theology, or hermeneutics are common sense free zones, or we must somehow suspend logic and not believe our eyes is ludicrous on its face, but that’s the only move left on the chess board for some.

After that argument is exhausted, they tend to go full tinfoil hat where the king starts doing backflips and Aikido takedowns or gets superpowers from eating a magic raisin. No, man, you see, Jesus is coming back like three times total. First for the Jews, then for the gentiles, then to judge the earth. Then we each get our own planet and become little gods and then create our own universes and populate them, and on it will go until the multiverse is a reality that all fits tightly into a pocket dimension that God carries on a chain around His neck.  

The most important thing, though, is the multiple trips to and from heaven because that’s the only way we can make our square theory fit into a sound theology. As though Jesus needs to fill out a punch card to get a special prize. Three visits, and you get a free snow cone! That’s marketing for you.

The idea that those who cling to certain illusions could be wrong is anathema to them, and so extreme measures must be employed. That’s how my daughters play chess too. No, I don’t let them win; that would teach them nothing. By the time they’ve got two or three pieces on the chess board, they get frustrated, and it all goes south from there.

One verse in particular from the entirety of Matthew 24 gets quoted most often. You know the verse I’m talking about, say it with me, “and this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

Yep, that’s the one. Well done! I have yet to sit in a church pew for longer than a month and not hear some rendition of that passage. Quick question; who will be doing all the preaching before the end comes? Are we going to outsource it? Will we be leaving post-it notes for the left behind? Are we going to get Alexa or Siri to preach a sermon or ten? Who exactly will be preaching the gospel of the kingdom to fulfill the prophecy of Christ regarding the coming end? If your counterargument is that the gospel has already been preached in all the world, why has the end not come yet?

I know; that question is like a fly in the ointment, but it gets worse. Whom is Jesus speaking to exactly when He says they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you? Whom is He referring to when He says to take heed that no one deceives you? The deceived are already deceived! Is He warning the deceived not to fall for false prophets lest they get more deceived? Deception is a zero-sum game, sort of like virginity. You either are, or you aren’t. There’s no partial deception or just a little deceived, so the question is a valid one. Whom is Jesus warning?

If the Olivet Discourse is chronological, then before the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world, we will have a front-row seat to everything from wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, false prophets, false Christs, famines, pestilences, lawlessness, and the love of many growing cold.

All these are the beginning of sorrows. If we have to go to Webster’s for every word, this will take a minute, but I’m assuming, given that you take the time to read these long-format musings, you know what the definition of the word beginning is. Just in case you don’t know what the word beginning means, it is defined as the point in time or space at which something starts!

What sets it off are the things certain individuals are hoping to avoid altogether by being prematurely airlifted to heaven. If this were the case, Christ’s discourse could have been much shorter. He likely could have done it in two verses.

“Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”

“I come to snatch you away, then the world falls apart, but that doesn’t concern you because you won’t be here for any of it.”

On a serious note, what some have failed to understand regarding the Olivet Discourse is that it contains two interwoven prophecies. Jesus had just finished prophesying about the temple and how not one stone would be left upon another when His disciples came to him with questions.

Just as any curious kitten would, they didn’t just inquire as to the Temple’s demise but also about Christ’s return and the end of the age.

The first part of the prophecy was fulfilled in 70 AD when after a protracted siege, the Romans set fire to the temple and destroyed it.

The second part, the part having to do with His return and the end of the age, is yet to be fulfilled. Common sense would dictate that if Jesus got the first part right, the second part would also be spot on. You might not like it, or you might bristle at it, but it will happen regardless of whether or not you prepare your heart.

Being the very picture of magnanimity that I am, it is at this juncture that I offer you the opportunity to cry uncle, and I’ll stop. It only gets worse from here. The ball, as the kids say, is in your court. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2022


 Shortly after arriving in America, my parents befriended a Romanian family that had a pool. It was a big deal, especially for us kids. We lived in Southern California and the demographic my parents hung out with wasn’t the pool-having types. Romanians generally weren’t, not that the other immigrant families huddled in the apartments in our neighborhood were.

It takes a generation or two of hard, diligent, focused labor to get close enough to sniff the American Dream’s hair, ala Joe Biden, and even then, it’s tenuous on the best of days.

The other day I was having a conversation with my little brother, and one of the fondest memories we had of our childhood was when we had board meetings for the ministry because the hotel we held them in had a pool. That was the surefire sign of luxury as far as we were concerned.

Looking back, the hotel was a Holiday Inn, so even with the pool, calling it luxurious is a stretch.

It didn’t matter to us that the pool we went swimming in had green water half the time or that twenty other Romanian families also brought their kids; it was a pool. It got crowded to the point that all you could do was stand in the shallow end while other kids rubbed up against you as they shuffled by, but the water was wet, and you didn’t even mind it when little boys tried to pee on their siblings from the edge of the pool. You learned to bob and weave and hoped there was enough chlorine in the water.

Then one day, my parents decided to take us to the beach. It had been a year and change at least, and my dad finally summoned the courage to venture past the ten square miles that covered his job, our apartment, church, and the Price Club. The beach was a solid thirty-minute drive; none of it was the freeway. It was all city driving.

I think my mom invented what was to become the helicopter parent. It came from a good place, even if sometimes it was traumatic for us boys. For a week prior to actually going to the beach, she’d repeatedly tell us it was a dangerous place where the water would sneak up on you and drag you into the deep if you weren’t careful. To hear her tell it, a drowned child washed up on shore every few minutes. One wondered how anyone could do the backstroke in the ocean with all the dead bodies floating about.

I can’t say I wasn’t cocky for a ten-year-old, but I’d spent enough time in the pool where I thought the ocean would be of no concern. I told my mother as much, and even though she insisted the two were not the same, I was sure she was exaggerating.

It turns out my mom was right. There is a marked difference between standing in the shallow end of a pool and having waves come crashing down on your head every few seconds. After the third mouthful of saltwater and sand, I had to concede that although I was comfortable in one, I wasn’t so comfortable in the other.

By my count, there are at least four iterations of false prophets, false Christs, and individuals trying to deceive the people of God in Christ’s Olivet Discourse. Within twenty-two verses, we are repeatedly warned that deceivers will come, some even performing signs and wonders, trying to convince you that Christ is somewhere other than with you, in you, and in the Word. They’ll put on a good show, have masterful deliveries, plead with you, and entreat you to just go and take a peek.

He’s right there! Just go look! Some will say He is in the desert, others that He is in the upper rooms, but wherever they say He has been spotted, remember Jesus warned you beforehand that it would not be Him.

Overconfidence is how people get hurt. You may be just fine wading in the shallow end, avoiding deception and things that seem contrary to Scripture, but the season will soon be upon us when deception will come in waves. It will be so constant, violent, and discombobulating that if you are not firmly rooted in the truth, you will barely have time to catch your breath before the next wave crashes into you.

Use the time left to grow in God, cement your faith, and know the truth unerringly because no one’s building a house in the middle of a monsoon; they’re just trying to survive.

The building gets done before the storm comes. Faith gets built up before the just are compelled to live by it. It’s not an on-off switch. It’s not something that magically appears if you leave your credit card number under your pillow. Faith must be exercised, nurtured, fed, stretched, employed, deployed, and tested. It’s not so much like building muscle because to come back stronger, the muscle has to break down; it’s more like building a fortress one brick at a time.

Your priority isn’t to hyperventilate over what-ifs or to pack a bag every time someone says they know the date of the rapture. Your priority is to build up your faith as strong, tough, durable, and sturdy as you can before the waves come crashing against it incessantly.

I pray you take this advice to heart. If you do, you’ll thank me in heaven one day.

With love in Christ, 

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Monday, November 28, 2022


 Hate is a strong word. It’s a one-lane dead-end road. When you hate something or someone, it’s not just mild annoyance, it’s not an issue of preference, and there is no room for agreeing to disagree or any such middle ground. There is a definitive finality to hate that cannot be undone or brushed over.

Hate itself is also corrosive. It robs men of peace, joy, and no matter how bright the sun or melodic the chirping birds are, hate will make everything bleak and dark. Hate feeds on itself, growing ever stronger, and unless you have the strength to excise it from your heart, it will lead you down some treacherous paths.

Even God, who is eternal, only managed to rack up seven things He hates, but unlike man, God can hate without the corrosive effects. For some of you, it may come as a surprise to hear that God hates something, given that all you hear of His nature is love, acceptance, more love, and a sprinkling of grace just to cover all the things that love didn’t manage to.

You can’t spend less time understanding the nature of God, eternity, Christ’s sacrifice, sanctification, regeneration, and salvation than you did prepping for your SATs when you were in High School and hope to have a firm grasp on all things divine. Tragically that’s all the time most people put into their relationship with God, and when someone quotes scripture verbatim, they get angry and flustered and accuse you of trying to harsh their mellow.

No, sir, I’m not going to let you get me down; I will not believe your report! But it’s not my report; it’s the report of the Lord. It’s not secondhand information; it’s not an interpretation of what someone thinks Jesus meant; this is literally what He said! Will you reject it just because it doesn’t harmonize with contemporary Christianity?

It’s all coming to a head sooner than some might think, and eventually, one of these two will win out. Either the Bible was right all along, or contemporary Christianity was. I know which one I’m betting on, but that’s just me. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord even if it costs us everything. Though he slay me, yet I will trust Him; by this point, you can call that the family motto. Yes, it’s borrowed from Job, but it makes it no less true. I have no choice in the matter. I did the math, I counted the cost, I went into this with eyes wide open, knowing what the future held for the children of God, and I have no regrets.

Nobody duped me into serving God; nobody promised me Ferraris and McMansions; I didn’t stroll down the aisle one night because I got bored, and there was a girl who sang on the worship team I thought I had a shot with.

I fell at the foot of the cross and submitted to His will, knowing that it may cost me my very life one day. I followed in the footsteps of a man whose shoes I couldn’t hope to fill, not because I thought I could do a better job or because the pay was so great, but because it was what was asked of me.

I realize the present-day church has an aversion to servile obedience. We all want to be kings and priests. We were meant for management, not labor, but laborers are what God needs. I get it; that whole laborer thing was meant for the third-world Christians, not the first-world ones. And you wonder why the third-world Christians are seeing the power of God, witnessing miracles and the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Perhaps there is a correlation between the two. One might even say that if fully fleshed out, even causation.

But back to hate. I know I got off track. It happens. Feel free to ask for a full refund if not fully satisfied with your experience.

Jesus warns that the hate toward the faithful will come from two distinct sources. First, the world, for if the world hated Him, they would likewise hate us, and second from those who once offended, betrayed the brethren and began to hate.

The chronology of Christ’s discourse is also telling because the offense comes immediately after believers are delivered up to tribulation, killed, and hated by all nations for His name’s sake.

It’s all fun and games until it isn’t. Once the first head rolls by, it tends to shatter any illusion one might have harbored. When Christians start being put to death, the myth that your faith should cost you nothing and you should get a free ride to heaven for throwing a couple of shekels in an offering plate will die a quick and tortured death. The notion that this generation is exempt, exceptional, or somehow more special than those that came before them will likewise perish suddenly.

Matthew 24:9-10, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”

Either some men think themselves more righteous than Paul, Mark, Luke, Peter, John, and the rest, or they believe God has lowered the bar, done away with the standard, and rewritten the contract every past generation was held to. It’s the only way they can believe heaven is attained while lying back on a bed of roses, eating grapes, and playing the lyre.

No longer does the kingdom of God suffer violence, and no longer is it taken by force; now it’s men with manicures and skinny jeans that force lisps and adopt feminine qualities to pander to their biggest demographic that assure the simpleminded they can skip into heaven on flower petals. What wonders the laws of supply and demand.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Sunday, November 27, 2022


 I get that I may be starting to come off like a dog with a bone or a prosperity preacher with a mega-donor. To those that do not see the importance of getting to the root of this issue and fleshing it out, it may even seem like a waste of time. No, this is not about me being right about anything. In fact, I hope I’m wrong, but too many people have their hearts set on something that is demonstrably unbiblical, and once the oxygen is sucked out of that particular fairy tale, all you’ll have is bluish skin and difficulty breathing.

I’ve never been betrayed by a stranger. I’d wager you haven’t, either. It wasn’t the guy selling falafels and fresh goat milk that betrayed Jesus; it was Judas, one of His disciples. Simply put, betrayal is the violation of a person’s trust or confidence. Hence, the reason no one’s ever been betrayed by a stranger.

To be betrayed by someone, you must first let them into your confidence, your inner circle. You must know them well enough to trust them, and they, in turn, must knowingly, methodically, with cold, clinical premeditation, thrust the dagger into your back to the hilt while staring you in the eyes, remove it swiftly, and thrust again and again and again.

It’s always for some petty reason too. Whatever their thirty pieces of silver happen to be, that is the price of betrayal, and they have no qualms about cashing the check. For me, it was always people trying to take what God entrusted me to oversee. If a dumpy immigrant from a third-world country could make a go of running a successful ministry, think how well they’d do.

I’ve been called jaded, cynical, aloof, cold, and distant because I refuse to coddle fully grown adults and feed their illusions. I may be all those things, but if I gave you a rundown of my years in ministry and how many times I embraced a brother only to find a knife firmly lodged in my back, you’d understand why I was a little skittish. At least none of them tried to kiss me on the cheek. I guess they figured it would be a tell, and I’d intuit something was up.

That’s why betrayal hurts as much as it does because it’s always someone you trusted and invested time in. Maybe someday I’ll tell you some stories. For now, trust me when I tell you that of all the things you will have to endure during the last days, the betrayal will hurt the most. It’s like an open wound that someone kicks sand into, soaks in lemon juice, then washes in salt brine.

You go from wanting vengeance to blaming yourself for not seeing the individual for what they were, to wondering if it’s worth the headache, to being alone with God for long stretches just to get your heart right again.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe all the super-Christians will breeze right through it, and I just didn’t have the mettle to rub some dirt on it and pretend as though it never happened.

Matthew 24:10, “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”

Another thing I can’t shake is that it won’t be a handful of disenchanted souls; it will be many who will be offended, will betray, and hate. How many are many? That is the question, isn’t it? Half, three quarters? Less? More?

Jesus isn’t talking about the world betraying and hating you, at least not in this verse. It’s people you now call brother and sister that will be offended, will betray you, and will hate you. Why? Maybe you stood when they fell. Perhaps you both stumbled, but you got back up. Maybe they took the easy way and presented their forehead or their hand because their spiritual authority told them it was akin to a temporary tattoo the kids like so much.

My grandpa used to tell stories of being beaten during interrogations. The most brutal of the lot were former Christians who had snapped under the pressure and denied Christ. Former believers, men for whom suffering in the flesh was just too much to handle, were the cruelest of all toward those who remained faithful to Christ. Hate makes monsters of men, and a monster’s only desire is to make others share in their misery.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Saturday, November 26, 2022


No matter how rose-colored one’s glasses might be, one cannot conclude that the portrait the Bible paints regarding these last days is cheerful, optimistic, or carefree. Whether the words of Jesus, Paul, or John on the isle of Patmos, we are repeatedly told what to expect and what the world will look like on the eve of Christ’s return.

As we read the warnings contained within the pages of Scripture, some might conclude that, for the most part, the things the Bible warns about have been a part of the lexicon of human misery since the beginning of creation itself. There have always been earthquakes, there have always been wars, and there has always been some sort of pestilence in some part of the world, so being told they will take place during the last days seems obvious. It’s by no means revelatory, is it?

That Jesus would take the time to warn of these things ought to give us reason to ponder the more profound implications thereof, but who’s got time for pondering things nowadays? We’re on the fast track to nowhere and too busy doing nothing to concern ourselves with the things Jesus said. This is the instant generation; raised on jet fuel and unrealistic expectations.

None of it matters anyway since we’re not even going to be here. Sure the pre-thanksgiving rapture theory was a bust, but there’s always Christmas, New Year, International Women’s Day, and maybe even International Pretzel Day to shoot for. If it didn’t happen today, there’s always tomorrow to look forward to, just as long as we don’t have to face the reality that we’re all still here and it’s getting a wee bit hot in the kitchen.

If something Jesus said would be a harbinger of His return was already happening during His time, the only conclusion we can draw is that those things would increase in frequency and intensity. Sure, there have always been wars, earthquakes, famines, and pestilences, but their frequency will increase the closer we get to His return, as will their intensity.

Jesus wasn’t guessing at what the last days would look like; He knew exactly what they would look like and forewarned us so we would tamper our expectations of ruling the nations with a rod of iron or getting that long-awaited wealth transfer from the wicked to the righteous. It’s not a purely American problem, either. Even Romanians have gotten in on the game. Okay, technically, Romanian Americans, but a guest speaker at a sizeable Romanian church in Chicago encouraged the congregation to buy Shiba Inu crypto coins before they cut off his mic.

It would have been funny if it wasn’t so off-putting because he didn’t pronounce Shiba coin correctly.

I want to believe it as much as the next guy, but the whole thing about the sinner’s wealth being laid up for the righteous is a proverb, not an end-times prophecy. It is found in the same proverb as sparing the rod spoils the child, and hope deferred makes the heart sick.

I get that we live in a clickbait culture, and we’ll butcher a scripture passage ten ways from Sunday until we get it to say what we want, but trying to make the Bible say something it doesn’t isn’t worth it for the momentary endorphin rush.

So why do I keep harping on this? Because Jesus also said something that hasn’t been happening since the begging of time, that has nothing to do with the violent ways of men, the natural cycles of pandemics, or the ever-present earthquakes in various places.

Matthew 24:10 says, “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”

If you knew how many hours I’ve spent looking at this one verse from every conceivable angle, you would think me either mad or a genius.

What we know by reading the text is the following: the offense will be widespread, it will be so deeply felt that it will lead to betrayal, and the rift it will cause will be such that men will come to hate each other.

Here’s a hypothetical for you: A solid 75% of the world’s 2.2 billion Christians believe that they will either be gone before the things the Bible says comes to pass or they stand to get their grubby hands on the wealth of the wicked. Everything the Bible says will happen begins to happen, they’re still here, with no wealth transfer in sight, but rather religious persecution on a grand scale breaks out globally.

If you believed what they believe and the opposite happened, wouldn’t you be offended? If you believed what they believe because your pastor, elder, deacon, bishop, or pink-haired prophetess told you it would be so, then suddenly you were faced with torture and death, wouldn’t betrayal be a viable option? Wouldn’t you hate the people that lulled you to sleep and insisted that cotton candy clouds and chubby cherubs playing harps were just a love offering away?

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Friday, November 25, 2022


 It has become a Western tradition that the day after we all sit down and share what we are thankful for, we wake up early in the morning and go bludgeon strangers for the privilege of accumulating more stuff we don’t need for an imagined discount.

No, I will not be joining in the ruckus. I can live without an elbow to the face or a fist to the back of my head. When I was younger, I watched the local news for the highlights at the end of the night, but with each passing year, it became sadder rather than funnier. At some point, I stopped.

Unless something gruesome happens, like an elderly man in a mobility scooter getting trampled because people needed their worthless made-in-china plastics, it’s just another day. Even that wouldn’t shock us anymore; I don’t think. We’ve become callous to these things, and what’s worse, the next generation will be more callous still.

What a society values says a lot about where it’s headed. What it fails to value is also very telling, and try as we might to think ourselves noble and wholesome, a nation at peak morality and virtue, the fact that prominent people were giddy about sharing that on Thanksgiving they were thankful for abortions yesterday says otherwise.

Who are you to judge? That’s the last defense of an addled mind that has no argument for the position they’ve superglued themselves to. You confuse the difference between observing and judging, but that’s not surprising. It’s hard to have a debate with individuals whose only purpose is to win at all costs. It doesn’t matter that they have to make up statistics, lie, obfuscate, and pretend as though a human being is just a clump of cells with fingers and toes and a face. Winning is paramount. Winning is all that matters.

What doesn’t help the situation is that, for the most part, the modern-day church is thin-skinned and craves the world’s acceptance. We care what they think, and time and again, men of renown and gravitas whom the church looked up to betray Christ so that they could rub elbows with the godless.

How many so-called pastors betrayed the foundational tenets of the faith so that they could sit across from Oprah and push their latest sub-par book?   

It’s pointless putting together a list because it grows daily and would become a constant reminder of how so many people pay God lip service and nothing more. A child of God knows how to assign value. A child of God likewise knows what to value. If what you value is askew and not commensurate with being a son or daughter of the Almighty, then somewhere along the way, the world had its way, and you now love what God hates and hate what God loves.

That you can separate your worship of God and your values is a lie hoisted upon the church to great success. Simply put, if you say you love God and can still support the murder of innocents with a straight face, you’re lying to yourself. Not about supporting the murder of innocents but about being a child of God.

Our journey with God is transformative. It must be. By its very definition, to be born again is to be made new, to receive a new mind, heart, desires, and purpose. If the only thing that has changed in your life is that you now kick ten percent to the church, all you’ve done is commit to kicking ten percent to the church.

I’m sure certain shepherds are more than happy with the arrangement, sort of like people who buy gym memberships and never go. As long as the check clears, my dear, they could care less if you’ve put on fifty pounds and developed a heart murmur since joining their gym.

If this is the case, one wonders whether they love money more than they love souls. If, indeed, money is preferred over souls, what lengths will such men go to in order to protect their income stream? What lies will they be willing to tell, and how far afield would they be willing to lead the unassuming? All worthwhile questions, to be sure.  

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Thursday, November 24, 2022


 I’ve never been close enough to death to know if your life flashes before your eyes. If it does, I hope it’s the important moments, the moments within moments which, out of context, seem irrelevant to everyone else but stick with you for the rest of your life.

Everyone’s memorable moments are unique, like snowflakes on the breeze, precious only to the individual who has cataloged and valued them accordingly.

Maybe it’s the moments you should have been thankful for, but weren’t that flash unbidden when you breathe your last. That wouldn’t be so good. That’s a lot of guilt to shoulder for a life that’s about to be snuffed out. What I am sure of is that if anything flashes before your eyes as you untether from this mortal coil, it won’t be the mundane things we put so much importance upon, like climbing the corporate ladder or trying to impress strangers you care nothing for.

It’s Thanksgiving morning, and I’m in a hotel room in St. Louis, Missouri. I am not alone. My girls and wife are with me, but they’re still asleep. I try to be quiet so as not to wake them, but the little one sleeps like a frightened hare, so she’s already stirring even though the only sound is my clicking away on my laptop and the hum of the heating unit in the room.

She opens her eyes and smiles. She shimmies to the corner of the bed, brushes at her pajamas, and whispers, “look at my pajamas, daddy, they have candy canes on them, candy canes! Can we get some candy canes after breakfast?”

I smile, nod, and put my finger to my lips. “Let mommy and sissy sleep. We’ll talk about the candy canes later.” She crawls back into bed and snuggles up against her mother.

Another moment to be filed away and remembered for years to come. Bright red pajamas with giant candy canes, bed hair, and a crooked smile. The conspiratorial look in her eye when she asks about getting candy canes later, knowing it’s a conversation just between the two of us.

We are supposed to learn to number our days. It’s not so we can keep track of getting older, though; it’s to gain a heart of wisdom. Part of that wisdom, I think an important part, is learning to be thankful for the things that matter rather than the things that don’t. What you are thankful for is just as important as being thankful. For some people assigning the correct value to life’s moments is a struggle. Eventually, they learn, sometimes too late to do anything about it.

The older one sits up in bed, rubbing at her eyes. “Daddy, did you know that a peacock’s wife is called a peahen?” I didn’t. I didn’t even know peahen was a word. I guess it is true that you learn something new every day, sometimes even from your eight-year-old daughter.

I’ll have to wake them up soon. We still have a solid five-hour drive ahead of us, and we need to be home before three. Turkey dinner isn’t going to eat itself, and since we’re still here, we probably shouldn’t let it go to waste.

Life is a tapestry of moments. Be thankful for everyone. Cliché as it may sound, it’s every moment up to this present time that has brought you to this place. If the place you’re in is not where you want to be, take the requisite steps to alter your course. If your list of priorities is wonky and needs to be reworked, don’t put it off until the option to do so is taken from you.

Life is a fleeting thing at best. I look at my daughters and can still remember when I held them so gently, as though they were made of fine porcelain and would crack at the slightest touch. Now they call me old man and know what a peahen is.

Sometimes we’re so focused on the destination that we miss out on the beauty of the journey. Take the scenic route as often as you can. Take the time to make memories. Be diligent in smiling and making others smile, and be thankful for every grace bestowed upon you. Happy Thanksgiving!

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022


 Some people walk around as though they’re bulletproof until they find out they aren’t the hard way. No matter how often we are lovingly warned to be watchful, weary, discerning, and wise, we always assume it’s for someone other than ourselves.

Sure, if anyone thinks he stands, take heed lest he falls, but I’m not just anyone. Technically speaking, you are. Anyone is everyone and men with greater wisdom, insight, and awareness than you or I were also humble enough not to lean on their own understanding.

It’s hard to stay humble when you believe you’re the apple of God’s eye and heir to cattle on hills, even though you drive a beat-up Astro van. You’re just waiting for the reading of the will, that’s all, then you’ll show everyone how special you are. Those who know, know, and everyone else can just keep praying that God’s will be done in their lives.

Vision board your way to health, wealth, and happiness. It’s the new Christianity, and seven out of ten sleazebags agree it’s better than the old way. The other three do as well, but just secretly.

It’s the folks that don’t believe they can falter, be deceived, or make a bad move that often find themselves at the bottom of a pit, wondering how they got there. It’s the people that don’t watch where they step because they think they are walking on air that slip on the pebble or twist an ankle stepping the wrong way into a burrow.

We are repeatedly warned that we have an enemy that seeks our destruction because his devices are dangerous and effective, not because we are immune from them. If we’re both walking down a path and I repeatedly point and say look out for that ditch, and you ignore me and just keep going, you can’t blame me for falling into the ditch, just as you can’t blame God for falling into the enemy’s snare.

Men who plan and strategize battles have said that underestimating your enemy is the quickest way to lose a skirmish. As Sun Tzu wrote in the Art of War, if you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. More believers than we want to imagine are in the third camp, wherein they neither know themselves nor the enemy, but their arrogance is such that they insist they don’t need to know anything, anyway.

Yes, I know it wasn’t a quote from Ignatius, Tertullian, Origen, or Justin Martyr, but it doesn’t make it any less true. I’ve read Marcus Aurelius, Socrates, Kierkegaard, and Epicurus as well, and there are some interesting nuggets in their writings, also. Philosophy, wisdom, truth, and godliness are not exclusive of each other; they are complimentary and conjoined.

That’s not to say some thinkers such as Marx or Machiavelli shouldn’t be avoided like the plague, but overall, reading the musings of men of superior intellect who lived and died long before your time is humbling. Take someone like Thomas Aquinas or Francis Bacon, and the richness of their thoughts is such that they can only be consumed in small sittings to be genuinely appreciated.

Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. That is what the Lord requires of you, and the practice and perfection of those three things can take a lifetime to master. I know that’s not something we want to hear or entertain.

Most people want to skip to the head of the class because they believe that’s where all the cool stuff happens. You graduate cum laude, and then you can rub elbows with the big dogs, do conferences with influencers, be a mover, a shaker, and a kingdom connector, not just someone who walks humbly with their God.

But that’s all the Lord requires of you! To walk humbly with Him, to love mercy, and do justly. If further service is required, further instruction will be given. God didn’t misplace your number, and He didn’t lose your address. He knows how to get in touch; of this, you can be confident.

Impatience, however, will make you step out on your own, outside God’s protection, and that’s where the wild things are. When you are no longer in the will of God and thus no longer under the shadow of His wing, you learn quickly how susceptible you are to the slings and arrows of the enemy. You learn that you are not immune.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Team Sports

 If the Lord were to tarry another hundred years, there would no longer be denominations. They are dying already, most are on life support, and it seems as though they are doing everything possible to bring a swift end to their brand. That’s all they are nowadays, isn’t it? A brand so far removed from its original founder’s vision and intent that if you removed names like Wesley, Luther, Calvin, Parham, or Williams and just read their current bylaws and mission statement, you’d spend the rest of your day scratching your head and wondering where Jesus was in all this pabulum.

I didn’t even include the weird ones like Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or the Seventh Day Adventists in the mix because they’re like the slow kids on the short but at this point. Anyone who trusts a vegetarian of the female persuasion to set up the foundations of their denomination deserves everything they get. I’m sorry, but vegetarianism? You might as well tell me I have to wear itchy undergarments all the time to remind myself of myself. Some of you didn’t get the genius of that last one, and that’s okay, but those of you that did, you’re welcome.

I speak of things I know, have studied, and understand. Let’s leave it at that.

I’m not even poking hard. It’s not like I’ve set about deconstructing Joseph Smith or Ellen G. White, yet, I guarantee this writing will get the most backlash of anything I’ve written thus far. Why? Because people are loyal to their teams, and if you dare to mock or insult them, you’re in for a tongue-lashing at best.

Believe me; I know what rabid fans look like; I live in Wisconsin, and they have the Packers and the Badgers. If you want to see someone lose it while they’re talking football and how we may go all the way this year, interject and say, “I think the 49ers have a good shot this year. That Joe Montana’s looking dialed in.”

I had someone throw an empty diet Dr. Pepper can at me for that crack once, then I laughed another five minutes because they weren’t man enough to drink regular Dr. Pepper. I guess the beard and the flannel shirt was a farce after all. In my defense, the last time I saw a football game was when Joe Montana was the quarterback for San Francisco.

Salvation is not a team sport. It is not a collective. It is as individual and personal as anything gets. The soul that sins shall die! That’s pretty self-explanatory, and there is no addendum stating unless they belong to such and such denomination, either.

You can’t sit on your couch and cheer strangers on, hoping they beat other strangers. You have to be the one on the field; you have to be the one putting in the work; you have to be the one carrying your cross, and likely not to cheers or swooning fans.

When you stand before the Almighty, he won’t ask what denomination you belonged to, nor will he give you a pass for the effort of others. Well done, good and faithful servant sounds markedly different than great teamwork, guys, or excellent job team.

When the primary Christians tried implementing a microcosm of denominationalism, Paul shot it down without allowing for debate. The believers in Corinth had started forming cliques, picking teams, following either Paul, Apollos, or Cephas, causing division among the brethren. In his letter to them, Paul makes it clear that it doesn’t matter whom you say you are of if you are not of Christ.

The question for those who still cling to denominationalism and insist on the supremacy thereof is whether or not their denomination is still of Christ if the edicts they hold to are antichrist. United Methodists, I’m looking at you! If your denomination is more permissive than the Bible, and more libertine than Christ, can it still be called Christian?

Matthew 24:24, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

Well, there you go. You just disproved your argument. It says right there, if possible! You got me now! Well done! Except you’re supposed to interpret scripture with scripture, and Christ Himself begins His discourse with ‘take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name saying ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.’

If your argument is that the disciples were not among the elect, that’s one thing. If it’s not, then the idea that it’s impossible for believers to be deceived by false christs and false prophets is moot.

Take heed that no one deceives you! If you were beyond being deceived, or the disciples for that matter, why would Jesus have spoken these words?

With love in Christ, 

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Monday, November 21, 2022

Shysters in the Lord

 I got a message from someone the other day that said, ‘I’m so glad you’re on our side.’ I get that it came from a good place and that she meant well, and I took all that into account before I answered back with, ‘you should be glad I fear God instead.’

Someone being on our side is not enough. Many people on our side have no qualms about using us, and by us, I mean Christians in general, as their piggy bank, there to be cracked open when the need arises. I’ve seen this time and again, when just because they call themselves a believer, an individual expects you to hire them at double the cost for half the services. And that’s if they’re willing to put in the effort.

There is another subset that believes you must never say no, no matter how absurd the request, because if you do, then you’re not loving. Maybe it’s this generation. Perhaps never having had to get their hands dirty or work a double shift prohibits them from understanding that daily bread is earned with the sweat of one’s brow. Maybe they just don’t care and believe everything comes easy, regardless of whom you hurt to get it.

It’s the worst kind of feeling when someone who calls themselves a brother asks for help, you offer them a job that pays, and they turn around and say, can’t you just help me out?

Some men’s actions aren’t in harmony with the title of believer they assign to themselves.

I’ve seen this play out in the world as well, wherein every company from roofing to concrete, to lawn care, to maid services has something relating to the armed forces in their title. It’s always something bombastic too, like Semper Fi Roofing, SEALS Pool Cleaners, or Green Beret Lawn Service, but when you take a closer look, the only armed forces the guys doing the work could have been in was the Mexican Army. Not trying to nitpick, but I think you have to be able to speak English in order to join the Green Berets.

Christians are easy marks, and the unscrupulous have caught on to this. Since Christians are the unlikeliest demographic to complain or get litigious, we are targeted with zeal and fervor. Christian is slapped in front of everything nowadays, from Christian tattoo artists to Christian podiatrists, because we tend to pay our bills on time and overlook less-than-stellar service.

Granted, there’s a difference between someone whom you’ve been going to church with for two decades and who happens to run a lawn care service and someone who has a cross on the side of their truck that’s leaving pamphlets under the windshield wipers of every car in the church parking lot.

Just as every branch is not fruitful, not everyone calling themselves a Christian is an individual of noble character or even a Christian. Usually, having character and being fruitful go hand in hand, so if you see the one, you’re likely to see the other. By the same token, if there is no fruit, then be prepared for there to be no character as well.

I’ve had pastor friends who got taken for six figures by people pretending to be believers, bidding on a job for the church, then running off with the money as soon as the check cleared. Our naïveté and credulity are endearing, but only to a certain point. Once that point is reached, all we are, are marks to be taken advantage of and abused by soulless ghouls who see easy pickings and nothing more.

This is another one of those public service sort of posts because the more desperate people will become in the coming months, the more they will search out easy scores and soft targets, which they will attempt to separate from their hard-earned savings.

May we never forget that we live in a fallen world, and there are many who say they are of the family of God, who are not. Use wisdom in all things, not just some, and you will see the danger pass you by without negatively affecting you or your household.

I get that your first instinct is to give people the benefit of the doubt, but don’t let your first instinct bypass discernment in your decision-making process.

With love in Christ, 

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Sunday, November 20, 2022

The One

 There are many paths to the same destination; unfortunately, that destination is hell. There is one God, one truth, one way, and one life, and no matter how inclusive we want to be or pretend to be, the veracity of this statement is undeniable. No man comes to the Father but through Christ!

But Oprah! I’ll see your Oprah and raise you a Jesus! Jesus said! That should end the conversation without further protestation, but that would make things too simple, and when things are simple, the unscrupulous can’t take advantage of the innocent.

Given the self-importance some men attribute to themselves, I often wonder if Jesus sent His disciples out two by two to keep any of them from thinking they were the one. Not that it did any good. They still argued among themselves as to who would be the greatest, but Jesus sorted them out with a few words and a little child.

The difference between the disciples of old, and the men of today, is that the disciples did it out of spiritual immaturity, while the men of today do it for a far more nefarious reason. Any time anyone tells you they, rather than Jesus, are the truth, and no man can attain salvation save by following their teachings, run. Run as fast as your legs and McDonald’s rich diet will allow because you’re in danger.

It takes a certain kind of hubris to stand in front of a crowd or in front of a camera and declare that you alone possess the keys to biblical knowledge. Everyone else is either ignorant of the truth or leading you astray intentionally.

There have been enough real-world examples of men with messiah complexes and the havoc they wreak to make you weary of anyone pointing to themselves rather than Christ. The fallout is always spectacular, and the best-case scenario for those in close proximity is that they get out alive. They are both physically and psychologically scarred, shattered, broken, suffering from the spiritual version of post-traumatic stress, but alive.

It’s not hyperbole. I wish it were. If you don’t believe me, ask the survivors of the Koresh compound. That’s right, all you get is glassy eyes and far-off stares, that’s if you can get one of the handfuls who survived to come out of hiding. Spiritual betrayal is one of the most difficult things to get over. Just ask any former cult member who somehow got away.

These men are so starved for attention that even though Jesus had twelve disciples, they refuse to allow anyone within the warmth and glow of the limelight. Never mind that there are a few billion more people walking around than in Christ’s time, no, these new Messiahs know what they’re doing, and all they need is an audience.

The disciples weren’t asking who would replace Jesus; they were asking who would be the greatest. Childish, perhaps, but not dangerous as the modern-day messiahs turn out to be.

Throughout the Word, every time those in leadership were referenced, it was always in the plural sense. There wasn’t one man to rule them all; there was a plurality of shepherds to guide the sheep. That alone should cause discerning people to question the entirety of the papal system. Still, discernment is painful sometimes, and they would rather not have to deal with the uncertainty of admitting they were wrong to follow a guy in a goofy hat who allows for things the Bible never did.

That’s not to say the evangelical churches get a pass when it comes to faux messiahs. There are plenty who would pretend to be the one given half a chance, and some already are but are so pitiful in their delivery that three old ladies in summer hats are the extent of their reach.

Men gifted by God don’t chase after titles or the esteem of men. The former is worthless, the latter fickle, so rather than waste time pursuing either, they hunger after God and live lives of obedience and service.

I’ve known a handful of such men, men the world thought unremarkable but that God used in remarkable ways.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Enemy Mine

 I know we’re supposed to be raptured before Thanksgiving, but I went ahead and prepaid for my turkey dinner anyway. Worst case scenario, I’m out a few bucks, and someone will enjoy some sliced turkey with bourbon-glazed sweet potatoes and creamed corn on me. Then again, if I’d given away all my earthly possessions, stopped paying my bills, curbed making plans, and ceased living every time I heard a definitive date as to when we would be caught up to glory, I would have been homeless a hundred times over.

Having been in ministry for so long and having established relationships over the years, many people send me things they’ve come across with the heading, what do you think about this? Usually, if there’s a date attached, my answer is the same every time: wait until a day after the date they mentioned, then assess whether or not their prophecy was accurate. Time is the constant enemy of the date setting prognosticator.

Some in the prophetic eco-system have adopted the motto ‘if at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again’ when it comes to setting dates. We all remember the classic 88 reasons why Christ is coming in 88, followed by the sequel 89 reasons why Christ is coming in 89. One would think they could have squeezed out one more reason and put out 90 reasons why Christ is coming in 90, but maybe they made enough off the first two books that they didn’t think it worth the effort.

Harold Camping made so many predictions and set so many dates that God had to give him a stroke to shut him up. I know that sounds mean, but if you start predicting the end of the world in 1994, work yourself up to 2011, and it still hasn’t dawned on you that you may be off on your math, maybe you do need a smack upside the head.

Before you start thinking I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, and this is nothing more than a victimless spiritual crime, consider the emotional rollercoasters some believers have been on because somebody they trusted or lent their ear to set a date.

This is it, buddy! All you have to do is hang on until the day before Thanksgiving, and you’ve crossed the finish line. Then those same folks, barely hanging on by the skin of their teeth, wake up on Thanksgiving morning, not only still here but with an empty fridge, closed supermarkets, and one expired can of cranberry sauce in the cupboard. You took someone who was already in a bad situation and made it infinitely worse because you promised them something that did not come to pass.

Because they clung to your promise, they didn’t even do what they would have done had you not opened your maw, and now their kids are fighting over who’s going to scrape the bottom of the cranberry sauce can.

You go through these ups and downs often enough, and eventually, the heart begins to harden, and you find yourself walking down the street mumbling something about it all being a lie and nothing being true.

There is a marked difference between living with a sense of longing and expectation of Christ’s return and believing it will happen tomorrow by 8 pm. One instills hope in the hearts of those carrying their crosses, and the other sets an unrealistic expectation with an expiration date that will psychologically crush those who believe it.

It is in man’s moment of despair that the enemy finds his most opportune moment to attack. If, as those who were called to be wise as serpents, we would remind ourselves that not every dream is prophetic and wishful thinking isn’t a revelation, perhaps there would be fewer opportunities for the devil to shipwreck individuals.

Do some people really believe that if they just want it bad enough, it will be so regardless of God’s will? Not only is that childish, but it’s also unbiblical. If the Christ had to submit to the will of the Father, what makes you think you don’t?

Matthew 24:39, “He went a little farther and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Friday, November 18, 2022


 Way back when you were less likely to get stabbed in the face or see a fully grown human defecate in Times Square, I took my wife to a Broadway show for our anniversary. She’d always wanted to see a real honest-to-goodness show on Broadway, and since circumstances allowed, I was more than happy to facilitate her desire.

But why not the Gaithers? They put on a barn burner of a show. In my defense, I thought you had to be an AARP member to purchase tickets for the Gaithers. Is it still a prerequisite? I kid, of course, but you can’t expect people in their twenties to get down and boogie to something that septuagenarians find trend-setting.

That’s it, Martha, I’ve had it with this young whipper snapper’s insolence. He’s poking fun at the Gaithers; that’s where I draw the line.

I’m 47, no longer a young whipper snapper, and smiling won’t hurt, I promise. Sometimes we have to make allowances because not everyone likes what we like as far as entertainment is concerned.

Since I had no clue what the other shows were, I settled on Phantom of the Opera, and it was everything a night out with the one you love ought to be. The sets were beautiful, the singing was spot-on, and we left the theater not feeling like we’d wasted our time or money.

I later found out that there are also Off-Broadway shows, and Off-Off-Broadway shows, the latter being some lady with unkempt hair and smeared lipstick screaming to three empty folding chairs in her building’s laundry about her mummified womb and the evils of patriarchy. Just so we’re clear, the patriarchy didn’t force you to sacrifice love, motherhood, vibrancy, and youth for a mid-level career. That was all you, all so you could tell the folks back home in flyover country that you worked in Corporate America. To clarify, you got coffee for the people who work in Corporate America, but I digress.

Everyone wants to be a star, but not everyone has the chops for it. The good shows are worth your time, the bad ones, not so much, but whichever show you go to, you must never forget that it’s a show.

If you can afford it, see a good show. It will be more entertaining. There’s something to be said for Benny Hinn’s showmanship with the coat-throwing and bombastic iterations. The lady that finds a long-forgotten dried-up booger in a Kleenex and thinks it to be a sign from the Lord, not so entertaining.

Brother Mike, you sound like you’re mocking this sort of manifestation. Indeed, I am. As long as you can manifest glitter, oil, hand sanitizer, hair gel, or whatever other thing is being passed off as the authentic work of the Holy Spirit, but you can’t cast out an evil spirit, feel the presence of the Holy Ghost, or possess enough discernment to know something’s off, then all you’re doing is putting on a show.

As I said, some men are better at putting on a show than others, some have bigger budgets, and they can get fog machines and seizure-inducing flashing lights, but in the end, it’s just a show—man-made, man-fueled, man-performed, and man-centered.

But what about the gold dust, you doubter? The moment I see someone walk into a pawn shop with a bag of gold dust and trade it in for legal tender, we can talk. If God really did manifest the gold dust, why wouldn’t it be real gold dust? Surely, if He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, He can spare a few bucks worth of gold dust.

We say we’re hungry for the power and presence of God, but what we’re really hungry for is entertainment. We say we want to see the fire of God come down but only halfheartedly because we don’t know if it will consume us as well.

When the present-day church spends more time getting to know God than chasing after a sign, we may just make some headway. Until then, if you’re bored and have nothing to do, there are plenty of shows around, some better than others, but be forewarned, all are lacking the dunamis of God. Yes, I threw in a Greek word; it means power, get over it.

The painful truth for the show me generation is that God doesn’t have to prove Himself to me, to you, or to anyone else. If perchance, He chose to, he wouldn’t use something as hacky and cringe-worthy as gold dust or hand sanitizer. We’re not talking about the amazing Bob’s one-man show extravaganza here; we’re talking about the God who spoke the universe into being. Give Him some credit, at least.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Feed Me!

 We’ve come to expect the enemy to attack via conventional means. It surprises us when he doesn’t. It shouldn’t, though, and if we’d taken the time to understand our enemy, it would not surprise us in the least that he endeavors to find our blind spot and then attack with the ferocity of a crazed beast.

When it comes to ministry, one of the most prominent blind spots is that if your vision for it is different from God’s vision for it, eventually, inevitably, it becomes an albatross of compromise around your neck.

Even the best of men are still men. They have egos, aspirations, and visions of a future not yet attained, and if adequately driven, they work toward them tirelessly. Things become problematic when their visions or aspirations are different than what God would have for them, and it’s usually the desire to be bigger rather than smaller.

If God’s desire is for your ministry to be bigger than it is, it will be. There need not be any machinations or artificial growth hormone added, it will happen organically, and in ways no brainstorming sessions would have thought of.

My youngest daughter is very proprietary. It doesn’t matter what it is; if it’s hers, it’s hers, and if anyone touches it, you’ll hear about it. The other day she got on her sister for taking her straw wrapper, which she’d blown at her because she made a bow out of it rather than return it.

“It’s mine, Victoria! Give it back.”

That’s how some men act about the ministries God entrusts into their hands. Some even put their names on it and believe it’s their sole duty to grow it like you would a baby. They won’t allow for the possibility of contraction. All they see is growth, and by golly, they’re going to put their hand to the plow and push for all they’re worth. Goober McGee Ministries Incorporated LLC is going to be talked about for eons to come! We have a five-year plan, expansion outlines, vision boards, the works!

That’s all well and good but do you still have God?

The problem with building a beast is that once you’ve built it, you have to feed it. It’s always hungry. Not a day goes by when the machine doesn’t have to grind away. If you’ve gotten ahead of God, then it’s no longer He who must tend to the feeding of it; it’s you.

Because you have no other choice, you roll up your sleeves and push for all you’re worth. Quality begins to slip, new speakers need to be found, and you let people into your ministry whom you haven’t vetted properly. Some of the things they say sound off, but you’ve got to make deadline, and people seem to enjoy the sensationalism of it all. Every iteration inches further away from the gospel, Jesus becomes an afterthought. Eventually, you find yourself selling radiation shield undergarments in preparation for the upcoming apocalypse, wondering how you got here.

When you stray from the purity of the calling, when you veer off the simple, straightforward, uncomplicated path that God has laid out for you, dark snares and ravenous beasts lie in wait.

It frustrates and exasperates my staff to no end, one in particular, that, in their estimation, I don’t take the growth of the ministry seriously enough. They may have a point in theory, but practically speaking, it’s not mine to grow. It’s not even my ministry. It belongs to God. He will do with it as He wills, and my trying to do anything other than obey would be akin to attempting to empty the ocean with a thimble.

Sometimes God speaks so abundantly that you have a hard time keeping up with taking the dictation. Other times God is silent, and the only thing you can do is be silent too. It’s as simple as that.

But doesn’t God understand that the people need a fresh word? Do they, though? Or perhaps you need the fresh word to keep the people engaged. And so, some try to nudge God along, give Him ideas, and the unscrupulous ones even put words in His mouth because, well, it could be true.

Usually, it isn’t, though, because His ways are not ours, so rather than go from victory to victory, we go from disappointment to defeat, the ever-nagging question of why God didn’t keep His word scratching at our peace like nails on a chalkboard.

Few allow for the possibility that their favorite pink-haired prophetess made it up, God didn’t say the thing she said He said, and they’ve been duped. A well-intentioned lie is still a lie. Eventually, the fruit of it will be bitter and rancid.

There is one true measure of success when it comes to ministry: whether or not you were obedient to the calling to which you were called. It’s not the size of the work, the square footage of the office space you have to lease out, or whether you own a jet or drive a beater.

Are you where God told you to be? Are you doing what He commanded you to do? Are you speaking the words He entrusted you to say? If the answer is yes, then godspeed. If the answer is no, just beware, eventually, something will give, and the beast, mad with hunger, will eat anything in its path, including you.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Bait and Switch

 The bait and switch crews are the most odious of all of them. Not only do they plan to fleece those who fall into their snare like bleating sheep, but they also take the time to build up trust, know what the truth is, teach it for a season, then veer off into the desert.

The examples are too many to count, but as with every other confidence scheme, we’ve seen this a time or ten within Christendom as well.

Two things must happen to avoid falling for the bait and switch. You must first be awake; then, you must remain awake. If you were already dosing off by the time the self-titled prophet, bishop, or apostle, came along and started ‘sowing’ into your life, it will take a veritable miracle to wake you from your slumber and make you acknowledge the truth.

If you were awake, because the maneuver is called the bait and switch, you must remain awake to spot the sleight of hand and catch the switch taking place. This is where consistency comes into play. Remember that thing about consistency a few days back? Yeah, it doesn’t just reveal someone’s character; it’s a good gauge of whether they remain in the truth.

Suppose all of a sudden, the guy who’s been doing expository preaching for the past decade starts doing a series on the permissiveness of the marriage chamber, followed by ten reasons why sin isn’t as big an issue as it used to be in the olden days. In that case, you should probably increase your level of vigilance tenfold. Also, it would be wise to steel yourself for the eventuality of the other shoe-dropping and camera crews showing up in the parking lot, shoving microphones in your face, asking if you had any inkling about the ecstasy binges and massages from individuals with Adam’s apples and hairy knuckles that the pastor was involved in.

It’s a reliable indicator. If your pastor, elder, evangelist, or bishop suddenly starts exploring biblical loopholes for sin rather than rightly dividing the Word, it’s their way of dealing with their own failings and trying to justify them.

I don’t care that someone was biblical a decade ago or if you heard them give a great sermon a year ago. Are they presently biblical? Are they presently insisting upon repentance, righteousness, sanctification, and holiness? And yes, by someone, I include myself.

If at some point, for whatever reason, I go off the rails and start preaching another gospel, I expect you to be so well established in the truth that you would call me out.

Well, brother, I get that the Good Book says if anyone thinks he stands, take heed lest he falls, but that doesn’t necessarily apply to me. Are you anyone? Then it does. Nope, not going to hear you out, don’t want to know why you believe yourself to be exempt. I know you think you may be special, but I guarantee you that you’re not!

Paul understood the bait and switch well enough to warn the Galatians of its possibility and include himself as well.

Galatians 1:8, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”

Because we reject the idea of being Bereans and have offshored our spiritual needs in lieu of spending our time doing other things, it doesn’t take an angel from heaven to lead people astray, just some slick hair, a nice suit, and name recognition. Sometimes it doesn't even take that. 

I can’t even count the number of discussions I’ve had with people defending the preachers they fanboy over, when what they said was demonstrably unbiblical and indefensible. From the ever-present I know that’s what they said, but that’s not what they meant, to you just heard it wrong, to maybe you’re just jealous because he has a deeper understanding.

Sorry, no depth of understanding can justify a preacher saying taking the mark of the beast will have no ill effects or repercussions. I don’t care how circuitous and bendy your interpretation is; being told that you will drink the wine of the wrath of God if you take the mark on your forehead or hand is pretty self-explanatory. There’s also that thing about being tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, but who am I to question living legends and men who’ve appeared on CNN?

That everyone can start a race does not guarantee that everyone will finish it! We would do well to remember that.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.