Archive for the ‘Christian Living’ Category

What Next? Kenneth Popeland?

July 23, 2014

pope copeland

Around January 2014, Pope Francis sent a video to Kenneth Copeland, the leader of Believer’s Voice of Victory (BVOV) and the defacto leader of the Word of Faith (WOF) community. The purpose of the video was to appeal to the WOF community for unity. Just recently, Ken Copeland paid the pope a visit. The big topic? You guessed it – unity.
It’s fitting that the Roman Catholic Church (RCC)should appeal to BVOV and not to orthodox Christianity. What do these two organizations (RCC and BVOV)have in common? A very loose association with Biblical doctrine.

Copeland believes (or at least says) God is about 6 feet tall, weighs around 200 pounds and lives on a planet. He preaches that faith is a force, God used faith to create the universe and that we can use that same force to to speak things into existence. He preaches that Jesus went to Hell (not hades or the underworld) and was tortured by Satan for three days. He says Job suffered as he did because he was afraid. None of this is supported by Scripture, at least not by a contextual reading of Scripture.

“That’s crazy,” you say. “Why would anyone seek unity with a bunch of crazies like that?” Well, there is that old saying: “Birds of a feather flock together.” If you think all the stuff Copeland believes is crazy, take a look at some of what the Catholics buy into.

Mary never sinned. In fact, hers was an immaculate conception. According to one of the Catholic encyclopedias “Mary…in the first instance (at the moment) of her conception was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.” She was born sinless and she stayed that way. And of course, she was also a virgin, an eternal, blessed virgin. After all, you can’t be sinless and engage in something as tawdry as sex…with your husband.

Mary’s body is no longer on the Earth. When she died her body was physically assumed into heaven. And now she is the Mediatrix between us and Jesus, according to  Pope Leo (1894) Pope Paul VI.

So as you can see, both sets of folks have a habit of pulling things out of thin air a pronouncing them as valid doctrine. Copeland has prophecies and visions, and really weird interpretations of Scripture. The RCC has the Magesterium and its endless supply of supposed traditions, visions, and apparitions. So tell me: if they unite, what has the greatest authority, Copeland’s prophecies or Francis’ traditions, visions, and apparitions?

Run away from both of these sets of people. They don’t use Scripture as their standard.  And as a result they don’t adhere to the Gospel.  Copeland says Jesus suffered in hell for our sins, that His death on the cross was physical and couldn’t pay for our sins.

The RCC says you have to be baptized…or not, and you have to believe that Mary is the mother of God, having participated in the redeeming sacrifice of her Son…or not.  And that you have to believe on the work Jesus accomplished on the cross…or not.

If this unity thing gains momentum, maybe Copeland will end up being the Pope. Does that mean we would address him as Kenneth Popeland?

Filling Your Mind With…?

July 22, 2014

The London Baptist Confession of 1689, in describing Scripture says:

The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture, to which nothing is to be added at any time, either by new revelation of the Spirit, or by the traditions of men.

Did you catch that?  No other or additional revelation from God.  Everything we need to live lives of faith and growth is expressly set down or can be worked out (necessarily contained) in Scripture.

“So what, Melvin?” I can practically hear you asking.

So what is the best way to make Scripture a part of you?

You can study it.  That is certainly called for within the Bible itself.  So certainly, study the Scriptures and show yourself approved, a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

So after you study it, then what?  Yes, you should definitely study some more.  But I have a suggestion, which, if you have been doing it just a little bit, you probably already know what’s coming.

Romans says we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  Psalm 1 says we should meditate on God’s word.  Deuteronomy says we are to talk about and think about His word in our coming in, and in our going out.  And though the Pharisees kind of misunderstood what God was saying, it should be on the front of our minds.

Memorize God’s word.  Don’t just read it, or carry your Bible around with you (or worse, leave your Bible in your car’s rear window).  Memorize it.

“But why Melvin?  I have other things to do.  Besides, it’s hard” you say with a slight, but understandable whine.

If you want God to speak to you (heaven knows the pimps are always saying He is), hide His words in your heart.  I guarantee you He will speak to you.  You’re a husband or a father?  Memorize Ephesians chapter five and I guarantee you God will speak to you, explaining to you how you are to love your wife even as Christ loved the church.  You’ll get to hear that even when, as far as you are concerned, the woman has gone crazy.

Memorize and meditate on verses related to worker/boss relationships and stealing and see if God talks to you when you’re late for work every day but expect to be paid for a full day’s labor.  Try some sections that deal with gossip and see if you can tear that sister down that you don’t like.  You have a hard time doing it as God speaks to you with His word.

For the last couple of years I’ve been memorizing chapters.  Right now, I’m working on Philemon.  You know, Philemon, the book right after Titus and Just before Hebrews. But don’t be overly impressed.  It’s only 25 verses long.  I’m struggling, but I just finished working on vss. 15 through 18.  That leaves seven more verses that I should be able to knock out in the next three days or so.  Then it will just be a matter of perfecting the entire text.

What I am suggesting is that you not just memorize a random verse here and there.  Yes, I guess you should be proud of the fact you can recite Genesis 1:1.  Of course you have to admit you are a total slacker if the only verse you know is John 11:35.  If you watch enough football, you should be able to recite John 3:16, and maybe a couple of other “famous “verses.

But those are all safe.  You can treat your husband like a dog and recite those verses all day long.  But memorize those “wives submit” sections of Scripture (you know the ones in Ephesians and 1 Peter 3), especially after actually studying them and working to understand what they are saying.  Once you memorize them, they live in your mind.  They don’t go away.  Even if you don’t refresh them, God can call them to your remembrance.  And the more you add (chapters on faith, sections on perseverance, persecution, or holiness), the more difficulty you will have dismissing your husband, even if you are fully convinced he is the meanest, most moronic human being ever hatched.

But how do you do it?  How do you memorize?  One good way of memorizing entire sections of Scripture was put together by a fellow by the name of Andrew Davis.  The eventual objective of his process is to have you tackle entire books of the Bible.  That’s right, entire books.

I’ve been using it.  The bad news is that it takes commitment and some measure of discipline.  The good news is with a modicum of discipline and with some wisdom in establishing your goals, you can memorize a lot more Scripture than you think you can.  I’m a lazy pig.  I know it.  You know it.  But if I can do it, then I have all the confidence you can too.

I’ve memorized Ephesians 6:13 through 18.  I have (again) Romans 6 and Romans 12.  I quit on Romans 8.  But once I finish a couple of other shorter books (Jude, 2 and 3 John) I would like to work my way back around to Romans.  Can you imagine having the entire Letter to the Romans knocking around in your head – and accessible?  As I said, I have almost completed Philemon and if all goes well, I will work on Jude.  Once I gain a little more confidence, I will likely tackle something like Ephesians (the whole thing).  Then on to Romans.  I’m able, right now, to average about a verse a day (memorizing three at a time).  And I’m pretty much on schedule for finishing Philemon this week.  Then I have to spend time just reciting it.

I’m not going to lay out the process here.  You can download the pamphlet here.  You don’t need much to use the process.  I would suggest the following (once you read the process you’ll understand):

  1. Index cards for flipping through the verses
  2. Some kind of a container to keep the cards together
  3. A counter to keep track of what you’ve done

That’s it.  My stuff looks like this:

memory pack

It’s similar to what I presented several years ago for memorizing individual verses (a good thing, and you can do that in conjunction with the extensive memorization).  You can’t spend too much time memorizing.  The worst that might happen is you won’t have time for one of those STOOOOOOPID reality shows.

Memorize.  Even if you don’t do the extensive memorization, memorize individual verses.  God commands it and you know it’s good for you.

Waving a Flag of Caution

July 14, 2014

dancing on Bible

 

The older I get, the easier it is to see why God gave us the Bible and instructed us to use it as our final guide and authority. Of course, not everyone sees it that way. And they are certainly the worse off for it.

God tells us we are engaged in a spiritual war (2 Cor 10:4,5). In that same reference, He makes it clear that our weapons in this warfare are not carnal (not made of physical stuff) but are mighty through God.

Before I get fully into my rant, I want to be fair to First Baptist Church of Glenarden on the Kettering (FBCGotK) and point out that even though they are involved in flagging (I reposted the video below), I will not say they agree with all of the teachings on the sites I visited. The head of the Flag and Banner Ministry did say: “Our number one reason is to usher in the presence of our Lord…Audience of one. Him and him alone.” And while this is consistent with the sites I visited, she doesn’t commit to the full set of heresies and make-believe theology.

The flaggers say the following about flag waving:

  1. It ushers in the presence of God
  2. It is a sword used in spiritual warfare
  3. Help focus our faith
  4. It is spiritual warfare by movements, actions, sounds, and colors.
  5. It brings anointing (whatever, in this context, that is)
  6. Destroys the works of the devil.

However, the Bible tells us the the weapons include:

  1. Truth
  2. The Shield of Faith
  3. The Gospel
  4. The Bible (the real Sword of the Spirit)
  5. Righteousness

We are told to renew our minds with the Word, not renew our subscription for the prophetic flag of the month.

I can’t think of a better way to neutralize an army than to send it into battle with defective or ineffective equipment.

Think about it. What if the Allies soldiers had been given Nerf bats and balls to go up against the Axis (Germany, Japan, and Italy) who were armed with real weapons. Do you think the Allies would have been able to stand against the German onslaught?

No. At worst the Allied armies would have been destroyed. At best, they would all have been taken out of the battle and housed in Prisoner of War camps for the duration of the conflict – which, by the way, wouldn’t have been that long.

Those people promoting flagging and those who push it at their churches are equipping the saints with Nerf bats and balls, condemning them to the sidelines when it comes to the warfare in which we are engaged.

These people see flags as having the ability to “usher in the presence of God.” So let me understand this. When we wave flags, God is present among us? Do you understand how this trivializes God? He’s like a genie in a lamp. Rub the lamp the genie pops out. Wave the flag, God drops in.

Flaggers see flags and banners as the Sword of the Spirit. Really? So instead of arming themselves with the real Sword of the Spirit, the Bible, they are coming to church and waving flags around. Instead of reading their Bibles, meditating on Scripture, hiding God’s word in their hearts, and conforming their minds to Scripture so they can better use it for God’s glory, they are waving around of bunch of silk flags? Satan must be shaking in his cloven-toed boots when they get together.

Along with the flags, they see movements, actions, sounds, and colors as a way of waging war. Again, Satan must be scared to death every time he walks into one of the flag waving “worship” sessions. Jesus instructed us to worship God in spirit and in truth, not with flags and dancing. He said that the Father’s word is truth, not a Lion of Judah Prophetic flag.

You have to ask yourself how these people can really believe that flag waving destroys the works of the devil. According to Scripture, the thief (Satan) comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. Those are his works. Jesus came so that we can have abundant life. What has destroyed the work of Satan? Nothing. But what has placed us in Christ, never to be subject to the Accuser? Christ’s death on the cross.

Some of the sites claim that flags put forth the Gospel. Huh? I thought the Gospel comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

If your pastor is dumb enough to bring in flagging, you need to get the heck out of Dodge. If your pastor isn’t dumb, then he (or, a lot of times she) thinks you are too dumb to know any better. And in either case, you need to get the heck out of

Dodge.

Am I saying there is anything wrong with the physical action of waving a flag? Certainly not. It’s just the physical waving of a flag. My difficulty, and the Bible’s difficulty, is the significance people ascribe to flag waving.

Remember, the Bible says:

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God for the pulling down of stronghold; destroying imaginations and every high thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ(2 Cor 10:4,5)

It doesn’t say:

For the weapons of our warfare are physical and made of prophetic colors and images, and mighty through waving and displaying, pulling down strongholds and ushering in the presence of God and His atmosphere.

Dump the flags and banners, read your Bible, hide God’s word in your heart (Ps 119:9; 11;105), and walk by faith (2 Cor 5:7), not sight. And pray for wisdom (James , trusting God to meet your needs.

Hey, you could even save a couple of bucks in supplies.

You Know You’re Going In the Right Direction

July 11, 2014

Too much not enough

You know you’re going in the right direction when one of your sheeple  makes a comment on the site and references one of the very men on whom you have based your philosophy of ministry:  R. A. Vernon.

 By the way, did I tell you my vastly over priced webmaster is developing a web site just for me and my pimping ways?  It’s called “Pimping4Dummies.”  The tag line:  You see a flock – I see a new car.   You’ll be able to learn about pulpit pimping without have to read past those articles that actually include stuff from the Bible.  I’ll announce the unveiling in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, one of my sheeple wrote to tell me about R. A. Vernon, a pastor out of Cleveland.  I think this poor sheeple of mine thought I didn’t know about him.  I thanked him for his troubles, hung up the phone and went back to the streamed movie I was watching in my multi-million dollar man-cave.

What my sheeple didn’t know is that  R. A is the primary template I have been using to get to where I am.  I’m still using some of his ideas to up my income and my influence as an “anointed Mand of Gawd.”

Watch the video.  And pay close attention.  He views the “services” the same way I do.  It’s show time.  It’s theatre.  It’s a time of marketing and getting people excited about what I present as God.   It’s centered around him, not the congregation.  Amazingly, even when he’s not actually speaking, it’s about him.

And that is how it should be.  You can’t make a decent living if you’re worried about the spiritual (or financial, for that matter) well-being of the congregation.  They should never think it’s about them.  But again, watch the video.  It’s loaded with wisdom.

This dude, my hero, has done an outstanding job of self-promotion.  More importantly, he has convinced the crowd that the anointing is demonstrated by the size of the church, by the cut of his clothes, and by the speed and range of his aircraft.   Oh yes, he owns a really nice turbo-prop.  He even got a reality show episode of his daughter flying in it to her birthday party at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  It was shown on MTV.  Think of it:  using a secular outlet to convince his sheeple he is rolling in the anointment because he’s rolling in dough.

Stand by.  I’ll be breaking the lessons down for you and give you the opportunity to make it big and learn to live large like me.  I’ll also be offering more or less free counseling when you feel maybe a twinge or so of guilt at the massive amounts of money you are making against the fact that some of the sheeple don’t even have heat in the winter.  I’ll help you resist the urge to share your blessings with them and inconvenience your first lady.  Because remember:  if First Lady ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.  And there is no house is big enough to make it better.  (Prov 21:9, 19)

 

Pimping for Prosperity – You Can Do It Too!

July 8, 2014

my house

     This is my house.  And that’s my lake.  And that’s my guest house.  But please, don’t be a jealous hater.  You too can have a house like mine!  In fact, with a little determination, you can have one bigger than mine.

     My name is Melvin Jones and I am the pastor of Praise Immanuel Mighty Prince (P.I.M.P) Temple. And no, you may not call it the PEMPLE. I’ve already fired a number of people for just that. They didn’t share my vision. And every one knows it’s the pastor’s vision that’s most important, not Scripture. In fact, just to make sure we understand who I am, you should address me as Pastor when you send me e-mails or respond to my anointed Tweets. If you don’t address me as Pastor, there is no chance I’ll respond to any of your e-mails or tweets.

Oh! Didn’t I tell you? I’m going to write a series of articles telling you how I became such an anointed Mand of Gawd and giving you pointers on how to be just like me. There are enough sheeple willing to give you their money out there that we don’t have to be competitors.

Writing these articles is already bringing back some fond memories. I always get a warm feeling when I look back on where I was and I see how far I have come. Yes, I even kept a couple of my old K-Mart suits, just to remind me of why I want to keep on doing what I’m doing. Plus, if you pay attention, you can learn how to go from an underpaid mail room clerk (not that there’s anything wrong with that if you don’t have bigger things in mind) to a vastly overpaid pastor, bishop, apostle, and entertainer making hundreds of thousand, if not millions of dollars every year.  My motto?  Don’t settle on a six figure income!  Go for eight!! 

As I said in an earlier article, I’ve gone from driving a hoopty (1979 Toyota Corolla station wagon) to a late model Lexus that I paid cash for; from renting a townhouse from a friend to owning a house with a living room that has more room than the entire townhouse. I’ve managed to transform myself from a piddling little itinerant preacher, looking for opportunities to preach, if only for free chicken, to someone everybody wants to hear. Well, everybody who either doesn’t have a good hold on Scripture or folks who don’t know who I am. But hey, the money spends the same either way.

I used to study to see how Charles Stanley or John MacArthur preached and how they put together a sermon. But learning Greek was way too time consuming and most of the folks I preached in front of just weren’t interested in what “the original Greek says” unless I could make it say something they wanted to hear. So I looked to Marilyn Hickey, Ken Copeland, John Avanzini, Oral Roberts, John Osteen and a host of others, some blatantly Word of Faith (I’ll talk more about that later), and some of them just not that closely committed to fidelity to the Scripture. But they were all committed to growing churches – in numbers, not Christian maturity.

Once I figured out the secret of getting invited back, and how to shut down people who might disagree with what I preach(especially if what I say is wrong or borderline heretical) it wasn’t too long before I started to see an increase in my honorariums. In fact, the more I said what people wanted to hear, the more honor I got in my honorariums. Heck, I could at least afford a better quality of sweat rag.

So over the next several weeks, I am going to let you see behind the scenes of how I ended up as the Pastor, the Mand of Gawd, at PIMP Temple. And if you work it right, if you take my lessons to heart, you’ll be able to dump that boring 9-5 job, get a fine car, wear fine clothes, live in a huge mansion while you say the things people want to hear you say. It doesn’t matter if they’re true. If you train the congregation properly, you can say just about anything (except the truth) and they will hang on your every word, believing what you say.

If I can do it – so can you. And these days, it doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman. If you present yourself just right, and you tell the people what they want to hear, you can end up on the top of the heap. The only thing you’ll have to remember is that even though you are at the top of the heap, you’re still part of the heap. But if you can live with that, you will have a really good life.

    So stand by and you’ll find out how I met my chief armor bearer, Nails Callahan, Vikki “Boom Boom” Parker, the dance ministry leader, and “Keys” MacMillan, head of the Transportation Ministry. I did tell you all auto theft charges were dropped against him, right?

Temples, Memorials, and Tabernacles

June 27, 2014

The Greeks, the Romans, the Mayans, the Egyptians, and a host of other civilizations built fabulous temples for their gods. The Greeks built beautiful temples to honor Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite and others. The Mayans built massive structures of gods like Quetzacoatl, the feathered serpent. The Egyptians built sprawling temples of Ra and others. They even built the Pyramids for their pharaohs…their dead pharaohs.

Take a look at the Parthenon. It was huge, and visible for miles around. Even in a state of ruin, it’s obvious that the building was beautiful. It took a lot of money, a lot of lives, and a lot of years to build.

parthenon

It is a magnificent structure, even in its current state of ruin. And this was done for gods made in the image of men, beasts, and creep-crawly things, according to what men, with their darkened hearts, thought was right.

On the other hand, the Israelites, at God’s direction, built a Tabernacle or, as it literally translates, a tent for God, the creator of the universe. The tent was surrounded by a seven foot high fence made of fine linen, blocking the view of the tabernacle and ensuring people approached the tent from exactly one direction, from the East.

The outer layer of the tent was made of porpoise skin. As a point of interest, at that time, porpoise skin was primarily used as shoe leather, specifically the leather used on the bottom of the shoe. It was a dull, drab color and it felt like, well, shoe leather. From the outside, the Tabernacle looked like nothing more than a non-descript grey mound, a grey mound with an interesting set of curtains on its East end. It looked something like the following:

Tabernacle

But inside the drab tent was something completely unexpected. The interior was constructed of gold, silver and acacia wood. The interior was filled with the sweet aroma of a specially formulated incense. A golden lamp, in the shape of a vine with six branches growing out of it, burned the purest olive oil to provide light for one section of the two-sectioned tent. The walls were made of acacia wood wrapped in gold. The foundations used to hold the supporting walls were made of pure silver. The ceiling was made of fine linen with images of angels.

And in a small square shaped room, all by itself, sat the Ark of the Covenant, made of acacia wood and gold, and the mercy seat, formed from pure gold. And there, over the mercy seat, God graciously and visibly manifested his presence. It was here, over the mercy seat, that God met with Israel. And it was here, with the sprinkling of blood, that Israel’s sins were covered.

Back at the fabulous Roman, or Egyptian, or Greek temples, animals were sacrificed. But the sacrifices did nothing to bring men closer to God. In fact, the only thing the sacrifices did was alienate the men and women from God even more.

I was in Atlanta last weekend and had an opportunity to worship with a friend of mine. The name of the local congregation there is All Saints Redeemer Church in Decatur Georgia. They are, to put it mildly, a small church. In fact, here’s a picture of the building (I got it from Google Maps). Fortunately I saw this before driving to the church. I would have missed it on the first pass.

All Saints Redeemer Building

As you can see, the building is not particularly large. It’s not at all impressive. And it doesn’t even look like a church building (however we think a church building is supposed to look). There is nothing about this building to make a person give it a second look; or even a first look for that matter.

But inside, this past Sunday, Michael Leach, the church’s teaching Elder (that’s “pastor” to you folks at Club Newbirth) preached on John 14:7-14, the exchange between Jesus and the disciples in the upper room. In the forty minutes of preaching, Leach opened up the Word, explained what Jesus was saying to the disciples, and explained why Jesus was kind of short with them when they asked to see the Father. He pointed out the implications of being told that if you have seen the Son, you have seen the Father. For forty minutes, he exposed us to the grace and glory of the word. He did as scripture describes in Ne 8:5-8: he read the word and gave us the sense of the word. Inside the rather ordinary structure, we found a man being obedient to the Word. We were warned that if there is no growth in a Christian’s life, there is reason to doubt the truth of a new birth in that man or woman. We were told about the importance of works, not for salvation, but as an indicator of whose I am. The Word was expounded, the truth of Scripture was presented unapologetically. The beauty of Christ and His work on the cross were established unambiguously and without reservation. And as with any effective sermon, I walked out of the building feeling like I had been kicked in the butt (or “buttocks” as my wife insists I call it).

Now consider this building.

FBCG Building

Some of you may recognize it as the “worship center” for First Baptist Church of Glenarden on the Kettering. This is one impressive building.  And it’s large.  In fact, Redeemer’s entire building would fit in its lobby. As the picture says, it sits on 60 acres. Here’s a link to a shot from space. The blue turtle looking thing on the right is the church building. The square structure across the street is a school building.

The last time I was present at First Baptist Church of Glenarden on the Kettering, John K. Jenkins Sr, the senior pastor there at FBCGotK introduced his mentor – Thomas Dexter Jakes, whom you probably know better as T. D. Jakes. T. Dexter has only just now figured out that God is triune in nature and has only just now kind of sort of moved to embrace Trinitarianism. Kind of.  He’s still Pentecostal as evidence by the speaking in tongues when Tyler Perry “laid hands” on him.

Inside this fabulous building, John K. Jenkins tells the people they are the head and not the tail. He tells them how to “hear the voice of God” without telling them to focus on the Word of God (the Bible). He tells them how to be conquerors and prosper when the world tries to keep you down, and when to sell your car before it’s completely worn out. He explains to them that godly music has everything to do with the beat, the rhythm, and the melody. He has even told them that Jesus suffered in hell for their sins because His death on the cross wasn’t sufficient. The only thing that did was make it possible for us to receive divine healing for our bodies. And one day, when I was talking to him, he explained to me that a person had to “walk down the aisle” in order to get saved.

In a couple of weeks, he will be piping into this fabulous building, a leadership seminar featuring such luminaries as Bill Hybles, leader of Willow Creek Community Church, Tyler “I Never Miss an Opportunity to Ridicule the Church” Perry, who we know has been sleeping with his fiancé, and Wilfredo De Jesus, who hasn’t necessarily done anything wrong. I’m just suspicious when the world speaks so well of a preacher.

In the past, John K. Jenkins has exposed the congregation to such people as Noel Jones, a Oneness Pentecostal, Tony “Mr. Potty Mouth” Campolo, and a host of other sketchy individuals. He has brought in women who preached a Word of Faith theology, claiming that God used faith to create the universe. He has, on his own authority “restored” a man guilty of adultery to a pastorate (though the dude did have to go someplace else to set up another church).

Have you noticed how the modern world is beginning more and more to resemble the ancient world? The more deception there is, the flashier the facility.

Now this is not to say that every large building is a sign of bad doctrine. But let’s face it: most of the pimps have getting a big church as a goal. Growing a church means adding as many people as possible rather than helping and encouraging the members to mature spiritually. Most of the pulpit pimps are able to convince their sheeple that the big, flashy building is a sign the pimp is anointed.

Don’t look for a large, beautiful chruch building.  Look for a church, a local body of Christ, that is taught the truth. Look for a church that focuses on Scripture and its application in our lives. Look for a church lead by godly men willing to sacrifice for you and will call you to sacrifice, not pulpit pimps who are more than willing to sacrifice you on the altar of power and riches. Look for a church lead by men who will speak of the beauty of Christ, not men who build a beautiful memorial to themselves.

 

 

 

Loyalty or Holiness? Clowning the Word of God

June 13, 2014

jamal clown

I see why some people are afraid of clowns.  Jamal Harrison Bryant is a man who apparently has no respect for the Word of God and is willing to clown around, saying what the people want to hear.  The Bible says it is God breathed (inspired), good for training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16), a light unto our path (Ps 119:105).  The preacher, the elder, the man with the responsibility to a flock as an under-shepherd, is warned to handle that Word carefully and with regard for the Author. (2 Peter 3:16)  This guy stands before the congregation throwing around words like ‘ho and other “gritty”words.

I listened to the rest of the speech.  If you think you have the stomach for it, here’s the link.  And here is the loyalty comment.  After listening, I refuse to call this abomination a sermon.  It was, at best, a pathetic set of religious imaginings.  The fact that he “wrote” this thing and actually fed it to the congregation demonstrates what has to be is total disregard for the people.

He began the speech talking about what men are looking for in church and that he believes we are urging men to be sanctified sissies.  (Truth be told, I can’t say I really disagree with this statement).

To give you an idea of his lack of respect for the Word, Jamal takes us to Matthew 27:19 and weaves it into a twisted fantasy.  That single verse reads:

While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message,saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.”

Jamal the begins to tell us that Pilate should have listened to his wife, a woman of God.  Remember, Pilate’s wife was not a Christian, religious Jew, or a person in any way similar to Cornelius, the Roman Centurion who we see being baptized into the Body of Christ.  She was not a Lydia.  She was a pagan, a worshiper of false gods.

According to Jamal, if Pilate had listened to his wife, the idea of individual rights, women’s suffrage, voting, and a host of other rights would have been brought into reality a lot sooner.  According to Jamal, if Pilate had listened to his wife, he wouldn’t have been fired as the governor of Palestine, he wouldn’t have been shuffled off into obscurity, he wouldn’t have ended up with nothing.  Of course, neither the Bible nor history tells us what happened to Pilate.  There are traditions, but nothing I would be willing to build a theology on.  But he does.

For instance, according to Jamal, did you know that any man with no wife is running on grace?  It doesn’t matter if this statement cheapens the entire concept and the character and infinite value of grace.  Did you know that a man doesn’t get favor until the woman arrives?  Do you even know what the heck that statement means with respect to Christianity?   Or how about this – an anointed woman doesn’t just dream about a man, she dreams for her man.  When you listen to your wife, you are listening to the voice of God.  He says that when she is connected to you, she dreams about what she sees you accomplishing.  Would you care to tell me where any of this is located within Scripture?

Of course, in all of this he addresses the men who are not faithful to their women, men who are running around with some other woman.  He refers to those women, the other women, as a whores who have no loyalty to their man.  But why would Jamal see the need to tell the men there at the Temple of Doom that the women they are fornicating with are not loyal?  Is the lack of loyalty of the whores really the primary issue?  Is having your wife “dream about what she sees you accomplishing” the goal here?

Once again Jamal pimps the women with imaginings that they can visualize success for their men, visualize faithfulness, persistence, and godliness.  Once again he provides tainted food, guaranteed to do much more damage than good to the women.  But I suspect an awful lot of the women there at the Empowerment Temple of Doom would have risen up in rebellion if he had focused on telling them to submit to their husband as their head, even as Christ is the head of the Church.

(A tip of the hat to Sidney W.)

Christianity Has Lost the Current Culture War

May 31, 2014

barack-obama-gay-marriage

Christianity has lost the culture war.  But for the sake of the Church,  perhaps that is a good thing.

Now that we are an increasing minority in the culture, I suspect the Pulpit Pimps will begin to lose their sparkle with those who are genuinely saved but a little on the carnal side.

As the culture becomes more hostile to Christianity, those who would profess to be Christians will have to do one of two things.  They will either conform to the culture around us and accept whatever the world says is acceptable or they will have to stand on the Word of God (the Bible) and be willing to suffer the consequences of that stand.

Supposed Christians (especially Black ones) have refused to speak up on issue after issue.  Worse than that, we have supported for political office, men and women who flagrantly and aggressively violate those standards we say we hold.

Case in point:  Obama is the most aggressively pro-homosexual president we have ever had.  But you Black Christians keep supporting him, saying he’s a great Christian man.

Mr. Obama threatens Uganda and Nigeria when they pass laws that condemn homosexuality.  He seeks to embarrass them on the White House website. (link here)  But he says say almost nothing about countries whose governments are based on Sharia Law and require the stoning of women.  He promotes homosexuality as an international human right, but says nothing about the failure of Germany to recognize the basic rights of parents to raise their children in their faith, without interference from the state.

Mr. Obama is the most aggressively pro-abortion president in history.  As a state senator, he voted against a bill that would prevent infanticide.  His excuse?  The bill was simply an attempt to weaken a woman’s right to have her child killed while it is still in the womb.  Read his defense, in his own words, here.  He makes such ludicrous statements as “God bless Planned Parenthood”.  And it’s clear Planned Parenthood is nothing more than a conduit to abortions, usually operating in Black and poor communities.  But according to you Blacks out there, he’s a good Christian man.

This “Christian man” has put us in a position of having to either cave to the culture (in violation of Romans 12:1-2 and other sections), or being punished by the culture and the government.  Remember, Colorado just ruled that a cake maker DOES have to help homosexuals celebrate a homosexual wedding (I still refuse to call it a marriage) or suffer penalties under the law.  (Link here.  )

But as I said at the beginning of this article:  This could all be a good thing.  More and more Pimps like Joel Osteen and T. Dexter will be forced to take a stand for or against homosexual practices and abortions on demand.  They will reveal themselves as opportunists rather than pastors.  Consequently, more and more of the visible church will be composed of men and women who are more interested in pursuing holiness than in pursuing big name Word of Faith “pastors”.

So maybe I should thank Mr. Obama for laying the groundwork for the purification of the Church.

I See Now Why the World Didn’t End

May 30, 2014

I guess it had to happen. I am no longer an elder at Reformation Alive Baptist Church. In fact, I am no longer a member of Reformation Alive Baptist Church. I resigned as the Last Elder Standing a couple of months ago. I resigned as a member of that local body on 21 May 2014. I have decided I need to move on. As one man from whom I often seek counsel put it: I should probably find a place “where my gifts can be better used.”

As many of you know, I was affirmed as an elder by the congregation of Reformation Alive Baptist Church about a year and a half ago (somewhere around the first of December, 2012). This was a result of (or perhaps in preparation for) the imminent departure of the vocational elder (that’s the pastor to you people at First Baptist Church of Glenarden on the Kettering (FBCGotK)). He taught at the college and they weren’t paying them on a regular basis. I have an article on that here. When the “degreed” elder left, I became the last elder standing.

I was quite excited (and I must say sobered) about my role in the development and growth of a Reformed church. It represents an incredible responsibility, and an incredible “opportunity” to screw up.

I suspected there was going to be trouble when the church insisted they had to find a “pastor” as soon as possible. A couple of the leaders panicked and unilaterally called in a fellow to pastor us temporarily. Fortunately, rather than me becoming resentful, he became the “one man whom I often seek counsel from.” And we worked together to try to pull the church through.

And it was during this “pulling” I learned an uncomfortable truth. Not everyone understands what the church is. While I was privileged to preach the word to them for over a month and a half (not an easy task, by the way), and while I kept emphasizing that we, the members, are the church, where ever we meet; most stayed stuck on the idea that unless we met at the Lutheran facility and unless we had a man we could call pastor, and unless that man had at least the makings of a Master’s degree in something religious, then we couldn’t survive as a church and we wouldn’t really be a church. Both the fellow they called in and I tried repeatedly to help them understand the fallacy of this approach. But it was not to be.

We limped along with the aid of the fellow called in by the informal leaders of the congregation. We didn’t grow in numbers. Instead, we slowly shrank.

Eventually, the fellow they called in, the fellow who is now one of my counselors (I hate to use the word “mentor”. It seems so pretentious.), had to leave. He could no longer work for free. The informal leaders wanted to govern the church with something called a Leadership Team. At that point, I had to object. If they were going to do that, I pointed out, I could not keep the title of Elder, especially since I viewed being an elder as a huge responsibility. I had to explain, as politely as I could, that if I didn’t have the authority of the elder, as laid out in Scripture, then I was certainly not willing to take up the responsibility for their souls.

The church held a meeting several months ago to discuss the constitution and to try to identify changes needed for the constitution. In that meeting, several people made known their objection to a Reformed approach to theology and governance. With few exceptions, the rest of the members agreed. They weren’t interested in the 1689 London Baptist Confession. They weren’t interested in Calvin, Luther, Augustine, and they didn’t know the constitution was filled with so much Reformed references. They just wanted to read the Bible. Period. It became apparent at that point I should find a place where “my gifts can be better used.” I then tendered my resignation as a member and let them know that my last day would be the Wednesday night I finished the Bible Study series on the Tabernacle as a type of Jesus Christ. That fell on May 21, 2014.

I have to admit I learned a lot. The challenge of serving as an elder was huge. Working with the man the informal leaders brought in to replace me was actually very good for me. I was able to watch him and learn (he had about twenty-five years as a pastor/missionary/church planter/etc.) as he dealt with the congregation and as he tried and failed (just like me) to direct them to a good understanding of what a church actually is. I have to admit I don’t feel so bad after watching him and trying to help.

At the moment I’m just depressurizing. I attended another church last week. It was great to just sit there and listen to an outstanding exposition of the word. I didn’t have to work the sound board or set up the projector, or make sure the microphones had good batteries, or make sure all the sound levels were good, or put all the equipment away after service. I didn’t have to think about preparing for Wednesday night Bible Study or worry whether or not Movie Night, featuring a really good dramatization of the Book of Daniel, was going to go well. All I had to do was sit with my wife and listen to (I’m promise you I’m not making this up) a sermon on the significance of the Tabernacle as a type of Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross.

At this point, all I can do is quote Superman, quoting Bizzaro Superman: “Life am good.”

Mockery, Not Spirituality

December 19, 2013

Perry andT Dexter

The laying on of hands happened months ago, and most of you have probably forgotten about it.  But I haven’t.  It took me this long to really put to words my objection to watching Madea’s and T. Dexter’s antics, antics that displayed a complete disregard for God and His holiness.

It wasn’t presumptuous.  Well, it was presumptuous.  But it was much more, much worse than that.  Saul’s action after Samuel told him to wait until Samuel had offered a sacrifice before going into battle was presumptuous.   And that presumption cost Saul his kingdom.  (1 Samuel 13:7-14)  But again, this goes beyond presumption.

Consider who was involved in this much discussed event.   T. Dexter (a man who only recently “figured out” that God is triune in nature) and Tyler Perry, the creator of Madea and Mr. Deed, the main character who decides to travel across Africa with his mistress and her daughter.

Tyler Perry consistently turns out movies that either denigrate the Church or present a world view that is exactly opposed to even an approximation of holiness before God.  T. Dexter is, at best, disingenuous and at worst deceptive.

T. Dexter denies being a prosperity preacher, yet continues to preach word of faith doctrine.  He seems pretty determined to feminize men with such concepts as he-motions, dancing in the aisles (like a woman) and general feminization of the male characteristics.

Laying on of hands is a dead serious act.  It is used to appoint elders and deacons within the church.  In Acts 19:6, with the spreading of Christianity, it was used in Ephesus to demonstrate that Christianity is indeed to be preached to the Gentiles without the need to become a Christian first.  In Ephesus, it was performed by an Apostle and validated the idea that Christianity is to be preached to the uttermost parts of the world.  These are not trivialities.  At all times it is a solemn action.

At best, the behavior of these two men was nothing short of a mockery.

Here’s the event I am talking about starting at about 3:12 so you can avoid listening to Tyler Perry let us know how much money he’s giving to one of the project TPH has going.

When asked about the event, the best T. Dexter could come up with was saying that he didn’t know what had happened.  I suspect the falling out was nothing more than theatre for the benefit of the men and women (the sheeple) who are a part of the crowd there at The Potter’s House.   This seems a lot more likely if you notice some hefty men stand behind T. Dexter before Perry got there.   They wouldn’t want the Right Reverend to fall on his…um…derriere right in front of everybody, now would they?

So here we have a fornicator (remember, a while back Tyler Perry was in a panic because he thought his girlfriend might be pregnant).  Now, correct me if I am wrong, but for the most part, there ain’t but one way for a woman to get pregnant, and it’s not from sitting on a toilet seat.  So now, this guy gets up in front of the crowd and lets everyone know he’s giving TPH a million dollars.  He even starts speaking in “tongues” and speaking of hearing from God.  Then around 3:10 he makes the astounding statement that “in order for me to blessed, my haters have to be present.”  An interesting interpretation/application of Psalm 23.

But, as if to put icing on the cake, the praise lady starts screeching about Jakes pushing so he could have his baby.  Huh?!?!  Did I mention that Jakes seems set on feminizing men?  (See 3:54)

And all this time the crowd is going wild, jumping pews, dancing in the aisles and generally having a fit.

God does not like being mocked.   In the Old Testament God struck a couple of dudes dead because they offered up a strange fire.  (Lev 10:1-2)  And these two were sons of Aaron.  Definitely an indicator that God is not a respecter of persons.  Galatians, a little more gently, clearly indicates that God will not be mocked.  Galatians 6:7 states that whatever corruption you sow to, it is that corruption that you will reap from.

These two clowns, apparently more than willing to mock God for a tax write-off,  a little publicity, and some money have put themselves in the position of being opposed to God.  No, they’re not saying “I am opposed to God.”  Instead, they are doing the very things God tells us not to do, behaving as if they are being obedient to God.

Elders are to lay hands.  And elders are to have a good reputation.  They are to be able to defend the faith.  They are to turn people away from bad doctrine.  Neither Tyler P. nor Thomas D. is doing any of this.

I watch these men strut about, playing at Christianity and it saddens me to think of the damage they are doing to Christianity and the people whose faith they are wrecking.

Bottom line:  Stay away from these men.   They are religious.  They are not godly.  Stay away from these men.  They are pretenders, using the sheeple (as dumb as some of them may be) for their own purposes.   They are mockers .(2 Peter 3:3)   No, they are not denying the return of Christ, but watch some of the movies and plays he has produced.  They are definitely following after their own lusts.


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