At times I look at all the horrible things going on in this country, and only want to go somewhere and weep. At times I look at the deceit within the Church, and I want to fly away to a different universe where purity abounds. At times I look at what parents do to their children, and it makes me want to scoop up all the neglected and abused kids and bring them here to live with us. At times I look at what children are doing to their parents, and I it just makes me cry, for in their rebellious state, they simply do not understand.
There are many wonderful things to be thankful for within God's Word and within the Body of Christ. But, there are also many things that need desperate attention in the Church and within individual believers. Far too many believers close their eyes to those things needing reproof and correction because they perceive it to be negative. The cry for a warm and fuzzy Christianity is ruining the one true faith. Christians are people and people make mistakes. Unless those mistakes are lovingly confronted and corrected, they multiply and spread like a cancer among the Body.
Nowhere are there more doctrinal and practical errors in the Church than in matters dealing with integrity and finances. Believer's words cannot be trusted any more than unbelievers. Believers need to understand that when they give someone their word, they made a pact to perform what was agreed upon. To renege on that pact for no good reason is behavior normally associated with the world. Believers should be held to higher standard than unbelievers, don't you think?
I am appalled at the blatant lies being told by many Christian leaders. Nothing will incur the wrath of God faster than His leaders lying, stealing from and hurting His people. Yet, over and over again, stories surface of clergy abuse, financial deception and fraud. Those of us who at one point in our lives made a commitment to God to help and serve His people better never think there is a way out of the contract. It is our responsibility to warn and confront just as much as it is to comfort and teach.
Nothing is new under the sun. Whatever things are going on now have most certainly gone on before. As bad as things are getting both in the world and in the Church; they have been worse. Unless we learn from other's mistakes, we are doomed to the same excruciating failure they suffered. There is a battle going on for the heart and soul of God's people, the Body of Christ, the Church. The enemy is relentlessly attempting to water down the truth and make the power of God of none effect. The enemy must be withstood and lines must be drawn in the sand to let him know-no more.
I solicit your prayers for a situation as close to my heart as the air I breathe. In southern Alabama there is a community outreach center called Tri Coastal. It is run entirely by believers on a strictly volunteer basis. It is not affiliated with any church or bigger charity. They have been helping people since hurricane Katrina and currently are still helping hundreds of people every week. This group receives no support from the government, United Way or any other organization. All their resources come from the benevolent giving of individuals who want to help.
The director of this group is Carolyn Thompson. She is one of the strongest believers I have ever met in my life. She has fought the enemy from day one to keep this center open, helping and praying for those in the area who have "fallen through the cracks". She goes into the hospital for major heart tests and possible surgery Friday (the 11th) morning. The drop off in leadership after her is pretty steep. It is impossible for me to go there and "stand in the gap" at the moment, so I was wondering if whoever reads this would lift Carolyn up in prayer and also pray for God to watch over Tri Coastal.
Earlier this week, just down the road from Tri Coastal, a Vietnamese immigrant father has been accused of throwing his four children to their deaths off a 80 foot high bridge. Details are sketchy and the story changes day by day; but the whole thing has thrown the area into disarray. At the heart of the issue are drugs, as they many times are. The whole media circus has disrupted the ebb and flow of the area and is not something welcomed at the moment.
Last week, some drug addicts tried to steal a very hefty amount of food and other supplies from Tri Coastal. The people were caught and the supplies were returned. Two days ago they returned and caused such a commotion the police had to be called. Once the police left, the people returned making death threats to Carolyn and other volunteers. The police were called again and the people were ordered to not come near the center again.
Why are people acting so crazy? It is because they are getting desperate. Even for those who are not on drugs, there is not enough money to begin to pay the bills plus buy food and gasoline. Even for those working two jobs, there is still not enough to cover all the expenses. In small towns and rural areas, there is not the "safety net" of social services found in some bigger cities. It is left up to families, churches and small groups like Tri Coastal to find resources to meet needs.
This situation in Alabama along with a very similar one in southern Texas weighs heavily on my heart. In both cases the local religious community has failed miserably to get involved in "charity" work. The local churches are too busy "preaching the gospel" to get out and help the poor and desperate people begging for someone to help them. I am sorry, but what exactly is the church here for? Is it just a building to hold services in a couple of times a week, or is it an instrument of God's love reaching out to help and heal the lives of broken people in the community?
I grow very weary of dealing with pastors who refuse to lift a finger to help anyone in their congregation, let alone in the community. Yet, these same pastors will stand up on Sunday morning and condemn the congregation for not tithing more so they can get a new car. Hypocrisy makes my blood pressure go through the roof, and my doctor says that is not good. So, I must calm down and pray that God steps in and takes care of His people one way or another.
It is truly SAD when Almighty God must use secular agencies and the United States Government to get help to His people. It is especially sad when there are many churches of all denominations and types who have the resources to really make a difference in their community if the leaders would be willing to take less for themselves and share more with those in need.
I have fought this battle a long time. Most of time I am accused of working for the devil and told to leave when I dare confront fellow clergy on the use and abuse of finances within the church. I am told repeatedly that the servant is worthy of his hire. This is true, but my questions are; where are the true servants and just how much do they need to get for their service? When pastors want and receive equivalent pay to their secular counterparts; it sounds reasonable, but more times than not it kills the church.
Faith without action is dead faith. Perhaps many Christian leaders need to read and re-read James 2:14ff. If Christianity is the one true faith, then Christians must be at the forefront of charitable service. For churches to pass the buck to the government or social charities while pouring more and more money into buildings, gymnasiums, coffee shops and daycare centers to pamper and "bless" the congregation is hypocrisy. There is nothing that arouses my spiritual indignation more than seeing gigantic churches that cost millions upon millions of dollars to build and keep up, sit empty five or six days out of seven. What good is a beautiful big church if it not used to help people?
My friends, this country is entering a critical time due to the financial crisis only now coming to a head. Millions of people are soon to be suffering hardships they have never encountered or know how to deal with. As desperation grows, people are going to do desperate things to protect themselves and their families. The days of the church sitting around doing nothing while believers and unbelievers alike are suffering MUST come to an end.
The true church of Jesus Christ is built on love and love does not sit back and watch as others suffer. The true church does not turn its back on those who have been crushed by the evil in this world. The true church reaches out and offers to help, for that is what Jesus would do if he were here now. The true church would never relinquish charity to the government to carry out.
Perhaps the leaders of the churches who do not want to get involved need to read and re-read Matthew 25:31-46. Perhaps those who smugly sit back and let others do the "dirty" work of picking people up from the mud they have fallen into need to realize these verses in Matthew might be about them. Compassion demands action when confronted with suffering. If the true Church of Jesus Christ does not reach out with the love and mercy of Jesus to those hurting; who exactly is supposed to do it?
I am sorry if this post offends anyone, for that (believe it or not) is not my intent. My heart is spiritually upset at the moment due to the apathy and excuses being manifested by those who claim to know Jesus and represent Him. Jesus himself got a bit riled at the religious leaders of his time when they refused to do what they were supposed to be doing and did what they should not have done. I feel I am justified for feeling a little righteous indignation in regards to the overwhelming lack of charity being manifested by the church in certain situations.
If you have a chance to offer a little prayer for the suffering church in south Mobile County, Alabama and specifically for Carolyn Thompson today; it would be greatly and humbly appreciated. I am sure those awesome believers down there will return the favor and be praying for you also. Thank you and Blessings 2 You.
I hear your pain as I read your blog. I am humbled beyond words. We have the same attitude in the churches here in my little town as well as so much need and so little help.
"If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray' and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways: then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:16
God didn't say "if sinners which are called by my name" he said "If My People which are Called by My Name"
I believe that as Christians -God's people - we must first become obedient to the word -then God will heal our lands.
I am praying for Carolyn, Tri Costal Ministries and You.
God be with you.
Love in Christ
After leaving the prior comment I went to do some reading and felt led to read Psalm 37 -wow it is the answer to the questions you ask. May I suggest you re-read this wonderful Psalm.
Love in Christ
I must say that this blog spoke my very heart. I, too, feel the way you do in regards to the role of the church. It saddens me as it does you. But i feel a swelling of change, I see pockets of people everywhere who seek Truth and not the deceit that is being fed to them from their local church. I believe in my heart there is a revival brewing and it is due to the extremely hard times we are now entering into. My prayers are with you, Tri Coastal and with Carolyn this morning. I so appreciate your honesty and heart felt compassion for God and His Word. May the Holy Spirit continue to lead you. Blessings! Andrea
Thank you for your prayers and kind thoughts. How truly appropriate Psalms 37 is. Thank you for reminding me to read it. I highly suggest to anyone facing any kind of persecution or harassment by unbelievers to read Psalms 37. If anyone knew how to deal with being chased, hunted and stalked; it was David.
I know there are pockets of true believers who God is raising up to lead His people in the coming dark days. I rejoice to be among them and to know some of them like you!
I'm praying for Carolyn now.
I was shocked when I heard the news of the father throwing his children off the bridge in Alabama. I'm close by, in Georgia.
I have grieved too, over the lack of willing servants in the church. It's always the same few people doing everything, and then we burn out and can do no more. It seems that everyone is just content to do nothing.
Please update us on Carolyn when you hear.
I'll continue to pray for Carolyn.
I agree with everything you said. We need to go out and help and not just sit back and become fat happy Christians. Thats not what Christianity is about. Thanks for the great blog brother
Thank you for your comments. I echo them as well. God is going to have to raise up a people Himself because, as you so aptly pointed out, the current leaders of the church are failing Him and His people, (Ezekiel chapter 34). Most people in the church are doing their own thing, (Psalm 81). They do not want to be accountable, but they will be regardless of what they want, (I Peter 4:17-19 and II Peter chapter 2 & 3). Hypocrisy is rampant in the church and hypocrite is a nice name for liar. All liars, regardless of whether they call themselves Christians or not, will end up in the lake of fire, (Matthew 7:21-23, Luke 13:24-30 and Revelation 21:7-8). It is sad that the true gospel of repentance has been replaced by a gospel of prosperity and no accountability. However, these things will soon change as the events Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24 and elsewhere soon come to pass. The first US President, George Washington, had an open vision of some of these end time events, and it was not pretty for the United States. Unlike what is being taught in the church today, the Bible says that only the truly obedient people of God will get to miss out on this time of tribulation, and God's judgment on His people through the works of the enemy and the antichrist spirit. The good news is that through this suffering, many will come to be obedient to the Lord, (Revelation 7:9-17). God will win in the end.
I did not find your words offensive, but refreshing. I pray that the Lord will put you with others who want the same things you want. It sounds as though your situation is similar to mine. God took me out of the mainstream church and raised me up in His Word Himself. Now I am just trying desperately to obey Him. I have had to give up much of what I had in the natural and even leave my home to do His will, but He has blessed me for my obedience in ways I can hardly explain. Keep the faith and obey God, and it will be well with you. I have prayed as you requested.
This has brought to mind several passages:
As to the corrupt leadership: II Peter 2: 10 -22 (pretty tough verses to read.)
Not to forget II Peter 3: 13-14 But according to His promise we are expecting new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you expect these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace without spot and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:26 - 27 related to this.)
Related to the teachers who ask for tithes to line their own pockets, this is what was meant by Revelations with regard to the "teachings of Balaam" -- who for MONEY promised to curse Israel, but when he could not do that - got money for counseling Balak to stumble the Children of Israel. (Revelations 2: 14)
But also, Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied.
That means, blessed are YOU!
I am very thankful to hear that my views on some of these matters are not just my own. The truth regarding the state of the current "end days" church of the apostosy needs to be revealed so as to help those who want the REAL church to find it. The Real church is not a building nor is it a particular denomination; it is the body of true Christian believers scattered all around the world who have one thing in common; their whole-hearted love and devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanks for all the wonderful comments.
Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. (end quote)
My solution, blessings2you, is that this website is my church to attend. Robert.