We’re on a journey here. It feels like we’ve just left the shore, but our destination is on the radar, with no chance of getting lost.
Our eyes have been opened to some issues within the “Church” that have been there for some time, but for some reason, we just haven’t seen – or wanted to see.
I received an email today from someone that has been in a similar situation. Without knowing all of the “players” in this game, he was able to discern what was happening. I’m going to post (anonymously of course – “Pastor Smith” is a pseudonym) some of his comments/questions to ask in the hopes that you may be in the same place, looking for the same answers –
- If you had the opportunity to invite a hardened sinner to come see Jesus in your church, would he/she see Him in your pastor or the leadership? Is this the Christ you would want him/her to come to know and submit to? Another question: If you had a little son or daughter, would you want him/her to become like Pastor Smith or the other members of the leadership? Why or why not?
- How long would the pastor and his family minister at your church should tithes and offerings abruptly cease? How long would they minister should they permanently lose their wealth through flood, earthquake, whatever, and had to take simple, dirty jobs to make a living (like the rest of us). Paul worked for a living, so that he would not be indebted to any man, and that he would not impose himself on the flock. Would Pastor Smith do that?
- There is an utter lack of humility among the leadership, and the higher one goes, the more high and mighty he/she becomes. Does this attitude reflect Luke 22:24-26? Pastor Smith gives preambles to his sermons, and that the other preachers in the church must recognize that they got their sermon ideas, not from the Spirit, but from Pastor Smith. In other words, they give glory to man, and not to God. Jesus said this of the Pharisees who opposed Him (John 5:44). Is that Christlike (John 13:3-5)? Can you seriously imagine pastor Smith getting on his knees before you and washing your feet in humility? Why not?
- True prophetic ministry is God revealing accurately what is going on in a person’s life, and exactly what to do about a situation, etc. The key word here is “exact”. “General” just doesn’t cut it. God has all knowledge, and He does not withold things for His children or give them vague directions or promises. God is specific, and an encounter with Him is life-changing. Regarding vague, so-called “prophecies”, they are given by man, not God, and they are used to manipulate the person receiving them into a pre-determined pattern, or given just for appearance’s sake. These are called “shotgun prophecies”, because they are so scattered that they could literally apply to or “hit” anyone within range. They are not true prophecies.
I hope you are able to receive this in the spirit in which it is given. No condemnation – just truth, and with the truth comes freedom.
*update* – I just ran across this list – I think it appropriate to include:
1. Power Questioning – the spiritual leader constantly reminds those who are under his care that he is the authority.
3. Secrecy – church leaders broker information & maintain levels of secrecy for the purpose of maintaining control.
4. Elitist Attitude – a spiritual leader insists that only those who agree with him on everything are true & refuses to acknowledge anyone else as being able to truly know God.
5. Emphasis on Performance – a spiritual leader measures spiritual vitality by self established standards of performance codes of behaviour are imposed over all areas of life.
6. Motivation by Fear – spiritual leaders use fear of falling into the hands of the devil or fear of falling under the wrath of God to maintain control of their followers.
7. Painful Exit – a person cannot leave the group on good terms. Any decision to leave results in excommunication or some other public humiliation & ridicule & censure.