Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hurricane Harvey and The Osteen's

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What I am about to say in this blog is sure to get some negative backlash. Still, I feel the need to "come out of the closet" (so to speak) concerning the sad truth about American Christians today. It seems the church spends much more time fighting one another than they do fighting against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places. As I read articles on the Internet concerning Joel Osteen, I see no difference in the worlds opinions and the church's opinions. Sadly, the verbiage, name calling, finger pointing and disgust from these two groups differs very little.

While there have been many Christian preachers, speakers, evangelists, and authors who have either divorced, committed adultery, stolen money from the church or something much worse, it seems the greatest sin in the eyes of the church, today, is success. God's people seem to be willing to look past all other leadership faults for the sake of grace and forgiveness, but when it comes to optimism, faith, success and popularity, well, that is deemed the unpardonable sin.

Over and over in God's Word we read where God's chosen people were full of faith. They were men and women who believed God in the face of adversity - people who expected God's favor. In fact, they all were wealthy (either by definition of accumulating a lot of stuff or by definition of having every need met). 

The Bible is a book of faith. Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to even please God. It goes on to say that anyone who comes to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 

The Bible is also a book of standards. As Christians, we are to hold up the standard of righteousness by loving one another, forgiving one another, praying for one another, covering one another, respecting one another and by cheering one another onto victory. When a brother or sister in Christ is successful in soul winning and discipling multitudes (as in mega church leaders), it's time to celebrate! Even so, when that brother or sister in Christ is rewarded from the Lord for earnestly seeking Him with unwaivering faith, we should be happy for them.

The Internet and news media can be so deceiving. You can read or watch something slanderous and instantly think that person is bad. When did Christians get permission to be critical, skeptical, judgmental, and even hateful to their brothers and sisters in Christ? This is not the working of the Holy Spirit!

Even Billy Graham and Franklin Graham have Internet haters because of their wealth. There are so-called Christian groups who spout their poisonous venom openly concerning any high profile man or woman of God who doesn't fit into their personal definition of how much net worth a Christian leader can have. Even though it is obvious that the Graham's have poured multiplied millions back into the ministry, envious naysayers won't allow themselves to applaud anyone who has found favor with God to be successful in both ministry and business.

There is a huge world out there that is literally dying to hear the good news of the gospel but they cannot receive it from the American Church that refuses to demonstrate the love of God within its own family. When Christians spew sarcasm, slurs, innuendos and even malicious blasphemy against God's anointed, the world rolls its eyes and laughs.

The church is to be the Body of Christ. This means that not everyone will function the same; not every pastor will preach the same. Even though each man or woman of God has their own niche, it does not exclude them from being important in The Body. If God gave any one person all of His wisdom, all of His anointing, all of His knowledge or all of His understanding, that person would be perfect and would surely become prideful. Instead, God places each leader in The Body as it pleases Him. He does this so that the people of God can mature and grow to become all that He created them to be.

So the dismal comments in the news media about Joel Osteen and Lakewood Church during such a catastrophic time in their home town due to Hurricane Harvey is absolutely out of line with Christian behavior. The response from Christians in other states and other cities should be one of concern, prayer, help and support. Not only is it wrong to cast disparagement toward these people of God, it is exactly what the world looks at when it decides it doesn't want anything to do with Christianity. Shame on us!

It's time that Christian leaders across America and around the world repent for their arrogant, self-righteous judgements against co-laborers who may not teach God's Word with the same vernacular, measure of faith, style or accent on certain scriptures. As long as Jesus Christ is being lifted up as The Way, The Truth and the Life and as long as souls are being born-again, the church needs to practice praising God for His Kingdom coming to earth through vessels of clay who have surrendered their life to the call of ministry.

If one of God's leaders commits certain sins that would warrant His judgement, God is more than able to handle it. And, if the Holy Spirit speaks to one of God's leaders to bring correction to another leader, the proper way to handle the situation is face-to-face and not on the Internet, social media, the news, the pulpit or some other public forum. 

No name calling allowed.

What would Jesus do?  

Mark 7:21- (AMP)

For from within, [that is] out the heart of men, come base and malevolent thoughts and schemes, acts of sexual immorality, thefts, murders, adulteries, acts of greed and covetousness, wickedness, deceit, unrestrained conduct, envy and jealousy, slander and profanity, arrogance and self-righteousness and foolishness (poor judgment).  All these evil things [schemes and desires] come from within and defile and dishonor the man.”

1 Peter 2:12 (AMP)

Keep your behavior excellent among the [unsaved] Gentiles [conduct yourself honorably, with graciousness and integrity], so that for whatever reason they may slander you as evildoers, yet by observing your good deeds they may [instead come to] glorify God in the day of visitation [when He looks upon them with mercy].

#namecalling #fingerpointing #hurricaneharvey #joelosteen #AmericanChristians #BillyGraham #FranklinGraham #BodyOfChrist #standard #Houston #Texas #LakewoodChurch





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