No Frills Christianity

Christianity in the United States has been infiltrated by preachers that make religion about us rather than about the Lord. It’s about what God can do for you rather than what you can do for Him. These preachers are finely tuned entertainers rather than servants of the Living God. They preach a message of motivation rather than a message of dedication. It’s about ‘you you you’ first and God second. Just listen or read their messages. They constantly use the word ‘you’ or a derivative of the word ‘you’ in the context of receiving rather than giving. Read what Paul said to the Romans:

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. (Romans 12:1 NLT)

Many of these preachers have become pastors of mega-churches. Satan just steps aside and laughs as so many souls are led down a spiritually powerless broad path. Read what Paul said to Timothy:

You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it. Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived. (2 Timothy 3:11-13 NLT)

Notice what Paul is declaring. Wherever the true gospel is preached, there will be persecution and hindrance. The writings of true ministers of the Lord don’t make millions of dollars and climb the national best seller lists spanning into the secular market because the true gospel is an offense and foolishness to the world. Paul made this clear to the Corinthians:

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18, 27, 28 and 2:1-5 NLT)

The Lord always leaves us with a choice. Do we pick up our cross and follow him or do we listen to soothing messages that are easy to digest? Do we hunger for what will bring us to higher ground spiritually or do we go after a feel good religion that will only comfort the mind and emotions? Joshua presented a choice before the Israelites after they entered the promised land. It’s best that we follow the choice Joshua and his family made many years ago:

“But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15 NLT)

And for those that defend these ministers that I describe in this post and condemn those of us who speak against it by saying we should remain silent because it is disgraceful to speak out for it may appear there is disunity in the body of Christ to the world, I would like to point out that defending the truth trumps their warped perception of unity:

But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile Christians, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. As a result, other Jewish Christians followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, “Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions?” (Galatians 2:11-14 NLT)

I will leave you with the fact that Jesus found nothing wrong with the man who was carrying out the Lord’s work by himself in Luke 9:49-50. It is only when someone preaches another gospel and that other gospel can seem oh so right and can be barely detectable from the real thing. We have been commissioned by Jesus Himself to make disciples of all men and not just have them recite a simple prayer:

I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ. Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed. Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. (Galatians 1:6-10 NLT)

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About annointing

Defender of the Christian Faith
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