On Sunday morning before heading off to church or Saturday evening while cleaning…I’ll frequently turn on TBN our religious broadcast station. While there are some solid Bible teachers…all too often I find pastors and ministries going astray from teaching the word of God.
One of the sure signs that I will hear man’s word and not God’s…is when I see the pastor preaching but there is no Bible to be found. On occasion…the pastor will be carrying a Bible, but he never opens it, nor refers to it. I am appalled when I see props on a stage as opposed to a pastor, his Bible and the pulpit. When our pastors are resorting to make their messages sexier and appealing to better compete with the secular world…we have gone over the edge.
As angry as I feel when I see such shenanigans…more than that I pity those pastors. I feel sad for them that they don’t know the power…the dynamite…of God’s word. The power to transform lives…take people who were dead in their sins and make them alive in Christ. If they had any clue what they were dealing with…they would treasure God’s word…guard it carefully and feed the hungry flock with the only food that will satisfy and last.
When I see such antics by men…and women…who claim to know Christ…I have to wonder if they truly know Christ as their Lord and Savior? All evidence to the contrary. God’s word warns us of such times and teachers. More and more…today’s pastors give evidence that we are in the days in which men will seek teaching which tickle their ears…instead of good, solid Bible teaching.
“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. – 2 Timothy 4:2-4
With a born again Christian and a Mormon running for President there is more and more of a focus on religion in the media. As a result…I see interviews with pastors that the media consider to be religious leaders. One of “leaders” is Joel Osteen. I was left speechless after hearing an interview in which Joel was asked if Mormons are Christians. Joel had the perfect opportunity and platform to say to a world that is confused, lost and dead in their sins…that indeed there is a difference between the Christian faith in the Bible and what Mormons believe. He could have expanded on those differences and given the Gospel message. But instead Joel Osteen said he didn’t want to judge and that if Mitt says he believes in Christ then they have a common bond.
How is it that a pastor that has one of the largest churches in America not know that there is a difference between Biblical Christianity and the Mormon faith? That the Mormons have an additional text they consider as doctrine. It teaches about a different Jesus…not the same Jesus as the Bible.
But worse than not knowing that there is a difference between Biblical Christianity and Mormonism is the fact that Joel was reluctant or worse refused to address those differences. There is world of people that are dead in their sins and headed for hell unless they receive God only way of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. Joel had platform to speak to millions of people who may have never heard the Gospel…or know that there is a difference between Mormonism and Christianity…but he remained silent.
Jesus command is clear. “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” – Mark 16:15.
When I listen to these ministries…I see some patterns. Below is list of some of the things I see from pastors and ministries who do not peach God’s word.
- No Bible is present…or frankly necessary because they are not preaching from the Word of God.
- Don’t teach from the word of God
- It’s all about me and how I feel.
- God is only as good as what He can do for me.
- It’s about what I do…not about being broken in my sin and repentant.
- No conviction…I leave feeling good.
- No recognition that I am a sinner saved by grace.
- I don’t hear anything about me being a sinner
- The message is meant to make me feel good.
- There are props on stage
- It’s a stage not a pulpit
- A few verses are thrown in just for good measure
- Casual…no suit or tie…the approach to the word of God is casual and laid back.
- No conviction of sin
- Illustrations from movies or personal experience…not from the Bible
- They make Jesus cool…not holy and they don’t revere Him as God.
- No talk of sin…which left me dead and condemned.
- When I don’t know I’m a sinner…I don’t need a Savior.
- Jesus is someone who came to show us how to live…not pay the penalty for my sin.
- It’s about what I do…not what He did.
- We’re all sons and daughters of God…they don’t define what makes one a son and daughter of God.
- No prayer for those who don’t know Christ, who are dead in their sins to accept God’s plan of salvation and forgiveness through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- No awe and reverence for God.
- The pastor tells me what I ought to do…but doesn’t share that I can not do it on my own power and strength…but only through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within me.
When Kindred Community Church was searching for a Pastor it took almost two years. During that time I was left to contemplate what would I do if we got a man who did not preach the word of God. What would I do? I love the body of Christ at my church…but I knew I had to seek God and His word first. I praise God that each week…in church and in Bible studies that I hear the full counsel of the word of God. I praise God and thank Him for bringing us Pastor Philip De Courcy…who teaches from the Bible. There is many a Sunday when I leave not feeling really good about myself because I’m being convicted of sin. But then I know that in no way will God reject or cast out a repentant sinner…and that I am forgiven. Sometimes I’m comforted by God’s merciful and loving word. But I’m always being fed God’s word.
I thank God for His hand of protection upon Kindred Community Church and allowing us to hear the full counsel of the word of God. We need to be mindful, to whom much is given, much is required. But praise God…where He calls, He equips.