Recently after watching a Christian TV Show I have been inspired to discuss matters dealing with the evolution of the Christian Faith within the United States.
This new millennium without a doubt is providing a great challenge for people of faith. The Church is growing however in my opinion not in the manner Jesus Christ would have directed. The Bible even warns that there will be many churches but only 1 will truly be serving God. I don’t believe the Bible provides such warnings and is full of words such as “heed” and “fear” for us Christians to ignore.
Many of us believe we are living in the End Times. So why are we then willing to allow for the integrity of our Church to deteriorate. When I speak of our Church I am referring to all Christian faiths: Catholic, Orthodox, Protestants, Baptist, Methodist, Adventist, Evangelist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Jehovah Witness, Non-Denominational.
I believe the church should approach all current political issues of today more liberally. At least from my observation of current affairs within the United States the church is siding with those that call themselves Conservatives.
However you see this Conservative ideology seeks to constrict personal freedom. Religious institutions exist because of the existence of such civil liberties and personal freedoms. I cannot therefore understand why especially Evangelistic Churches have sided with Republicans politically. These Churches are being used as political pawns. These Republican politicians will throw your interest aside as soon as they can gain another larger base constituency such as the Hispanic vote as we are seeing debated in Congress in the Spring of 2006.
In regards to the Iraq War I cannot understand how a true Christian cannot at least question what is happening! We pray for the sick, witness to complete strangers to attempt to bring them to Christ, and we believe in the value of life period. A Christian heart inspired by the Holy Spirit seeks peace. The Bible tells us: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.” Matthew 5:5
Fortunately there are many denominations that tend to consist of members that are aware that we as Christians should support political movements that seek to expand civil liberties to assure that our freedom to practice our religion however we please will never be infringed upon.
In addition to this debate in regards to civil liberties there are 4 other matters that are shaping the evolution of the Christian Faith within the United States. And let me offer a precursor to all of these matters. I personally do not support them. To help you more understand my perspective I’ll offer you this old saying” the devil is liar”. Christians believe we are waging spiritual war against evil. Evil whose power as stated in the Bile lies in deception. I believe this evil has deceived the United States Christian Church and rendered it nearly useless in this spiritual & moral war fare.
These matters are: indulgence on power and prosperity, spirits of prophecy or in other words psychic and demonic powers, a lack of humbleness and meekness leading to materialism, irrational ideas that lead to oppressive values.
1) indulgence on power and prosperity
Biblical texts are clear that the work of the Church is not to facility its members to achieving financial affluence but it is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. From my observation persons that claim to be ministers of God whom expose success and self help could be easily replaced by an atheist motivational speaker without much notice.
2) spirits of prophecy or psychic and demonic powers
After watching a Christian TV Show and hearing a person claiming to be a minister ask for viewers to call and he would mail them a prophecy I was divinely inspired to write this post. This question, I ask you: when did the Christian Church start believing that demonic spirits such as psychics were fare game within the Church? This is not something in my opinion that is open for interpretation. Yes many faiths believe that God blesses certain individuals with specific holy gifts. Example are speaking in tongues and healing but I have always questioned the gift of prophecy. The example Christians are to follow is that of Jesus Christ. Jesus did not go around like a psychic predicting futures but he healed the sick and fed the hungry. In my opinion the gift of prophecy is either a shame or a tool of the devil to infiltrate our churches.
What use does predicting the future have in the church for our lives which is in the hands of God?
3) Irrational ideas that maybe oppressive.
Christians today speak strongly and even in a hateful tone about homosexuals. They fail however to do the same for those that commit adultery which is not only mentioned 100 times more in scripture but is also part of the 10 commandments. I make this comparison to support my belief that Churches are simply being used as pawns by politicians to win elections. Molding our opinions when this is not what God would have for us. Jesus would have our Church accept all persons. Didn't he say "come as you are." The issue of Marriage is being used to politically manipulate Christians.
4) a lack of humbleness and meekness leading to materialism
There was a time that none of us remember when a man of God was proud to be humble and meek. Now our Pastors drive Mercedes Benzes and wear the most expensive suits and demand such luxuries. The Pope wears red Armani shoes. And good lord, nothing seems to be wrong with the church. Jesus Christ the son of God labored as carpenter and walked around in a robe. And you tell me these luxuries that breed superiority is where Jesus Christ would lead our church? I don’t believe so, and I would like to see the Mercedes sold and given to charity. The pastor would look fine in a Toyota. The word of God tells us: that “the meek shall inherit the earth: and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”-Psalm 37:11
You see God knows the plans he has for you and they are outlined within the his word, the Bible. Even amongst the Wars of Biblical times to the prophecy of Revelation never does the Bible imply that Christians are to seek to force our faith onto the non-believers through political means. The foundation of our Christian faith hinges upon acceptance of our faith by sinners after receiving witness, observing a Christian, and hearing the word and no other way should Christians seek to expand our faith.
Checks & Balances Blog is primarily political. I however do post often about religion because today I am close to fearful that the line between separation of church and state ahs been crossed. Christians must be vigilant to guard against evil influences like ALL politicians whom do not have the best interest of our Faith and Religious Institution at heart. Politics is a game of winning your vote and your money. Christianity is a work of winning your soul. The two do not and will never mix.