I heard of a great Christian convention center where lots of miracles happen, even to this day. They were not teaching any new doctrine. All they did was to reemphasize all the teachings of the Bible systematically. People would receive the truth and be set free from their sins and sickness.
Since they taught very basic stuff I wondered that how come so many adults who over there for miracles (I was a kid at that time) behaved as if they’re hearing such teachings for the first time. Surely repentance, salvation, prayer and the love of God through Jesus Christ are things are taught at elementary levels. Why did they find it so difficult to grasp?
Then I realized that such people won’t attempt to learn anything from the Bible unless they’re spoon fed. If you ask them let’s pray for so and so person’s health they will demand to know everything about one. Yet after telling in detail they won’t commit themselves to praying for that person unless you prompt them again and again. If you point out the need to stop worshipping false idols they will stare at you in amazement until you read out to them the Ten Commandments and verses against idolatry.
As I’ve walked with the Lord God and have been ministering to people I couldn’t help but notice that the teachability factor for some is very low. They won’t do their research. They will avoid reading the Bible. All they want is someone to preach only on the topic they want to hear about. As usual they get offended if they don’t get to hear what they want, it’s if they know the teaching but only want you to parrot it for them. This provides an open door to deception and legalism. Deception because the Devil tricks both the preacher and the congregation into choosing to condone a sinful existence while only promoting blessings instead of repentance. Legalism because the people will accept only those things the pastor speaks about even if it’s already written in the Bible unless they personally hear it from their pastor.
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:11-14)
I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready (1 Corinthians 3:2)
Now if you are in position where you are dealing with people who prefer to be spoon fed the doctrines of Christ what are you to do? Firstly, be patient and don’t lose your peace. Secondly, try to positively and politely encourage such people to have constant reading and discernment of every section of the Bible. And finally, learn to draw the line and say no to people who do not improve despite your warnings. The final tip may seem odd but you need to make them understand that being forever on ‘milk and baby’ mode won’t help them grow in the Lord Jesus. This doesn’t mean that you stop helping them if they will fall in trouble due to their ignorance. Rather it’s that you affirm and show that you value your time and efforts that you have applied to help them.
It may be possible at certain times in your life that you are fighting alone for the Lord. Your cause is to uphold the name of the Lord where someone has tried to malign his name either by words or by misuse of God given authority. However, most of the people you know won’t get into the fight as this doesn’t fit into their ‘theology’.
I’m not talking about arguments with atheists and other non-Christians. This is where you usually get support from other believers in Christ. Actually, the case here is when there is sin and heresy rampant in certain churches. For instance, a minister of the church is found living in adultery or committing child abuse and there is 100% valid and unquestionable evidence against them. Suddenly you find yourself the only one opposed to such wicked leaders of the church. No one in the church wants to take them on out of fear of being kicked out of the church or being called a hypocrite. They only want the church services to continue normally as if something never went wrong.
Why would they do so? There are many reasons. They value such leaders more than the victims and church and even God himself. Some fear being made outcasts by the Christian community they live in. Of the many reasons, I personally hate the most silly reason by some who say they don’t have the time for this. Yeah right, but they have time to get abundantly offended when atheists make fun of their wicked church leaders who are by the court of law proven to be molesters and adulterers.
Why just protest abuse? There are instances in which religious leaders steal from the church funds. Sometimes they preach blatant heresies which directly contradict the Holy Scriptures and even cast doubt on the Gospel. People try to be in their comfort zone and do not question such practices. In fact they go out of their way to protect such leaders instead of correct them. The most common excuse is ‘we need to maintain the peace and unity of the church‘. My questions to such people are “United to what, a party of evil doers?” and “Are you saying you want to allow sin so that peace multiplies?” Such people who support such evil doers will give you multiple scriptures like ‘Do not touch the Lord’s anointed‘ and ‘judge and you will be judged’, sometimes they will tell you to ‘forgive‘. But ask them back what about the corrupt leader at least leaving his wicked ways even if he is not willing to acknowledge them in public and you’ll be amazed to see their offended looks. The truth is being offended is not always the sign that they are right.
Remember this, King Solomon who allowed many idols and temples of false gods was never opposed by the people who were fully aware of the Ten Commandments. They did a wonderful job of keeping ‘peace and unity’ among the Jews. What did they get in return? Multiple invasions from foreign countries that killed and destroyed thousands of Jew, not just for like a decades but in fact for hundreds of years. At least later some prophets stood against the corruption among the kings of Judah and Israel. However, though some of the kings did repent up to some level from worship of false gods, most of them didn’t. These even killed the prophets who were sent from God every now and then. Then God allowed the evil, despotic and blood thirsty empire of Babylon to attack the Jews in Israel. The Babylonians killed more Jews than ever before at that time and then destroyed the temple of Jerusalem and the remaining Jews lived in abject poverty and slavery.
The below verses are things God spoke to the prophet Jeremiah:
- “Now, gird up your loins and arise, and speak to them all which I command you. Do not be dismayed before them, or I will dismay you before them. “Now behold, I have made you today as a fortified city and as a pillar of iron and as walls of bronze against the whole land, to the kings of Judah, to its princes, to its priests and to the people of the land. “They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 1:17-19)
- I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 15:20)
If God has called to speak out against any corrupt leader in the church, firstly consider if this really comes from God, this is highly important. Secondly, tally this up with proven facts about your church leader. Thirdly, realize that not every church leader is corrupt. Finally, take action against the corrupt leaders. Speak only what is right in the eyes of the Lord God. Don’t lose your temper and be polite. Question everything that is inconsistent with the Bible.
A word of caution, avoid bloodshed or violence as this will attract the attention of the police and may even make the corrupt leaders gain undue sympathy from the people of the church who are ignorant of the leaders crimes. See if you can resolve the matter amicably with the leader, if not get a neutral person (or a higher church leader of good moral standing) to monitor the negotiations. If even that doesn’t work or its way to risky for you to meet up, then go to the law of the state and/or appeal to the Holy Spirit that you have warned them as needed and now he must take bring justice.
Now the Holy Spirit knows everything but I must say when you go the police, please have all the evidence with you in advance or they won’t consider you. Also please note that the court of law doesn’t take in case of religious heresies as they are supposed to be neutral to all religions. However, they easily consider instances of physical harm, money laundering and general breaking of the law as long as there is valid evidence or witnesses.
I want to remind you that the prophets didn’t give up on God and neither on their faith even though there were corrupt religious leaders. You pray about such people that they turn away from their sins and stop harming others. You can fight such leaders without actually breaking up the church or causing a commotion. Just because you see others sinning that doesn’t make you a holy person. Only Jesus can make you holy and pure. So keep your basic discipline in order. When you are fighting alone for God remember you are fighting for God, don’t lose the big picture. Keep your daily discipline of faith, Bible reading and prayer. Be dependent on the Holy Spirit in such situations and wait for his promptings.