Monthly Archives: September 2014

Spiritual Arrogance

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This is going to be a lengthy blog.  Don’t read it unless you have time to read it to the end – it’s worth it, trust me.  And before you start, check you heart.  I am not aiming this at any particular person or congregation.  I am sharing the thoughts in my head; the things I ponder.  If you relate to it, and you happen to feel guilty afterwards, discuss it with God, don’t attack me and label me as judgmental.  That is not the aim of this blog.

I am sure you have also noticed the dwindling church membership of our days.  Existing church members are not faithful in attending the meetings and new members are few and far between.  I know of many congregations in my area that have fewer and fewer people attending the Sunday services.  Our congregation is no exception.  Two years ago the Sunday morning service was packed.  Now the attendance is pathetic to say the least.  I don’t even want to talk about the Wednesday night prayer meeting.  For weeks I have been brewing on this issue, looking for the answers to the question of why this is happening.  Surely something is wrong.  I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I certainly found a few through consistent prayer on the issue, meditating the problem and finally through something that happened yesterday.  What happened yesterday is not important, what I got out of it is.  So I will share with you the things God revealed to me through the encounter.  The broad definition of the problem is what I call Spiritual Arrogance.  The pharisee disease.

Christians are no longer willing to help people, whether they are in the congregation or not.  There are people in church congregations that find themselves in dire financial circumstances.  Does the church help? No.  Instead they get told to start attending the services.  Attendance is the prerequisite before the church will assist them with food or whatever else they need.  Whether they have transportation means or not, whether they have fuel money or not, they first have to attend church services before the church will lend a helping hand.  When the beggar comes and asks for food, we first want to discuss his alcohol breath, the stench that drifts in with him and the fact that he doesn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus.  And when he gets angry with us and swears at us, we send him out of the church property, still hungry.  Did Jesus command any person to first follow Him diligently before He was willing to help him / her?  I can’t remember anything like that in scripture.

Christians are no longer willing to be shepherds.  Yes Pastors and Reverends are supposed to be shepherds of their congregations, but each one of us fulfills the role of the shepherd to fellow Christians who need a shepherd.  Pastors are not the only ones to blame here.  We all are.  We are unwilling to walk a road with those battling with personal issues; if they don’t follow our advise after two counselling sessions, we turn our backs and walk away.  We are unwilling to walk a road with somebody who battles to overcome a specific sin; we just label them as persistent in their sin and walk away.  We are unwilling to walk a road with somebody who stays sick even after we have prayed for him / her – we label them as weak in their faith and we walk away.  We are unwilling to walk a road with somebody who doesn’t grasp a spiritual concept after the first sermon; we label them as unwilling to change and walk away.  That is not what a true shepherd would have done.  A shepherd keeps going after the lost little sheep, regardless of how many times they get lost.  He never gives up.  What if God gave up on us the way we give up on people? What would have happened if God labelled us and walked away?

Christians preach too much and do to little.  We can really learn from the Muslims you know.  Yes that’s right.  We can learn from the Muslims.  How do they convert people to their faith?  They befriend those who battle, they help them through, they give them a lifeline when there is nothing else to hold on to.  They do what Jesus did!  What do we do?  We judge them.  We preach to them right after we have met them.  And we leave them high and dry because they are not coming to church.  People first need to see Jesus in our eyes.  People first need to see from us what unconditional love and acceptance look like; only then will they be willing to accept it from a Jesus they do not know or have long forgotten.  But what do we show them? Spiritual Arrogance.

Christians are not involved in our communities anymore.  We expect the community to come to us, to our church, to our congregation.  Do we go out into the community?  Oh no!  That is so out of our comfort zone.  We host fun and entertaining events in our churches and smile because of the good attendance.  The Sunday thereafter, none of those who came to the entertainment are in church.  We need to get back to basics people.  We need to visit the old age homes again and spend time with people long forgotten by their children.  We need to visit old age homes and comfort the children who mourn after the loss of their parent who stayed there.  We need to get back into the hospitals and talk to the lonely ones without necessarily preaching to them.  Yes we can offer prayer but it is really necessary to condemn and force the sinner’s prayer at the same time?

Christians are no longer accountable to each other.  And this is specifically true for church leadership on all levels.  Pride and arrogance are sneaky buggers.  They creep up on you without you noticing.  Leaders in churches easily get to a point where they think they know it all, they have arrived.  They are no longer accountable to anyone else.  To be accountable to somebody is healthy.  It is good to have a spiritual mentor who could check your heart now and then.  It is dangerous to be the leader, judging and correcting all the followers and there is nobody checking you.  Unfortunately the charismatic age made this problem worse.  There are a lot of stand-alone churches with leadership lacking any accountability.  Yes, our man-made systems are seldom flawless and there are often a lot of frustrations in church systems, but loose canons are more dangerous than systems.

Our churches are empty because the genuine love of the Lord has long gone.  Standing in the church every Sunday are just spiritually arrogant pharisees. From the pulpit right through to the last pew – if there are people in the last pew…

The Wedding – 2

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Acts 2:17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

God has ministered to me through dreams for many years.  Last night was such a night.  I had a very strange dream and as usual, it was vivid and on my mind when I woke up this morning.

In my dream I had a bride in my car.  She was dressed in her wedding gown, her hair was done, her make-up was done – she was ready for her wedding.  At least she thought she was.  I noticed many things that still needed attention but she was over excited about her wedding that was only due the next day.  I was driving her up and down to have the things fixed that were out of place.  Her hair wasn’t neatly done – it needed a touch up.  Her make-up was smeared – it needed attention.  The heel of her one shoe was broken – she couldn’t walk down the isle like that.  And so the list goes on.  She however, was thrilled to bits about her wedding due for the following day; she was already dressed.  During our touch-up trip we drove past her groom and his parents.  The bride was in a state as the groom did not yet have his wedding suit on!  He was dressed in normal everyday clothing and didn’t even notice her!

When we were finished with all the touch-ups, she wanted to see the venue where the reception would be held.  What an awful place.  It feels as if I have seen Hades of the Old Testament.  The place was dark and musty.  It had dark pools of water that didn’t move at all.  People were walking around in total oblivion, zombie-like.  Some walked into the water and disappeared without even a ripple appearing on the water’s surface.  It was a dead place, a terrible place.  The bride started crying about the venue that wasn’t ready and the guests that were not interested in her at all – they did not even notice her.  Then I woke up and I could not sleep again.

At first I was confused about this dream.  It seemed the wrong way around.  Christ is the groom and he is as ready as can be.  The church is the bride and we are not ready.  I pondered on this for a while as I was laying awake and I asked God to reveal the meaning of the dream to me.  When I told my husband about it, it all became clear.

The Groom, Jesus is ready yes.  But the wedding is not yet – that is why he is not dressed yet in my dream.  The bride, the church of Jesus however, is so obsessed with the second coming of Jesus, that we are failing to do what we are supposed to do.  We obsess over the end-time prophesies.  We obsess over the happenings in Israel.  Preachers quarrel over different interpretations of the second coming.  This one believes in a rapture, that one doesn’t.  And true to their human nature, preachers allow these little differences to bring division in the church of Christ.  People leave the church in a spiritually immature rage over issues such as this.

I have heard that the coming of Christ is near since I can remember.  For the last 45 years it has been preached to me and actually, it has been preached for the last 2014 years.  I am not saying it isn’t near.  All I am saying is that that should not be the main focus.  The main focus should be the commission Jesus gave us.

Matthew 28:19-20 – Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

If you spend more time reading the news about Israel than studying your Bible, you are missing the point.  If you are fighting with fellow believers about the rapture but you are not winning souls for the Kingdom, you are missing the point.  If you are judging the walk of others but not doing any retrospection yourself, you are missing the point.  Get your own wedding attire in order – stop worrying about when the wedding will be.  The Groom will come at the right time. Make sure you are ready.

I blogged about The Wedding before – you can read it here.