“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27“The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” ~ Matthew 7:26-27
OFTEN EASIER TO FOLLOW A SET OF RULES THAN TO ACTUALLY HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE RULE MAKER.
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LOVE OF MONEY, IMAGE & PRIDE
I will attempt to show you a picture of “the structure” of the church at the end of this book, but at this point, a couple of important facilitating questions were really bothering me.
- If the picture we are seeing is true and the life of the church is to have this simplicity, then why don’t we see the “ministers” promoting it?
- If the picture we are seeing is true and the people are free to minister, why wouldn’t everyone jump at the chance to be equipped to do the work of the ministry?
Buckle your seat belt, because from here on, it gets a little rocky.
Question: What is the force behind every sin? I now understand that every murder, sex crime, drug deal, computer tap, or theft has the same root – love of money. Not money but the love of money.
“If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.” ~ 1 Timothy 6:3-11
Most ministers working in the traditional church system are caught in a trap. They might have been called and anointed by Jesus, but chose perhaps the only route they could see which is “pastoring” a building ministry.
When a minister has the overhead of a corporate staff, real estate, programs, events, plus buildings and repairs, it does takes money and a lot of it. I was in one “church” (building), where all office staff were told to turn off our lights every time we walked out of our office, and it saved us $500 a month. It takes money!
Next, the minister starts counting on a certain amount of “income”, (tithes & offerings), coming in each month, and thus determining the “church” building budget. Next, yearly projections are made. He, (the minister), then goes to the bank with his yearly, “Income” projections and gets a loan to build bigger and fancier facilities. An image begins to appear. The loan goes through, stress goes up, and the demands grow bigger. Now the trap gets tighter. Grumbling of the people is on the increase, and the offerings on a decrease, so here come the money sermons, with well-known evangelists (heavy hitters), to shame the body into giving. Oh no!! What if the weather turns cold and a snowstorm hits? The minister blames it on the devil because people can’t come to the “church” (building), and bring their money. Now the projected offerings (income), has not come in and the interest payments can’t be made. The minister’s image is tarnished, and he is at a crossroads.
* Personal note: If you are a minister in a traditional church building system and this book has slipped into your hands, hear the Word of our Lord for you. You can’t bind it, you can’t loose it, and you can’t fix it. You can only come out from among it, Revelation 18:4.
It is important to understand that the minister is now caught in an ugly, evil trap. It is one of the top four demonic temptations that attack leaders. Sex, money, power and pride! In the last twenty some years I have never personally known a leader, when faced with the battle of his own pride, to ever conquer it while in this system. At this point they have believed the lie that they are in too deep now, and have to come up with a fleshly scheme to raise the needed income. This is where “marketing companies,” have been hired to raise money by using Mark 4:20 to sell “Holy Dirt,” from Jerusalem, or “Holy Water,” from the Jordan River.
Again, the minister may not want to push this hard for money, but he is blind and caught in a trap. One heartbreaker I heard about was on a Sunday a leader demanded that 100 people come to the front of the sanctuary and put $1,000 each in the offering. He was pressured to do this to catch up on past “church” bills. This type of spiritual abuse is a downward spiral where both leader and congregation lose.
Do you get the picture? A leader in this kind of a system couldn’t encourage the idea of educating and training the body to minister freely in their homes, because the “income,” would then plummet, and there would be no need for the created image. In fact he may find himself out of a job. “Oh Father, forgive us and make our crooked paths straight.”
ALL PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD
This brings us to our second question. Why wouldn’t every believer jump at the chance to be discipled and equipped to do the work of the ministry, Ephesians 4:6? Many believers have been trained to work 40-60 hours at their job each week and then pay “the professional clergy,” to minister. The thought of being accountable, to know the scripture and share it with someone else is almost unbearable. And what about having an intimate relationship with God?
Human nature says, “It is always easier to follow a set of rules than to actually have a relationship with the rule maker.” Then push people over the edge and ask them to open their home once or twice a week for all kinds of people to come tromping through to be discipled. What? No “professional clergy” to serve communion, dedicate a baby, baptize in water, or cast out a demon? Most would say, “Forget it! Let me stay in a safe, secure, building ministry. This freedom is too hard”. Paul writes:
“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” ~ Galatians 5:1
What have we discovered in Chapter six?
27. Love of money is the root of all evil
28. The only image for us to be concerned with is being created in the image of God.
29. The enemy usually uses the Building System in his well thought out plan for man’s destruction, both preacher and sheep.
Personal Journal Insert:
“Oh, Father God, this old system seems so defiling and abusive; show me how to look through Your eyes. I break this critical spirit off my life in Jesus name. I break this legalistic spirit off my life in Jesus name. Father, what am I to do with this understanding you have given me? To walk in freedom and see my friends bound to abuse gnaws at me on the inside. Way down deep. Father, forgive me as I too have participated in this abusive system, I have validated it and many have fallen because of what I have approved. As did Paul, I too received your forgiveness in Jesus name. Amen.”