Youâ€™ve seen them before.
The televangelist peddling Christ all the while living an opulent lifestyle.
Is there anything more abhorrent? No, well almost. At least with these shysters you know what you are getting.
But what about the ones who may not lead a church or television ministry, but are nevertheless fleecing the flock?
How do you identify them? Their causes are good; they proclaim to be the spokesperson for us â€œlittle peopleâ€ who donâ€™t have the power to bring the change to Washington alone so we must compile our funds into one group so they can help represent us.
I am speaking of the numerous parachurch organizations who claim to be pro-family and pro-life and are clueless on what it means to be â€œfor us.â€ I am going to be doing a blog post or two on redefining what it means to be pro-life and pro-family, because organizations such as Family Research Council, American Family Association, Focus on the Family, American Center for Liberty and Justice, and the Liberty Counsel are either inept or insidious in their approaches to fighting the evil that society faces. And these organizations are merely a symptom of the church where too many pulpits have abandoned the Word of God and the call to rally the flock to stand for righteousness.
Our victories need to be assessed in the light of Jesus Christ. And has victors in Christ we should, through the grace of God, be â€œsprinkling a little Jesus everywhere we goâ€, to borrow a phrase from Kathy Troccoli. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church about the importance of this:
â€œNow thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, PEDDLING the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.â€ [(2 Corinthians 2:14-17) Emphasis added]
You see deceivers in the church are not a 21st Century phenomenon. Supposed godly men have not only lead astray the flock but also kings:
â€œThen the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, â€˜Shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?â€™ So they said, â€˜Go up, for God will deliver it into the kingâ€™s hand.â€™â€ (2 Chronicles 18:5)
These deceitful men did not speak for God; they spoke the words they knew the king wanted to hear so they could remain at the kingâ€™s table. Instead of telling King Ahab the truth, these charlatans sent him to his death, even after the Prophet Micaiah warned him. King Solomon warned against having evil counselors:
â€œDeceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but counselors of peace have joy.â€ (Proverbs 12:20)
Jesus warned about the coming deceivers:
â€œAnd Jesus, answering them, began to say: â€˜Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, â€œI am He,â€ and will deceive many. But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows.â€™â€ (Mark 13:5-8)
Many are coming in Jesusâ€™ name, claiming to be the answer to our nationâ€™s woes, looking unto Washington and its politicians and lobbyists to deal with the evil that has turned our once virtuous Christian nation into an apostate nation. What is the motive of these leaders who willingly deceive Christian people and convince them to send their hard-earned money because they have the answers?
â€œFor those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.â€ (Romans 16:18)
Bro Dave, you donâ€™t mean to say these family organizations are purposely deceiving Christians do you? If you can come up with a better explanation for the following then I am all ears:
Tony Perkins of FRC posted on his website and sent the following information via email:
The Senate is voting as early as today on an amendment to the health care bill being offered by Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) which will ensure that abortion is not funded by government dollars.
Now Mr. Perkins is either ignorant or insidious. He is a lawyer and he can read legislative language better than I can and I read the amendment and it says there are exceptions to the ban on government funded abortion, exceptions wide enough that any dishonest doctor can drive a whole abortion clinic through it.
Beloved, we live in deceitful times and I know it is heart-breaking to see our â€œchampionsâ€ end being â€œchumps.â€ I woke up just after 2 am with this on my heart, praying for all these men to repent and confess their public sins publicly and to seek forgiveness and restoration. And at the same time I am going to publicly challenge these men, as my brother in Christ Steve Deace wrote me in an email last night:
You can both hold him publicly accountable while praying for his soul.
And that is what I am doing and I am also praying that God would dry up the funds for these phony organizations to bring these men to their knees and/or out of business.
I know for a devotional this has taken a seemingly â€œunspiritualâ€ tone but is it spiritual to walk along singing praises to God and opening your wallets to be fleeced? Is that a pleasing aroma to God? Do I with â€œsincerity, but as from God…speak in the sight of God in Christâ€ or am I merely â€œas so many, peddling the word of Godâ€?
Will we as the Church do as the Prophet Isaiah instructed:
â€œLearn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. â€˜Come now, and let us reason together,â€™ says the LORD, â€˜Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the landâ€¦â€ (Isaiah 1:17-19)
Or will we be like Paul described the Galatian church:
â€œI marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.â€ (Galatians 1:6-7)
This has been long and arduous for some of you no doubt, but I am sharing with you what God reveals to me and lays on my heart. He is calling me to stand in the gap for Him.
Will I be a sweet aroma to the Lord Jesus Christ?
Let me leave you with this exhortation and encouragement from Oswald Chambers:
â€œThe viewpoint of a worker for God must not be as near the highest as he can get, it must be the highest. Be careful to maintain strenuously God’s point of view, it has to be done every day, bit by bit; don’t think on the finite. No outside power can touch the viewpoint. The viewpoint to maintain is that we are here for one purpose only, viz., to be captives in the train of Christ’s triumphs. We are not in God’s showroom, we are here to exhibit one thing – the absolute captivity of our lives to Jesus Christ. How small the other points of view are – I am standing alone battling for Jesus; I have to maintain the cause of Christ and hold this fort for Him. Paul says – I am in the train of a conqueror, and it does not matter what the difficulties are, I am always led in triumph. Is this idea being worked out practically in us? Paul’s secret joy was that God took him, a red-handed rebel against Jesus Christ, and made him a captive, and now that is all he is here for. Paul’s joy was to be a captive of the Lord, he had no other interest in heaven or in earth.â€
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Copyright Â© 2009 David Jeffers