Cults of Christianity (Part 2)

         I’ve been reading an otherwise very good Christian study book recently. It has its merits. But it is like so many other Christian books in that it contains a thread of man’s tradition overwritten upon the truths of God’s Word.

         In particular, the author portrays modern ministry formats as synonymous with that of the early Church. He also suffers under the delusion that only a particular kind of minister/ministry is worthy of receiving funding. Of course, he counts his ministry worthy—he accepts huge sums for his ministry work—millions and millions of dollars.

         This is not necessarily a bad thing at all, but after a while, many people in his position no longer see straight and begin to see only themselves and people like themselves worthy of the hard-earned money that Christians give in support. And because of this they see most other Christians as completely unworthy of receiving a dime.

         And they even compare themselves to the apostle Paul.

         Well, this is interesting. When was the last time you saw one of these big shots taken out and stoned? Most professional Christian “ministers” look nothing like Paul or the original apostles. Many TV preachers and their TV wives look great on TV, all happy and smiling and made up and looking good. Some of them even sport the silly putty effects of halfway decent plastic surgery (others not so much).

         But if we saw Paul on TV it would scare the hell out of us. We would see this greatly disfigured man with facial injuries and a broken, stooped-over body limping around the studio set like Quasimodo, likely bandaged up and probably bleeding from new wounds or old ones that won’t heal. Then, however, we would see the brightness of the Spirit of God shining forth from his smiling face, a face filled with the peace that passes all understanding. And we would gaze upon a man of great character regardless of his bleak outer appearance.

         Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so;

in far more labors,

in far more imprisonments,

beaten times without number,

often in danger of death.

         Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes.

         Three times I was beaten with rods,

once I was stoned,

three times I was shipwrecked,

a night and a day I have spent in the deep.

         I have been on frequent journeys,

in dangers from rivers,

dangers from robbers,

dangers from my countrymen,

dangers from the Gentiles,

dangers in the city,

dangers in the wilderness,

dangers on the sea,

dangers among false brethren;

         I have been in labor and hardship,

through many sleepless nights,

in hunger and thirst,

often without food,

in cold and exposure.

         Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. [2 Corinthians 11:23-28]

         Now, I’m not saying all TV preachers and church pastors don’t have a place and I’m not saying they’re all fakers, but many must be mere children by comparison—a bunch of little boys playing with new toys shoving their weight around and demanding that everyone serve them.

         And Christians have learned to serve them without a word because they have been conditioned to do so (or God will get them post haste or wreck their lives or send them to hell). So they serve them without question due to an entrenched traditional intimidation factor. This makes it easy for the little boy ministers who insist on having their way even though they possess no scars anywhere to show forth the true marks of their supposed callings.

         ALL OF THE ORIGINAL APOSTLES SUFFERED GREATLY DURING THEIR LIVES AND EVERY ONE EXCEPT JOHN DIED A GRUESOME, HORRIBLE MARTYR’S DEATH, JUST LIKE THEIR FATHER BEFORE THEM.

         But the majority of modern ministers in America does not know and will never know this kind of suffering. Many live in nice homes with nice marriages and have plenty of money. Just like Paul, right? Just like the Lord, right? And they think themselves the only worthy ones to receive donations!

         Now, of course, the Lord blesses us with nice things and that’s great, but I do believe He shows no partiality with whom He blesses.

         So why are only a handful of professionals worthy of respect and financial support to the detriment of everyone else? Is it because they’re “official ministers?” Can anything be a bigger cult red flag? One dude or a small group of controllers at the top of a pyramid with all the authority and money?

         ALL REAL CHRISTIANS ARE MINISTERS. THE LORD JESUS DID NOT CREATE A CLERGY AND A LAITY. SUCH IS MAN’S INVENTION. THE LORD CREATED A BODY OF WHICH EVERY REAL BELIEVER IS A MEMBER. HE CREATED A COMMUNITY ENGAGED IN MUTUAL MINISTERIAL SHARING, OR KOINONIA, IN WHICH EACH AND EVERY MEMBER PARTICIPATES. HE DID NOT CREATE A CULT. [See 1 Corinthians 12!]

         For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. [Galatians 3:26-28] [1]  

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 3]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Posted on February 8, 2013, in Real Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. RJ:

    You said, “ALL REAL CHRISTIANS ARE MINISTERS. THE LORD JESUS DID NOT CREATE A CLERGY AND A LAITY. SUCH IS MAN’S INVENTION. THE LORD CREATED A BODY OF WHICH EVERY REAL BELIEVER IS A MEMBER. HE CREATED A COMMUNITY ENGAGED IN MUTUAL MINISTERIAL SHARING, OR KOINONIA, IN WHICH EACH AND EVERY MEMBER PARTICIPATES. HE DID NOT CREATE A CULT. [See 1 Corinthians 12!]”

    I couldn’t agree more! This is one of the BIG things the Lord has put on my heart over the last year and a half. I really appreciate your faithfulness to share what God is showing you. Here are a few posts of mine regarding how the Lord is calling us, His body, to work doing His will and serving Him: http://processingtheword.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/one-body-many-parts/, http://processingtheword.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/it-is-time/, http://processingtheword.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/lets-get-to-work/.

    I don’t normally (hardly ever) post links to mine, but I just feel so excited to hear what God is speaking to you and how it weaves together (and validates) what He has been saying to me. Honestly, I really needed the encouragement of knowing that right now. Thank you! And, thank God, for connecting us at just the right time!

    Blessings, grace and peace to you through our Lord Jesus Christ~
    Natalie

    Like

    • Thanks, Natalie. A real revelation of the Lord’s community IS a big thing. For far too long the people of God have had to deal with so much less than what the Lord intends for His children. What a coincidence it is, when He is in charge, that so many blessings and revelations come forth!

      I have read the three posts above and heartily recommend them. These are great times we are living in, as God continues bringing His people together. Blessings to you.

      Like

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