Dysfunctional Churches (and Non-Functional “Pastors”)
It makes no sense. Unless one is really into religion.
America remains saturated with dysfunctional churches and non-functioning “pastors,” and 90% of everyone in the pew is completely oblivious to the problem.
The few “Christians” who actually read the Bible, and study it, and do it with an open mind, know that there is a huge ginormous incredible one-end-of-the-Universe-to-the-other disconnect between what the Word of God actually says and what most churches believe and practice.
If one cannot see the devil in this then one is deceived.
Why did the Lord Jesus receive such a hard time from religious people, especially religious leaders? And why do most Christians think the opposite would happen if He visited their own particular church? They really think He would find most of what transpires on refrigerator row perfectly fine and dandy and would respond with several “Good job’s” and handshakes all around. I’m not saying this would not or could not happen. I’m only saying the odds of it happening are astronomical.
For the few Christians who study the Word, they know there was a weird dynamic always playing out in the Old Testament. The Lord would hear the cries and moans and incessant caterwauling of His people because they screwed up yet again, just like they did a million times before, and He would answer their prayers and send them relief in the form of prophets who at great personal risk and possessing an extremely uncomfortable lifestyle would tell the people exactly what they needed to do to fix things.
The people would listen, change their sorry tune, get right with God, and lo and behold good things would start happening! Then they would begin descending into chaos again and the cycle would have to start all over. Oh, and they would, of course, usually kill the prophets. You know, par for the course.
But how do the majority of American churches, ministries, “pastors,” “Christian” television personalities, and any other standard ministry set-up respond to even the slightest corrective voice sent by God as a blessing to fix things?
They show him or her the door. They disfellowship in a heartbeat not because someone is lost in sin and disobedience but because THEY are lost in sin and disobedience. Anyone who is not on board with their unbiblical stuff is seen as an enemy.
What happens as a result is that these “leaders” go that much further off the deep end precisely because they have successfully eliminated the corrective voice of God.
Just in case someone doesn’t know the following, I must state it here for all of us to hopefully get the big idea: GOD WORKS THROUGH PEOPLE.
And you know what else? THE PEOPLE GOD WORKS THROUGH ARE HUMBLE, SELF-EFFACING, AND NON-SPOTLIGHT-ORIENTED.
Just like their Master.
Even though most “Christians” think the Lord Jesus would love their spiritual enterprises if He ever visited, the reality is that most want no part of the Lord Jesus and would never allow Him full authority in their churches, and usually allow Him no authority.
How do we know this? Again, because American “Christians” are largely Biblically illiterate. Why? Because they hire some guy to do all that stuff for them so they can assuage their conscience by going through an hour or two of rote and ritual on Sunday mornings. The problem here is that, since they have little or no spiritual experience or actual Biblical knowledge, they can never serve as a check against whoever they allow in the pulpit. How do they know the dude is right?
(Other than that he explicitly obeys their denominational beliefs and does everything the same exact way the Episcobapterians and Universal churchites did it a million years ago because religious spirits must be appeased.)
This is why the vast majority of churches would NEVER allow the Lord Jesus absolute full authority if He ever visited.
News flash: The Lord Jesus is still here in the form of His Holy Spirit but has already long since been proven unwanted by most churches simply because what most “Christians” do looks nothing whatsoever like what He and His disciples did.
And whenever someone brings this up he or she gets the cold shoulder, the gossip, the bad looks, and the silent treatment.
Of course, most “Christians” think all that is deserved because the people in question are idiots and are deserving of disfellowship.
They believe this because they simply cannot make the connection to the disfellowship the Lord Jesus suffered, and He suffered disfellowship more than any man in history, and still suffers disfellowship to this day.
The same with His original disciples. And the early community of believers. And the underground church in China that is currently blowing the doors off to the tune of millions and millions even though they still suffer great persecution. Those people won’t stop until they fix the whole country! All this while America continues going downhill fast because higher-ups have made a deal with the devil and the majority looks the other way.
Quick question: Have you ever noticed that Great Awakenings and great persecution always go together, and that if there is no persecution it is an obvious sign of dead Christianity?
And have you noticed how it follows then that the one’s being persecuted in churches are being persecuted simply because they are pointing out this deadness and lack of familiarity with the Lord’s ministry and teachings?
Kind of exactly like the Old Testament prophets.
Well, the Lord Jesus was and remains the greatest of all prophets and He got the same thing they got and to a much greater degree.
When’s the last time you saw an American “pastor” dragged out of His church and executed? No? Okay then, how about something less? No? Of course, real shepherds are victims of persecution but such guys are few and far between and you probably don’t hear much about them.
Maybe because they are obscure and non-flashy and don’t particularly care for religious titles and clergyesque appearances and spiritual circlespeak.
You know, kind of like the Lord?
Most “pastors” call the cops and use lawyers to protect themselves and depend on their bodyguards and private surveillance personnel, and are willing to sue at the drop of a hat to protect their image and enterprise and as a result ARE ALSO PROTECTED FROM GOD.
God cannot get to them in any loving and understanding way because these people bar the door against anyone or anything they see as potential enemies.
As a result of their self-imposed and bought-with-good-money security shield they cut themselves off from God’s corrective voice and by their own doing build their own giant and slippery slide into the heart of hell. They have it great in the here and now but unless they repent will suffer in the long term.
Worse than that, however, is all the people they will take with them. But their followers have no excuse because none of them speak any corrective to the gross dysfunction, partly because they know what happened to those who did.
This is why the majority of American Christianity is hopelessly dysfunctional.
It refuses correction.
This is the opposite of repentance.
IT IS NOTHING MORE THAN PURE UNADULTERATED SPIRITUAL PRIDE.
Real Christians, however, know all about repentance. They’ve hit the deck more than a million lousy boxers. THEY KNOW THAT HUMILITY IS A DOOR INTO GREAT SPIRITUAL SUCCESS. They have taken the cue from their Master who taught them how bewitching religious pride is, the worst of all forms of pride, and they know they are merely a hop, skip, and jump from ending up deceived and requisitely hell bound.
If one wants sin to take root and grow like muck in a swamp as ancient Israel did so many times, all one must do is murder God’s humble unpretentious messengers (murder comes in many forms). In this way, dysfunction as usual proceeds accordingly and those in power enjoying all the perks stay in power and also stay in power over their people as they continue to deceive them and take their money.
One last thing: All of the Lord’s spiritual giants spent much, much time all alone with God, usually in a desert, and learned everything they knew directly from Him.
Everyone is responsible for their own walk with God and whoever puts anyone between himself and the Lord Jesus will be deceived and suffer spiritually for it. Honor the message of those God has sent but never, ever honor them above the Lord or even yourself. Otherwise, you can never become a real spiritual giant but will forever remain under their thumb.
We all must mature but we will never mature by submitting to middlemen and imposters.
What follows is some scriptural food for thought on the subject, spoken by a former religion addict who formerly thought murdering those unlike himself was infinitely greater than loving them but got knocked on his butt by a loving God determined to correct the man’s extreme dysfunction.
Once receiving correction, the man received great revelation, and became a spiritual giant. Think about it.
For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.
But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me;
But I went away to Arabia… [Galatians 1:11-17] 
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 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 May 30, 2015, in Real Christianity and tagged America, Ancient Israel, Apostle Paul, Christian Persecution, Discipleship, Great Awakening, Lord Jesus, Real Christianity, Repentance, Unreal Christianity. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.
It is heartbreaking to read this, and to know from personal experience that it is true. God help us. God forgive us.
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Yes. Thank you, Linda. Blessings to you.
Very well explained RJ. How important it is for all of us to understand the current state of Christianity in our country and seek repentance and renewed obedience to HIm. Lord bless you.
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Thank you, Rob.
All real Christians remember the day when they were convicted about their sinful conditions and chose to do something life-changing about it. They received the real Word of God through a witness or the preached Word, and saw their actual condition—we saw ourselves as God sees us. He loved us enough to reveal to us what we really were—sinners in great need of salvation. We did not think we were so bad until this great revelation. It caused us to repent, to put ourselves under the authority of the Lord Jesus—to surrender to Him. He paid the price for our sins and at that time, in our great moment of need and spiritual cleansing, made a Way for each of us. Without Him, the great Sacrifice Lamb, we were hell bound with no remedy.
The new spiritual birth of every real believer can always be traced back to such a moment—it can be traced back to engaging in that which the Lord Jesus demands and is ever necessary for sinners bound by the power of sin—REPENTANCE.
Backslidden, corrupt, hell bound American Christianity in general and every so-called minister in charge of what goes on must do exactly the same thing as any individual—there must be mass recognition of sin and corruption and mass repentance. There must be a turning away from all that opposes the Lord Jesus and all disobedience and disrespect toward Him. There are historical precedents for this very thing. The great sin of America is piled high and crammed up against the outer limits of the atmosphere. Soemething must give. The nation is ripe for repentance.
Be blessed and keep up the great work.
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Thanks Bob, Enlightening Post: Sorry for the Late Response.
The Word speaks to both a need to 1.) Test and examine ourselves….to sanctify God in our Hearts… to be ready to give an account for the Hope that is within us; and, 2.) From another perspective, hold to one’s understanding and belief while gently respecting, and yes, admonishing and exhorting those who hold a different understanding to “search the Word daily” to see if these things are true. Matters of Salvation given by Faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior form the basis for Unity in the Spirit. This is what the Lord Jesus prayed for. We all need compassionate hearts that can only come with a deeper understanding of the work of the Spirit, His Love, His Leadings and how He views our self-worth.
2 Cor 3: 5 “Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so. (ASV)
1 Thes 2:1-8
“1For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain, 2but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition. 3For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; 4but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. 5For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness— 6nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority. 7But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. 8Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.” (NASB)
2 Cor 13: “5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” (NASB)
1 Peter 3:15 …”but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; (NASB)
Thank you, Don. Excellent. What you are asking, however, and speaking the need of, has always been incredibly difficult for those who choose to close their minds and hearts, who insist they have cornered the market on truth—their version of truth—and refuse to accept even the possibility there might be greater truth. The Lord Jesus taught that we know when this happens in general terms, because such an attitude also cuts off love. And when a person quits loving others, he or she becomes in great danger of not loving THE LORD. A hard-nosed, stiff-necked religious attitude illustrates one thing very clearly—it illustrates willful separation from God and His love. Thanks for demonstrating the love of God. Be blessed.
Love God. Love everybody. All you need is love. Love Love Love.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” [John 13:34-35]
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I had the experience of being led by the Lord Jesus Christ to expose the false teaching and heresy of an immensely popular dead author, who is acclaimed within Christianity as being an apologist for the faith. However, he believed and taught much heresy in his very popular books. I respectfully corresponded with the pastor about this author and he finally agreed with me in person without a witness that this man was a false teacher and not a Christian. After this, when I brought up what the Lord had been teaching me in direction relation to a question posed during our post sermon study, everyone nodded when I mentioned false teachers. But when I had the audacity to name the false teacher, C. S. Lewis, it was as if a bomb went off in the room. Then when I stated the elder agreed with me, well, the deacons checked with him and he denied it. Then, of course, the elders wanted to meet with me to correct my behavior, as I was in gross disobedience and sin. I naively believed there would be a different outcome. After it was all said and done, my husband and I left. We have yet to find a church where there isn’t compromise and/or apostasy either tolerated or downright embraced by the leadership. God bless us.
I remember having a discussion several years ago with a humble, self-effacing, but quite brilliant minister of the Gospel. He happened to be in town and was giving a talk, and was gracious enough to spend a few minutes with me discussing what to both of us were extremely important topics. The major topic was the Young Earth/Old Earth controversy.
For example, some Christians believe that God created the Universe in a literal six day period. That’s six days of 24 hours each. The problem with this belief is that it is not based on facts, but on a translated English word. The Hebrew word from which the word “day” is translated can mean that, but it can also mean a very long era, or an undefined amount of time.
I know enough about geology and the structure of the earth to know that, while it is certainly possible for God to create the Universe in six literal days since God can do anything, it is not at all likely that it happened that way. There is way too much science and far too many absolute facts against it. There are sedimentary layers miles under the surface of the planet, for example, that arrived there by way of erosion. We can positively date the age of rocks. Science estimates Planet Earth to be 4.6 billion years old, while Biblical literalists claim the Universe itself was created around six thousand years ago.
Before we go too much further here I need to reveal the wisdom of the conversation I had with the minister and the main point of this response. He said he was always in discussions with other Christians about this great divide, but then said something I thought was quite profound. He said regardless if a Christian believes in a Young Earth or an Old Earth, it is not a salvation issue.
In other words, because of the knowledge it takes, and that most people throughout time never had enough time to gain the knowledge to have greater understanding of the topic simply because they were often in the daily act of surviving, knowing one way or the other about how long Creation took was not the real issue. The real issue is that the God we know from scripture, the one God who became one of us and dwelt among us and died for our sins, is the CREATOR of the Universe regardless of how much time it took Him to do it. And acknowledging Him as Creator is certainly a salvation issue:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. [Colossians 1:15-20]
Now, getting to C.S. Lewis and whether or not he’s a heretic, every Christian from the very beginning has been a heretic in someone’s eyes. I do not doubt your belief, especially since I have never done an in-depth study of Lewis’ beliefs, so I cannot make a judgment. What I find in your comment, however, that is most interesting is that a church leader said one thing to you in private and then denied it among the group. It does not get more chicken than that. I applaud you for standing up. What would have been great for all parties involved would be to see that whether or not C.S. Lewis was a heretic, it is not a salvation issue.
I have a similar stories, one fairly recently, that happened to me. I share your experience. I had great fellowship with a large group of people who accepted me and appreciated me. Until the fateful day, that is, when I stood on Biblical truth against a false doctrine, only because I had no choice since it was an open forum and a good friend was getting bushwhacked. In attempting to defend truth and defend my friend, I was told by the moderator to speak no more because I was violating a belief of the church and the pastor. I suffered in silence after that for a half hour until the meeting was over. Afterwards I found out I had a lot of friends, a clear majority, who thought what was done to me was terribly wrong. They didn’t care so much about the doctrine. They cared about me and obeying the Golden Rule, which was clearly violated in the name of religion. But I knew I would never be allowed to join in the discussion further after that, having been censored. I was essentially disfellowshiped OVER A NON-SALVATION ISSUE. If the so-called leaders were not such Pharisees with a pet false doctrine, light could have been shed, liberty could have increased, and unity could have remained.
But alas, this is the very reason we have four hundred thousand million denominations staffed by people who insist on protecting their little postage stamp-sized turf.
To his demise, Lewis believed and taught many heretical doctrines including baptismal regeneration, theistic evolution, fallibility of the Scriptures, universalism, purgatory, prayers for the dead, ecumenism, Christ did not take our punishment, and others. These suffice to prove he was a heretic. God bless us.
That’s quite a list, Eliza. Looks like I need to research the subject when I get some time. Thank you.
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You are welcome. Just read Mere Christianity and the Problem of Pain for an intimate look at his false teaching. God bless us.
Thank you for sharing on this topic. So much of what you mentioned really strikes a bell with me. I love Jesus with all of my heart. And no way am I trying to dishonor men and woman who are leaders and Pastor of churches. Some of my best friends are Pastors with genuine hearts. However, I see this all around me, superstar Pastor! My natural eyes see great ministries with powerful messages and awesome music. However, my spirit reveals something much different. We are living in a time that if you don’t have the spirit of discernment you will be deceived with the big lights, cameras, big stages, sounds, effects etc. In itself, those things are not wrong. But, its how we use them. Most people actually think it’s all God. Yet in reality those are just tools to move you emotionally. Whenever, there’s miracles, signs and wonders…there’s real power. The real presence of the Lord!
Here’s a quote that I copied from your blog that really stood out to me…
“THE PEOPLE GOD WORKS THROUGH ARE HUMBLE, SELF-EFFACING, AND NON-SPOTLIGHT-ORIENTED”
Just like their Master.
This is so true!!!!
Thank you Renee. You make an excellent point, and richly drawn out.
I certainly agree with you that there are some wonderful places of worship and many honest ministers. Yet it must be acknowledged that the early community of the Lord had none of such wonderful things and yet turned the world upside down. Would that we could have ALL the things the Lord wants us to have, but never use anything as substitutes for real ministry and the real signs of His presence.
When the unbelieving Pharisees rejected the Lord Jesus during His ministry, they could not find anything good about Him. They had no respect for Him whatsoever as a Man, so they certainly would have no respect for Him as a minister. To them, He didn’t look the part. There was something about His outer appearance and personality that they loathed.
So then, to them, for Him to preach in such a way that REVERSED THEIR SPOTLIGHT AND REVEALED THEM FOR WHAT THEY REALLY WERE, they quickly resorted to repeated attempts on His life. They tried to destroy His character. They tried to end His ministry.
Yet, in His humility and pain at their false, unwarranted attacks, the Lord Jesus made the following statement:
“If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” [John 10:37-38]
The Lord Jesus instructed non-believing religious leaders that even if they could not believe Him for who He is, to believe the miraculous works He performs. Because of the miraculous works, they would know and have proof that He is Immanuel—God with us.
What kind of Christian, therefore, rejects the miraculous works of God as proof of His presence and authority? The Lord clearly states that if the miraculous works are not present, THEN HE IS NOT PRESENT.