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Cults of Christianity (Part 3)

         In reality, a probable majority of real Christian ministers in the world are broke and taking it on the chin every day. They are beat up and thrown in jail and tortured and murdered. THIS IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.

         And most are having a very hard time staying alive to minister because next to no one gives them a dime.

         TV ministry and traditional Christian churches can be a good thing, but these entities would go a whole lot farther if they portrayed the real Lord Jesus instead of the false caricatures we have of Him. And it would be much better if the world saw real ministers instead of the false caricatures thereof: Perfect pulpiteers, denominational cultists, and fancy pants blowhards who pass themselves off not only as the real thing but the only ones worthy of respect. 

         It would be good to see real Christians and hear their stories instead of the same old Christian celebrities droning on and on. Many of these guys are nothing but a false made-up image of something real and are masters at deception. They know what works to keep the money flowing and never deviate from it. Money makes them what they are, not the Spirit of God, and this makes many of them glorified well-to-do cult leaders leading millions around by the nose.

         They are the antithesis of the rejected and broken tragic figures like the Lord Jesus and His men who valiantly rose above all the hate thrown their way to get the Gospel to the relative few who wanted it. These men were the most courageous men who ever lived because they were willing to take whatever evil threw at them without retaliating in kind and did take it, and took it repeatedly, and kept pressing on into the wicked wind in their faces to get the job done.

         Does this look anything like a well-to-do preacher filled with worldly credentials and high standing above men with servants at his beck and call? Or a glowing smile meister motivational speaker more interested in the accoutrements of this world than the vagaries and insults of real spiritual battle?

         I don’t think so.

         And if you want the final proof, what they do simply does not work according to the Acts model. America is still going down the drain regardless of millions of churches and ministries and billions of dollars. Many of these entities are having little impact whatsoever on their communities, cities, states, and the country itself. Instead, they have joined the world and are as worldly as the day is long.

         But they will insist on their status and they will insist that they be paid, while 99% of real Christians have to struggle on their own and support their individual God-called ministries by their own labor and sweat, fighting on the front lines, suffering abuse and extreme prejudice, much of it coming from “Christians!”

         So if one’s big guy head honcho ain’t having to man up the way the Lord Jesus and His men did, one has every right to wonder why. On the other hand, when the Lord Jesus is in charge through real Christians,

         GOOD STUFF HAPPENS!

         THINGS GET DONE!

         THE DEVIL GETS RUN OUT OF TOWN!

         MILLIONS GET SAVED!

         THE ROMAN EMPIRE GETS TURNED ON ITS LEFT EAR!

        The real problem in America is that we have met the enemy and it is US. Fake preachers and fake Christians have taken over, just like the money-grubbing traitors in DC, and as a result the country is ever closer to slip-sliding away.

         But millions of real Christians as dedicated as the apostle Paul are on the rise! They are led by the Lord Jesus and WILL NOT BACK DOWN. They are willing to suffer any insult and have, and continue to fight on to get the job done.

         And the job is getting done. Though in the early stages, the real Great Awakening is coming forth. As for unreal “Christian” cults, the Lord has their number, and He’s coming after the Christian Pharisees and Great Pretenders the same way He came after the original Pharisees, with the Word of Truth.

         The fast and spurious are being exposed.

         Their masquerading veil of deception is coming down.

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

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.

Cults of Christianity (Part 1)

         Christians in general have a generally incorrect concept regarding cults:

         They’re looking in the wrong place.

         In the consensus view, a cult is composed of a small band of nitwits spouting crazy weird stuff led by a powerful pinhead leader so far off base he’s in the center field bleachers. This extremist view of culthood is quite convenient since it equates “mainstream” Christianity as the model of sensible people doing sensible things.

         Kind of like paying lip service to the Lord Jesus in church while preaching about all His great exploits but never, ever doing likewise.

         “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” [Luke 6:46]

         That means no 100% commitments to the Lord and His work, and all it entails. No 180’s. No far-reaching lifestyle changes as the product of extreme heart changes. And no getting the heck out of Egypt and the Sinai, but feeling all warm and fuzzy fully ensconced within the dead cultures of a fallen world.

         It means no raising the dead. No spiritual resurrections. No divine healing. No miracles. No casting out demons. No Book of Acts experiences. No infilling of the Spirit of God. No prophetic utterances. No speaking in other languages never learned. No joy unspeakable.

         It means no real discipleship or fellowship or spiritual authority over evil forces. No real love or compassion for one another. Little mercy or understanding or the willingness or ability to do anything whatsoever for another and each other in order to build a strong spiritual community.

         “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” [Mark 16:17-18] [1] 

         Many churches and ministers are filled to the gills with error and false doctrine and don’t even know it. They act like real Christians but have no power or love to perform like real Christians. And because they are satisfied with such a wimpy and unbiblical status quo and refuse to actually obey the Lord’s commands they are not Christian at all, but something else

         So, what was that about cults again?

         Do churches and ministries usually have one head honcho who sits atop the entire operation “lovingly” dictating church/ministry functions? And is everyone in the congregation expected to go along with the pastor’s “vision” or be seen as a rebellious deviant from the norm?

         Hmmm…

         Instead of a strong community composed of strong spiritual disciples one and all, as in the Acts model per the Lord’s teachings, are not most churches composed of a relatively few young good-hearted Christians (regardless of physical age) who simply don’t know any better (yet) and a majority of pew-sitting traditionalist clergy lovers still stuck in spiritual elementary school after umpteen years? People who wouldn’t scare in the least the least level demon on the planet? People who by their choice are destined to be the nicest people in hell?

         Well?

         Single “pastors” ruling churches is simply not the Biblical model. Many “Christians” regardless of denomination conditionally obey their voodoo masters in the pulpit instead of the Lord Jesus, and as a result their places of worship are in no way communities of believers but something else entirely.

         They are cults. The real deal. That’s how thick the deception is within institutional Christianity. Many churches, large or small, are cults. Many big time preachers have formed personality cults built around themselves. But to call it that breaks all the rules and they attribute such truth-telling to the devil. Yet, these so-called pastors are the ones making mindless robots of their members and almost never strong disciples of the Lord, something we have clearly been commanded to do.

          As a perfect case in point, the Lord Jesus, in order to keep the apostle Paul from being transformed into a celebrity with a false cult built upon and around him, allowed Paul to suffer great, great things.

         He could not allow Paul to become a religious figurehead like some duded up TV preacher, or mega church pastor, or gilded pope. So he must allow Paul to appear as a mere mortal man often with no one to rescue him from great suffering and attack.

         For his part, Paul in turn had to show his stature in the Lord by accepting this place and position in the spirit, weather the violent storm, and be the brunt of vile attacks upon his character and body.

         And when people saw that they could “get” Paul, they lost the respect they would otherwise have for him and perceived him as a mere unprotected everyman, not as some great “man of God” high and lifted up with a big fat wallet in a big fat pulpit on a big fat platform with a big fat “godly” reputation, way above what all other mortals must suffer and far above their congregations and the zombie minions within them.

© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 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.

Sound Familiar?

         For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

         Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

         For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

         And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. [Romans 1:1-32] [1]

         In these wonderful modern times of bright enlightenment and the disavowing of outdated Christian moral standards, it is good to know we have a record, almost two-thousand years old, which tells us the more things change, the more they stay the same.

         The preceding passage from Paul’s letter to the believers at Rome was most likely written in the city of Corinth in early AD 58. Writing in Corinth certainly inspired him with regard to the lack of morals in the place. Corinth was one of the most depraved cities of first century times, if not the most. Laden heavily with sexual immorality, blatant idolatry, and paganism, its sins even invaded the churches in a profound manner, causing Paul to write strong instructions in his letters to the Corinthians and serious rebukes regarding the behavior of some. Can ancient Corinth be compared to modern America? To American “Christians” in general?

         Morals are plunging fast. A complete reversal of realities has taken place. The filth of immoral idiots is broadcast all over the airwaves. Our own government has been taken over by money-hungry traitors who have essentially sold their souls to the devil for profit and prestige.

         Modern American Christianity has also sold out to the money god, and grows farther away from the teachings of the Lord as each day passes. They refuse to honor Him in heart, and restrict their praise to lip service. They also refuse the reality of the Gospel message, with all its power, strength, and light. The Book of Acts is not seen as a how-to manual, but a mere dusty history book, dead to the reality of the present.

         Christians should not bother reading the Book of Acts if they refuse to practice it.

         The real community of the Lord still has the answers and power to do anything, face anything, overcome anything, and be victorious over any foe. The hitch for most faux Christians is that it will cost—it will cost you everything. And such a price is far too high.

         It’s okay for Messiah Jesus to go to the cross. It’s okay if He is beaten almost beyond recognition. It’s okay if His blood is spilled in preaching the Gospel. It’s okay if Stephen was stoned, if Paul was stoned, if the apostles went through hell, and if foreign believers are currently being persecuted all over the world. But no one may dare to even think about telling American Christians we must possibly go through the same.

         We have a corrupt government growing more corrupt every day, and corrupt sell-out churches and ministers who exist to glorify and enrich themselves. American Christianity in general has grown just as material, controlling, and money-grubbing as the world it supposedly seeks to save.

         Despite all this, however, there is Good News. Persecution is coming to America. The real Gospel is coming forth. Real Christians are coming forth like we have not seen in a long time. A powerful, mature, unified spiritual effort in the works for decades is about to explode on the scene.

         Watch what happens. All those who refuse to obey God will be left behind in their staid, comfortable, sleepy-time, cold-hearted, controlled, regimented, disobedient, material, boring, lifeless, and snooty versions of Christianity. But all those who hear God and obey will continue to experience greater life, truth, miracle power, spiritual joy, and strength. And they will be fought against like never before. Yet, these real believers will not be stopped or denied because they are with the Lord, doing the will of the Lord, have given their whole hearts to the Lord, and will follow Him and obey His commands whatever the cost. They have not only passed through the Red Sea, they have crossed the Jordan River.

         The Great Awakening is happening.

         The following text is an excerpt from Real Christianity, written way back in the go-go 1990s and published before 9/11, before the Patriot Act, before the disastrous American foreign policy of the last decade, before the dissolution of Fourth Amendment rights, before smart phones, before the exponential rise in our surveillance society, before roughly another 20 million butchered babies in the ongoing and unchallenged slaughter of American innocents, before the crash of 2008 and the devastation of the American economy, before multi-trillions in debt, before the groping madness of the TSA, and before Christians used their right to vote to help elect the very people responsible for all of the above with no apparent remorse:

SLOW TRAIN COMING

         When was the last time you saw somebody murdered for Jesus? When was the last time somebody was dragged out of your congregation and executed? When was the last time you saw somebody whose obedience to the Lord caused him to risk his very life rather than submit to the wishes of the enemy? Too radical? Then how does one explain the killing of so many Old Testament prophets, or the violent deaths of the apostles, or the violent persecutions of the early church? Where is the violent persecution of today’s church? Where are followers of Jesus being maimed and murdered today?

         Not in America. And why? Is it because America is the land of the free and the home of the brave? Is it because Christians have such firm control of the goings-on in this country that violent, physical persecution could never take place here? Look again. The fact of the matter is that persecution campaigns will come, as a matter of course, when the church in America, like the prophets of old, reaches a pre-determined level of strength, maturity, unity, and spiritual power. It is a given. It is a law. This principle cannot be circumvented, nor should it be. The Church is not only supposed to be loving, kind, and gentle, but also able to kick the corpulent posteriors of demons and take their names. When the church in any geographic area reaches this point of maturity and commitment, the human instrumentalities of the devil will strike back in defense of their turf with violent, bloody persecution.

         The church in America has become much too timid and confused about its role in this area. Even those who claim to have prophetic ministries appear somewhat squeamish about upsetting any apple carts (or money-changers’ tables). For the most part, we go to church and are nice and mind our business. We hear the news about the moral strength of America going down the drain and shrug our collective shoulders. As a majority of the population, far too many of those who call themselves Christians in this country are still running around in diapers.

         There is, however, a group of Christians on the rise—a group that has grown weary of the toddler section, a group that has long since left the nursery to which they were assigned. A dead church structure is still an impediment, but no longer a jail. These individuals are so committed to Jesus that, like the prophet, they have overcome their fear and apathy and laid everything on the line. They have risen to such spiritual heights that they can see right through the feeble attempts and various losing methods which the business-like old guard uses in an awkward effort at ruling both Christians and Christianity.

         The community of saints which Jesus is presently raising up is not independent but fully under His authority. Its members are not nonconformists but merely mature in the Lord. They are fully committed and dedicated to His agenda. Their banner is love, their love is for truth, and their righteousness is a precious blood-bought gift. These are included in the ones who will stand in the gap, who will be hated by all nations for His name’s sake, and who will be misunderstood, reviled, and rejected by the “brethren.” As long as the great silent masses of Christians in America think they can get by without attracting violent, bodily persecution, they will likely do everything in their power to do so. But the Word of the Lord is plain concerning this Laodicean attitude. Those who are neither hot nor cold will be spewed out of the mouth of God. [2]

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[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.

[2] Pages 99-100 Real Christianity, The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Give me more darkness said the blind man,

Give me more folly said the fool,

Give me stone silence said the deaf man,

I didn’t believe Sunday School.

Take it away said the hungry man,

Although I’m starving I’ll get by.

Take it away said the thirsty man,

I’ll find a drink before I die.

I’ve got plenty of time to think of Heaven,

But right now there’s too much on my mind.

And I’ve had enough of that religious stuff

And besides I can’t relate to your kind.

© 1980 by Phil Keaggy