The Church of the Self Esteemed Unredeemed
‘ … They will be sneaky, reckless, and puffed up with pride. Instead of loving God, they will love pleasure. Even though they will make a show of being religious, their religion won't be real. Don't have anything to do with such people.’ [2 Timothy 3:4-5] CEV
The KJV renders ‘pleasure’ in the plural, but whether plural or singular the pursuit of such [lit. gratification of the senses] nullifies ones profession of their love for God. Mankind is desperate and determined to have its insatiable ‘felt’ needs met. Remember the Apostle Paul was instructing young pastor Tim of what would be the prevailing attitude in the end time CHURCH – the ‘called out ones’. See, to me this is a scary scenario. We would readily expect such rampant selfish and sensual behaviour of the unredeemed, those whose spirits are not surrendered to the authority of either the Word of God or the Holy Spirit’s unction. But Paul here is referring to the supposed redeemed.
When I ponder this, my mind is taken back
to the scene Moses confronted upon his descent from
This bodes ominously for those within the professing Christian church today - those ‘called out ones’ whose desire is sensual gratification (even in the name of evangelism) whose altar is surely pleasure and whose god is clearly gold. One can almost hear again the cry of Moses . . . ‘Choose this day whom you will serve’. Sadly arrogance and pride continues to blind the eye and hardens the heart.
To this point, closer to home, I find it incredibly ironic how the Paradise Community Church in Adelaide South Australia, would host a sermon decrying vanity when it itself is obsessed with its own image. [Jane Evans, Sunday May 27th 2007). Breathtaking hypocrisy is the best way to describe it. Take this promotion for the sermon from their own website, for example:
SUPERCHARGED INTERACTIVE CHURCH - UGLY BETTY
Sunday May 27 at
image of yourself? Is the mirror your friend or your enemy? In this special
Featuring awesome music, drama and multimedia with a message that will totally inspire you! DON'T MISS IT!”
Yeah! Totally awesome, lake oh my god, fully sic to the max and a half! – Oh puhleeeze, somebody get me a bucket!
The lingo is very NOW, but tell me where
in Scripture are we to seek to ‘feel good about ourselves and more
comfortable in our own skin’? Just one (in context) reference will suffice.
And puhleeeeze don’t pull the old Jeremiah
29:11 – You sooo know that is referring to the
Also hosted by Jane, is the PCC’s annual Pentecostal pamper-fest, otherwise known as ‘bU’ (which I prefer to call p-Uke!), is another subject for another time, but you get the point – it’s all about sensual gratification and as Paul reminds us, “Even though they will make a show of being religious, their religion won't be real.”
Now, although it may appear that we’re attacking
Pentecostals and the
1. My father always admonished me to never trust a man who doesn’t look you in the eye when he’s speaking to you.
2. What is with the flavor-saver on the chin Ashley? Surely with all the money you’re making you can afford a decent razor! Or is it to catch the dribble?
Another example from the Executive…. Bobby
Houston, [wife of Brian Houston, big kuhuna of the
Assemblies of God in
thing to say no matter your station. And if you think that is bad, [and you should] consider these other Bobby-isms from the same book:
· "We need to be good at sex ourselves so that if the world happens to come knocking [presumably not ‘during’] we can tell the story of God in our lives,"
· "Without being lurid or untruthful - hello! - we can say [she whispers], 'I have a great marriage and a great sex life' - wink wink, nudge nudge. Yeah, truly.”
· "When you are doing what is correct in God there is a protection over your life. Like - hello! - it is just there. So it is a very powerful thing. Amen. Yeah, fully."
Bucket again please!
Deep teaching Huh?!
It occurs to me that such statements not only illustrate a deep seated personal immaturity, vanity and priority, but is also an accurate reflection of the organisation with which she is affiliated, especially given her position in it as the senior pastor’s wife (Brian) who incidentally authored a book entitled: “You Need More Money”. Combined with the lack of correction following her inane proclamations by the authorities therein, there is the clear indication, by inference, of an acceptance of her views among the eldership of that ‘church’. Bobby Houston has done more to shoot the credibly of her own denomination in the head than would have Karl Marx of Communism had he expounded upon the virtues of Capitalism.
Too many professing Christian churches appear
to be more concerned with their own popularity, image, revenue
raising and engaging in fun and games than they are in preaching the divisive
truth of the gospel. Take the following for example, fresh off the
Solid Central Elevation Camp 2007 . . . ONLY $125! (but oops … if you actually want to DO anything while you’re there . . . revealed in the fine print on the back of the flyer you’ll have to fork out the following: $5 for footy, $5 for something in the recreation room, $15 for Ten Pin Bowling, $15 for Golf, $55 for Skirmish (otherwise known as paint balling) Can ANYONE explain to me how children are in any way edified, grow in God or gain anything even remotely ‘Christian’ by donning battle fatigues, taking aim and firing weapons at one another? But wait there’s more …. Upgrade to Shout 08 [whatever that is] for ONLY an extra $40. So let’s see, all up that’s … $260.00 - more than double the original lure! Still, there is some consolation for the parents of these kids being trained in the ways of the world – the ‘chick’s lounge’ and the board games are FREE!
It would be an absolute JOKE if it were in any way amusing.
I am military trained, and I take extreme offense at the
frivolous view of weapons being used in such a fashion, especially in light of
the tragedies concerning kids and guns in the
The sad truth is that people see that money gets them what they want so they go to any means to get it. You would expect this kind of thinking and behaviour from the world NOT within the church. But that is where we’re seeing it.
So, in closing let’s recap. At the base of the 21st Century Mt. Sinai awaiting the return of the Deliverer, we have musical revelry, a fixation on all things flesh and its sensory demands met, an abandonment of decorum and an emphasis on gold and foolish choices. Hmmm . . sure looks like what Moses saw to me and it seems his ultimatum still applies! . . . And it’s still …Your call.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I advise you: Buy gold purified in fire from me so that you may be rich. Buy white clothes from me. Wear them so that you may keep your shameful, naked body from showing. Buy ointment to put on your eyes so that you may see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. Take this seriously, and change the way you think and act. … [Revelation - 19] GWV
1 Formerly named "Sydney Christian Life Centre Limited." Changed its name to "Hillsong Church Ltd” [an Australian public company limited by guarantee] on the same day that "Hillsong Church Limited" changed its name to "Hillsong Christian Life Centre Ltd". There is also, “Hillsong Emerge Ltd”, “Hillsong Youth Services Incorporated” and “Hillsong Media & Performing Arts Incorporated” The ‘church’ also has a Business Manager, how many ‘churches’ do you know have one of those? Could it be that: Ltd is the new spiritual STD?