Lover or Prostitute? The Question that Changed My Life - By David Ryser
A number of years ago, I had the privilege of teaching at a school of ministry. My students were hungry for God, and I was constantly searching for ways to challenge them to fall more in love with Jesus and to become voices for revival in the Church. I came across a quote attributed most often to Rev. Sam Pascoe. It is a short version of the history of Christianity, and it goes like this:
Christianity started in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise.
Some of the students were only 18 or 19 years old-barely out of diapers-and I wanted them to understand and appreciate the import of the last line, so I clarified it by adding, "An enterprise. That's a business." After a few moments Martha, the youngest student in the class, raised her hand. I could not imagine what her question might be. I thought the little vignette was self-explanatory, and that I had performed it brilliantly. Nevertheless, I acknowledged Martha's raised hand, "Yes, Martha." She asked such a simple question, "A business? But isn't it supposed to be a body?" I could not envision where this line of questioning was going, and the only response I could think of was, "Yes." She continued, "But when a body becomes a business, isn't that a prostitute?"
The room went dead silent. For several seconds no one moved or spoke. We were stunned, afraid to make a sound because the presence of God had flooded into the room, and we knew we were on holy ground. All I could think in those sacred moments was, "Wow, I wish I'd thought of that." I didn't dare express that thought aloud. God had taken over the class.
Martha's question changed my life. For six months, I thought about her question at least once every day. "When a body becomes a business, isn't that a prostitute?" There is only one answer to her question. The answer is "Yes." The American Church, tragically, is heavily populated by people who do not love God. How can we love Him? We don't even know Him; and I mean really know Him.
What do I mean when I say "really know Him?" Our understanding of knowing and knowledge stems from our western culture (which is based in ancient Greek philosophical thought). We believe we have knowledge (and, by extension, wisdom) when we have collected information. A collection of information is not the same thing as knowledge, especially in the culture of the Bible (which is an eastern, non-Greek, culture). In the eastern culture, all knowledge is experiential. In western/Greek culture, we argue from premise to conclusion without regard for experience-or so we think.
An example might be helpful here. Let us suppose a question based upon the following two premises: First, that wheat does not grow in a cold climate and second, that England has a cold climate. The question: Does wheat grow in England? The vast majority of people from the western/Greek culture would answer, "No. If wheat does not grow in a cold climate and if England has a cold climate, then it follows that wheat does not grow in England." In the eastern culture, the answer to the same question, based on the same premises, most likely would be, "I don't know. I've never been to England." We laugh at this thinking, but when I posed the same question to my friends from England, their answer was, "Yes, of course wheat grows in England. We're from there, and we know wheat grows there." They overcame their cultural way of thinking because of their life experience. Experience trumps information when it comes to knowledge.
A similar problem exists with our concept of belief. We say we believe something (or someone) apart from personal experience. This definition of belief is not extended to our stockbroker, however. Again, allow me to explain. Suppose my stockbroker phones me and says, "I have a hot tip on a stock that is going to triple in price within the next week. I want your permission to transfer $10,000 from your cash account and buy this stock." That's a lot of money for me, so I ask, "Do you really believe this stock will triple in price, and so quickly?" He/she answers, "I sure do." I say, "That sounds great! How exciting! So how much of your own money have you invested in this stock?" He/she answers, "None." Does my stockbroker believe? Truly believe? I don't think so, and suddenly I don't believe, either. How can we be so discerning in the things of this world, especially when they involve money, and so indiscriminate when it comes to spiritual things? The fact is, we do not know or believe apart from experience. The Bible was written to people who would not understand the concepts of knowledge, belief, and faith apart from experience. I suspect God thinks this way also.
So I stand by my statement that most American Christians do not know God-much less love Him. The root of this condition originates in how we came to God. Most of us came to Him because of what we were told He would do for us. We were promised that He would bless us in life and take us to heaven after death. We married Him for His money, and we don't care if He lives or dies as long as we can get His stuff. We have made the Kingdom of God into a business, merchandising His anointing. This should not be. We are commanded to love God, and are called to be the Bride of Christ-that's pretty intimate stuff. We are supposed to be His lovers. How can we love someone we don't even know? And even if we do know someone, is that a guarantee that we truly love them? Are we lovers or prostitutes?
I was pondering Martha's question again one day, and considered the question, "What's the difference between a lover and a prostitute?" I realized that both do many of the same things, but a lover does what she does because she loves. A prostitute pretends to love, but only as long as you pay. Then I asked the question, "What would happen if God stopped paying me?"
For the next several months, I allowed God to search me to uncover my motives for loving and serving Him. Was I really a true lover of God? What would happen if He stopped blessing me? What if He never did another thing for me? Would I still love Him? Please understand, I believe in the promises and blessings of God. The issue here is not whether God blesses His children; the issue is the condition of my heart. Why do I serve Him? Are His blessings in my life the gifts of a loving Father, or are they a wage that I have earned or a bribe/payment to love Him? Do I love God without any conditions? It took several months to work through these questions. Even now I wonder if my desire to love God is always matched by my attitude and behavior. I still catch myself being disappointed with God and angry that He has not met some perceived need in my life. I suspect this is something which is never fully resolved, but I want more than anything else to be a true lover of God.
So what is it going to be? Which are we, lover or prostitute? There are no prostitutes in heaven, or in the Kingdom of God for that matter, but there are plenty of former prostitutes in both places. Take it from a recovering prostitute when I say there is no substitute for unconditional, intimate relationship with God. And I mean there is no palatable substitute available to us (take another look at Matthew 7:21-23 sometime). We must choose.
"Hillsong is a business venture. It takes the gospel message, waters it down with materialism, and sells it cheap". The Thinking Theologian
For certain men have crept in unawares, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, changing the grace of our God into licentiousness and denying the only Master God and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:4)
Our last report Hillsong Pty Ltd - The Corporate Takeover Of The Church generated quite a response from readers, some of whom are not subscribers. We are both pleased and very concerned with the responses we received. Pleased that many are being awakened to the apostasy in the church and those driving it, and as a consequence are being faithful to the command to 'come out from among them and be ye separate', and very concerned that so many more are not.
While we understand the lure of bright lights, sensual music, enthralling ambiance and the endless promises of temporal fame, fortune and prosperity that attracts people in droves to lamp-stand-less assemblies such as Hillsong; our cry of warning must become louder as the Day nears. Our concern is for those mesmerised within such assemblies - those deceived by wolves such as Brian Houston. But just as the Lord will not contend with the spirit of man forever (Gen 6:3), the warnings of His watchmen will one day come to an end, and with it, the opportunity to turn away from the wide path (2 Thes 2:8-12). We firmly believe that day is imminent.
As a follow-up to our last report we would like to offer you something to ponder personally. It is a brief article completely complimentary to our last report, sent to us by one of our newest subscribers. We would like to thank Muriel for her contribution and pray you the reader consider deeply the content in light of the apostasy surrounding us all.
When the body becomes a business isn't that a prostitute? What an insightful realisation! Am I only happy when God pays me? Blesses me? Gives me what I want? Meets my every need? Isn't that the message of the modern church? Isn't that what the prosperity gospel is all about? Being paid as a prostitute?
In a YouTube diatribe, Houston, extolling the virtues of temporal wealth, quoted the old song: Give Thanks as though it were Scripture. He bilked:, 'Let the poor say I am rich' encouraging his listeners to follow him further into his own delusion. When the Word of God speaks of the believer's riches is does not concern itself with the here and now. A true believer's riches are hidden in Christ in Glory. Wolves like Houston have taken God's Holy Word and turned it into licentiousness.
Licentiousness: unrestrained by law or general morality; lawless; immoral. Going beyond customary or proper bounds or limits; disregarding rules.
The above refection by David Ryser is in no way restricted to the spiritual decline of American Churches. The cancer of prosperitism has infected the body here in Australia with much credit due to both Brian Houston and Ashley Evans, who invite infected TBN tragics to our shores for their Influencer Conferences 1 (or is that Affluencers? no... Infiltrators are what they really are) to further spread the disease. Bling merchants and heretics such as TD Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Myles Munroe, Derek Prince, Jentezen Franklin et al - touring talkers who insist on first class air travel, luxury 5 star accommodation and limousine transport too and from their gigs, who bathe themselves in the adoration of their fans and get filthy rich peddling their paper backed heresies, who live in mansions with indoor bowling alleys, $20,000 toilets, Bentleys in the garage and learjets in the back yard.
"Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." Luke 12:15
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal" Mat 6:19
And these are the seeds being sown in the thorns; they are the ones who are hearing the word, and the anxieties of this age, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things coming in choke out the word, and it becomes fruitless. (Mark 4:18-19)
For the love of money is a root of all evils, of which some by aspiring have strayed away from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. You however, O man of God, flee these things. But pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:10-11)
Influencers Conference is an annual fleece-athon / decept-athon, call it what you will, hosted by the Ashley and Jane Evans show (Paradise Community Church, Adelaide South Australia) in which deluded participants fork over wads of cash to have their ears ticked by some of the most influential purveyors of biblical heresy on the planet. The Watchman Report exposes these wolves and the lies they peddle each year. Stay tuned for Influencers Conference 2010