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Narrow Way Chronicles: Exclusivity of Inclusion

In a recent tweet I shared:

#Pride, #Presumption, and #Partiality create a culture of self-righteousness and hidden agendas. #churchpolitics”.

I thought it appropriate to elaborate because intent can be misconstrued and I wanted to allow for robust discussion.

Today, the term “inclusivity” does not prompt ideas of church unity. Opponents of the Way continue to do a “bang-up” job in hijacking and perverting the Creator’s intent on certain ideologies that is designed to reflect His glory. The ideology of “Inclusivity” is no different. History teaches that diversity and inclusivity have existed since the beginning of time. The Old and New Testament scriptures clearly show examples of communities that included all races and social-economic backgrounds.  It is only after the coming of the Anointed One, Jesus the Christ, do we see intentionality of this idea of Inclusive Communities. ….so let’s not get it twisted. ;-).

The intention of the tweet; however, was addressing my limited time and experience with the subject with regard to church unity. My sincere hope and prayer is that the Holy Spirit will be active in guiding my hand to write; as well as an active guide to those who are reading these thoughts.

It is written, He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches:

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Compassion and True Fellowship

The issue: Are our churches TRULY inclusive? With our drive to expose evil, false doctrine and plant churches, have we created a culture of elite communities? Is the mission still about the Gospel or has the mission become about growing a denomination, positioning for political leverage or making your brand known? Do we reflect true Koinonia or is the local church another social construct that is intended have a “positive” effect on the community? If true Koinonia is the intent, what should it look like and how much of our application is modeled biblically?

I have often been engaged in conversations with persons that boastfully share that they are socially connected with”like-minded” Believers. Notice I didn’t say, fellowship; and, that gave me pause to think (Hence the #ChurchPolitics).

What does the idea of being like-minded mean?

Secular society uses this phrase often. Should I assume that this idea takes on a different connotation because I perceive a spin of conservative Christianity or It is safe to assume that being like-minded is a belief or series of beliefs that is shared commonly through a connection of cultural norms to one may be accustomed; and if not accustomed, Idolize?  We’ve seen this in Charismatic circles.

It is elitism; BKA partiality.

If you initiate a Google search the topic, you will find little teaching or exhortation that addresses this, especially in conservative circles. Largely because most of our siblings still have that big plank in their eye.

Partiality is a sin and it greatly displeases Elohim our God. Because it is hidden, it is easy to deny that we have issues. When we choose to “do life” with people that do not foster sanctification, we stifle growth. Not only of ourselves but others that desire true sanctification.  Jerry Bridges exhorts: “It is not the fact that we are united in common goals or purposes that make(s) us a community. Rather, it is the fact that we share a common life in Christ.

Partiality convinces us that God’s choice isn’t good enough, smart enough, pretty or handsome enough, not quiet enough, or charismatic enough. Partiality says this person is not acceptable to my standards. Partiality shows no grace and therefore, shows no love. This is wickedness.

When we opt in for partiality instead of inclusivity we become complacent in our relationships. We are not intentional with the put offs and put-ons, and we do no “one anothering”.  The result is isolation among the saints. This is a dichotomy of true fellowship. Koinonia and sharing the Gospel is what the Father wants and desires for His children. Lastly, partiality is hidden and presumptuous sins. Partiality is heinous and damaging to the Body of Christ.  In Psalm 19:13 the writer prays:

Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. 

The church is not as inclusive as we like to think we are. Partiality is a real issue, more than we would like to admit. People choose not to bind themselves to a local body because they do not feel loved or safe.  At any rate, Jesus teaches compassion. Though the Savior operated as a prophet, he was remarkably compassionate to sinners. Do we desire or display that same compassion or do we make assumptions about people based on limited information or gossip? Moreover, what are we willing to risk or sacrifice to engage in true Koinonia? If your local body struggles in this area please check out this teaching by Arturo Azurdia of TCP titled “The Antioch Paradigm”.

 

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Blowing the Whistle: Ezekiel’s Daughter Returns to Social Media

After careful analysis, keen observation, and contemplation, Ezekiel’s Daughter will be returning to social media.

Why is this so significant?

Well! It’s significant because  many of my contemporaries, friends, and business associates were dumb-founded, or a bit dismayed because I made the decision in 2012 to disconnect all social media outlets and go off the social media grid. With Facebook going public along with the formulation of covenant relationships  between tech companies and Government agencies, I decided it was time to be disengage and observe….which provided me a unique perspective.

Ezekiel’s Daughter is in a unique position to serve the Body of Christ through social media.(but no Facebook!)  It is; no doubt, a shift in time. Our earthly realm is transitioning into a different culture that is ruled by technology and demonic powers that mirrors those in Ancient Babylon. These powers along with technology and efforts to “dumb-down” society,  has effected and continues to effect human’s ability to engage in an organic and at a superior level.  Additionally,  these intiatives with the use of technology will shape social constructs in society, and thus changing our communication styles. Lastly, social media will be the go-to resource with regard to the delivery of news, events, and government affairs. The day is new, the times are changing and we must be strategic and intentional with our efforts of our messenging.

Ezekiel’s Daughter has committed to:

  1. Declare and Proclaim the Gospel, and the Word of God,
  2. Expose the works of the enemy with the purpose to deliver people from the tyranny of sin and its effects on their life here on Earth, and
  3. Love God’s people by the means of grace by faith, and
  4. Pass on information and prayer requests for the advancement of the Gospel and/or other needs.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter! Looking forward to following you 🙂

ED

To the Church of the West! A Parallel of Laodicea: Same Sex Marriage Is Not Our Issue

nhewy Prophets like the late A.W. Tozer and Leonard Ravenhill were spot on in their past observations of the American/Western churches. Below are a few observations I found applicable to today’s current climate.

“I’m concerned in my spirit (that) the reason the world goes to hell-fire tonight is because we’ve (the church) lost Holy Ghost fire”.

“God is taking His hands off of America. We’ve had so much light and we’ve(the church) rejected it”

“The early church was married to poverty, prisons and persecutions. Today, the church is married to prosperity, personality, and popularity”.

“I believe every church is either supernatural or superficial. I don’t believe there’s any middle ground”.

In light of recent events, it is important that the BOC remain focus on a few things:

  1.  Declare the message of the Good News. People are dead and we still have this task.
  2.  Continue to trust and obey the Lord. We already know what the result of this decision will be.
  3. Don’t get distracted and be quick to give an opinion. For the word instructs: “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?”…additionally it says: Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

With that said, it is now time for the Universal Church to clean house! History teaches us that a civilization that allows evil to prevail is a result of the Bride’s obedience and faithfulness to her Groom. We see this in the Church in Laodicea. The process of separating the sheep from the goats is being intensified. What side will you be on?   SELAH

2015 FORECAST: BLOODY, VIOLENT PERSECUTION FOR CHRISTIANS

Originally published at Christian News Net by

Report: Global Persecution of Christians Reached Historic Levels in 2014

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A watchdog organization that releases a report each year on the global persecution of Christians states that 2014 marked the highest level of hostility against Christians ever recorded, but believes matters will only get worse.

Click http://standupforthetruth.com/2015/01/2015-forecast-bloody-violent-persecution-christians/ to read the article

Best

“Church Order” Deception: Deacons and Elders; Are they Modern Day Pharisees and Sadducees?

Many so-called Christians read accounts of Jesus’ run-ins with the modern day opposition known as the Pharisees and Sadducees…but who were these people? Most of us take a position of disdain towards them because of how Jesus addressed them; but., would you fit into that “Pharisaical” or Sadducee mold today? Judge not…lest you too be judged…let’s take a look.

He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.

The Pharisees

*The Pharisees (from a Hebrew word meaning separate) were laymen(modern day deacons and elders) popular with the “common” people (the congregation). They were chiefly characterized by adherence to applying the law to daily life (works righteousness). After the (prophetic)ministry of the post-exilic(time after Babylonian captivity) prophets ceased, godly men called Chasidim (where we get the idea to be called saints) arouse and sought to keep alive reverence for the law among the descendants of the Jews who returned from the Babylonian captivity.  This movement degenerated into the Pharisaism of our Lord’s day—a letter-strictness which overlaid the law with traditional interpretations held to have been communicated by the lord to Moses as oral explanation with the Law itself.  The Pharisees were strictly a sect(as defined by Websters: sect: 1. a dissenting religious body, 2. A group adhering to a distinctive doctrine or to a leader). A member was a chaber (meaning “knit together” Jud. 20:11) and was obligated to remain true to the principles of Pharisaism (bka: The “vision or mission” of the said church/non-profit organization, not the body).

They were moral, zealous, and self-denying, but self-righteous and destitute of the sense of sin and need. They lacked grace and were full of pride. They were the foremost persecutors of Jesus Christ and the objects of His unsparing denunciation.

The Sadducee

*These were a Jewish sect (see above definition) that denied the existence of angels or other spirits, and all miracles, especially the resurrection of the body. They were the religious rationalists of the time, and were strongly entrenched in the Sanhedrin and priesthood.  The Sadducees are identified with no affirmative doctrine, but were mere deniers of the supernatural.

Bring it Forward

So …..It is written:

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. (Eccl 1:9)

Since there is nothing new under the sun, we can safely say that modern day Pharisees and Sadducees still exist. If one examines so-called “church order”, you will find both characteristics in most institutions known as “churches” today. This is far from the early examples found in history. Biblical instruction of so-called church order has been twisted to accommodate human desires and; in some cases, a money generating organism. This poison has continued to keep the church impure which is why the Spirit of God continues to be quenched…thus..no maturity, no deliverance, and no Power.

Today’s Pharisaical characteristics mirror traditional masonic and social “secret” organizations. They are encouraged or instructed to limit fellowship with anyone “outside” the sect. When vetted, they are given instructions on social order with a justification that the action is “tradition”. Much of this instruction is prior to becoming “ordained”. Much like Freemasons, frats, and other Gnostic organizations and cults, there is always an order that excludes people.

THIS IDEA CONTRADICTS THE WORD OF GOD!

“And He gave some, apostles, prophets, and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry(word origin: douleuo, meaning “to serve as a slave.” unto Christ)”. (Eph. 4:11) The word “Deacon” was not the original Greek translation, similar to the word “church”. Additionally, the word Elder does not denote an office. It simply means…an older person. Where do we get this foolishness!

True ministry is evident when the spiritual gifts are being exercised (1 Corinthians 12:1-31). The servants’ heart, mind, body, and soul is submitted to Elohim. Not to a church leader. Hebrews 13 gives full instruction on what this should look like. If one  chooses to “study to show thyself approved”, he will see that prior to the words “submit to your leaders” , we are instructed and exhorted to use wisdom via these words: “Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith”.

WOW. So…the question is? What kind of faith (spiritual fruit and manner of life you see and in respect the end game) will you follow?

CHRIST IS THE HEAD.  Whats-more, most people that serve in this capacity are not always aware they are participating in the deception. For them, it is more important to follow man; particularly the “bishop”, than to fear God. (John 12:36-43, Prov. 29:25)

Signs that you may be a Modern day Pharisee or Sadducee (not an exhaustive list)

1. Self-righteousness: The Pharisees, thought their own goodness was so impressive that it could not fail to make them acceptable to God. They held rigorously to the ceremonies and traditions of the law, making a public show of their religiosity, all to be seen by other men, many of whom they despised as being beneath them. Today’s Pharisee becomes prideful due adherence to “church” directives and goals. This is not a Spirit-lead ministry of Christ.

*2 Hearty agreement with error and remaining passive when there is wrongdoing: The modern day Pharisee is confused and lacks discernment. Much of this is due to a conflicted conscious. Though he/she understand the Word of God, they are apprehensive about their faith in obedience because they’ve taken a ungodly oath or un-biblical covenant.

3.Showing Partiality and straying away from real relationships: The modern day Pharisee and Saducee shows partiality (favoring one or a group of people over another). Though they give a facade of loving everyone they prefer to fellowship with other laymen or “preferred” members of the church. It is also encouraged that it is suggested by leadership to not allow their children to fellowship with children outside the laity.

*4. Deny the existence of the spiritual world: The modern day Sadducee ignores or does not speak about spiritual things. Unfortunately due to charismatics and demonic influence in the today’s church-culture, most are afraid to speak about it. The Holy Spirit of God is necessary fruit-bearing, deliverance, and understanding of God’s word.

5. Showing a lack of grace: Modern day Pharisees believe that God controls all things, yet they believe decisions made by individuals also contributed to the course of a person’s life. Thus they have an inability to show compassion, and they fail at times to extend grace and mercy. Modern day Pharisees have a tendency to become selfish and fearful. This contradicts the ministry of the Holy Spirit and Faith of the Holy one.

What do we see in Acts? Men and women living day by day in true freedom of love, looking for opportunities to share the Gospel to everyone. We see a community of all social-economic backgrounds, races, and professions doing the work of ministry to each other and for the glory of the Father. We see no one left to oneself during a struggle with deliverance issues and we see a genuine move of God’s Spirit showing in wonders, signs, and miracles…with Power. Selah

*sources: Scofield Reference Bible, Gotquestions.org, EVScrossway, Oxford University Press

“CHURCH” AND “ECCLESIA”…Lost in Translation

The following is an excerpt from http://www.aggressivechristianity.net

Let us make it clear from the very beginning that the established religious system, which manifests itself in the abomination called “church”, is NOT of God. We intend to make it very clear, by studying the Greek words found in the New Testament, that the pattern which God intends His people to follow and live by is the ECCLESIA system, and is RADICALLY different than that which calls itself “church” in our day. As you read this short study the truth will dawn on you that Christians today have been fed a LIE, and that they have been enslaved by the religious systems of men. If you truly love Jesus and desire to follow Him in total obedience then you must seriously consider the facts that follow. We encourage each and every person who names the name of Christ to PRAY, FAST AND SEEK GOD concerning the important differences between how the first Christians lived and how Christians live today.

THE CORRECT MEANING OF “CHURCH”

(The following information is from ACMTC Library and BenWilliamsLibrary.com)
Let’s start by defining the word. “Church” comes from the Old English and German word pronounced “kirche.” In Scotland, it was “kirk.”

The following entries are from the Oxford Universal English Dictionary:

Church [Old English cirice, circe; Middle English chereche, chiriche, chirche; whence churche, cherche, etc.: -Greek Kuriakon…]

Kirk The Northern English and Scottish form of CHURCH, in all its senses.

In the earlier Greek It was pronounced “ku-ri-a-kos” or “ku-ri-a-kon.” As you can see, this word doesn’t even resemble the Greek word “ecclesia” whose place it has usurped. The meaning of “Ku-ri-a-kos” is understood by its root: “Ku- ri-os,” which means “lord.” Thus, “kuriakos” (i.e., “church”) means “pertaining to the lord.” It refers to something that pertains to, or belongs to, a lord. The Greek “kuriakos” eventually came to be used in Old English form as “cirice” (Kee-ree-ke), then “churche” (kerke), and eventually “church” in its traditional pronunciation. A church, then, is correctly something that “pertains to, or belongs to, a lord.”

Now, as you can see, there is a major problem here. The translators broke the rules in a big way. When they inserted the word “church” in the English versions, they were not translating the Greek word “kuriakos”, as one might expect. Rather, they were substituting an entirely different Greek word. This was not honest! The word “church” would have been an acceptable translation for the Greek word “kuriakos.” However, not by the wildest imagination of the most liberal translator can it ever be an acceptable translation for the Greek word “ecclesia.” Are you following this? Consider it carefully. This truth will answer many questions you’ve had about churches, and the kingdom.

“Ecclesia” is an entirely different word with an entirely different meaning than “kuriakos.” In fact, the Greek word “kuriakos” appears in the New Testament only twice. It is found once in I Corinthians 11:20 where it refers to “the Lord’s supper,” and once again in Revelation 1:10 where it refers to “the Lord’s day.” In both of those cases, it is translated “the Lord’s…” – not “church.” This word does not appear again in the New Testament. Nonetheless, this is the unlikely and strange history of the word “church” as it came to the English language. Eventually, through the manipulation of organized religion “church” came to replace “ecclesia” by popular acceptance. Again, we must emphasize the importance of knowing word meanings in order to know the intent of those who wrote the Scriptures.

THE CORRECT MEANING OF “ECCLESIA”

Now, let’s look at the word, “ecclesia”. This Greek word appears in the New Testament approximately 115 times. That’s just in this one grammatical form. It appears also in other forms. And in every instance, except three, it is wrongly translated as “church” in the King James Version. Those three exceptions are found in Acts 19:32, 39, 41. In these instances the translators rendered it “assembly” instead of “church.” But, the Greek word is exactly the same as the other 112 entries where it was changed to “church” wrongly.

In Acts 19, “ecclesia” is a town council: a civil body in Ephesus. Thus, the translators were forced to abandon their fake translation in these three instances. Nonetheless, 112 times they changed it to “church.” This fact has been covered-up under centuries of misuse and ignorance. The Greek word “ecclesia” is correctly defined as: “The called-out (ones)” [ECC = out; KALEO = call]. Thus, you can see how this word was used to indicate a civil body of select (called, elected) people.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

In the New Testament, “ecclesia” (signifying convocation) is the only single word used for church. It (ecclesia) was the name given to the governmental assembly of the city of Athens, duly convoked (called out) by proper officers and possessing all political power including even juridical functions.

Obviously, in Greece an ecclesia had no resemblance to a church. An “ecclesia” was a civil assembly in Athens even before the writing of the New Testament. In the Oxford Universal English Dictionary (considered the standard for the English language) the word “ecclesia” is listed in its English form as used by our English forefathers. (Nowadays, only forms of the word appear – like, “ecclesiastical”).

Quoting from the Oxford Universal English Dictionary on the word “ecclesia”:

Ecclesia [mediaeval Latin, and Greek – from : SUMMONED] -A regularly convoked assembly, especially the general assembly of Athenians. Later, the regular word for church.

Thus, two of the most prestigious word resources in the English language confirm the fact that an “ecclesia” was originally a select civil body, summoned or convoked for a particular purpose. What, then, did the writers of the New Testament mean when they used the word “ecclesia” to describe a Christian body of people? We can assume that they intended to convey the original Greek meaning of the word: a body of Christians called out of the Roman and Judean system to come together into a separate civil community. It meant a politically autonomous body of Christians under no king but Jesus; under no other jurisdiction but that of Jesus. No man ruled them! Only Christ. And that was the reason these same Christians ran into trouble with kings and rulers; were arrested, crucified and martyred. They dropped Caesar as their King and took up Christ.

In Acts 17, verses 1-6 we see that Paul and Silas had a reputation that preceded them. They were “turning the world (system) upside down.” What was their inflaming message? Were they telling the people to find a minister and support him; go to church every weekend; be nice to their neighbors? Could this have been the message that set the city fathers against them? Or maybe they were asking people to send their tithes to them so they could build a nice church or develop a Christian recreation center? No? What then? What were these guys doing that was “turning the world system upside down”? The answer is found in verse 7:

“Whom Jason hath received (into his house): and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.”

Now is that clear? Do you see what they were doing? They were announcing ANOTHER KING! Not Caesar! This was a king who was bigger than Caesar. They were forming civil bodies that no longer looked to Caesar as their king. They were forming civil outposts for Christ’s conquering army! They were at war!

Paul and Silas weren’t “church builders” like preachers today claim. They weren’t proselytizing people from one church or synagogue to another. They were kingdom builders! They were dethroning rulers in the minds of the people and alienating them from the mental hold Caesar had upon them through heathenistic (central) government. They were teaching the principles of Christian government. They were putting forth the call of God to whomever would hear and obey, and those whose hearts responded to the call became citizens of Christ’s kingdom and joined themselves to the ecclesia, or community of believers.

CHURCH AND STATE DESTROY LIBERTY

The Oxford Dictionary also has an interesting entry under “congregation”:

…used by Tyndale* as a translation of ‘ecclesia’ in the New Testament, and by the sixteenth century reformers instead of “church.” (*William Tyndale was the fifteenth century reformer and Bible translator murdered by the church)

Tyndale was willing to die for God’s word and truth. He didn’t like the word “church.” Instead, he used the word “congregation.” Now that tells us something! Godly Tyndale, and other sixteenth-century reformers who were more reputable, did not like the word “church.” They used other words like “congregation,” “governmental assembly,” etc.

When you consider the fact that an “ecclesia” was “a civil body politic”, this is strong proof that the Christian ecclesias we read about in the New Testament were independent civil bodies of Christians -independent from worldly kings and governors, ruled by the Theocratic government of God’s Spirit. They wanted freedom to serve King Jesus. They weren’t building and attending churches! Please understand! The pattern laid down in the New Testament bears no resemblence to what we know today as “church”. God’s people are meant to live by the ecclesia pattern -together in communities, holding all things common, under the government of God through His anointed leaders. Quit saying “church” when it is supposed to be “ecclesia”! It’s an important step in retrieving your brain from the trap of religious confusion.

CHRISTIAN CIVIL BODY

Independent self-government under Christ! That is what the ecclesia represents – not a religious organization for meeting on weekends. The Bible does not indicate that churches would eventually take the place of ecclesias. The change of words was not sanctioned by Scripture. There is NO Scriptural authority for Christians to build churches, attend churches, or support churches! Churches are ungodly organizations designed for and by the heathen.

We should be forming and defending ecclesias instead of the disgusting churches with their con games, entertainment, cultic mystery, childishness, and heathenistic worldly nonsense. We once used the word “church” to describe ourselves, but no more thank God. We’re doing our best to break that image. It’s a slow process, but we’re putting the old church ways behind us.

THE IDOLATRY MUST STOP

If you profess to follow Christ, then it’s time you quit voluntarily feeding the anti-Christ beast. Men who want to sincerely follow Christ must wean themselves from worldly governments and churches. It is the height of absurdity for a Christian to attend and support the very institutions which are destroying his relationship with God. Those who voluntarily support man-made religious church systems, by believing and teaching that they are good in any way, or that they help us, or that we need them, are still living in a dream world of deception. The ecclesia system, with it’s Theocratic government and individual responsibility, is capable of freeing us from the bodage of religion. True peace and liberty cannot be found outside of Christ. Christ’s system is the ecclesia system. Freedom awaits all those who will break away from the religious slavery of church and become a humble bondslave of Jesus Christ. We must stop idolizing men in their religious hypocrisy and let Christ once and for all be our King!

So, there is really no other choice for those who would truly follow the pattern laid down for us in God’s Word. We must do the same thing the apostles did. We must form ourselves into actual communities under the guidance of God’s anointed and appointed leaders, called out and separated from the world, with none other than Jesus Christ as our ruler and King. In other words, ECCLESIAS!

Warnings from the Master: Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees

In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

(Hypocrisy is defined as: a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; esp: the false assumption  of an appearance of virtue or religion)

Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:1-7 ESV)

The New **”Hustle” of the American “Church”: Reform. Hidden in Plain Sight part 2

**Hustle (pronounced “Huss-l”) is defined as: 1. Working or doing anything that will generate income or provide resources to survive. 2.a disco dance from the 70’s.

My focus will be on the first definition.
Why is it that the vast majority of American Churches continue to veer away from clear instruction that Elohim clearly outlines in His Word? Why do they always bring in some “new thing”, “new mission”, or some form of “reform”?
Continued study of early Christians and church fathers will compel one to evaluate the traditions and practices of modern American religion today. Further research in the Holy Bible will not bring any form of scripture that would provide a pattern of this practice; nor do we find anything in the antiquities where a purpose or mission brought anyone to repentance.
This is because building missions is a business concept that has not been or every been part of the plan of salvation for God’s people. For it is written:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30 ESV)

So why are religious organizations spending so much time and energy trying to “reform” a society?

Because it’s the new Hustle.

Regeneration of individual hearts must take place before any true “reform” can be done. This work is not a work done by man or a “mission-driven” purpose. It is a super-natual work of the Holy Spirit given by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ:

“Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46-47 ESV)

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending
you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,“Receive the Holy Spirit.
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it
is withheld.”(John 20)

What is reform?
Reform is defined as: to make better or improve by removal of faults, 2. to correct or improve one’s own character or habits, 3. improvement or correction of what is corrupt.

I’m addressing so-called churches that have chosen to exploit Reform Theology as a
means to forward a “purpose-driven” methodology.

The hustle is this. If your church has a “target audience”, the mission is to bring a focused demographic of “members”(say: middle class couples or singles that make a decent income) to your congregation, this will bring a “sustainable” income to your organization.

Let’s do the math…and this is a modest projection.

Let say an organization has 55 “covenant” families(members) that earn a projected yearly household income of $75k a year. Each family would earn an estimated disposable income of $6000.00 a month. If that family commits to giving with the 10% model in mind, this income will generate a funding stream to the “church” that totals a little under $600/month per family. Multiplied by 55 (the number of projected families) per 52 (weeks in a year), this church will ideally generate a yearly income of $1M. The numbers are much larger when you factor in the divorced or unmarried members that have no children. Assuming that they earn a yearly income of $35k-$80k yearly, They are quite useful and often are made to be “leaders” in the church. The poor are often seen as a burden. This is not the way of Christ.

See the hustle now?
The true Church should strive to emulate New Testament Christians. The Epistles, though they can be viewed as instruction, should be held and taught with complete submission to the Holy Spirit.

How should be behave or react if I’m attending a church like this?
Pray, wait for the Lords instruction, refer to scripture and apply it in the Power of the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians 5 (please read the entire chapter for context) it states:
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord…..Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light.
Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Selah.