Sunday, August 24, 2014

Empty words

I have a voice but no where to speak. 
 A pen, but no paper to write on. 
  A sermon, but no pulpit.
Where is The Lord God of Elijah?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hello world

It's been a while, maybe a really long while, but it have had nothing of interest  to add to my blog, hence I have been quiet. Hard to imagine a preacher that has nothing to say? Well, the thing is, preachers talk, sometimes because they like to hear their own voice and sometimes because they actually have something of importance to say.

Old Testament prophets by and large only spoke when God was talking through them. I am sure many of the false prophets spoke for the aforementioned reasons, but the biblical prophets were considerd the spokesperson for heaven. 

I am NOT the official spokesperson for heaven, nor do I wish to be the spokesperson for heaven, but I do need to utilize this blog when I actually have something worthwhile to contribute rather than just write for writing's sake. My usual soapbox is the modern day pastor, preacher, man of God. The old school prophets were the gatekeepers, the filters of the kingdom of God, the keepers of holiness and the judges. Modern prophets play a similar role, not only do they speak for heaven, but they also are tasked with the gate keeper role. Perhaps I spend too much time playing gate keeper? 

Be that as it may, and once again running the risk of losing 'fans' (to use a Facebook metaphor), I do feel burdened with the role of encouraging the social adept Facebook/twitter pastor to reduce the amount of time they spend on the so called "selfie". When did the humble man of God become so self aware that he has to change his profile image several times per day with yet another image of himself? 

I mistakenly thought that the pastor was to be the very image of Christ. To paraphrase a forgotten sermon, " I must reduce that Christ may be enlarged". It's distressing to see more of the person and less of Christ in the modern socialite pastor. Less of me, more of Christ. I should not take away from. Christ, but rather I should be invisible. Christ should be central. 

So called "fans" of my Facebook page should be seeing Christ, not me, in every post, lest I become the idol. My concern is that the advent of social media and the mega church has seen the rise of the proud pastor seeking to enlarge his personal following, increase his social status and it's all pride driven.

There was once an angel given the most awesome task of directing all worship to the Throne. The angel decided that he was worthy of the attention and worship. Modern socialite pastors concern me. All attention should be on the Throne, not the man. Our task as minister of the Gospel is to direct the attention BACK to the throne, not take it for ourselves.

Some pastors have more selfies than the Hollywood stars we mimic. Any attention that is not directed to the Throne, is dangerous, leading to self promotion, setting yourself up for a major fall. Just yesterday I was reading about how a mega church pastor of a Calvinist denomination bought his way up the New York Times best seller list. The book title does not direct people back to the Throne, and I doubt the book content directs our attention to the Throne either. So why spend the $100k plus to promote this book?  Self promotion efforts are horrendous even within denominational circles. 

Suffice to say, I am both saddened and concerned by the overwhelming lack of accountability exhibited within the modern day church circles, the blatant self promotion and the advent of the showboat evangelist. Hollywood "stars", broadway production budgets and headliner acts are now common place in buildings once used to worship the King. Tickets are sold to "worship" events, and musicians are payed premium fees to "perform" for large audiences. 

Worship was sacred, with the divine purpose of bringing the presence of God to the people, and ushering the people into the Throne room. Music concerts with christian lyrics are hijacked to sell concert tickets, support extravagant lifestyles and earthly excess.  I am not against the successful pastor living a prosperous life, but when that lifestyle takes people's eyes off Jesus and refocuses them  on the man, we have a problem. 

Modern day motivational speakers may quote scripture while selling their next book, CD series, membership website or other get rich quick scheme, but there is an accounting system that sees all, keeps record of wrongs that are unrepentant and will be taking judgement in due course. Now, I sound like an Old Testament hell fire and brimstone preacher, or worse yet somebody crying "foul" because my marketing strategy has not paid off the big dividends. Think what you will, God is a jealous God. If your ministry is not bringing attention to the Throne, you are in danger of serving the wrong god. The enemy encourages pride, selfies, and attention. Modern day evangelists are often mistaken for modern day motivational speakers. Are you a motivational speaker, life coach, or minister? 

The lines get blurry real fast, especially given that most gifted orators stand to make more money in the corporate world than they do in the church world. I totally understand that. If it's money you ar after, then go to the corporate world and make your wealth, but don't distract believers with slick speaking style, flashy suits, lavish lifestyles and reality TV shows. Serve God or serve self, but you can't do both.