Many of you know that I went through a difficult & challenging season in the Spring of 2013, where I experienced a deceptive & dangerous ‘gospel’ first-hand as a staff member of a mega-church.
I don’t believe in bad-mouthing institutions (I use that word intentionally because this was one of those ‘church run as a business/institution’ not as a church kind of situations).
I DO believe in speaking the truth… & the following is what I felt God was saying to me through my experience there. It’s a strong reminder that the Church is about HIM & must always come back to JESUS.“WARNING! Do not align your hearts to the deceptive culture… that says wealth is your reward for serving Me… that says comfort is the means to life… that says Jesus is the way but requires loyalty to a leader… that says we support orphans but we stay in luxury hotels because dirt under our fingertips ruins our manicured nails… that says ‘Spirit, come’ & then the clock runs out… that says we see God but we don’t bow our heads to pray for even 3 minutes in a 3 hour meeting… that says take a step towards Him, but make sure you are wearing the right shoes… that says we welcome you, but only special people can come in & sit at the front… that says we are the church, but you can only be a part if you do it our way… that says be a part of us, but first sign your name & serve our leader… that says Jesus’ words bring life, but we quote our leader more than the Jesus because he’s quippy & creative… that says we’re here to build the Kingdom but the only empire to be seen is the one that stands empty 5 days a week & shines with the glitz and glamour of high-dollar… that says it’s all about ‘the reach’ but only to fill empty front-row seats to present a good ‘look’ for the TV cameras… YOU SEE, THE CHURCH IS ABOUT ME. I WILL NOT TOLERATE A MAN-MADE EMPIRE THAT ROBS MY GLORY, THAT DISTORTS THE TRUTH IN A GREY JOYLESS VEIL, MAKING ROBOTS OUT OF MEN. JESUS IS MY GLORY. WE ARE & ALWAYS WILL BE. THE SANDS OF TIME BLOW AWAY, BUT WE REMAIN. WE ARE THE BRIGHT MORNING STAR, SHINING OUR GLORY FROM AGE TO AGE. WE REQUIRE SOLD-OUT HEARTS & LIVES, NOT EMPTY WORDS. EMPTY WORDS BRING DESTRUCTION; ONLY OUR WORDS BRING WORDS OF TRUE LIFE. Reflecting on 2013 today, I find myself utterly grateful for God’s grace & redemption this year… That despite the fires & trials of life, He is & always will be. That through the storms of life, He is & always will be. That through the deceptions (though well-intentioned), He is & always will be. That when I feel lost & floating, He is & always will be. That when I have no idea what’s around the corner, He is & always will be. That when life looks different that what I imagined, He is & always will be. That above ALL ELSE, He is & always will be. That God always speaks truth because He is & always will be. I am ever grateful for His truth, His guiding, His providence. Praise be to God & may His Church glorify HIM and no one else. “Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands & step out into the Irresistible Future with Him.” ~ Oswald Chambers Here’s to an Irresistible Future with Him in 2014! Be blessed. Bethany x