Jeremiah 23 13In the prophets of Samaria I saw an unsavory thing: they prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. 14But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah. 15Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets: “Behold, I will feed them with bitter food and give them poisoned water to drink, for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone out into all the land.”
I am reminded of what the Apostle Paul wrote in:
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
Just this week, I was apprised of another mega Church leader in our community who was dismissed from his position as Senior Pastor due to sexual indiscretions 17 years ago.
A pastor in Chicago peddled religion for a payday. Rev. Clarence Smith, Jr. allegedly used his storefront Church, New Life Impact Church in the Lawndale neighborhood, as a way to make himself wealthy, according to New York Post.
Todd Bentley is back in the news: “Todd Bentley, a bearded, tattooed Canadian charismatic preacher who once claimed to heal people by punching and kicking them at a Florida revival, is no longer fit for ministry, a group of Charismatic ministers announced this week. Bentley had been accused of “ungodly and immoral conduct,” including adultery, substance abuse, and sexting, according to the panel.
I guess I could go on and on, but you get the gist. We are all aware of many high-profile Christian leaders who have failed their constituents and failed God in their Calling as ministers of the Gospel. Plus, it’s nothing new when people get rich from preaching the Gospel, or their personal indiscretions. King Solomon said something quite profound about not caring about crimes or indiscretions that are immoral:
Ecclesiastes 8:11 When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.
Isn’t that what the Prophet Jeremiah was saying in my opening quote? Who is to blame for the confusion of immorality and ungodliness? If our Godly Standard is not preached or maintained by those who are preaching it, we can’t hold anyone accountable for being immoral. Ungodliness goes out into all the land and becomes a part of the culture and no one is pushing back on it. I think many Christians have acquiesced about the lives of immoral people; it has become so pervasive that it is at a point of no return. No need to preach about what is wrong in society, because no one is listening. Let’s remain positive and preach about how good God is to those who Obey Him.
Okay. End of today’s blog. Or at least for many Churches this is their conclusion. Don’t be controversial, preach on things that draw people to God, and don’t alienate people. Okay, sounds good, but it may not be Scriptural. Many Christians come to Jesus by a decision but never get Discipled in how to Obey God. Many Christians I have met recently are okay with living together before marriage because Grace covers a multitude of sins. Yet, God does not want us to live in a watered-down Church where Grace is all there is. Grace has provided us with Salvation, but it has also given us His Word to stand up for Godly behavior and warn others about the Enemy of immorality.
Psalm 94:16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will stand for me against those who practice iniquity?
Ezekiel 3 18If I say to the wicked, “You shall surely die,” and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.
James 4:4 You adulterers! Don’t you know that friendship with the world means hostility with God? So whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God.
We are not to put our heads into the proverbial sand of positive thinking where God is a story of good things. I don’t recommend preachers be mean or condescending to sinners, but for Heaven’s sake, we can’t ignore the Call of God to be His Voice for Godly transformation.
I believe the Prophet Jeremiah saw the end result of misguided leadership and the results that created a cultural ungodliness. Perhaps that could be the case in today’s world as well?
Let’s not be so smug that we don’t acknowledge that some of our cultural confusion could be caused by the lack of our concern about Biblical Standards being taught and upheld in our Churches. Just a thought.
Keeping Life Honest and Truthful … Larry Kutzler
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