Rom. 16:17-18 ~ "17-Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18-For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."
To the modern church, taking a stand for righteousness and calling the people of God to accountability has become "bashing" the church.
Magic Johnson's Denunciation of Prop. 8, and a similar article done by GCMWatch regarding related issues, the following comments were brought to our attention within the "so called" COGIC Forums on Yahoo. On a more personal note, I'm ashamed that these comments were in a "COGIC Forum" as to indicate (but not necessarily so) that these persons are members of the Church Of God In Christ. My saddnes comes partially because some of the comments wreak of biblical illiteracy. There are 2 comments that were of particular interest.
- "...And I get you on the warning against false teachers, but I don't recall Paul addressing too many people directly, that he didn't have direct influence over.And many of the sites providing the information usually provide commenting sections that are out of control, just let people go crazy bashing others." ~ todd
It should be noted that neither The Dunamis Word nor GCM Watch have "gone crazy" or has "bashed others" The facts are that discernment and truth has been exercised in asking questions pertinent to current events and answers to questions posed have high implications for the church in general and individuals within the Body of Christ. It should also be noted that these topics and questions are widespread and the information has been made public in which people have exposed their own ideas and beliefs and as such have placed themselves upon the altar of public examination for Saint and sinner alike. In the first comment, noted above, the commenter says that he didn't see in the bible where "Paul addresses(ing) too many people directly"
Let's briefly look at who Apostle Paul addresses and why:
Elymas) for trying to stop, interfere and turn away Sergius Paulus from the gospel message and salvation.
Acts 16:18 ~ Paul rebukes and casts the devil out of an unammed woman publically for following his ministry in the wrong spirit and with the wrong intents.
Galations 2:11-14 ~ Paul tells the complete story (also found in Acts 15) of how he had to rebuke both Peter and Barnabas for straddling the fence on issues of salvation dealing with the gentiles and further points out that much of the trouble was because of Peter's indecision on the issue.
1 Cor. 3:1-4 ~ Paul rebukes the whole Corinthian church for being carnal and not living up to their spiritual inheritance.
1 Cor. 4:18-21 through 1 Cor. 5 (Chapter) ~ Paul speaks strong rebuke to the entire church for it's sins and ungodly associations.
1 Timothy 1:19 ~ Hymanaeus & Alexander are called out by name because they departed from the faith, made shipwreck, and were so ungodly that Paul excommunicated them from the church.
2 Timothy 1:15 ~ Phygellus & Hermogenes called out by name for turning away from the Apostle Paul and the gospel message of truth.
2 Timothy 4:10 ~ Demas is called out for "loving this present world" and departing from the faith.
2 Timothy 4:14 ~ Alexander The Coppersmith is called out because he had done "much evil" to Paul
Titus 1:10-16 ~ Paul rebukes the Judaizers who were trying to impose circumcision and the teachings of Moses on gentile believers. He refers to them as being unruly, and deceivers similar to how they criticized the Cretians to be.
Was the commenter right when he said, "I don't recall Paul addressing too many people directly" ? I would agree ONLY IF IT WEREN'T WRITTEN IN THE BIBLE.
The second comment of note comes from an "opinionator" that sees a political or social scheme and self-motivation behind everything that is said or done in the name of the Lord...WITH THE EXCEPTION OF HIS OWN WORDS:
- "That's what I say too Princess. Take a gander at the "message" but also look at the one carrying the message to see what "glory" they are getting out of it. This website (Referring to GCMwatch) is no better than that mess G. Craige (Referring to EX Ministries) was doing!!! Don't get mad because other people are prospering in what you THINK you can do-find out where God wants you and keep your tail there!!! I don't have an issue with NOBODY nor do I have an issue with what people do in THEIR house, apartment, shack or shanty. I don't pay the bills there so what they do in it is their business. However, when you start pointing fingers and damning others THAT is when I have a issue. Other than that your business is yours. Just make sure your "closet" is clean before you try to clean somebody else's!!!" ~ Lester Demings
In one fell swoop Mr. Demings (WITHOUT POINTING FINGERS) accuses both GCM Watch and EX Ministries of irresponsible ministry, self glorification, and finger pointing and "damning" others. Then has the INSIGHT to suggest that neither of them know "what God wants of them" and that they are out of place. All this without wondering what's going on in their "shack or shanty" because that's certainly "nobody's business".
Titus 1:15 ~ "5-Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled."
What happens when the "shanty" doors come open and bones fall out of the closet and everything is made public knowledge for all to see. Should we point to or look at what we see or merely pretend that what we see is not there? Should the church remain silent while the world and community seeks and looks for direction? Or should we remain complacent and stone-faced in the middle of a serious whirlwind of confusion? The problem is that the man of god must know and be aware of his call. We weren't called to be businessmen, popular, socialites, actors and or movie stars. We were called by god to bring forth truth into a dying world and renew this lost generation through sound preaching, teaching and demonstration of the power of God.
Isaiah 58:1-2 ~ "1-Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. 2-Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God."
It would be much more simple and life would be easy if I or anyone speaking out on these issues and others simply would shut up and not say a word. obviously that would be the path of least resistance. It is also the path most often trod by individuals who don't hold the Kingdom of God in high esteem and the word of God as essential for life.
Can true leaders afford to hide when morality within the church and society is being challenged? I think not. This is the time to stand like never before.
Will there be a price to pay for being derelict in our duties and responsibilities in serving the community through the exposition of truth? YES...a price that many will not be able to afford. Only there will be no BAILOUTS and certainly no governmental assistance.
Are the comments real? Unfortunately they are. They certainly show no spiritual insight.
Are truly spiritual insights required? Only if a person was going to criticize another for their observations of calling another to spiritual accountability... ie: YES! If not, who then is irresponsible? Those calling the body of Christ to a higher level of accountability? Or those content in their sins and uncaring as to what the Bible actually teaches about holiness and personal responsibility?
My guess is that you already know the answer to that question?
Habakkuk 2:1-4 ~ "1-I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. 2-And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3-For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. 4-Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith."
Personally, I cannot be strengthened by an absentee leader. If you choose to be served by a Pastor or Bishop whom you must track down to receive insight and strength for the battle, you just may be in the wrong place. It was said that King David, if he were in the right place, at the right time, would have never had the "Bathsheba" experience that led to the death of Uriah and Bathsheba's first unnamed son. If all you can see is the beauty of Ps. 51 as a result then I guess you missed the whole point of the article and we need to pray.
Blessed!(Once again, please excuse the spelling errors in an earlier version. God bless)