Monday, September 29, 2014

"Krisis" Judgement & The New Sexual Morality Of The Church Pt. 1

The church is under much duress. The attack of the enemy from outside of the church is small and even insignificant when it is considered what is being experienced from within the church. We have false and fanatical teachings and doctrines being proliferated and accepted as if all teachings lead to God. We have apostate leaders, who's only mission is politics and catering to political whims. The modern church is struggling with the acceptance of homosexuality and homosexual unions and even homosexuals in the ministry. There are now bishops and pastors, both male and female who have either ordained themselves or manipulated someone into ordaining them who live gay lifestyles and embrace homosexual immorality claiming that the "bible" covers and or endorses their sins.

As if the rise and seeming acceptance of homosexual sin were not bad enough, we also have a new generation of individuals embracing heterosexual sin and pushing it to sad new heights. The advent of the socially oriented church and so called "reality TV" heavily discussed on social media, has afforded us the ability to turn on the plasma to observe fornicators, adulterers, yet professing to be Christians, pursuing sexual impurity as a "choice" within Christian Christian circles. It is as if living immoral, is not really immoral, and that the believer has a "choice" and that the results and penalties of the wrong choice are merely a minimal inconvenience. 

Then if that weren't all, there is little to no teaching on how the church and believers should respond to any of this. To respond to Tyler Perry's out of wedlock baby and supposedly embracing of the homosexual lifestyle by "coming out as gay", is immediately met with jeers of foul-play saying that those who examine and point out such sins have entered into "judgement" and "condemnation" of fellow believers. We are told these things by those who have been unwittingly seduced in many cases to become supporters of unrighteousness, because in essence that's exactly what they are; for them, to "judge" a character or characters by their actions is un-Christian, unrighteous and does not display the "love of Christ". 

So for the benefit of this new generation, and for those who have decided that God doesn't really mean what he says, we must renew this argument and further do what God instructed the holy prophet Habakkuk to do on his behalf:

And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. ~ (Hab. 2:2)

In this and a subsequent article, I will examine not only the topic of "judgement" and what it is, but also examine the acceptance and proliferation of sexual immorality within the modern church, and the irreparable damage that such acts and actions have upon the Body of Christ, the local church and the Christian community in general. In doing so, specifically in part 2 of this article, I will point to the current situations of a few of the modern church's more popular individuals, not with an aim to simply criticize them, for their actions speak for themselves, but to examine how the church can better help them and others like them who are evidently weak in the faith and call into question why the church has responded to their sins and to this apparent sexual immorality crisis in such a cavalier fashion. 


Now, there is a problem. The problem is that those who demand that the sins of their favorite characters or personalities not be pointed out, fall on their own sword of logical inconsistency and confusion. It is plain and simple, while telling others not to judge, it seems that at the same time, they themselves also make judgments. So, under their own standards and requirements, it becomes a ridiculous proposition for anyone to judge others, while at the same time demanding others not to judge. So time must be given to clearing the air and removing confusion from the issue. 

"Judgement" What Is The Believer's Position & Place?

The problem as I have examined it, is twofold. 1- There are people who worship idols and defend everything their idols do. This is called idolatry which is prevalent within the modern church. All one has to do is sing some songs, make some movies and holla "Jesus!", build a large building or expansive facility, or say some buzz phrase such as "I'm blessed!" and automatically everyone assumes that those of us in Christ, must "accept" and "love" the individual and embrace their sins because they too are a "child of God" in spite of their inconsistencies and in some cases ungodly and even immoral lifestyle. 

Then there is a second issue, that I believe may stem from the aforementioned issue...There is a lack of teaching on what "judgement" really is and how the church and individuals within it are to respond to individuals who's actions are inconsistent with biblical morality and a biblical paradigm. This has led to much confusion over how we are supposed to apply judgement towards those issues which are revealed through the lives of individuals claiming to be Christians, but who yet live inconsistently

In all we will find that the bible message is clear...the Saints of God, are supposed to know and uphold what is right, faithful and true according to God's directives, even if we ourselves are condemned in the process. In other words the standards of agreement, truth and righteousness are not ours. They belong to God and because God is God, and HE is faithful and true we must reconcile every action, including our own according to HIS standards! 

Psalms 15:4 ~ In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

The Acceptance Seeking Church & Believer

It is plain to see that too many churches and ministries have been driven away from dealing with and examining real issues over the enthusiasm they have gained from assessing their own abilities and connections. For some it is about money, popular social appeal, and drawing large crowds and being "accepted" or "relevant" within society. Some would rather be known for their associations with political leaders, than be known for their standards of biblical righteousness.

Its amazing that some churches and leaders have left off preaching the gospel and holiness, only to teach a new and mixed brand of motivational speech coupled with a psychologically based gospel aimed at behavioral modification rather than the promotion of truth. In all the church has become seduced by this brand of less than gospel centered preaching and teaching and have been lulled into believing almost and nearly anything that their most popular teachers believe and espouse as long as they can receive the promise of "blessing" and "abundance" from time to time.  

Upon examination it becomes clear that not all "judgement" is the same. Unfortunately, the new modern and liberal church, willing to accept almost any action, has amalgamated the many definitions of "judgement" into one singular understanding which entails criticism and final displacement. Further, individuals have not been taught our current Christian duty in judgement and as a result have been seduced or shamed into silence, being told that Christians should not address issues in the lives of others, that they should mind their own business and to be interested in the moral and biblical standards of others is unbecoming to Christ, Christians and to salvation.

TOTAL LIE...Nothing Is Further From The Truth! 

Just note that the sentiments I raise above are the same sort of sentiments that produced the Jim Jones to murder over 900 people in Guyana South America. These are the same sort of sentiments that allowed Evangelist Tony Leyva to molest and rape some say over 700 boys in the Southern United States under the auspence of doing ministry. These are the same sentiments that allowed Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh to take a compound of men, women and children to death with him in Waco, Texas in the name of his leadership as messiah.

These were KILLERS and seducers who misused the word of God, shamed anyone who criticized them and who lived immorally in the open daring others to speak against them. These were some of the most apostate leaders claiming that everyone would be condemned for talking about their actions and ways, saying "touch not God's anointed" seeking to silence individuals who both see, examine and proclaim the word of God against their unrighteousness. We must remember lest we forget what we must do to avoid spiritual deception and evil. Only you and your silence give these men and others the license to do what they do: 

2 Tim. 3:13 ~ But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Dealing With Issues In Real Time

In responding to the criticism and "condemnation" that I was wrong for pointing out that the public and openly lauded sins of so called and self proclaimed "pastor" and gospel singer LeAndria Johnson are inconsistent with what she both sings about and is supposed to believe, I was forced to address the issue and my statements somewhat more deeply than I had done previously. For those who don't know, not only did LeAndria have a baby outside of the context of marriage after she had won the Sunday's Best competition, a competition that she showed up to homeless and rejected by family because of her inconsistencies, but she also proclaimed in a widely circulated video promoted by her "ministry" that Jesus didn't care about the outward appearance even offering cigarettes to those to whom she was supposedly witnessing to, offering to light their cigarettes, even smoking herself in effort to proclaim that those things didn't matter to God. 

I wrote the following in response to a direct comment to me on the issue, which I will unpack if not comprehensively, topically. This is what I stated:
"It seems that there has not been enough teaching on this subject or else folk wouldn't be so confused. Fact is that John 7:24 commands us to not judge based on appearance, but on "righteousness" eg: we are to "make a righteous judgement". When Jesus say's "judge not" (Matt. 7:1, Lk. 6:37) and Paul later in 1 Cor. 4:5, they are each referring to a final verdict (Gk: Krino). That final verdict is God's alone to make. However, you and I are DEMANDED to make a judgement (Gk:Krisis) as to how something aligns itself to righteousness (Gk: dikaios) which refers to God's nature, directives and divine standards. THIS is what WE are commanded to do that are saved. This lady's lifestyle, does not match her profession and that is judged by the standards of the profession of Christ. The problem is that those who are weak in the faith think that her actions are somehow sanctioned and acceptable. They are NOT!"

God's Judgement (Gk: Krino)Is The Only Final Judgement

As I stated, God is the only one for whom final judgement and reconciliation of all things is reserved. The Greek word to describe this is "Krino". Once again, this contemplates a final or overarching judgement NOT based on self contrived standards but set standards of what is right and what is wrong. Paul stated, judge "nothing before the time" indicating that we should make no final judgments upon any individual before a final judgement is made by God. Neither you nor I have a final statement of judgement to pronounce upon anyone. However, and please note, this is an issue that is not in debate. Noone examining issues among so called believers within the Christian church claims to be in control of a final court of arbitration.

Secondly, the aspect pf a "krino" judgement, teaches us that we are not to use the dictates of our own minds when making assessments. As stated, to make a final judgement is already an impossibility and only those who have been seduced into believing in their own self-importance believe that they have what is traditionally called a "heaven or hell" to place people in. Only God does that and that he will certainly do. Because of the seriousness and the finality of God's judgement, we are further commanded to pray for individuals caught within its grasp, because when God makes his final judgement, there will be no reversions or amendments or appeals. It is FINAL and there will be nothing that can be offered to persuade God against what he decides and adjudicates! 

So what is our duty as believers? Are we to simply be silent and "lovingly" accept all things that we see with "God is getting the glory in the end" mentality? Further, since we don't have a heaven or hell into which we can place people, what should our posture be as it pertains to the public sins of individuals who have either raised themselves up or exalted themselves as representatives of Christianity and the faith we hold dear? If we do not speak out against unrighteousness, should our silence be interpreted as an endorsement of such terrible conditions of sin? 

These are some complex questions. There is much to say regarding the entire issue from a practical and biblical standpoint. First let us examine the type of judgement that every believer is commanded to embrace. 

The "KRISIS" Judgement

The judgement that WE are to make as believers is a judgement based on God's standards, based on what he wants and the divine standards which he has set and chosen. The Greek word for this contemplation and assessment is "krisis". I believe the sound of that word is apropos to the subject because the church is in a "crisis" for its failure to align its actions to the word of God. The word itself deals with the discernment of the "quality" of whatever is being discussed. This is a weighing in the balance...should this have been done, or should it not, but the standards is always based on the criteria that God has outlined. 

We make a "krisis" based judgement everyday, or at least we should. When a person prays for God's will to be done in their life, they are also praying that the process that they use (krisis) to assess the standards that they embrace and discern to be true are standards that are pleasing to God. The only way a believer knows when they have either been successful or failed is when they examine the alignment of their standards (krisis) with the word of God or when they have been called into accountability of someone who holds a biblical moral value standard based on a "krisis" assessment and examination of the world. 

In other words, if actions and efforts do not align with the standards which God has set forth, we can tell (krisis) whether we have either been pleasing to God or whether we have failed and need adjustment or realignment. It's really that simple. 

Should Believers Apply (krisis) Standards To Others?

As the bible plainly teaches, the "judgement" (krisis) that the believer is commanded to make, is based on the righteousness (dikaios) of God and his divine nature as revealed within scripture and through his word. That righteousness is the objective standard both based on who God is and what HE has commanded. 

Since we don't live alone in the world, we must base all of our judgments (krisis) on the righteousness (dikaios) of God not only for standards by which we judge ourselves and self our individual actions, but for the standards of all them that have the same profession of faith. If certain actions do not align with HIM, HIS nature, HIS word and ultimately HIS righteousness, then we should not embrace, accept or make allowance for such practices no matter who the individual is that accepts or embraces values to the contrary.

This is why the early Pentecostal/Holiness church made those who had publicly sinned state and confess their sins to the church and readmit themselves for accountability. The message many took was one of embarrassment, but the early Saints had it right. Those who refused to openly confess their public sins would gather others who would soon follow and the fear of God would be lost...WELCOME TO 2014! 

The Historically Early Church

History records that the early church, as early as the second century thought that standards in the lives of fellow believers based on God and HIS nature and word should be accepted and applied by each member of the church, and that each member of the church should be committed to each and every believer of the church. That sentiment comes across surprisingly enough in the statements of Pliny the Younger, who was not in any way sympathetic to the church or church members. His job was to use any means necessary to deconvert Christian believers. In his AD 110 report to Roman Emperor Trajan, Pliny the Younger said the following:
"They [the former Christians] assured me that the
sum total of their error consisted in the fact that they regularly assembled on a certain day before daybreak. They recited a hymn antiphonally to Christus as if to a god, and bound themselves with an oath not to commit any crime, but to abstain from theft, robbery, adultery, breach of faith, and embezzlement of property entrusted to them. After this it was their custom to separate, and then to come together again to partake of a meal, but of an ordinary and innocent one."
The early church bound themselves with an oath to CONDUCT themselves appropriately before and in the world in which they lived. They thought it was so important to represent what they believed and held to be true, that they rehearsed the standards to one another when they came together. Sexual purity, by not committing adultery, was one of the standards that they thought to embrace and included in their pledge according to Pliny's accounting. 

The Seduction Of The Modern Church

The modern Christian, through and by weak teaching and in some cases the directives of their own mind, have been seduced in accepting standards of morality based on subjective feelings and other worldly centered connections. Now, all one has to do is claim that they are a Christian, produce a certain amount of money, popularity and fame and its open season for acceptance of all things immoral. 

However, to accept something that God rejects, claiming that he (God) has changed to allow the acceptance of sin, is to reinvent God and his divine command to suit our needs or desires. This is totally unacceptable as a practice and further denigrates God to a second hand authority on issues. In other words, when God says something is either right or wrong, and men offer a reinterpretation of his facts based on what it looks like to them and how men can benefit from the relationship, we can count on the fact that just as men reject God, he will reject them. 

Look at it for a second. This is exactly what deceit, seduction and deception looks like isn't it? It was the nature of first recorded deceit: 

Genesis 3: 4-7 ~ 4-And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5-For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6-And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7-And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

History and tradition records that satan deceived through the serpent by giving an "amendment" to what God had pronounced and proclaimed as truth. He further appealed to the physical senses of the "appearance" of the fruit to make the case. This was the seduction. The fruit "looked" sustainable and appealed to the fleshly assessment. Based on looks, satan appeared to be correct. By means of deceit and seduction the standard was realigned to match human nature and the human experience. In reality such realignment is the standard of men and mankind whereby flesh proliferates its sin and sinfulness, contaminates the church and weakens the commitments of those within the church. 

In the end, failure to raise human standards to the standard of God whereby all things, including people, personalities and their resultant actions are assessed, is nothing short of idolatry. This is the problem and exactly what happened in the first deceit of men and mankind. the desire of man was his idolatry that readily led to his disobedience. All of that stemmed from man's unbelief that God would do what he said that he would do and that he meant what he said he meant.  

Selective Disdain For Sexual Immorality

It is amazing to me that most people do not stand for sexual immorality or hold the sexually immoral in esteem within the church UNLESS, the person or persons associated with such immorality are their favorite singers and or entertainers. In that case. all bets are off. Folk will defend them and their actions almost to violence. Then when immorality is found to be true, in most cases, people come back to the lowest possible value with the claim that since we are all "flesh" that certainly God "understands" and this is to mean that God somehow accepts the actions and behaviors of sexual immorality. In the worst, we are hearing that the "plan of God was to send me into this sin"....Yes, we are hearing that God uses sin as a means to prepare his holy vessels for service even while they are supposedly sanctified and in his service...

In all, these concepts were not foreign to the bible writers or Apostles of the church either.  Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica encouragements for them to continue on the path of holiness and sexual purity by stating:

1 Thess. 4:1-8 ~ 1-Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 2-For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 3-For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4-That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5-Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: 6-That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. 7-For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8-He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

In part 2 we will unpack this scripture and how it applies and examine what a person is really doing when there is unchecked sexual immorality within the church. We will also examine why people like Le'Andria Johnson, Tyler Perry, and Christine Vest should not only publicly repent to the church whom they have defrauded, but also why the silence of the church in addressing such issues only gives license to these people and others like them to embrace immoral lifestyles.
Certainly we are flesh and all flesh is as grass and subject to failure...however the TRUTH that we embrace and love, although far beyond us, is a sustainer of all them that place their trust in him. 

I don't know, but I am yet encouraged to love, trust and continue to take a stand for HIM!


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