Hooray for Holywood
We hear it all the time. Christians want to shop at ‘Christian’ businesses, see ‘Christian’ movies, have ‘Christian’ friends, and go to churches where, ‘God shows up’, whatever that means. Apparently in some denominations the Heavenly Father is not omnipresent. Of course such people are talking about ‘manifestations’ – things they can see and smell and FEEL. These are those who do not walk by faith but by sight – those whom the Bible describes as a wicked and adulterous generation. (Matthew 16:4)
What have we become? We have to have the little Jesus sticker on the bumper, personalised number plates that read, ‘Lord’ or something equally as esoteric. We have to live in a ‘Christian’ house with a little white picket fence, (God forbid it should be any other colour) - on a ‘Christian’ street, and in a ‘Christian’ neighbourhood. We want a ‘Christian[ised]’ government – like mankind can be trusted with theocratic rule – look at the mess we’re making of Democracy! Our kids have to go to a ‘Christian’ school, we even have to have a ‘Christian dog called Spot [less]; all the while claiming to serve the One who not only declared He hates our cliques, does not judge by the exterior rather by the heart but who also (unlike us) without fear or favour, does NOT EVER show partiality.
And if those who are ‘lost’ (and I am sadly persuaded that throng includes many church goers) find such errant behavior arrogant, how would we respond? How is it not arrogant? Please tell me. . Really, please do! I have inquired of many so-called leaders including the likes of senior pastor of the Paradise Community Church, Ashley Evans and apparently the best anyone can come up with is to ‘do the ostrich’ and ignore at all costs.
As I have said on many occasions, I frankly find such behaviour extremely immature and insulting but then, perhaps as I suspect, they are either simply afraid because somewhere deep inside they know their stand is biblically indefensible, or they have too much to lose. Listen to these insightful words from U.S. Watchman Paul Proctor . .
You see, after the dialectic church successfully redefined "love" as "tolerance," it became evil to criticize any brother or sister in Christ for their sinful behavior - especially an errant pastor, preacher or church leader - which is precisely why the church is in the sorry state it's in. But as I've said many times before, telling someone the truth is the most loving thing you can do for them, even when they end up scolding you, shunning you, slandering you and turning others against you for doing so. That's why sinners nailed Jesus to a cross, stoned Stephen to death and beheaded John the Baptist - for telling the truth.
Sadly, few Christians today would dare risk their ministry, career, finances, family or friendships, much less their lives, to tell the truth. In fact, I would go so far as to say pastors and preachers are among the worst. Of course many will talk among themselves about another errant clergy member, but typically in private and always off the record. It's like they were required to swear a secret oath back in Seminary to never challenge or criticize a fellow minister publicly for his erroneous teachings or shameful conduct. Instead of making our pulpits profound places of proclamation and poignancy, pastors hide behind them now in a perceived piety that makes the word "Christian" appear synonymous with coward.
"Speaking the truth in love," from Ephesians 4:15, means your remarks are fair and accurate with a dedicated desire to not only warn the unwary of danger and deception but also to see repentance and righteousness from its perpetrators. In spite of the disgraceful example being set by many of those pastoring churches today, love does not answer evil with false flattery and flowery fluff in hopes of being rewarded later with cooperation and camaraderie. (Results & Relationship)
"Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful."- Proverbs 27:6
Unfortunately, the church has been beguiled into believing that withholding the truth is "love," which is why the vast majority of faith-based news agencies, magazines, articles and editorials, both in print and online, are much like today's seeker sermons - little more than cotton candy commentary designed to keep Christians congenially compliant to the corrupt collective by unseen hands that steer society's religious rudder toward a one world religion of peace and unity. (Results & Relationships)
Oh, they delight in chiding the non-compliant for their brazen behavior from the safety of the high-minded herd, especially when it garners them praise and profits from followers; but rarely will today's laodicean leaders or laymen risk anything dear to them by stepping out of the "Christian" crowd to rebuke one of their own for blatant and unrepentant sin, because peace and unity always trumps truth in the business of ministry. You see, it's not about purity anymore - it's about progress and personalities. (Results & Relationships)
"One cannot be the 'salt of the earth' without occasionally stinging the open sores of sin."
Was the Apostle Paul concerned about ‘unity at all costs’ and his own ‘popularity’ when he publicly rebuked Peter for his blatant hypocrisy in showing partiality to the Jewish elite over the Gentiles? Since when have professing believers been called to be respecters of persons? When have we been called to be anything our Father is not? And yet here we live in a generation of unbelievably self sanctified self indulgence where those who claim to belong to the Risen One consider it permissible to do, ‘whatever it takes’ to preach their denominational opinions and to moralise an immoral world, as if this were their home. Well now, come to think of it. . Perhaps for these folk it really is after all.
Check out the Father’s Word in Michah 2: 6-11
Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame. O thou art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the Lord straightened? [curtailed] Are these his doings? Do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly. Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse [retreating] from war. The women of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away my glory forever. Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, is shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction. If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people. [Definitions mine]
This is a church age of compromising cowards more concerned with their own image than reflecting Him; with ‘unity at all costs’ than ‘truth at all costs’ and a clergy literally hell bent on giving ‘seekers’ what they want instead of what they need. This present ‘church’ age is so preoccupied with lifting itself up to appeal to the masses that it is actually repelling them. The Saviour Himself said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto myself. If who be lifted up? Drink that in for a moment. This truly is the Laodecean era of the church.
How tragic when we grow cosy in this home not our own for delusion soon follows. When the Apostle Paul said that although all things were permissible yet not all profitable, he was obviously referring to things that were not already Biblically illegal. Contrary to the popular trend, it is NOT a free for all in the name of grace. What we true children of the Living God need to remember is that we do not live in a Christian world neither can we transform it into one. We live in a fallen world. For those who truly belong to Christ this is NOT our home so making ourselves comfortable here (whatever that entails) obviously flies in the face of what the Word teaches.
Folks, we who truly belong to Him are the strangers here, the ‘aliens’. We are in a desert that is the proving ground of our faith. What true believers in the risen Messiah must remember is that we are to trust the Father in our walk through this wilderness – (and it SHOULD be a wilderness) – to accept from Him the moments of respite, the sips of cool water if you will. Our ‘rest’ lies beyond this world despite what the silver-tongued prophets of prosperity are spruiking. Christ taught us through his life here, how to live by faith – how to walk by faith – in the Father not in himself. We are commanded to emulate His example in our own lives. An analytical study of the Scriptures reveals that true believers grow in maturity through affliction NOT through prosperity! Check out Exodus 1:12 for one example, study the lives of the patriarchs for many more.
Which brings me to the point of this report. Time Magazine
in its November 2006 edition published an article (pg. 58) entitled, ‘Hooray
for Holy-wood’ which truly does exemplify what true believers have always found
repugnant –‘Godsploitation’. Reporter Rebecca Winters Keegan’s article
concerned faith based films being embraced by
Someone who should know better than to jump on the gravy train is daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, Ann Graham Lotz, who was quoted as saying of ‘The Nativity’, ‘God’s hand is on this movie’. Well, pardon me for being so cynical but apparently all sundry of hands are on this movie including Mel Gibson’s who curiously also had a problem reconciling ‘Scripture with story’, choosing to follow the insane ramblings of 19th century catholic mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich when making his highly unbiblical and unashamedly Marian epic, ‘The Passion of the Christ’ rather than the clear teaching of Scripture. Not surprisingly his film just so happened to gross over $US 1 Billion in box office and DVD sales.
Striding to Gibson’s defense however is one feature act at the upcoming Paradise Community Church’s annual ‘Influencers Conference’ Mathew Crouch, film maker and son of U.S. ‘Christian’ clowns Paul and Jan Crouch who have done more to discredit Christ with their TBN televangelist circus than has Tammy Faye Bakker and Benny Hinn et al, said ‘I could kiss Mel on both cheeks for showing Hollywood the size of this market’. The size of this what? . . market?? I know what I’d like to do with Mel and it has more to do with his ears than his cheeks!
Apparently to Crouch the Gospel is a marketable commodity which is hardly surprising especially given how much money this so-called ‘Christian’ machine generates. For instance, a couple of Baptist ministers from Georgia in the United States teamed up to produce a flick called ‘Facing The Giants’ which grossed $US 7.6 million dollars in its limited U.S. release on September 29, 2006. Added to that mega media company Sony has signed a production deal with the bodacious bishop of bling, T.D. Jakes whose 2004 film, ‘Woman Thou Art Loosed’ drew theatre goers through grassroots marketing (there’s that word again) in black churches, substantially lining his pockets in the process.
According to Keegan, ‘
Frankly, the only reason why Helly-wood is entertaining faith based flicks at all is for the very same reason mega churches flourish and once faithful fellowships compromise the truth . . . the CASH.
The second Commandment is crystal clear about setting up idols of any kind and bowing down to them (giving them reverence in other words). When Christ came he did not remove the law he fulfilled it. He proclaimed that not one iota of the law (Torah – which basically means ‘instruction’) would be removed until his Second Coming. Idolatry and Partiality have always been sin which exposes the likes of Matthew Crouch, T.D Jakes and other such-like prophets of prosperity (or is that profits of prosperity?) no matter how appealing their charming spin, as merely manipulated ministers of mammon.
Ashley, you have a lot to answer for!
In His Everlasting Embrace
Tony and Pamela Dean
 How quick are the many to violate the clear instruction of Scripture in the name of ‘evangelism’. Just as Mel and his predecessors have chosen tradition over Scripture, so too does the modern church, and the Word warns of such a pursuit.
Ya’Shuah told them, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites in Scripture: 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me is pointless, because their teachings are rules made by humans.' "You abandon the commandments of God to follow human traditions." He added, "You have no trouble rejecting the commandments of God in order to keep your own traditions! [Mark 7:6-9]
Another translation renders it “You render the Word of God useless by your traditions.” In other words, those who place tradition over truth are forsaking the Almighty for their own selfish pursuits. How do they do this?
· The Nativity; the three ‘wise’ men who were actually Persian astrologers, (and we have no way of knowing there were only three), did not present themselves at the Savior’s birth. They enquired of Herod as to His whereabouts when the Messiah was in or around His second year. So the traditional Nativity scene with the manger attending kings never happened.
· Christmas; the 25th of December was not the Messiah’s birth
date. Scripture is silent as to precisely when, and so we are to assume this is
because the Father thought it irrelevant, but we can learn from history whose
birthday it truly was. According to Scripture when the Messiah was born it was
lambing season in
Rather, that date was reserved by the pagans for their deity Sol, god of the sun. It was the compromised, 5th century Catholic Church which embraced this date in its evangelistic efforts to ‘win the lost’. It has been a tradition embraced by believers and unbelievers alike ever since. St. Nicolas who curiously is the Roman Catholic patron saint of merchandise is actually a myth when it comes to Santa Claus. ‘Santa Claus’ is of pagan Nordic origin and was initially the king of the fairies – a little demon. It was the Coca Cola Company in 1931 that made him Coke-lore, making him life size, clothing him with a distinguished white beard and a red suit. Irrespective, the fact remains that this, as with all traditions has seen even professing believers reject the second commandment of God:
You shall not make for yourself an idol (that includes Guy Sebastian) in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I , the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me, and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4 (embellishment mine)
How hard is that to understand? Apparently very. Let’s see how these traditions fare shall we. . .
· Lent; the forty days of weeping for Tammuz – the fabled reincarnation of Nimrod, held sacred by the pagans and embraced into ‘Christian’ tradition by compromised believers in the name of ‘evangelism’. Goodness, there really is nothing new under the sun. [Ecclesiastes 1:9]
· Easter; a festival which derives it’s origin from pagan sources – surprise, surprise; a tradition (linked with Halloween) which originally celebrated the brutal live sacrifice of children by fire to the fertility goddess ‘Ishtar’, hence the name ‘Easter’. The pagans celebrated by exchanging brightly coloured eggs for they believed this ‘deity’ came down from heaven in an egg. This has nothing to do with the Jewish celebration of ‘Pesach’ which concerns itself with the Passover – the celebration of when the Angel of Death ‘passed over’ the homes of the Children of Israel who were exiled in Egypt and whose doorposts were painted with the ‘Blood of a spotless Lamb’ – a foretelling of the Messiah.
· The Crucifixion; Scripture clearly teaches that the Messiah was in the bowels of the earth for three full days, and three full nights. You do the math . . . Friday afternoon to Sunday morning [actually, after Saturday evening until sunrise]. Given the Jewish day begins at it doesn’t add up does it? But in the name of ‘evangelism’ it is retained because this ‘tradition’ was not only ‘Christianised’ by compromised believers it continues to be perpetuated by those who seek to do the same in the name of who knows what.
· Jehovah; the supposed name of God the Father is a mistranslation and a corruption of the true name YHWH. ‘Je’ is a corruption of the name ‘Yah’ meaning God. And in the Hebrew ‘hovah’ means destruction. It is an insult to suggest that the Author of life is the god of destruction. From a hermeneutic perspective the letter ‘j’ was invented by the French by adding a ‘tail’ to the letter ‘i’. The letter itself is only about 400 years old, so ‘Jehovah’ is grammatically impossible. Even the hierarchy of the Jehovah’s Witness cult admit that the name ‘Jehovah’ is wrong, but have chosen to not replace it because of tradition. The heavenly Father’s name is Yah’weh [Yah-oo-way]
· Jesus; Seeing ‘Jehovah’ is an obvious incorrect translation, and that the letter ‘j’ is only 400 years old, the name ‘Jesus’ which is in reality a Greek/Latin hybrid, is also grammatically impossible. And yet the church continues to use it even though His is the Name that is above all names and the only Name by which one may be saved. The Messiah was Hebrew by birth. He came in the Name of His Father, Yah’weh His name was not Jesus, and His Name is Ya’Shuah [Yah-shoo-ah]. Is our tongue not capable of correctly pronouncing His Name? Or are we too ‘bound’ to tradition to try? Someone once said to me, ‘It doesn’t matter how his name is pronounced, he knows who I mean’. I replied, ‘Given that curious logic, would George of Jerusalem suffice?’ If I called you by any other name than your own would you respond? Think about it!
And the list goes on, and on. The point is, a little leaven leavens the whole lump. In other words, a little compromise, a little tradition leads to a lot of corruption, and worse still, the nullifying of God’s truth.
Study to show yourself approved. (2 Timothy 2:15)