Monday, July 21, 2008
The Worst Thing To Happen To The Christian Church is...
Disclaimer: IF the shoe fits, wear it. If you are a faithful attender of a local church, but you also watch Christian t.v., be on guard! If you don't watch Christian t.v. at all, don't start!!!! To all my "peeps" (as little Naomi would say), you guys are the greatest! I wasn't referring to any of you! No animals were injured or endangered in the writing of this blog but I did consider injuring the t.v.!
Christian t.v. defies everything that God ever designed for the church. It has done nothing but damage the local body for many reasons.
1. Christian t.v. is entertainment. It is all about getting. Church is all about giving. Church is about coming to give, to offer something! To give worship and praise to God corporately with other believers. To be part of the chorus that sends a sweet sacrifice of praise to heaven. To bring a song, a Word, a testimony to build up and encourage other believers. To be obedient to the command of God to assemble TOGETHER with other believers for the purpose of worship, disipleship, and prayer. It's hard to pray a prayer of agreement when you can't see who you're agreeing with!
2. Christian t.v. steals the money that is to be brought into the storehouse. The local body is the place where God has ordained for you to receive the teaching of His Word and the building up of your spiritual life. It is also the place where you give in order that the ministry in your Jerusalem can be met. Your dollars are a sign to God that you have faith in His Word, in His leading, and in the ministry of that body. It is a sign that you are thankful to God for providing a body of believers to have fellowship with. It is for the upkeep of God's house, for meeting the needs of people in your body, and for the support of a Pastor who is be devoted to the Word and Prayer, which in turn is fed to you each week as spiritual food and direction. It really burns my biscuits to hear people on Christian t.v. talking about buying miracles of salvation and healing. Those things come by faith in the Blood of Christ alone. They are nothing less than "indulgences" sold to the highest bidder! How abominable! I've even heard ministers suggest that if you watch their program and are blessed that your tithe should come to them. They also do what Paul condemned, peddling their doctrines and false teaching, all in a pretty package that steals money from the true house of worship that God has provided for you that you are not supporting! Try calling one of those t.v. preachers to come and visit you in the hospital, or to counsel you when you're kids are on drugs, or have runaway. Try getting them to send you grocery money, or paying for medicine that you can't afford, or replacing a refrigerator when yours is broken! They are hirelings! When wolves come to kill and destroy you, they are no where to be found! You're on your own baby!
3. Christian t.v. causes people to compare what is portrayed as "church" on t.v. with the worship and preaching of the local church and the local pastor just never seems to measure up. T.V. ministers spend thousands, even millions on musicians, graphics, scenery, etc., to make their "Set" appear incredible, when in actuallity it might not be even an inkling of what it appears to be on t.v. It is t.v. afterall--you, know, that place where things are made to appear like something they aren't! I've been on some of these "sets" and they are nothing like what they appear on t.v. Many of them have musicians that are climbing the ladder, looking for a break into the music industry and are on t.v. because of their talent, more than their spirituality. Time has definetely proven this out! They actually tell people where to sit and place certain people in certain seats so that they can make the auditorium appear full or people appear to be totally enraptured by the sermon! I've been there and seen it! What it all comes down to is that when you compare the worship, the atmosphere, the charasmatic preaching and teaching, the hype, to your local church which has amatuer musicians who just love Jesus and want to worship Him, a Pastor, called of God to shepherd the sheep, to care for them, to help heal their wounds, to labor over the Word to deliver the basics of the faith for the building up of the Body, they just look bland and unimpressive compared to those on t.v., many of which preach the same thing over and over again, just with a different title or package. Your Pastor might not be eloquent, he might not have nice suits, he may not be musical or know how to arrange decorations to look spectacular, but he's the one who labors in prayer over your soul every week. He's the one who labors in the Word to feed you a well balanced spiritual meal on Sunday morning, he's the one who looks after your life to keep you on the straight and narrow. He's the one that rises from His bed at all hours of the night to attend to your emergencies! He's the one who bears the burdens that you bear in life, who prays you through them, who cries with you, rejoices with you, comforts you, encourages you. He is personally concerned with every member of the Body. His thoughts are of you as he goes through his day! Even if a t.v. minister promises to "pray for everyday if you give $1000.00--the best you're going to get is a hand laid on a piece of paper with a couple hundred names, and I honestly doubt that you'll get that!
"Well, I just can't find a good church where I live!" How dare you bring an indictment against God because He hasn't provided a Body for you in your community, therefore, you have to be ministered to by the t.v. How dare you accuse God, the Great Shephard, of not providing what He has promised to every believer! Maybe you just weren't listening when you went "church shopping"--I hate that term-- and you missed the voice of God because you think you need or deserve a church like you see on t.v. Or maybe you took a job because you would make a lot of money without first taking the time and effort to look for a church before making your decision! Shame! Shame!
4. Christian t.v. leaves people as an island to themselves, with no accountability, no discipleship, and no fellowship. That is the devil's playground! Scripture explicitly tells us not to forsake the gathering together of ourselves. If you're sitting on your tukus on your couch during church, you are disobeying the Word of God. Your contribution to the Body of Christ is missing. Your song, your word, your testimony no one is hearing--therefore your part in edifying the Body is absent. You begin to think that you don't need a Pastor to be a successful Christian. What about what you're supposed to be giving? Truth is, you refuse to come under the anointing of a Pastor/teacher or an Apostle because they couldn't shephard you like so and so on t.v. So and so on t.v. wouldn't give you the time of day. He's pawn you off on some Associate Pastor that might not have as great an anointing as the Pastor God provided for you in your own town. That's rebellion!
Then there are those who have their favorite t.v. preacher, but attend church regularly. They are still an island unto themselves! They come and sit, pontificate occaisionally about something they heard on t.v., but they aren't really a part of the body. They never get fully behind any direction the Pastor feels the congregation should go. When something appears to not have worked out the way the Pastor envisioned it, they say in some way, "well, I knew that was a mistake when he did it." They rarely, if ever, come to the Pastor for help or counsel but they will come and accuse or try to find something wrong with the Pastor--"because they want to pray for him." They are like a skin tag. They hang around the body, but they aren't really a part of the body. And of all the ones that we have seen in bodies that we have been in, they always oppose, in a nice way, the authority of the Pastor. The Pastor will preach something, and they will stand up immediately after as if to reaffirm what Pastor said, and will say the exact opposite of what he just said, and make it sound spiritual. Skin tags are a nuisance and should be cut off! They will only end up making the body of Christ look ugly.
5. Alot of what is on Christian t.v. is anything but Christian, so people hear doctrines of demons and think it's the Word of God. It gives every fruit, flake and nut a voice! If you call yourself "Christian' and have money, you can be on Christian t.v. Even if your doctrine is false, the station just puts up a "disclaimer" before or after the program. But they let false teachers misrepresent Christianity to thousands of viewers so that they can fill their time slots and the pocketbooks! They base what they air on public opinion, what people want to hear, instead of God's opinion of what they need to hear! Christian t.v. and radio used to be full of preaching and teaching of the Word of God. Now we have music and talk shows, it's all about me, me, me--my life, my call, my destiny, my problems, my thoughts, my feelings, my life--HELLO! It's supposed to be all about Christ, His Word, His Will, His way! It doesn't bother people that most of these ministers live extravogant lifestyles, drive expensive cars, live life to the excess. In fact, many believe that it's a sign of God's blessing! Another area where their Pastor doesn't measure up! Or they believe that their local Pastor should be humble and barely make a living!
6. It's terrible stewardship! When I think of all the money wasted by Christian t.v., it makes my blood boil! Did you know that when you send money to most ministries, on t.v. or not, that only a small percentage of it actually gets to where it's going? And even then, if the proper political protocol has not been followed, it may never get where you're going. Don't you ever stop to ask yourself how these t.v. ministers can get such quick access to all the disaster zones, the struggling countries, the people? I know for a fact that one guy who claims to have a big feeding program goes once a year and feeds a bunch of orphans in a warehouse one meal and takes a bunch of photos, then comes back to the U.S. and shows the photos to people to support his "feeding program". Disgusting!
Yet people continue to watch t.v. To sit on their butts, taking in knowledge of the Word, with no outlet for practically living the Word. That's a recipe for weird!!! They continue to ignore what their local Pastor preaches, if they go to church at all, because it's not nearly as "deep" or exciting or mentally stimulating as the preacher on t.v. I guess it never crossed their minds that God might have had to give the Pastor a "shallow" sermon because of the audience that he's delivering it to! They give money for all kinds of products, to all types of "needs", never really knowing if their money is being used for what they send it for or not. (many ministries have a disclaimer of their own that says that they reserve the right to use your money for whatever they please!)