I visited Trinity Baptist Church yesterday with my dad in honor of Father’s Day. I will always have a special love in my heart for Baptist churches- my roots!!
Lol Anyways… The sermon started out a bit dodgy, in my opinion. The pastor’s base text for the FATHER’S DAY sermon, was Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah. Well- I knew how that story ended already so my face was doin the most… As a very treasured friend of mine once stated “It was like P90X for my eyebrows.”
As the pastor continued on however, I found myself moved by his skillful elegance of illumination on his desired points. His principle point was that Lot was righteous…. but that he had gotten comfortable in the mess around him, even though he was not participating in it. Hence, when the angels showed up and told him to haul it outta there- he hesitated.
Angels had to take him by the hand……. From there, he touched on various other points. All good ones. But he kept harping on this pervading theme of God honoring the righteous, and going out of His way on their behalf… And how “mess” or people in mess will eventually infect you with their mess… How people who have nothing to do with your faith in God, or Kingdom residency will advise you about such things.
People living asymmetrically to your own lifestyle will alter your life with their influence, if you dwell among them long enough.
That rocked me. It was like a waking up moment. Like- “Yeah… Iama Christian! My way of life is laid out in God’s direct words, as well as in the Bible… Why do I filter Divine wisdom through moral reasoning?” This shaking up of my psyche led to the space-time continuum shredding of the doldrums of my self ignorance…
Have I secularized the very Gospel that I claim to live by, and unabashedly advocate for?
I shuddered as the answer became evident, even as I asked the question….
Yes. I had. I believed the Bible and the direct words of God insomuch as they correlated with the visible playing out of situations on earth. That’s not faith. That’s… politics. A jockeying for divine position- professing a certain thing in order to win over the masses, while simultaneously attempting to coerce those truly in power to give you what you want… In my case, the one I have been attempting to coerce is God. No surprise at all then that is has failed utterly.
My introspection took another dive… this time into the waters of the entity known as “Prosperity Gospel.”
As a rule- a majority of Christians despise this thing known as Prosperity Gospel. An elaborate teaching on your right and direct access to joy and wealth. And that this is God’s true will for your life. People like Joel Olsteen, T.D. Jakes, and others are frequently bashed by Christians everywhere (with the exception of the thousands who attend live or online). But it’s been an accepted doctrine in Christian culture that those are the outcasts… the crazies. God wants real Christians- and real Christians are broke, but have faith. I believe this myself up until recently…
Allllllllllll through out the Bible- from the Old Testament to the New Testament, from Hebrew to Greek, from Moses to Jesus- righteousness (living in right standing under God’s law, with your heart set on Him) has been directly correlated to wealth! Righteousness… Wisdom… Living like Christ… Wealth is a part of the deal! Like a benefit. A bonus. You don’t work for that directly, but based on the work you ARE doing, you get it anyway.
Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Joshua, David, Solomon, Hezekiah… Wisdom and wealth are connected all through the Proverbs… When the Israelite kings led the nation into sin, they quickly slipped into need- financial and otherwise… All of the disciples had jobs/careers when Jesus called them- yet Jesus consistently promised greater riches…
Jesus Himself said “And everyone who has left… farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much and will inherit eternal life.” Matthew 19:29 (NASB) Farms were a symbol of wealth and providence… Paul said that he had learned the secret of contentment in much or little- “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NASB) Poverty requires a certain type ofoomph-so does wealth. Jesus’ strength is key to success in both.
“Prosperity Gospel” doesn’t actually exist… it’s just the Gospel. If anything- a “Poverty Gospel” has arisen and taken dominance… I suggest that we lay both divisive notions aside.
Are we supposed to focus on riches? No. Of course not. Should being the wealthiest be our number one goal in life? No. Of course not. There are plenty of Scriptures revolving around being content not having much, being more concerned with eternal life and riches than the temporary…But there is nothing that suggests that the backbone of “Prosperity Gospel” is anti-God, or anti-Christianity.
Where am I going with this?
Christianity has again been secularized in this regard. Take a bunch of people who have either been poor their whole life, or been staring at it across a very thin barrier and tell them God’s plan for their lives includes wealth, and they’ll think you’re crazy. Especially if they have already figured how to factor God into their lack in the first place.
In my own life, the secularization had stealthily infiltrated me down to my nucleus. I have a handful of self-approved, pardonable sins. My “rights” if you will. My outlets for darkness. Turns out Satan is into wordplay.
Outlets are connected to a power source.
The more “outlets” I create to indulge in darkness, or the more I use the ones in existence- the more I allow Satan to power surge into me… Appliances go NUTS during a power surge.
Rape, eatin people’s faces, genocide, stealing, masterbation/sexcapades, manipulation, unchecked rebellion… It’s almost as if- as if this was the plan all along...
Secularize the faith (reducing its actual power to mere potential), and through strategic power surges of darkness, deconstruct the soul of humanity as we focus only on our flesh…
The worst part of all of this is…
I’ve been a part of it!!
I secularized the Gospel that I/the world so desperately needs… I laid claim to a tree, whose root I denied. Yikes. Who knows where else the Gospel has been secularized and stripped of power? Watered down with words of affirmation, but lacking any real change? Perhaps this why Scripture states that “For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:20 (NASB)
I would love to say that henceforth, I shall never lay hold of such deterring trifles again!!
… Buuuuut that’d probably be false. What I can say though is this: I am now aware of this matrix of deception whose veins weave their way through my soul. I will no longer stand for this, and will begin eliminating each and every one until I am again whole and pure. As a human being, I recognize that I will never be perfect… but I can set my heart on the Father, and in Him it will be made excellent.
I will not fall prey to the trick of intensively studying the plans, designs, and lies of the enemy in an effort to better myself.
“Study the lies, they can make new lies up/ Study the truth, and you’ll know when the lie comes.” ~Bizzle