Check Yourself


As you get ready to go into 2010 think about your Shepherd (Pastor or Pimp) and what you VOWED to do for him in 2009. Did you promise or vow to pay 100% of your tithes? Did you vow to defend him/her against accusation? Interesting questions that require serious thought.

While knee-deep in the Word of Faith movement I often heard my Pastor Pimp refer to himself as a “Shepherd”. There is nothing wrong with a Pastor taking on the role of a Shepherd to the flock. However, how far should a person follow his/her Pastor or Pimp? Is your Shepherd your covering? All of this mess derives from the Shepherding movement of the early 1970’s

“Shepherding” is a name given to a movement which arose within the Christian Church in the early 1970’s. Largely found within the Charismatic movement, it became a system instituted within many churches whereby elders/bishops or “shepherds” would be appointed to act as spiritual leaders responsible for the church. Individual church members were assigned to specific elders, and were to be “submitted” to them. This was supposed to cause the submitted individuals to be “disciples,” and to be protected by a spiritual “covering.”

Shepherding has gone through an evolution over the years. While not nearly as popular or widespread as in the early 70’s, it is nevertheless still found within the Christian Church. It is also not limited to the Charismatic church, but has become popular within some other movements. Many of the original personalities and teachings of the movement are not widely known today, but it is useful to examine shepherding’s foundations and the teachings that have been emphasized throughout the various manifestations of the movement. This is not an attempt to criticize the particular men quoted, but give an accurate presentation of their teachings, as well as a biblical response to anyone teaching the same concepts in the present-day church.

There is a new twist in the old Shepherding Movement and it is coming soon to your church, if it hasn’t already. This new twist is presented to pastors wrapped in silver gilding, and looks quite reasonable and rational. Should a discerning pastor, or one who steeps himself in the Word, take a second look, theguild disappears and in its place will appear rust and corrosion.

Across the country, parishioners are now being challenged to take oaths, perform vows and sign covenants. These things would have been unheard of in generations past for one simple reason. These things used to be forbidden, or only permitted under the gravest of circumstances. A few decades ago churches founded their beliefs sturdily upon the rocks of historical creeds, documents that have withstood the test of time and human whim, and which have imparted to each new generation an understanding of the major tenets of the Gospel faith. Now, in our latter days of “dumbed-down” Christianity, a minimal number of people in the pews know the creeds, have studied them, or even know about them!

You know the sad thing is that the average parishioner submits to a pimps authority before the ONE who can save, the Lord Almighty!

Thinks twice or rather READ twice before your Daddy tells you to do something. ALWAYS consult the Word of God and not just take your Daddy’s word! Think EVEN harder the next time you PLEDGE YOUR ALLEGIANCE TO YOUR PASTOR. God’s word is clear in OT and NT scripture regarding vows and Oaths:

OT-

There are about 30 biblical references to vows, most of which are from the Old Testament. The books of Leviticus and Numbers have several references to vows in relation to offerings and sacrifices. There were dire consequences for the Israelites who made and broke vows, especially vows to God.

The story of Jephthah illustrates the foolishness of making vows without understanding the consequences. Before leading the Israelites into battle against the Ammonites, Jephthah—described as a mighty man of valor (Hmm Sound Familiar)—made a rash vow that he would give to the Lord whoever first came out of doors to meet him if he returned home as the victor. When the Lord granted him victory, the one who came out to meet him was his daughter. Jephthah remembered his vow and offered her to the Lord (Judges 11:29-40). Read the scripture to check out the consequences

NT-

Jesus gave a new commandment concerning vows. “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No ,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:33-37).

The principle here is clear for Christians: do not make vows, either to the Lord or to one another. First, we are unable to know for sure whether we will be able to keep vows. The fact that we are prone to the errors in judgment which are part of our fallen nature means that we may make vows foolishly and/or because of immaturity. Further, we don’t know what the future will bring—only God does. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow (James 4:14), so to make a vow that we will do or not do something is foolish. God is the one in control, not us, and He “works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Knowing this, we can see that it is unnecessary to make vows and indicates a lack of trust in Him. Finally, Jesus commands that our word be sufficient without making vows. When we say ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ that’s exactly what we should mean. Adding vows or oaths to our words opens us up to the influence of Satan whose desire is to trap us and compromise our Christian testimony.

. If we have made a vow foolishly and realized we cannot or should not keep it, we should confess it to God, knowing that He is “faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” A broken vow, while serious, is not an unforgivable matter if taken to the Lord in true confession. God will not hold us to vows made imprudently, but He expects us to obey Jesus and refrain from making vows in the future.

Again think twice before you pledge your allegiance to anyone. Think hard the next time you recite a “givers confession or creed”. You will have to live up to it one day

wwd_world2

One of the most misunderstood virtues plaguing our society today is love. Websters defines love as:

strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties…

….warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion

However The giver of love, God, does not view love the way the world does. Real Godly love focuses on what is BEST for mankind versus what makes us FEEL better. We often think we are loved or being loved when our emotional state is touched or we are moved emotionally. Love is all about telling someone the truth when they are wrong. Love is telling your child they can’t go to the party because you know violence will break out. Love is telling a loved one that the doctrine they are subscribing to is killing them spiritually, physically and emotionally.

The Club Owner at Club Hustle & Flow Andre Landers, repeatedly murdered a portion of scripture that is probably one of the greatest versus in scripture that emphasis God’s love.

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Landers exegesis of the text contends that God so loved His Order (World  or Universe) that  He Sent His only son to die for it. WRONG (Game Show Buzzer going off). The word Kovsmo (Cosmos) has several different contextual meanings.

It is true that God sacrificed Himself to save the World or Kovsmo. However the word “Kovsmo” must be taken into proper context. Kovsmo must, in context, refer to the entire world. Compare to 1 John 2:15

15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

It is clear based on the contextual use of the word World, that John is talking about a lost, evil rebellious world. In specific, John is talking about the evil sinful man or women that is, you and I prior to salvation. In other words God loved a perverse, sinful, evil, unholy group of humans on this planet called Earth that He (God) was willing to do the right thing (Which is God’s nature and TRUE LOVE) and sacrifice all. This sovereignty of God is incomprehensible to man. The World deserved death but God chose before the formations of the World to save it! This is a great reminder to us just what is important as we live out our lives, God’s love and the opportunity we have to live through His Glory!

Sadly the Pimp of Hampton used this scripture to remind folks of God’s “order” and the need to sow, tithe, give money  blah blah blah blah !

worship

Do we really know what “Worship” is as Christians. Honestly,  if asked this question at gun point could you answer the question “What is worship” before getting your head blown off! The following is an excellent comparison contrast of what God worship is and what “man centered worship is.

The Goal of Worship

First of all let me expound on the goal of worship. Glorifying God is our ONLY aim when worshiping God. It is our highest priority.

31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

I Cor. 10:31

It sounds elementary, but the purpose of our corporate worship service is for our congregation to worship God. Evangelism, though important, is secondary.

What is worship?

The Bible doesn’t give a formal definition of worship. But lets start by seeing what various words for worship mean. The English word “worship” comes from two Old English words: weorth, which means “worth,” and scipe or ship, which means something like shape or “quality.” We can see the Old English word -ship in modern words like friendship and sportsmanship – that’s the quality of being a friend, or the quality of being a good sport.

So worth-ship is the quality of having worth or of being worthy. When we worship, we are saying that God has worth, that he is worthy. Worship means to declare worth, to attribute worth. Or to put it in biblical terms, we praise God. We speak, or sing, about how good and powerful God is.

This is a purpose for which we are called:

You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light

1 Peter 2:9.

We were called for the purpose of praising God, worshiping God. That is one of the job descriptions of a Christian. We should declare that God is worthy, worth more than everything else put together.

Now let’s look at the biblical words. In both Hebrew and Greek, there are two major kinds of words for worship. The first kind means to bow down at ones feet, to kneel, to put one’s face down as an act of respect and submission. Our body language is saying, I will do whatever you want me to. I am ready to listen to your instructions and I am willing to obey. The other kind of biblical word means to serve. Roughly half of the time these words are translated as worship, and the other half as serve. It carries the idea of doing something for God — making a sacrifice or carrying out his instructions.

Of course, word meanings don’t prove what worship is, but they do illustrate three kinds of worship. There is

1. worship that involves speaking, and
2. worship that involves listening, and
3. a worship that involves doing.

There is a worship that expresses the heart, and worship that involves the mind, and a worship that involves the body. There is a worship that is giving praise upward, a worship that is receiving instructions from above, and a worship that carries out instruction in the world around us.

God Centered vs Man Centered Worship Comparison

The following is a comparison of God Centered and Man Centered Worship:

Sinner Friendly vs Seeker-Driven Worship

According to Romans 3:10-18, there are none who seek God from their hearts. Though we must show love and concern for the sinners who attend worship (In a congregation), we must be careful not to design the worship service around their desires, but around God’s desires. We must remember that the greatest obstacle for the unbeliever is his sinful heart.

In contrast the the seeker-driven model, the worship service is adjusted to “meet the needs” [better called ‘wants’] of the unbeliever, making it ‘relevant’ for unbelievers i.e. making the word “plain” for people to understand, or putting the word on the “bottom shelf”.

The theology behind this seeker-driven movement teaches that everyone seeks for God, and all we need to do is take obstacles out of an unbeliever’s way in order for them to come to Christ. This is dangerous because it allows for the things NOT of God to blend into a worship service.

Entertainment vs. Worship

True Godly worship is done before an audience of One. We are all the participants, and the desire is that God is pleased with our worship (Rev. 5:13, Phil 2:10-11) We stand in awe of God, and then our affections are stirred, not vice versa (Acts 2:43)

With Man Centered worship having the goal of ‘bringing ’em in’ and ‘cleaning them later’ as the top priority results in turning the worship hour into an entertainment session i.e. celebrity guests, lights, dancing etc. The focus is taken off standing in awe of God and placed, instead, on what the participant will enjoy or how he/she will feel.

Needs vs Wants

Godly worship is achieved when  we focus on what man truly needs, we must understand that our greatest need is for God. When we look to God first and do things His way, the outcome will meet the deepest needs of men. (Matt. 6:33)

Man centered worship is dangerous as it relates to needs vs wants. In the name of being ‘needs-based’, the focus actually becomes on what people want i.e. money, favor, and material well being. While people’s shallow desires are constantly fed, the deepest needs are left unmet. This camp tends to produce rapid quantitative growth and a lack of qualitative growth i.e PRAISE reports. All the while the things we REALLY need are left undone often i.e. mended marriages, deliverance form addictions and deliverance from cults.

Human Worth

Human worth is not diminished by being God-centered. Instead, it is established. That is, when we focus on God who alone has worth in Himself, and we understand that we are created in His image, this brings us great worth. (II Samuel 22). However, man has no worth in and of himself, and being man-centered in one’s approach to anything is ultimately futile. Honoring MAN in ritualistic ceremonies and signs of allegance is futile as compared to honoring God, PERIOD

Worshiping God in Spirit and Truth

God desires worshipers who will worship Him in spirit and truth. (John 4:24) We must know the majestic, holy God and our sinfulness in order to worship Him rightly. When we exalt a MAN in our worship service we fail to worship GOD. Man should be completely removed as the focal point of worship.

Conclusion

I honestly hope this post helps the sheeple who often times are subjected to shown allegiance to a MAN who calls himself a Prophet or Apostle or is declared one by his Club Goers.