Looking back over everything the Lord has led me to post this year thus far, I am struck by how many bedrock New Testament commandments and instructions are being blatantly trampled upon by the many leaders and people that profess to be Christians in the churches they make up. I wrote about how as “ambassadors” of the “one Lord” Jesus Christ we are all supposed to be saying the same thing (2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Ephesians 4:1-6, NKJV).1 Ambassadors represent a country or kingdom and speak and do among those in the nations they are assigned what their leader that appointed them has commanded. Not to do so is to invite certain consequences including dismissal!
The apostle Paul rhetorically asserts our Lord Jesus Christ is not divided (1 Corinthians 1:13), but we are and willfully so as each theologian, denominational leader, pastor, etc. teaches his following in accord with what is right in his own sight in spiritual lawlessness rather than what the Lord has purely declared in His Word; not “repeating God’s words after Him” as the religious educated elite are fond of saying (Judges 17:6; Proverbs 14:12). Paul also tells us why this is all so. In fulfillment of his prophecy each one teaches with a nuance that attracts followers to his wisdom and himself, not God and His wisdom in the Gospel resulting in followers for Christ (Acts 20:26-30; 1 Corinthians 1:17-25).
Because His program matters as I write in this edited 2012 Commentary, God’s judgment of the errant, disobedient and usurping ambassador/teachers is just (1 Corinthians 3-4:13; 2 Peter 2:4-11).
Originally Published March 2012
As I remind pastors in the closing chapter of my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics,2 Scripture plainly holds Jesus Christ up as Lord and Head of His Church (Ephesians 1:15-23). Christ presents His will (God's program) for those that belong to Him through new birth and supposedly make up the churches in the same Scripture He is proclaimed Lord! The local churches therefore, are not free to do as they please apart from the will of Christ. Yet, the evil spirits of disobedience, heretical corruption and apostasy that well began their work before the passing of the 1st century eyewitness apostles have brought their efforts in these latter days to a near frenetic intensity.
The aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Christ delight to honor Him as Lord. They honor Jesus as Lord in their personal lives, in the local churches and before a watching world. They willingly honor Jesus as Lord out of their embrace of that factual truth from Scripture, the reality of meeting and walking with Him in His Lordship (John 14:18-20) as well as the joy of Holy Ghost fired affirmation (1 Corinthians 12:1-3)! As a result, they are not rebellious against or selective in their obedience to the Lord as the normative experience of their lives. When they sin, they do not delay to confess and repent before the Lord in all sincerity (1 John 1:5-2:6).
In the churches aspiring strong men and great women of God eagerly seek to fulfill His program to preach the Gospel to and make disciples of the nations; baptizing and teaching them to obey all of His will expressed in commandments communicated by His eyewitness apostles (Matthew 28:19-20). They do their part in God's program according to the gifts, calling and ministries they receive from the Lord through the agency of the Holy Spirit. They fully understand the Church is the Body of Christ and He the eternal Head. They labor in love to faithfully serve the members therein; being careful to obey the Lord's order of His assembly presently on earth (1 Corinthians 12:4-14:40).
Too many times I have heard preachers, teachers and professed Christians dismiss obedience to God's Word as an unimportant side issue to relationship with God. They portray God the Father as some benign, doting grandfather, Jesus as a cool, anti-rule keeping hippie sage and the Holy Spirit as a feel good force that just want us to love the Lord. However, Christ died to reconcile us back to God who had breached the relationship beginning with the disobedience of our forefather, Adam (Romans 5:6-21). Willful disobedience is not to characterize the New Covenant relationship of the Christian with the Lord he loves (John 14:15, 21-24; Hebrews 10:15-22; 1 John 3:4-10, 5:3).
The apostle Paul upbraided the Jews of his day for their hypocritical conduct that caused the Gentiles to blaspheme the name of God. How much more would he upbraid Christians in likeness today (Romans 2:17-24)? Indeed, the name of our God and His Son are regularly blasphemed in the media and on the streets of our nation due to the hypocritical conduct of professed Christians and churches that have no shame. The Gospel is maligned because racial division and bitterness mark the churches more than love. God's Word in the Bible is maligned because proud church leaders and teachers in disobedience will not say the same thing doctrinally (1 Corinthians 1:10; 1 Peter 3:8).
If professed Christians and their churches will not honor Jesus as Lord and obey the divine will revealed in Scripture, then who else on the planet will? If professed white Christians and those of color refuse to love one another in disobedience to Christ, then how will the world know that we are truly His disciples (John 13:34-35)? If professed Christians regard the instruction of Scripture on God's family order, gender roles and responsibilities as dated, then how valid is Scripture as a continuing source of authority for other aspects of our faith and practice?3 Clearly, the foretold latter day apostasy and deception are upon us to the eternal detriment of the guilty (1 Timothy 4:1-2; 2 Timothy 4:3-4)!4
God's program matters because men are saved and built up when we who say we love Him remain true to it. Moreover, God's program matters because Christians as aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ are the living signs of His Kingdom coming to earth; lights shining in a dark world (Philippians 2:14-16). Finally, God's program matters because the Father, Son and Holy Spirit share a holy disposition and wrath toward unrepentant sinners including those that profess to be Christians (Psalm 2:7-12; Isaiah 63:7-10; Matthew 7:21-23; John 8:21-29; Acts 5:1-11; Hebrews 10:26-31; Revelation 19:11-16). Repent! The time is nearer than you think. The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 See the opening of the March 31, 2019 post, Technically Speaking…, under the category, The Cause.
2 The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
3 As the Lord led, I wrote the following as an addendum to this Commentary in our March 2012 Strong Man Of God Newsletter: “The final source of Christian authority is
the unchanging Word of God contained in Bible translations that are true to the earliest preserved manuscripts (2 Timothy 3:14-17). It is not what fallen men say or
even say about the Word no matter how credentialed who easily read into the texts and twist the Word to say what they want bringing judgment on themselves (James
3:1; 2 Peter 3:14-16).”
4 In the same addendum I concluded: “Christians have been forewarned by the Lord Jesus and His apostles that false messiahs, prophets and teachers would rise up
to deceive (Matthew 24:4-5, 11; 2 Peter 2:1-3). It is so. They also warn about latter day apostasy (as the Commentary above references) that is very unambiguous in
its full blown form (Matthew 24:9-10; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3). It has been unfolding in earnest for a generation complete with outrageously deceitful teachings and
growing hostility toward the faithful. If the Lord Jesus and His apostles warn that falsehood and apostasy are to typify the days leading to His return, then professing
Christians need to snap out of their worldly slumber, strengthen their resolve to stand firm on God’s Word alone and prepare for worse (2 Timothy 3:1-13).”
After addressing the strategic use of television specifically to advance the evil cause of rebellion against God and His Anointed, He now leads me to speak to the use of the medium by professing Christianity.1 With a degree in Radio and Television Broadcasting, graduate degree in Communication and over thirty-five years in the field mostly heading up a small media ministry in the express will and facilitation of the Lord, He has qualified me to speak and so, I do in this urgent latter day post. In days soon to come, Christian broadcasting will be globally targeted for eradication which is why it must be maximized now in its use for God’s causes in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
To the credit of the initial Christian visionaries that understood God’s purposeful, creative hand in, vision for and use of the unfolding means of mass communication over the past century, there is such a thing as Christian broadcasting. For while the pioneers of radio and television broadcasting desperate for program content were initially welcoming of what was called religious programming mostly from Christian churches and their denominations, by the middle of the 1960’s this began to slowly change due to the rising costs of production and air time and commercialism as well as the cultural shift toward secularism hostile to Christianity.
Television in particular--which provides pictures and sound--had such potential for good in the Kingdom cause of God to disseminate the Gospel of His Son and biblical instruction throughout the earth. This meant not only the opportunity to have men stand to preach and teach God’s Word, but to also be creative through such arts as drama. I feel blessed to be part of a unique generation that grew up watching the low tech clay animation of Davey and Goliath that presented important high moral lessons. The show was produced by the United Lutherans and featured the memorable hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, written by their famous founder, Martin Luther, as the theme music.
Nevertheless, the staple of Christian television fare has been worship services by large churches along with the preaching and teaching of their well known clergy. These churches and their denominational entities also provided holiday specials and helped to sponsor the televised specials of Evangelists such as the now departed Billy Graham, who was a trailblazer in the use of radio and television. Others in the Christian television vanguard include the also departed Paul Crouch, founder of the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). Together, these have all given Christian television its global presence.
Christian television’s global presence has not come without some scandal. Most Christian television networks feature so-called televangelists that dominate their programming schedules because they pay for the air time. But this has led to much and in some cases, questionable fundraising due to extravagant lifestyles bred of success.2 There has also been sensational heretical and conflicting teaching as well as sinful cultural compromises such as with feminism that allows women to take authority over and teach men.3 Nondenominational stations and networks that dominate the Christian broadcasting landscape are hesitant to deal with these issues (if they in guilt too will at all) because of the loss of income involved in removing paying customers from the air.
While all of the foregoing damages the integrity of Christian television, the continuing Babel and cultural compromises undermine what is supposed to be its unified message and imagery of the Christian Gospel in action (1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:1-6)! The biblical Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) is not heard enough, though, the Christian programmers, television stations and networks all claim they exist to preach it globally; endlessly raising money supposedly to this end. Instead, unlike worldly programmers of sin who do all say and show the same thing, many professed Christian preachers pitch their own conflicting takes on the Gospel and God’s Word as they compete for followers and dollars (Acts 20:30); exporting their Babel and unbiblical compromises to the nations!
As television is supposed to do, this televised unbiblical and confused state of affairs precisely mirrors the spreading harlotries and spiritual dysfunction in American Christianity; a situation that no one of sound mind and Word should attempt to defend. For whatever good there may currently be in Christian television, it has so much greater potential in saying the same thing as it concerns the soul saving Gospel message and being consistently biblical as a divinely useful tool of dissemination. It is to the glory of God that there is indeed, some good on Christian television. Of late, TBN, for example, has made major creative inroads in children’s, youth and ethnic programming on several dedicated networks.4 CBN has the only major professionally produced Christian News program on television.
Even so, repentance from tolerating Babel and compromise is absolutely needed to most effectively use the medium now. Enemies of the cross are shortly to target Christian television and all Christian media in the ramping up of foretold global persecution (Matthew 24:9). This is because in modern warfare, the means of mass communication are seized or knocked out as a priority. Christian persecutors up to and including the Antichrist will be allowed by God to finally silence all means of humanly communicating the Christian message (involving the Gospel, biblical truth and prophecy) in opposition to their own (Daniel 8:23-26; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Revelation 13). But God will get His message to the world by an angel one last time before bringing His wrath (Revelation 14:6-7)!5 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 See the October 14, 2018 post, Grasping For Normal, under the categories, Bible Prophecy and Call To Repent.
2 Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker with their PTL empire at its height in the mid-1980’s have been among those so charged and are a tragic and globally known example.
Learn more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_PTL_Club.
3 The Lord leads me to explain why this compromise has been disastrous in the churches and for the Christian witness among the unsaved in many posts especially
under the categories Call To Repent, God’s Creatures, Instruction and The Cause as well as my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. It is available at
all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
4 The leading Christian network in the world shows flashes of the creative possibilities in television with original programming such as productions Drive Thru History
that has its host travel to key New Testament locations in the expansion of 1st century Christianity to explain events in an entertaining way and Creation In The 21st
Century upholding a biblical worldview of creation by interviewing Christian men and women of science and using well done displays, graphics and on location foot-
age. The Gospel is preached by such heavy hitters as Billy Graham in a “Classics” program that replays his crusades, Dr. Charles Stanley, Dr. David Jeremiah,
Greg Laurie and Dr. Michael Youssef to name some of the relative few that stand flat footed to regularly include it in their preaching and teaching. Learn more about
TBN at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_Broadcasting_Network.
5 Read the September 13, 2015 post, Praise For The Lord God Almighty!, under the category, Glory To God!
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