Having conducted the work of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. faithfully with the leadership, grace and power of Christ since 1985, I painfully know well the worldly size and majority rule that has caused many to dismiss it. I confess coming to the end of a bit of wound licking when I originally wrote this edited 2010 Commentary as a wrap up of three that came before in consecutive order wherein I also lamented some other worldly tenets held and practiced as well by many professed Christians throughout all facets of American Christianity.1 Indeed, worship of the idol of success is fully displayed in the nearly unanimous deference given to big over small and the many over a few among most professed American Christians practicing the size and majority rule. This Commentary presents a sobering warning to the guilty.
Originally Published October 2010
The recent global flap caused by the Florida pastor that threatened to burn the Koran2 revealed a telling flaw in the democratic mind set of our nation as a whole and the many professed Christians that put worldly values over those taught by our God in His Word. Let me be very clear before proceeding. I do not believe this pastor was in the will of God nor is any Christian that burns a Koran or any other religious book. The Lord has not called Christians to physically tear down other religions. We are called to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ letting it and every biblical truth in His mighty power pull down spiritual strongholds lifted up against "the knowledge of God," (Acts 17:22-34; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, NKJV)!
All of the foregoing said, I was amazed as official Washington, secular and Christian media personalities ridiculed the Florida pastor’s threatened act not simply on its inappropriateness, but also based on how small his church was. What did the size of his church have to do with anything? Would his threatened act have had more credibility and acceptance if his church were larger? Over and over again this pastor's threatened act was denounced and wonder expressed at all the attention he had received because his church had only fifty members. In short, this man was disqualified from attention because he was too small.
Regular readers will know that I am touchy on this subject of late because our 25 years of service to the Lord has been dismissed by some on the similar basis of being too small to be heard or taken seriously. The revered size and majority rule is not a reliable standard of judgment though it is the way of our post-Christian, secular nation from politics to business. However, those that fear the Lord had better be very careful about living by this rule since He does not bind Himself to it and never has! Examples abound in the Bible of how size did not deter God--remember Gideon's 300 (Judges 6:11-7:22) and a teenaged David that killed the giant, Goliath (1 Samuel 17)?
Consider also of the twelve men sent to spy out the Promised Land for Moses, ten--the majority--returned to give a bad report that the people believed and as a result, wandered in the wilderness for forty years (Numbers 13-14:38). The majority also cried out "Crucify Him" so that the Lord Jesus Christ should be condemned to the cross (Mark 15:6-15, NKJV). Were they right because they were the majority? The majority of this nation's white citizens were once okay with the forced oppression of blacks in the bonds of intended perpetual servitude. Were they right because they were the majority?3
If every truth is established by whether or not somebody with a large following or a huge majority endorses it, then the truth of God's Word will continue to be cast aside by the world and many professed Christians as increasing numbers reject a biblical worldview. But wisdom asks, does the truth "Jesus is Lord" really become true because the pastor of a ten thousand member church says it versus one with just fifty members? Or is the statement true based solely on whether a majority of persons hearing it accept or reject it?4 From Christ's perspective, the answer is a resounding no since He has been exalted as “Lord” by His Father as it is written apart from what sinful men say (Psalm 2; Philippians 2:8-11, NKJV)!
As Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. launches out into our 25th year of operations with the Lord’s leadership, let me assure our readers this will be the final time in this setting I address the size and majority rule. Aspiring to be a strong man of God in the image of Jesus Christ, I have heeded His counsel not to despise the day of small things as we go forward in the Spirit to finish the assignment He has given (Zechariah 4:6-10)!5 My primary concern has not been all about me anyway. It has also been about spurring professed Christian men that follow (and will follow) the large crowd in rebellion rather than Christ to repentance, lest they be eternally destroyed (Revelation 13, 14:6-13). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Those commentaries in order of original publication were Living The Faith In Real Life (July 2010; posted October 7, 2018), Standing Alone Is Not Failure Or New
(August 2010; posted November 4, 2018) and Justifying The Means By The End (September 2010; posted September 16, 2018).
2 Search “2010 Florida Pastor, Terry Jones” to learn more.
3 Western Europeans or their descendants in size and majority anywhere on the planet are not the final authority or express, singular arbiters of truth, but God
through His Word rightly divided is (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 2:15)! A long history of their religious Christian corruptions include the guilty in the majority that wickedly
reduced the Protestant Bible down from 66 to 14 books to keep slaves that might learn to read from reading about God as a Deliverer from bondage (Exodus 3:7-8)
among other hope building truths. This is one of the most heinous exhibits of Bible corruption ever (learn about the “Slave Bible” on display in the Museum Of The
Bible on loan from Fisk University through September 1, 2019) and why sinful mortal flesh cannot finally be looked to as truth authorities, but only bearers if they will
be faithful to God’s Word. Sadly, Bible corruption continues to this hour as various versions are produced and sold featuring the language translation preferences,
theologies and interpretive slants in notes printed within of large denominations, church pastors and teachers as media stars. Arrogant racism continues too, as still,
at this moment in the 21st century a white preacher’s teaching carries greater weight and is trusted more than one of color no matter how biblically sound. But praise
His name; God who vindicates His faithful servants will have the last Word (Psalm 26; Zechariah 1:1-6)!
4 This is the deceitful trap and bane of relying on the likes and dislikes of those that vote their feelings on social media to determine good or evil, right or wrong. Watch
out, professed Christian: we do not live by what is popular even within professing Christianity, but by God’s “every” Word (Matthew 4:1-4, NKJV)!
5 Learn more about the strong man of God in the image of Jesus Christ in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics available at all major internet booksellers,
by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
One of our readers this past week became the one millionth to read this Blog since its launch on this Web Site back on January 28, 2014. While one million is small potatoes in the blog universe, having been a pastor that considered six people in Sunday service a good day during one of the lowest points in my ministry, I fully appreciate all that turn aside each week to read what the Lord has given me to write. To God be the glory! It is exactly because I have been around churches a long time that I am able as the Lord leads to write about what I have seen and heard as I do in another post this week on character featuring an edited 2011 Commentary.
Originally Published August 2011
Serving the Lord and His churches over the past thirty years I have found a troubling lack of consistent courage among too many leaders in standing for the truth and righteousness of God's Word. Many of these men--pastors and denominational leaders--will stand firm and even get ugly defending or protecting concerns for which they have a personal stake. However, in the face of potential suffering for taking a stand for God's Word, I have seen no small number wimp out as a matter of course.1 While I also have had my instances of failed courage standing for God's Word, spiritual and moral timidity among men appears to be rife and growing in our churches and nation today.
Next month Sherwood Pictures, the Christian film studio operated by Sherwood Baptist Church of Albany, Georgia and producers of the greatly acclaimed Fireproof, will release another excellent picture focusing on men, Courageous. The movie weaves together the lives of four police officers and one Hispanic construction worker. It opens with an incredible display of courage by a black officer. After tragedy strikes the family of one of the white officers, the men begin meeting to challenge themselves to a higher standard of commitment to their families and character. Their commitments are tested requiring each to live up to the courage of his commitment. One of the men does fail.
I highly recommend Courageous be seen by men (especially with their families) most importantly for its attempt to restore the sense of honor that used to attend the display of courage by men on and off battlefields. Important also (in light of my July 2011 Commentary)2 is the film’s intentional effort to show white, black and brown men equally called upon to display the character trait of courage. The film does not sugar coat the reality that acting in the courage of your convictions may cost you as I have painfully experienced in my years of ministry. Even so, when the conviction one has is of the cause, truth and righteousness of Christ in God's Word, I am learning it is worth it.
Courage is defined in Webster's Dictionary as "the ability to face danger without fear." Lack of courage has caused many of the leaders I have known over the years not to stand with or help me in my ministry for fear of exposure as spiritual frauds or hypocrites, the loss of jobs, comfortable lives etc. while knowing my work and message are biblically solid. The Bible is filled with examples of men that stood in the courage of their convictions, suffered for it, but were rewarded by God. Among them are Joseph who would not commit adultery (Genesis 39, 41:38-45), David who slew Goliath (1 Samuel 17:26-51), Daniel who defied a king (Daniel 6) and Christ, death (John 2:18-22).
The aspiring strong man of God will be taught courage by Him as a matter of building into us the character of Christ. Indeed, courage is one of twelve character traits of Christ I write about in The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics that God forms in willing Christian men through the crucible of painful life experiences.3 This is why it has been so troubling to me about the many pastors and leaders I have encountered that have lacked not only the courage of conviction, but other basic character traits of Christ such as humility, obedience, faithfulness, zeal and integrity. The Bible is clear; God does not give any of His true sons a pass on possessing the character of Christ.4
It is God’s express will that we be “conformed to the image of His Son,” (Romans 8:29, NKJV). Christ’s character is also the purposeful mission of His discipline in our lives (Hebrews 12:3-11; 2 Peter 1:1-8). So, either the spiritually timid men I speak of have been outright religious impostors or they are stubbornly resisting God's character building program which the apostle Peter indicates is not at all a good thing (2 Peter 1:9-11). This resistance is no doubt a major reason so many of our leaders fall into sin bringing shame upon themselves, Christ and His Church. It is also why so many of the men under them in the churches rise no higher in the faith than they have.
The courage of conviction and boldness to speak or act accordingly comes from the Lord and is to characterize the lives of His aspiring strong men as we “stand fast” in Him (Acts 4:13-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:15, NKJV).5 Unless professed Christian men do step up in droves aspiring to be strong men of God in the image of Christ that possess among their character traits His courage, American Christianity will continue its slide into irrelevance. Unprepared to stand fast in the severely trying days shortly ahead, many will be destroyed in the cowardice of apostasy (Matthew 10:24-33, 13:20-21; Revelation 14:9-13, 21:7-8). Not so God’s aspiring strong men (Hebrews 10:38-39)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 See the August 9, 2015 repost, Silent Endorsers Of Evil under the category, The Faith.
2 This Commentary, Biblical Equality And Equity, was posted July 5, 2015 under the category, Call To Repent.
3 My book and the companion instructional resource, The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study are both available in the Strong Man Store.
4 Read the January 28, 2018 post, Character Is Required Of Christian Men and Men Of Integrity posted on January 6, 2019 both under the category, Instruction.
5 See the November 25, 2018 post, Standing In The Evil Day, under the category, Encouragement.
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