Practical Application of the Word of God
More and more this describes many of those humans who are claiming to be shepherds among the ekklesia.
For those of us who are immersing ourselves in God’s word, humbly asking God continually for His spirit to be renewed in us and for His wisdom, His discernment, His understanding, and His guidance to be given to us through The Only Faithful and True Shepherd, seeing this become the acceptable norm brings mourning, sighing, and crying.
I recently heard a sermon on zeal. On the surface, you might say, “That’s great! Zeal is something we all need more of!”
But that’s not enough. The heart of the matter is zeal for who and zeal for what?
The sermon, which turned out to be an increasingly-common, and proportionally increasingly-annoying, PSA for a humanly-devised organization, said that zeal for the organization was the only thing and the main thing.
Here and there scriptures were referred to. Perhaps two scriptures, at the most, were read from the speakers notes.
Not once was zeal for God, zeal for God’s word, zeal for repentance, zeal for God’s kingdom, and zeal for God’s righteousness mentioned. Not once.
The point of the sermon was to promote service to the organization (if you serve, then you’ll stay was the premise) to the younger people who are exiting in droves.
There were errors in the premise, errors in the sermon, and cluelessness and ignorance about why younger people are leaving en masse.
The errors in the premise were:
There were many doctrinal (please, every time you hear or read any word related to doctrine, go back and read II Timothy 3:16-17 so that you understood the difference between what God’s word says is doctrine and what these manmade organizations say is doctrine – they are not the same thing!) errors as well.
The two that stood out clearly in my mind were:
And the number one reason why the younger people are walking away as soon as they are able?
I know a lot of these people. They’re friends and they’re going to stay in my circle because I love them. I don’t have an “out of sight, out of mind” heart. I thank God for that.
And they trust me because I do my best to be honest, unhypocritical, and to live what I believe. Even if they disagree, they respect my efforts to walk the walk.
To a person, the biggest example of hypocrisy that these younger people cite is the constant preaching about unity (which is really not unity with God’s word, but unity with the organizational dogmas – two entirely different things) and the fact that none of these organizations can achieve unity among themselves.
In fact, each split and splinter for power and money (and that, my friends, no matter what spinning, angling, twisting, and other manipulative tactics have been used to convince us otherwise, is always the bottom line) has created disunity among the ekklesia.
And, you know what, I can’t argue – in fact, I completely agree – with my younger friends on this point. They are absolutely right. But the human shepherds are blind to this and ignorant of this.
So what should we, the ekklesia, be zealous for according to God and Jesus Christ?
Zeal for God’s word, God’s law, God’s way of life, God’s kingdom, God’s righteousness, and following the Lamb of God wherever He goes is what is required of the ekklesia.
It is woefully lacking as the human shepherds push zeal for idolatrous things (organizations and people) as what God requires.
The sheep who have gone astray by putting their trust in people and in organizations instead of in God and Jesus Christ have erred further by abandoning God’s word as their foundation, substituting the words of humans as being equal and “just as good.”
In other words, we are all guilty of this to some degree. Christ is trying to awaken all of us to this awareness, but it seems that most of us either don’t want to be awakened or simply are in too much of a deep sleep to be awakened.
I pray for wakefulness for us all and will pray that until my last breath.
One of the most sobering sermons I’ve heard on the condition of the ekklesia in this day and age was this one. Please take some time to listen to it because we’re even more in this condition than we were five years ago when it was first given.
Let’s be zealous. But let’s make sure that we are zealous for and about what and who God and Jesus Christ are zealous about. Nothing else is going to matter.