The phrase “God is good” is parroted by many who identify as followers of Christ. That He is without question, yet oftentimes I’ve wanted to query “Do you truly know Him??”
In late March of this year, a Facebook conversation ensued amongst myself and two members of the praise and worship team...sisters actually...at my husband’s non-denominational church. Essentially I questioned as to how they could sing glory unto the Savior and yet embrace politicians who espouse a decidedly ungodly agenda. I then referenced Matthew 7:21 in which Jesus specifically stated that not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I was immediately unfriended and blocked by both which I regard as an honor, but when I mulled about the hypocrisy the following day, God spoke clearly as He said “They know not of Who they sing.”
Unfortunately, the lack of true familiarity with the Lord is a commonplace phenomenon within the Body of Christ and as Jesus perfectly stated in Matthew15:8 “these people worship Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me.” In the churches of today...Catholic and otherwise...you have a host of individuals...many of whom are in leadership positions...who simply put, do not know Him. Instead, they have sought to content themselves with religious cliches and traditions versus Biblical truth. Godliness and holiness should be pursued yet sadly neither one is prioritized. Members of the clergy...pastors, priests as well as televangelists...have largely desisted from the discussion of sin as to do so would possibly cause indignation and thus have a negative impact on monetary offerings. Instead, the pulpits are replete with messages that satisfy the flesh and thus leave the spirit malnourished. St. Paul the Apostle warned about this travesty in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 when he stated “For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths.”
You joyfully participate in “name it and claim it” but your wants have exceeded your desire for Jesus. You recite multiple scriptures, but do you know the meaning of that which you speak? You take pride that you are a daily Communicant with routine observance at every conceivable adoration in your parish yet you know nothing of the Risen Savior. You attend non-denominational fellowships and esteem yourself that you are better than Catholics since after all, your service focuses on the Bible...still, are you truly familiar with the Author? And you who pastor and preach...are you committed to convey the truth of His Word or have you chosen to utilize your assembly as a motivational center in the hope that you can satisfy the multitude? You engage a plethora of artists to entertain the masses as you ignore the reality that talent and His anointing are not synonymous. Have you deliberately aligned yourself with the world to please the world in the feeble hope that the Lord will understand? If a person comes to you in crisis, has your decision to compromise depleted you of Godly counsel whereas your contribution consists instead of baseless banalities?
In the 1980’s, there was a momentarily popular female televangelist who emphasized the tenets of the New Age Movement as she encouraged her followers to seek prosperity, power and abundance. She spoke of Jesus yet disclaimed the reality of sin and stressed that there was no need for repentance. Although her tenure of acclaim was short-lived, her refusal to acknowledge iniquity was adapted by others including the pastor of a mega-church in Texas. This individual...a New York Times bestselling author...has stated on record that he is unable to address offense as he will not disparage any individual. With the exception of a brief allude to the Bible at the beginning of his service, the scriptures are not referenced in the message that follows. Recently I watched a clip of the opening prayer on YouTube only to hear the staff member conclude with “and we pray in the name of all that is holy.” But what did she consider holy? She described Jesus as one with no vengeance in His heart. However, if He was not prefaced as the Sovereign Lord, then conceivably speaking, those present could have deemed anything of their choice as holy...the floor, the sky or perhaps their very articles of clothing. Have we become so pro-inclusion that we would deliberately omit mention of the Savior in an effort not to offend?
Similarly, there is a renowned individual...a billionaire entrepreneur...who for 25 years hosted a successful talk show on ABC and is now on cable. Although she has described herself as a Christian, she is a prominent advocate for New Age and has repeatedly extolled both their written materials and beliefs. She has also oftentimes stated that Jesus is not the only way to the Father. And still, irregardless of the blasphemy, those in the church reverence her. Prominent pastors are amongst the featured guests on her Sunday program that allegedly focuses on spirituality. Their philosophical messages have nil conviction and to them I would ask...”Are you so anxious to be featured with a celebrity...one who has profaned the Gospel...that you would forfeit His truth? Have you ignored James 4:4 which warns that “...friendship with the world is enmity with God?....”
To say that the Body of Christ remains in crisis mode is an understatement at best. We sing acclimation to Jesus at Mass and in certain non-denominational fellowships, we are invited to express ourselves as the Holy Spirit may lead. I have witnessed congregants at those particular assemblies, bolt from their seats and run around the sanctuary multiple times as they scream the Name of Jesus at the top of their lungs. However in conversation as well as on social media, these same individuals negate the sanctity of life and the Lord’s righteousness. And while their pages, phrases and messages will include various memes with the words “Trust God”, they express glee over the platform of politicians as well as celebrities who are devoted to the decimation of that which His Word holds sacred. In fact, one particular churchgoer informed me, in an utmost serious manner, that she prayed for the assassination of President Trump. Yet every Sunday she would announce to all on Facebook that she was en route to service to get her “praise on.” Indeed they are minacious empty vessels and their depth of Christianity has the profundity of lines contained in a religious greeting card.
We expect God to work in our lives yet we have ceded His presence null and void as we render ourselves content with counterfeit Christianity. 2 Timothy 3 has clearly described it as “holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power.“ To continue in this unrepentant manner, with a spurious allegiance to the Lord, carries the risk that we will hear the dreaded words from Matthew 7:23 spoken to us on our last day “Get away from Me... I never knew you.”