- TABLE OF CONTENTS
- WAR ROOM -
STUDY - MORAL
ISSUES - KING
JAMES BIBLE - CULTS
MARKS OF A CULT
They are now found in Fundamental Bible believing fellowships.
By Steve Van Nattan
I shall draw on many experiences of pastors I have known, and from my own experience in the Lord. I will end the article with seven suggestions that may help you to escape from any cultic aspects which may have crept into your local church life.
At the left is the most successful cultist in US history-- the four flusher, Joseph Smith.He and Brigham Young were experts at using all the evil tricks we discuss in this article. These two boys mastered the art of marrying an old ladies' sanitarium while claimingit was the work of the Holy Spirit, "and many other such things" they do.
CULTS ALWAYS Present an Orthodox Truth--
When is the last time you saw a Fundamental Bible believing preacher weep as some sinner "came forward?" My Daddy used to go down front and stand quietly praying when the invitation was given. He could not finish the altar call whenever a sinner started down the aisle. He would meet the sinner half way rejoicing, weeping, and praising God. The song leader would have to finish the service sometimes.
Today, the preacher gazes off into space and recites his litany of cool words designed to cause doubt and insecurity in the believer. There is no emotion in the message or the response, at least on the pulpit end of the mongrel process.
I have a video by Jeremiah Films in which former gurus who got saved are interviewed. They confessed that they had NO feeling for the followers. All of their apparent feeling and smiles were tools to deceive the follower into thinking they cared. In fact, they said that they lusted mightily for the adulation of the follower, and that was their ONLY emotion.
How is it with YOU, preacher?
while my Daddy was giving an invitation, the whole assembly went to pieces when
Tony P. finally "stayed to pray." There was never any of this wimpy,
"Every head bowed, and every eye closed." Bah-- Damnation! What sloppy
When Goforth of China preached to huge crowds, he would end his sermon with the words, "It is time to pray." He would then bow his head and stand in silence. Soon, one by one, leading men would cry out to God in repentance. Sinners would pray for salvation out loud. This would go on for a very long time as Goforth stood in silence waiting, praying, and often weeping for joy. What followed did not depend on Goforth. When is the last time you saw a Fundamental preacher weep as some sinner "came forward?" The old time Gospel preacher knew the power of the Holy Ghost and trusted him to do the convicting. "Surrender" was not his objective, for he trusted the Holy Ghost to convict the listener.
"Altar Call" Principle--
We have NO altar in the New Testament Church. Our altar is in heaven where Jesus sprinkled the mercy seat with his precious Blood.
The altar call of the local Fundamental church is almost always a place of pleading and cajoling. Many clever emotional tricks are done and choreographed in order to nearly FORCE the hearer to feel obligated to walk the aisle from time to time. Doubt is the chief tool of the preacher as he causes the sheep to imagine the Good Shepherd has lost them, or they can lose him. All Fundamentalist gurus all claim to believe in the security of the believer theologically, but at altar call time, these Balaams are Arminians to the core. They do NOT believe the saints are still saved.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
How is it, preacher, that you feel obligated to drag the sheep back under your mind massaging attack to give them condemnation? You really do NOT trust he Holy Ghost to convict the saints of sin, even though Jesus said that is who does that. Are you in the godhead suddenly? I gather you are Pope or better, right?
16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away:
for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I
will send him unto you.
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
The front of the church becomes the place where Christian victory is gained. Often, those on staff are the ones always found there, along with some who need the altar call to get right with God. The kitchen table, the front porch late in the evening, the back room at work, are NOT approved as a place where a saint can get right with God. This would eliminate the show of results which the preacher and people have come to crave.
Again, this method of repentance and / or conversion is nowhere in the whole Bible. Check it out. There is a time to speak of one's zeal in the assembly, but it must be spontaneous and part of the worship of the Body of Christ. I do not mock at you if you "got right with God" at an "old fashioned" altar. If that is what it took, praise the Lord. I just feel sorry for you if you have to go all week in your sin and backslidden state while you wait for the preacher to call you "up front" on Sunday morning. The Holy Ghost is right there longing to refresh or renew you all week long, 24 hours a day. Tell me, preacher, how is your altar call time much different than the old Roman Catholic confessional on Saturday night? The Catholic sinner would have to wait until the appointed hour to get right with God, just as he goes to church Sunday to get right at your weeping rail. Frankly, if I had to choose between the magic real estate of the Catholic Mass and your altar call, I would prefer the Catholic Mass, for they serve cookies an punch there, which you do not.
A Holy Ghost "altar call" in the midst of the Hells Angels--
Let me tell you about Charlie Smith. He joined the Hells Angels in the middle of his life. Right, dumb move. Charlie was a Pentecostal Christian, and he did not lose the assurance of his salvation. But, after initiation into the Hells Angels, he was laying in a sleeping bag in a park in San Bernadino, and he began to panic. It dawned on him what a dumb thing he had done. He cried out to God and said, "God, if you will help me start up my chopper and get out of here without the Hells Angels killing me, I will go to Pastor Steve's church Sunday morning."
Charlie was just a friend of mine in town, he had never been to our church. I used to visit his junk yard, which was the classic country assortment of aging heaps, and I would spend time talking with him. I often wondered if I was using my time wisely, but something about Charlie made me linger each time I rustled up a used car part.
Charlie, after the above sincere prayer and promise to God, got out of his sleeping bag, loaded his chopper, started it, Wharoooomm, and rode away. The devil's Angels never woke up-- a miracle, for the rule is that he would be killed for defecting.
Sunday morning, I was opening up the church house in Yermo, California, and getting lights on, and so on, and BARRROOOOOM, KERPOPFFFT.... a chopper engine shutting down out front of the church house. I said, "Lord, whoever this is, help me please. They may want to make trouble."
HA! Did the Lord, the Mighty God, the Everlasing Father, ever have a surprise for me! Friend, this is one of my sweetest memories from all the years I served the Lord. I almost wonder if God said to Michael, "Micheal, I have a real surprise for that Steve Van Nattan this morning. Watch him now-- look at him tremble-- is he ever in for a shouting time." King Jesus is good to me, and I love his surprises.
I opened the front door, and there stood a man next to the chopper in a new shirt and trousers, clean, hair cut, and grinning from ear to ear. My jaw dropped. I knew Charlie. I had bought many car parts from him in his rugged dessert junk yard he ran, and Charlie was a perpetual raggedy scruffy looking rascal. Charlie bounced up the steps and gave me a big hug. I was clueless. Soon though, he told me the story.
This was Charlie's "altar call," and I had virtually NOTHING to do with it. The Holy Ghost simply wanted me to be his servant to help Charlie back to victory.
Well, we started Sunday School, and I was moving right along OK, and suddenly Charlie flung his hands in the air in good Pentecostal form, and he began to praise God and weep. He was back with God's people where he had not been for many years. He was feeling great, and I just stopped and let Charlie have the floor and praise God. No tongues. Just joy. Everyone of us were moved and praising God with Charlie, and some grown men cried. Most of the folks in our church knew Charlie's life had been pretty ugly for several years.
That never happened before, and it never happened like that again. Why? Simply because the Holy Ghost didn't want it again. Charlie would get his hands in the air and whoop later when a point in the sermon sunk in. He needed that. I didn't, and Dick Prebbanow didn't need it, but it was sure good to see the Holy Ghost move Charlie.
Preacher, when are you going to stop trying to show the Holy Ghost how to do his job? We talk later about how to get rid of this "altar call" ritual and replace it with Holy Ghost zeal.
Attendance and punctuality rules--
Many churches exalt those who are there "every time the doors are open." Those who fall short in this area are held back from full participation, even punished by taking responsibility away from them. This cultish device fosters a feeling of slavish obligation in the saints. If trouble comes up in the home, or a saint is exhausted from work, they must call in and report why they are not going to be at the church house for a meeting if they want absolution from the pastor for missing a service.
I had a couple in one church I pastored who were never at Sunday School. The husband worked six days of ten hours because if he did not, the boss would replace him. Sunday was their only day of rest, AND, dare I venture into the real world with your heartless preachers, Sunday was the only day in the week for the marriage bed-- the only day to eat out. You Fundamentalist jack boots would say sex is no excuse for "missing church." [ How can one "miss church" when one IS church? ]
So, I knew this couple went out to breakfast, after a slow start Sunday morning, and they came to the church service later. Preacher, THAT WAS GOD'S WILL FOR THEM. Some of you prima donna pansies need to get a job in the real world and see how life can be for the working man. You can arrange your sex life and free time according to your whims and fancies, and you have NO regard for the struggles of the saints. You think I am suggesting something blasphemous, right? Was Jesus Christ a carpenter? Was Paul a mender of tents? Was even one disciple a men with no other experience than following a rabbi around Palestine? WAKE UP FRIEND.
What did Jesus, Paul, David, Moses, Peter, Luke, Daniel, Samuel, James, and all the other revelators say in the Bible about the virtue of being on time, or perfect attendance? Answer: Nothing. It is the driven, self-possessed Anglo Saxon race which is insane with punctuality. The rest of the world makes a living, feeds their babies, visits the church house, and meets there obligations without a fraction of this lust for "being on time." When they walk in the door late, I personally just think, "Praise God, there are the Smiths." They are my friends. They are God's sheep. They do NOT have to explain themselves to me unless one of them kicks me in the shin. At that point I would kind of like an explanation :-)
Pastor John Gichohi, my co-worker in Kenya in the 1970s, and I went to visit the church at Salula. Simon was the pastor there. He had six fingers on each hand and stood a full head over me. He was a gentle persistent and sweet men, and he was not willing to give up in the work of his Lord. We went up to the church house for the start of the morning service. There was no one there. We sat down with Simon and his family, and we started singing hymns. I was depressed because I thought no one had come to church services. Wrong. We were the church bell, for the church sat up on a hill top. Pastor John did not tell me what was happening. We sang to about 30 minutes, and from all directions down in the valleys, came people carrying their bag with a Bible and a hymn book. The church slowing filled, and after about an hour of singing, Pastor Simon got up and said, "We will now sing our opening hymn." I caught on. Some of you preachers would end up in a nut house if you had to leave the USA and do God's work in the rest of the world.
Preacher, lay off the sheep. Stop beating them when they are late or missing. Go look for them if you like, but give the rod and the staff back to the Great Shepherd. They are NOT yours.
Here are the Bible verses on being on time:
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
When I am there, preacher, either rejoice, or be kind enough to tell me you hate me so I can find some filthy publican or sinner to have coffee with when your hireling program is in session. Thanks.
One preacher used to tell us how much he loved us, but after we left his gathering, his wife now tells people that she hates our family. I believe that preacher, like many Fundamentalists, does not love anyone but himself. He is a congenital liar. So, demanding punctuality and "faithful attendance" "every time the doors are open" is all the hireling cares about.
Get this straight, saint-- WORKS did not save you, and works do not keep you saved, and works do not prove you are victorious, and works are not due the preacher, and works will not make you mature in Christ, and works cannot absolve you of your sins, and works will never make the preacher happy. He will always want more, just a little more, out of you. So, don't start working for ANY other person but Jesus Christ.
Acts 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Just go where you always go, wander the world and the market place, and do what Jesus would be doing if he were in your place. Wow, that is so simple, is it not? Terrifying! Just be like Jesus. Don't tell the preacher-- he will blast your ears off with accusations of unfaithfulness.
The communal cults will exalt any follower who hands over their bank account to the great guru and then lives on bean sprouts and celery forever. The follower is also deprived of sleep and put into a state of mental stupor. This is a lot older than Scientology and the Moonies. The Catholic Whore Church, during the Dark Ages, developed the Monastic system of alleged devotion to Christ and Mary. In the monastic days, the follower would sleep very little, flog himself, pray and do rosaries forever. Greek Orthodox monks are required to cease talking for long periods of time, and a monk will read to the others from the Bible while they eat. Conversation is thought to be wicked. Only Satan is pleased with this form of religious zeal, for our Lord wants "the redeemed of the Lord [to] say so."
Fundamental Bible believer adaptation:
"Door to door" visitation and street preaching--
The Fundamental Bible believing guru will demand that his men give up wife and sleep in order to keep pace with the pastor's frenzied program. The pastor is often an example of this plan, for he will abandon his wife and kids in order to go door to door and build the biggest Sunday School in his state. This will look good on his resumé, until his wife divorces him. Now, if you like that plan, you too will want to abandon your home, and jump every time the guru jerks your chain. You will never dare think that you, the father and husband of your home, are to set the schedule for your home. Peace, and time for contemplation and silence, will become revolting to you. This works great until one day you are paying $400 a month for mood control and blood pressure drugs, or worse, you are paying child support to your "Ex."
Absolute submission to the pastor in all personal matters--
I heard of a pastor in Texas who demanded that the members of the local church should seek his permission to have another child. No, it was NOT Mr. Moon or Yogi Baba Ganoosh-- it was a Fundamental pastor of a very large church. In a Detroit area Fundamental church the pastor demands that the women show him the pattern of all new dresses before they make them. Their husband is not trusted to decide such earth shaking things. This is 100% cultic guruism. Frankly, sir, I believe that, as with Sai Baba and 99% of all Hindu gurus, any preacher who wants to decide when you have babies is hustling your wife. Mark it down.
Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
If your pastor has the rule over you in all things, you are in a cult and may not even be saved. Saved people always see Jesus Christ as their Head.
Pants and hair rules Versus TEACHING modesty--
Most guruistic preachers in the USA are too lazy to study the Word of God. They claim they study long hours, but they lie. There is much in the Word of God on modesty and self-control. But, these preachers don't trust the Holy Ghost to direct the saints via their conscience and the Word of God, so they preach rules and regulations. These hair and hemline codes then become a false standard which supplants the work of the Holy Spirit in the personal standards of the saint. This is pure guruism. Also, I have noticed that a number of these guru preachers have flaming libidos, just like Rajneesh, and they get a real rush out of examining the ladies' clothes. I also note that the guru's wife and daughter often push the threshold of what is lawful to the legal limit. They will cover the skin, but the dress with be tight, satin, and scarlet. They will dress right, but they flirt with the other men in the church. Law is a total disaster at changing men-- only the Holy Ghost can do that with the Word of God. So teach it, and get these cultic codes out of your pulpit!
What is the standard?
1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Those are NOT your sheep, preacher! Feed them, and the Holy Ghost will "convince" them.
In many cults, the level of decibel volume is horrendous. Rajneesh's tantric events were a violent din of noise. Satan loves loud music, frenzied crying, and loud wailing. The guru can be very soft spoken, but the mass meetings are often characterized by monster PA systems and ear shattering tirades.
Fundamental Bible believer adaptation:
The control room keeps the volume high. The preacher postures and moves around, back and forth, from the mic. He uses the mic and PA system to pound the saints at certain points with his bombast. He dare not talk, like Jesus. He yells and spews until the folks in the front row need a towel to dry off after the sermon. Do we sense this in the ministry of Jesus and Paul? No. Jesus spoke to large crowds, and the bombastic bishop of bawlyland imagines Jesus screamed, ran around, and yelled into the faces of the Jews out on the hillside. DL Moody spoke to large crowds without a PA system. This can be done by projecting the voice, and need not include screaming, spewing, and pulpit bashing. If this example irritates you, you are a guru, not a pastor:
Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
The synagogue method was to stand to read the Word of God, and to sit and exhort. What a mess some of these bombastic boys would be if they had to preach sitting down! They would have to have casters on their chair legs so they could keep their hyperactive souls on the move.
Rage in the pulpit--
The pastor is startled and rattled by some crazy or confusing thing just as the members arrive for Sunday School. The thing is still haunting him as he starts the worship service. He was distracted last week and only studied twenty minutes for his sermon. Someone is missing whom he expected to be there. Now, he steps into the pulpit to preach, and within ten minutes, the sermon the Holy Ghost gave him is gone, and he has settled into his bombastic mode. After padding his sermon with much cliché and dull theological one liners he viciously attacks "you" who don't perform up to the pastor's expectations. He bashes the sheep for 35 minutes straight. He gives an altar call, and only the whipped puppies come forward because they are the only ones who are gullible enough to think they are guilty. This is the guru at work again beating the followers into submission rather than giving them something worthy of thought and self-examination. Please the guru or be damned. This is totally absent in Jesus. He thumped the Pharisees and Saducees, but the lambs and sheep received his gentle words and they loved it. He said, "Come, follow me," and then showed them how to live.
Jesus did tell us how to confront people when we feel they have failed to live up to the biblical standard:
Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
The average Fundamental preacher is a coward who does not have the intestinal fortitude to walk up to his brother in Christ and speak to him face to face ALONE about a perceived fault. So, the bully pulpit is used. I have learned that, about 85% of the time, how I perceive the zeal and performance of a saint was faulty. It is not possible to know why another saint acts this way or that while sitting in my office Saturday night studying, or while looking down on the saint from the deacon's bench on the platform. If I care, I have to ask during a quiet moment. Often, I find that my assumptions about that saint's zeal and actions were unfair and lacked compassion. That is why Jesus said what he did above-- so that we would learn to do all these things in love. Pulpit rage if from the pit of Hell. We have an evangelist who travels around the South of the USA preaching with this sort of rage, almost on the order of hate. He is arrogant and will verbally slap anyone. It is his trade mark. Frankly, I don't believe the man is born again. Jesus shows me the way of the servant:
Matthew 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
I find very few preachers who look down from their pulpits with such compassion. They look at the sheep as dirty wretches who need to be slapped into submission.
Though this is not overly common yet, I believe what I am seeing now indicates what is coming soon. If the Whore of Rome killed and tortured those who did not please the priests, and it the Pharisees screamed for the death of Jesus, you can be sure the day is soon coming when jack boot preachers and other groups will start using physical force to punish the warward sheep.
We have seen how the two preacher boys in Capital City Baptist Church in Austin, Texas nearly killed a Hispanic boy by beating him for an hour with a tree limb. We have heard of preacher slapping men and hitting them in the face. We have heard of preachers and deacons following people home in the dark with their lights out. Many other tales have come our way. You need to understand that many jack boot preachers are vicious in their thinking. Some famous TV Charismatic faith healers talk of craving God's approval to kill their detractors, and Bill Britton of Missouri called for the killing of any who would not, "go in beyond the veil," which meant joining him and his cult. You may not believe your pastor could get violent, but if he already is gun crazy, and all the leading men carry knives and toss them around in the foyer, you are in danger.
This sort of preacher and his leaders are wimps at heart. They are full of big talk, but the ones they will one day attack will be the omega sheep, that is, the sheep who are submissive and disappoint them. The rest of us will shoot back, or shoot first. But, my counsel to you is that you run fast from such men when you hear the tough talk.
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Jesus Christ was not a knife freak, nor did he ever touch anyone or threaten them. If your pastor is obsessed with teaching you to beat your babies, and if he promotes the Mike Pearl teachings, you may one day lose your babies to Child Protection Agency people who stalk parents in brutal churches.
When we were in Ethiopia as missionaries, the followers of David Moses, The Children of God, were busy in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. They were known to be filthy sexually. Their women would seduce nonmembers, and while having sexual relations, these women would try to make a convert of the men involved. Nothing in the history of the cults is much dirtier than this one.
These people were always getting into trouble with the authorities in every nation in which they operated. They were told that the trouble they received from law enforcement was persecution.
A Black cultic group in Michigan was broken up by arrests and prosecutions. They beat their children mercilessly, and severe damage had been done to some kids. Their people were told by the cult leaders that they were being persecuted for their faith.
Fundamental Bible believer adaptation:
Fundamental Baptist pastor, Greg Dixon of Indianapolis, defied the laws of the USA and juggled his history of payments of his staff. The Feds did not go for his story, and he was told to pay back taxes or Social Security payments, some sort of thing like that. He had changed from a taxable organization to a nontaxable one, and he tried to short the system. Instead of paying up, he stone walled, and the group lost all of their property. Dixon maintained to the bitter end that this was persecution. The guruized faithful believed him.
A pastor and leader of a Bible school practices a non-biblical marriage arrangement in his personal life. His members and graduates are shunned by Fundamental Bible believers because there is fear that they will teach the apologetics of the guru leader. And, they do. The leader tells the troops that this is persecution. The heresy about marriage is not dealt with, and never will be. It can be brushed aside as the followers are given the red badge of courage for standing with the heretic pastor. The pattern becomes ever more pervasive until the followers crave to be persecuted for defending the heresy and the guru who teaches the heresy.
This is a pattern in Fundamental churches, but it is pandemic in ALL Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. The Charismatic groups are notorious for harboring all manner of gurus with flaming libidos and deep pockets. The heresies abound which explain why the guru is exalting God by chasing whores and buying 700 acre ranches in Alabama and Arizona with the tithes of poor saints on Social Security. Pat Robertson in particular owns a diamond mine in the Congo! One Fundamental KJV only preacher used church funds to bid at auction on an alleged high end Rolex. When it turned out to be a fake Rolex, he sent mail to preachers, and to me, asking us to bail him out so he could pay back the church treasury.
1 Peter 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
1 Peter 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
The problem is, the followers of these cultic heretics in Fundamental Christian groups are sanctifying the guru in their hearts instead of the Lord Jesus.
We mentioned surrender before, but let us emphasize that "the love of money is the root of all evil." Lust for the followers cash is the main motivating force in Mormonism, Freemasonry, Scientology, the Indian gurus, and all cults. God said money is filthy and at the root of evil, and I believe it. The guru demands the follower turn over all his spare cash in order to show his total submission to the alleged god or spiritual system.
Fundamental Bible believer adaptation:
Surrender to Tithe--
Tithing, an Old Testament legal requirement, is taught by most Fundamentalists and Pentecostals for one simple reason-- The leaders want money. They are not content to live the life of Jesus Christ. They talk about it, but they live otherwise. The belly of many Fundamental preachers proves I am right. They also lust to build a bigger building and support more missionaries. This is often done so that their resumé will look great. They crave to move up in the order of the peck at the preacher's convention, and be called to the big church in Dallas or Nashville. The sheep are fleeced close and often to finance this raging lust for a cash flow.
This is wicked, and I can prove it:
2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Luke 16:11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
The Roman Catholic Whore, long ago, developed a threat of excommunication. This was done to the unfaithful or rebellious follower. He was removed from the Mass, which is tantamount to being removed from salvation. The cults also do this. The JWs will pitch a person out the door from time to time in order to keep the rest of the group under terror. Not all cults do this, but most do.
Fundamental Bible believer adaptation:
Do you get the hint?--
The Freemasons have a thing called the "black ball." This is a process where the ones in leadership are all given a black ball, and a white ball. They then each drop one or the other into a box as they give a verdict on a member's conduct, and if he gets too many black balls, he is cast out of the Lodge.
How does this work in Fundamentalism and Pentecostalism? The guru and leaders will start working you with hints. Things will be said which you are supposed to understand are mild threats. If you don't respond, you will be told to change this or that to come in line with the expectations of the church assembly. Scripture is seldom used, and when it is, it is used out of context. The one on one method of confrontation, called for by Jesus Christ, is often abandoned in favor of the guruistic pastor attacking you in front of several other men. Finally, you will be shouldered to the door by either being ignored, or you will be virtually thrust out of the synagogue. After this, the guruistic pastor may haunt you by calling all his pastor buddies in the area and telling them disparaging things about you and your family. It may be a long drive to find fellowship without being followed by the ghost of bawlyland.
Your former pastor will also use you as a sermon illustration. He will say he is not going to use names, but all the folks present will know he is talking about you. As he uses you over and over as a sermon illustration, he will work the thing up worse and worse until you will one day hear you have been added, by that preacher, to the list of the damned.
The guru preacher will also demand that any of your family in that church not communicate with you. I have seen people virtually 100% isolated from fellow family believers by jack boot pastors over the most trivial grievances. I will tell you something-- I believe these pastors are damned to hell and were NEVER born again. How can a man called to pastor destroy homes over such disagreements. No, they are hirelings and blasted to hell. It is high time we start identifying alleged pastors who are agents of Satan himself. They will become obvious by their destructive behavior and their guru like ways of dealing with the flock of God. We need to mark them and warn people going to their assemblies:
Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
If this excommunication, "churched" action, were caused by sin in your life, for which you showed no repentance, you would deserve it. The method of dealing with you would be wrong, but you would be at fault. The sad thing is, this process is most often caused by some personality or preference problem which has nothing to do with grievous sin.
You know, if Jesus shouldered you and me out of our salvation as easily as the average Fundamental bible believing preacher does his members, we would all be damned by next Tuesday, and all the preachers would follow us to hell on Wednesday morning.
Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
The victims of the world's cults are mentally attacked, rewarded, and isolated until they are no longer able to think for themselves.
But, many of the marks of a cult are now found in Fundamental churches, and the same applies to other conservative Christian groups which would otherwise be sound Bible believing groups. Many local church pastors have adopted these cultic techniques to work the minds of the sheep until they become virtual slaves of their pastor. They become convinced that their pastor can do no wrong, and they come to believe that if they offend in the slightest cultic response, they will be damaging the group seriously.
One group in Austin, Texas was so mentally massaged about violent spanking of small children that they approved of, and defended, two staff men who nearly beat to death a Hispanic boy who attended some of the church's youth functions. To disapprove of the beating would be to attack the sacred teachings of the fire breathing guru pastor.
The sound doctrine and heritage of Fundamentalists, and some other Bible believing groups, is made noxious because of the addition of mongrel methods and traditions of man. In the Middle East and Ethiopia amber is a highly prized substance. Ladies wear it to show their husband's wealth and love for them. It is prized above gold in some cultures.
Ezekiel 8:2 Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber.
But, amber can be spoiled.
Amber is petrified tree resin from ancient times. It oozed from trees, and then was chemically changed and solidified by time and geological events, leaving it an amber color. Good amber refracts light in a spectacular way. What can spoil it? A fly would occasionally be attracted to the oozing tree resin when it was fresh and would get trapped and die in the amber. The amber would completely encase the fly and embalm it. Thousands of years later, the fly is in the amber, and the amber is worthless, even repulsive. It is only interesting to science, but not as jewelry.
Fundamental Christianity sparkles with the Light of Jesus Christ. Fundamentalists have so many great things to offer, especially their faithfulness to defend the Word of God and the King James Bible.
Graphic courtesy of Oregon State University
But, there is that fly! There is that doctrinal fiction.
There is that fly of Baptist Brider arrogant myth.
There is that beetle of Landmark fiction.
There is the worm of Satanic manifestations in the
There is that worm of the bully raging pulpit.
There is that manure bug of the threat of being cast out of the synagogue.
There is that vermin of Freemasonry and Southern Gospel Music.
There is that malaria laden mosquito of the egomaniac exalting himself and
ruling the local church with an iron fist.
There is that fire ant of approval of divorce and remarriage.
There is that louse of the bubbly sensual pastor's wife,
flipping her breasts forward as she gushes, "praise Jesus."
There is the roach like Casanova deacon who charms the ladies.
There is that scorpion of tax rebellion.
There is that flee bitten mixing of secular patriotism with Christ.
There is that termite of the degrading of women
to grovel at the feet of the macho pastor.
There is that perpetual cicada like noise with no reverence for Jehovah.
There are those slug like cheeky brat kids being praised beyond measure.
There is that dung beetle hireling sheering the sheep so close that they
are broke all the time.
There is the waspish obsession with men instead of with Jesus Christ.
There is that exaltation of the beetle belly by the 400 pound preacher.
There is that tarantula like idiot who demands to be called "Doctor" because
he bought a $45 mail order doctorate.
There is that hornet's nest of the Bible College with the crooked managers who have
their hand in the Judas bag with extortionist bankers (coming soon in Florida I gather).
There is that bald faced hornet of an evangelist preying on a thousand offering plates.
Indeed, there is that ugly spot spoiling and polluting the lovely wedding garments of the Bride.
The problem is, the fly can never be removed. Once any denomination, or association of churches, wanders into profane and grievous methods, they never come back. The history of Christendom bears this out, and there is virtually no example of a large movement going into the ditch and then returning to the narrow way. Fundamental Baptists left the Southern and Northern Baptist Conventions. Others have been left behind as well. But, where will the Baptist movement go now? Independent Fundamentalists of all kinds have dirtied themselves with Satan's devices, and with the fleshly lust for more than the faith "once delivered." Where is the amber, without the fly, to be found? No group of name is clean anymore.
For the record, since I have been decrying the wickedness in Fundamental Baptist circles on the web from 1995, only two Baptist preachers and one Baptist missionary have told me they are repenting of the jack boot preacher methods. Perhaps there are others I simply have not heard from. But, it seems to be terminal in about 95% of the jack boots. They are not saved in most cases, and they never did have any intention of submitting to the Apostolic teachings of Church life. So, don't hang around praying for them and looking for repentance.
This lack of interest in cleansing themselves has caused me to abandon Fundamental Baptists and go to others in the Lord's Church with my message.
You must simply leave the jack boot bully boys and find other fellowship. Or, you may want to start a House Church. You may wish to browse our section on the House Church. Should you call it "Baptist," "Pentecostal," "Presbyterian," or any other distinguishing name? I don't see why. These monikers have come to be utterly confusing. When one is asked, "Are you a Baptist?" The answer is a long explanation of, "Yes, but..... but..... but..... not this kind..... not that kind..... " The same applies for all other groups, especially the Charismatic fellowships. Why call yourself anything but a simple biblical name, like, "We are Bible believers."
I asked a Mennonite pastor what he was, and he at once started to distinguish himself from other Mennonites. Why not a simple Bible name or self description? Menno Simon was a godly man, but why not name ourselves after our Lord, as in, "I am a Christian."
Just say, "I am a Bible believer," or, "I am a Christian." The jack boot preacher will tell you that the word "Christian" is too general and does not identify you with much. Lie!
Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
The saints were NEVER called Baptists, Pentecostals, or even Fundamentalists until very recently. Deal with it.
FOR THE RECORD:
If your association or local church is still clear amber, with no flies, you are greatly blessed, and I insist that you stay with them and with that pastor.
1 Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
That verse is Paul instructing Timothy, a local church pastor. If your pastor stands for anything other than the above attributes, he is a jerk and a guru. If he reminds you of the above qualities, pray for him, listen to his teaching, and let him be an example to you. But, if he EVER calls you away from the simplicity of Jesus Christ, and Christ's Headship over you, get away from him as fast as you can.
Let me be brutally blunt. 99% of all Fundamental pastors are NOT patient. They refuse to wait for the sheep to come along at the pace the Holy Ghost has set for the sheep. The first attribute a hireling Bastard will show is impatience. The first slip we see in that mighty godly man, King Saul of Israel, was impatience. He could not wait for Samuel to show up, are you ready, ON TIME. If a preacher is impatient, he is wolf.
If you are a pastor who is caught up in this sort of evil cultic manner of life, you are NOT serving the Lord. You are an hireling. You are NOT doing one thing in your life in the power of the Holy Ghost. You are forcing things to happen in the flesh. You are wicked and ought to have a mill stone tied around your neck and drown your fool hide in the sea....
....unless you repent.
The following is for the guruistic pastor who wants to "get right."
Many pastors are no longer reading their Bibles to feed their own souls. Do this long enough, and you will become a Nadab or an Abihu. You will start offering strange fire instead Truth to those you serve. When you read your Bible, forget your next sermon, or the text you are preaching. Ask God to talk to you. Feed YOU. A skinny horse will poop out after three rows. Maybe that is why your sermons poop out after ten minutes :-) Is that why you have to resort to clichés and shouting to cover your lack of food for the sheep?
I see a lot of preachers prancing all over the front of the church house. They have roving mics, and they run and wander in circles to add motion to the sermon. This is because they don't have much to feed the sheep. I have seen ranchers in Arizona feeding cattle, and they don't pick up a bail of hay and walk all over the prairie to impress the steers. In fact, most of those steers are smart enough that they would take the britches off the rancher's back side with their horns if the boy didn't drop that bail and move on. Stop running the bases and TEACH.
Also, feed your own family new oats. Don't rehash your latest sermon series in your own family altar. Read from a Bible book which has no bearing on the pulpit ministry. Your kids should learn that you are their pastor first. They will do the same with their kids one day.
For what it is worth, I do not try to read through the Bible once a year. I think that is a great plan. For a number of years I have been reading through the Bible, but slowly. I read and meditate. I may read a chapter three of four times before I go on to the next. This is because I don't think I have gotten all the meat from it. I am a dumb Hollander, you see :-)
I have started reading the Psalms also. I read a Psalm along with my other reading. This is like dessert. It is not terribly convicting, though it can be. The Psalms are where I let my soul soar and look for the face of Jehovah.
I don't have a special plan, but I do believe your Bible reading should have order enough that you are following along on a path of some sort. If you just casually open the Bible anywhere, you will become superstitious, thinking whatever you read was some mystical act of God, when, in fact, it was the result of the fumbling of your big fingers.
Just get back to the feed trough alone with God.
There is a simple biblical way to get a close friendship with your men. This, of course, assumes you are not a recluse who is in terror of being the friend of the ordinary saint. The Nicolaitan model was present already in the day of John as Christ gave him the Revelation on Patmos. If the Nico-Laity (above the people) plan was a problem then, it is a pandemic in Christendom today. I hope you will repent of it in whatever degree you have brought it into your view of the Lord's Church.
Here is the plan for recovery:
Are you ready?
This is awfully simple friend.
I am not sure you can handle this.
Please be sitting down, OK?
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Your resumé be damned!
Climb down out of your bully pulpit, and start calling your men. Start with the man with the smallest soul, and meet him for coffee at the local cafe. This is the guy who is late all the time and won't come to prayer meeting.
You are in real trouble, preacher, for your men are not your best friends, and they have gotten to believe that this is the New Testament way. Your job is to convince them that you are a servant, not their guru. You may just have to start out like this....
"Fred, I have to tell you something. I have been looking at Jesus more lately, and I have decided I don't act like him very well. You men in our church are submitting to me as a guru, not as teacher of the sheep. I want to be like Jesus, and I want you to be my best friends in this life, like Peter was to Jesus. I hope you will forgive me for not making you more of a friend as I served God."
Then, SHUT YOUR BIG MOUTH AND LISTEN.
You are obsessed with "door to door" or street preaching, right? Well, Jesus told Peter, "Feed my sheep." Jesus spent far more time with his friends, the twelve, than with the masses. If your men become your friends, THEY will build the church six days between Sundays. The reason you are so tired, your sex life in your marriage is lousy, and you are mad at most of the people for not helping you, is this-- YOU are not their friend, and you don't want to be. YOU have usurped the Holy Ghost who gives gifts to men and does the work through every believer. YOU think you have to run every little detail. The people rather easily hand their responsibility to you, and the Holy Ghost will not force you to abdicate his throne which you stole from him. Thus, you are exhausted from doing everyone's job, and you are doing it poorly.
So, YOU will have to stop being in such a frenzy for numbers and fame, and start feeding the sheep. Healthy sheep will then return the favor and do the work of the ministry that you cannot do alone.
Here is what the Good Shepherd does with his sheep:
Psalms 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Are the sheep in want because of your demands on them? Or, are they rich in spirit AND in this life's goods because of the provision of your assembly?
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
When is the last time you lead the sheep to green pastures and still water to just rest and rejoice in the Good Shepherd? Do you preach assurance, or do you preach doubt and damnation to believers? If you think preaching "mush assurance" will make sheep weak and too comfortable, READ THIS.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
The rod and staff are NOT for beating the sheep. Some fool long ago added that to the meaning, and any real shepherd will tell you that the rod and staff are used gently to guide the sheep. You claim to love the King James Bible, but do you use it as a club to bash the sheep up? Your are wicked if you present a Bible that wounds but never comforts. This is an epidemic in Fundamentalist circles.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Do the saints eat at your dinning room table? Do you visit saints at the local cafe? If not, you are a hireling. Read how they behaved in Acts 2. Read about Jesus serving breakfast to the disciples in John 21:9-10.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Do the sheep feel like someone is following them doing them good as you teach and walk with them, or do they feel like the bombast and bull is blowing in the wind?
What is the alternative to leading the sheep by still waters?-- Answer: A heart attack before you are 55. High blood pressure. Rebel kids. Nice things like that. After your heart attack, the church will call a new pastor, and you can be pastor emeritus for the rest of your days.
May I suggest you think on Noah. What results did he get for 120 years of preaching? If Noah had been like you and obsessed with building numbers and "door to door," he would have drowned.
Who did Abraham, the friend of God, win to believe in Jehovah? Answer: His family.
Where is "door to door" in the New Testament? In Acts 20, house to house was for warning the saints.
20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which
the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath
purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
House to house is for fellowship and hospitality. Why are you always visiting sinners and not saints?
While you are on this ego trip to fill vans and buses, Paul Crouch and his mob are loading the soul of your sheep with rubbish. Paul said you must FEED THE CHURCH and WARN THEM FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE. There is your "door to door" visitation.
Let me discuss a problem which is deadly. Myabe you are doing this.
Many, far too many, Fundamental Bible believing churches put the women to work all through the church programs, but the men are left to do nothing. The pastor will not share the authority, and this works itself out in the men being kept dumb as snot. What is the end of this? The wife of many a man is out of the home too much. The preacher talks big in the pulpit about women staying at home, but he then calls them to the church house and program away from their husband and kids. Here is what happens:
1. The abandoned husbands, having nothing to do at the church house, look for another woman. The pastor self-righteously blames the husband. Preacher, if this is what YOU have done, then you have a second wife. The lady whom you called away from her home is your concubine. Are you properly taking care of all the church house slave women who have been abandoned by their husbands to serve your majesty? Also, you will answer to God one day for every rebel kid who hates the Lord's Church because they robbed him of a Mom. Your day school program is NOT more important than the Proverbs 31 obedience of the women in your church. Read that again please. A preacher in our area here in Tennessee closed down his church school and sent all the kids home to be home schooled. Hurrah for that preacher. What a man!
2. The pastor one day gets into some very close "fellowship" with one of these ladies whom he has called to serve him. His ministry is then destroyed by adultery. Not you? Well, David was a "man after God's own heart," and he stayed home from the real war to kill time on the palace roof, and BINGO-- a pregnant good Godly lady, and a dead husband. It was never quite the same for David. If David had been with Joab, dodging the hot oil from atop the wall, teaching some private how to hold a sling, waking the troops with a Psalm on the harp, and praying with the officers every morning before the battle, David would never have even SEEN that lady on the rooftop.
WAKE UP PREACHER!
How do we prevent this?
HAS HIS SYNAGOGUE TODAY--
4:31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath
We see three things here:
Thus it is with Fundamentalist Pharisees today. Devils prevail in their midst, and they don't even know it or believe it. Indeed, I believe many Fundamental pulpits are the habitation of dragons.
Luke 13:14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
The law given by God himself, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy," is used by the jack boot religious leader to stop God from working. Where did this happen? In the center of religious zeal of Israel, the synagogue, the church house. The work of the Lord is far less inhibited by whore houses and abortion clinics than it is defamed and prevented by Fundamentalist Pharisees.
9:18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and
received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his
We learn much about life in the synagogue, and in Fundamental churches today:
10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace,
but a sword.
And so, do not be shocked if the local Fundamental KJV Only local church ends up dividing your family and standing on the other side of the divine sword. It may hurt much, but it is infinitely more blessed to be wounded in the battle and know that Jesus himself wielded the sword in your defense. Clinging to such company will destroy your soul, and Jesus Christ will not be able to use you.
Answer: Send the ladies home, and put the men to work. The Master Guru of Hammond lost the glory by violating this biblical principle, and so can you and I. Disciple your men to do YOUR job. You will never be unemployed. Only a jerk wimp pastor is threatened when a deacon becomes better at some work of the ministry than his pastor. If Jesus prepared his men to do greater things than God Incarnate, YOU, preacher, are no better than your Lord. Put those men to work. I know a pastor in Michigan who requires his deacons to preach at least once a year.
13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
When I left on vacation from the churches I served, I never called a man in from far away-- someone from the order of the peck of my preacher friends. I assigned my deacons to preach. I came home one time after being away, and the people were telling me how much they were helped by a two Sunday series on relating to Caesar done by a deacon. In fact, some folks kidded me by suggesting I take a longer vacation next time. Only an hireling would be threatened by that.
The series preached by the deacon was intensely Bible based, and it calmed the church down considerably as Bill Clinton came into his first term in office. A plan was set in place, due to that sermon series, and we started praying that God would add so much chaos to Bill Clinton's life that he could do no great harm. The prayer was answered abundantly. What a blessing our church would have missed if I had called in some itinerant preacher boy from afar who preached his favorite re-run sermon for the 466th time.
Throw that stupid satchel of yours away-- the one you carry to preacher's conventions. Get out your 12 gage shotgun, and call that limping half committed young married fellow in the back row. Take him coon hunting. Run to an auction. Go help him put a new rear end in his old pick up truck. Hey boy, there ain't nothing moves the heart of a whipped baby Christian man better than seeing his pastor getting his hands all greasy on the good old boy's favorite pick up truck. You will get more Bible into that old boy over coffee at his kitchen table than in ten of your best sermons. Mark it down, and get down-- out of your high church bully pulpit.
I had a church rise up against me in Michigan once. Do you know which men stood with me? Answer: The good old boys who ran to auctions with me. They were also the hardest workers in the church. When the real war starts you better have some real friends, preacher. I am not talking about glad hand foyer friendship-- I am talking about "meet you at the café at 7:30 Tuesday morning" friends. I had to go shoot pool with one gentleman on Saturday night to help him resist the powerful urge of alcoholism and running to bars. Of course, we shot pool at the KOA campground where there was nothing around but Coka Cola. It worked too, and he got victory, but it took a bunch of interruptions on Saturday evenings. By the way, during that time he also unloaded his rock music and Willy Nelson.
Let me warn you though, when you call your men and ask them if they want to run to an auction with you, be prepared, for they will at first think you are just trying to get them alone so you can touch them to give more or abandon their kids and work more at the church house. You have years of lousy impressions to get rid of, so just be their friend.
One good old boy let his wife come to church, but he was not saved and would not come. But, he would help me tar the roof of our desert church house in California. I didn't push him, I just made sure he knew I was glad to see him every time he came around. He did come out for potlucks, and I didn't mock him for that.
After I left that church, his daughter one day confronted him with the fact that he was a very helpful and caring unsaved man on his way to hell. He accepted Christ because of her zeal. But, I know I got to water and plant seed. On very special Sundays, he would come to church to be friendly, and the seed was planted. What more can a preacher ask for. I don't care who puts in the sickle, all I want to know is that I will see that brother at the Throne one of these days. Glory to God in the Highest!
Hey, preacher, some of those good old boys in your church family are a lot more fun to be with than the hypertense war lords at the a pastor's convention. I am hearing that a good number of those "keynote speakers" were watching porn on the TV in their motel room last night. Stay home with the real sheep, and stay clean. Afterall, you are nothing but a dumb sheep yourself. Or didn't you know that there is only one Shepherd?
Brother Martin Luther was onto something. He never finished the job in some critical areas, but he determined that the people he served should be learning what they believed. So, he found ways to draw it back out of them in order to see if he had taught it to them. Some of you preachers just want to see the altar full and the numbers up. That is mongrel religion. That is no better than the goals of the Great Tin Horn High Tullymucks of Salt Lake City.
David Brainard, missionary to the American Indians, used the catechetical method of teaching the unsaved and the saved. By this is meant that he would teach, and then he would ask questions to see if the teaching of the Word was sinking in. If an Indian started getting the answers right on a regular basis, Brainard would press on to see if that Indian would believe in The Lord Jesus Christ to receive salvation. This resulted in very deep conviction at the time of receiving Christ as Savior.
The modern teaching method is all pulpit based. CH Spurgeon exalted the pulpit, of which he was a cultic leader. He often gave one text, and then he used his fantastic talents of elocution to keep the audience spell bound. The Word of God was NOT the center of Spurgeon's preaching. Clever, witty, and convincing clichés were the main event. This is why so many Fundamental Bible believing preachers today are obsessed with Spurgeon's sermons.
4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom
was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
Acts 8:30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
There is nothing wrong with using the gifts God has given you to exalt the Word of God. The problem is, many men use their imaginations and gifts of speaking to exalt themselves and to produce results at the altar call. They would not have a clue if anyone really understood one thing the preacher said, and if they did, would they remember it Monday morning? To me, the objective is to see the saint remember what I preached on the next Sunday morning and open his Bible to the next section to be taught. That is life changing. The bombast is life changing all right-- for about ten minutes.
Jesus told Peter to "feed my sheep." So, study to show thyself approved, study more, and then unload what you have learned. Use parables, for Jesus never taught anything without using a parable
Mark 4:2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,
Matthew 13:34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
In your case, with believers, GIVE THE APPLICATION OF THE PARABLE, AND GIVE ONLY ONE APPLICATION. Stop the exposition of parables. Spurgeon got one thing right, "No parable runs on four legs." Every parable, or story from life, should run straight to the text of the Word being taught, and thus, to Jesus himself. If you do this, your men will understand the Word of God quickly. Why? Answer: Men respond best to stories and tales. Many of you understood the point of this page well only after I told you the story of Charlie Smith above, right?
Now, as you are teaching, interrupt yourself. Blasphemy, right? You are the great brimming source of all truth, right? WRONG! There are born again people listening to you, yes, but it is the Holy Ghost who is doing the teaching in the heart. He is the one whom Jesus said would convince the world of sin, and righteousness, and judgment. What else should you do but teach?
This may be tough for you to grasp. Go get a cup of coffee. Do a couple of push ups. Here it is.
Wow, interrupt my fantastic alliteration loaded outline and ask questions? Right!
You will do several things as you ask questions:
1. You will let the saints know you trust their minds.
They must come to believe the Holy Ghost speaks to them as much as to you. Or, do you actually think you have a corner on understanding? I hope not. As the men answer your questions, the ladies will also be pleased to know their husbands are thinking in the Spirit. These men's kids will see Daddy as a man among the godly ones in the assembly. If you want to be everyone's guru, back out of this page at once. You are a one man cult.
2. You will learn if you are really teaching.
No response will mean you better study more and add parables. Wrong responses will tell you that you need to slow down and teach fewer things. Alliteration is insane. Why try for three clever alliteration points if you can convince all of the saints of ONE point which they remember Monday morning? Alliteration is for preachers who don't want to study. Study results in teaching which the Holy Ghost can use. Select a context of verses to study, and work it until everyone knows what is taught there.
3. You will bring out the zeal of your man.
They are often thinking way ahead of you, and they will add applications from the Word. This method of teaching will shock you. Next Sunday, one man will walk up to you before the service and show you a text from his personal Bible reading which illuminates last Sunday's message. Rejoice with him, make a note in this Sunday's Sermon, and bring the man's thoughts into the message. And, let the people know who the man was who found it. This will build your teaching into a seven day long mental exercise, and that will result in changed lives.
4. You will keep them awake.
They will know that you are about to ask them to respond. I name mature men and young men, and ask for a thought. The practical part of this is that you have a chance to recoup your thoughts as the men of God share what the Holy Ghost is doing in their minds.
5. You will turn your saved boys
into spiritual warriors.
Why? Because they see the mature men using their swords. I have experienced this teaching method coming to the point where I could trust the godly youth to speak or add a cross reference. A pert and alert fourteen year old can participate if he is under authority of the Holy Ghost and the godly men. You can assign the young men texts to look up, and then ask them an obvious question about the text they just read.
Why plow alone when God has given you help?
I have, at times, abandoned my sermon plan because the godly men were onto a trail of truth. If a hunter has good coon dogs, he turns them loose, and then he follows them and trusts them to tree a coon. He knows that once in a while they will get distracted by a skunk. He just starts over, and he finally gets the coon. He does not shoot the dogs, and he does not try to tree coons alone, just because the dogs run after a skunk or fox one time.
(Admit it, preacher, you just got the point didn't you? Why? Because I used a parable! :-)
You need to trust the godly men in your assembly more. Turn them loose in the Holy Ghost. This is not some Pentecostal notion-- it is Luther's method, and it is Jesus' method. "Whom do men say that I am?" Do you recall the theological statement that he got back. It is one of the most quoted things Peter ever said. Your men can lead you to a gem that you never saw before in your life. Any good Bible TEACHER knows exactly what I am talking about.
One more thing-- Cross reference. This one text sermon, which is common these days, is sorry and weak. The best commentary on the Word of God is NOT you, it is the Word of God. Prove what you say by using other Bible texts. A good sermon should have a minimum of 30 cross references. Some can be quoted, and some should be turned to. Have the listeners read the cross references. Ask if there is another example of a cross reference. You may not finish your alliteration, right. Your alliteration can go to hell. The Bible was not written with alliteration. It was written from the heart of God to you and the saints.
If the saints get a bit carried away and start adding to your sermon (the men that is), let them go. They will remember everything they added. If you don't know your Bible, don't do this. If you know the Word, simply redirect any wandering of context back to the point you started with. If your church is too big to do this, your church is too big to teach-- PERIOD. That is why Spurgeon was the main event in his huge local church. It was too big to be a teaching environment.
The synagogue was the place where Jesus sat down to teach. He even sat down in the open fields and by the sea side to teach. He did not use the catechical method with the unconverted masses, but he did with the disciples. He often asked questions or stimulated their questions by his parables. They hungered and thirsted for the application.
Mark 8:27 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?
I dare you to ask your fellowship a question next Sunday morning between hymns: "Who is Jesus?" If you do it in the Holy Ghost and get out of the way, you may find the Spirit of God moving in your assembly in a way you never saw before. Be sure to include the young kids and youth. You think you are the great source, the last mention-- well, some of the answers may test your ability to lead in the spirit.
On the day of Pentecost Peter preached a strong sermon. He did not invite a response. The response came from the listeners. If you and I could preach under such Holy Ghost power that people called out asking for instructions to repent, or to be born again, we would know we had been under the Lord's authority.
2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto
Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
This is not the absolute pattern for a response. Paul preached in Acts 20, just before he left Ephesus, to the saints. He preached a long time, but no "altar call" was given. Also, I note that not once, from Matthew to The Revelation, did anyone say, "Every head bowed and every eye closed." Why do we do this? Anyone who is serious about getting saved, or repenting, will do so before men without shame. Why the secret hand raising? The "altar call" has its roots in the Roman Catholic Mass. The Catholic follower goes to the altar to eat Jesus and sustain their salvation. The Fundamentalist and Pentecostal saint goes to the "altar" to get saved and keep getting right.
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt
believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
Here is the trick many preachers use:
1. Stand, and "every head bowed and every eye closed."
2. Raise your hand if you know you are saved (watch for hands not raised)
3. Raise your hand if you are a Christian and you feel you need to do this
or that in response to the message (watch for raised hands)
4. "No one looking around now...."
5. If you feel you need to be born again, raise you hand (watch for hands)
6. Sing an invitation hymn.
7. Plead with those who raised their hands to come forward. The alleged
anonymous hand raising is now made to appear to be incomplete zeal.
The walk to the front is required. The listener thought they would be left
alone after raising the hand. Now, they are on the spot. They will either
walk, or they will hate the preacher for manipulating them and making a
fool of them.
8. Last step: Carve a notch on your gun (resumé) for every one that came
forward. To hell with the ones who don't like the method.
What is wrong with this?
1. It is not the method of Jesus Christ or the Apostles.
2. It is tricky. Tricks cause people to later figure out the trick, and they HATE the saints and even Christ.
The biblical method is, "Come, follow me." No tricks, no long wait, no pleading. Say, "Come, follow Jesus," and end the event. If the Holy Ghost is in it, the ones he has reached during the message will come. I also have invited the godly men to pray as the Lord would lead. Two or three would pray for zeal to take action on the message. I have asked if there is a question. Sometimes, someone will ask a question about how to apply the message, and I let a godly man answer if one is willing. I ask for a declaration to take action which is done straight up, out loud.
In the High Dessert during the 1970s, I preached on worry and fretting from Psalm 37. I asked everyone to write their fretting problem on paper, then I had a pan up front, and I offered to burn the paper pieces. The sweet lady in our church who was very plagued by fretting brought her paper up weeping. I lit it and burned it, and we talked about how Jesus died so that we could cast all our care upon him. The service ended very quietly, no invitation hymn, everyone very moved, and they talked about the Word all the way to their cars. What else is there in preaching, huh? I don't think I would ever do that thing again, I don't know. It was the right thing one time. Preacher, get your knees on the carpet, and ask the Lord Jesus what HE would do at the end of this coming Sunday's sermon. Stop being a traditional hide bound Fundamental slave of ritual.
I have tried to end the service in prayer and been interrupted by a godly man. "Pastor, may I say something?" Go ahead brother. What followed, on several occasions, was deep compassion with blunt exhortation to shape up and apply the sermon. One man warned himself and the assembly not to ignore the sermon lest God chasten us all. Powerful stuff, my friend. I needed it as much as anyone else, and God knew that. I was not in a position to give the invitation. Preacher, when you need the sermon most, who gives the invitation? When do YOU "walk the aisle?" When are you humbly weeping at the "weeping rail?"
I have seen, and I have used, the biblical method of invitation, and it results in changed lives. It also results in the decision sticking and being real. Les DeGroot preached on husbands loving and being faithful to their wives one Sunday in Nashville, Michigan. He gave an "altar call" for men to come to the front and pledge to be a biblical husband to their wives. No secret about it. No "every head bowed and every eye closed." Men went forward, heads up, straight down the aisle, and everyone was wide awake and taking mental notes. What a commitment those men made! And, their wives and kids knew Daddy was doing something very zealous and important. Pastor DeGroot admonished them briefly and then prayed for them.
Pastor Mueller was the pastor of a Missouri Synod church on Rosecrans Blvd in Norwalk, California in the 1960s. My uncle and aunt told me they really liked him, and they persuaded me to attend church with them one Sunday there. I was skeptical because the Lutheran Church was Reformed, and it had lost almost all of its original zeal by 1960. Well, what a surprise. I learned that the church, under Pastor Mueller's tenure, had grown from 75 to 350 in six months and had gone to two services. Lutheran churches don't grow that fast. I was intrigued. Pastor Mueller preached on Philippians 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
Pastor Mueller used the preaching method of Luther, which was the method of Jesus.
1. Read the Word of God
2. Explain what the Word means by what it says.
3. Illustrate if from everyday life (a parable).
He held up the Sunday morning newspaper to illustrate the message. Liz Taylor had just had another divorce and was after a new man. The news article made it sound to cute. Point made. Application complete. Time for the punch line (this is the truth) as Pastor Mueller closed the service:
"Do you know it is possible to be a member of a Lutheran church, be catechized, baptized, and go to hell?" He only leaned into it for a short while, and then he gave the "altar call."
"If you are not sure if you are a born again Lutheran, please come to my office tomorrow (Monday) morning at 9 AM. We will talk about it, and we will make sure you are a truly born again believer in Jesus Christ." I was amazed. I could not believe he would even say that a Lutheran could be unsaved, but the thing that puzzled me was that he did not ask them to "walk the aisle" right then. That violated my notions of a good invitation.
After the service, I got a couple more shocks. The first was to see the older men go out the door, gather on the steps, and light up. They then talked about the pastor's message with approval-- keeping their minds on the Word because they liked what they heard! My uncle said, "That is the kind of preaching we used to hear long ago."
I went to the back and made sure I spoke to Pastor Mueller. He asked what I did to use up my days, and I told him I was going to a nearby Bible college. He was pleased. I asked him how the church had grown from 75 to 350 in six months. Answer: Lutherans being born again on Monday morning. He said he did have a visitation program. He hand picked his most pert and polite youth to go on visitation with him. The result was growth by young couples with children. Why? The couples visited met these zealous and godly youth from the church, and they wanted their kids to be like them. It worked, and it was genuine. Pastor Mueller told me that these young married couples were the most common ones to find in the parking lot on Monday morning.
So, what about this "altar call?" Aside from the fact that the Body of Christ has NO altar on earth, and the altar concept came from the Whore Church of Rome, the "altar call" is almost always a trick to get action. The follow up is often nonexistent, and the thing settles down to regular trips down the aisle by the staff, their families, and workers in the church. Did anything happen? Who would know? No one talked about it? It was a big secret. I fear that these trips to the "altar" are a cheap form of religious exhibitionism, for the REAL application of a Bible based sermon is on Monday morning.
Psalm 107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;
I heard a Real Audio sermon online recently where an old time preacher was preaching on hell. He had the whole crowd wailing in terror by the time he gave the invitation. You could hear the people running to the front to pray to receive Christ. There is a time for that, and you better do it if the Holy Ghost tells you to.
I preached on hell from the account of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16), but my object was to show the saints where their family member or friend was going if they didn't witness to them. One lady, very distraught, jumped up and ran out the door just as I closed in prayer. I wondered if she was mad at me. I found out later that she drove straight to her unsaved brother's home and wept and pleaded with him to accept Christ as her Savior. Selah. God did his work, and the saints did not miss the point. She ran the wrong way up the aisle before I could do the "altar call" trick. What a disaster, right? Hardly, friend.
I preached the same sermon in a church in Northern Michigan, and the teens on the back row got an unsaved teenage boy trapped in the middle of the pew and plead with him through the last half of the sermon to get saved. I went way too long and decided to cut the sermon short. A brother caught me skipping a point, and he bluntly hollered, "Preach it all preacher, don't look at the clock." At the end of service, a teenage girl asked me to sign her Bible. She did not know me. She wanted my name to go with that message. I could not sign for the Holy Ghost, so I signed her Bible and asked her which of her friends she needed to talk to about Jesus Christ. What a morning! Over 60 solid minutes, and no one wanted to go home. I was exhausted. How much will you pay me to tell you where that church is, preacher? :-)
Someone ought to weep when the Word is being preached with zeal, and the most likely one is the preacher. Someone ought to tremble when the Word is being preached, and the most likely one is still the preacher. YOU are standing between God and the lost, the backslidden, and the ignorant saints, and you should forget this notion that it all depends on you. You need to cry out, "Lord, be merciful to me a sinner." You are nothing but a rebellious no count spiritual tramp whom God saved and gave the ministry of reconciliation. If you don't stay humble and focused on God's Word, the glory will leave. Ichabod.
One well known Fundamental pastor and street preacher mocks at weeping pastors. Well, wippy doo. What a pig headed German Jack Boot! Jesus wept. Jeremiah wept. David wept. McChayne of Scotland wept so much in the pulpit that he ruined his Bible. I am told that one time he stood to preach, was overcome at once, and just stood and wept. Sinners soon came flocking to the front to be saved. WHAT A SERMON! The key-- the preacher's life and walk with the Lord Jesus, punctuated by his tears, preached the sermon. "And they said, behold how he loved him."
Where are your tears, preacher?
Psalm 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
Here is the sermon for the above verse:
1. Go forth
2. Bear precious seed (The Word of God)
3. Weep for souls and saints
RESULT: You will return rejoicing-- Life cannot get better than this.
Now, preacher, go out in the woods alone with God, and preach that sermon to yourself. Get ready though, your life will never be the same.
Nothing in your ministry to God's people will demand your attention more than biblical worship. Nothing will show your lack of a close walk with the Lord Jesus quicker than leading the saints in worship. This is why so many denominational and Charismatic churches fake it. They replace the power of the Holy Ghost with a circus on the platform. Oh, the altar of Jehovah is in the background, but the golden calf of CCM and platform performances is the real power. Once this happens, it is not long before they start rising up to play and taking their clothes off.
Worship leaders, high powered PA systems, great stage lighting, coordinated suits and dresses, grand musicals, orchestras, bands, contemporary Christian music, southern Gospel music, it goes on and on. It is amusement. It is choreographed. And, a large number of Fundamentalist and Bible churches have gone to it. This is done because the glory has departed, and they need something to keep the masses coming out.
The center of worship is not the platform where the preacher and deacons sit. The center of worship is the believer's heart.
John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
Do you have the idea that all good things have to flow out of your mouth and through the mic and the PA system? Do you have a terror of letting go and letting the Holy Ghost take charge? Do you have the idea that worship, in the model of David, is high church and ritualistic, even Catholic? Your problem is, you don't know the reason to worship. It is not to "lead up to" the sermon! It is not to fill in space up front. It is not to make up for the poorly prepared sermon you have ready. Worship is based in two words: EXALT GOD
Psalm 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Worship is NOT for the purpose of firing up the saints. Worship is NOT to get a blessing. Worship is NOT a time for you and the song leader to be clever and cute between hymns. Worship is NOT just a convenient way to slip an offering plate in front of everyone. In Michigan, we put the offering plate at the door so we could have no interruptions of the worship. The giving went UP!
Biblical worship is to tell God how we love him, and give him what he is "due."
Psalm 5:7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
Psalm 95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
Psalm 99:9 Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.
Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Hebrews 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
You will spend eternity worshipping before the Throne of Jehovah. And, it will NOT be called, "The preliminaries."
I do not claim to have the last word on worship, for the Holy Ghost has infinite numbers of ways in which he will lead the zeal of the saints in glorifying God. Personally, I believe God gets no greater delight than to see a ten year old kid choose "Arise, My Soul Arise," his favorite hymn, during the singing time. I suspect God will silence all of heaven and tell them to listen to that kid sing his head off, every verse, by memory, never even open the hymn book. Nothing gave me more joy either. Such things make the old folks weep for joy and the angels tremble. Much about our experience in this life will pass away as we enter into heaven, but worship of our Glorious Father, His Precious son, and the eternal Spirit, will be our blessing forever and forever. So, how about getting used to it NOW?
Read the Psalms:
The Psalms are the worship hymn book from God. Every doctrine of the Bible is in the Psalms. Jesus is there. The End Times are there. Sin, and Righteousness, and Judgment are there. But, most of all, the Psalms are given to us to READ OUT LOUD so that we can exalt God in words that are without error. I strongly recommend the Songs of Degrees in the Psalms. They are written for walking up to the House of God in the Old Testament.
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Psalm 81:1 Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.
Let the saints choose the hymns:
Singing in a rut is dull, and dull singing is rutty, and the rut song is dull, and dull is not singing, and ruts are dull too.
Get the point? :-)
Guide their choices, but learn to trust their zeal for God. Do not sing choruses if your object is to worship. Choruses tend to be trite. Watch for bad doctrine in the hymns, and either change the words to come in line with the Word of God, or make a note to not sing such hymns. Do not sing patriotic songs. The Lord's house is NOT a place to promote patriotism. We covered the really bad hymns with hymns we found in other sources. Sing hymns of exaltation, spiritual warfare hymns, hymns about the Blood of Jesus, and hymns of abundant doctrine. Stop singing only about YOU and God. Sing hymns that exalt him without talking about you. "Pass Me Not Oh Gentle Savior" is OK for some occasions, but "Be Thou Exalted" is all about God and Christ-- it is true worship and exaltation. Not one Fundamentalist in 100 can sing the first verse of "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise," which is a hymn which is 90% scripture.
Charismatics sing doo waa diddly choruses and don't have a stomach for the old doctrinal hymns. This is because they are in a flight of terror from Bible doctrine-- they, as my friend Tony Garrissi says, "Day gotta get da ruush."
I recall at least twice in Grant, Michigan, when we had guests in the assembly, on a Sunday morning, from far away. We were a church of maybe 35 people. As the worship and singing went along these people began to weep quietly. After the service, both times, the visitors came to me and said they had never heard such singing. Both parties came from monster churches. How is this possible? Simple-- their churches had gone dry and had moved from participation to spectatoritis, a deadly disease. Give my regards to Broadway, but leave me out of it please. The people no longer were part of the worship. This is wicked.
Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
Use the men:
You, preacher, are not the only man in the church who can praise the Lord. The barking of "hay-mn" is not worship. In the church I pastored in Michigan, the men all knew they were to come with a word of exhortation as the Holy Ghost might lead. This was not to be every Sunday or on cue, but it WAS expected. All folks, including ladies and godly youth, were to come with praise items to mention. This was done between hymns, and the rule was to avoid praises which centered on the person giving them. The object was to praise god for who he was, and often, the praise was from someone's Bible reading.
The godly men quickly realized that they should be exhorting the saints, but they knew it could not be a long dissertation. It never got out of hand in eight years. As your godly men become an integral part of the worship at your church you will notice something interesting-- they will move forward a row or two. They will be eager when they come in the door, even if they are tired from overmuch work. EXPECTATION is the key word.
Use the kids:
Some kids read well. Give them a Bible text, and have them read it in worship. I used to hand out slips of paper with references on them, not the verse printed out. They would find the text, put the paper in the place as a marker, and during worship we would read these. I might also have a theme for the worship. It was NEVER my sermon text. DO NOT CENTER THE WORSHIP AROUND YOUR SERMON. If you cannot get a sermon up that will stand alone, you have not learned to study yet. Kids need to be in the worship. Never send them out to their own service. How will they learn, and when will they see the men being manly in the Holy Ghost, if you run them out of the worship time?
Do not center the worship on the kids though. Simply make sure they are part of it. We had a music box with all the little Bible verse cards. I would call the tiny kids up front, let them pick a card as the music played, and they were to give the card to any adult in the house. Everyone loved it. The kid would stand there until the adult read the cards, and then all the cards were returned. This also got some shy adults to doing something. Who would refuse to read a verse for a little kid?
Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
Forget "worship leaders":
This is the nuttiest thing to come along since the Pope invented the divine cookie. Here are four young adults, decked with cool clothes and cool grins. They hold their mics, each with a different color foam ball, and they sway and jive around allegedly "leading the worship." This is an evangelical floor show-- nothing less. Run them down the street to dance and grin for Benny Hinn. They distract the people from singing well, and they too often appeal to the lust of the flesh.
Damnation on the performance mentality:
Choirs cause more trouble in the local church than any one thing. Fighting over who will play the organ comes in second. Choir practice on Wednesday evening pushes up against the prayer meeting so that prayer time becomes shortened. If you want a group to sing, have them do so, and sit back down in the pews. Use very little "special music." We had a couple of people in Michigan who could sing a verse of a hymn spontaneously if asked to. This was special because it was from the heart and not planned. Performed music is rubbish and often lousy in doctrine. It is in the special music that the piano and singers will introduce worldly beats and innovations. Let the saints all sing all the time.
Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
I see everyone speaking to everyone else. There is no record of paid or featured musicians in the New Testament Church. That came along only after the Whore of Rome institutionalized Christendom.
Never use a bulletin:
Did Jesus need one? Did Paul print out a menu of the meetings he held? Why would you want to trap yourself in a plan? Don't you trust the Holy Ghost? I hate bulletins. They are a lot of trouble to print, expensive, and they cause the people to watch for the next thing instead of worshipping NOW.
Be ready to alter course if the Holy Ghost so indicates:
Avoid ritual and repetition, but build expectation of great things. I don't mean hype. I mean that your God is great, and he "inhabits the praises of his people." He does NOT want vain repetition, and he will never run out of spiritual resources to bless his people if they WANT to worship him in the beauty of holiness. Show your zeal for the Lord Jesus Christ to the people you serve. Lead as the Levites led Israel up to the temple. Use the Psalms of degrees and other exalting Bible texts. Read with great zeal-- project a voice of absolute joy mixed with holy awe. As soon as possible, draw your godly men into this, AND the godly pert young men.
Judges 13:24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.
25 And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.
Before Samson went astray, he was a mighty man for God. If you have a young Samson in the front row, his zeal should be turned loose in an orderly manner.
Lay hands suddenly on no man:
In California where I pastored I had a visiting couple one Sunday morning. They were retired and traveling around in an RV. They both talked the talk, and I felt peace that they were genuinely born again. The lady said she had written many quiet songs to be sung in worship with a guitar. I violated the admonition of Paul and let her sing. What a mess! The music was quiet, not CCM style. But she was self-possessed, and the message was pabulum. I wanted to crawl through a knot hole. Afterward, my leading deacon came to me and said, "It's OK pastor, we all make mistakes sometimes."
Don't let visitors or unstable people take any major part in worship. You may let them speak a word of praise, but if they say anything unbiblical, simply follow up with a Bible text that contradicts them, and keep smiling. Before the service, ask new people to watch what is happening during the worship time for one Sunday before participating. The ones who matter will approve of this, and the ones who disapprove don't matter. Also, beware of visiting pastors and well known saints from other assemblies. It is very dangerous to jerk a visiting pastor or missionary into the pulpit or worship without knowing why they are on the loose. They may have just been run off from another church for pedophelia.
1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
I mentioned this before. Worship is clear outside of you. It is the work of the Holy Ghost 100% of the time, or it is 100% fake. You, and those who lead, must prepare yourselves for worship. The world, the flesh, and the devil must be vanquished in your soul BEFORE you step out on the temple porch and raise your arms.
The Catholic priest puts on all manner of vestments for this purpose, and he whispers various prayers in Latin, in the hope that his horrible depravity will be inundated by ceremony. Not you, preacher. You have the Holy Ghost IN you. Make sure you are empty of self and operating with NO motive other than to exalt God. You will be amazed how your wits will be sharp and discerning. You will marvel at how the Holy Ghost moves, bringing you and the Body of Christ into one mind and one voice. But, you cannot coast along and let it happen. You need to know what you want to read, and you need to be always ready to draw any wandering thoughts back to the mind of Christ.
Psalm 138:1 I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.
2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth:
for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
When you run out of ideas, resort to the Word of God. Read it and ask one of the godly men to pray. The Holy Ghost will add his power soon.
Use Biblical Numerology :-)
could I leave this at only six points when six is the number of man?
Seven is the number of completeness.
So, are you a complete preacher? Your turn.
If it would help you in some way, call (800) 338-8863, and I will scream, "Get right" at you over the phone so you will take action :-)
Otherwise, just look me up near the Throne, after the Rapture, and let me know what you did with this article.
If I have anything I want to say to pastors in Bible believing churches, world wide, the above seven points are it. Nothing in this journal is based on more personal soul agitation than the above suggestions. Nothing I have ever taught is based in more research and personal observation of churchology run amuck in Fundamentalism. Nothing I ever learned the hard way is more convicting to me than the above seven steps to church health. Nothing would give me more joy than to get an e-mail from a preacher who repented and got right with God the Holy Ghost as he applied the above biblical methods.
pastor in Pennsylvania read out Jack Boot Preacher
section, and he was smitten with horror-- He wrote and told me the Lord showed
him, from our teaching area, that he was indeed a Jack Boot. He asked me if I
thought he should just leave the ministry. I told him that his repentance was
what God wanted. He has gone on to apply the Word of God to his ministry, and
the Lord is using him.
free to call me if you are in so deep that you fear a change will tear up the
CALL (800) 338-8863
If you are a member of a local church which shows these marks of a cult, and, if you want to help your pastor escape from this pattern of cultic confusion, print this article, and hand it to him IN LOVE.
yet, take him to lunch and hand it to him. Fried chicken and apple pie will do
wonders for a cranky pastor
LETTER FROM A READER
I have read your article, MARKS of a Cult- Are they now found in Fundamental Bible Believing Fellowships, and have agreed and agreed over and over. I am a born-again Bible (KJV) believing Christian without church fellowship. The power of the Holy Ghost has removed me from my former life and anything "worldly." I don't feel a part of this world anymore and am "waiting on the Lord." I was raised in the Baptist Church and my grandfather was a Baptist minister, later became a member of a Pentecostal Church, went out into the world and later became a Catholic (God forbid). After learning about the Catholic Church, I immediately left. All of this without "turning it ALL over to God and truly living his word."
It has been a long and difficult road, but when the Holy Ghost started stirring my heart, and I truly placed my sins and repentance at the Lord's feet, my "worldliness" was completely taken away. I have not been a member of any church affiliation in over ten years, although I have gone to several in the area, mostly non-denominational, but have been turned off "by the Worship Service" and many of the things you mention in your article. I worship at home, continually study the Bible at home, and find what I can in truth by articles like yours.
I am over 65, a divorced female who has not dated in over ten years, because I am convicted thru the word of God that it would be wrong for me. I trust the literal meaning in the scriptures regarding this. I want to be in church and have fellowship in a truly Bible teaching church. I live in a N________ suburb, and if you know or can recommend a church here, I would be so grateful. I know I need Christian fellowship, but the churches have really turned me off for a long period of time, and if it's not in the Bible, I don't believe it. I am always on guard for false teachings, doctrines, and prophecies. When someone asks me if I am a member of a church, I simply say, "yes, I belong to Christ's church," and know I'm saved only by his blood and HIS GRACE.
I just can't wait to get to Heaven, but I know it would be just grand to have real Christian fellowship here on earth.
I once was a sinner, but now I am saved, and I praise God for his Son, my Lord and Savior. I want to put on the whole armour of God and be prepared to come face to face with Jesus. I want to be in a church that allows the Holy Ghost to work in the hearts of the people. I know it has worked in me because it changed my life of sin. It didn't happen in a church. It happened in the privacy of my bedroom and it didn't happen over night. It was night after night of praying to God for him to change worldly desires of the heart. It took me a long time to realize that when I truly repented, God placed a spirit in my heart that would change me. I became a member of the Baptist Church at age 12 and was baptized. At the age of 18, I had left all that behind and became a member of the world. Thank God, he didn't let me fall by the wayside. Little by little he worked on me until I came back into the fold. It took divorce, the loss of my 20 yr old daughter, and an auto accident putting me in bed for almost nineteen months, for me to be still enough to listen.
Comment: By Steve Van Nattan-- I find this letter sweet and intensely sad at the same time. Alone south of the Mason Dixon Line swimming in Fundamental Baptist churches. You Bastard preachers will certainly answer to God one day for laying burdens too heavy to bear on the sheep of the Master.
The problem is, how do we convince America that Fundamental Baptists
are not all child abusers and perverts?
The point is this-- Fundamental Baptist churches have become so fierce in their attack on the minds of members, and have, if not physically, then mentally brutal. This is a cultic issues, for these people are violators of the clear teaching of Jesus Christ:
Mark 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
I wonder is the video above would have been so gruesome if Baptist preachers would turn in at once ANYONE in their churches, or in their preachers' fellowship, who showed ANY indication of sexual abuse and perversion? The fact that instead they cover for one another means they are devils, and Fundamental Baptists need to be avoided. Find other fellowship. If you think I am too harsh, then consider the vile life of Jack Hyles who abused girls at Hyles Anderson College by interrogating them with a deacon helping, as to their sex offenses in minute detail.
SEND MAIL What is your situation? Can I help?