“A lowered standard”
By Pastor Rasheed Z. Baaith
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts.” (2 Peter 3:3)
For the Body of Christ 2013 has been a year of Biblical prophetic fulfillment. The Church is indeed being attacked by the false teachers Paul spoke so eloquently and forcefully about in the book of 2 Timothy.
And of course when one speaks of these things the response by many inside and outside the Church is one of two things: one, the assessment is an inaccurate one or two; these false teachers are making God and His Church more “today” and more accessible to the people.
The only way to judge what is being taught today is to look at the content of the teaching and connect the teaching to Scripture. If what I or anyone else teaches cannot be proven by Scripture, it should be disregarded, no matter whose mouth it comes out of.
This is a year where pastors have taken self-promotion to an extreme. Starting with but certainly not ending with television programs like “Preachers of LA.” Determined to live every stereotype circulated about preachers from loving money more than they love God to preaching one thing but living another, the spiritual damage done by this program is as extensive as it is sad. For mis-leading young people in particular.
The only difference between this crew and the hip-hop industry is that the hip-hop industry is more honest. Both are pursuing the same things. Money and mo’ money. In an undisguised pursuit of personal enrichment, these “Shepherds” are fleecing their sheep in more ways than one. Yet at some point the sheep need to be held accountable for whom they let lead them. If you decide to follow a pastor who you know cares more about his wallet than his spirit, more about living high than living righteously and more about how big his house than how uncompromising the Holiness of God in, that’s on you.
Let’s get something else straight, this is not about expecting a man or woman to be without sin because none of us are and we know God can use polluted vessels because He uses me and you, but it is about trying to be upright in the eyes of God and before the presence of men.
Nor does it matter to these kinds of pastors how much they have been blessed in ministry. In recent years one mega church pastor has died of a drug over dose; more have succumbed to illicit sexual desires including homosexuality and pedophilia, and a number of others have let lust for money take them into places their spirit did not want to go.
If that’s not concern enough, there is a young woman who says she twerks for Jesus. Why she thinks Jesus would need her to tempt men and women with her body is way beyond me. How does anyone come to the conclusion that God not ordains such filthy carnal behavior but approves of it? What Jesus is she talking about and from what Bible?
Along the same path is this “sexy Christian” way of dressing I’ve read about and seen. The leading exemplar of this new vogue is a First Lady. Her clothes are tight and extremely revealing. Nothing is left to imagine. When she saunters down aisle you can bet that everybody’s mind goes from what is above to what is below. That means that those struggling with sexual issues have to struggle even more.
Somehow many in today’s Church believe that to have moral standards or to expect pastors to theologically sound and having the moral mind of Christ is out dated. This thought coupled with the “Jesus is love, so I can do anything I want and He will understand” philosophy is an attempt to make the Church not the Body of Christ but a religious association. And in this association, ritual is more important than worship, and sin is just a concept. Ain’t no Bible in that.
But we’re back where we were before. The Church folk are responsible for this mess and church folk need to clean it up. It needs to be done not because the Deacon Board says so because some of the Deacon Boards in our churches are the problem. There is no Biblical foundation for deacons to directing any church, being able to fire pastors or control church finances, none.
The cleaning needs to be done because the Word of God requires it. 2 Timothy 4:2 “Reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine;” and Titus 1:13 “Rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in faith.” The question for the church in the coming year is does it believe what it says it does? Does it believe the Bible, which is the foundation of the Church is truly the Word of God and that as such it cannot be compromised?
If it does, the Church needs to do more than just think about it, it needs to live it.