What are the human values taught by Jesus Christ as described in the Bible. Part 4: Charismatic people and their Hotline to God!


megaphone-god-5

 

Have you ever ran across someone who is constantly telling others that God told them that these people should do this or that? Many charismatic people believe that God is constantly speaking to them. My response to them would be, “Every thought that runs through your mind is not a direct command from God!”

I have heard them often say “God told me you should do this” or “God told me that you shouldn’t do that”. Now I am not implying that God does not communicate with His people. What I am saying is if we have no need for a priest to be an intermediary for us with God, then I don’t believe that God has to use an intermediary to speak to us either.

My biggest concern is the young Christian that does not know scripture well and then begin to rely on these so-called “God Whisperers”. When we as Christians place our trust into a human rather than placing it fully in God trouble begins brewing.

I see this as a two-pronged problem. First it is the people going around telling others what they should do with the emphasis on the command being directed by God Himself. The other is the fact that most of our church going population has not read the Bible in its entirety and therefore is ignorant of what the Word of God really says.

I did some informal research in 2010 about where the church and Christians stand when it comes to reading the Bible. Here are the statistics that I came up with.

– 70% of Americans say they believe in a personal God.

– Nearly 1/3 of Americans believe that the Bible is the actual word of God and should be taken literally.

– 47% of Americans believe that the Bible is divinely inspired. 

– Fewer than 22% of Americans attend worship services each week.

 17% of all Christians say that they tithe, 3% actually do.

– Occasional Bible readers have declined from 79% in the 80’s to 59%, according to a recent Gallop poll.

– Only 16% of Christians polled said that they read the Bible daily.

– Less than 10% of Christians have actually read the bible from Genesis to Revelation.

So from my research I can see why so many people listen to others as their source of information, inspiration, and guidance. This is not what God wants from us, we are not to be mere sheep following after someone just because everyone else is. We are supposed to be like the Bereans and compare everything we are told against scripture. We are to rightly divide the Word.

 

 

What are the human values taught by Jesus Christ as described in the Bible. Part 2


Part 2: The Word of Faith Movement (also called Name It and Claim It)

Name it and claim it Jesus

I found an opinion piece written by Jack Zavada that I found here, http://christianity.about.com/od/Word-Of-Faith/a/Word-Of-Faith-Errors.htm . It sums up the issues that I have with the Word of Faith movement rather well. It covers the prosperity gospel again but it is difficult to separate these beliefs. Here is what Jack Zavada wrote.

Word of Faith Errors

Word of Faith preachers are common on television and have massive followings. They typically teach that God wants his people to be healthy, wealthy, and happy all the time, and that speaking the right words, in faith, compels God to deliver on his part of the covenant.

Believers in accepted Christian doctrine disagree. They say the Word of Faith (WOF) movement is false and twists the Bible to primarily enrich the Word of Faith leaders themselves. Many of them live in mansions, wear expensive clothes, drive luxurious cars, and some even have private jets. The preachers rationalize that their lavish lifestyles are only proof that Word of Faith is true.

Word of Faith is not a Christian denomination or uniform doctrine. Beliefs vary from preacher to preacher, but they generally profess that children of God have a “right” to the good things in life, if they ask God and believe correctly. Following are three key Word of Faith errors.

Word of Faith Error #1: God is Obligated to Obey People’s Words

Words have power, according to Word of Faith beliefs. That’s why it is often called “name it and claim it.” WOF preachers cite a verse such as Matthew 11:24, emphasizing the belief aspect: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (NIV)

The Bible, in contrast, teaches that God’s will determines the answer to our prayers:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27, NIV)

God, as a loving heavenly Father, gives us what is best for us, and only he is capable of determining that. Countless faithful Christians have prayed for healing from illness or disability yet remain unhealed. On the other hand, many Word of Faith preachers who claim healing is only a prayer away wear eyeglasses and go to the dentist and doctor.

Word of Faith Error #2: God’s Favor Results in Riches

Financial abundance is a common thread among Word of Faith preachers, causing some to call this the “prosperity gospel” or “health and wealth gospel.”

Supporters claim that God is eager to shower worshipers with money, promotions, large homes and new cars, citing such verses as Malachi 3:10:

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”(NIV)

But the Bible abounds with passages that warn of pursuing money instead of God, such as 1 Timothy 6:9-11:

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (NIV)

Hebrews 13:5 cautions us not to always be wanting more and more:

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (NIV)

Wealth is not a sign of favor from God. Many drug dealers, corrupt businessmen, and pornographers are wealthy. Conversely, millions of hardworking, honest Christians are poor.

Word of Faith Error #3: Humans are Little Gods

Human beings are created in the image of God and are “little gods”, some WOF preachers claim. They imply that people are capable of controlling a “faith force” and have the power to bring their desires into being. They cite John 10:34 as their proof text:

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”‘? (NIV)

This Word of Faith teaching is blatant idolatry. Jesus Christ was quoting Psalm 82, which referred to judges as “gods”; Jesus was stating that he was above judges as the Son of God.

Christians believe there is one God only, in three Persons. Believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit but are not little gods. God is creator; humans are his creations. To attribute any type of divine power to humans is unbiblical.

The Whole Truth about the Hole Truth


God has led me through many trials and tribulations. He is good and dependable in all things. No matter what I was going through I could depend on His guidance and provision in my life. It has taken me a very long time to come to peace with these beliefs and to stop fighting God for control of everything going on around me.

God has taught me how to better interact with other people and my loved ones. How I am to show the world the light of my salvation in Jesus. This took me a while because pride and fear would get in the way to stop me from just being a Christian to others.

Pride would say “They don’t need this from you, you are too busy”. Fear would say “You don’t want to put yourself out there to get rejected or ridiculed”. I am sure that there are other people out there that can relate to this. The devil works hard to try and keep us in a box and away from the world.

So God brought me a long way through many hard trials, but it was always me that was suffering either physically or mentally. What I found out later was my biggest challenge was to watch a loved one struggle with their willingness to allow God control of their life.

I’ve been through the process and know that God can and will heal us of our past hurts and physical pain. I have experienced when I finally gave up control of something then God came in and made a blessing in my life from that situation.

I know what God wants us to do, give Him full control of our hearts and life. To let Him guide us in the path He has intended for us that will bring us happiness, love, and abundant joy. But how do you council a loved one who knows God and what He can do but struggles with allowing Him to control their life?

I have tried patience and this works sometimes. I have tried scripture and encouraging words which work for a while. I continue to try unconditional love which is often spurned. This loved one when they are angry can hurt me as badly as a knife through my heart. This causes a deep aching in my chest and a real feeling of sorrow and loss.

Although I am still able to be baited into arguments, I try to allow God to guide me away from this type of destructive communication. Sometimes it feels impossible to avoid the confrontations and it hurts all the more.

But God has reminded me that others have hurts as well. Sometimes they are very deep and very old wounds that are not allowed to see the light of day. And He also reminded me that I was not the one in control or the one to fix this situation. It is hard to be a guy sometimes. God reminded me that it is my responsibility to give my problems and concerns to Him and have faith that He will take care of these things in His own time and in His own way.

This brings me great comfort to know that my God loves me so much that He wants to take mine and my loved ones problems and deal with them for me. How humbling is that? The Creator of everything has time for my insignificant problems and loves me and my family so much that He personally intervenes for our good.

For those of you that don’t know Him, don’t believe in Him, or just don’t care, I just feel compassion and sorrow that you do not know this feeling of love and security. Do you have a hole in you that you haven’t been able to fill? Do you have some need that has eluded your satisfaction? Are you tired of fighting with everything in your life? Perhaps you are looking in the wrong place to fill that hole. You might want to try a place just down the road. It’s open every Sunday and welcomes all who are seeking something else and are curious about what is being offered there. It’s your local church!

What is the worst that could happen? You spend an hour sitting in an air conditioned building, listening to a little music and someone talk. What is the best that could happen? You could begin to find something that can finally fill that hole inside you which has been empty for so long.

God Bless