Active Christian Media Blog
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Right now I'm sitting in my back office, thinking about my life, my past, my future and really what is to come for the world. This usually happens every time about this time of the year because every year, around my birthday, I tend to reflect...
So I have my coffee in my brand new cup that Kevin Turner from Strategic World Impact sent me a few days ago, because he was a guest on the show and I'm enjoying some kind of watered down instant coffee with hazelnut creamer. It's definitely not Starbucks, which I'm thankful for because after I got sick drinking their coffee one time, and barfed all day long, well...I'm just glad it's not Starbucks.
Anyway, I have my coffee and my computer and here I am now writing this post.
One thing that has been on my heart for many months now is the state of the church of Jesus Christ. This past Sunday was my 28th anniversary of having been baptized into Christ, and as I went through my day on Sunday and reflected upon the state of the church, all I can say is that I felt really sad.
I feel sad about the state of the church in America primarily because it lacks much influence in the culture. Every day I read stories on websites like The Christian Post or even Fox News about how someone who is calling themselves a Christian has done something horrifically wrong.
Even today The Christian Post has a story about the Crystal Cathedral bankruptcy and how the elder Schuller is denying any charges leveled against them for basically stealing from the church.
Then we have Pat Robertson from his mega-media empire in the news again for saying that Mitt Romney is an "outstanding Christian" as well as a few days ago him being in the news for advocating divorce from a spouse who has Alzheimers, and I think... really Pat? The bible is pretty clear about divorce and how God hates it, and anyone who knows anything about Mitt Romney knows he's a member for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which is not a Christian church regardless of how they want to package it.
Not only has Mitt Romney advocated for a $50 co-pay for abortions (not a Christian thing to do) but the man is the father of homosexual marriage in America. Mitt Romney is no biblical Christian by any measure.
Yet for some reason we are hearing from Pat Robertson, who is supposedly a Christian leader in America, that Romney is an "outstanding Christian". I don't think so.
Then we have controversy happening with American Family Radio, Brannon Howse, Todd Friel and John Loeffler, as well as Ingrid Schlueter and her father Vic Elaison from VCY America having a falling out, and then Ingrid Schlueter and Brannon Howse also having a falling out, and everyone going public with it.
In fact, all of the aforementioned have not only been in the secular press for their controversies, and issues with one another, but the secular press is in some cases, even being fair in their coverage.
And even yesterday I had another private conversation with someone who knows a pretty big name in the Christian radio world and the things that have happened behind the scenes with this "saint", well, let's just say they are anything but godly. And all I can do is think to myself, if the people who are praising all of these people and their ministries really knew the truth about what really goes on behind the scenes, most of them would never donate another cent to them and they would turn off their programs. The problem is that the masses don't know and those of us who do know, have reasons why we don't say anything.
So, I look at the state of the church in America and I'm grieved. I look at what passes for Christian ministry and I'm really grieved. I see the hundreds of press releases I get every week from publishers that say they are Christian and I think...."where is JESUS" in all of this?
Where is JESUS? Let me say it again...where is JESUS...in any of this?
If I had to guess, I would say that Jesus is looking at the state of His church and crying and I'd say that just as He said to Jerusalem and how he longed to gather them back to Himself, He's saying that to His church today.
We live in a world that is trying to find love and those of us who know Jesus personally and read His words, do our best to obey His commands and serve Him with all of our hearts, we know that Jesus is the answer. He is Love. He is compassionate, slow to anger, full of mercy and grace and long suffering. So we point people to Jesus because He is all of these things. Jesus IS God. He is love.
But...as much as it pains me to say it, His representatives are not even remotely close to who He is. In fact, by the very nomenclature Christian, this means that we should be like Christ. Is anything I mentioned above with all of these people involved in Christian ministry anything like Jesus Christ?
I think the world just sits back and says, "There they go again...those Christians, those hypocrites, money hungry bigots with nothing better to do than to attack us and then devour their own".
The world isn't seeing the love of Christ here. But you know where the world IS seeing the love of Christ? I'll tell you... in the midst of the persecuted church.
In fact, last week I received a call from CNN about the Pastor Youcef Naderkhani case and was asked what I thought of how America Christians were responding to the case. I told the reporter that I thought it was good that they were praying, but even better that the secular media was covering this case because if they don't cover it then most of the churches in America are probably not going to know about it. Why... because the leaders of most the churches in America don't care about it enough to follow it.
But see, this is where the world has an opportunity to see the love of Christ - in HIS suffering body. The case with Pastor Youcef is one of hundreds I've covered in the time I've been writing the Voice of the Martyrs Persecution blog.
And so when the world see Christians suffering for just BEING a Christian and nothing else, and then the world sees that person love and forgive their tormentors and simply ask for prayer...then the world sees true Christianity.
However, instead we have examples that I've listed above where the secular media just gets another opportunity to hammer into the heads of the masses what hypocrites, backstabbing fools Christians in ministry really are. I think that is sad.
Meanwhile, I have to say this because it's something that has been magnified lately, especially in my email. While the world is watching the church devour itself, Oprah Winfrey and Glenn Beck have been rallying the masses to live their best lives and do all they can to stand for bettering the world.
Oprah is starting her new life class on Monday, October 10th. She is giving over one million journals away to those who signed up to get the journal before September 29th and her whole purpose in doing this class is to help people to live up to their best potential. Yet, she'll be doing it with new age spirituality as her guide. But that won't matter to most people because Oprah isn't out there attacking anyone like so many in the church are doing. If any attacking is going on with Oprah, she's smart enough to do it behind the scenes.
So, if you wonder why people are turning to Oprah and Glenn Beck for help and solutions and not the church, consider how the church not only represents itself, but truly how those in Christian media, really aren't an example of real Christianity. It's easy to see why people are lured into the new age.
Love can be found in the person of Jesus Christ, who came down to earth incarnate, as God so that He could die for our sins. We are ALL sinners. We have ALL fallen short of the glory of God and NO ONE can get to heaven except through Jesus Christ.
Jesus paid the price for our sins by willingly dying on the cross and taking the sin of the whole world upon Himself. He sweat drops of blood in the garden before he was crucified, then he carried that cross, was nailed on it, and died.
Then 3 days later, JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD and conquered death for all time. After that He appeared to more than 500 witnesses and commissioned them to go into all the world and preach this good news.
This is what us Christians need to be doing. We need to stop the fighting, hit the floor on our knees, forgive one another and move on. We need to get about our Father's business and tell the world that JESUS is where they will find love from.
I don't know, maybe if the church stuck to that work and calling, all of this other stuff wouldn't be happening and wouldn't matter. That's just my thought.