"You've Got to Be Joking"
I was recently criticized about a message I posted concerning God’s call to “come out of her My people.” His criticism questioned how Christians could be corrected if they weren’t in a church? A host of answers came to mind but my overriding reaction was, “Seriously? You’ve got to be joking”? Isn’t that kind of like expecting Congress to balance the budget?
In light of the fact that the overwhelming majority of churchanity has become so corrupted by its lack of biblical soundness, its self-absorbed theology, anything goes sensationalism, flood of false teachers and ear-tickling teaching it has lost its spiritual ability to judge itself as well as the divine imperative to do so.
The ancient boundary stones of truth have been so replaced by the ever-expanding boundaries of hype-ology, do-it-yourself theology and extra biblical teachings that much of churchanity can no longer discern between truth and half-truths. What we have now is a convenient, hyper-tolerant, accommodating, self-indulgent, “it is all about me” mentality where everyman does what is right in his own eyes and no one seems to care.
When we lose the ability to judge ourselves, we soon become infected with the spiritual equivalent of AID’s. A pandemic of spiritual AIDS is sweeping through churchanity and compromising its immune system. Like physical AIDS, the body can no longer fight off the invasion of spiritual pathogens and opportunistic diseases which come in the form of false teaching and false teachers. This is what Peter was speaking about when he referred to the opportunistic nature of the false teachers who would come to exploit the church; “And many will follow their destructive ways...by covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words.”
When Christian feed on a steady diet of church hype, empty emotionalism, manmade traditions, motivational drivel and ear-tickling messages their body’s health is quickly downgraded. It loses its ability to discern and the scriptural understanding to resist and they become increasingly susceptible to life threatening diseases.
What’s particularly disturbing about the nature of both forms of AIDS is the fact that they not only lower the body’s resistance to infections but actually attack the body’s own immune system which enables it to fight off deadly organisms. What compounds their destructive force is the fact they actually empower the body to self-destruct.
To draw a spiritual parallel, there are many places in the church where her spiritual immune system has been so crippled by her complacency, “self-rightness” and spiritual arrogance that she has not only become vulnerable to a wide range of “opportunistic infections” but she has even turned against her own God-given defense mechanisms in the form of true shepherds, prophets and watchmen who understand the times and seasons in which we live. It is they who are fighting off the viruses that threaten her life and authenticity. More often than not, it is the mature, grassroots believer who are standing in the proverbial gap and doing the job much of the leadership is either failing to do or incapable of doing.
The false shepherds, hirelings and wannabes of today minimize those fighting for the church’s welfare by “poisoning the well”. They attack the messenger through slander and character assassination. They dismiss their message by accusing them of being “judgmental, critical, angry, bitter, unloving, carrying a grudge and even having a vendetta against the church”. Yet, there is a faithful remnant who still hear His “still small voice” and know how to smell a rat.