Sunday, 1 March 2015
Lust and Pride Seducing the church is the devil’s tool to Kill
The modern church is one that has been seduced by many deceiving spirits and things of the world. The things of the world fall into at least one of three categories: lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (1 John 2:16). The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and pride of life shapes one’s beliefs including those concerning church governance, evangelism and how to deal with social issues such as poverty, slavery, abortion and prostitution.
Serving God alone means serving God alone
Jesus said no one can serve both God and mammon. A person will love one and hate the other (Matthew 6:24). This literally means that if a person is to love God wholly, one is to hate mammon. If a person fails to love God wholly, even by the slightest, one will love mammon. One may object to this, arguing that no one can love God completely while not yet fully sanctified. Such is an extremely deceptive argument. It is true is the love of God for the true believer that he loves God and seeks God first. It is precisely because of this that God expects the true believer in Christ to seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). That a person in the natural state cannot love God does in no way justify the failure of the true Christian to seek first the Kingdom of God and seek God first above all things. Firstly, the true Christian has a new heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26) and is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) that can now in his new nature love God and seek after God. Secondly, God does expect human responsibility on part of the true Christian to battle sin and obey Him, and human responsibility on part of the unsaved to repent of sins.
Throughout the Bible, people are commanded to repent of their sins. This is an expectation of human responsibility on part of the unsaved. Jesus does not ever say, “You have a sin nature, so you cannot help yourself because this is your nature” or that “you were predestined the way you are so you do not need to repent because God will do it for you”. No! He expects human responsibility. It is not that the person who says he cannot repent after being convicted of his sins cannot do so. It is because he does not want to, not because he “can’t”. He deliberately hardens his heart and stiffens his neck because he chooses to do so. God also expects human responsibility on part of the true Christian to battle sin, seek first His Kingdom and obey Him as evidenced by the Letters to the Seven Churches in Revelation (Revelation 2-3).
Dismissing human responsibility on the grounds of incomplete sanctification
So, not being fully sanctified is not an excuse to love God wholly. This is not only a failed argument that the true Christian must fully hate, abhor and despise mammon, but an extremely deceptive one that must be eradicated from the church. This is a deceptive counter claim that is the leaven of false teaching (Matthew 16:6). A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (Galatians 5:9). Such is the nature of the false teaching that because a person is not fully sanctified, he cannot be expected to seek first the Kingdom of God and love God with all one’s heart, mind, strength, spirit and soul. Jesus Himself commanded: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). Thus, anyone who claims that because one is not fully sanctified and cannot love God fully should not strive to love God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind is teaching a damnable heresy. To love God will all one’s heart, mind, soul, spirit and strength means to hate mammon because no one can serve both God and mammon. Loving God and loving mammon are diametrically opposed. Just as an unsaved person cannot love or seek after God, a Christian cannot serve both God and mammon, which is what many Christians think they can somehow do. It is impossible. This is exactly what Jesus said. It is that simple.
Seduction by evil spirits not by pure lies, but half-truths
However, the question that remains is why is it that so many Christians attempt to twist this verse about the impossibility of serving God and mammon. The way one understands God’s Word is not by intellect, or proper linguistic understanding, but by submitting to God. When one fully submits to God, the devil flees from the person (James 4:7). By failing to fully submit to God, the person is vulnerable to seduction by satan or demons to commit sins. One such sin is heresy. Satan is the father of lies and when he speaks lies, he does so from his very nature (John 8:44). Satan, seducing spirits and demons do teach lies and are responsible for them.
1 Timothy 4:1 warns: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. Behind all the false doctrines that twist the Bible or blatantly express contempt for God are demons. These seducing spirits deceive. However, despite their responsibility for deception, people are responsible for their response to these deceiving, seducing evil spirits. People cannot blame their belief in heresies, while knowing it is false, on seducing spirits because they choose to believe it. People choose to believe heresies because of their carnal mind which governs the flesh is enmity against God (Romans 8:7). Heresies are from demons. Belief in heresies is from the desperately wicked and deceitful heart.
Heresies thrive on lusts
2 Timothy 4:3 explains why people believe in heresies, despite knowing the truth: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears”. People will seek to satisfy their own lusts, and not accept sound doctrine, because they do not want to. The Bible speaks of lusts of the eyes and lust of the flesh. Many Christians think that lust only refers to sexual lusts, and only a person who is full of sexual lust is one who is hostile against God. While it is true that many people who do not even want to believe God exists are sexually immoral and love their sexual immorality to the extent of being proud of it, lusts are not only sexual. A person need not be sexually immoral to be full of lust. A person can be very sexually moral but full of lust. Lust indeed can be for any material thing, even basic legitimate needs like food, and shelter.
Do not be anxious is a Command, not advice or opinion
Anxiety for earthly “basic needs” such as food, shelter and money is a failure to trust God. It comes from pride. Yes, even the mere anxiety is a sin and an expression of a failure to trust God. It is faithlessness. It is all too easy for a Christian to think that he cannot be anxious for his “basic needs”, and dismiss the unsaved to the only ones who feel anxious. However, nothing can be further from the truth. A Christian can indeed fall into the sin of anxiety, by failing to trust God completely for his “basic needs” or by believing that his “basic needs” are provided by himself or a “deserved” reward from God because of his obedience to Him.
Even one’s life is a gift from God, and not deserved at all. If even one’s life is undeserved, how much more are one’s “basic needs” undeserved? Even the very term ‘basic needs’ is a mammonised term. It suggests that humans are entitled to one’s needs. This is a lie of the devil. One may ask deceptively, “Doesn’t the Bible say we must help the needy?” to imply that to claim one’s basic needs is to serve mammon is a distortion of the Bible. This is precisely what one professing Christian asked to justify her attempts to serve both mammon and God. To claim that serving one’s basic needs is to serve mammon is not a distortion of the Bible. Rather, it affirms what Jesus said in Matthew 6:24-34.
Misconstruing ‘man shall not live by bread alone’
The question of helping the needy being raised in the context of serving material needs itself reveals that one is under the spirit of mammon. First, the question implies that people shall live by bread alone, or that people shall live by bread first before living by the Word of God. Jesus told satan when he was trying to tempt him in the desert to turn stones into bread because He was hungry, “Man shall not live by bread alone” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3: “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live”.
Many Christians will argue that ‘man shall not live by bread alone’ means that man shall live by both bread and Word of God, implying that it justifies serving one’s basic needs. Some will even go so far as to argue that man shall not live by bread alone is a command to be using one’s resources and accumulate more things for God. Thus, claiming that ‘man shall not live by bread alone’ is to hate the pursuit of material things is blasphemy as one pastor from America argued. What foolishness! ‘Man shall not live by bread alone’ needs to be understood the proper, true context. Deuteronomy 8:3 is an indictment of the faithless, rebellious Israelites who did not know what it means to be content with fed manna directly by God, in a very literally sense. God needed to “make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live” for the faithless, rebellious Israelites to understand that they “shall live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live” to be counted as holy. This literally means that man shall live by the Word of God alone, to the exclusion of one’s basic needs. It is to seek first the Kingdom of God as Jesus commanded.
Understanding the Bible for what is means is to seek the real spiritual meaning
Many Christians will accuse me of “mishandling the Bible” from this apparent “spiritualisation” of the Bible. They accuse me of being some evil heretic and would probably try to burn me at the stake if they could. They probably wish they were living in the Old Testament era so that they can kill me, for being a false prophet because explain that ‘man shall not live by bread alone’ means to seek not one’s material needs, but give them up completely and seek God alone. The Bible is to be understood properly, that is, what is really means spiritually for it is a spiritual book that can only be truly understood by spiritual revelation from God alone. This explains why the unsaved think the Bible is foolish and irrational, despite being able to understand the historical context and linguistic meanings – they are spiritually dead and thus not able to receive spiritual revelation (1 Corinthians 2:14). They can understand various symbolisms theologically, but they cannot understand what the Bible really means because it is a spiritual message.
Deuteronomy 8:3 makes a contrast between living by bread alone and living by the Word of God: “that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” The word ‘but’ indicates the contrast between the two diametrically opposed ways of life. A person either lives by bread alone, or by the Word of God alone. There are absolutely no middle grounds. If one lives by bread alone, one is seeking first one’s material ‘needs’. However, Jesus never tells His followers to seek their material needs first. In fact, He tells them not to even think about them. He said: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). Jesus said that if one wants to follow Him, he must give up all he has (Luke 14:33), not just some or most, but all. This is to live as though one has nothing, but Christ alone. That is, to not live as one has very little, but some, but to live as though has nothing. It is to live as Apostle Paul who said: “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:8).
It is not that I am trying to “spiritualise” the Bible by using a spiritual truth and applying it to the natural. Such an example would be to say that David defeated Goliath unexpectedly, so this indicates that one can pursue one’s “wildest dreams” if one trusts in God. No! Rather, I am seeking to examine the real meaning of what the Bible says. What the Bible says is always a spiritual message for the Word of God is divinely inspired.
Intolerance of evil is righteous and just
Undoubtedly, even many true Christians will argue that this is a harsh, narrow “interpretation” of the Bible. However, truth is harsh and narrow by its very nature. Truth by its nature is intolerant and hates all lies and half-truths. Truth hates half-truths more than pure lies because half-truths seek to acknowledge truth but yet fail to do so, pretending to be virtuous, but yet hating truth itself. The Bible is intolerant of lies and half-truths. It hates lies and half-truths. Many Christians fear acknowledging this as if intolerance is a negative characteristic. Intolerance must be made if what it is rejecting is evil. Should one tolerate paedophilia and bestiality? No, one should be intolerant of such evils and all other evils for they are evils. It is righteous and just to be intolerant of all evils including professing Christians who try to find middle grounds in the Bible.
Absolute intolerance of all evils is to be praised as a virtue. Legalistic intolerance such as that towards open-air preaching owing to fear of people thinking negatively of oneself should be treated with intolerance itself. Tolerance towards evil and approving of liberty to do evil and believe evil thoughts must be treated with all intolerance. Intolerance of even the slightest failure to understand what the Bible really means is righteous and just.
The Myth that Jesus only told the Rich Young Ruler to give up everything
One counter-claim that provokes my ire that that Jesus only told the rich young rule to give up everything because it prevented him from entering into the Kingdom of God. This is a claim made by a person who is, I believe, a genuine Christian, who said this in response to my claim that Jesus commands the Christian to give up all he or she has. I believe she was genuine in her response, and not a tyre-kicker or ice cream-licker who is only seeking to argue and criticise those who write on the subject of mammon, not because they are seeking answers, but because they are not, but yet think they know all the answers. Her response nevertheless provoked my ire, especially when she instructed me to ‘work for heavenly things’ that last, as if I was not already doing that.
There is no doubt that Jesus told the rich young man in Luke 18 to give up everything he had. However, people who claim that Jesus only told the rich young man to give up all he had forget that Jesus said to His disciples: “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:25). This means that it is impossible for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven in his own will and strength as Jesus implied when He responded to a disciple who asked who can be saved if one does not give up all one has like the the rich man was not willing, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27).
Following Jesus requires one to give up all things
Jesus told the Parable of the Great Supper in Luke 14:16-24 to illustrate what one needs to do to follow Him:
Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
There are two groups invited but only one was accepted. Those who made excuses for not attending the banquet were rejected by God for they rejected Him first. It is significant that the things used as excuses to reject the invitation were not evil acts in themselves. In fact, the things used as pretexts to not attend the banquet were things given by God, such as land, oxen or a wife. These things indeed are gifts from God. It must also be noted the people who refused to attend the banquet and made excuses on the grounds of these things were not described as outwardly immoral people who indulged in sexual lusts, but perhaps even outwardly ‘moral’ people. They rejected the invitation because they choose to serve their own lusts of the eye, lusts of the flesh and pride of life. They are like the people, who have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, understand what it means, but reject it because they decided to serve mammon, through seeking their own earthly comfort. There are many who attend church regularly, fight for ‘Christian values’ but yet are wilfully serving mammon. These are the tares among the wheat who are unsaved, haters of God with a ‘religious’ facade. They are different from those true Christians who are struggling with the temptation to serve mammon and yield to his wiles, and often succumb to him.
Angered after hearing that these people rejected the invite to the banquet, the master chose to invite the poor, maimed, halt and the blind. The Bible’s understanding of who are the poor is in stark contrast to that of human understanding. The world thinks that the poor are those who have below a certain income, but yet having access to all ‘basic needs’. Many in the world think they are ‘poor’ because they are envious, greedy and proud, thinking they “deserve” to have as much as others. However, what the Bible means when it refers to the poor are those who have no material comfort or support, and therefore bullied, oppressed and despised by the world. The poor are those who live like they are poor and are humbled.
The existence of poverty itself is a judgment of a godless world
The very existence of poverty is an indictment of a loveless, godless, sinful, evil world. The world asks what can be done about poverty, not because it has any compassion for the poor, but because it perceives the poor as a burden to society. When it says ‘we need to help the poor’, it really means, ‘we need to get help the poor to help ourselves’.
The poor as described in the Bible are antithesis of the ways of the world because the poor represent all that of opposed God, who the world hates. The world hates the poor because the poor as described by the Bible live in a way that opposes the world. He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor (Proverbs 14:31).
The way people treat the poor as the Bible describes reflects how one treats God, for the poor are an indictment of the world’s lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life. The poor cannot satisfy the lust of the eyes of the world as they give the impression that they are useless to the world. The poor cannot satisfy the lust of the flesh of the world as they cannot give anything earthly and material to the world. The poor cannot satisfy the pride of life of the world, not only because they cannot offer material and earthly goods to the world but because their very existence is an indictment of its idolatry, greed and lusts which it knows. Any sympathy that the world shows to the poor, even in the slightest, is one of pride and of the feeling of superiority. How can one love the poor unless one loves God?
Do not be deceived, the world hates the poor. Whether they openly mock and exploit the poor, or call for so-called ‘humanitarian aid’ to “help” the poor when they are really seeking to impose their neo-liberal agenda on the poor nations, the world hates the poor. The world hates the poor and treats their cries for mercy like evil deceptions. Why? The world abhors the thought of being accountable for the way it treats the poor because the suffering of the poor are an indictment of their wickedness.
Giving up even one’s life is a requirement to follow Jesus
Jesus explains the Parable of the Great Feast in Luke 14:25-35:
And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it. Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Many professing Christians find this teaching hard to accept, including even the true Christians because such a teaching is so radical and so against the flesh that the true Christian wrestles against. Just as the carnal mind is hostile against God, the teaching that one must give up all of what one has to follow Jesus is hostility and enmity against the flesh.
Many Christians accept that wealth is dangerous to the soul, albeit begrudgingly with great reluctant and vehement opposition to those who warn them about it. They treat those who warn them about this as they are one being self-righteous, and one who should live a monastic life to mean what one says. Why do people who warn about money being dangerous to the soul get such a rebuke and why is such as rebuke treated as justified? It is because this teaching convicts them of any desire to live for themselves, and many who are professing Christians think they are living a righteous life and need no such warning. That is why! This is not to say that those who warn about the dangers of money to the soul are perfect and have no struggles with yielding to mammon’s temptations. By no means! Rather, it because of the pride of those who are feeling convicted that Jesus really means what He says when He said that “if anyone wants to follow Me, He must die to self.” That is why these objections and counter-claims get raised in the first place.
It is not only money that is dangerous to the soul. That should be obvious. The mere ability to receive one’s basic earthly needs such as food and shelter is dangerous to the soul. I would argue it is even more dangerous, because such a person can learn to be so materially contented with little that, one becomes deceived into thinking of oneself as not earthly, but very spiritual, since one is less wealthy compared to others. However, such as person is deceived because he thinks he is spiritual for having just enough material comfort. No! Material comfort refers to the ability to have access to basic earthly needs. Rather, it is how one really lives at heart, whether lives as though one has, or whether one lives as though one has nothing. The question is not how much one has, or even one’s attitude as many Christians are happy to argue just so that they do not have to admit their anxiety to their earthly needs. The question is whether one is willing to lose all one has to serve Jesus, including one’s very life. Are you prepared to suffering and shed blood to follow Jesus? Are you?
Only the poor as described by the Bible can enter the Kingdom of Heaven, as Jesus said it is impossible for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. What is meant by ‘the poor’ in this context are those who live as though they had nothing, not even one’s breath, just as Christ lived as He had nothing despite having all the riches of Heaven. Likewise, what is meant by ‘the rich’ are those who live as though the world is their home, for it is that which offers them satisfaction of the lusts of the eyes, lusts of the flesh and pride of life. Indeed, the poor are those who give up all they have to follow Jesus.
How earthly thinking is an indication of one being under the spirit of mammon
It is very easy for a Bible-believing Christian who is actively serving his or her church, and gives much money to his church to think that he could never be under the spirit of mammon. Indeed, I have been said to have formulated a test that he who does not warn about the spirit of mammon is under. This is a deliberately scornful and derisively sarcastic caricature by a modern evangelical does not have the spiritual revelation about the topic and probably has not even thought about studying it, as he thinks it is a “minor” topic. He claims that because the Bible does not use the term ‘spirit of mammon’, it does not exist and denies the existence of temptations and doctrines from demons.
The very thought of him even reading our blog provokes my ire because of the spirit in which he does it; not because I fear any public criticism from him as he tries to claim, so that he can have grounds to accuse me of being hypocritical. This is an extremely devious argument he makes. He claims it is to “see what you are feeding the sheep”. That is only what he claims. The spirit in which he does so is really just to express his vehement hostility against me, and he attempts to hide this under the false pretence of graciousness so typical of many modern evangelicals.
Unbiblical thinking and ideas adopted by modern evangelicals
Modern evangelicals (or American/Western evangelicals) have been critiqued by many respected pastors such as Ray Comfort and Tony Miano for their failure to use the Law in evangelism, imposition of specific acts to do or not do to be counted as gentle, not to say, their compromising and hypocritical false sense of graciousness. It is impossible to explain to a modern evangelical why it does not matter what the world thinks about the Christian. A modern evangelical who I spoke to said to me “I still disagree that it doesn’t matter what people think”, as if it was a matter of whether one agreed with another on Biblical issues. The question to ask the modern evangelical is where does the Bible tell you to be “culturally sensitive”?
The modern evangelical’s favourite Bible verse is “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). He uses this to justify “cultural sensitivity”. I once spoke to a modern evangelical about this, explaining that if what is labelled cultural sensitivity means not getting involved in intellectual debates or arguments that is fine. However, if it means to conform to the culture such that the Law of God and message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is made “relevant” to the culture, such as to not use the Law of God in evangelism because it “offends” people, that is not. He did not reply to me on this point. What modern evangelicals like him mean when they use the term “cultural sensitivity” really means to pander to the carnal, unregenerate, depraved and darkened mind of the unsaved. He only causally apologises for discouraging me in evangelism. No! Not only that, he has really caused me much spiritual frustration and spiritual bondage by all that he has “advised” me about. All that he has done thinking he was “helping” me was all a curse! He admitted to me that he has a fear of people when I spoke to him about the hindrance of “cultural sensitivity”. False theology and unbiblical doctrines applied to evangelism, such as the secular, and therefore demonic doctrine of “cultural sensitivity”, holds people in spiritual bondage.
Many modern evangelicals are under a spirit of fear, a real demonic spirit that blinds them from seeing how they are acting under it. A person may be under the spirit and understands one’s sins, but yet fail to understand how the spirit is seeking to blind and work through them. One may say, “Doesn’t the Holy Spirit reside in the person who is truly saved?”, as these modern evangelicals will retort. Yes, that is true. However, 1 Thessalonians 5:19 warns: “Quench not the Spirit”. Why does the true Christian need to be warned not to quench the Holy Spirit? He or she needs to be warned because it can happen. The Spirit can be quenched when the person yields to wiles of the devil, demonic doctrines or temptations to sin.
Allowing the world to pollute the well
Earthly thinking and even the mere tolerance of earthly thinking are indicators that one is under the spirit of mammon. Adoption of earthly ideas including the failure to despise and reject such ideas is to be in partnership to the world. The Christian may raise an objection to this, claiming that this is intolerance of other ideas. The ideas from the world, that is the unregenerate, carnal, vile, wicked and evil world are not even to be tolerated! To tolerate such ideas is to accept that they may have some legitimacy in the absolute moral sense, that which is of the perfect Moral Law of God. While not all aspects of worldly ideas are directly against the Bible, their roots and the spirit of such ideas are always inevitably anti-Bible, anti-Church, antichrist and anti-God. One shard of evil make the whole lump evil.
Every worldly doctrine has evil roots and thinking, making the whole doctrine evil. A little leaven is enough to leaven the lump. This is precisely what all worldly doctrines are – evil, because of just one or, as is almost always the case, many evil grains of deception that mix themselves with grains of truth to make the grains of truth evil. Thus, adoption of worldly doctrines or even the mere tolerance leaven the lump and distort Biblical doctrine and practice.
The evil depraved doctrine of “cultural sensitivity”
The church has allowed the world to pollute its well. Even mere tolerance of such ideas is friendship with the world. James 4:4 says: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Indeed, tolerance of worldly doctrine is to be friends with the world. Such an example is the application of “cultural sensitivity” to evangelism. Who do the unsaved think cultural sensitivity training is required of? Anyone who opposes homosexuality and the homosexual agenda, whether saved or unsaved is deemed to need “cultural sensitivity” training as an means of “disciplining” him or her.
Cultural sensitivity is a truly wicked doctrine of the unregenerate that demands people to ‘respect’ the depraved, and carnal mindset of the natural person. It must be note it does not just apply to homosexuality, but all carnal unregenerate thinking in any shade. It appears to have a nice, approachable facade, but the spirit behind “cultural sensitivity” is humanism. The Christian may argue that the cultural sensitivity they exercise is not of the politically correct sort. Of course political correctness is evil! However, the issue here is not political correctness, but the humanistic doctrine of cultural sensitivity itself.
Preaching the Gospel and calling people to repentance is the core of evangelism. The motive is to save souls. This motive itself is not culturally acceptable or deemed ‘appropriate’ by any culture as all unregenerate depraved sinners are God-haters. Even the motive of evangelism is not ‘appropriate’ in the eyes of any culture.
Yet, modern evangelicals demands of others who evangelise that they submit to the cultural demands of the culture regarding evangelism. I have experienced this and thus, can attest to how it puts people in spiritual bondage. The person who caused me to stumble really does not understand it, and merely gives a casual apology. He has really caused me to go into spiritual bondage because of this error. That is why I must cut off all contact with him.
Modern evangelism use the Biblical mandate of being gentle and overemphasis it to create their own set of rules that are not dictated by God. For example, one of their rules is that using the Law of God in evangelism is wrong, as though it was a sin itself. Another example is that asking people questions as to whether they have lied is wrong, as though it was a sin itself. This is all from a fear of people. The fear of people itself is a lack of love, and a love for approval of a wicked, carnal, world. Such is friendship with the world. The fear of people leads to seeking counsel from the ungodly, that which Psalm 1:1 warns against. The offence and hatred from the world for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for being against wickedness and evil, is not to be avoided, but embraced. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake (Matthew 5:11).
This modern evangelical, in response to telling him that using the Law and the Gospel is the Biblical model even asked something along the lines of, “Why do we need to follow it?” or “Why should we follow it?”. The Bible is the manual that counsels the believer in all things, including evangelism. Seek the counsel of the Word of God, not that from the world.
The Spirit behind All False Teachers and Doctrines
A respected preacher once said that about 50% of the practices of the modern church are unbiblical. A pastor once said that the modern church has a fear of people, rather than God. This is not to say that those who fear people are false converts and teachers. Rather, it is to state the fact. The fear of people is a very significant thing. It is not “minor” thing. Even if it were, if anything addressed in the Bible should be categorised as “major” or “minor”, it is not to be neglected. Even the slightest deviation from sound doctrine amounts to false demonic doctrines. All unbiblical practices and thinking of the true Church have the same roots of those who qualify as false teachers – lusts of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life.
The unbiblical doctrines adopted by true Christians and the false doctrines of false teachers both either accept that which is of the world, or of the world itself. These doctrines seek friendship with the world which is enmity against God (James 4:4). Such is spiritual adultery as those who are married to Christ cannot be married to the world for Christ is opposed to the world, and the world is opposed to Christ. All these doctrines seek to find fellowship with darkness and partnership with iniquity.
The true church is light and righteous, not darkness and iniquitous. Yet, it often tries to find partnership with darkness and the iniquitous unregenerate to reach out to it with the Gospel. However, it is impossible for light to fellowship with darkness and righteousness to find unity with iniquity.
2 Corinthians 6:14-16 says:
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[b]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.
The reason it is impossible for the church to seek fellowship with the unsaved is because it is the temple of the living God. Many Christians like to read in to the 2 Corinthians 6:14-16, claiming it only refers to marriage. Nowhere in the text does it indicate it only refers to marriage. Thus, it cannot be assumed to be the case. It needs to be taken to mean in any relationships that can involve an unbeliever.
A person may still claim, as modern evangelicals so stubbornly do, use the verse “I am all things to all men” to justify trying to please the unbeliever by being culturally sensitive for fear of ‘offending’ people. By no means can any light or righteousness please the unbeliever! The very light and righteousness themselves, which the true Christian has will always offend the unbeliever for he is darkness. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved (John 3:20).
Natural persons are the same anywhere and in any era – born with the same sin nature, having the same hatred of God, same spiritual blindness, same wickedness and same hatred of the church. All natural persons, regardless of culture, religion, race, sex or ethnic group are the same.
Trying to serve mammon and God together
Many true Christian struggle with trying to serve God and mammon together. Many will argue that they still need to live in the world and so must seek after one’s earthly needs. This is exactly what it means to try to serve mammon.
When one is trying to serve mammon, one’s heart will be turned away from God. As such, one’s whole mind set will be blinded, even though one may be saved. A Christian can still have some blindness as to the full glory of God as he is not fully sanctified. You may argue that a true Christian cannot be trying to serve mammon. A true servant of God can indeed be seduced by evil including mammon. Jesus referred to His servants, that is, true believers who were being seduced by sin in Revelation 2:20: “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” Indeed, mammon has crept into the church as Jezebel has crept into the church of Thyatira in Revelation 2:18-29.
It is the failure to trust and love God completely that all the unbiblical humanistic doctrines which fear people rather than God have crept into the church. The true Church has been seduced by mammon to desire things which are of the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life.
All unbiblical doctrines, not just that of false teachers but those which the true Christian who has been seduced by mammon adopts, appeal to the lusts and pride of the carnal human nature. 2 Peter 2:18 explains of unsound doctrines: For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
Why the West can see no revival
The explanation of the Parable of the Great Feast that Jesus gave also unlocks the key to revival: Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (Luke 14:35).
The church in the west has been mammonised. It is satisfied with its own comfort and smug behind its wealth. It succumbing to the lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes and pride of life, it seeks friendship with the world. If one is a true Christian, one must not only shun all friendship with the world, but hate even tolerance of the world’s ways, for it pursues lusts and pride.
History has shown the revival occurs after persecution. The spilling of the blood of the true Christians plants a seed of revival. Persecution occurs not because satan wants it, but because God allows it. It draws the true Christian closer to God and purifies the church. It tests the true Christians love for God through fiery trials that demand all believers to shun all lusts of the eyes, lusts of the flesh and pride of life, and truly know that the world is passing away.
Mammon has his stranglehold over the western church, grabbing his hands around its neck, but not enough to choke it so that it will not realise his stranglehold.
For there to be revival in the west, all Christians in the west must reject mammon’s seductions and stop trying to serve God and mammon.