The sad part is, I believe there are hundreds of thousands if
not millions of Christians, of all races, in this country and
abroad, who claim Christ but who do not actually know Him.
Worse, I know many “Christians” who do not believe Him, who do
not trust His words as recorded and who do not have a thriving
relationship with him.
As a pastor, I only have the authority over your life that you
grant me. I can’t come over and hold a gun to your head and
demand you take my advice or do as I say. You give your pastor
authority when you submit yourself to his leadership and
guidance. So it is with God. God does not force Himself on
anybody [Rev 3:20]. God only has the authority in your life that
you yourself grant Him. The more of yourself you have out front,
the less God can work in you. And vice versa: it’s not hard to
recognize God at work in someone’s life versus Church Folk.
Mean, nasty, competitive, selfish, vain, trifling, materialistic
Church Folk. The Spirit of God is not at work in these people,
in their lives or their homes. Regardless of how pious these
people are, of what committee they’re the head of or whose
cousin they are, These People Are Not Christians. They’re Church
Folk. They are a deceived people, living a lie, and doing great
damage to the cause of Christ because, for too many uncharted,
it is these folk who symbolize Christianity, these horrible
people who behave nothing at all like Jesus Christ. They will be
judged for this. Not only for their own self-deception, but for
the blood on their hands for all those their despicable example
have turned away from God.
Is the born-again experience real? It is for me. It is so real,
I can’t imagine why people choose to live in bondage, in
darkness. I cannot stand being around Church Folk; their
counterfeit witness offends me. However, it is also possible I
came to know the Lord in simpler times, in the 1970’s, when
there were three TV channels and radio had actual standards.
These days, most of us submit to an almost 24/7 steady stream of
digital brainwashing, the TV on all the time, going straight to
the satellite radio in the car, and to live streaming on the
internet at work or at school. “Smart” phones jammed into our
pockets with wave after wave of entertainment. Young people in
particular usually have some form of entertainment blaring at
all times. Most of this stuff is simply demonic. Galatians 5
provides two lists of attributes. Compare that list—the works of
the flesh and the fruit of the spirit—to the garbage streaming,
night and day, into your life. Which list suits it best? :”Oh,
but I listen to Gospel, pastor.” Gospel entertainment is some of
the most wretched and demonic mess out there, much of it
produced by people who’ve lost their souls, who are caught up in
the “star” system of Gospel music.
To have an actual relationship with Christ, you need quiet. You
need meditation, reflection, study. Not the narcissistic
indulgence of Gospel “stars” or, worse, the secular stuff. Some
of us stream so much secular crap that the secular or “worldly”
life perspective comes to seem normal and acceptable, and we
begin to view principles of Holiness as extreme. This is how
deception works: you flood your life, your ears and eyes, with
The Lie to the point where The Lie seems normal and Truth seems
extreme. And, Sunday, you lift up “Holy” hands and claim to be a
I’ve said, to anyone who will listen, if you’re serious about
being a Christian, you have to make a sacrifice. You have to
pick up your cross and follow Christ [Luke 9:23]. You have to
turn that mess off—that demonic media from your TV and PC. You
need to find some quiet meditation in your life and seek God’s
face. Your children, in particular, are so brainwashed by what
they perceive as “normal,” that cancelling cable will likely
send them into convulsions. They will assume you’ve gone nuts
and rebel against you. You have paid for a steady stream of
depravity and filth to be beamed into their bedrooms, day and
night, for years. Now you suddenly want to be legit with God?
If God does not reign in your home, You Are Not A Christian. If
you are tolerating, allowing, paying for cussing and lewd acts
to be displayed for your children, You Are Not A Christian. You
are wasting your time. Kidding yourself. You are a class A phony
and your kids know it. Had I a son, and I saw him texting during
morning worship, I’d cancel his cell phone service. I’d never
allow my children to watch TV before they learned to read. I
would never, ever, surrender my child to this world as most of
you have, only to come whining to your pastor about your
teenager being out of control. You did this. You paid for it.
Why? Because You Are Not A Christian. You are Church Folk, lost
It's all part of having faith.
Preaching (Literally) To The Choir
I can only imagine how we could change the nation, if not the
planet, if we could somehow convert Church Folk into Christians.
I am routinely chastised for railing against Church Folk, here,
my fellow ministers saying Church Folk have made their choice,
don’t waste time complaining about them. I disagree: for many if
not most Church Folk, this is all they know, all they’ve ever
known. Jesus said He came to seek and save those who are lost.
[Luke 19:10] Church Folk are lost. Somebody needs to preach to
them. For, if we could convert Church Folk into actual
Christians, we could change the world.
The born-again experience is real. But it is powered by faith.
Faith is a lot like riding a bicycle. Intellect fights with your
instinct when you're trying to learn to ride a two-wheeler for
the first time. The notion of balance is more visceral than
intellectual, as intellect tells us without some counterbalance
to the two-wheels (such as training wheels), we're likely to
pitch over. And, if we pitch over, the concrete will be hard.
Similarly, I can't teach anybody how to have faith. You just
try. And you pitch over and bust your head on the concrete. But
you dust yourself off and you keep looking, you keep trying.
To know God, you truly have to want to know Him bad enough to
risk looking foolish. Foolish enough to follow Him, not in name
only, not just on Sunday, but to give up everything you have,
everything you are, to embrace a standard that pleases God. The
bible calls that standard Holiness, and says without it, we can
never please God. In and of ourselves, we can never be holy—not
on our own. This is why we need Jesus, Who fills in the gaps or
“justifies” us, making up for our shortcomings and human
failings that we might know God and be deemed righteous in His
eyes. Achieving this requires something much harder than all
that faking and shaking and wig-tossing. It requires you to put
your faith into action, in your life, in your home.
The born-again experience is only as real as you make it.
Christopher J. Priest
6 May 2012
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