In recent times in high-profile media interviews, too many celebrity ministers have been guilty of blurring the lines between truth and error, right and wrong, and sin and righteousness. Lately it seems that when put on the spot in a public platform and asked a direct and pointed question concerning the great moral issues of 21st century America, such as homosexuality and abortion, ministers have turned coward and given some yellow-bellied, political response. This constant compromising to avoid controversy is creating much damage, not only to the world, which is looking for a clear sound from preachers, but also to believers who have little discernment or are growing tired of ambiguity.
For example, one very influential and popular minister who has millions of followers was asked if homosexuality was wrong, and his general response was that his views were evolving. Evolving? That's like saying the Bible is evolving.
Another well-known so-called pastor was asked if abortion was sinful, and he offered this half-baked response: "That's the kind of conversation we would have finding out your story, where you're from, what you believe. I mean, God is the judge," at which point the secular audience broke into raucous applause.
When the world claps for you concerning your definition of abortion, I can tell you it was a bad job. You just gave them a license to continue justifying murder of the most innocent and to practice and promote what's convenient. You had an opportunity to allow God to use you to bring conviction, and instead, you offered them false comfort. You had a glorious chance to smite their conscience, and instead, you soothed it. You were given a large platform to smash the godless altar of abortion, and instead, you kept it erect.
The truth is, your ratings and popularity were more important to you than speaking the plain truth with wisdom and grace. You were granted an open door to speak the word of God and please the Lord, but instead, you cowered and bowed to the fear of man and pleased the devil. I'm sorry, but this is a shameful, gutless excuse for a minister of the gospel.
In a time of darkness and moral confusion in our nation, you could've brought light and clarity, but you actually contributed to the darkness. In fact, the light you think is in you is not light at all, but it is the greatest of darkness.
"If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matt. 6:23b).
You received your temporal reward—the smile, applause and approval of men. But you lost your eternal reward and favor with whom it counts the most, the Lord and Judge of heaven and earth. You are disqualified from being a steward of the mysteries of God.
Jesus taught us that if we live godly, we will suffer persecution.
"Yes, and all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12).
Jesus told us we would be hated by the world. Since the world loves you and claps for you, what does that say about you?
"If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, the world therefore hates you" (John 15:19).
Jesus, our Lord and Master, was hated (John 15:18). I don't think many ministers understand that. Read this penetrating and poignant quote by R.C. Sproul:
Holiness provokes hatred. The greater the holiness, the greater the human hostility toward it. It seems insane. No man was ever more loving than Jesus Christ. Yet even His love made people angry. His love was a perfect love, a transcendent and holy love, but His very love brought trauma to people. This kind of love is so majestic we can't stand it.
It grieves me to no end, and God hates it, and His angels bristle at such namby-pamby minister masqueraders who will not walk in the Lord's truth and authority. They make the lukewarm and religious crowd happy but less holy. These types of ministers need to be held accountable by someone in their network or eldership circle for misrepresenting the Word of God and making abominable behavior sound so respectful. Either that, or they need to get out of the ministry and be a politician or find another occupation that fits their slick and flimflam demeanor.
When "ministers" compromise to prevailing world culture on a major media platform, I repeat, they need to be called out by someone in their network. Biblical church discipline needs to be applied. At least two admonitions should be given for repentance, and if they remain unrepentant and without remorse, they should be rejected or excommunicated according to Scripture, and the entire church world should be made aware of it, until true repentance comes forth followed by a period of restoration. This way, the leaven of their heresy will not spread.
"If a man is a heretic, after the first and second admonition reject him" (Titus 3:10, KJ21).
The majority of the body of Christ has no understanding of this sort of biblical church discipline because it is hardly practiced and sorely lacking in most of today's professing church.
This lack of accountability and do-nothingness is at the root of many of our problems in the body of Christ because of our failure to understand judgment. As one friend of mine said recently, you do not get to talk like a compromising politician about homosexuality and abortion in front of pagans and then act like Paul the apostle on CBN or TBN. Some of these "Christian" talking heads need to grow a backbone, eat some spinach or something. Forgive me, but we have far too many cowards and frauds who are grossly misrepresenting the Lord.
It is impossible to find any preacher, prophet or reformer in the Bible or throughout history who has had any real power with God who was not hated or who did not have enemies. When there is little hate, that usually means there is little impact and little power.
My point is there is not enough hate for American preachers and prophets right now because of gross compromise. It is one of the greatest indictments against the church in this hour. That has got to change for the moral landscape of our nation to shift and make a serious turn toward righteousness. Lack of persecution usually means lack of power.
The gospel by nature is controversial and offensive. We must stop removing the offense from the cross.
Bert's books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and the turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day.
Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, has authored several books with an emphasis on helping to restore the true spirit of Christianity in the Church today, including his latest book, Passing on The Move of God to The Next Generation. Follow him at Bert Farias and Holy Fire Ministries on Facebook and @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.
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