Friday, April 21, 2017

When Church Leaders are the Enemy of God

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 Wisdom of this kind does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity.
James 3:13-17(NASB)

I get calls from church members quite often, sometimes they just want someone to pray with them, and sometimes in their voice I can tell they just need someone to encourage them in God's Word. But occasionally they call to tell me about someone in the church that hurt them, seldom is it a physical hurt, most of the time it is a failure on the part of church leaders to encourage in their time of need.

Whenever I get that last type of call I wait on God to give me the right word for them, even while my ear is still on the phone listening to their dilemma, I am in prayer, asking God to use me as a conduit so that they may receive the message that He has for them. Sometimes by the works of the Holy Spirit wisdom abounds, sometimes no word at all is given to me and I know my task is that of a sounding board, or listening ear. Whatever the case, it is the Spirit of God which dictates my response.

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Today we find members of the Body of Christ in constant conflict with one another, choir member against other choir members, prideful and controlling people whose would rather point at the splinter in your eye then pull the log from their own. Someone can't get alone with Miss Green "Because she is just too bossy" or "Deacon Jones thinks he's in control." All of these are common place even though Jesus said "All men will know you are my disciple if you love one another." Of course babes in Christ will make mistakes, but what about those that have been in Christ for years, those appointed to the office of deacon, elder or pastor? What do we do when the conflict point at a leader? More importantly, what should a leader do to avoid him or her being the origin of member's suffering?

There is nothing more unsettling then to have to apologize for another leader's carnal handling of a member. And most of the time it is with those members that are newest in their walk with Christ, those members that we should handle with the most care and love. Those members that are looking to find Christ in our behaviors, it is in the presence of the one we should be on our best behavior that we so outwardly fail.

It may be nearly impossible to walk this walk with Christ and never have conflict with another member or someone not in the faith. Sometimes for the right reasons we are persuaded by scripture to hand someone over to Satan (though never are we to bar them from the church) 1Corinthians 5:4-5 fellowships. However, as leaders we have to be more conscience in how we carry the banner of Christ in all parts of our life. If our attitudes and behaviors are chasing away God's flock, then we are antagonistic to the building of God's kingdom. We are as the Bible says an enmity against God!  Even in our ministry. This may seem harsh but we can't march under the blood stain banner of Christ one minute, and be harsh and mean toward a brother or sister the next. 

The knowledge of Scripture is never a tool to bash, embarrass or control another person, whether they are in Christ or not. Sound ministering of church members, and people in general must be a 24 hour a day, 7 days per week, 52 weeks and 365 days a year walk. To say “God made me this way” is not an excuse to disrespect people even if we are giving them this “truth out of love” it’s an embarrassment to the individual (speaking) the church he represents, and an indictment of the God he professes. God is no more responsible for your sin then He is your ability to fly. You are a sinner because of your fallen nature, and you came to Christ take on a new nature.  
2 Corinthians 5:17; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come”
If then you are a new creature in Christ you must let go behaviors of the old thing you once were.
Romans 15:14; “And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.”

When a church leader is the origin of the complaint we must take this cry for help very seriously, we have at jeopardy the character of the leader, and the salvation of the member, neither of which should be fractured because of carnal thinking on the part of one or both of them. God has given leaders that they may guide those that are not quite mature in their spiritual walk with Christ. A leader is tasked with giving the Word of God in its purest form while still encouraging and being non-judgmental, without compromising the truth of the scripture.

When ministering to the flock, the main goal of the leader should not be the correction of an individual's problem, nor to point finger as to who's the blame, nor should the leader use his position to pass judgment, the main goal of the church leader is the salvation and Christian walk with Christ. With that mindset a leader can with spiritual discernment (wisdom) of what is the deeper problem the individual is dealing with, and knowledge of the scriptures (training),  and an ear toward God (Holy Spirit inspired) can provide the encouragement to deal with and grow beyond the members problems. 
James 3:17; But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy”

However, when the leader is not led by the Spirit, he will allow his knowledge of the individual or their situation skews sound judgment. And any advice given will not be grounded in Spirit and will be is carnal and evil, it makes no difference if the advice is given with good intentions or not.
"I said what I said out of love” is never the right answer when dealing with the fragile heart of a new member in need. We should never have to apologies for our actions or the way we speak to a member, because our actions and the way we speak to them must be godly, peaceable, loving, easily entreated (received) and full of mercy.

Too often I have seen members leave the church (my own family included) and some eventually leave their walk with Christ because they were hurt either emotionally, physically or spiritually by a leader in the Church. Some leaders justify members leaving by saying “God is weeding out the wheat from the tarries”, but this is the propaganda of the devil and a reflection of the leader's irresponsible and prideful behavior.  
James 3:14: “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth” 

If we are speaking harshly to our members we lack love, and are lying when we say we love them. If we spoke it with our mouths we thought it with our hearts (Matthew 12:34)
Impatience, being judgmental and prideful behaviors are sins which imprisons as many leaders in the Body of Christ, as murder, robbery and sexual perversion imprisons the general populace of any modern day correction facility. Leaders must always be alert to the seed that they allow to root in their heart, because every seed planted will always produce fruit of some kind (sometimes a peach, sometimes a cactus). The leader must constantly ask himself "Do I have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, humility, and self-control" (Galatians 5:22) This is especially true when dealing with difficult and new members. If the leader lacks any of these, then he must make corrections in his life immediately! Because the leader is accountable to not just his pastor or earthly leaders, but also to God for his salvation, and the perfecting of the saints in the Body of Christ.

Your brother in Christ

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Exposing the Serpent Seed Doctrine

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As I was driving home from work listening to a Christian apologetic radio show a caller called to ask about something called the “Serpent Seed Doctrine/Heresy” I did not know what it was at the time, but by virtue of its name I was drawn into wanting to know more about it. It’s not my nature to believe anything I hear, form those I don’t personally know, when it comes to doctrine of the Bible.  Because for the most part there are many perverted teachers masquerading as honest men and women of God.  All with personal and often times hidden agenda. As the host of the show began to address the teaching of the serpent seed doctrine, I knew I had investigate it myself. 

Even in my home church I am not very tolerant of bad doctrine, I see the Bible as being in harmony with itself, so when hear doctrine that is contrary I perceive that there is either a misunderstanding on my part, or a heresy on the part of the teacher. This may seem like and amazingly simplistic method of identifying, false doctrine and biblical heresy. However, I have found that depending on the listeners’ doctrinal strength this method always proves true..

The second method that I used is to ask myself “whom do they (whatever group in question) say that Jesus Christ is?” The most accurate way to determine Christian heresy is the identity of Jesus Christ. Once we know doctrinally, who Christ is anything else is, any other teaching is a counterfeit doctrine or heresy.

The Bible teaches he is God in flesh, any teaching contrary to that is false. As Christian we can allow false doctrine to flourish or we can squelch it with truth. Now the problem with Serpent Seed Doctrine is that it does not teach a new Christ but miss the point of other doctrine causing a disharmony of scripture.

So what is this serpent seed doctrine and what does it teach?
Serpent Seed Doctrine teaches that the sin of Eve was disobedience and sexual misconduct. Serpent Seed teaches that Eve a women had sex with the serpent and the child of the unholy copulation was Cain. Therefore, Cain is the son of Eve and the devil.
Here are some of the problems with this heresy doctrine.

·       The Bible never teaches Eve had sex with a snake, or a fallen angel. Just her husband Adam
o   What the Bible teaches is that creation produces after its own kind. (Genesis 1:11-12, 1:24-25) a dog and a cat cannot give birth to a cat dog, nor can a horse and a dog give birth to some hybrid.
o   The Bible also teaches that angels cannot cohabit nor reproduce with women. Angels are spirit beings (Hebrews 1:13-14). Women are human beings. Angels and women, then, are two different kinds of being. Kind reproduces after kind, and different species cannot breed.
·       The Serpent Seed Doctrine teaches that original sin sexual
o   Yet it does not have any explanation as to why the entire rest of the Bible clearly lays out a worldview where the original sin was disobedience, not sexuality.
·       The Serpent Seed Doctrine assumes that some people are destine to perish (salvation isn't available to them)
o   The Bible teaches the will of God is that everyone is saved (2 Peter 3:9) [that is a inclusive availability to all people]  If Serpent Seed was a true doctrine, than God would be a deceiver, (making us believe in a salvation that is not possible) and a liar, saying it was His will that everyone should be saved, but making salvation available to everyone but the imaginary sons of Cain.
·       The Serpent Seed Doctrine teaches that the descendants of Cain are called Kenites, it teaches that those sons of Cain cannot be saved. This is taught to produce a group of people that they can dismiss and use scriptures to justify racial prejudice, or hate for anyone that believes contrary to what they believe.
o   Yet the Bible teaches that Cain was pre-flood his descendants would have been pre-flood. The Bible teaches that only eight people survived the flood which mean God failed at cleansing the world of the wicked. And if God failed, then God is a failure and He is not God at all. 

The Serpent Seed Doctrine is a doctrine of racism, prejudice and bigotry, believing that certain races are irredeemable, having no positive reconcilable worth. But as my daughter used to say God made us all and God don't make no junk. Who God even be worthy of salvation if He commended a person to damnation from their mother's womb?   Moreover, even if we dismissed the irredeemable Kenite heresey of the Serpent Seed Doctrine, we would still have to regulate God to a failure, a liar, and deceiver.  Fortunately for us, God has given us His Scriptures to revel His truth.

So I leave you with two passages;
2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew yourself approved (unto God) a workman able to rightly divide the word of truth"
1 Peter 3:15; "...and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"

Your Brother in Christ
Tcharves FireSpeaks
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