Pass the Pastor Please

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pass the Pastor Please

The best thing I like about attending a church service is the worship, you know, singing along with our brothers and sisters to our Lord, giving Him praise. It is something of pure ecstasy when it is truly done in the Spirit, and I don’t just mean as an individual either. I am talking about when the whole building seems to be in a state of love, when you know that God is present in a real and powerful way, you can feel it. If you haven’t experienced it perhaps you’ve walked in on a service where everyone’s arms are up and out in front of them, waving around, looking like little children reaching out to a parent holding a piece of candy or ice cream. Some jump and yell, their arms flailing about as the parent brings the candy in close but just out of reach, taunting. Then there are those who
 look like they’ve just realized that they’re not getting the candy and start doing the air drying of the hands motion while hyperventilating, but I particularly like the just got the candy child. The one whose head is tilted back, with eyes closed and a big grin on their face. They have their arms hanging down and back while flared out to the sides with palms forward, also known as the basking in the sun (or Son) position, a classic. Seriously though, it truly is something to be apart of when you really are apart of it, when it’s real and you know it isn’t just mass hysteria created in the heat of the moment. Something one just has to experience to know what I am talking about.
Then, unfortunately there are phonies who are just playing the “look at me, I’m spiritual” role. You know the one’s, they have their arms stretched out in front of them yet are so busy scowling at those talking or making noise around them, I call this type the pointy fingered patrons. And personally I find it pretty funny when one “appears” to be so caught up in the Spirit, and they look like they are so focused on giving God praise, then someone walks in late--quietly mind you—and they turn to look while one arm is still in the air, I aptly call this the look to the hand because I clearly don’t understand maneuver. I hear about how so many people no longer go to church for these very reasons among others. I myself have walked out on many sermons because the facade of faith was just too ridiculous to bear. I understand that not everyone is perfect in their faith but please, don’t play act at it either. I believe that some people truly are curious and are searching for that personal relationship with God but because they are more curious than genuine they try too hard and attempt to force the Spirit into them. I’m sorry but it does not work that way. If you really are knocking at the door of the Lord then knock, you cannot kick down this door. Knock and wait, if your heart is true, our Lord will open the way when you’re both ready, after all it is the door to the kingdom of heaven, His kingdom.
Then there are our pastors and priests, I’ve been told that I have a critical spirit when it comes to having faith in our religious leaders. DUH! -- Please, I am a native Canadian who doesn’t speak his ancestral tongue because it was beaten out of his parents by government and religion. I can forgive but it doesn’t mean I have to put myself in a position to become like them and to follow blindly one mans idea of God or society’s current culturally correct idea of God. Throughout history the church has always claimed to be doing the will of God and to a point I am still unwavered this to be true…to a point. I mean the audacity and arrogance mankind must have to believe that we finally have it right, that we truly have the right answers to life’s questions about God and the churches role in society. And don’t get me wrong, I love the church, God’s church when God’s word is being given and practiced in a manner to reveals God’s glory and not to the glory of men. I’m sure most pastors and priests begin their calling to serve this way but get caught up by politics being forced to work in a system geared to profit the system .Today even small churches are answerable to mother churches which are answerable to others and committees of churches who hold to certain doctrines and creeds which have nothing to do with the teachings of our Messiah. Jesus said not to make any laws for ourselves other than those that He gives but yet of course men have to have his illusion of control so they create divisions of religions each with their own set of doctrines.
I can go on and on about how I and so many other skeptics, and truth seekers, have discovered how men of God had twisted and perverted the scriptures to further the “churches kingdom” But that is a barrel of worms left for another time and place. For now I would just like to mention that there are still a majority of pastors and priests who hold God’s love true but get so caught up in the extra curricular aspects of church life that they forget to truly search out God’s will or even read their bible before they preach. I even heard at this Sunday’s service from a long serving pastor that a lot of pastors buy the sermons they give from a central service, for an entire year in advance. I ask you…are these people being led by the Spirit?... Bullshit! Complete and utter doggy doo, and this is but one example why I have a hard time finding a home church. If you’re gonna claim to speak for the Lord God Almighty and deliver the words which have the power to give eternal life or death to the people then you had damn well better be certain that these are the words given by God and the Holy Spirit, at the very least that it is the correct word from the bible. Another reason for my reluctance on choosing a home church is the heart of the pastor, have you heard about the gift of discernment, well I believe this is one of the gifts which God has bestowed upon me an extra portion.
Let me give you an example of what I am talking about and the reason which spurred this weeks post. Recently during Sunday service at my possible new home church, which happened to be a very good service and worship time, the pastor made a couple mistakes on the scriptures. This very loving woman and pastor to the street people was speaking on king Uzziah in 2nd chronicles about when he had gotten leprosy, well the pastor said that the bible didn’t mention where on his body that the king had gotten the leprosy but in Josephus’ writings, a well know historian and scribe of the time mentions that it was all over his face, mistake #1. The second mistake was that this pastor excitedly exclaimed that upon Jesus’ death on the cross, the veil to the temple tore from the bottom to the top. Actually, to be correct it does say in the bible that king Uzziah immediately showed the signs of leprosy on his forehead and not all over his face, then when Jesus had given up his Spirit while hanging on the cross the curtain to the temple tore from the top to the bottom. Now this may seem like minor details to you but I have been preached to that all details in the scriptures, no matter how small, mean something, particularly this one about the tearing of the curtain (I’ll let you search that one out for yourselves).
I didn’t think too much of it at first but knew that something had to be said to ensure the integrity of the scriptures, so after the service and when the pastor was alone, I brought the matter up to this "leader of the flock". I wasn’t too surprised at the reaction I got, of course the pastor was defensive and tried to make it out that I had the problem. Firstly, she didn’t even acknowledge that it was found in the bible about the kings’ leprosy on his forehead, but went on to say that it had to eventually spread to his entire face, of little consequence—is the impression I got from her. Then about the curtain being torn, she did say she made a mistake on this point but immediately asked why I felt that I had to bring it up, the tone was more than just curiosity. I felt that the integrity of the scriptures should be upheld is what I told her but it was quickly dismissed and the question asked again “why did You feel liked You had to bring it up?”…I knew what she was fishing for so I gave it to her… “Because I have heard too much bullshit come out of the mouths of too many pastors that is not the word of God.” There, she got the answer she needed which let “this pastor” off the hook and now it became my character defect due to other pastors’ mishaps or abuse of the office given to them.
I don’t think too harshly of her because I know the work she does and I know her heart is true and pure for the Lord and although I was about to start looking for another home church for this and another reason, my spirit tells me to tough it out for a time, remember that discernment thing? Then she told me this week that she was going to mention to the congregation to keep on their toes for scriptural mistakes as such the Sunday before but I was not there, so good for her and the rest of us. My point is that it should not have happened in the first place, the Holy Spirit MUST be consulted during the preparation and execution of the sermon, and the Word which is to be given studied prior. Please, making a point is all in good but if you’re gonna do so, just take care in doing so. The scripture says that wisdom dictates that we ought to be slow to speech…good advice for all of us and not just the pastors and teachers.
As the children of God though, and especially for those who have His Spirit, is it not our duty to protect the word of God in spirit and in truth. I am so sick and tired of people, pastors that is, bible study teachers and friends, telling me that I should be more submissive to those put in authority over me for God had put them there for a reason. Well I believe God put me here for a reason as well and over and over again I have asked for His guidance and still I keep coming up short of mankinds expectations to conform and keep my mouth shut when it comes to “those put there By God” I feel like so many others out here that societies church, in most part, is not necessarily God’s church the way he intended and we had better get our act together. So look out you false profits because I’m here, I am not queer, and have a voice that will no longer keep silent.
In conclusion I would just like to say that although there is still much wrong with the church today within society, it is family and so I will continue to love and accept it, and like any family we all have our quirks and squabbles. The bible say in Ephesians 5 that Jesus loves His church, who essentially are we, we who are simple men and women making our way through this valley of the shadow of death be us peasant or pastor. But let us also understand that many of us out here on the streets do love God but have been disillusioned by the men and women who have claimed to do His work but then they have abused that office. Just because you have been called by God does not mean God is in all that you do. I promise to you that I will do my best to keep this in mind as I walk with you and as I ask those who lead to do likewise. Thank you for your patience, your understanding and your love. God bless you all brothers and sisters.

                         Johnny lee

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