|Decembe 31, 2012|
Preachers: Go Back to the Pulpit and Preach Jesus
Many people within Christianity claim they are hearing the voice of God. Unfortunately, many have confused the voices of their human spirit and that of their emotions with that of the Holy Spirit. Many Christian leaders who claimed to be hearing the voice of God have aligned themselves with the political wing of which policies are very contrary to the preaching of Christ. We cannot have it both ways. Either we accept ALL of Jesus messages and preach them to the people, or we continue to preach politics from the pulpit. Some Charismatic and Evangelical Christians today have surrendered the messages of Christ to appease their political group. The question I want you to ask yourself as a messenger of Christ is, which is more important, the policies of the politicians you are in bed with, or the messages of Christ? These two groups of Christians have inadvertently associated themselves with the political Right Wing, and the results of the election in 2012 rejected their political positions. The result is saying something to Christian leaders. "Go back to the pulpit and start preaching the gospel messages of Christ to the people." If you refuse, and think that your political position is more important than the Great Commission assignment by Jesus, you will eventually pay a very painful price. Such position taken by the so-called Charismatic and Evangelical Christians aligning them with the political Right Wing may be detrimental to the spread of Christianity. This is one of the major reasons why Christianity is failing among the youths in the U.S. Some people from outside Christianity walk away from organized religion because of the hypocrisy they have experienced from preachers preaching politics from the pulpit instead of preaching the messages of Christ.
Doctrine of Finger-Pointing of Sinners
If we preachers do not put Jesus ahead of our political position, we will lose the game of preaching the gospel messages to the people. Sadly, we fail to admit that we have done a very bad job in preaching to the congregation and changing the lives of people. The message we preach on Sunday is no longer changing the lives of the people to reflect the messages of Christ. We settled for the flag waving Jesus wrapped in patriotism and rejected the entire messages of Christ. So, Jesus remained only as our political symbol to crash into political office, and the gospel messages become meaningless. The failure of our message from the pulpit is echoed in our political frustration and anger. Consequently, we go on a crusade rampage of finger-pointing of sinners with bulging eyes and hyper-emotionalism. We want the government to legislate what we fail to achieve from the pulpit. We do not want the government to control the church, yet we believe is our God given right to control the debate about public policies to suit our purpose. We believe this is a way to Heaven. Its a way to disaster folks! We need to go back to the pulpit and preach the messages of Christ instead of preaching politics. If we can change the lives of our congregation from the pulpit, we may not need to engage in the public discussion. The voices of changed minds from the pews will echo Jesus values in the political arena. As long as our message is failing from the pulpit, we need to fix the reason for such failures and stop finger-pointing of sinners. This does not mean we accept and embrace sin. We need to preach to sinners and not have them arrested or ostracized like we have been doing while we keep our own skeleton in the closets. Jesus said if you believe in your eyes that you are righteous, he did not come for you. He said, "I have come to call not the righteous, but those who know they are sinners to repentance" (St. Mark 2:17). As we can see from their politics, some of the Charismatic and Evangelical Christians do not need Jesus because they are saints with wings on their way to Heaven. Give me a break!
Reasons for the Failing Pulpit
There are many reasons why the gospel message is failing from the pulpit. The critical one is due to hypocrisy. You cannot get on the pulpit and preach the Jesus compassion for the poor, the homeless, and the disadvantaged while at the same time supporting the public policies of allowing predatory capitalism to cannibalize peoples money from the Wall Street. This is a grave sin before God. Many people in the secular world have blamed Christians for supporting the Wall Street robbery as legitimate business because of their political association. Why should they believe in our Jesus? We Christian leaders know how much the Wall Street greed is stealing money from people and destroying their lives. Yet we refused to allow regulations to prevent this highway robbery. We still call ourselves Christians. Are you truly a Christian as you watch, encourage, and see thieves looting peoples investments and you call it legitimate business? And we are not afraid of the crushing blows of the hammer of an angry God!
Did Jesus ask you to arrest, judge and sentenced sinners to jail inside the church? If you can answer that question correctly, the reason for President Obamas election victory will be clearer to you. I just cannot understand why we Christians think it is our job to nail sinners to the cross. This is one of the biggest problems in Christianity destroying the gospel message of Christ. Christ said, "Judge not." Our response, "Forget you, we are going to judge." Start crying abortion! Start crying same sex marriage! Im strongly against abortion and the homosexual agenda. Did Jesus ask us to preach to them, or send them to hell?
Christians who got the Message Right
From the time of the first election victory in 2008, I wrote about the legacy of President Obama in the book, Closer Walk With Jesus, published in 2010. In that book, I explained in chapter #38 why God anointed this man to lead the nation because God heard the cry of the working class. On page #412, I wrote a section titled; President Barack Obama: Selected by People, but Chosen by God. I explained in that section that God chose President Obama to address the cry of the working class. I was not surprised that the election of 2012 confirmed that prophecy and was dominated by the notion of helping the working class. At that time, many Christian leaders who want to appease their political group dismissed Gods message as I was instructed to deliver from the heart of the Holy Spirit. I will like to ask them the question. Who was right, their political group or the Holy Spirit? When I evaluated the election results, it is obvious many Christians voted for President Obama, except for many Evangelical and Charismatic groups. I was shocked when 50 percent of Catholics, 69 percent of the Jewish people, and 62 percent of non-church goers voted for him. These three groups are those kind-hearted people with compassion for humanity. They care about the suffering of the under-privilege. Sadly, the result indicates that the more you are closer to Charismatic or Evangelical Christians the less you care about the suffering of others. They could care less about Gods desires because such people are blinded by hypocrisy! Their approach to Christianity is based on using Jesus to get in political office while they continue their economic genocide of predatory capitalism. May God have mercy on these people!
Why Some Christians Were Blinded
Hyper-emotionalism in politics tends to ignite negative emotions thereby leading many well-intended Christians away from hearing the Voice of the Holy Spirit.
"If you want to hear his voice, do not harden your heart as in the day of temptation in the wilderness" (Psalm 95: 7-8). If your heart is hardened by hyper-emotionalism, you cannot effectively hear the Voice of God. It does not matter how high you may be flying in the Spirit of God. The moment negative emotion is ignited inside you, it shuts down the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. In such a situation, a very emotionalized person is only driven by human selfish desires, and not by the Holy Spirit. I have seen many Christian leaders who meant well but are blinded by their hyper-emotional reactions to political issues and ended up shutting down the Holy Spirit. For example, a well-known Chicago preacher wrote a book, and compared the present United States to Nazi Germany of Hitler. Sadly, some Christian programs were interviewing him and supporting the garbage he was preaching. He was unaware that many people were offended by such characterization because the U.S. is a democracy and not a dictator government. We have three branches of government and the balance of power. The government of the United States cannot pollute the minds of your children like Hitler did. There is no compulsory military academy for children organized by the government for political indoctrination in the U.S. for God sake! This is the garbage that we sell to society and we still want people to believe in our Jesus! You as a parent are responsible for the education of your children even in private or parochial schools. Many times, when we react to issues, we go the extreme way to make our point and we ended up losing the people who are able to see through the veil of our hypocrisy.
Christians who get carried away with political emotions are easily goaded to make wrong decisions. God tends to speak with one voice. When we spend so much time listening to the garbage of extremists, we become just like them, and God step out of the way. God can see through the hypocrisy of our hearts. Christians have lost their power position partly because many of them are preaching politics from the pulpit instead of preaching the messages of Christ.
Preachers Go Back to the Pulpit
The solution to the social crises we are presently facing is not about finger-pointing of sinners for condemnation. Jesus asked us to preach to them and show them the love of God. He did not ask us to hit them upside the head, or drag them to jail while they are screaming and kicking. Jesus did not ask us to be police officers for him. Jesus however asked us to preach the gospel to the people and make disciples of them. Whether we like or not, the present society and the social degeneration of morality will continue till Jesus comes back. We do not need to judge sinners and process them for imprisonment in hell. I have a suggestion for the Christian moral police officers. If you are very aggravated by the social sins of others, perhaps you need to look into the mirror of your own conscience regarding your own personal failures. Sometimes, we shout so loud about the sins of others, just to mask our own personal failures of which guilt is tearing us apart like a smoldering fire within. We do our conscience no justice when we ventilate our frustration against others instead of dealing with our own personal failures. This reminded me of the case of a preacher who spent many of his messages from the pulpit bashing men engaged in extra-marital affairs. One day, the pastors mistress attended the church. The pastor was unaware that his mistress was in the congregation as he continued bashing married people engaging in extra-marital affairs. The mistress on hearing the message was so angry with her lover pastor. She went straight to the pastors wife and made a confession to her that she had been having affair with her husband for the past ten years and they has two kids together. You can imagine the fiery explosions that took place in the church that day after the service with the pastors wife, the mistress and the congregation. There was so much yelling that day, the ceiling of the church almost collapsed.
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:8-9).
Every time I talk to people about Christ, I have to recognize that Im a sinner in need of a Savior as well. No matter how small my sin may be or how large, that sin is a visible spot on my white garment before God. Jesus washed that spot away and presented us sinless before God the Father. If we do not want to misrepresent Jesus, we must first recognize our own personal failures and take action to remedy such sins before God. This is a difficult challenge many preachers face everyday. As we struggle in our own personal challenges and failures, we learn to recognize and empathize with the struggle of others. Instead of bashing sinners like us on the head, we learn to share Christ with them in love.
Yinka Vidal, Author, Closer Walk With Jesus