Saturday, March 24, 2012

14 - Hypocrisy

Open Source Christian Community – 14

Why don't people believe that God is perfect and loves everyone unconditionally? There are a lot of people who believe in God, and believe in satan, but they don't believe that God can be perfect or Holy, and they believe that God makes mistakes. Some times something bad happens in their lives that they don't understand, some times they think God broke His promises to them, and some times people won't agree with God, unless God agrees with them, and they don't love / trust God enough to trust that the creator of existence, time, and space, and all the things in it knows what is best for us.
So is it our job as followers of Jesus to preach to these people, or to try to “Fix” them, or to convince them of who God is? If people have seen miracles of God, and reject Him as the perfect loving God, then there is probably little you can say. The Jews in the desert for 40 years are a great example of this. They saw the plagues God sent to get them out of Egypt so they wouldn't be slaves any more, and they saw the pillar of fire, and the Red Sea part, food from the sky, and water from a rock, and many other miracles. They even saw God's wrath when He sent burning snakes from heaven after them after they rejected His direction, and the one He sent (Moses). God had promised them the promised land, their final destination on earth. When they got there, Moses sent spies in to the land to see what opposition they would have to face to occupy the promised land. The spies found large strong holds and giants who lived in the land, and only two of them had faith that God could keep His promise and give them the land. 10 of the spies didn't trust God. As a result the people believed they would die if they tried to enter the land God had promised them, they said they would rather go back to Egypt and be slaves or die in the wilderness, so God granted their request and they perished in the wilderness, but to keep God's promise their children were able to enter the promised land. The man God sent (Moses) was not able to fix God's people or to convince them of who God was, despite what they had seen and heard from God.
Over the years several people have come to me, telling me that they allowed a person to tell them about God, and that person claimed to be a Christian and claimed to be Godly. Some of these so called Godly people have included pastors, pastor's children, entire Churches, or others who claim to represent God. Some times these so called representatives of God are very new Christians that have very little understanding of the nature of God, or who God is, or what Salvation is, and they have a very hard time living a Godly life, because they haven't been transformed by God from the inside out, and don't rely on His strength. Instead many rely on self help. I've seen some who are completely filled with darkness from Satan, who come to deceive as agents of Satan, in the spirit of the anti-Christ. Some of them don't know they are being used by powers of darkness. Some of them are just plain hypocrites.
So how tragic is it for a Holy and Perfect God to be represented by people who claim to represent Him that don't know Him at all, or who have rejected Him themselves. The religious practices of some of them serve to deceive others. Things like going to Church, paying a tithe, singing, praying in public, and doing other religious things make some people believe they must be Christians. Staying in a garage doesn't make you a car, and going to Church does not make you a Christian.
The Bible tells us that it's by the fruits (or results) of people that we will know them. Do they bring the fruits of the Spirit into people's lives (Galatians 5 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.) So if a person shows hatred / anger, sadness, unrest, is quick to loose their temper or get upset, is unkind, bad, unfaithful, rough, and has no self control or restraint, then they are not filled with the Spirit of God, and are not following God in their lives. That's a pretty easy test isn't it?
Some times the reason this isn't so easy for people is because God doesn't agree with what they are doing, and neither does the people God sends to them, so they reject God's people because they reject God. The Bible says this, and it was the problem when Jesus came. Jesus was God, and the people already rejected the people God sent, and the words they had, so how much more did they reject Jesus? They killed Him. They didn't want to hear what He had to say.
Another issue people may have with God's people, are that they do things that go against religion, and what is socially acceptable. Often times men make up rules in Churches and patterns and habits that seem to be close to what God wants us to do, and usually fit our lives for the most part, but some times God asks us to go outside the box, and do things differently than what people think is right. People think we shouldn't go near bad situations, or each out to people who are hurting if there is danger involved, or personal loss for doing so, but the Bible says loss for His sake is gain. The Bible says on our sabbath day we are to be helping people and getting our hands dirty.
Isaiah 586 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I... That kind of work on Sunday doesn't sound very religious or socially acceptable. People got mad at Jesus for healing on the sabbath day saying that it was work. Instead we are suppose to be heroes that “loose the chains of injustice...set the oppressed free...” and share your resources with others, and not to turn against family.
Here is another test you can do: What is the foundation people are built on? Where are they rooted and grounded? God is Truth and Love, and Satan's foundation is made of lies and fear or intimidation. If a person always is controlled or operates out of fear, and lies then they are used by Satan, but if they always tell the truth and love others as God loves them, then they are sent by God.
So what if you run across a person who has decided to reject God because of the example they have seen in their lives threw false followers of Christ? The best thing to do, is to live as Jesus lived, and do as Jesus would do. When people see you do that, and see the fruits of it, then they will accept the one who sent you to them (God), and if they don't that's not your problem. Shake the dust off your feet and go on, and let your peace return to you as the Bible says.
I've been told that I've been put on trail, that as a man of God people don't know if what I'm doing is right or wrong. Where are the fruits? I've learned not to defend my actions, but to allow God to be my justification, and speak to people's hearts and minds. I can not change the minds and hearts of people, but God can. I can't even change my own heart or mind. It is only threw surrendering to God and allowing Him to direct me, and mold me, that I can change. People who knew me when I was young, knew I was a violent person, but God taught me not to be. There are only certain situations where violence is justified. I was very stubborn, and stingy, I didn't like to share what I had or give things away. I enjoyed public applause and tooting my own horn, and I enjoyed it when others bragged on me. Now it makes me sick. When people give me glory that should go to God, for what He has done, it makes me upset.
The funny thing is that people God has used me to help recently have picked up on what God has taught them, and have learned it faster and better than I have. They have developed good habits that I've gotten rusty on. So in return those God has used me to help, I ask to keep me in check and remind me to practice what I preach when I fall out of line with God and what I am saying. It seems that the people God puts in our lives to help, also can help us just as much if not more once they find their way. This serves as a way God humbles us and reminds us we all are used by Him to help each other in the Body of Christ. Often times people forget this and think they have to be better than everyone and change everyone for the better.
As for the impostors who impersonate Christians, and claim to follow Christ the Bible says that they will be held to a higher judgment than the rest of us. I believe God is telling me and others that all the things that don't line up with God in the individual Churches will be consumed by the fire of the Spirit, and purified, and that God will send instruction and revelation to His people, of what is right. So I encourage you to be open to God's voice, and Him wanting to change you, so that when the fire of purification comes, you will already know what it is God wants you to do, and not be consumed in the blaze. A lot of hidden things will be made known. The truth will find you out.
Often times people will come to me searching for God, and I will know of someone who is better suited to speak to them, and I step out of the way and point them in another direction. That is what you should do if God leads you to, and you should not impersonate something your not, or live beyond your means in the ways of wisdom.