1.0 WE HAVE A PROBLEM
We have a problem. Have you tuned into any local television station, especially on Sundays, and or visited youtube.com in search of uplifting Christian messages recently? If you have, you will understand and appreciate where I am coming from. If you have not, I ask that you tune in this Sunday and or visit youtube.com.
If you are in the spirit, you will see a large number of preachers (pastors, general overseers, etc) spewing out discordant messages (mostly unbiblical) on everything from faith to prophecy. Imagine a church choir singing from a mixture of diverse Christian hymn books and worldly song books at the same time. Will you remain in that church after such a sordid performance? I think not. But isn’t that what is happening from the pulpits in most of the churches? Oftentimes, many of those seeking to be uplifted during church services leave deflated while some get disenchanted with Christianity in general.
I posit that the actions and inactions of ministers, church elders and leaders are largely responsible for the prevailing unbelief among the educated and the youth. Humanity’s archenemy, using compromised Christian leaders, has been busily planting tares in the abandoned fields (hearts of those seeking the Truth). My fervent prayer is that God will open the eyes and mouths of those held captive in churches by those leaders who have departed from the faith just as He opened the eyes and mouth of the ass that reprimanded Balaam. Hopefully, some will be bold enough to reprimand those leaders leading their flock into Christ-less eternity. As we approach the final cataclysm and the end of the age, saints must forget about their creature comforts and stand up for the Kingdom. We cannot be bystanders anymore.
Before continuing, I wish to make the following points:
- No one, no matter how highly placed in the hierarchies in churches and ministries, has yet apprehended.
- Anyone who intentionally mutilates God’s word is a servant of the devil.
- People should run away from any church or ministry that questions the veracity and or the inerrancy of God’s word. Please note that God’s word is contained in the 66 books of the Bible.
There are three classes of ministers:
- Stewards of the most High God
- Stewards of the devil
- Confused Stewards
Those in the first category will receive this message with joy while those in the second category will rave and rant. My prayer is that those in the third category will be delivered after reading it.
This message is primarily for those in the third category (where most pastors and elders, if they are honest, belong). I shall attempt to show them why they have been confused and hopefully provide a pathway for them to rejoin the fellowship of the faithful.
I make no claims to having a special knowledge but this I know:
- Whoever stands on God’s word and on no other can never be wrong. (God’s word is not the same as commentaries found in the Bibles).
- All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2Tim 3:16-17).
- Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark (Isa 8:20 NLT).
- Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him (2John 1:9-10).
2.0 REASON WHY THE HOLY SPIRIT IS NOT PRESENT IN MOST CHURCH SERVICES
The reason why the Holy Spirit is not present in most of the church services is because of discord among those who claim that Jesus Christ is their Saviour and Lord.
Why are they not in accord?
The following are some of the reasons:
- Many followers of Christ have eaten from a buffet of mixtures of false and true presuppositions.
- Most Christians have been brought up in homes, communities and schools on wrong-headed pre-understandings.
- Through sin, some who started out well opened the door for demonic penetration.
- Infiltration in fellowships by false workers raised by humanity’s archenemy.
- Faithful Spirit-filled Christians.
One should never expect an accord in a church or ministry where there are contrary spirits. The Holy Spirit cannot be in the midst of those who are being guided by demons and or their ‘bellies.’
All human beings (atheists included) have presuppositions–those things they believe to be true without proof. The atheist believes that there is no God and that the universe came out of nothing without proof. Adherents of all the world’s religions have presuppositions (those beliefs their adherents hold as anchor and guide).
The apostles and other disciples of Jesus had presuppositions, mostly based on the Old Testament (OT), before meeting Jesus. Their interaction with Jesus fundamentally changed most of those presuppositions. They became witnesses of Christ’s life after His death and resurrection and subsequent Spirit empowerment on the day of Pentecost. Followers of Christ (Christians), after the death of the first witnesses, imbibed presuppositions based on the Bible (New Testament comprising the four gospels, epistles and the Book of Revelation written by the first witnesses and the OT).
On the basis of the foregoing, we have to presuppose that 21st century Christians believe that the Bible is a Spirit-word document (i.e., divinely inspired) and also in its inerrancy. Therefore, it is specious for anyone denying the inerrancy of the Bible to call himself or herself a Christian. The Bible is not a buffet where a Christian can pick and choose what she likes and ignores or disputes those she doesn’t like.
Sadly, we see men and women claiming to be Christian leaders who do not believe parts of the Bible and who teach same to their followers. Others have mutilated the Bible (splicing and dicing verses of Scriptures and creating strange doctrines) to gain followership and for gain. Yet others have even gone to the extent of challenging major biblical doctrines like:
- God is Father, Son and Spirit in eternal mutuality of love.
- God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent.
- God created the heavens and the earth (universes, etc), angels and humans (male and female); God’s first command to human beings was to increase and multiply and fill the earth.
- Because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve, all human beings have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
- God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live and die for the sins of the world; by that sacrifice, human beings regained what they lost when Adam and Eve sinned.
- Salvation entails believing that Jesus is both Saviour and Lord; in no other name can any human being be saved.
- There will come a day when Jesus will come to judge both the living and the dead; the obedient will inherit eternal life in God while the disobedient will inherit eternal damnation.
2.2 WRONG-HEADED PRE-UNDERSTANDINGS
“Pre-understanding may be defined as a body of assumptions and attitudes which a person brings to the perception and interpretation of reality or any aspect of it.”
No human being is a blank slate. The foetus at some point in its development begins to hear voices of the mother and others in the house. Through breast milk, a newborn begins to develop tastes that could ultimately mirror her food preferences later in life. Pre-understandings are essential to understanding new things. They serve as building blocks to further knowing. How one person acts or reacts in a given situation is likely to be different from that of another person brought up in a different environment.
Every human being has pre-understandings acquired from family, culture, education, race, tribe, religion, class, etc. Though pre-understandings are part of growth and essential to understanding new experiences, not all are helpful.
FAMILY: A child grows up hearing her nuclear and extended families talk derogatively about others (the poor, the rich, races, tribe, etc). Just as a child learns the family ethos and mores, so does she imbibe their prejudices. Children brought up in homes where parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles have continuously spoken ill of those who do not look or speak or dress like them will be less tolerant of the ‘Other.’
RACE: The promotion of the superiority of the Caucasian race and the inferiority of the Black race have inflicted, and continues to inflict, much pain on the Black race.
Here are some of the grave consequences when a group (tribe, race, nation, country, etc) passes on pre-understandings that are reprehensible and morally wrong from one generation to another:
- The transatlantic slave trade and the use of blacks as beasts of burden in American plantations for many centuries.
- The consequent racial discrimination arising thereof and the continuing racial discrimination in the United States.
- Even in the 21st century, many Caucasian children, still fed on the false diet of the ordinariness of the ‘Other’ and the superiority of Caucasians grow up feeling entitled to the best the world has to offer.
TRIBE: If one listened to the media, it is only Africa that has tribes. Yet, there is no country in the world that does not have a tribe; the reason for the apparent homogeneity in some countries is that through the centuries the more dominant tribes imposed their language on the weaker ones.
Africans have not helped matters, what with many intertribal wars that lasted for centuries. Even in the 21st century, there are still many tribal conflicts; some of them have led to the loss of lives in the thousands. While Africans like to blame foreign powers, and they do have their share of blame, most Africans have contributed, and still continue, to contribute to tribal tensions. Children grow up with jaundiced view of those not belonging to their own tribe. As adults, most people would trust one from their own tribe and therefore favour their own when the opportunity arises.
CLASS: The reason many children of the rich, irrespective of tribe or race, look down on the children of the poor has to do with what they observed and heard while they were growing up. How will he rub shoulders with the family driver’s or the cook’s children? Has he not heard mum and dad treat them as sub humans?
SCHOOL: The books children read! Oh, how one wishes that those who fear God prepared the syllabuses in schools and colleges. Children form opinions by what they read and see in schools. This is one area where the colonists did Africa harm–imagine such books like Tarzan of the Apes, King Solomon’s Mines, etc, were part of the reading list in high schools in Africa in the 20th century.
CHURCHES: So many denominations, each with competing viewpoints. Any wonder why 21st century children are so confused. Many have abandoned the churches of their parents after leaving home. Had the Spirit been present in most of those denominations and ministries, there wouldn’t have been such grave confusion among the youth in our world today.
Our children are being tossed about by every wind of doctrine because their church-going parents failed to invite the Holy Spirit into their churches. They shut Him out and the result has been anarchy in beliefs and thoughts.
Many young adults, who still attend church services after leaving their parents’ homes, have fallen prey to ‘the men and women of the belly’ masquerading as pastors and general overseers. Older generation Christians have a lot to answer for the anomie in 21st century churches. Did not the Scriptures warn us?
that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting (Eph 4:14).
3.0 BUT THERE IS A SOLUTION
The enemy will tell you that it is impossible for 21st Christians to be in accord. But the Lord commanded His children to be in accord. So, whose voice will you and I believe?
I believe the Lord’s voice. Anyone who professes that Jesus Christ is Saviour and Lord but believes Satan’s lie that it is impossible to be in accord needs to repent.
3.1 STEPS FOR LEADERS IN A CHURCH OR MINISTRY TO BE IN ACCORD
fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others (Phil 2:2-4).
- Everyone in leadership position in a church or ministry (president, general overseer, pastor, elder, deacon, etc) genuinely desiring a spiritual awakening should go into their closets and ask the Holy Spirit to open their eyes to their blind spots (those areas of their lives shaped by false presuppositions and wrong-headed pre-understandings).
- Confess their sins and errors to the Lord.
- Pray for the Spirit’s guidance so that they will know what to say to others when the church council meets.
- Whoever is the leader should pray and invite the Holy Spirit into the council meeting to both chair and guide the proceedings.
- Everyone in the council chamber must commit to obeying the Spirit. If you are the leader of the ministry and He asks you to relinquish your position, will you obey? If you are a pastor of a large church and He asks that you be transferred to a new church in a village, will you obey? If the answer is yes and the Spirit knows it is yes, you have started a new journey with Him. However if there is a nugget of deception, you deceive only yourself as the Spirit will not abide with you.
- If there is genuineness in the council chambers (remember the Spirit searches the thoughts and intents of our hearts and minds) the Spirit will definitely come into your midst. However, if there is falsehood all around, He will not manifest Himself. The good news is that if the leader is genuine, the Spirit may chose to expose the ‘wolves in sheep clothing’ for others to see. Contemporaneously if other elders are genuine and the leader is not, that leader will be removed one way or another by God.
As more and more churches in a city, town or village do this soul searching with the aid of the Spirit, they will see the need to come together as one. United as one in the Body of Christ, churches in such city, town or community will see ‘mountains’ move in the name of the Lord.
Divided, nothing will happen. And the Spirit will continue to remain outside the door of our churches waiting to be invited. And the anomie will continue. And we will continue to cry out to the LORD for revival. And He will not answer us because we are disobedient.
PRAYER: May the Lord bless and open your heart and eyes to see Him standing and waiting for you this day to recommit yourself to Him. May He bless you and the ministry He has committed to your charge. May He preserve and deliver you from the evil one, in Jesus name, I pray, Amen.