15. My experience has taught me that most of today's church leaders deny the power of the Holy Spirit.
Read 2 Timothy 3:1-5. The Apostle Paul says in the latter days Church leaders will, "have the form of godliness but deny its power. Have nothing to do with such people." Please note that Charismatics and Pentecostals fake the power of the Holy Spirit in Circus like presentations to woo their audiences into an emotional frenzy all for the sake of filling up their offering plates with loads of cash. Remember Benny Hinn? He started his ministry here in Orlando back in 1976 at Calvary Assembly of God in College Park. He married the Pastor's daughter. I know he is a false prophet from first hand experience. I was attending this church at the time and had an interest in what was going on in the Charismatic movement. Hinn was eventually chased out of town because of his fraudulent activities.
I believe many church leaders today may have never been Baptized by the Holy Spirit and therefore not be able to recognize the power of the Holy Spirit to begin with. In other words, they never had a true conversion experience. We can't expect them to know how to be led by the Holy Spirit if Church leaders have never been filled with the Holy Spirit. Please note the Baptism of the Holy Spirit happens at the instant we are saved in our conversion (born again) experience. This is a One Time event as taught in the Bible. We know we are saved when the "peace that surpasses all understanding" permeates our soul and lifts the burden of sin off our conscience minds for the first time in our life. All of us who are truly saved know what a divine experience this is. That's why we call it Amazing Grace. I will never forget my born again experience. Sadly, I believe many professing Christians have had a false conversion experience because they did not surrender all or make a sincere commitment to Jesus at the point of their perceived salvation experience. Please go to this link and listen to this old hymn called "I Surrender All". This song should move us to tears if we really understand God's overwhelming love and sacrifice He made for us.
I believe Ananias and Sapphira in the Bible were killed by God because they were not willing to surrender all to Him. God made an example of them to emphasize the importance of surrendering all to Jesus in our commitment to follow Him as our only Supreme Authority in life. With God, it's All or Nothing. In other words, God will not accept a "half-ass" commitment. Anything status quo He will spew out of His mouth. I believe God will not accept us into His Kingdom unless we are willing to surrender all to Him just as His Son Jesus surrendered all for us on the Cross at Calvary. Added note: We do not speak in tongues when we are Baptized in the Holy Spirit as Charismatics and Pentecostals would have you believe. This Spiritual gift was evident only during the Apostolic age to authenticate the divine Spiritual authority of the Twelve Apostles who were able to speak and understand other languages that they did not know prior to their "born again" experience in order to advance the Gospel message and provide a written record of their words in the New Testament. This gift ceased at the end of this age. Charismatics and Pentecostals believe the gift of tongues is still evident today. What they practice is called ecstatic utterance which is a form of ancient pagan worship. Transcendental Meditation is a great example of this type of utterance when they assign you a meaningless word called a mantra to repeat over and over again so one may transcend into what they call an upper level of consciousness. This is all part of the mysticism doctrine that has infiltrated the mainstream church. Two good books to read on this subject are written by John MacArthur. They are titled Charismatic Chaos and Strange Fire. I have discovered most false doctrines come out of the Charismatic movement.
The Apostle John says - "But I have this against you, that you have left your first love". And, "so, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Where is the mainstream church's sense of urgency for lost souls? Does it exist anymore? An even more important question is, do we really know how to love others as Jesus loves us? I believe it would be much easier for us to love others if we really know how much Jesus loves us. Jesus said "there is no greater love than when a person lays down their life for a friend". Isn't that what Jesus did for us on the cross? Where is our appreciation and gratitude for His ultimate sacrifice?
17. Our priorities are out of line and our principles are out of touch with what Jesus teaches us.
Read Romans 12:2-3. Many, if not most, professing Christians today have no idea what it is to have the true mindset of Christ. Philippians Chapter Two best describes what it is to have the true mindset of Jesus. It bowls down to two verses found in Philippians 2:3-4. It says,
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. With this frame of mind, always consider the interests of others as being as important as our own."
This is what Agape Love is all about. It is impossible to be a narcissist with this mindset. My former Pest Control Company's Slogan was "We have your PEST interest in mind" which is based on this scripture. I believe having this slogan or motto is why God blessed my Pest Control Company to the extent that He did because I always put the interests of my customers before my own. I give God all the glory for all of my personal successes just like Tim Tebow does with his. I have discovered from my own practical experience the more you give the more you receive. Don't forget Jesus said it is more blessed to give than receive.
18. Too much man made structure with scripted programs and long one sided lectures called sermons from the pulpit hinders the Holy Spirit from working in each and every believer who assembles together in a church setting.
Every member has certain spiritual gifts, personal experiences, creative ideas, academic knowledge, personal testimonies, vocational skills, talents, prayer requests, sins to confess and scripture knowledge to be shared in a group setting to edify and grow the Body of Christ if given the opportunity and time to do so. Being too scripted in words, structured in programs with constrained limits on time severely handicaps the Holy Spirit from working in each individual who desires to participate within the group setting. See what Jesus has to say about this in Mark 13:11. I have learned spontaneity is the Holy Spirit's most productive forum to work in, especially when He is able to work through every believer in attendance instead of having a few blowhards who want to control the timing, the structure and the narrative of each church meeting they initiate. Isn't funny how people love our President best when he is off script? Has there been times when you have been in church and you were not able to share what's on your mind?
19. The most neglected demographic of people in the church today are single adults.
I am 66 years old and I have been single for 50 of those years. I know this is true because I have been single for most of my adult years attending the mainstream church. Very few churches have a singles ministry. The few that do are ministering to those who are 18 to 30 years old. Once you hit 30 you're on your own. Singles just don't fit in because the church focuses on families and neglects the needs of a single person. Did you know that over half of our adult population in the United States are single now? God's word commands us to take care of singles (those who are all alone in life) in James 1:27. This is another major reason for church growth decline and another example of church hypocrisy. Neglecting the needs of single adults proves the mainstream church does not practice what it preaches because they claim to follow all the teachings found in the Bible. Not true as you can see.
Let me add one more demographic that is being neglected by the church today. Young adults are another demographic large in numbers who have left the church. Here is the latest news article that may help answer the why questions. I tend to agree with what is stated in it based on my own practical experience observing the lack of young people in church attendance along with other pertinent reasons that I have stated in this thesis. Read the news article for yourself and come to your own conclusion as to it's relevance to church growth decline. As you can see, the church neglects many groups that lie within the demographic scope of those they are responsible to serve. Neglect of this kind dramatically affects the growth of the Body of Christ. Do you agree?
20. I believe most church leaders (especially women) do not understand the psychological stronghold behind addictions (habitual sin) which we all have and fail to admit to one another by means of confession.
Read 1 Corinthians 10:13 and Romans 7:18-20. I believe the Apostle Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was a sexual addiction. We all know how sexual sin is kept hush-hush in the church because of all the shame that comes with it. This is the reason why I believe the Apostle Paul did not go into detail about his "thorn in the flesh". I believe all the prostitutes in Corinth must have really tempted Paul with all the sexual favors they were willing to offer him. Corinth was well known for it's prostitution all around the world during Paul's ministry. It would be compared to Amsterdam today.
We know how internet pornography tempts most men today. Just a click away, right? Sexual addiction as well as other addictions will be talked about with total transparency in Bible Think Tank's Men's Mentoring Ministry and we will all encourage each other to stay clear of the evils that can consume our thoughts that drive us to sin against our own bodies. We have much better things to do with our time than masturbate or consume substances to get high or covet things that are not ours as well as other addictions, right? God told the Apostle Paul that "power is perfected in our weakness". Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 for better understanding of Paul's personal struggle with sin.
All of us as Christians have at least one addiction that we struggle with on a daily basis. I will call you a liar if you say you don't. I will admit I have one thing in common with King David, King Solomon, President John F. Kennedy, President Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump. We are all sex addicts. In other words, we are attracted to beautiful ladies more than is socially accepted. Both of my former wives do not believe they have any addictions of any kind. I believe malicious gossip and the love of money are two addictions both of my former wives are guilty and totally unaware of. We will openly talk about our addictions in order to be healed from them as we bear each others burdens and encourage each other to overcome them. God told the Apostle Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." So let us rejoice in our weakness because it should keep us on our knees in humble submission to the One who will deliver all of us from this body of death we live in one day. We will follow Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) protocol which is "what is said here stays here". Fair enough?
21. Lack of true Elders (senior citizens) appointed to oversee and consult the church body of believers.
The Greek word for elder is presbuteros which means Senior Citizen, Grey Haired Person or Old Man. Less than 10% of churches in America have appointed Elders as instructed in the Bible to help oversee and consult in the operations of the church based on my own personal research. Many churches are appointing "mere lads" to be Elders contrary to what a true Elder is supposed to be according to the Bible's definition. Please note that Elders do not have authority over anyone in the body of Christ. They are there to be consultants or mentors to younger members of the Body of Christ because they are the ones who have "been there done that" so to speak. We all need someone older than us to help us better understand the problems we face each day. Who better to consult than a Senior Citizen, right?
My maternal Grandfather was my greatest mentor in life. He, more than any other man I have ever known, demonstrated to me what it is to be like Jesus. I spent most of my summer vacations with him each year as a child. He and my Grandmother had a farm in the country on Lake Griffin in Leesburg, FL. He taught me how to shoot a gun, hunt and fish, he taught me how to manage a farm, he taught me how to drive a car, boat and tractor, he taught me how to be responsible, he taught me how to fix things and use all kinds of different tools, he taught me to have a positive attitude and to believe I could accomplish anything in life if I set my mind to it, he taught me to be myself and not let anyone else try to change who God made me to be, he taught me to let my actions speak louder than my words, he taught me not to let the naysayers talk me out of achieving my dreams, he taught me the importance of delaying gratification, he taught me how to have good manners, he taught me my strong work ethic, he taught me not to be prejudiced towards black people (colored people as he called them), he taught me to always treat people with respect especially those who are older and those who have authority over me, he taught me to live and let live, he taught me to mind my own business, he taught me not to talk behind people's backs, he taught me to never bad mouth my competition, he taught me there is no such thing as a free lunch, he taught me that if you don't work you don't eat, he taught me the importance of being charitable, he taught me how to manage my time, he taught me what it is to be a gentleman around women and more than anything else, he taught me what it is to be a man and not to be afraid to stand up for what is right in the eyes of God like standing up for our National Anthem.
The man he taught me to be is a feminist's worst nightmare. That's why they hate me so much. That's why they hate President Trump so much as well. They hate us because we are everything a feminist is not. Sigmund Freud called this "penis envy". I can't thank my Grandfather enough for how much he helped me to be who I am today. Everyone needs an older person in their life to help them be a better person. I hope I can be that person for you. Another significant issue in our culture is that parents do not teach their children to respect their elders anymore. Remember Rodney Dangerfield? "I get no respect". I do not hear Pastor's preach on this topic. Have you? Bruce Willis most certainly gets no respect from his peers.
My maternal Grandfather - Frank Pemble (1891 - 1973)
No other man has had such a positive impact on my life. I believe all boys growing up need to have an elderly man mentor them on what it is to be like Jesus in the way we think, talk and transact in life. Let me share a story about my GrandDad and how colorful his speech was. I must have been about ten years old when he told me this joke. It goes like this...
An elderly widower took off on his daily visit to the grocery store by means of City bus. He forgot his grocery list so he tried to refresh his memory on what was on it. He completed his shopping and got on the bus to return home. The old man starts to go through his shopping bags to see if he got everything he came for. As he speaks aloud he starts naming each item in the bag ... milk, bread, eggs, lunch meat, aspirins, "aspirins?" Silently to himself he says, "Oh No! I forgot my aspirins". Once he realizes the gravity of his mistake he starts yelling out loud, "MY ASSBURNS! MY ASSBURNS! Then you hear the bus driver yell back, "IF IT BURNS THAT MUCH STICK IT OUT THE WINDOW".
I guess I'm a "Chip off the Old Block".
22. The mainstream church is allowing its legal issues such as divorce cases, legal matters and law suits to leave the church rather than settle these disputes within the church body as the Apostle Paul instructs.
Read Chapter Six of 1 Corinthians. Did you know that divorce papers are written up as a law suit? The church I was a member of allowed my wife to sue me for divorce and disobeyed this instruction. They did absolutely nothing to try and save our marriage even with my persistent pleads for them to do so. Jesus said,
This was my experience at the Southern Baptist Church here in Oviedo, FL. This proves they do not practice what they preach which is the most concise definition of a hypocrite. First Baptist Church in Oviedo (now Crosslife) allowed my former wife to steal my most valuable possession from me. What is anyone's most valuable possession? It's obviously our family. You can't put a price tag on this loss because it is priceless!
My former wife and First Baptist Church of Oviedo turned our three daughters against me by making me out to be an abusive alcoholic father. My abuse of alcohol got me in trouble with a one time domestic abuse altercation with my youngest step-daughter. I admit the dumbest things I have ever done in life has been under the influence of alcohol.
I admit that I have a history of substance abuse because I suffer from depression which was diagnosed while serving in the Navy in 1974. I have chosen to self-medicate to relieve my sorrows in the past because anti-depressant drugs were not available at the time. Most Vietnam Vets such as myself have a history of substance abuse. My drug of choice was marijuana while serving in the Navy but chose not to use it at the time of this incident because it was illegal. All of my former shipmates had a drug of choice. You had your acid freaks, your speed freaks and your pot heads as we called them back then. I would have never been guilty of any domestic abuse if I was high on marijuana instead of drunk on alcohol. I am much more conscientious of right and wrong, sometimes to the point of paranoia, when I am using marijuana as my drug of choice. Alcohol is a different story. Studies have proven that the use of alcohol severely impairs our judgement and is the number one drug responsible for the destruction of the family nucleus in our country today. I speak from much experience that alcohol is a much more dangerous drug than marijuana. Ask John Morgan, a local attorney here in Orlando. Please use google to see how beneficial marijuana is to those who suffer from PTSD such as myself. This whole thesis has been written while taking my prescribed medication of marijuana. I can attest to the fact that marijuana works much more effectively than Prozac which I took for many years. I much rather consume something that is God made rather than man made any day, wouldn’t you?
As you should know, Southern Baptist's are Teetotaler's and supported my wife divorcing me and made me look like and abusive father in the minds of our daughters. To this day my daughters refuse to correspond with me. Many women in the church maligned my reputation with malicious gossip about me. Now all of my Holidays and special occasions are spent all alone with no family to celebrate them with. We should never forget what Jesus said while hanging on the cross, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do". I pray God will forgive my wife and my daughters because they do not realize that their lack of forgiveness towards me is an unforgivable sin. The Jesus that my wife and three daughters know is not the same Jesus that I know. This is why I fear Jesus will say to them when they meet Him,
Divorce is the ultimate act of unforgiveness. Can you think of an act that is more unforgiving than divorce?
Jesus also said, "What God has put together, let no man separate!"
My first wife knows that God put us together and she still divorced me because she was more concerned about what the people at First Baptist Oviedo were saying about me than what Jesus teaches us in the Bible. She would rather please people than please our Heavenly Father. Prior to all this happening, many people at First Baptist Church Oviedo despised me because of certain things I have said during group discussions concerning church growth decline as stated in this thesis. This is especially true when discussing point three in my thesis. Jesus said a Prophet is not honored in his home town. It is note worthy to mention that several church leaders in my past, including Pastor Herb Long who performed the wedding ceremony with my first wife, say I have the gift of prophecy. I have come to believe that this is true about me. Charles Stanley has the best interpretation on what the gift of prophecy is in my my opinion. My definition of this gift is very simple, "a prophet speaks truth when everyone else chooses to lie".
Everyone in my defense must know that I did everything I could possibly do to save our marriage. My wife says she has forgiven me. It's obvious by my former wife's actions (the act of divorce) that she has not forgiven me for my past offenses to her and our daughters as they perceive them. I admitted my mistakes to her and my daughters. I apologized and asked for them to forgive me. I promised to make things right in the future. I even put this in writing. I sincerely meant what I said. Do you remember what I wrote earlier about the mindset of an idealist that their words carry more weight than their actions? Here is a perfect example where my former wife's words, saying she has forgiven me, carry more weight than her act of divorcing me.
My Grandfather Pemble taught me that actions always speak louder than words. If my wife had truly forgiven me, we would still be married today. Like Jesus, I hate the sin of hypocrisy especially when you say one thing and do another. Our American Indians call this speaking with forked tongue. All hypocrites have a double standard in their mindset. This is what the Bible refers to as being double-minded. One final question to meditate on. Do you believe that actions speak louder than words as the Bible teaches us?
23. Forgiving others has become a very conditional process between professing Christians in the Mainstream Church today.
Let me ask you a question. What is the most valuable attribute of the Gospel message? It is without question the act of forgiveness. Jesus forgave all of our sins, so why is it so hard for us to forgive others for their sins? There are too many professing Christians who would rather blame someone for their sin than forgive them for their sin? Am I right in what I am describing to you?
Many in the church today love to play what I call the "Blame Shame Game" in their attitude towards others who may not measure up to their personal expectations and standards. Maxine Waters is the Grand Wizard at playing this game. This is especially true for those who are caught in sexual sin. Most churches are shame based as opposed to grace based in their theology which is a false gospel. Jesus has taught me that shame comes straight from the pit of hell. We find the Accuser of the Brethren in Revelation 12:9-11 who is the author, director and producer of the "Blame Shame Game". We see God questioning Adam and Eve why they feel ashamed in Genesis 3:11. We see Joseph putting Mary away in secret because he did not want her to be publicly shamed in Matthew 1:18-19. The Apostle Paul says there is no shame for those who place their faith in Jesus in Romans 8:1. Shame is the number one weapon Satan uses to destroy the soul of a man or woman. After all, he is the accuser of the brethren, isn't he?
Shame is the total opposite of God's redeeming grace. The Holy Spirit never shames us. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin. There is huge difference between shame and conviction. Conviction is what convinces us of our sin. In other words, the Holy Spirit opens our minds and hearts and sheds light on our sin. The Holy Spirit convinces us of the reality of our sin in a way that is constructive rather than destructive in nature. It's an amazing phenomenon that cannot be explained in human terms. Read John Chapter Nine on how Jesus explains what it is to be blind to sin. See what the prophet Isaiah says about this in Isaiah 9:2. He says,
"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned."
I pray every day that God start shining His light in the hearts and minds of every person who is guilty of the sin of hypocrisy in our country today. Especially my two former wives and three daughters. There is so much darkness in the souls of many who profess to be Christians. These folks can't see their own sin. It's like cataracts have clouded the eyes of their soul. They are totally blind to their own sin. People who understand addiction call this blindness DENIAL. I have learned that when we do not confess our sins to each other is what causes us to become blind to our sin.
Blindness to our own sin is what causes a person to become a "self-righteous hypocrite".
The mainstream church, the fake news media, Hollywood entertainment and our corrupt Government are overloaded with these self-righteous hypocrites. Jesus called them "broods of vipers". Everyone of these hypocrites who accuse others for their particular sins are many times more guilty of the sin they are condemning. Hillary Clinton (a professing Methodist Christian) accused Donald Trump (a professing Presbyterian Christian) of colluding with the Russians with no evidence to substantiate her claims. Now we see there is an avalanche of evidence of her and her allies colluding with the Russians during her tenure as Secretary of State and her Presidential campaign. There is also evidence that she and top officials of the Obama administration colluded to undermine the Presidency of Donald Trump. She clearly is trying to pass her own sins onto Donald Trump as if it were a hot potato. Mental Health Experts call this Psychological Projection.
It is common practice for hypocrites to blame others for their own sin weaknesses or mistakes. These are the judgemental finger pointers I wrote about earlier in point 8 of my thesis. They can't accept the fact that they are sinners like everyone else in this world. They believe the lie that mankind is basically good and that their own personal sin is not as bad as everyone else's sin. As a result, they ignore their own sin and consider it inconsequential within their own idealistic standards they have created for themselves to follow. I have never seen such a vast contrast between good and evil as we have seen since Donald Trump came onto the scene as our newly elected President. Have you? He is doing an excellent job of exposing everyone's deepest and darkest secrets. Now do you believe there is such a thing as the Jezebel spirit as well as other demonic forces at work behind the scenes? Are you starting to understand by now why Jesus hates the sin of hypocrisy so much? And why He calls people like this snakes, broods of vipers and children of the devil?
The question now is, how do we cure our blindness to our own sin? We do this by confessing our sins to each other which is the most disregarded command in the Bible by the mainstream church today. Does it make more sense now when Jesus said to take the plank out of our own eye before we try to to take a speck out of another person's eye? Look at all the specks the Liberal Elites within our government, the self-righteous within the Church and the hypocrites within the Fake News Media are trying to take out of President Trump's eye while they have huge planks in their own eyes?
I have learned humans will always fail us. Jesus is the only person I know who has never failed me. He has never let me down despite the fact that I have let Him down on countless occasions. I admit I sin everyday. Like the Apostle Paul, I consider myself to be the worst of all sinners so who am I to consider myself to be better or more important than anyone else. This is the mindset of what it is to be a true follower of Jesus instead of all the "Holier-Than-Thou" types we see running the show in the church and our country today. They think that they are above the law. We need Jesus to come back and throw these hypocrites out of the Temple again. President Trump would say,
"It's time to drain the swamp!"
Thank God there is no shame for those who put their faith in Jesus. Why would we ever put our faith in the corrupt leaders of the church and government?
Jesus never meant for us to put our faith in anyone other than Him.
We are seeing the consequences of the mainstream church taking their eyes off of Jesus. Do you remember what happened to Peter when he took his eyes off of Jesus in Matthew 14:22-33? Donald Trump says, "We don't worship Government, we worship God!" Church and Government leaders want us to look to them instead of Jesus on how we should conduct our lives. Let's start fixing our eyes on Jesus again because He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith and no one else as stated in Hebrews 12:2.
Many in our government today would nail Donald Trump to a cross just like the Jews of old did with Jesus if they knew they could get away with it. Don't you agree? All throughout history prophets have been hated by their peers and in most cases killed for the truths they spoke. Donald Trump is a modern day prophet if you if you have not recognized this by now. It's time we take our head our of our sanctimonious ass and start following the lead of our President because God has put Him in this position to save us from the sin that angered Jesus more than any other sin and that is the sin of hypocrisy.
President Trump may be the only person in Washington DC who really has our best interests in mind. It's time we recognize this and quit listening to our corrupt Government leaders, the Fake News Media, Hollywood actors and all the sanctimonious church leaders and politicians who have their own best interests in mind rather than those they have pledged to publicly serve. Satan controls the Democratic Party, the Hollywood elite, the vast majority of the news media and tragically the mainstream church as well. It's time we cut them off from our prying eyes and listening ears. Let's put them out of business. Not another dollar spent on their hypocrisy, fabricated lies and incriminating propaganda. Was Jesus right in being so angry towards the sin of hypocrisy?
24. Authoritarian rule is more prevalent in church leadership in most churches today as opposed to the humble servitude leadership concept as taught by Jesus to His disciples.
We, as individual members of the body of Christ, are equal in importance. No one has authority over any one individual. Just like each individual part of the human body does not have authority over another body part. Only the human brain has authority over all body parts. There is only one authority in the Body of Christ and that is the Head of the Body. Who is the Head of the Body? I think we all know the answer to this question. It's Jesus our Lord, our Master, our Savior and our Only Supreme Authority in our life. Read what Jesus taught His disciples about their authority within the "Body of Christ"...
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The Bible also says to, "Fix our eyes on Jesus, He is the Author and Perfecter of our Faith" - not the Pope, not the Pastor, not the Bishop, not the Elder, not the Deacon, not the Reverend, not the Priest, not the Sunday School teacher, not any appointed leader in the church. Only Jesus has authority over us in the Body of Christ. Government Officials who administer and enforce the laws of the land do have authority over us as the Apostle Paul points out in Romans Chapter 13.
Jesus is the only One appointed by God to be our authority and our teacher within the Body of Christ. We should never forget that all of us are going to have to give an account of our lives before Him one day in the future. Our founding Fathers drafted our constitution based on the Body of Christ concept and that we all are created equal in the eyes of God because each of us has a specific and significant role to play that makes the Body of Christ function in a constructive and productive manner where we all benefit to help bring God's kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. We are One Nation Under God (the Head of the Body of Christ), indivisible (One In Christ Jesus) with liberty and justice for all. God shows no partiality when it comes to His love for each us as His adopted sons and daughters. Why is it that so many professing Christians can be some of the most prejudicial, domineering and arrogant people on the planet? I use the word professing because not all Christians are saved according to what Jesus said in Matthew 7:23.
"Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!"
It should be much clearer now why the road to Heaven is narrow as opposed to wide as Jesus warns His disciples. Maybe it's time to reevaluate whether or not we are on the narrow road that leads to the Kingdom of God.
25. A church that requires membership is a false doctrine.
The way a person becomes a member (individual part) of the Body of Christ is to be baptized into it by the Holy Spirit. This is a one time event that happens at the point of our "born again" experience.
The Apostle Paul teaches us that there is "One body and one Spirit, just as you were called to One hope when you were called; One Lord, One faith, One baptism; One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all". This is how a person becomes a member of the Body of Christ. Church membership is a One Time Event. God is all about Oneness and Unity. Just like the Holy Trinity is One. Requiring church membership is a ploy church leaders use to establish control over their members to achieve their own selfish agenda. The church (Body of Christ) is not a Country Club that requires man made membership. Don't buy into this lie under any circumstances.
26. The preaching of false gospels.
This includes what many now call “Easy-Believism” which is believing in Jesus is all you need for salvation. The Bible says that even the demons believe in Jesus and we know they are not saved. Believing in Jesus is not enough for salvation from our sins. Remember what the Apostle John said in John 17:3?
"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
The Easy Believism doctrine does not include the need to confess and repent of our sins, the surrendering our life and everything we own to our Heavenly Father with a lifetime commitment to get to know His Son Jesus more intimately every day. It is critical that we fully understand the depth of our required commitment to follow Jesus in order to be saved. Jesus gave it all on the cross for us and God expects us to do the same for Him. Why would anyone short change God?
27. Too many televangelists preying on the emotions of the weak minded to swindle them out of their last dime.
The Prosperity Gospel comes to mind as one of the false teachings that the Charismatic movement uses to manipulate millions of people to give unseen amounts of money to satisfy their insatiable desire to get rich.
Joel Osteen is a master at preaching the Prosperity Gospel. I believe he is the wealthiest preacher in the world. My sister Nancy loves Joel Osteen and gave me his book "Your Best Life Now" to read. I already knew this guy was a false prophet but I started to read it anyway out of curiosity. I got about a quarter a way through when I could not read anymore. This is what I read that authenticated to me this man does not have the true mindset of of Jesus. He wrote; "when you drive into a parking lot expect God to bless you with a parking space closest to the front door and He will bless you with it". After reading that, I asked myself what would Jesus do in this situation? I immediately knew the answer without even thinking about it. Jesus would take the parking place farther away and let someone else have the space closest to the front door, right? Joel Osteen wouldn't open the front doors of his church to the flood victims of Hurricane Harvey n Houston, TX. The news media quickly picked up on this story. He did make up for it later because he opened his church the following Saturday to the largest Jewish Synagogue in Houston that was flooded by Hurricane Harvey. Thank God he was called out on his hypocrisy and we see he responded in a constructive manner to save face. How much do you want to bet that he charged them to use his facility? Don't ever think for a moment that those who are on the outside looking in don't see the huge amount of greed that TV Evangelists display in all their seductive sermons designed to fleece their flocks clean of their finances. What a huge blemish this is to what people see as the church today.
28. I do not recommend anyone who wants to develop the true mindset of Jesus attend seminary today.
It is way too structured and scripted for the Holy Spirit to work through the professors and the students who want to learn how to be like Jesus in their future endeavor to carry out the Great Commission. Don't forget that the Bible teaches us that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are our teachers and not college professors.
The seminary atmosphere is very cold and calculated instead of warm and winsome as it should be. None of Jesus' disciples went to seminary. They had three years of on the job training with Jesus to learn what it takes to have His mindset and what His aspirations are for His Future Bride - the "True Unadulterated Church". It is with great despair that I feel compelled to warn you not to trust any man to interpret what the Bible teaches concerning what our Heavenly Father's will is for our lives. I believe it is our responsibility as individuals to do our own study of the Bible in what it teaches us. I have no doubt that God would prefer us to pay attention to Him instead of any church leader on how we should conduct our lives.
Why would any follower of Jesus trust any man to tell us what is in the Bible? Our spiritual destiny depends on us knowing Jesus and what He teaches us and not what any church leader teaches us. We will follow the format Jesus demonstrated to His disciples in our approach in mentoring the men who want to be part of Bible Think Tank Men's Mentoring Ministry. I went to seminary and found out that it was more of a liability than an asset to my spiritual growth. I invite you to do your own personalized study on the "pitfalls of Seminary training" to prove my point.
God gave us a Brain to figure out the mysteries in life and He expects us to use it. I believe our time here on earth is one long and treacherous journey. This journey is designed to test us on how well we figure out these mysteries that our five senses cannot detect. This is what Jesus meant when He said, "Seek first the Kingdom of God and all things (including the mysteries in life) will be revealed to you".
I believe our Heavenly Father is quite amused when He watches us try to figure out these mysteries. The same way an earthly father would be amused at his own child's struggle to figure out these mysteries. He does not want us to look onto another person's exam paper for the answers. This would be called cheating and grounds to be expelled as a disciple of Christ. As for me, I will keep my eyes focused on Jesus instead of a College professor. Do you agree?
29. Most churches drop the ball when it comes to discipleship.
Too many times a preacher or a layman will lead a person to Christ and neglect their responsibility to disciple that person as a newborn baby in Christ. It is imperative that we take a new convert under our wing to mentor him or her to understand what it is to have the true mindset of Jesus. This new Christian believer needs to develop intimate and transparent friendships with mature followers of Jesus who will come along side this new believer and help nurture him or her as they grow in the admonition of the Lord. This new adopted child of God will see for the first time in their life that there are really sincere people who really do care for their best interests and will always be there for them when in need. I believe this neglect in discipleship is a huge reason why so many fall away from the Christian faith and contributes greatly to church growth decline. Can I get an Amen?
30. The lack of unity among church members.
Read John 17. Look how many factions there are in the Christian religion today and more and more are spinning off the so called church every day. Jesus said, "a house divided against itself will not stand". Look how divided our country is today. I believe we are in the midst of another Civil War between those who believe in "One Nation Under God" and those who don't. We, as brothers in Christ, need to form close and committed alliances so we can protect ourselves from the anarchists, humanists, communists, socialists and globalists who want to take over our country and do away with Christianity, our Freedom, our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.
I have a Russian history minor from UCF. I studied the Bolshevik Revolution and how communism overtook Russian Czar Nicholas II and his family in a very violent and unconscionable way. I can assure you, we don't want any Joseph Stalin's running the show in our country, do we? We cannot ignore this problem. Now is the time to come together to save our country from anarchy and the loss of all our personal freedoms especially the First Amendment by a tyrannical government. If you don't own a firearm, I suggest you buy one now because we may be forced to exercise our Second Amendment right very soon. Our Founding Fathers specifically gave us the Second Amendment in our Bill of Rights so we may protect ourselves from a tyrannical uprising from within our government or from an attack from another country. Jesus proclaimed, "those that take up the sword will die by the sword". The liberal elites are brandishing their swords at us right now. We need to have our own swords ready in our defense if these tyrants choose to start a revolution against "We the People" of the United States. Our Heavenly Father knows President Trump is the right man for the job. I am a very seasoned and savvy businessman. I believe Trump is the right man for the job as well. It takes a "mover and shaker" like Trump to bring us out of the depths of our despair. Our President has the "trump" cards needed to win this "poker game" he has entered. How do I know this? It's because it takes a winner to know a winner. You won't find a better poker player than Trump. You can take that to the bank!
Jesus was called the Son of David. King David was considered by the Jewish people to be the best military leader in their history as a nation. Do you think King David would back down to an enemy that wanted to take over his Kingdom? I know Donald Trump will not back down. I believe President Trump is a cross between King David and his son King Solomon. Very wealthy, very brave, very powerful and very wise. We need a leader like President Trump because he will not be intimidated or be taken advantage of by these liberal elites who have an insatiable desire for power, wealth and control over the people of the United States with the intention of making all of us slaves to the State according to their narcissistic desires.
I can't express enough just how important it is for us to face this evil opposition head on with the necessary force to defeat these tyrants if attacked. We need to have the mindset of our Founding Fathers which believed in Patrick Henry's famous quote, "give me liberty or give me death." Our freedom is priceless. Please don't let these power hungry liberal elites who are aligned with the anti-Christ take it away from us. Real men who love Jesus need to rise up and come together with the true mindset of Jesus and help revive what we call "church" from most certain death. Do I hear an AMEN?
If you have not figured it out yet, "Life is one big poker game. How well we play the hands we are dealt will determine the quality and quantity of the fruits of our labor and our spiritual destiny". In other words, Jesus on judgement day, will decide our employment position in Heaven on how well we play each hand life deals us. He will evaluate His judgement on the quantity and quality of our wins and who gets the glory for our wins. Does this make sense? I want those who read my Thesis to challenge me if you dispute any point. I am not a narcissist. I can take constructive criticism unlike those who have come under the influence of the demonic spirit of feminism.
These thirty points are the major issues I discovered by means of prayer, intense study of scripture, reputable educational material, staying current with the news, much practical experience and the guidance and teaching of the Holy Spirit relevant to my understanding of church growth decline. It was my practical experience that authenticated to me that God's Word is true. I have tested it over and over again to make sure of it. This is why our past history is so important to know so we can learn from our past mistakes and pursue what has worked best. We will talk about these points in our Think Tank sessions with hopes of seeing God work through each of us to help revive the Church and save it from the brink of extinction in America today.
I am sure we will have a better understanding of these points as we talk about this problem within the think tank of this men's ministry. We elected Donald Trump to "drain the swamp" of our government. We also need to drain the swamp of the "mainstream church" as well. God willing, we will make every effort to be sure we are ready as His bride to be when He returns to consummate His marriage with us. Right now the Bride of Christ looks like something you would see in a Zombie movie. Who wants to make love to a Zombie?
I believe the Apostle Paul was absolutely right when he said it is better to remain single. This will be my advice to all men who want to be a part of this ministry. The demonic spirit of feminism described in point three of my thesis is way too powerful to have any close alliances or associations with. That means men need to distance themselves from today's modern women. Believe me, I know this is true from past experience. You only need one time to touch a hot stove not to touch it again, right? I touched the hot stove of marriage two times in the past and got severely burnt both times. I am not going to get burnt again. President Trump has a whole lot more faith than me to try a third time with marriage. I recommend we adhere to the following teaching by the Apostle Paul found in 2 Corinthians 6:17; That is why the Lord has said,
“Leave them; separate yourselves from them; don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you."
When all is said and done, I believe the underlying root cause of church growth decline in both numbers and morality is because we as a country (One Nation Under God) have moved away from putting God and other people's interests before our own. We need to put to death this narcissistic "selfie" mindset that controls the mainstream narrative in how we think and communicate with each other. Practicing Christ-like humility in all we think, say and do is the only answer to achieving peace and prosperity in the days to come. May God's enduring peace keep us calm, cool and collected as we face all the hostile people who hate our President and our politics. Wake Up Fellow Americans! God is trying to get our attention and He is doing it through the leadership of our President...I think we all know who that is...
Imagine Jesus hanging on the cross watching the crowd maliciously mock Him as He died. He knew most everyone in the crowd who hates Him had been deceived by the Jewish politicians and religious leaders who controlled the news media of their day. Jesus knew they were believing the lies their religious leaders had told them. It should not surprise us when He said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." The same is true today. Most everyone who hates President Trump are believing all the lies that have been manufactured from these primary sources behind the scenes...
Don't kid yourself. These lies come from the "Father of Lies" himself who is the head puppet master behind the scenes. Read John 8:44, it says...
"You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
Here are two Spiritual truths I have learned about life:
1. It's not meant to be a cake walk...it's meant to be a boot camp to train us for all the battles we will face in life here and the here after.
2. The best things in life we have to wait for. Delaying gratification is essential for healthy spiritual growth. Having something to look forward to helps me get through each day. Our faith in Jesus assures us the best is yet to come...Hallelujah!
It comes down to this qualifying question on whether or not our Heavenly Father will hire us as a future employee in His Kingdom to come.
See what Jesus says about this...
"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." (Matthew 6:24)
Do you remember Art Linkletter? I will always practice the principle he taught in his famous quote:
"I believe none of us should ever stop growing, learning, changing, and being curious about what's going to happen next. None of us is perfect, so we should be eager to learn more and try to be more effective persons in every part of our lives."
THE END FOR NOW
Written by Tom Randolph with help and direction of the Holy Spirit.
P.S. I am always a phone call away. My cell phone number is 321-527-9372.
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