I posted an article on my personal Facebook timeline the other day in the wake of the Orlando shooting AND because of so-called “Christian Pastors” that spoke out and applauded the shooter for doing God’s work! Yes, you read that right, pastors applauding the shooting. One of the pastors has a fairly big following, the other pastor who commented in agreement was a Baptist pastor.
Now, my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord who happen to be Baptist, I am NOT condemning the Baptist denomination as a whole. But, I am condemning, yes, condemning the words coming from the mouths of these supposed Pastors, Shepherds of the Lord’s flock!
I know I use this Scripture a lot, but it bears repeating again; Luke 6:45, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” These words are the words of Jesus Christ Himself to His disciples. I truly recommend that you all read the whole chapter.
Here’s some food for thought from that Facebook post; some “analogy” as it were:
My wife has leukemia; many of you who are close know this; some of you didn’t, but it’s true. Untreated, this type of leukemia has a life expectancy of about 5 years. Now, she didn’t ask for it, but it was something that was actually dormant and inherent in her family. When she would complain about some of her symptoms, our doctor in Arizona would do tests, but for some reason couldn’t see what the symptoms were related too. He was a qualified doctor of internal medicine, but ended up asking Susie, “what do you want me to do for you?”
Now move ahead to our relocation to Colorado, where we wanted to be closer to our kids. We found a family doctor and the very first check-up, he suspected a diagnosis but then ordered tests to verify it. Both doctors were specialists in Internal Medicine.
One doctor, a specialist couldn’t identify the problem and left the patient to her own devices. The other doctor identified the problem and what did he do? What he DIDN’T do is tell her there was no hope, or to go and hole up somewhere and die! He told her the truth; there is no cure, but there is a way to live this life free from the ravages of the disease. As long as she followed the regimen prescribed, she would live and not die from the effects of this disease.
This doctor did not recommend killing the patient because she had a disease in her body that could eventually destroy her! So it is with sin. Sin is in us, it is inherent and we didn’t ask for it. BUT depending on the “doctor” you go too, there is a way to live without the ravages of this disease in our flesh. You could do what some “doctors” are telling you and kill the patient and then you no longer have this disease in your midst. You have no concerns then of “catching” this disease or even having it near you! Remember how leprosy was looked upon in Jesus’ time?
But, the RIGHT “doctor” will prescribe a regimen for you that will help “disable” the ravages of this disease and you can live without this disease causing your death. You have to remember one point though; the doctor can only share with you right “medicine,” the “prescription” isn’t forced upon the patient. They have to accept it, they have to believe the “doctor” that the disease they have is deadly, and then they have to willingly “follow” the regimen. He doesn’t tell the patient to go kill themselves or hole up somewhere to die. He tells them of the possibility to live a life full and complete. The choice on how to live then reverts to the “patient.”
In this analogy the Lord has allowed us to live through, the “doctor” is the preacher or teacher you are willing to listen too. The Bible says, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” – Philippians 2:12-13.
You can listen to a preacher or teacher, but you are responsible for what you do with his “prescription.” Do you kill your neighbor, God Almighty’s Creation, because he/she has sin in his/her flesh, and thus remove it and the possible “contamination” from around you; or do you tell them of the “prescription” that allows them to live a life where the “symptoms” won’t kill them and they are able to live a full and complete life, a life able to help and inspire others?
What if it had been you before your “spiritual awakening” and a preacher or teacher told others to kill you because you were in sin, before you were able to receive your “prescription?” There is sin in the world and it is inherent in those we come in contact with or those we see in the news and much of it is “in your face,” but – lest we forget, those that carry this disease are ignorant and blind to it! Do you think it is because they DON’T want to know or that they want to be blind? The Apostle Paul reminds the church of this in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” So who is to blame? The “patient” who doesn’t know (who is ignorant and blind) that they have a disease that will kill them, or the ones who have blinded them and keeps them from a known “cure or remedy?”
Don’t we who have been given a “prescription” freely that works, have a duty to at least let others know that there is remedy for what ails them? Do we beat them over the head with how bad the disease is, or do we approach them with a remedy that will relieve the loss of hope, the lack of joy, the anger that besets them and so on, all SYMPTOMS of the “disease??” If we beat them over the head with how ugly the “disease” is, how horrific it makes us feel, how we can’t stand to be around a “diseased” person then we are no better than those who viewed and dealt with leprosy, way back when! What comfort did the lepers have in being shunned because of something they had no control over? We all have a part in helping others realize there IS a “prescription” to help live above the “disease” and NOT do all to shun or kill those carrying the “disease!” Jesus didn’t shirk from reaching out His hand to give comfort and to heal! If He truly is our example, our Master and Teacher, then what right do we have to hold back a hand of comfort, a hand of healing and NOT use that club of destruction?! Jesus stated, “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.” – Matthew 10:24.
Remember, we all have the “disease” within our flesh and ONLY the proper “regimen” keeps us alive to be whole and complete and able to accomplish what our Teacher, our Master asks us to accomplish! HE gives us the strength, our abilities are through Him and Him alone and not of ourselves! We can ONLY do as the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It is in Christ and Him alone that our strength and abilities lie.
One other thing; if you haven’t read your Bible recently, I want to challenge you with this question; who were the Apostles and writers of the Epistles writing too, especially? Remember, the Gospels let us know of the Good News and WHO HE, Christ Jesus is. The Epistles are written to those whose spiritual eyes have been “opened” and not to those who don’t have a clue, so when the writers are writing about the continuing practice of sin, just who were they specifically addressing??
I recommend that if you are wondering now, you get back into your Bible, start with Romans and go until you are finished with Revelation. These were all letters addressing concerns in the churches!
Remember, in Christ, we are ambassadors to the world, NOT the judge and jury. You can identify sin as sin, but it is your job as an ambassador to not give in to it but to be an example of the Kingdom we are the ambassadors for. We are to “prescribe” hope, assurance, joy, peace, LOVE, and all the other “fruits” that we are partakers of. The “patients” then have to make the choice for themselves whether they will follow the prescription that saves them from the ravages of the disease that is sin, or to continue living with the disease until it claims them! It is THEIR choice, our choice is to give the knowledge that there is a “prescription, a remedy” and that Jesus Christ and Him crucified is that “prescription!” It is freely given, you don’t have to pay for it, and in fact you can’t pay for it! It is the best universal health plan available to all who call this planet home!
One other thought and those who know me well will recognize my going back to this Scripture time and time again. I know it can be lengthy, but in the light of those “religious leaders” applauding violence against God’s Creation who are only blinded and ignorant as all of us once were, I state these verses from Matthew 7:
1 ¶ “Judge not, that you be not judged. (Don’t pass sentence that you aren’t sentenced.)
2 “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. (With what sentencing you will be sentenced.)
3 “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
5 “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
7 ¶ “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
9 “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
10 “Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
12 ¶ “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Of which the two great commandments fulfill!)
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
14 “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
15 ¶ “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. (This takes a form of spiritual judging called DISCERNMENT, a gift of the Holy Spirit to protect the true believers from being deceived.)
16 “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? (You can also apply the Scripture from Luke 6:45 stated above.)
17 “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 “Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (You will NOT be ignorant of the false!)
21 ¶ “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (He never KNEW them! They use His name but have no relationship with Him!)
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
25 “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:
27 “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,
29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (The scribes, teaching the letter of the Law, but NOT the spirit! 2 Corinthians 3:6.)
ALL parenthesis added in the above verses and comments in them mine for clarity. Scriptures from the NKJV.
Finally, Shepherds, Pastors be wary and beware; you may think this just applies to the those over Israel of old, but do NOT be deceived for this is a proclamation against ALL Shepherds who lead the flock of the Lord’s!
Jeremiah 10:21, “For the shepherds have become dull-hearted, And have not sought the LORD; Therefore they shall not prosper, And all their flocks shall be scattered.”
Jeremiah 23:1-2, “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the LORD.”
Jeremiah 25:34-36, “Wail, shepherds, and cry! Roll about in the ashes, You leaders of the flock! For the days of your slaughter and your dispersions are fulfilled; You shall fall like a precious vessel. And the shepherds will have no way to flee, Nor the leaders of the flock to escape. A voice of the cry of the shepherds, And a wailing of the leaders to the flock will be heard. For the LORD has plundered their pasture,”
Jeremiah 50:6-7, “My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray; They have turned them away on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill; They have forgotten their resting place. All who found them have devoured them; And their adversaries said, ‘We have not offended, Because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, The LORD, the hope of their fathers.’” (Bold emphasis mine!)
These shepherds in Jeremiah 50, say they have not offended! There excuse is because there has been sin against the Lord and they deem it their duty to devour and destroy because others ( other shepherds) have led them astray! Their actions say, “If you do not teach as I teach then I have a right to devour the sheep the Lord has given you because they have sinned!”
What right do any of us who teach the truth of the Word of God, have to destroy ANY whom the Lord has called to Himself. None of us but Christ is the Great Shepherd. We are His underlings, we are as His sheep and the sheep follow the voice of the Master. Leading is NOT driving. Sheep are led, and the sheep follow the voice of the leader. Cattle are driven and there is nowhere in Scripture where God’s heirs, His children are called cattle!
Shepherds, we need to be sure we are leading the sheep of the Lord as the Lord is leading us, OR the judgements of the early Shepherds will also be ours! I pity those who applaud violence upon our Heavenly Father’s creation/children and all the more so if they claim to follow the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus! Help us to see with your eyes, those that you died for! Help us to ever love those we don’t agree with and give us the strength to love our enemies and to esteem others above ourselves instead of raising ourselves above those who don’t agree with us! In Jesus’ Name I pray! Amen!