"You will have preachers tell you that this year should be the time that you commit more TO God, that you promise to do more FOR God, that you work the fields DOUBLE. And what the preachers will say to you is 'God will be very pleased with you if you do that.' Do you not see that they have missed the Christian message?"
-----------------------Readers - over the next several days I want to share with you several excerpts from a sermon preached by Wade Burleson the first Sunday of January 2011. The short 2-minute video above is the first of about 4 clips I will show here on the blog.
On this blog we have looked at a number of mega church pastors over the past year or so that are really beating up the sheep during these tough economic times. Most of these mega church pastors are models for other pastors, their methods are emulated by other pastors who look up to them. These pastors load rules and regulations on the backs of their people. They use tactics of scare and guilt and shame, even ridicule and mocking, to get their sheep to bend to their will in the matters of service and financial contributions.
So it is time to take a step back and look at how simple the gospel really is that these men have complicated, and outright misrepresented.
In this brief sermon by Wade he explains how when you come to Christ, you can REST in your efforts to produce for God. You don't have to produce FOR God. You are not a slave to God. You are a "son" or "daughter" of God, and you can rest. When it comes to giving - you give generously as the spirit leads you. That is it. No need to have a man scare you, or pronounce curses on you and your family, or tell you that God collects it anyways through calamity.
The truth is we are free in Christ. Christ is our "Jubilee" as Wade preaches. Christians under the New Covenant are free, and are led by the Spirit. While Pastors use the Bible to create a holy sense of duty that Christians have to perform for God - and their pastor - to receive the blessings and favor of God, the truth is we can rest from our efforts to produce for God. Pastors are trying to say you "owe" God a tithe, that you have a debt that MUST be paid, else he will collect it by force and withhold blessings.
People, Jesus paid that debt, no matter how much the pastors point and stomp and yell to convince you otherwise.
I know many of those of you who regularly read this blog have endured much over the past few years from preachers who have spiritually beat you up and raked you over the coals. Some of you have had to leave your church, others have dealt with the conflict of leaving your church vs. staying and waiting. You feel tired and abused. You've had the bible used to beat you up over the head - that you aren't giving enough, you aren't serving enough, you're not faithful enough and that you will pay a price for your slackness. You've had pastors question your salvation, you men have had pastors question your manhood and your commitment to the Lord. You've given all you can but you've been made to feel it isn't enough, that still you can't enjoy the full blessings of God until you get to a certain level of giving. You've been yelled at, pointed at, lied to, and even mocked by the man in the pulpit.
And although I do focus on the mega churches on this blog because of their wide audience and influence of other ministers - these same antics happen in smaller churches. I know of one in particular in Jacksonville that is going through some upheaval and a church split over these same issues. It is so sad.
So enjoy these excerpts over the next several days from Wade Burleson. You will find them refreshing as you see a preacher who speaks the truth to the sheep about their position in Christ. He speaks the truth that so many pastors are afraid to preach these days, for fear that they won't get the results they need from their flock to keep the family business going.
If you want to see Wade's sermon in its entirety, go to his church's website here, click on the "Watch Live" button in the upper right hand corner, register for a login account, then go to his January 2, 2011 sermon entitled "Your Year of Jubilee".
Enjoy....more to come.