Matthew 7:15 (NIV) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11: (NIV) “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

2 Timothy 2:23 - 25 (NIV) - 23Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Some Refreshing Words for the Weary Church Member: Jesus is Your Rest

Readers - I rarely go back and repost previous WD blog posts, but I feel I need to cover a few significant posts from 2011 that will be very helpful to WD readers - and thanks to longtime WD reader and commenter "Thy Peace" whose comment over at the Wartburg Watch prompted me to move in this direction!

I know what it is to struggle to find a church home, to find a place where you can take your family to worship God and hear a sermon that encourages you in your faith from the heart of a person who truly wants to help you and your family.  Over the past few years we've actually been blessed to be in several churches in our city where we HAVE found this - and where believers are not hung up on worshiping their pastor and their institution. But to make a transition is especially difficult when your family has had to leave a long-time church when the preacher has stomped on your faith with unloving, legalistic teachings and you've had to bolt. It is not easy to find a new church home as preachers are under tremendous pressure to preach sermons to keep the revenue flowing to prop up their institutions.

And so many church members I've heard from are just plain weary from the heavy burdens placed on them by their pastor, as the pastor has put forth a religious system of performance - you do this, and God will do this. You give this, God will bless you this way. If you don't give this percentage, or serve this way, or evangelize this many times, or attend church these days, God will only bless you in proportion to your obedience is the message of the day. And not only that, God will purposely hold back blessings and bring harm in proportion to your lack of commitment. This all is anti-Christian, yet it IS the overall message of the day in most churches.

If that is you, I offer you some excerpts from a Wade Burleson sermon that I featured on this blog back in 2011. What you will hear from Wade will actually shock you - because it is what you likely have never heard from any preacher before, and you will probably never hear it stated so honestly and emphatically from any preacher. But when you hear what Wade says, you will know that it is precisely the truth and lines up with what you have read in your bible. Wade says what you know to be true from your bible, but what your preacher will not ever freely admit.

Below is the first post on this Wade Burleson January 2011 sermon, and I will repost the others in the next few days. Enjoy.

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"Christian, Jesus is Your Jubilee, and You Can Rest - Part 1" 
FBC Jax Watchdog Post 7/21/11



"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?"
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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.

11 comments:

Thy Peace said...

Wade's comment at The Wartburg Watch:
I have no grandiose idea that somehow my message is unique. It is the Scripture’s message and if men would be faithful to the text instead of their traditions they’d preach the same way.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

Anonymous said...

THIS IS NO TIME TO REST BROTHER!

If you’ll do some homework you’ll find that the Believers who are not actively involved in a soul-winning church rarely ever tell a soul about Jesus Christ-If ever!!! When do you tell others about Jesus??? This is what the ministry is all about--Finding a way to get the Gospel to others. Very few Believers have any idea what I am talking about- It’s called soul-winning. Also notice the word “filled” in Luke 14:23-God wants His house FILLED! If God is not interested in numbers, He’s sure not interested in empty pews!!! God wants us to “compel” others to come to church to hear the preaching. Perhaps this means giving away bikes, a meal or a computer as a promotion. This is acceptable to God--He told us to “compel” others to come. God wants us to “compel” others if necessary to allow us to share the Gospel of Christ with them. They won’t come to us--We must go to them!!!

THEY ARE GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL AND IT'S THE DEVIL WHO WANTS US TO REST!

Arce said...

One of my images of God, which gives me great comfort in times of trouble, came to me in this way. I was at the home of a friend who had two little boys. One of them fell and was crying, running to his Daddy. My friend, a very tall man, knelt and caught the child up in his arms, wrapped him up, almost making the child disappear, and held him until the hurt was over and the crying had stopped.

Sometimes I feel the comfort of God in that way in times of stress or trouble. I imagine myself wrapped up in the arms of God, on his lap, protected from everything, because that is what his love is like for his children. It is great comfort.

The Bible teaches us that God loves us, forgives us, restores us, blesses us. The NT does not teach that God seeks to destroy or punish us, withhold blessing from us, etc. The God I can worship is a God of love not a God of retribution for one who has accepted the grace gift of salvation through Jesus. I have been adopted!

WishIhadknown said...

Hey Anon, haven’t you heard? We are not about soul winning anymore. That was popular in the 80’s and some in the 90’s. It’s about having “quality members” in churches now. Members who are loyal to the man standing at the front of the church. Don’t believe me, listen to the interview Steve Gaines did last summer at the SBC convention. Get with the program man, you’re out of step with the times.

Anonymous said...

I was there the night Mac Brunson said visitation doesn't work anymore,people aren't home. Mac Brunson says what works today is television. So now First Baptist has no more visitation but Mac is on TV about 4 times a week now. I would love to know the numbers since Mac became Pastor as to how many are being saved and baptized. Just by watching how many come forward on Sunday mornings the numbers must be way down. Mac doesn't show the love for Jesus and the church the way that Lindsay and Vines showed and the numbers are telling. So many people have left the church that First Baptist is now the 3rd largest church in Jax behind Bethel Baptist and Celebration Church.

WishIhadknown said...

Anonymous, again, it’s not about leading the lost to Christ, it’s about accumulating members who have unquestioned loyalty to the “man of god.”

Once Steve Gaines admitted this, everything that happened made sense.

Anonymous said...

I watched that video and he is BORING!

The stage was old school and it looked like a choir loft behind him.

I cannot believe in 2013 that he would wear that ugly suit and preach in an outdated building.

We will never reach this world using old wineskins.

At our Church, Celebration Church, haze machines, lazer lights, plasma screens, cool graphics, and a multi million dollar sound system.

It's working!!!

Ronnie said...

It is a lie of the devil that people have to be "in the house of God everytime the door is open".
We ARE the house of God.

Acts 17:24
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;


Ephesians 2:20-22

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.


It is also a lie that we're required to give an institution 10%of our salary so that he can get paid to do what the Sunday School workers do every week for free.

Pastors like to say that if anyone teaches the Word they have a "right" to get paid. Well then, why do you not pay your Sunday School teachers a salary comparitive to your own?

Anonymous said...

If you’ll do some homework you’ll find that the Believers who are not actively involved in a soul-winning church rarely ever tell a soul about Jesus Christ-If ever!!! When do you tell others about Jesus???

This comment above is a bold face LIE! You have been well trained to spit out the propaganda of the religious system.

The folks at this fellowship: www.thebreadoflifefellowship.com teach the Word of God all the time and they are not in an "institutional soul winning church".

The folks at Apostasy watch are not "in a church", and they preach to thousands via the web.

In fact, it has been MY experience that just the opposite is true. When I was "in church" people would always show up to eat, but never show up to go soul winning. And most of the one who did only invited tares to come to church with the wheat.

"God wants us to “compel” others to come to church to hear the preaching. Perhaps this means giving away bikes, a meal or a computer as a promotion. This is acceptable to God--He told us to “compel” others to come. God wants us to “compel” others if necessary to allow us to share the Gospel of Christ with them. They won’t come to us--We must go to them!!! "

This too is a lie. There is not one place where we are commanded to sow tares in among the wheat. Not one place where we are to invite men to come to church. We ARE to invite men to come to Christ.

WishIhadknown said...

“…haze machines, lazer lights, plasma screens, cool graphics, and a multi million dollar sound system.”

Is this a church or a rock concert? Do you have a golden calf too? Are you in the world or of the world?

Anonymous said...

For every mile of truth there are two miles of ditches. Wade has fallen into one ditch. Yes-the spiritual reality, our position, our stance--is righteous as children of God. But there is so much Scripture that STILL says pastors etc "...to equip the saints for the works of ministry" and there are so many words from the epistles about our walk, and our service, and our humility as we serve etc etc. There is a balance needed---it's not one thing and not the other. We are sons of God, and we are--like Paul--also servants. Don't be one-dimensional, even if it sounds new and exciting! It's a one ditch theology.