Who Called the Bible Police??

By Patrick Hawthorne

bible bash

This particular post is quite far from what I normally write.  Yet, at the same time, it is right up my alley.  Actually, this topic has been on my heart for quite awhile.  It was, however, given new life by an article I just read.  In Southern terms the article, “Got my blood to boiling.”

The article that I read is one where a pastor needed correction and, if allegations are true, needs to be removed from the pulpit, immediately.  However, it is the the manner of correction and the person doing the correction that really ate my goat.  Instead of going through proper God tested and Bible approved channels, the correcting minister took to social media to lodge his complaint against the errant pastor.

Time and time again, I have seen the damage and the hurt caused by too many self appointed Bible Police in the church, the Body of Jesus Christ.  These self-anointed, self-appointed men and women of God, many of whom are pastors, have taken it upon themselves to police the Body and to look for infractions from every church except their own particular congregation.

The problem?  The problem is that they are acting out of a self righteousness that is not from God but is from the devil.  These men and women have made it their mission to seek out and destroy any minister or denomination within the Body of Christ that does not fit their finely tuned theological box of arguments.

 “It’s a black hole when you start to believe you’re the police of the body of Christ but you’re not getting that from above. You’re getting it from the devil.” Person quoted not listed intentionally.

With an air of piety, these men and women, lash out at other ministers and ministries declaring them to be false and inaccurate in their theology.  Using a type of strong arm tactic, the pious po-po proudly declares, “I will no longer follow the teachings of this or that group because they believe this and I don’t.”  Forget the fact that both camps believe 99.9% of what the other believes; it is the .1% disagreement that matters in the eyes of the pseudo Bible police.

If a minister is called by God to police a certain portion of the Church – the Body of Christ as a whole – that is fine.  I have no problem with that.  However, if a minister has made it their personal mission to seek out and correct others in the Body who are not under their spiritual authority, I have a big time problem with that.  And, to you offenders I write, “Stay in your lane, Bro.”  Be blessed.

Personal Note:  I have been guilty of this very thing that I write.  This is as much an admonition for myself as it is a lesson for others.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Christian, writing

God’s Fragrance Diffuser’s

By Patrick Hawthorne

Aroma oil diffuser and candles on blurred background

14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. (2 Cor 2:14-17 KJV)

The other morning, I was reading the above verses when my eyes lit upon verse 15. I have read this verse many times but had never really stopped to think about what is being said.  I understand that we, as lights, are to shine in a dark earth.  I also understand that we are as salt, preservers and enhancers of the Word.  Yet, I had never stopped to think that we are also called to be a fragrance diffuser, filled with the aromatic oil of the Holy Spirit. To those who have accepted Jesus, we are a sweet smell; the smell of life and goodness.  However, to those who are perishing, we carry with us the stench of the knowledge of death.

Some might be thinking, “How is it that we can attract some with our sweet smell and yet be offensive to another with the same smell?  Well, think about it for a second.  Have you ever seen maggots on a rose?  The answer is most likely a solid, ‘no.’  The reason being is that maggots are attracted to the stench of death and decay, not the sweet fragrance of life. So too are some people.  The fact is, there are some who are repulsed by the the life saving aroma of the Good News.

How do you become the unmistakable aroma of the victory of the Anointed One to God – a perfume of life to those being saved and the odor of death to those who are perishing?*  It is simple.  Never water down the message of God’s Word and allow the power of the Holy Spirit to heat the aromatic oil within you.  To those seeking life, you will be like the pollen to a bee.  Be blessed.

*portion of verse 15 taken from the Passion Translation.

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Christian, teaching

Offence that Kills

By Patrick Hawthorne

 

Have you ever been so angry with another person that you became offended?  How did you react with that person afterwards?  Did you forgive them or did you hang on to the grudge until your anger turned into a hatred?  Maybe you are still hanging on to the offense.  If that is you, please listen to this video.  It could be that you are in danger of your love waxing cold.  Be blessed.

 

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in prophecy, video

Go Easy on the Newbies….

By Patrick Hawthorne

cat

A life lived is full of lessons learned.  Yes, most of life’s greatest lessons come not from our successes but through the bumps and bruises of our failures.    It is how we respond to our failures that will determine future successes.

The other day, as I was preparing equipment to mow my mother’s yard, Mom, with her motherly glee, recounted the tale of a young Wood Pecker who was learning to feed from one of the many bird feeders in the back yard.  This young bird had amused Mom because of its unorthodox method for trying to persuade the feeders to release its delicacies.  Instead of simply approaching the feeder from the front, where the opening for the food was, this young bird tried every route possible before finally learning the right way to enter in.  It was not through criticism of the other birds that the young bird learned, but through the bumps and bruises of the failures it had to endure.

Admittedly, I was not as enthused about this young bird’s plight as was Mom.   I might have even uttered something like, “rock head.”  With that, Mom did her mom thing and said, “Well son, it’s just a baby learning to feed itself.”

As I mowed grass, the thought of the bird filled my thoughts as did a thought from the Holy Spirit.  How many times do we, the Body of Christ, rush to judgment against someone who is new to the faith or is young in the faith because of their untraditional manner for entering into the presence of God?  If God is not offended, should we be?  Think about it.  Be blessed.

14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. 16 And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.

(2 Samuel 6:14-16 KJV)

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Christian, teaching

Digging Deep to Find the Nuggets

Patrick Hawthorne

Picture1

Priorities, priorities… It’s all about priorities.  Of late, my blog time, both in reading and writing, has been greatly reduced.  However, that is not a bad thing considering my study time has greatly improved. After all, one cannot become an effective teacher of the Word unless the same first becomes a hungry student in the Word.

For the past several months, I have delved deep into a study of the seven churches of Revelation.  What I have learned historically is very eye opening.  However, historical fact pales in comparison to what I have learned about Jesus and His love for His church – the body as a whole.  Yes, from a brief skimming of the verses in chapters 2 and 3,  it may appear as if Jesus is hyper-critical and has some harsh things to say concerning five of the churches.  Yet, upon digging deeper, it is obvious that His love for the Church is intense.

In Revelation Chapter 2, we see Jesus walking throughout the seven churches. His walking about lets us know that He is intimately involved in the Church.  Jesus knows the good, the  bad, and the ugly of all the individual churches, past and present, and future; He is in the midst of the congregation.  He is in the midst of your congregation.

10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying:I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.” (Heb 2:10-12 NKJV)

What a wonderful blessing.  Jesus loves each of us so very much.  Even through our mistakes and failings, He is not ashamed to call us His brothers before the Father. WOW!  What an awesome word.

So, when thinking about Jesus in the midst of your congregation, do not look at His presence as frightful or inconvenient, but as a comfort. For He corrects those whom He loves and He loves those whom He corrects.  “For the Lord’s training of your life is the evidence of His faithful love. And when He draws you to Himself, it proves you are His delightful child.” (Heb 12: 6 The Passion.)  Be blessed.

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Christian, teaching

There is Hope for the Deceived – The Church of Thyatira

By Patrick Hawthorne

deceived

And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;  19  I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 20  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.21  And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22  Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.  23  And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 24  But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. (Revelation 2:18-24 KJV)

Have you ever skimmed through a passage in the Bible because -well let’s be totally honest – it seemed boring?  Don’t look at me so holy.  I’m sure we all have a time or two.  That used to be my attitude when faced with having to read about the seven churches in the book of Revelation.  My attitude has since changed now that I have made the commitment to conduct a serious study of these churches from chapters 2 and 3.  What I have discovered is truly astounding.

For this post I would like to focus on the Church of Thyatira. Well, let me rephrase.  I would like to focus on a couple of verses that are dealing with the church body’s deception by the false prophetess, Jezebel.

I will not go into all the wrong doings of Jezebel other than to write that she was a false teacher who was leading many in the congregation down a very dangerous path. As with the Jezebel of the Old Testament, I’m sure this Jezebel was equally manipulative, cunning, and full of evil.  After all, the Word tells us that she knew the depths, the deep things, of satan.

Yet, the acts of Jezebel are not my main focus.  My focus is on the response of Jesus toward those who were being deceived.  In verse 24 it is written, “But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.”

Who is Jesus speaking to in this verse?  It is well accepted that the angel of the church,  translated ‘messenger,’ is not an actual angel but is the pastor of the church.  Notice in verse 24, Jesus says, “But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira.” Here Jesus is speaking to the pastor, the deceived portion of the congregation, and those not deceived.  He is saying to all, “I will put upon you none other burden.”

“But, how can this be?” you may ask.  “I may be able to understand the deceived portion of the congregation, but not the pastor.  After all, wasn’t the pastor the very one who allowed Jezebel a platform from which to teach?”

This message to the church goes to show just how powerful the spirit of deception can be.  Both the pastor and many in his congregation were seduced.  They were deceived by a smooth talking woman, and a group of her followers, who were using subtle and delicate means to introduce a heretical teaching that was straight from the pit of hell.

But here is the point I would like you to receive.  Jesus says in verse 23, “I am He which searches the reins and hearts.”  Jesus knew the pastor and his congregation were being seduced and deceived.  He also knew that they were a ministry minded church full of love, patience, faith, service, and good works (verse 19).  In essence Jesus is telling them, “You strayed from the path but I am here to correct you and get you back on course.  If you heed My words, I will not hold you guilty for the sins of Jezebel.

This is great news!  When we falter in the course of our race, Jesus knows exactly how to get us back to where we need to be.  Take joy in His correction.  It is never to harm but to help.  God loves us so much that He provides grace and mercy, even if we find ourselves in a spiritual mess.  Why?  Because He searches the reins and the hearts.  Be blessed.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Christian, prophecy

Eat Your Own Cooking Before Dishing it out to Others!

By Patrick Hawthorne

tasty

The other morning, I was praying, reading the Word, and doing a study on the seven churches of Revelation chapters 2 and 3.  In the course of my study, I came across the following by Rick Renner in his book, “No Room for Compromise.”

“A minister who preaches a message that he hasn’t first internalized is like a chef who heartily recommends a dish he has never even tasted. Such a chef may know all about the cuisine he is recommending; he may possess all the right ingredients to produce that dish; and he may even know how to cook and prepare it for others. But if he has never actually tasted that dish himself, everything he knows about it is merely head knowledge. He cannot truly speak about that food with authority because he hasn’t had a tangible, firsthand experience with it.”

Let’s put this in simple terms with a little Southern charm… “If the cook (minister) is too busy to sample taste his own cooking (the message), it may taste good to those who eat it but will have them walking away from the table still hungry. Why? Because it is all fluff and no sustenance. Ministers must first get the Word in themselves before they can get it into others.

If you are a minister or a teacher of the Word of God, always remember to eat your own cooking before dishing it out to others.  Be blessed.

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Christian, teaching

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 794 other followers