This month we begin a new Series. We will be looking at two strongholds that are so universal to our culture, people accept these Unprofitable man-made traditional perspectives without thinking!
This month's Series is in response to the just completed two month Series on Spiritual Warfare. I have had several private comments telling me the posts from the past two months could be a book. Actually, the posts from the past two months are a part of the Third Book "Modeling Church". Some people have told me to ease the tone on this blog.
Recall, the First Book Modeling God did NOT confront the church at all. Everything was presented as an improvement on what we already understand in the church. However, some "traditional" pastors got offended and refused to talk to me about the book. Then they actively slandered me and still completely refuse to meet with me.
The Second Book Modeling God's Wills was posted on a blog. A lot of the content for that book was developed on this blog over the last two years. That book does confront "traditional" pastors and show how they are behaving exactly like the Pharisees.
The Third (and final) Book Modeling Church is the most confrontational book. I will be spending the next two years developing the Third Book on this blog...as the last two months have shown. Consequently, the tone of this blog is going to be confrontational.
Just so we are on the same page, when I say "traditional" pastors, I'm talking about pastors who build their doctrine based on church history and NOT the Bible. We covered the characteristics of traditional, calvinistic, and post-modern pastors when we covered Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar during the Job Series. One of the most obvious characteristics of a traditional person is their focus on APPEARANCE instead of truth. They will rationalize why they can ignore truth by saying they didn't like the way the truth was presented. Unfortunately, traditional pastors are actually becoming more and more Calvinistic. We will see that in today's post.
Just to be clear, it is possible for a person to NOT be traditional in their thought process and attend a traditional church. NOT everyone who attends a traditional church is a traditional person.
Today's post introduces this month's Series. In order to do that, we need to make sure we understand the conclusions from the previous Series and some practical applications.
The question was asked, "Why don't we see more signs and wonders in today's churches?"
The answer is that for the past forty years, the church in America has been destroying itself by participating in Offensive Spiritual Warfare for the enemy.
Here is the longer explanation:
There are two aspects to Spiritual Warfare: Defensive and Offensive.
Defensive Spiritual Warfare involves removing strongholds, taking all our thoughts into captivity, aligning our doctrine with God's doctrine, guarding our hearts, and not focusing on the cares of this world. The SPECIFIC HOW of Defensive Spiritual Warfare is described by Paul in Ephesians 6 as "The Whole Armor of God"...but this is ONLY Defensive Spiritual Warfare.
Defensive Spiritual Warfare is a work we ought to constantly do so that we are ready for when the Holy Spirit initiates Offensive Spiritual Warfare. Paul stated this in II Corinthians 10. So, put on the Whole Armor of God so that you are ready to avenge all disobedience when the Holy Spirit leads you!
Offensive Spiritual Warfare involves casting out unclean spirits and healing people. In every successful instance, we have saw the participant in Offensive Spiritual Warfare makes a Statement that is a statement of the will for someone or something that can't state a will OR for someone who has faith and is in agreement.
Offensive Spiritual Warfare is made up of WORDS and SENTENCES. These WORDS and SENTENCES are a Statement of a will. This Statement of a will depends on the faith (understanding and experience) of the individual. Notice, in "The Whole Armor of God" there is ONE Offensive Weapon: The Sword. What did the Sword stand for? The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God! Offensive Spiritual Warfare is initiated by the Holy Spirit and COMPLETELY involves WORDS! How much more blatant does this have to be?
Not only are we NOT successful at Defensive Spiritual Warfare, we ACTUALLY do Offensive Spiritual Warfare for the enemy.
We saw that God brings about His Will by influencing the heart of the individual through grace. This influence is checked with the faith (understanding and experience) of the individual. The understanding is doctrine.
When it came to the HOW of Spiritual Warfare for the enemy, we saw that the enemy's influence was a thought that was meant to lead the person into a stronghold as they tried to understand the thought.
When it came to the HOW of Spiritual Warfare for God, we saw that God's influence was a fully formed, complex causeless thought. The individual doesn't need to make an effort to build up the thought. The thought actually teaches the individual and all the individual does is choose to allow it to reflect in his life or not. The reason the individual fully understands the thought is that the thought accesses the doctrine within the individual that agrees with God.
I look at doctrine like piano chords. If a person knows a couple of chords, they can only play a few simple songs. However, with every chord they learn, the quantity and complexity of the songs they can now play grows.
Likewise, as a person gets more of God's doctrine in their brain, they are able to be influenced more by God and at a higher level of complexity. They are able to hear more clearly and more often from God.
God's ability to influence the individual depends on the doctrine within the individual. This is WHY we have teachers. This is WHY we ought to understand MORE about God and His Word. People who believe we can't understand more about God are actually hindering peoples' ability to be directed by God.
However, forty years ago, the church chose to go without an orthodox understanding of God. The church chose to appeal to people NOT with reason, but through emotion. We saw Nancy Pearsey said the definition of "evangelicalism" is to appeal to people through emotion.
For the past forty years, we have built the church on emotional people. This has some interesting implications...
Jesus had two messages:
1) How to get to Heaven
2) How to have Reward on earth and in Heaven
Message #1 is Salvation and occurs by grace through faith.
Message #2 is Reward and involves bearing an injustice well. The church tends to skip over these verses because emotional people can't handle a crisis. Jesus said in Matthew 5:
"11 Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you."
I found that following Jesus' words and NOT defending myself actually caused the traditional pastors who were slandering me to feel more confident that they must be right BECAUSE I DIDN'T RETALIATE.
In fact, in the traditional church, people believe in One Way Justice. Basically, they can hurt you and not have to pay you. However, if you hurt them, you have to pay them. Instead of following Jesus' words and confronting a believer OR confessing and repenting to a believer, traditional people believe they can confess to Jesus for the things they did to you. I see WHY the traditional church shies away from the persecution and confrontation verses that came out of JESUS' MOUTH.
When it comes to Message #1 (Salvation), emotional people are going to worry if they are REALLY saved when they continue to intentionally do the opposite of Jesus' words. Again, a traditional pastor needs a way to stop these emotional people from getting stressed out. Hence, the doctrine of eternal security...
"8 for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 not of works, that no man should glory." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
The key to Salvation is GRACE.
The traditional man-made (Luther) definition of grace is "unmerited favor". How does unmerited favor work?
Traditional pastors state that God saves us BECAUSE we don't deserve it...then they state this is the definition of mercy. So, now the pastor states that God saves us because God wants to save us. The next question falls into place...
Why does God give mercy to some and not others?
This is the fork in the road. If the pastor states that God saves us because of something we do and doesn't save others because of something they didn't do, then this is a work! This is NOT mercy.
The ONLY way to keep this man-made philosophy going is to state that God chooses who He wants to save and how He doesn't REGARDLESS of what they individual does. This is CALVINISM. This man-made philosophy is built on an unBiblical definition for "omnipotence, as well as the man-made concept of "sovereignty because sovereignty is NOT in the Bible!. NONE of this is supported by the Bible. So ultimately, the answer to WHY God is able to do this is that we can't know or aren't supposed to know...an answer that is intended to damage our brain.
Grace is the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life. God initiates the influence and all we can do is choose to let GOD reflect off of us or not. We do not choose to DO ANYTHING. The analogy we've used is medicine...
We are ill (sin). God provides grace (medicine). We choose to accept the medicine and let IT work or not. When we get well, we don't say we cured ourselves. The medicine (grace) cured us. We are responsible for our own Salvation AND we can NOT take credit for our Salvation. EVERY OTHER explanation for grace and Salvation is unBiblical and has contradictions.
Grace is equated with "annointing". The word "Christ" means "annointed one". To be anti-grace is to be anti-christ...
Calvinism is anti-grace...
The main implication for the traditional church for the last forty years is that the traditional church DOES initiate Offensive Spiritual Warfare. However, the ONLY Offensive Spiritual Warfare that we can initiate is the SAME Offensive Spiritual Warfare that they enemy does!
Watch traditional people when they get stressed. The first thing they do is judge someone else. They condemn someone else. The speak WORDS against someone else. However, because they are NOT able to use their WORDS Profitably, they don't just damage the person they are attacking. They also damage the people connected to the person they are attacking. For instance, the pastors and people who have publicly attacked me have also damaged my children and my closest friends.
Next, the traditional person tries to build a coalition. They speak WORDS to people around themselves. They are facilitating THEIR OWN Purpose and Progress at the expense of their loved ones. They do this by stating thoughts meant to encounter strongholds in their loved ones brains so that they get an emotional reaction.
THIS IS EXACTLY HOW THE ENEMY DOES SPIRITUAL WARFARE!
"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." ("The Usual Suspects", 1994)
We saw how the enemy plants a statement with WORDS into the individual's heart...and then walks away. The enemy doesn't supply the enemy to bring about destruction...the individual does that! The individual thinks they are doing something good...for God...by judging another person. The person actively encourages others to judge. We saw this is EXACTLY HOW Jesus was killed unjustly and we called it "The System"
Jesus and Paul said to confront others and NOT judge others. We are ONLY supposed to involve others AFTER we have confronted the person ourselves. NONE of these pastors and people who have slandered me are willing to meet with me...yet they continue to judge. In fact, the reason they judge is that they haven't met with me...I'm not human to them. They can continue to treat me inhumanely because I'm not a human. I have been asking the pastor of the largest church in Wisconsin north of Milwaukee to meet with me for the past three years. Numerous people have offered to broker the meeting. All to no avail. I have even told him he can set all the conditions. All I want is a one minute meeting so he can face me and see I am a person. He won't even do this...and there are pastors in the Fox Valley JUSTIFYING this pastor's actions.
Jesus and Paul said to confront and NOT judge. However, traditional people actually involve as many people as possible. They are damaging people around the person they are attacking AND they are damaging their loved ones by intentionally accessing their strongholds...and ALL of this is done with WORDS!
Let's look at some current examples of traditional people doing Spiritual Warfare for the enemy...
In the post on April 3, 2009, I left off the story of what is going on with me in the Fox Valley by saying I was going to investigate my legal options. The last two months have been crazy. Here is an update:
There is a group in northeast Wisconsin called the Fox Cities Evangelical Ministers Fellowship. It has 30 to 40 members. This month, a group of five or so "leaders" within this FCEMF posted an open letter on the internet judging me. The letter contains a lot of false information. The letter was intended to damage me. The five or so people did this in the name of the FCEMF without discussing it with the rest of the members AND without discussing it with their own church leadership and members! Two pastors signed the letter. It turns out the second signature is by a person who is no longer the pastor at the church he referenced in the letter (through address) and his church has denounced the letter. Some of the allegations are so incorrect, it is hard to believe that either person has read all of "Modeling God". In fact, the person who is responsible for the first signature admitted he didn't read all of "Modeling God". He also stated that his elders and congregation don't know he signed this letter...and he doesn't want them to know. WHY? Because he doesn't want to draw attention to this problem. WHAT?!?! He posted it on the internet for the world to see! A group of pastors convinced these five or so "leaders" to take the letter down...and they did after a week.
By the way, a mediating pastor (from the FCEMF) met with me in June to show me the letter and The Charismatic Pastor (who is also a member of the FCEMF) came to the meeting. The mediating pastor said the letter would not be made public. I am in the process of declaring bankruptcy. I have applied for 1000+ jobs all over the country in the past eighteen months. I informed the mediating pastor and The Charismatic Pastor of these two facts. The Charismatic Pastor stated that he has received hundreds of hits on his refutation website from all over the country concerning me. I told him those were probably my potential employers...and he went silent. I told the Charismatic Pastor that his website may have kept me in the Fox Valley...that if he really had wanted me gone, he shouldn't have put up the website. The mediating pastor said that perhaps God wanted me to stay in the Fox Valley. I don't know what the answer is, all I know is in twenty plus years of my career, I have never seen anything like I've experienced in the last eighteen months. I have had my resume done by a professional firm. I have enlisted over a dozen search firms. I have had excellent interviews where the companies have said I was a perfect fit. Then I hear nothing...they don't even return my phone calls and e-mails. I believe I have been unable to get to the second interview because of the website run by the Charismatic Pastor that attacks me personally. (If you have read his refutation, count the number of times he references me and compare it to how many times he uses the words "book" or "Modeling God".) I realize the economy and fit play a role. However, when a company tells you they have to make a decision in a week between you and someone else, then lets you know two months later they don't want to hire you...and doesn't give a reason, you have to wonder what is really going on. This has happened several times. Part of the bankruptcy process is that I have to swear to the value of "my assets". The bankruptcy attorney is viewing the website and actions of these pastors as well as the recent posting of the FCEMF letter as assets. By law, the value of these assets has to be determined. I will follow the laws of the land.
A group of people judging me with WORDS and involving as many people as possible ALL while they are ashamed to make the members of their own ministry, as well as members of their own church, aware of what they are doing.
There are two other events that have also occurred within the past few weeks that show how traditional people operate...
Take a look at the comments to the post titled, "Conviction vs. Condemnation" Last week, an anonymous person LITERALLY fulfills the post! Their comments to the "Conviction vs Condemnation" post focus on condemning me!...even when I ask the traditional person to convict me! (Two readers also commented and taught me several things with their responses! They both have a history of being insightful and hearing from God according to their uniqueness.) The hits from the anonymous person are from Wheaton, Illinois (Moody Bible Country?) and reference Ayn Rand. The Ayn Rand comment comes totally out of the blue. Why did "anonymous" reference Ayn Rand?
Take a look at the comments to the post titled, "Atlas Shrugged Outline". The tenth comment comes from the associate pastor of The Charismatic Church. His first question is as follows:
"Are you saying that since Ms. rand said that she would be with her husband again, that it amounts to religious faith - according to your book's "getting closer to the party" illustration?"
That question was posted in the middle of June and has been regularly checked since by the poster to see if I'm going to expose his identity. The anonymous Wheaton poster checked the "Atlas Outline" comments out of the blue. It looks to me like they know each other, but I could be wrong. If they don't, then it is scarier to wonder how they can sound so much alike. But, if they are participating in Spiritual Warfare for the enemy, then it would explain why they sound so much alike...
The first question was a trap. It was designed to put words into my mouth. The exchange that follows shows how the brain of a traditional person operates. How they are unable to admit they are wrong. How they think they stated they are wrong when they actually never said it! How they can't keep a conversation factual that is DOCUMENTED! Look at the number of times he misquotes the facts. Think how this conversation would have gone if it hadn't been written. How many times would the traditional person with the flawed memory have stated that they were misquoted, misunderstood, or that I was just being argumentative? It is an amazing example of a person with an Unprofitable thought process.
Last month was brutal for me, but I knew it would be when I realized I was going to be writing about Spiritual Warfare. However, God is avenging this situation and I am obeying the laws of the land. My Redeemer Lives! Stay tuned...
The past two months covered Spiritual Warfare. What we found is that the traditional church has been performing Offensive Spiritual Warfare on itself for the enemy. This is the main reason we don't see more signs and wonders in the church in America today.
The first step in fixing the church, is to deal with two universal strongholds. Both of these strongholds are addressed at the end of the Second Book. This week, we will cover the first universal stronghold in summary form.
Tomorrow, we will look at "Leadership"...