Flower Mound, Texas, In a day when ministry leaders readily align with political organizations and endorse candidates there is one who represents those who refrain.
Dr. Steven B. DavidSon calls political-obsessions one of the false doctrines of the contemporary Church. “Sure, there is civil responsibility. We must pay taxes, pray for our governing officials, and vote if a person desires. However, there is no ‘best-in-class’ political party concerning the Christian movement. Politics by its very nature is deceitful, biased, and unforgiving. It’s questionable when a Christian candidate or platform is suggested in the midst of such a process; and the effort to leave persons with a sense of guilt or confusion if they vote otherwise is despicable. Issues of prayer in public places, homosexuality, racism, poverty, abortion or sacrificing children have been with us throughout Biblical history.”
DavidSon continues, “No doubt, the nation is in a downward path in every way. It is not simply because of the obvious often suggested by these leaders. Those who say they represent the ministry of Jesus Christ are using political strategies for the change they seek including their broadcasts and pulpits. This is as devastating as the things they decry, and clearly a bastardization of the Great Commission.”
When asked why he is so passionate about his view, he is clear. “We have thousands of persons contacting our ministry. If you assess believers as we do, you will find they are suffering from ministry malnutrition. Marital difficulty, mood disorders, parenting conflict, teen insolence, addictions and similar activity dominate the typical believer. This does not include persons who do not know our Lord. And yet precious time and resources are expended on political demagoguery under the disguise of Christian service.”
DavidSon shares how believers can identify when they are subject to a politically-compromised ministry. “When a person attends a worship service, turns-on a ‘Christian’ broadcast and is constantly bombarded with political innuendo, political endorsements, and ‘demonization’ of governing officials for the purpose of manipulating a person’s vote, the person is witnessing a false-doctrine of the contemporary Church. Living within immoral cultures and suffering persecution, it is an absolute stretch to find Jesus or any early Church representative involved in similar activities. Jesus is our message, and His life is our methodology. It simply does not take a major study to determine acceptable limits; and it does not matter how popular the personality or ministry is, politically obsessive activity is heretical.”
Answering typical arguments referring to the founding fathers and civil rights movement as religious-political pioneers, DavidSon retorts with a Christ-based view. “First, it is a different contemporary dispensation. Additionally, we are thankful for the founding fathers and civil rights efforts of the 1960s but—as shocking as it may seem–these are not the standard-bearers of the Christian faith. There is only one name, Jesus!”
DavidSon also takes exception to those who use the term social gospel. “It sounds relevant and caring, but there is no ‘social’ gospel in Christ, Jesus with the principal objective of social change. Christianity is about universal-cosmic change. The ultimate objective is a new heaven and new earth. Clearly, Christianity is being used as a diversion for some of these persons’ preeminent love. It is their national, political, racial or religious idolatry. As the Apostle Paul warned, ‘if they come with any other Gospel than this, count them accursed.’” Galatians 1:1-10.
READ: Acts 16:6-10
On Friday, my day of rest as a pastor, the Holy Spirit prompted me to call a young single mother in our faith community to see if her car had been repaired. I had some reservations about making the call, but I obeyed.
Little did I know that my obedience would help save her life. She said later: “Friday at work I was planning on taking my life; but in a time of need, I believe God was there for me. He had Pastor Williams call me, and just by listening to his voice, I knew that God loved me.”
The apostle Paul must have had reservations when the Holy Spirit prompted him and his team not to go into the provinces of Asia and Bithynia. Instead, they felt the Spirit’s call to go into Macedonia to preach the good news. In each situation, they obeyed the Spirit’s promptings. As a result, Paul and his team were instrumental in giving birth to a new faith community in Philippi (Acts 16:11-15).
As believers in Christ who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:22), our desire should be to please Him. May we not grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30) by ignoring His gentle promptings. When we obey Him, we might be used by God to lead someone to Christ, to disciple new believers—or even to help save somebody’s life. — Marvin Williams
Holy Spirit, we would hear
Your inner promptings, soft and clear;
And help us know Your still, small voice
So we may make God’s will our choice. —D. De Haan
Make the right choice: Obey the Spirit’s voice.
Internationally revered Pastor Rick Warren slipped into the conference hall unnoticed Tuesday night, comfortably mingling with the hundreds of pastors gathered at the 19th annual National Conference on Preaching, before stepping on stage to deliver a sermon that reminded the audience why Warren is one of the most popular pastors in the world.
In his sermon entitled “Growing Spiritually,” Warren recounted the runaway success of his book The Purpose Driven Life – the best-selling book in history behind the Bible – to the audience gathered at Woodbridge, Virginia, in the US. The sermon was based on the story in Exodus 4 about the scene where God tells Moses to throw his staff on the ground and it transforms into a snake.
“That question, ‘What is in your hand?’ is one of the most important questions in life. What is in your hand?” Warren asked his audience, citing God’s question to Moses in Exodus 4:2.
God tells Moses to throw the staff in his hand on the ground and “something that was dead comes alive”, Warren emphasised. The pastor of Saddleback Church in southern California then made two points: God never does miracles to show off and God never asks questions that he does not already know the answer. God asks questions for our benefit, said Warren.
He went on to explain the significance of the staff which represented Moses’ identity as a shepherd; symbolised his income because wealth was tied to livestock back in those days; and symbolised his influence – Moses used the staff to pull or push his sheep.
“‘Lay it down and it will come alive, but Moses every time you pick it up it’s going to die,’” said Warren. “That simple little experience was the turning point in the history of the world.”
After that scene in the Bible, it was never again referred to as Moses’ staff but always called the Rod of God. The Rod of God was used to part the Red Sea, to turn the Nile River into blood, to perform miracles in front of pharaoh and to make water come out of a rock.
“It was just a simple stick. There was nothing magical about it, but once Moses surrendered it to God, it became the Rod of God,” Warren noted. “Pastors, what is in your hands?” the speaker challenged.
Courtesy of Christian Today
I have recently had a very real epiphany about emotional wounds. I’m a really introspective person, by nature, and in my journey to understand myself and correct some sinful behaviors I have discovered that emotional wounds… do not heal on their own. Unlike their physical counterparts, who, in large part heal themselves, these wounds of the heart and mind remain painful and destructive for as long as we let them lie. I am currently dealing with wounds that are over 30 years old!! 30 years! These things should heal after 30 years, I have told myself time and time again. But no, shockingly, these things are constantly at work at the subconscious level modifying how I react to things, how I feel from day to day, and absolutely inflaming an already touchy temper that I have.
Here is what I’m learning: 1. You can’t deal with irrational feelings of emotional pain, rationally. You can’t just tell yourself, “Ok, I’m not going to feel this anymore”, or “I’m finished with this! I will not react this way again!”. It will never work that way. 2. You have to identify and revisit the wound, thus cleaning the wound. You have to feel the pain and learn that you will be alright in doing so. It’s very important so that you can actually heal from it. 3. You must bandage the wound with forgiveness. Forgiveness is pivotal to your healing. You must forgive whoever hurt you, including yourself, in order for healing to begin to take place.
I believe in my heart of hearts that God will heal my wounds. And I know that His will is that everyone find that healing.
I will share more as I learn. God bless you.