Drinking Down the Cup of Anarchy!

Yesterday, we hosted a Pastors Lunch at Destiny Family Center… and thanks to a beautiful team of helpers, we seemed to bless these Pastors in a pretty big way! I learned so many things at that lunch… listening to some of the Pastors as they told us their stories.

  • One Pastor told how he had been leading his church for some time… and how he had so many innovative ideas… and how he desired to make his church far more appealing to the younger generations… and how so many of his members were so resistant to change. He felt as if he was IN A CAGE, unable to lead his flock to greener pastures.
  • Another Pastor told about how he and his family were recently mutilated by a church wide rebellion… and how much PAIN they have lived through over this past year… and how their daughter has lost her desire for going to church. They asked IN TEARS for us to pray that their daughter would not be destroyed through this ordeal.
  • Another Pastor told how something similar had been happening in his church… and how he felt like his time in Pastoral ministry was coming to an end. He explained that he didn’t want to make that decision while in the furnace, but now that the storm was passing somewhat, he could see more clearly… and that he was starting to feel like GOD was releasing him from that post.
  • One by one, the stories were told… each one BREAKING MY HEART.

Have you heard… here in America, there are 4000 new churches planted each year? That would be great if it were not for the fact that here in America, there are ALSO 7000 existing church closing their doors. This is a net loss of 3000 churches each year! And while Christianity is growing all over the WORLD, the American church faces the very STARTLING probability of losing 30,000 churches in the next ten years… if something does not change.

This coupled with the fact that pastors and ministers are leaving the ministry at a rate of 1500 per MONTH… or 18,000 per year… GULP! 800 of these leaders attempt suicide EVERY MONTH… many of them succeeding!

Why is this happening?

Well, of course there are many reasons… today I am going to focus on JUST ONE.

Having traveled around the world and visited many countries, I have noticed a deadly glitch of society here in my own fatherland. We have become a rebellious nation… a nation that despises and curses its authorities. We are more swift than any generation in human civilization to uncover the shortcoming of our leaders… we lynch mob the man or woman that slips up and exposes a fault.

We have become bloodthirsty for the violent decapitation of our leaders! We LOVE to hear about the SINS and FAILURES of our leaders… and even though they were merciful to us in our darkest hour… even though they helped us to get back up when WE fell down: just as soon as we FIND SOMETHING to bring them down, we turn on the leader who laid his life down for ours… and we forget about every kind deed done… we forget about all the times they were THERE FOR US IN OUR MIDNIGHT HOURS… we sharpen our teeth and slit the wrist that fed us! And if this doesn’t change… we will kill off all our leaders until we are left WITHOUT A VISION… WITHOUT A DIRECTION… WITHOUT ORDER… in utter chaos, we will drink down the cup of our anarchy.

I’m not going to argue with any of my readers about the obvious corruption in politics and ministry. But I will argue that MOST people enter into leadership with the DESIRE to MAKE A DIFFERENCE… most of them are not monsters when they ANSWER A CALL TO PUBLIC SERVICE. We turn them into monsters…

  1. By failing to pray for them as much as we claim we pray for them… leaving them exposed to unbearable degrees of spiritual attack.
  2. By failing to HELP share their burden… leaving them overworked and BURNT OUT.
  3. By failing to encourage them in challenging moments… leaving them with a sense of worthlessness and hopelessness.
  4. By failing to contribute financially… leaving most leaders with a FRACTION of the funds needed to carry out their worthwhile mandates.
  5. By expecting leaders to be gods when they are really human like the rest of us… forcing them to PRETEND PERFECTION and live with the discouragement of their own inadequacies.
  6. By manipulating our way into lead positions and refusing to step down when we’re obviously not the right fit for the assignment.
  7. By failing to HONOR and APPRECIATE our leaders… leaving most leaders wondering if anyone’s benefiting from their service.
  8. By whining and complaining about everything from carpet colors, to not getting enough personal attention from our (overworked) leaders, to taking offense over an imperfect comment spoken from a leaders mouth, and so on and so on.

Being a leader for most of my adult life has given me a unique insight into this subject. It seems as if everyone wants to sit in the biggest chair… and it’s ONLY after one pushes his way into the biggest chair… that he realizes how overrated the biggest chair really is!

There is so much more I can say about this… it’s a REAL concern of mine. That if we don’t CHANGE the way we TREAT our leaders… soon, we will be left with a nation of HEARTLESS TYRANTS… because there’s only TWO kinds of leaders who can LEAD a REBELLIOUS society…

  1. The people who DON’T CARE about the opinions and feelings of the people they are leading. When they are attacked, they remain standing because they DON’T CARE about anything but the POWER they wield over their personal kingdoms.
  2. The people who CARE LIKE JESUS CARES! When these leader are attacked, they remain standing because they REALIZE how MUCH MORE THEY ARE REALLY NEEDED! When attacked, they HURT more than almost everyone else, because they CARE in a bizarre kind of way… but they will not resign, because they have PLEDGED their-selves TO A CAUSE whether by life or death!

I remain in leadership, here in America… because GOD clearly called me and HE has not uncalled me yet. I have a very powerful revelation of this… and the more I am personally exposed to the spirit of our land, the more I personally mutilated with it… the more I realize how badly America needs Jesus Christ!

  • My message to all fellow leaders is this: keep your heart pure, love MORE instead of LESS, know that when you are persecuted-you are identifying with Christ’s suffering, find a few REALLY GOOD friends and hold tightly to the hand of God… because YOU ARE THE GREAT HOPE OF THE FUTURE, here in the USA and throughout the entire world!
  • My message to American society is this: picture a world where all the TENDER HEARTED leaders are KILLED OFF, and we are plunged into a very dark era of oppression under the heartless rulership of THICK SKINNED TYRANTS. Please, start taking CARE of those who CARE. Feel their pain… RUN TO THEIR RESCUE… refuse to let another well meaning leader fall out of the race! Stop muzzling the ox’s that tread the grain! Honor your leaders, pray for them, love them, and BLESS THEM… before we are REALLY left to DRINK DOWN THE CUP OF OUR ANARCHY!

Passionate blog today… and long! I hope it starts a revolution of LOVE for the good leaders of our land! Love you all… have a super day!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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27 thoughts on “Drinking Down the Cup of Anarchy!

  1. Chuck,

    Great word. Once against in the past 24 hours God is really confirming the same thing to me in many different ways. My blog post today was also inspired by the pain and perseverance shown yesterday.

    Rebellion is such a big factor in the destruction of our culture. Much like Rome was destroyed from the inside out we are running headlong down the same path. We must break the cycle by setting aside our own rights and lives and letting God lift us above the pain and hurt of offense. That is the power of Grace and Love.

  2. This is good. We see this kind of thing happening all around us every day. We say that we are praying for our Pastor's & leadership, when what we really are doing most of the time is offering up a half-hearted "Bless them today, Lord". We should all be in constant prayer & intercession on behalf of our Pastor, their family, & our leadership. We need to "war" WITH them & not against them. Lord, forgive me for being complacent & apathetic! We can't stand on the sidelines anymore!

  3. Chuck,

    You're right on the money. As one of those pastors who walked away from 17 years of ministry in 2007 I can attest to what you are saying. The frustration level is very high out there amongst the clergy. Anyone in leadership these days has a very large bullseye painted on their back. I hope and pray that God will save us from ourselves.

  4. Wow Rick… nice to meet you! Thank you for SEVENTEEN years of sacrifice and service to the Church here in the USA. I'm sure you know this: your labor in the Lord is not in vein… and it's because of guys like YOU carrying the TOURCH for nearly two decades… that ANOTHER GENERATION will be able to SET THEIR HOPE in God.

    Psalm 78:1-8

    1 O my people, listen to my instructions.

    Open your ears to what I am saying,

    2 for I will speak to you in a parable.

    I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—

    3 stories we have heard and known,

    stories our ancestors handed down to us.

    4 We will not hide these truths from our children;

    we will tell the next generation

    about the glorious deeds of the Lord,

    about his power and his mighty wonders.

    5 For he issued his laws to Jacob;

    he gave his instructions to Israel.

    He commanded our ancestors

    to teach them to their children,

    6 so the NEXT GENERATION MIGHT KNOW them—

    even the CHILDREN NOT YET BORN—

    and they in turn will teach their own children.

    7 So each generation should set its hope anew on God,

    not forgetting his glorious miracles

    and obeying his commands.

    8 Then they will not be like their ancestors—

    stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful,

    refusing to give their hearts to God.

    God bless you Rick… and may your years be many! May your future be as bright as the noon time! May God look on you with favor and reward you with SIGNIFICANCE! And hey… have a super WEDNESDAY too!

  5. I could preach here, but I'll keep this short.

    I have been very critical of the modern "church growth" movement, which seeks to water down truth in the name of "relevance" and pragmatism, and use worship as a gimmick in order to put more people in the pews. (We aren't called to put people in the pews by entertaining them, but we are called to make disciples.) This movement is designed to fill churches, but unfortunately rarely enacts lasting change upon those who enter. True redemption must be brought about by the true gospel, not by human invented gimmicks. The irony, however, is that the movement has failed in the very thing that they've set out to do, to grow the church in number by "making it more appealing". The following quote exposes the problem all too well.

    “The pastor is called upon to feed the sheep. (Now that may seem quite obvious.) He is called upon to feed the sheep even if the sheep do not want to be fed. He is certainly not to become an entertainer of goats. Let goats entertain goats, and let them do it in Goatland. You will certainly not turn goats into sheep by pandering to their goatishness”. (William Still, The Work of the Pastor).

    As the church seeks to become more "relevant", it actually makes itself irrelevant. Why would anyone want to get up out of bed on a Sunday Morning to get the same thing that the world offers them on Saturday night (entertainment, good feelings, etc.)? The church needs to make itself distinct from the world in these areas, because the world does worldly things better than the church does. Christ alone must be our calling card, and if His Word and His gospel can't save, then all of the ideas and gimmicks we try are useless. We cannot turn goats into sheep by feeding them goatfood. As James White said, "What you draw them with is what you draw them to".

  6. Hey thanks Michelle! Thanks for that passionate appreciation! You know writing like this EVERY day is not an easy undertaking… and when people leave beautiful comments like YOU HAVE done SO MANY times before… it WARMS my heart and INSPIRES me to keep writing! I love your blogs as well… your heart is AMAZING! It's been so much fun journeying with you so far… looking forward to the future! I hope my blog inspires all your friends and makes life better for a few more leaders! God bless you today Michelle!!

  7. Chuck,

    I have to disagree here, but I won't push the limits of your blog by citing names.

    There are unhealthy ministers, and their are unqualified ones. I would hold that the last group is the main problem with the shrinking church. While we don't enjoy "tearing down" ministries, it is a duty of Christians, and especially pastors, to expose false teachers and their teachings. False teachers destroy lives and churches. Scripture warns us (the church) to beware of false teachers, wolves in sheep's clothing, etc. They deceive, if possible, the very elect. Those who follow them are lead to "swift destruction". Pastors (lit. "shepherds") are watchmen who must guard their flock against such wolves.

    And the real kicker is this. False teachers can be very nice guys with bright smiles, who use lots of Christian jargon. They are all over TV. From such, we are told, turn away.

    The Prophets, Apostles, and Christ Himself exposed false teachers. Pastors who do not expose false teachers are simply not doing their job. One cannot preach the whole counsel of God and ignore the multitude of warnings against false teachers. What kind of shepherd would allow wolves to attack the flock and feel sorry for the hurting wolf? The oft cited passages teaching "unity" in the church do not apply to false teachers, for we have no unity with them (2 Cor. 6:14-18).

    So what is the Biblical test of a false teacher?

    "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel." (Galatians 1:8-11)

    False teachers are "accursed". (You don't hear that word use much in churches today, but that's what the Word says.) Therefore, away with the false, man pleasing gospel and let's once again bring forth the true gospel.

  8. True that we are to beware of wolves Puritan Lad… I'm just not convinced that so many of these Pastors you identify as wolves are really wolves.

    Mark 9:39-41 "Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40for whoever is not against us is for us. 41I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.

    Philippains 1:15-18 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.[a] 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

    Why don't we spend our apologetic powers talking to the world about the differences between Mormonism and Christianity… or Jehovah's Witnesses and Christianity… instead of fighting protestant against protestant. Believe me, I see all kinds discrepancies in the body of Christ based on the WAY THAT I VIEW THE CHRISTIAN WALK verses the way some of my fellow protestant believers view the Christian walk. But I feel as if my time would be best spent MODELING my Christian character… and influencing the people who VALUE my leadership.

    I'm not saying that we stay away from preaching TRUTH… but that there are only so many hours in each day… and there is a whole world waiting for us to reach them with the message that Jesus Christ can take away their sins and give them new life.

    I've read your claims against many of the well known church leaders of our day… and since I don't know these people PERSONALLY… and I appreciate the efforts they are making to present JESUS as the WAY TRUTH AND LIFE… a JESUS that SAVES… I chose to PRAY FOR THESE GUYS and ask God to protect them against the temptations of the devil… sexual temptations, theological temptations, temptations of compromise, temptations of complacency and fame and greed and everything else they face DAILY.

    According to Matthew 18:15 the VERY BEST method of Christian accountability is ONE ON ONE confrontation… speaking the truth to one another in LOVE. Since I'm not in close relationship with these preachers you often speak of… I'm not sure I'm appointed by God to EXPOSE them.

    There are so many warning in scripture about taking the role of JUDGE. Again, the point of my blog: wishing that more Christians would CHOOSE to take the plank from their own eyes instead of keeping their leaders STRAIGHT. We should FAST and PRAY for our leaders SO MUCH MORE THAN WE HERALD OUT THEIR discrepancies. Especially since these discrepancies are defined by our own OPINIONS about how church should be carried out.

    It's ok that you disagree with me Puritan Lad… I still appreciate you hunger for truth… and I value your thoughts. You and I have a fundamental difference of opinion here. I love you friend… have a super day!

  9. Nice addition Nick: the pain AND PERSEVERANCE. Beautiful! I noticed that too… and the people at that lunch ALL demonstrate the beauty of GRACE and LOVE so MUCH! Have a super day Nick… I’m gonna check out your blog!

  10. Pastor Chuck,

    I’ve been out of town for a while, and I haven’t had the opportunity to read your blog. So this morning was such a delight, to be able to read what’s happening with the “Pastor with a Destiny”!

    Once again, I read your words, and everything in me says, Yes, Yes, YES! You have spoken the cry of my heart: we as the nation of God within the nation called “America” need so desperately to be praying for our leaders. Both our pastors and our government leaders. I am so heartbroken over the fact that most Christians would rather attack than support, and it is rampant throughout the church, and throughout society.

    I will be posting a link to your blog from Facebook, and from my own blog. This MUST be read by as many as possible.

    Thank you for speaking truth and wisdom, Pastor Chuck. Please… don’t stop sharing!

    Love you so much! Praying for YOU!

  11. Puritan Lad… while I agree with you on a FEW of your points… that the modern church has lost focus on some of the main things. I feel as if this is so much because so many of our shepherds are UNHEALTHY SHEPHERDS.

    They are unhealthy, not because they are bad people and they are determining to lead their congregants in wrong directions. It’s due in large part to the things I have written in this blog.

    This is why I am VERY careful about tearing down ministers and ministries. You see, its really hard to critique a Pastor if we’ve never been one. The pressures and challenges of Pastoring are beyond mentioning… and the SPIRITUAL WARFARE every Pastor faces is something that CANNOT be understood unless a person has served in a five fold ministry office for a few years or more.

    So yeah, there’s so much we have to clean up in the Body of Christ… and one of the very best ways to get it underway is to commit to the things I’ve mentioned above. If our particular church lacks in the area of discipleship, or evangelism, or fellowship, or pastoral care… or any other macro initiative of the Church… then WE the MANY MEMBERS should seek God about how we can HELP to fill the gaps.

    We should encourage our leaders and INSPIRE them with our LOVE and SUPPORT… instead of tearing them down with our sheepish vantage point critiques. Does this make sense?

    If I take my own church for example: I wake up EVERY morning at about 5am to PRAY and read my Bible for a few hours… then I disciple my little tribe with a daily blog… then I write sermon messages, visit the sick, inspire the other leaders, and all the other things that go into leading a church. EVERY day, it is my deepest desire to PLEASE God with my every action… and lead our church into the GREENEST pastures we can FIND!

    I think this IS the desire of ALMOST every pastor I have met and known. But the YEARS of under appreciated service has taken its toll on many these old battle horses… they are TIRED and DISCOURAGED… and in need of RENEWAL. The pressure builds until their character waivers and they make a few wrong turns… and then the people who DROVE them to INSANITY pick up stones EAGER to finish them off.

    I’m just saying in this blog… that in MY OPINION… one of the very best things we can do for the HEALTH and REVIVAL of our movement is ENCOURAGE the people who have sacrificed everything to lead sheep… the most challenging occupation on earth.

    Then, HEALTHY leaders will LEAD sickly sheep to GREENER PASTURES… and we will all HEAR the voice of our GREAT SHEPHERD again.

    Amen? (smile)

  12. Reading the conversations on today’s blog has certainly been thought provoking. One thing I know with certainty – it’s easier to tear down than it is to build up. It’s so much easier to become sanctimonious and judgmental than it is to be humble and loving. Christians especially sad to say (and I’m confessing my own sin here) are to quick to point the finger at fellow believers and begin throwing stones.

    Yes, I know Christ referred to some of the religious leaders of his day as vipers and hypocrites, but we need to be very sure that we ourselves are acting out of love before we do so. When Christ used these words about other people he did so from perfect selfless love. In addition we need to remember one thing: as God’s Son & our Messiah He alone knew the hearts of all men. He alone could and does know exactly what’s in a person’s heart. Too often we forget that we, poor pitiful, sinful, greedy, as we are by nature dont know what’s in that persons heart.

    When a leader falls we are too quick to enter into judgment when we dont have all of the facts. I suspect that we enjoy, in some horribly sick way, the shallow feeling of superiority we get from seeing someone else’s sin exposed while our own remains safely hidden.I’ve learned that I need to be far more concerned about the telephone pole in my eye that the speck in my brothers.

    The sad fact is that our nation as a whole and our churches as well have tolerated a spirit of rebellion to flourish. Unless and until this is reversed we will continue to see our nation and our churches slid ever closer to the Abyss.

  13. Dave… wow: “I suspect that we enjoy, in some horribly sick way, the shallow feeling of superiority we get from seeing someone else’s sin exposed while our own remains safely hidden.”

    That is quotable! Well written… I’m gonna try to hold that in my heart FOREVER!

  14. Chuck,

    I don’t want to beat this to death, but this is very important.

    First, of course we are to pray for all ministers, and for the church. I pray for you as well, as your job is tough, and a serious one.

    Secondly, no one should feel superior for seeing false teachers exposed, as we all can be susceptible if we let our guard down. However, even then, we can rejoice for God keeping his church pure.

    But what are we to do with those who refuse to repent, and this includes “leaders” who are delinquent in doctrine as well as life? And what do we do when the begin to excert influence over the local congregation? What exactly is a Protestant Christian? How would you define the term? We probably have differences ourselves in the definition, but that really isn’t the issue. I hold that many who wear the label of “protestant” are nothing of the sort. In response to your question, I would ask this, not mentioning names…

    One well known televangelist explicitly denied the necessity of the Christian faith for salvation, suggesting thay people of other religions can also go to heaven.

    Another one explictly denied the Jesus Christ was the Messiah.

    Another very popular one is a unitarian, denying the essential doctrine of the Trinity.

    Now these ministers are not part of the “emergent” or “liberal” churches, but are considered to be mainstream evangelicals. I need to ask, how are these so-called “protestants” any different than the Mormons and JWs? The above ministers are all very popular on TV, and I’ll guarantee you that many in your congregation are reading the books by them. And I hold that it is ministers like this who are the main problem in American Christianity. They are what turns people away from churches, as the beginning of your blog shows. The more that church leaders adopt the teachings of these false leaders, the more people are finding that the church cannot lead them to God, so they turn elsewhere.

    I’m not sure is we are on the same cart in using the term “expose”, but you do have a duty to protect your flock from these. You are watching over their souls as one who must give account. I won’t continue to beat this horse, but I pray that you consider the soberness of that biblical statement.

    Blessings,

    PL

  15. Dave, you are SO right.

    One of the things that is missing from the Bible (if anything could actually be MISSING from the Bible!) is that we don’t know the TONE OF VOICE that Jesus used, when he said those words. And we ASSUME that He spoke with judgment and with criticism, because that’s the way WE would have said those words! “Vipers! Hypocrites!” we would have said, in our piety and pride and with our up-turned noses. And I bet we would have used higher-pitched voices, and maybe have even been pointing our fingers.

    But the Lord Jesus Christ, whom we love and worship, was just as you said, full of perfect selfless love. So we need to go back, and look at those words again, and realize the broken heart that was behind those words. For He loved those Pharisees, as much as He loved His own disciples and His own mother. He spoke the TRUTH, but He did it IN LOVE. Can we honestly say that when we gripe about our leaders, we are doing it “in love”? I think not. And it breaks God’s heart.

  16. Love requires truth, judgment, and discipline. I’m glad my dad loved me enough to tan my hide when I needed it, just as Jesus loved His church enough to chase out the money changers with a whip (that would be a good idea today as well). Many today can’t tell the difference between love and sentiment.

  17. Certainly, we should be disciplined Puritan Lad… and I thank God for the way he has done this in my own life for the past 18 years. I’m also thankful that he has done most of this disciplining while other Christians surround me with encouragement. Judgement from people usually drives people AWAY from God.

    The world is not afraid to stand before a holy God… but they are petrified at being thrown at the feet of an arrogant church.

    What I mean by this statement is that I do not feel that God has appointed the church as administrators of his JUDGEMENT… but as propagators of his MERCY.

    I have seen some of what you are talking about with some of the ministers you are referencing above. You are right in saying that we have to confront those biblical errors with truth… I just dont see God wanting us to tear apart a minister who may be confused and searching for answers.

    If we present truth to the people we are personally responsible for and to… and we PRAY like crazy for the leaders you’re referencing… maybe God will be able to SPEAK to them and turn their hearts.

    He has done it for me so many times before! And if I had a bunch of judgmental Christians bashing me to hell during those times… I may not have been able to find Gods voice and Gods grace.

  18. The Apostle Paul was not talking about people who “aren’t doing church the way we FEEL like it ought to be done.” 1 Corinthians 5 is talking about “sexual immorality” AND “anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler.” Paul was not giving us a license to critique leaders with a judging finger. Puritan lad, this may be the last reply I will have time to post.

    I still believe it is very dangerous to CAST JUDGMENT and warn the whole world to STAY AWAY from a person who is evangelizing the world to Jesus Christ… men who are teaching lost people to put faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. There are better things for us to do that sit around listing to snippets that can so EASILY be taken out of context… or to snippets that can be captured from any one of us in moments of ignorance.

    The men you reference in your blogs have a very long history of preaching the Gospel according to Jesus Christ. And even though I disagree with them on various issues… I choose to STAND with them and FIGHT FOR THEM to overcome whatever deception is trying to settle in to their hearts.

    And I hope to God that if I should someday find myself in their shoes… with all the pressures of leading a worldwide ministry of that magnitude… that God will raise up people like ME to encourage me and stand with me and love me back to HEALTH if I should ever stumble or fall.

    I’m PLANTING mercy Puritan lad… because MERCY is what Jesus came to give humanity… and because I’m sure I will need it again.

    James 2:12-13 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

    Thanks for sharpening my faith today… I wish you all a super duper night!

  19. Yes, Puritan Lad, YES. But if you pick out only one scripture to argue your point, then you miss the heart of God.

    Now that you have preached I Corinthians 5, go back and read the end of the story: II Corinthians 2:5-11.

    God also explicitely states in Romans:

    “1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” (Romans 2::1-4)

    It is God’s KINDNESS, not our criticisms, that lead people to repentance.

    I was going to post this earlier, in response to what Dave said, but I think it fits better now.

    There was a church where I went to college, and their beliefs were… mostly well-founded, some a little off. I loved these people, though I didn’t go to their church. Some of the members of this church hurt my feelings badly, by saying that I was out of line with what God wanted me to do. Those people said those things, without really knowing me. Was I perfect at the time? Hardly! But they had no right to judge me, especially when they didn’t know me. And they judged many others as well.

    One Wednesday night, I was asked to come to a Bible study at this church for college kids, and I went, though I didn’t know what I was going to hear. The leader of the Bible study was a man that I knew, and I knew that he was a humble Christian. Still, as he began to share, I felt that some of the points he shared were serioulsy wrong.

    Now, I could have left that place, and judged it as “in error” and sinful and turned up my nose and left, never to return. But instead, I prayed and asked God what I should do. Well, God told me to do something that I did NOT want to do: speak out against what was being shared, that was wrong. I was terrified. I did not want to judge these people, to their face, or behind their backs.

    But this man could tell I was concerend, so he asked what my thoughts were. Well…. scared as I was, I got on the floor, on my knees. It was the only position I felt I could take. And then… I opened my mouth, and began to share. As I shared, I cried, mostly out of fear of how I was being received, but also because I didn’t want to hurt people that honestly believed they were right. When I got finished, I noticed that others in the group were crying. When the leader asked the others why they were crying, they said (almost in unison): “she’s right.”

    I was overwhelmed, and also greatly relieved. It wasn’t that I was some great orator, or that I had some great charismatic power, but that God moved through a humble servant. In our weakness is His strength, amen?

    We don’t know the effect of our prayers. We will never know how much they effect other people’s lives. But this one thing I do know: our judgment and our criticism of others hinders our prayers. We can’t say that we love God when we hate a brother or sister in the Lord. So how can we pray a loving prayer to a loving God, when we don’t love the ones we are praying for?

    I don’t have great wisdom, and I realize that anything I say could be wrong, so take this for what it’s worth. Any Christian can argue scripture all day long, and in the end where will we be? But the real power of God comes through His great love for us, and we are examples of that love when we will sacrifice our own lives and our own time, to pray for those that lead, so that we can lead quiet and peaceful lives.

    May God give more of us a Barnabas spirit…

  20. Hi Ps Chuck and everyone .. “seems the rooms are full here” i guess im the one that is not American; and i shocked about the Church Data that you represent above and my heart is so broken. Instead of answering and debating about anything, i would like to say that ITS TRUE that we need to pray for our leader; bad or good. Some of them were started well and some of them today are “not well” .. i suddenly remembered SAUL; He was a King, God anointed him as a King but later God’s presence left SAUL. (he started good, then he left out because of the shift of God’s priority in his life)

    Meanwhile, David was there .. God anointed him as KING even though he was not yet a KING, and he knew somehow that many times SAUL tried to chase him and plan to kill him. David knew .. and not just that, DAVID also HAD A CHANCE to kill Saul but HE DID NOT DO THAT.

    We can have a BAD leader, the unhealthy pastor, or any condition (you name it), but WE CAN CHOOSE to be what kind of servant and what kind of pastor. Sadly, many churches today are GOOD on pointing and judging SINNER including minister YET they’re BAD in serving. All we need today ere people who are not just watching, but TOGETHER running and rising up for the generation to come. Im afraid that we actually the SAUL. we were starting GOOD, and im afraid that THE PRESENCE OF GOD left me. Im afraid, maybe today GOD is preparing a new DAVID in this generation .. in a secret place in a secret time, people that we never expected or a lot younger than us .. but God anointed him with a KING anointing. Lets check on ourselves today .. as we reading ps Chuck’s blog

    My senior pastor is a good man, he is MAN of GOD. in 2005, his wife left him with a guy in a church. 2005 our church was like HIT by a TSUNAMI .. lots of member were out, i saw leaders were quitting and i saw them become a CRAZY JUDGE … and i was crying a lot and i was about to QUIT either .. but GOD told me to stay … God told me to watch and learn … and im glad i did. in 2005 we only a small church. My senior pastor need time to heal. By that time, i can easily judge him because man is the head of the family, like other did. i can easily joining the DEMO to make him quit from his pastoral, but i didnt do it. I remembered DAVID, and i listened to God. My senior pastor has covered me time to time since 1998, and i knew that time that its time for me to cover him in the day of battle. Of course i was not alone; i was the girl alone actually. Others are 4 guy. That year was a DARKNESS ages for our church; we received so many phone calls; youths were out from church because of the restriction form their parents, my pastor’s schedule was being cancelled here and there .. and we were standing together. We did not judge. by 2007 .. God led us to REFOCUS; God renew everything .. my pastor are totally heal (of course leaving him a living scratch) but today he is a very humble man, he still wearing his wedding ring ..

    Lots of story about people that left a church on 2005; they’re wander from one church to another church and sadly they’re having lots of life problem. i tell you what happen to 4 guy and 1 girl who stand back there covering the pastor … one guy just 2 years older than me are in Boston pastoring Indonesian church there since 2007, another guy is in Sydney helping Sydney Harvest Church since 2008 and have a good record and a successful father,husband,and businessman. there’s only 2 guy left; they’re still here , one of them is pastoring the young adult professional of 300 people, the last guy is a YOUTH FREAK; he pastoring 800 youth today .. with me assisting him.

    2004 we only 500 people, 2005-2006 we only have 200 something, 2009 we grow into 1500 and this december we’re going to HIT 2000, by 2010 we will have 4 services (including children service; Creative Kids) and a Saturday nite service.

    I breath GRACE, i breath Love each time i remembered those darkness year.
    and i thank GOD i was doing rite; specially with the attitude of heart. Like DAVID; a man after his own heart.

    As i read this blog; i pray for America that GOD will rise up many DAVID who will turn society to the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. i pray that the spirit of wisdom and revelation would fall upon America and i pray for you Ps Chuck, i love you and your church .. i breath “healthy and PURE” when i heard about your name and your church. i feel “FRIEND, FAMILY, FUTURE” for you and your church. i love to be there .. really. Hope to see you SOMEDAY. i believe we will ..

    God bless you more

    • Puritan Lad… thank you for making so many good points in yesterdays discussion. Your comments did a few really good things for me: 1. caused me to desire even more than ever before… that I would never stray off whether in theology or character or in an other way. 2. your love for the Word of God resonated with mine… and reminded me of its GREAT VALUE. 3. you allowed me to get a few things out of my heart that I have not written before yesterday. 4. you created a new passion in me to pray for national church leaders.

      You challenged me to pray about a few of the things you brought up… and I’m already doing that. Just like you, I desire to see the Christian church walking in the character of Jesus… and dedicated to the great commission. I want reform in the American church, just as you do. I feel as if the macro problem lies with the rebellious nature of this culture and how that is played out in the Church… and you feel as if the marco problem lies with the failures of the modern preacher.

      Whereas I agree with you about the need for reform in the pulpit:
      * You feel the importance of pointing out the sins of leaders as a warning to others…
      * I feel like the church should support and encourage their leaders and help to carry their burdens so that the leaders can be healed from abuse and burnout… then leaders will be able to see more clearly and minister far more effectively.

      Undoubtedly, there is a need for reform in every sector of the modern church… and even though I present some of macro issues here on this blog site from time to time… I always try to ENCOURAGE what is good about us… and BUILD on that, rather than to point out our flaws all day long.

      There are still many good churches in America… the church, even at our worse is still the light of the world. Even though we only flicker at times… the ancient embers still glow underneath the cold dark ashes of yesterdays awakenings.

      So let us fan the FLAME… let us breathe life and nourishment to those areas of Gods church where fruit is growing… and remember that our FATHER is the gardener and He will prune HIS vine. Let us bend down and pick up those who are wavering and struggling in their faith and character… let us heal them with our mercy and restore them with our love.

      Excellent way to close this discussion Esslythe! Your story is amazing… God is going to BLESS you so much in the future for standing with your pastor. I am praying for your Pastor… that God would restore his home and heal his broken heart. I pray for your church, that you continue to be a great force of influence throughout Indonesia! By the way, I love your writing style… enjoy reading EVERYTHING you post!

      To everyone else… AMAZING discussion! I loved EVERY one of your comments! Melanie, Nick the Geek, Michelle, Dave, Connie, Rick… thanks for being here!

      God bless you all with a super day!

  21. Hi Chuck,

    Great post. This needs to be shouted from the housetops. I’m a second geneneration pastor and have a huge heart for pastors and church leaders. I hate to see pastors giving up on their calling because the sheep have made their job so burdensome. I think you nailed down the one major problem which is rebellion. I think there is also another major problem which is a general sense of fear and lack of courage on the part of pastors. Leadership requires courage. If you fear the people you can’t lead them. Pastors need to stop living in fear of deacons and Sunday School teachers and choir members, etc). I don’t pretend to think I know everything (or hardly anything) about ministry but I have learned that if you don’t exhibit courage you’ll get eaten alive. We have to remember that God called us and delegated authority to us to lead. So LEAD! If we don’t lead someone will and that will probably be the person that shouldn’t be leading. For pastors struggling with courage they should read the Apostolic Constitutions which are ancient documents describing the ministry of early church pastors. Many people would be shocked at the authority that the early church pastors wielded. I guess the bottom line is that we have two major issues affecting the church: the rebellion of sheep against spiritual authority and the lack of courage among many pastors to confront the rebellion. Anywho, that’s the way I see it.

    • Pastor Mac!! Nice blog site yourself! And thank you for the compliment… means so much from a guy of your stature! Second generation: means that your mom and dad must be AMAZING people with the heart of David! Believe me, I know… having raised two children… one 18, the other 17. And If Emily and I were not REAL, our kids would be destroyed with the things they have been exposed to. Hopefully, we have used all we've been through in ministry to teach them the realest meaning of SACRIFICE. That Jesus died for violent church mobsters just as much as he died for demon possessed drug dealers. That we are ALL HUMANS and we all hurt other humans because of those areas of our own lives not yet RENEWED.

      So, every time something else goes down… I gather my family to: 1. explain where we contributed to the problem and how we can do differently next time… and to ask for Gods mercy and grace. 2. to explain that we are not fighting against people, but the spirits motivating their actions… and to pray for the people who have wronged us.

      This is not always easy… it's not EVER easy. But it is the only way to create a SECOND generation PASTOR. Even though my kids are not YET in ministry, they have the right HEART about these matters… they are not bitter… and they seem to care about this lost world (and the lost church) in a pretty epic way! They know that mom and dad are not perfect… they see us pray and ask for Gods forgiveness when we are wrong… they see trying with all our hearts to love our enemies and bless the people who curse us… and pray for those who despitefully mistreat us!

      Thanks again Pastor Chris!!

  22. What a great discussion. I am so grateful for a godly husband who is not afraid to point me to the truth and explain to me what is wrong about certain ministries. I am so blessed. I can get caught up in the feel good of things and then I start to feel convicted and I have to ask my husband why. He then explains to me why. No we aren’t to beat people up and tear them down, but I do believe we are to hold people to a righteous standand especially if they are in a position that is leading us. We are to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness and I don’t see that happening in the church building. What would happen if people started confessing their sins? I think people would get cleansed with the Blood of the Lamb and would see that we are all human and seeking to serve God. I love the Lord with all my heart and there are times that I get angry that things aren’t the way they should be. This morning I was reminded how glad I am that God is long suffering and waited and guided me to Him. His love and mercy are never ending and we need to be there for each other as He is there for us. We need to be willing to listen to people and to pray with them. We have to be willing to discuss our differences in what we believe because soemthing we believe could be wrong. If we hang on to something…..even our sound doctrine but don’t question it or test it then it is just a something and not a relationship with Christ. We must dig deep into our hearts and ask God to reveal His truth to us. We must be willing to question what we believe and ask God to sort our what we believe.