Modern Day Pharisees: Why Today's Pastors Don't Teach
Pastors and Preachers: Moderrn Day Pharisees part #4
We now revisit a subject that I have discussed previously yet needs even more clarification: The strong resemblance of today's clergy to the pharisees of Jesus' day...
It is of note that more and more here is a tend of ministers today becoming entertainers. Instead of teaching the flock they have taken to recording music and touring. Yet they claim this to be a "ministry". However, this is NOT the ministry that Jesus instituted. Jesus commanded us to "Go therefore teaching them (disciples) to observe the things that I have taught..." Singing so-called songs of praise and appearing in magazines showing off lavish living quarters is not preaching the kingdom of GOD no matter what you may say.
There is also the pastors who's entire "sermon" consists of them claiming to have the "gift" of healing and that of prophecy; or the service consists of a lot of rap songs, interpretive dance, mimes and choir selections and maybe 30 min. of preaching where little is said and the name Jesus is yelled out in order to get the obligatory "Amen" and other sanctified responses. Pastors are dancing, jumping, shouting, twirling, rhyming, whining and doing that same old sing-song way of talking all of which amount to a lot of performance but little to no teaching.For some, that is "having church", and that's good enough; but for those who thirst after truth and truly seek after righteousness...after GOD...these antics are nowhere near enough. The purpose of Jesus' message and ministry was NOT to make people feel good about themselves, or to have a "feel-good" euphoria upon leaving church. What GOD's preaching work is about is helping us to grow a true appreciation and TRUST for and of GOD, that HE is still in control and does have a plan to right was has been done wrong and to give us HOPE, a lasting and wonderful hope for the re-establishing of GOD's original purpose that we live forever under his guidance and benefit from his love, kindness and benevolence. Handling that ministry aright involves not concentrating on "praising" GOD, but rather on learning how HE wants us to be toward others, one another, and with him. Praising GOD is not something that needs to be taught, it comes natural; but obeying GOD and understanding WHY HE has implemented instructions as HE has takes teaching, teachers who are truly knowledgeable, and willing students.
What many seek today are answers: How do you apply something that was written two thousand years ago to our life today? Why should I go beyond a simple belief in GOD and turn it into living a GOD-led life? If all one has to do is claim Jesus and pay tithes, why was the rest of the bible written?and if serving GOD was so wonderful and right, why do so many pastors keep turning up on the news for sex scandals and stealing from the church? Finally, many people simply seek a reason to have hope...Truth Is...
Over and again I stress that the first century Christian congregation was and is the template or example for us today who serve GOD. Given that, where do you see the first century Christian doing a lot of performing? Where do you see them touring with music? Where in the bible does it tell you that Paul, Peter, Timothy, or others shouted, rhymed, gyrated, danced or any of the other mess that you see today in the pulpit?
The sweating, sing-song pastor is something taken from the "old time religion" dating back to slavery and the tribes of Africa before that, is not in any way the way church was conducted in the first century congregation. However, the fact remains that many feel this is "having church" or the way church should be. To be certain, GOD's church is one that involves "Teaching them the things that I have taught you..." as Jesus himself commanded before ascending to heaven. The problem is this that pastors are afraid to teach in a lot of instances because the people will reject being taught. They WANT the sing-song preacher, they want the dancing, stomping and shouting preacher that tells them all they have to do is claim the blood of Jesus and tithe and they have their place reserved in heaven; they WANT the 45 min of choir selections and 20 min of preaching, the people want the same old church they've come to know and could care less what GOD really would have them to learn. In essence, people are perfectly happy to tell GOD what HE will accept and then demand that HE bless them with riches and good fortune! This was what was talked about at 2 Timothy 4:3,4:" For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables..." Sadly, this is also why there are so many today who actually WANT to believe, but have given up hope or lost any faith in the church. I had a man argue with me that Christianity was founded by Emperor Constantine of Rome and was thus:"The White man's religion". The fact of the matter is that the church established by Constantine was created to combat the rapid growth of the first century Christian congregation established by Jesus' disciples; this actually is historical fact. That church was the catholic church, which calls it's self "Christian", but has deep-rooted pagan origins. But this man's deeply embedded ignorance is indicative of what is wrong with and causal of today's church: the refusal and often inability of the clergy to actually TEACH what Christianity really is about...Truth Is...
That is exactly what the "just claim Jesus and your sins are forgiven and you'll go to heaven" ministry is: FABLES; it just isn't true. There is far more to salvation than simply claiming Jesus and paying tithes faithfully. In fact, tithing is no longer even a requirement of GOD, just the church has this requirement and they impose it wrongfully upon the people under compulsion and threat of "robbing GOD" and not receiving blessings. Proper teaching within the church would bear this fact out and today's pastor is not willing to risk losing financial support of the people. A real man of GOD would know that if you "handle the word of truth aright", then GOD would make certain that the ministry actually teaching his way would not fail. Thus it is that we have pastors and preachers who have little or no faith encouraging you to have faith!~
When studying for my Masters of Divinity, my bishop told me:"If you teach what's really in the bible then your church will be empty"(direct quote); my response was that then I will go into the streets...I did, and then later on the internet. Regardless of what anyone says or prefers, I will continue to teach truth, I will continue to teach exactly what the bible really says.
There is also the matter of doctrine; what is generally taught in most every "christian" church today is NOT what GOD would have you to learn, nor is it accurate. In fact, the majority of what today's church teaches is in complete opposition to what GOD's word actually says. What saddens me is that even though the bible can be clearly understood if one would simply read it, it is taught erroneously (and intentionally), and most are content to simply sit and allow their pastors to tell them what to believe rather than to actually pick up the book and read it! However, just as Jesus died in order that ALL can be saved, all can approach GOD in prayer not having to depend on a high priest etc.; he also died so that we all can gain an accurate knowledge leading to salvation.
The tendency today is to become deeply embedded into traditional rites and rituals as opposed to teaching. Then there is the entertainment factor. I know of a church in Pittsburgh, PA. that has an hour of so-called 'christian rap', interpretive dancing, and a lot of singing followed by a 20min sermon and then the pastor's wife "sweeps" in with much ado and fanfare and addresses the church informally for about 30 minutes. Another church there has a service that entails 30 minutes of the so-called "pastor" claiming that he has the ability to heal and saying GOD told him in a vision that he would get a million dollars...God also told this man that HE didn't want him to get a job or work...
I have spoken before about the subject of the "tree of life" found in Genesis that was in the Garden of Eden; this is yet another subject ignored by today's pastors when preaching. The reason for this is that for them to properly teach about that tree would mean they would have to admit that the teachings of the church in general has been teaching falsehoods for a couple thousand years!
The Bible does NOT say that we are all going to heaven as long as we accept Jesus; in fact, it tells us that "the meek shall inherit the earth" does it not? It also says in the Bible that the earth shall stand forever and that it was not created for nothing, but rather to be inhabited, and that the "Earth will be forever".
But teaching that we will die and go to heaven makes it so much easier to appease people and relieve them of the task of actually learning what GOD requires fully. The problem with that is that it retards TRUE spiritual growth and prevents GOD's spirit from flowing fully and freely in one's life. This is yet another reason why it is so difficult for people to accept and adopt the true essence of the principle of LOVE; it's simply not stressed or taught to completion thereby we cannot be complete in our devotion to GOD, nor when it comes to actually imitating Christ. So much more emphasis is placed on "praising" Jesus, paying tithes, speaking in tongues and the like. As stated in previous hubs, people are taught the gospel about Jesus, but not the gospel OF Jesus(what he actually meant when he taught).
Another issue is that like the ancient pharisees, today's pastors and preachers are caught up in the grandeur as it were or prominence of their position. Jesus didn't appoint any pontiffs, prophets, bishops, prelates etc. Yet, many assume these titles and others to set them self on a higher platform. Jesus criticized the pharisees for this type of thing did he not? Today they have "Pastor's anniversary" and Pastor appreciation day", two of the most ridiculous observances held in the church today! Why are we feting men who claim to have been called? Did ANY of the first century congregations do this? They didn't even do this for Jesus! Yet they today have these and Pastor's birthday, the pastor's wife's birthday celebration, their wedding anniversary...the church goes all-out and spares no expense with these observances, yet there are people within the church and others still that come to the church in need that are denied!
Quite simply, Today's Pastors and Preachers don't teach because it would mean that they humble themselves and actually take a backseat to GOD's teachings and principles; their egos would have to be reined -in. For them, there is no profit in teaching of truth and thus truth is suppressed.
With that I will close this portion on the modern day pharisees or today's pastors and preachers and prepare for yet another follow-up.
Until then I encourage you all to persevere in prayer and TRUST GOD to lead you to the truth...