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Walking Away from the Apostate Church

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I agree with Grady that we can do so much more together in unity but he pays no care to what we are unified around. To him the church is the thing to unify around and to me the Gospel is. It seems the assumption made by Mr. Grady is that if the building has a steeple then it must be filled with brothers and sisters. This flies in the face of Scripture where Jesus explains that only those who do the will of the Father are who we should consider our brothers and sisters. I am sorry but the cold reality is the vast majority of people who go to Joel Osteen's church are not my brother or sister. If they were the indwelt Holy Spirit would convict them to come out from among them. Paul Washer postulates that the Osteens of the world exist because he gives the people exactly what they want and it is not God. I have no unity with people who think that their personal experience rises to the level of Scripture. I have no unity with those who think they can usurp the power of creation from God Almighty. Nor should I have any unity with the forces of darkness.

"4. God's authority flows through His church, not through "lone ranger" Christians. Some people who've been hurt by church leaders feel they can never submit to another pastor again, nor will they honor a person who is called by God to carry the authority of a minister. Yet God has delegated to certain people the task of building up the church (see Eph. 4:11-12). It's totally acceptable for you to leave an unhealthy church with poor leadership, but you should quickly find a new church where you can be equipped to fulfill your ministry. It was never intended for a Christian to live with a my-way-or-the-highway attitude." -- J. Lee Grady

Yeah, says no biblical text anywhere. This is what is known as the false authority paradigm. Listen, pastors and teachers of the Word are due double honor because they will be judged by a stricter standard. That standard being the blood of their listeners based upon what they preached as we saw in the verses from Paul to the elders at Ephesus. People who insist on sound doctrine are not employing a my way or the highway mentality but rather God's way or the highway. This notion of ministry fulfillment is straight out of the purpose driven heresy. As for submission, which Grady speaks to,

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. -- Hebrews 13: 17 (ESV)

This is usually the verse that false authority paradigm followers turn to but this is speaking about doctrine. If you have a pastor that brings the uncompromised Gospel, then we are to submit to what it is that they teach. The authority of a minister is contained within their doctrine. It is the word that carries authority -- not the man. Any pastor worth his calling is going to point you to the authority of Jesus and not his own bloated sense of it.

"5. It is by living in Christian community that we learn to love and serve. The book of Hebrews was written to a group of Jewish Christians who were thinking of abandoning their Christian faith because of persecution. Some of them even stopped attending church, but Paul addressed their disillusionment by saying: "And let us consider how to spur one another to love and to good works. Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but let us exhort one another, especially as you see the Day approaching" (Heb. 10:24-25). People who live in isolation find it difficult to develop character, and they often get discouraged; those who walk together in close fellowship inspire each other, and they improve each other just as iron sharpens iron." -- J. Lee Grady

Yes, but the notion that the church is the sole source of iron is inaccurate. I led a small group home fellowship for several years that was far more edifying than the last few years at the mega church I left. I am all for organized church but not for the sake of the organized church. Without the uncompromised Gospel it is just a whitewashed tomb with all the appearance of piety with none of the power of Christ. So if you find yourself today in a good church that preaches the true Gospel then hold on for dear life because the end times are here and the enemy will come for your church and your pastor. They will come for him with purpose driven dreams and greed disguised as growth. Stand in the gap. If you however find yourself on the outside and no church seems to be doing the right thing realize first that you are not crazy. Narrow is the way. Secondly, find some like-minded believers and start your own fellowship. There should be leadership and accountability but there is no reason for you to stay out of the fellowship found in the body of Christ just because you correctly refuse to go to Hillsong. Grady concludes:

"6. If you leave the church because of hurt or resentment, you make it more difficult to find healing and reconciliation. It might sound spiritual to say you are pulling away from people to focus on God. But the New Testament says your relationship with God is directly related to how you relate to others. John wrote: "Anyone who claims to live in God's light and hates a brother or sister is still in the dark" (1 John 2:9, MSG). People may have hurt you, but God will also use people to heal you. Don't let the hurts of the past paint you into a lonely corner. Choose to forgive. Take a risk and keep loving. Please don't check out of church or give up on God's flawed saints. There is no perfect church--and if there were, it would not be perfect after you joined! There is a place for you in God's eternal family." -- J. Lee Grady

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
 

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