The Senior Pastors of modern-day, western Christianity, their paid staffs, and their boards of elders have culturally been made the “officially accredited” interpreters of the collected canon known as the Bible. So, know you’re free to listen to them and evaluate what they say about scripture, but don’t follow their lead. Because frankly, they don’t believe what they say they believe. They continue to weigh people down with conditions and stipulations, and rarely do they ever convey good news as only good… there is almost always a catch.
Everything they do is to keep butts in seats… to keep paying customers coming back week after week. They wear fashionable clothing, maintain an active and reputable social-media presence, and they really, really want you to be a part of their ‘community gatherings’. They love the spotlight but will be sure to tell you that they don’t. They adore the platform but will say, “please don’t elevate me”. They will label themselves “Pastor” on their websites and claim this as an honor of ordained positioning, placed there directly by the hand and explicit desire of God.
We should know better, but we keep doing it. We need to stop it! Don’t let anyone call you “Pastor” or don’t call anyone else “Teacher”, for you only have one Shepherd and Teacher, and all of you are equal in His gathered family. And stop labeling normal people as set-apart… They’re not some new and improved God revealing “Leader” or “Spiritual Dad/Mom” – Only the Triune God, seen fully in Christ, can fulfill these roles perfectly for you. And don’t let anyone become your end-all be-all “life-coach” or “bible-teacher”; for you only have one True teacher… The Spirit of the Cruciform Christ. You see, the one who gets this the most will consciously and continuously step out of the spot-light, and off of the stage, and disappear into the broken mess of humanity… Those who stay too long and are elevated so high, well, they will fall-down, hard! But, those who choose to step-down when they’ve done and said what’s needed to be done and said, they will be lifted up in God’s Kingdom, right here on earth, and that might look more like a crucified criminal than you would expect.
It breaks my heart to think about the struggle Pastors and Bible-Group Leaders bear, both in the short term and possibly the eternal. You’ve muddied your mind and teach law as grace… You’re hypocrites, charlatans, frauds; and you don’t even realize it. You sell the Kingdom of Heaven as some far-off distant and conditionally accessible place, slamming the door to the very Kingdom among and within you!
It breaks my heart to think about how close, and yet so far away you are. Pastors and Bible-Group Leaders, this sick chicken is coming home to roost in your soul, both in the short term and possibly the eternal. You’ve muddied your mind and teach law as grace… You’re hypocrites, charlatans, frauds; and you don’t even realize it. You’d span the globe on planes, trains, and ships to talk sell this news – you stream your online sermons just to claim on more life “saved”… to have one more head bowed, one more convert to your specific understanding of conditional salvation; often turning these hurting, desperate people into double the accuser of sin that you have been.
You’ve become a certified Sherpa to a book about travel, but an expert guide who’s never left your own backyard! How pitiful! For you it means nothing to swear on and sell the authority of the Good Book! Morons… Which is more important? The leather-bound story of an ancient tribe of law keepers, or the One whom it points to? The One who has freed the cosmos from all law?! How ignorant can you be? For which is more important? Keeping people coming to Church on Sunday to feel guilty, so they will behave well and give more. OR, telling them that they are now unconditionally included in the righteousness of the last sacrifice and setting them completely free forever?!? When you elevate the book and the pew above the cross you become the very crowd shouting crucify and the soldier driving the nails into flesh and casting lots for scraps.
It breaks my heart to think about the struggle Pastors and Bible-Group Leaders bear, both in the short term and possibly the eternal. You’ve muddied your mind and teach law as grace… You’re hypocrites, charlatans, frauds; and you don’t even realize it. You’re sure to count every last penny that was in the weekly collection plate, and you throw the proverbial book as some divine corrective to-do list right at the one struggling to survive the day. Sure, giving and correction is necessary… but not in the response to fear or obligation. Again, you’re the blind leading the blind. You tell people over and over that they’re loved by God without condition and then you heap a mountain of conditions on them, selling this system as, “How to have a pleasing life inside of God’s will.”
It breaks my heart to think about the struggle Pastors and Bible-Group Leaders bear, both in the short term and possibly the eternal. You’ve muddied your mind and teach law as grace… You’re hypocrites, charlatans, frauds; and you don’t even realize it. For you’re like that goodie two-shoes tattletale that nobody really wants to be around. You are all prissy and polished on the outside, but you’re a twisted, asshole on the inside. Outwardly you’re one thing… but deep-down, you’re a fork-tonged snake looking for the opportunity to rat someone out and make them feel badly about themselves.
It breaks my heart to think about the struggle Pastors and Bible-Group Leaders bear, both in the short term and possibly the eternal. You’ve muddied your mind and teach law as grace… You’re hypocrites, charlatans, frauds; and you don’t even realize it. You love you some Moses, and David, and Elijah, and even the whip wielding, miracle dealing, kick-ass version of Jesus… You talk about them and their greatness all the time… However, you fail to see that these narrow-eyed personas incite the very law-lovers who lead the mob in cheers as the foot-washing, leaper-touching, sin-absorbing exact representation of God, carries the beam of wooden torture with a great joy set before him, to forgive and forget!
You see, you don’t even realize you’ve become the very oppressor you thought you were freed from. You’re the dual-fanged head of a viper, saying “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” This tiny taste of law will make you like God… AND even better, it will make God adore you! How can you ever escape this place of trapped dualism you’ve melded into your very being? The process of separating it from who you really are will be so, so very painful and it will take so, so very long.
Like it or not… I’m going to keep sending people who rock your religious boats… a wave of Spirit awakened and inspired people who won’t shut-up about my over-the-top goodness and all-inclusive grace. You’ll excommunicate them, call them heretics, and false prophets. You’ll sell more fear to the congregants in your sanctuaries in hopes that no one else catches on, because you might not really be as elevated as you think you are, and you’re horrified no one finds-out. As a result, your condemnation and accusation of law, condition, and burden upon them will become the self-inflicted punishment upon yourselves. You’ll struggle to feel loved and accepted… because you don’t really believe in the all redemptive power of love and acceptance. You believe in death and destruction as having an equal footing in this creation. And so, death and destruction is what you will ultimately see happen to the structures of conditional worship and sacrifice that you have built your faith upon… and it will happen sooner than you think.