topics of interest

Holiness and Goodness a requirement

If we look at the books of the New Testament (NT) we see a recurring theme.  Avoid sin at all cost, and do good.  This is a requirement for the believer.   The NT books declare and teach what sin is.  These books also declare that fruit has to be produced by the believer.  The modern church teaches that this fruit consists of inviting people to church services.  The NT declares that this fruit is a person’s goodness, righteousness, fairness, and justice.  This fruit demonstrates holiness by the believer.  The church today in the West teaches that a believer cannot be holy.  Churches here teach that holiness is not about your behavior, that holiness is an abstract concept applied to you after you have said a prayer to God.

This teaching is clearly not correct when we read the NT.  The believer has been moved from the power of darkness to light in the NT.  They are no longer defenseless against sin.  They have protection against temptations in Christ.  A believer is to use the tools that Christ has given to them to increase their goodness and holiness.  The reading of the Word to renew their mind,  praying to call upon God and to hear from God, the accepting of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and with this acceptance the believer receives power to resist sin.

The idea of a believer needing to obtain holiness is also portrayed in the Old Testament within the statutes and rules given in the Law of Moses.  The OT Israelites were to perform certain requirements such as washings, learning what was clean and unclean and abstaining from the religious activities and practices of other nations, sacrifices were to be continually made for their sins, etc.  These were actions and requirements that had to be done and performed by the priesthood and the people.

The current teaching in the West undermines the importance and even the requirement of the believer to seek after righteousness.

Reality and Truth

I watched a movie yesterday titled, ‘The Other Sister’, made in 1999.  This movie is listed as a romantic-comedy.  This is a feel good movie about a young mentally challenged girl named Carla who had to be sent away from the family to attend a boarding school when she was quite young.  This was necessary because of her challenging behaviours and the risk of her two sisters getting physically hurt by her.  The movie begins with her return home from this school when she is a young woman and her struggles for independence from her protective mother.  While trying some classes at a technical college she meets a young man on campus who is also mentally challenged.  They fall in love and eventually get married. One of Carla’s sisters is gay, and is living in another city involved a live-in sexual relationship.  Carla’s immediate family is very wealthy and socializes with the upper classes in her home town.  Like I say, this was a feel good movie that did not portray the likely reality.  At the end of the movie your heart is warm and you think to yourself, it’s not so bad.

What would be the likely reality?  Carla and her husband would live in their own apartment and their parents would be largely responsible for supporting them for the rest of their lives.  Most families however, would not have this option because they would not have the needed wealth to do this.  We see the gay sister in bed briefly with her lover and think… they’re just sleeping together.  We forget that there is sexual perversion that has gone on in this bed behind the scenes.  What does this do to someone inside their heart and mind?  The dad is always home and involved with the family.  The reality?  He hasn’t made this kind of wealth as a doctor without working tremendously long hours and establishing a very successful business career.  This takes a lot away from a family.  The movie does not indicate that he is retired, and the likely reality is that he would want to keep working and building up his empire until he is not able to work anymore.  Carla’s second sister has been living together with her boyfriend and gets married to him in the movie.

This family is portrayed as a loving, quirky, but deep down healthy, very nice family, who has some different kinds of things going on in their lives.  None of these things in the movie affect their inherent goodness or upstanding values.  This is a false narrative that people watching this movie are being told and shown.  It’s no wonder that people would say “it’s not that bad “.  They may have little else but this type of movie to gage their opinions and facts upon. Today’s young people do this all the time with the movies that they watch.  It  seems they to try to make sense of their world through what they see on their technology screens.  This is not reality.  However, they can defend a position staunchly  based upon what they have seen and what they have been told through the media. ” I know what that’s all about, I’ve seen the movie.”, and “Why are you being so prejudiced?”, and “There’s nothing wrong with it, you’re just being a bigot!”




Serious Sin

Our church leaders say that there is no serious sin today.  One sin is as bad as another to God no matter how small or insignificant it may be.  This teaching is not Biblical.  The Bible states that there is serious sin.  One such sin is sexual inappropriateness.  Another is idolatry.  We see these types of sin being dealt with in the Bible.  The children of Israel were chastised and punished for idolatry and given over to their enemies.  Sexual sins were dealt with.  Adultery was punishable by death or divorce.   The Bible states that there is a kind of sin against the Holy Spirit which is unforgivable.  Mainly calling what He does devilish.  The Jews accused Jesus of being empowered by Beelzebub, the prince of devils.  That generation living in the time of Jesus will be held accountable in the judgement by many who went before them.

There is perhaps a seriousness about sin that we do not fully appreciate in the West.  We are largely being told in the West by our church leaders that there are no consequences of sin from God.  He forgives all our sin all the time, because Jesus died for our sins on the cross.   Some say that this confusion has happened by mixing up the salvation experience that we have with God by grace, and applying this same grace to the requirement God has for the saints to live righteously.  I tend to agree.   These are two different things that are taught in the Bible.  This makes sense when we consider the admonitions and exhortations that the epistles give to the believer concerning how we are to live in God now that we have become saved.

Sin produces death the Bible says.  As we partake in sin we are losing ground in Christ.  We become hardened to sin.  We become darker in our hearts and minds.  Sin often produces more sin.  We excuse ourselves of our sin.  We justify it and rationalize it.  We move deeper and deeper into darkness.  The Bible says that we are the children of light and that we are to live in the light as He lives in the light.  We are to conquer our sin not excuse it.  There is nothing in the Bible that justifies the believer who continues to sin.  This only happens in the imaginations of sinful men.



The Narcissistic Pastor

I’ve been reading  a couple of articles and recent commentary on what to do if you think your Pastor may be a narcissist.  The counsel is that you try to get along.  If you cannot, then you should probably think seriously about leaving your church.  You would be in a no-win situation. Another article suggested that you find a couple of elders and arrange to meet with the Pastor in order to work out the problem.  This would happen after you have tried to talk with him privately to resolve the issue.  This is good counsel if you are dealing with a reasonable person.  A true narcissist is not a reasonable person.  Their agenda is the only valid one and anything or anyone that gets in the way of this agenda will be destroyed.  A true narcissist requires control of others.  They are unable to accept the opinions of others.  Others must think how they do.   It’s not a matter of getting along with your narcissist Pastor, it’s about them needing to completely overcome and devour those around them.  They strive to take over others’ identity, and  life.  Nothing else is permitted.  They will keep persisting in this way until they either succeed or others are destroyed.  They never give up this goal.

Narcissists are very deceptive.   They lie without conscience.  They do not feel guilt or remorse for any of their actions.  They simply do not care for others the way we would think that a Pastor should care.   This is the problem.  How can a person like this shepherd a congregation of God’s people?  They simply cannot and should not.  They need to be removed from church leadership.  Believers need a healthy Pastor who is looking  out for them and guiding them in their path with God.  The Bible says that a good shepherd lays his life down for the sheep.  A narcissist would never do this willingly.  He/she would save themselves and destroy the sheep if need be.  A narcissist believes that their survival is paramount above everything else.

The church needs to find a way to detect a true narcissist.  A narcissist will train others to be narcissists as well.  This is called secondary narcissism.  A secondary narcissist will be like a true narcissist and have the same characteristics.  Some believe that there are many secondary narcissists in our society in the West.   The church needs to identify these individuals and remove them from ministry.

In my own experience with a severe narcissist I believe that they can be saved.  They can have a true salvation experience.  The issue with a narcissist is their unwillingness to acknowledge that they have any faults that are harmful to others.  A narcissist believes that  their narcissism is a good thing and has no desire or willingness to try to make  changes.  They will not be honest with a therapist.  You cannot trust or believe a narcissist.  This is not how the Bible describes a true leader of God’s people.




One malignant narcissist, one trained narcissist, one New Age guru, one pedophile, one co-dependent spouse of the pedophile, two severely traumatized children, and one  scapegoat.  I hope that this is not indicative of the ‘normal’ family in North America but I fear the worst.  There is a dynamic that family members protect each other, even the family criminals.  “They’re a good person at heart”, “they did not mean to do that”, “it was just a mistake”.  An article I read recently said that children are losing their feelings.  They push their feelings into their subconscious where they are not felt.   What kind of person does this usually create?  A predator, who becomes a danger to everyone around them.

What kind of people are church leaders in North America creating?  People who can ignore their sin.  People who live like the unregenerate do. Their sin is ignored, allowed, or excused in the church.  People who have little knowledge of the truth.  People who believe lies. What are these lies that church leaders are teaching their people?  That the best life is one where you don’t have to deal with sin, where your fleshly lusts can drive your actions and your goals in life because God’s got you covered.  The responsibility for sin church leaders say, is God’s, not yours.

If we compare this to actual teaching of scripture we see a very different picture.   We see a person who fights and conquers their sin through Christ.  We see a person who is a new creation, able to do what is right.  We see a person who stands up under trials and adversity.  Someone who sacrifices in order to follow after righteousness.  Someone who loves and obeys God.  This is the real definition of a person who has value in God’s eyes and who will be rewarded for striving against sin.  God talks about honorable vessels and the dishonorable vessels in the house of God.  Will church leaders be rewarded by God for building great physical structures in the place of building up God’s people?  Not likely.





The Call of God

We read in the NT of Jesus calling individuals to follow him.  Peter, Andrew, James, and John, fishermen of the Sea of Galilee.  Matthew, the tax collector. We read of Jesus praying on the mount all night and then choosing twelve apostles.  In more modern times we hear of individuals like Hudson Taylor, D.L. Moody, and Billy Graham being called to ministry.  Missionaries, evangelists, and many others.

In my own experience I believe that there is a call today to a prophet ministry. One day I was praying downstairs in the basement of our family home.  During those earlier times I was trying to pray an hour a day.  I was not working in a job.  I was a stay-at-home mother of two young children.  Suddenly, during my prayer time I heard a voice that was not audible in the room say ‘prophet’.  I heard it inside my head, or my heart, so to speak.  I was stopped short.  This voice had interrupted my prayer.  I began to cry.  This calling of prophet was confirmed several months later by a visitor to our church.  He laid his hands on me and declared my calling to me.  I had not mentioned my experience previous to this in the church or to my family.  After the service he invited me to go with him to Russia.  He was taking a small group of young prophets to minister to believers there.  I chose to not go because of my young family situation.  This may have been a grave mistake on my part.

What does this mean exactly?  I’m thinking that for me it means something like Jeremiah’s experience in the OT.  He tried to stop being a watchman or give warnings to the people of Israel, but as he watched the Israelites in their error(s) he was compelled to speak out and exhort them.  This caused him a lot of trouble.  Jeremiah had so much trouble that he lamented before God that he had ever been born.  The apostle Paul states that God has placed the apostles last.  It was while they were being beaten down and trodden upon that the church in his day prospered.

I have difficulty when I hear someone in a Christian teaching ministry say that the time of apostles and prophets has ended.  To me, this teaching is just not true.  I think this is due to my own experience and reading in the Bible that the ministries spoken of in the NT are to build up and encourage the saints.  In the book of Ephesians it says that the city is built upon the foundation of the prophets and apostles.  We cannot decide that we will accept some NT ministries and make a decision that others listed within the same sentence in scripture are not for our day.

The prophet is never going away as we see demonstrated today.  Many false prophets are abounding in influence and power in the church, in Christian TV, or in other ministry.   This can be partly attributed to the false teaching of our day that we believers cannot judge those among us.  We read in the NT that  believers and elders in the church are to judge and test the spirits of those who lead us.  We read in I and II Corinthians that we are to execute discipline upon the sinful behavior of those in the church.  In Corinthians Paul’s instructions concerning  the gross sexual sins of an individual were to put him out of the assembly.   When and if repentance is demonstrated by the offending individual the church can then go forward with reconciliation.   Today Christian leaders seem to be saying that we don’t need to do this.  Instead, we are to encourage this individual who is committing gross sexual sin to stay in the church. God’s grace has covered over his sin in God’s eyes, and hopefully someday his thinking and actions will change when he sees what a great bunch of people we are.


An experience in prophecy

The circumstances surrounding this experience of prophecy was a group of ministry students came to our church from a nearby college to do a church service.  While the music team was ministering I felt to go forward to prophecy at the microphone that was set up for this purpose in the church.  The  ministry team had been singing something about ‘once more’ which stood out to me.  My thoughts went to Samson and his request to God, “let me do this once more”.  The OT story goes on to say that Samson used his God given strength to push out two pillars and the whole house collapsed around him and he destroyed more of God’s enemies in his death then he did during his lifetime.

I went forward apprehensively.   The church was packed.  There was a capacity for about 800 people in this building and it was full.  I had nothing to prophecy except the ‘once more theme’.  I began with this.  While I was prophesying I was taken over by the Spirit of God.  It was like I blanked out for a short period of time.  I knew I was speaking but I couldn’t hear what I was saying.  This happened for a few seconds of time.  When this ended I was still trying to carry on with my prophecy, so to speak.  I stopped.  The whole congregation was responding to what had been said just a few seconds earlier.  It was very incredible to hear this response.  It was like a guttural response that happened as a group spontaneously from from the people.  I am not aware of what I said.  It was only a few words, I think.  I asked for the tape afterwards and was told that the prophecy had not been recorded.  No one talked to me about what had been said in the prophecy, not even my own husband, and I was afraid to ask.  I had been having struggles in that church with the long established lay leadership for a period of four years.   I was not popular.

In my next post I will give my testimony of the ‘Call of God’ for a purpose or ministry that a person may receive.