The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory. Let all those be put to shame who serve graven images, who boast in idols. Fall prostrate before Him, all you gods. Zion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoiced [in relief] because of Your judgments, O Lord. (Psalm 97:6-8 Amplified Bible)
I often wonder what fellow Christians would do to Jesus if He were to return today. I am sure head pastors would write him off as trouble. Perhaps they would encourage him to join a bible study group to help him ascend the hierarchy of the church. I’m sure he would have difficulty presenting His great wisdom to the many famous Christian leaders. His letters would be ignored I’m sure. His warnings would be discarded I bet. Sadly, his help would be rejected. All in all, not much would change. Perhaps, it would help if He came back, attended seminary, got a degree in divinity, took a job as associate pastor and someday owned His own church? I wouldn’t want to be the guy who signed His ordination papers.
What profit is the graven image when its maker has formed it? It is only a molten image and a teacher of lies. For the maker trusts in his own creations [as his gods] when he makes dumb idols. (Habakkuk 2:18 Amplified Bible)
It is so easy to take our eye off the ball and veer off the path of righteousness as we unknowingly begin to seek the admiration of man. In all that we are and in all that we are created to be there is the essence of all that we are. There is nothing of man that can change this fact of our creation.
For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.] (Romans 11:29 Amplified Bible)
As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor]. (1 Peter 4:10 Amplified Bible)
Many fail to recognize and use God’s gifts. Through the worship of earthly idols and by seeking the admiration of man they miss the mark. The key is passion! Passion is the soul’s recognition of God’s gifts. When hours seem like minutes and we can do it all day; we are being all that we are created to be.
I recall an instance of great hope that I felt ever so deeply in my heart as I volunteered at “The Awakening Conference” back in two thousand seven. The son of the senior pastor of that church delivered a wonderful sermon in which I recognized much potential. He spoke of today’s Christian verses what he hoped would be the Christian attitudes of tomorrow. An incredible analogy of our value to God was presented, in what I thought was an original way, but was actually borrowed from Joel Osteen’s book “Your Best Life Now”. In retrospect, it did not really make a difference to where the message came from. The important thing is that it was carried forward. He seemed to be really heading in the right direction. It was a very effective presentation.
Since then he has gone off to college and has somehow lost his way. This is a very common pitfall in the journey of many. As we conform to the expectations and buy into earthly illusions we fall further from God’s grace. Our egos become the dominant force in our lives and we lose track of all that we are created to be. It is in this drifting away from Truth that we begin to put great value in papers which bear the signature of man. Such things as certifications, ordinations and various degrees are now what give us a perception of self worth. No longer is our calling of value to us. We have been clouded by fear and drained of our confidence which once came from Spirit. A need to prove who we are created to be begins to manifest in our hearts as we look to idol goods for verification of our self worth. Insecurity has alienated us from ourselves and the prince of lies, in tiny moves, has begun to slow the advancement of the Kingdom through pride and ego.
It is so obvious that you do not have a degree in theology that it hurts. (Jordan Boyce)
When I first read this comment on my essay “Nightmare Machine” I became very disappointed in an education system that has corrupted one who I adamantly believed had been ordained by Spirit and was being prepared to make the necessary changes in a religion that has gone off course. Christianity as Jesus originally intended it to be had been manipulated by the early church in order to suit the agenda of the day. The doctrines of the thirteenth century had once again reared its ugly head.
As I am writing this, not really sure of what was so offensive about that essay; I looked up at the clock and received an epiphany. The time was exactly 11:11 am! God and His angels continually bless me with knowledge and wisdom in this way. Our God is an amazing facilitator!
Here is what must have been the issue.
The power of Christianity’s original purpose had begun to saturate the population of Europe. Government needed to unify and standardize in order to maintain control. Therefore, they decided to structure Christianity into what they believed would assist them best in controlling the people. Taxation was the prominent actuator in this crusade to manipulate.
The government would come to use the religion of Christianity to create a standardized tax. This tax was the beginning of what we know today as the tithe. You see, tithing was never meant to be what it has become today. The tithe was created as a way to tax the people and justify it through a manipulation of scripture. There was never supposed to be a standard tax or tithe.