A CULTURE ADDICTED TO “SELF” – Comments?

by ‘Pastor Dave’

Yesterday, I read a report about an Ohio State University study involving 900 adults ranging in age from 18 to 90 which claimed that young Americans place such a high value on their sense of self-worth that they crave praise and compliments more than food, friendship, and sex! The study also observed that this craving is akin to an addiction. It is insatiable…

The participants in the study are not all narcissists, of course,
but they’re kissin’ cousins.

The professor who conducted the study identified the 1969 book
The Psychology of Self-Esteem as the launching point for a
generation of Americans obsessed with self-esteem. He concluded
that the obsession is only going to get worse — “as each new
generation enters a culture that puts a premium on self-worth,
younger Americans spend more time craving and searching for
self-esteem boosts–and less time thinking about others. All that
time spent thinking about yourself not only contributes to
depression, but it makes society a less kind and gentle place.”

The seismic shift that began in 1969 has resulted in the tsunamis
of Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, reality TV shows and life-
enhancement church services. Americans just can’t seem to get
enough of being true to self, expressing self, fulfilling self, improving
self and advancing self. This addiction has had an enormous impact
on the Christian community. Choosing a church to attend is no
longer a matter of finding where the Word of God is taught and
where people are striving to live in a manner that pleases God. It
is now a matter of finding a church that has the best programs,
preferred music, and activities.

American Christians have become consumers rather than
practitioners. We look for the most enjoyable services, the most
convenient schedules, the most engaging presentations, and the
programs that fulfill our desires to the greatest degree. We seem
drawn to the churches that are most like the world. Our primary
concern about church is not how we can serve the church body,
but how the church body can serve us.

Churches that are preaching that Christians are deserving of and
entitled to good things, happiness, blessings, and personal fulfill-
ment are bursting at the seams. Churches that preach poorness
in spirit, mournfulness for sin, meekness, purity in heart, and a
hunger for righteousness, are struggling to find people willing to
listen. Are we witnessing the fulfillment of Paul’s warning to Timothy,
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine,
but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears,
they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their
ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

We can’t be hungry for righteousness and addicted to self at the
same time.

-PLEASE COMMENT on this topic below-

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew on October 23rd, 2012 at 10:55 am.

121 comments

121 Replies

  1. Andrew Oct 23rd 2012

    The comments are working this time!

  2. Kenny Atnip Oct 23rd 2012

    Luke 18:8-b
    Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?

    This is what the end of a people (nation, culture) looks like.

    I hope all of you can see where this is going, the fall of society brings God’s judgment. What we are seeing is not only in America but global. When we see all nations falling as we now see then we can know for certain that we are near the end of this present world.

    We will see many evils come upon this world in the next few years but it will grind away at the morality of the peoples and the Church as well. If we are to make it we must be patient and hold on tight.

  3. Mark Andrew Oct 23rd 2012

    These are the facts, of course. So, we need true revival, which involves death to self. The particular Scriptures that Kenny quotes are not meant to deter us from fulfilling the great commission. These Scriptures are true and stand and have their application, but they also stood before the Wesleyan revival and others.

  4. Before My conversion I suffered with depression. As a baby Christian I still had the problem and went to “Christian therapy.” Now that term for me is an oxymoron. Anyway the “Christian” therapists wanted me to take Prozac, but I was very uncomfortable with the idea. When I brought it to The Lord, He gave me 2nd Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and love, and a SOUND MIND. That was the beginning of my deliverance. He began to show me that depression stemmed from self centeredness. I was completely consumed with me, I was always on my mind. Jesus said that in order for us to be disciples we have to DENY ourselves and take up our crosses and follow him. He gave me scriptures like 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, Philippians 4:8-9 and Philippians 2:2-4. The Church is just as guilty as the world, pushing this self esteem doctrine that has nothing to do with “Christianity” but everything to do with satanism. If our focus is Christ-ward then our thoughts will be of seeing how we could meet the needs of others.

  5. Barbara Oct 23rd 2012

    You have told the truth and it is at epidemic proportions.

  6. DonaldN Oct 23rd 2012

    I have a friend in ministry. We had a talk a few weeks ago in which he told me what the people need is a personal relationship “knowledge” of God. I agreed with him and asked him why this is not preached from the pulpits. He could not give me a legitimate answer. I went to his next few meetings and all he would preach was the “Bless Me” doctrine of receiving the promises and blessings. He will not preach even what he says the people need. God revealed to me that his problem is the same as the people. He loves to have his name spoken around town and to hear what a great ministry he has. This problem with self is throughout the church, leadership included.

  7. The Lord said the path to rightousness is narrow…very few are chosen and at the end of the world, many will curse him.

  8. Raul A. Cardenas Oct 23rd 2012

    Deeply ingrained since childhood in the American Psyche is the behavior of a do-gooder

    A do-gooder is just that, someone who is always doing right. It can sometimes be a negative thing…

    According to urbandictionary.com, a gooder is short for do-gooder. A person who is helpful and righteous to an annoying degree.

    I rather call them bums/loafers who do not mind their own business…
    Blessings: May God have mercy of us!

  9. This pandemic permiates all ages of our society. My wife works as a mid-manager in a seniors’ nursing home. Most of the residents come with the attitude that the nursing staff should be their personal valets and wait on them hand and foot. The staff has to give them a dose of reality and remind them they are there for nursing services only.

    As depicted by this article, the comments, and thousands of comments in previous postings, our churches are filled with self-centered sinners who demand their leaders pander to their “needs.” These are often unconverted people who have been deceived into thinking they are saved, but are only the products of saying a “sinner’s prayer” in response to a false gospel preaching a “genie-in-a-bible” Jesus.

    It is interesting to note that the passage from 2 Timothy 4 does not say that the leaders take the people to false doctrine, but that the people demand their leaders preach the false doctrine which tickles their itching ears.

    The last church I pastored was this way. In reality, they fancied themselves to be a “christianized” social club and threw me out because they could not tolerate the preaching of the Biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ. The concept, that one is under God’s wrath until they repent and receive the Christ who demands death to self if one is to be His disciple, was obnoxious to them.

    I sometimes wonder if it is not revival which we need, but rather evangelism to a world and churches which have made themselves gods and have made God to be their servant who must do their bidding.

    May God help us and grant us His wisdom as we seek to be His servants.

    Your servant in Christ,
    Wayne

  10. I was looking around to see if I could find the study, or more info on it (since it was not cited in the article) and I happened upon ‘socilogy.org’ and wow! Unsurprisingly, the same group (sociologists) that claim to have the ‘answer’ to our problems are promoting them.

    They are glorifying Ayn Rand, Darwin, why you shouldn’t trust your leaders or anyone in authority (a church pulpit is the picture for the discussion post) and much, much more.

    They’re basically trying separate and isolate people to take them away from the things that give their lives stability, such as peer groups and small organizations (like churches, small political meetings etc.) and plug them into a mass social group via the mass-media and the internet. Once plugged into the mass conglomeration we have almost no way of fending-off the influence of the propagandists…ie those that create and capitalize upon public opinion.

  11. “I sometimes wonder if it is not revival which we need, but rather evangelism to a world and churches which have made themselves gods and have made God to be their servant who must do their bidding.”

    Good comment Pastor Wayne…but once people get that far-gone into self righteousness and self deception, its only by the power of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God almighty that can break them free and bring them back into the light of truth. I think that revival and prayer is the only way to wake those people up.

  12. DonaldN Oct 23rd 2012

    OK, I believe we all agree that “THEY are in the wrong.” What about us? What are we doing to make sure WE are not like THEM.
    1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:
    Phil 2:14 Do all things without murmuring and disputing:
    Do we post a reply and then check back in 10 minutes to see if someone has replied to OUR post? Do we want this same self esteem?
    What should WE do?

  13. Marc Wildman Oct 23rd 2012

    It’s called Apostasy!

  14. Kathleen Oct 23rd 2012

    Sadly, I agree. We are cautioned in the Word to guard ourselves from idols. The idolatry of self, the idolatry of our children, our bodies, our church, our pastor, our doctrine, our calling. Our idols may not look like the idols of the world but they are just as deadly. I’m talking to myself here. God is dealing with my heart of hearts and I have asked Him to purify my motives and lay the ax to the root.

    I also agree with Donald about the egocentrism of checking feedback on our posts. It can be addictive and distracting and a waste of precious time. If God tells us to lay it down, then that’s what we need to do.

    We are His sheep and He is our shepherd. We need to know His voice now more than ever and follow Him.

  15. Dan Nieves Oct 23rd 2012

    Good discussion, may God help us to have a single eye.

  16. This is a good word! Right on point!

  17. This is a good word! Right on point!

  18. katrina peterson Oct 23rd 2012

    If you know anything about Ohio State, or Ohio, one of the main spiritis over the region is divination. One of the “symptoms” of oppression or possession under this spirit is a need for flattery. It all boils back to a heart condition, which Ohio has as it’s moto, “Ohio, the heart of it all”.

  19. As soon as you make the meeting together of the believers open to the public you invite in the world .Then you have to change the purpose of the meeting from doing whatever The Lord wants the group to do, to making it ok for people to NOT do what Jesus wants.Self is then placed above Christ as a priority at the meeting and it only gets worse from that point. The word of God teaches that all meetings of believers were private and only those who love and obey Jesus are invited.Until you are ready to love Jesus above all things and have meetings His way you will follow the Protestant pattern for church which came from the Roman Catholic way of having church. It is a man invented substitute.

    The bible shows us what to do , at one time we have a meeting of just believers and at a seperate time we have a public meeting to take the Word to people who do not live according to the word of God.The current method of trying to do both of these things at the same meeting is contrary to scripture and it always results in worldliness. The Protestants got it very wrong from the beginning and the same wrong way is still in place.We live to please Jesus in all things or we don’t know Him.Repent and believe in Jesus as Lord and then obey all His commands.There is no other way.

    Mark 14:41-52

    Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

    41 The third time, he came and said to them, “For now, go on sleeping, take your rest. . . .There, that’s enough! The time has come! Look! The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners! 42 Get up! Let’s go! Here comes my betrayer!”

    43 While Yeshua was still speaking, Y’hudah (one of the Twelve!) came, and with him a crowd carrying swords and clubs, from the head cohanim, the Torah-teachers and the elders. 44 The betrayer had arranged to give them a signal: “The man I kiss is the one you want. Grab him, and take him away under guard.” 45 As he arrived, he went right up to Yeshua, said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 Then they laid hold of Yeshua and arrested him; 47 but one of the people standing nearby drew his sword and struck at the servant of the cohen hagadol, cutting off his ear.

    48 Yeshua addressed them: “So you came out to take me with swords and clubs, the way you would the leader of a rebellion? 49 Every day I was with you in the Temple court, teaching, and you didn’t seize me then! But let the Tanakh be fulfilled.” 50 And they all deserted him and ran away. 51 There was one young man who did try to follow him; but he was wearing only a nightshirt; and when they tried to seize him, 52 he slipped out of the nightshirt and ran away naked.

  20. truthseeker2 Oct 23rd 2012

    Although I would never advise anyone to go to facebook, you only have to take a look around there to see what the article above is talking about……narcissicism on a grand scale. Whats sad is there is a generation of children/teenagers growing up thinking it is quite normal to post constant updates about YOUR life, ‘self posing’ photos, and create a general mirage that you are HAPPY to the rest of facebook land. Facebook promotes being otally self absorbed and it is a LIE. I got off of there nearly two years ago and have not looked back. People think the self promotion on facebook is completely acceptable and cannot even see it for what it is.
    Have we all gone mad?!

  21. Denise Oct 23rd 2012

    Growing up around alcohol in the 50’s & 60’s, I began using it myself at age 14. This open door was only the beginning of giving place to the insanity of the enemy and believing his [narcissistic] lies. All the self-esteem books and self-help seminars so popular back in the late 60’s and early 70’s just seemed to go hand in hand with the rebellion of sex, drugs & rock ‘n roll, even to advocate worldly freedom, new experiences, and a “do your own thing” mentality. Yes, all “kissin’ cousins” of addiction.

    One of the lies of the enemy was that it wasn’t hurting anybody else! Another: You deserve to have some “fun” and relax; and that pleasure-seekers/thrill-seekers are more vivacious, exciting, popular,”fun”;and, try it, at least once, just so you can say you did. One of the biggest lies comes later, once “hooked”: It goes like this: “You’re dirty, rotten, tainted, and you can’t go back to your God…”

    In 1990, after 25-years of walking in this darkness, my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, delivered me [PRAISE GOD!] He left the 99 and came after me! His arm is not too short! He inclined unto me and heard my cry! He picked me up out of the pit, set my feet upon a rock, established my comings and goings, & put a new song in my mouth. He loves me so much, He continues to renew my mind as I die to SELF daily and seek Him with all my heart.

    Hey, Mesha: He also gave me 2 Timothy 1:7 for starters!:
    [For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.] Also, the promise that He would restore the years that the locust had eaten [from Joel 2:25]. My life verse is Jeremiah 33:3: CALL UNTO ME AND I WILL ANSWER THEE AND I WILL SHOW YOU GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS THAT THOU KNOWEST NOT.

  22. Faith without works is run amuck to the point that nominal christianity is totally brainwashed into believing that obedience to Christ is not necessary to our salvation. I have had so-called believers tell me that it is blasphemy to insist that works are a necessary part of a believer’s salvation. “Faith alone” is the mantra even though the doctrine of Jesus Christ and the scriptures themselves totally refute that claim. Listen to the brother of our Lord…

    “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?” James 2:14. “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone”James 2:24. Faith without works doesn’t save!!! Faith alone doesn’t save!!! There must be fruit Jesus says. He who practices righteousness is righteous. This fundamental flaw in the “evangelical” gospel opens the door to sin and every form of selfish ambition. “My salvation doesn’t depend on what I do therefore I can do as I please”. Wrong!!!!

    The concept of grace has been distorted into permission to deny Jesus Christ and still be saved, Jude 4. No, grace is the means provided by the Holy Spirit to fulfill Christ’s commandments. Grace is not some theological excuse to ignore them. Obedience is required, it is not optional per Jesus Christ and the great commission Matt 28:20. The gospel is wrong as most of christendom understands it and this is the fruit of it. God winking at our indifference and apathy to His Son’s message all the while claiming this is the true grace of God. It’s another gospel.

    Listen to the Apostle Paul
    “If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing” 1Tim 6:3,4

    Now search out how many times Jesus tells us we are to obey His words. Why do you call Me Lord? You don’t do what I say!

  23. We should not be surprised. Human nature apart from God is to exalt itself. It’s happened since the days in the Garden of Eden. God leaves man to himself for a bit and the first thing he does is what he wants to do, not what God told him to do. The longer this world rolls along the bolder self-centeredness becomes in manifesting itself! The tragedy is the church does not recognize to what degree God has left us to follow what is in our hearts!

  24. Baa Baa Oct 23rd 2012

    Baa Baa, The problem of SELF in the church is well stated. What is missing in the answer to the problem I believe has not been stated. We are called and equiped by G-d through Yeshua’s death on Calvery, His resurection and the infilling of His spirit to be dead to self and alive to Him. SO THAT HE MIGHT BE GLORIFIED.
    It’s His life in us and our death to self! Shalom

  25. It is as simple as I’ve said to my family many times: Without our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we are all as filthy rags. There are two religions that have always ruled this world: The “I” religion and The “Cross” religion. The Lord leaves that decision up to the individual. He will never force His Will on man. Good for you, Mesha. Only in Him will you ever find His truth. (and His love overfulowing)

  26. Martin Oct 23rd 2012

    We found this article by Pastor Dave both enlightening and challenging. It explains so much and yet it is what we are ‘fed’ constantly by the world as well as in some churches. Some of the “what God can do for us” appears fairly obvious in talks and worship songs. We have met the ‘proseprity gospel’ and try and carefully vet the worship songs we use, but it is very insidious. Thanks for posting it.

  27. AngelBeast Oct 23rd 2012

    Self-worth needs are valid. One finds one’s self-worth needs met completely and fully in the Triune, especially when one discovers that YHWH deemed them worthy of the incarnation and death of His only begotten Son.

    The Triune has a great sense of self-worth and is the greatest sacrificer and servant of all. They are not mutually exclusive, but necessarily inclusive. Because of our great sense of value in the eyes of our Father and Forgiver we are energized to be like Him in sacrifice and service. Without that sense of value the energy to do so will soon run out and the effort will come from some motivation other than love in return for love.

  28. Sheeja John Oct 23rd 2012

    – This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men will be lovers of their own selves….. 2 Timothy 3:1-2

    – By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another. – John 13:35

    The above two verses shows the stark difference between those that are of the world and those that belong to God; and it points to the coming of Yeshua Ha Mashiach to judge the world as Scripture declares: ‘So when ye shall see all these things, know that it (i.e. the coming of the Son of Man) is near, even at the doors.’ – Matthew 24:33

  29. I reposted this on my page here is a reply from a close friend of mine….

    (Gary Edwards) Matt.16:18, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Amen.
    My view on this is, first off, as Christians we can look at the statistics from the world in relation to the decline in solid biblical teaching within the Church and homes and see a massive problem presented to us; is the Church declining in numbers and what must we do to fix it!? We say things like, “it must be teaching in the Church,” (true)! But is the answer throwing the idols out of the household’s…tv, computers, fine dining, etc……is this what is stopping us from laying down our idols, and presenting clean hands before the Lord, No; the Ephesian Church in revelation had sound doctrine, yet forgot their first love…..forgetting the application of the Sovereign Grace they had received and failing to apply it to the Church; Grace received and not extended; therefore, promoting legalism. Moreover, king David asked for clean hands; not to earn them; rather, receive them. The beatitudes shows us that we can cut everything from our lives and still not please God, because sin is present with us for a reason; to lay us bare, to humble our selfish pride; to present to our Lord our complete dependency and need for Him. But today, the Church is constantly running around in a circle with this stuff, Woe is everyone and everything mentality: yet scripture presents “Woe am I”! Do we need to cultivate more and more on what Christ has done, testify and extending our discipleship out to the world of the Gospel; “What He has done”, I think so; therefore, entrusting our lives fully to the work and perfect obedience of Christ; growing in our worship of Him, therefore, falling more and more in love with our Jesus and Saviour as opposed to trying to win this battle in our doing! Trying to defeat was has already been defeated presents to us a lack of trust on the finished work of Christ; and showcases what Paul exhorted Timothy in relation to sound doctrine; sound doctrine does not steal from the King; it testifies of Him; sound doctrine is built on the Gospel; not diluting it and becoming unsatisfied with it (lukewarm); sound doctrine presents us all equally and desperately needing our Saviour because we are depraved sinners; not looking at the sin of others to mask our or dilute our own. Sound doctrines is built on the testimony of the One (Christ); concerning the One and the fully Victory achieved for us by our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus; testified by the eternal counsel (Triune Godhead) of God (Spirit and Truth) in Scripture and by His (Christ’s) Sheep! Yes we have to work; that role my friends, are as ambassadors to and for the victorious King; testifying of the victory He achieved for us, not what we have done for Him!! e.g. “I thank you Lord, that I’m not like those other Christians, I have done all these things for you, whilst they did not,” mentality! The application of Salvation in Christ is faith that worships; works and sacrifice for the Church, fall’s into this category of faith. Sacrifice and works for us the Church is worship (Upward unto God; outward in our proclamation) of the fact that Christ done it all, we need to promote the doing, dying, resurrecting power of Christ’s redemption (the Gospel) more to remove this problem of idol worship; but we cannot fix a problem Christ has already fixed, death and sin!! ….what we can do is offer in worship our hearts and lives more and more to the Victory of the King; testifying of the King; entrusting all things to the King; therefore, growing more and more in our sanctification (growing in the knowledge and likeness of Christ Jesus), and stop trying to appoint ourselves as kings. For me this problem in the Church is caused by not presenting the truth and teaching from a Christology from above perspective; God to man in redemption! Our Christology will determine our eschatology “Geerhardus Vos.” Peter’s confession of Christ was given to him from the Father, by the Spirit of adoption confessing the Person (essence) and eternal Son ship of Christ Jesus. This type of Christology from above has been lost in the modern Church due to man trying to manipulate numerical growth in the Church. The lack of teaching within the Church, centred on the Gospel, revealed through the eternal counsel and Will of the Godhead in Christ Jesus is the problem with this so called new age of eschatological mumbo jumbo, everyone arguing over whether they or pre, post, A etc…..entrusting their views towards signs from the world (a man’s view to Christ; a Christology from below), Christology and eschatological theology from man to Christ; rather than the true teaching of the Church; revealing the God Man; Christ Jesus, from God to man and returning the same way He came to us, in the eternal counsel and mystery of the Godhead and Will. He (Christ) left in the same way that He will comeback; in the will of the eternal Godhead and counsel. If only we the Church could focus our teaching of the Gospel (Acts20:24) on Christ alone (redemption accomplished and applied); and the application through a Christology from above theology, revealing the eternal counsel of the triune Godhead (Acts20:27) in salvation. I believe our worship of Christ through the Gospel and our eschatology would be more realised and God would be Glorified more “in us” (meaning our lives). We must fight against our synergistic mentality (pride) concerning the Godhead and the Gospel and make haste to bow low and worship on High. This is my limited view; not trying to take away from anything posted above…..rather, something God has been moulding in my heart for years. Christ is fully accomplished; His salvation and restoration is assured; He seeks worshippers because the greatest gift He ever gave us was unconditional love, because we never deserved a drop of it. Gospel blessings

  30. Kathy Horne Oct 23rd 2012

    Great article by Pastor Dave and many interesting comments. I was particularly struck by the comments regarding Facebook. May God save us from ourselves

  31. sharon Oct 23rd 2012

    Good posts all. We learn from one another, reason one with another.
    One thing that AngelBeast said struck me, until we find our self worth in Christ and His finished work, then we seek it from others. Religions are like that . Making a group of people agree together and covenant with each other. Covenant is made with Christ and if we marry our husband or wife. All others are brothers or sisters in the faith journey.
    Until discovering through the precious Holy Spirit, who I was in Christ, my self esteem was at rock bottom. He has lifted up my head and I praise Him.
    Yes our modern society has gone overboard, and it is just to make money and power. They really don’t care a whit about anyone personally. Preacher or teacher or politician, baker or candlestick maker, it’s all the same.
    So lift up your heads saints, praise the Lord our redemption draws nigh.

  32. Great article….and sadly so true.

  33. Who is ‘Pastor Dave’? Curious as to who the author of this article is. Great article.

  34. So very true. Though there is nothing wrong in being rich, talented, and well educated, it is what we do with that which we have. When these things in our life become more important than seeking God in His fulness, they are but idols. God, not self, must be first.

  35. Diane Robrts Oct 23rd 2012

    Probably the best book I’ve read about this topic is entitled “Generation Me” by Dr. Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at California State University at San Diego. I am not sure she’s a Christian, but she has been a guest on several Christian radio shows out here in California. Here is one amazing statistic I remember in the book. She says that studies have shown that high school girls in the 1950s had way more self-esteem than college-aged girls have today, My state of California, unfortunately, started this whole mess, even requiring it to be taught in the
    Public schools. The legislature years ago formed a Self-esteem committee to study how to raise the citizes’ self-esteem. We were the laughing stock of the whole country. Sadly, the “self-esteem” movement has been a colossal failure and Dr. Twenge’s book is about that failure.. Dr. Twenge is a specialist in narcissism and has also written another book with another psychologist about that topic.

  36. Neville Oct 23rd 2012

    This is what happens when you get your esteem from man and not God because you have forsaken God

  37. Andrew, Can you please give the full name of the author of the article? I have a few friends who have asked for the name of the author. Thank you

  38. Andrew Oct 23rd 2012

    ‘Pastor Dave’ is the only name that was sent to me.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  39. Martin Oct 23rd 2012

    Problems over Pastor Dave’s identity?

    It would seem that in recent weeks there’s at least three of us posting as Martin. Very confusing! Guess I’d better think of something else!

  40. Richard Savage Oct 23rd 2012

    Try this name, it’s my own!

  41. Bill Nelson Oct 23rd 2012

    This article is so true – we need to come out of the carnal church and serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Our audience is the one true God – it is His Kingdom not ours, it is His Power and not our influence, and it is His Glory not our charisma. Lets get back to the real deal and separate ourselves from the flesh and live by the spirit.

  42. Read ‘SHAM, How the Self-Help Movement Ruined America’. It explains in great detail how this ‘I’m Ok, You’re OK’ movement has infiltrated people’s thinking and how self-help skirts around the answers to a person’s problems with quick fix answers that don’t involve regret, apologies, forgiveness or understanding that we might be a part of the problem….

    Most people today are believers in Jesus Christ, but they are not followers of Jesus Christ.

    Good topic this week Andrew! 🙂

  43. Thanks, Andrew. Insightful article.

  44. Andrew Oct 23rd 2012

    If you think of the modern world as a “marketing culture” or ‘Advertising’ culture, then you can see how this ties in. People who live to be “consumers” – who are flattered and “sold” to via the media all day and night. A whole culture of this – which the West has immersed itself in for more than 50 years.

    No wonder our kids are growing up “self-absorbed” in a selfish world!

    Bless you,

    Andrew

  45. I appreciate that your mailings are so to the point. There is a real need in the body of Christ for the hard hitting, call it like it is truths of the gospel.

  46. KathyG. Oct 23rd 2012

    Thank you again and again Andrew. Great article. It is truly amazing what the Lord is teaching us through others. We are designed to know the TRUTH. Jeremiah 33:3

  47. Brother Paul Oct 23rd 2012

    Each and every generation has had its own social ills. Such things as alcohol, promiscuity, homosexuality, pornography, cigarettes, drugs, violence etc and the list goes on.

    Not only this, but each and every generation is the sum total of ALL the generations that have gone before it. The only power that can stop social ills going from generation to generation, is the power of the Cross and the Blood of Jesus!

    In all homes where Christ is NOT the centre of the family, then ‘something’ will have to fill that void.. be it alcohol, violence, anger, rage, drugs or a combination of any of these and/or many other counterfeit and often addictive ‘void-fillers’.

    When a child, any child, especially a child of a very young age, is subjected to a trauma, no matter what that trauma is and no matter what degree that traumatic event consists of.. that child will have an emotional scar [or two!].

    Right there and then is when that child’s emotional [and often physical] heart is damaged. Unless the child is immediately ministered to with solid Christian counsel, love and healing; that effects of that damage will then take root and will begin to develop in the child’s heart.

    That damaged little heart will then have ‘needs’; needs such as.. attention seeking, food addictions, behavoural problems, anger etc etc to try to artificially ‘fix’ the problem.

    These ‘needs’ [esp the emotional needs] will continue to crave attention, ministry and healing, and unless brought to Jesus, the one ‘who came to heal the broken hearted’ then that emotional need will go unfulfilled and will continue to develop in an unhealthy way and often at a rapid pace. The more the damage to the little heart – the more the emotional needs to fill the gap and repair the damage.

    The only TRUE healing still comes from the great physicial Himself – the Lord Jesus Christ.

    When you are looking at someone who has a ‘need’, whether it be an unhealthy form of self-seeking [such as is the case of young people today], behavioural problems, social problems in many and varied forms, alcoholism etc, drugs etc, anger etc, bitterness etc [the list is endless it seems]; then you will be looking at someone who has had their heart betrayed and broken at some point/s in life.

    Jesus was and still is still the only true answer to these problems which in themselves are only a manifestation of what has happened to that person when they were a child.

    The only REAL “need” is to have Jesus heal that broken heart.

    So.. is it up to us to lead the broken-hearted to the only one who can heal them? Perhaps it is..

    Blessings from Brother Paul

  48. Ahh……. the ‘me’ generation . . Perpetuated by the church! Am seriously over it! Am fairly sure Jesus said something along the lines of DENY YOURSELF…… sigh

  49. Oh and one more thing…..IF as a believer you know your identity is IN Christ, read Ephesians, then you almost certainly won’t need copious numbers of sell help books.

  50. Andrew Oct 24th 2012

    Sadly I don’t think it is just the “self help” industry any more.

    This whole attitude is now utterly ingrained in our culture.

    And it opposes the true gospel – directly.

    Very sad.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  51. Richard Savage Oct 24th 2012

    Precisely; this selfish attitude pervades the whole of our culture, backed up by advertising, fostered by soap operas and played out on streets and super markets.

    Our entire western culture is about one’s self.

    2 Timothy 3 is good on this point

  52. I googled “The Psychology of Self-Esteem” (1969 book) author Nathaniel Branden and it pulled up Ayn Rand’s picture (apparently they were intimate for awhile and she depended on him?). I found articles about the Ohio state study, but not the study itself. Andrew’s comments and the article makes perfect sense – sad but true. My oldest daughter is 23 and exactly “Like” that, and also faces depression and is very self-absorbed. Maybe that Christian high school was too up tight, but she went to a very “liberal” university. I’m glad I grew up with John F Kennedy quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”. Now we are isolated by our electronic devises in search of constant positive feedback which if always provided, will omit many truths that need to be heard. As soon as my daughter’s shrinks meet and like me and assess me as being supportive, she drops them like a lead ball. Pray for our children. Thanks Andrew

  53. Anthony Donaghey Oct 24th 2012

    Just a Thought 25/10/12
    The Self Esteem Movement began all the way back in the garden of Eden when after being seduced by the serpent, the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil looked good TO Eve, and she realised it was good for to make HER wise, to make HER like a god; however the origins of what is going on with this modern movement that will eventually lead to men being lovers of self to the point they will begin to be haters of both God and their parents all really began just over a hundred years ago in a galaxy not so far away…
    Right now the world and the church are inundated with a pseudo-science called psychoanalytical / psychotherapeutic psychology and I don’t think it would be too unfair for me to state that it is the biggest con job this world has seen in the last 100 years since wee Sigmund stopped shooting up heroin long enough to write down some of his tripped out theories on why the people of the world seem to be so dysfunctional. We live in the era of the victim of a victim mentality. God, if He is allowed to exist at all, is an impersonal force, much like what we find in the Star-Wars saga, so therefore nobody is accountable to anyone, Obi-Wan. Everything is relative. There are no absolutes, including, of course, the statement that ‘there are no absolutes’, as that statement is an absolute in and of itself. Ahh’ the poor wee Post Modernists; they just refuse to see the truth, don’t they. They come up with a philosophy that automatically rules itself out right from the get-go, and yet their foolish pride will not let them admit the obvious. To people such as Sigmund Schlomo Freud and Karl Gustav Jung the God of the Bible was not so much to be ignored as to be ridiculed, hated and feared out of existence. (Today, rabid atheists such a Richard Dawkins have taken up the mantle passed on by these earlier humanists). Anyway, Freud was extremely unguarded concerning his hatred of God and openly wished to help destroy the Christian/Judean belief that was the foundation of the freedoms enjoyed by the populace of the Western world, including, paradoxically, those very freedoms that allowed Freud to openly declare his hatred of Christ.

  54. The whole article about self is nothing more than pride and the very same root which caused satan to be lifted up and case from heaven ( Isaih14::12-14 )
    Pride is always focused on self. Humility is always focused on God and others

  55. dadjr1976 Oct 24th 2012

    The answer is submission to the Lord. Jesus Christ said “my meat is to always do the Father’s will”. That must always be ours also. That is what gives us our sense of self-worth. How can one be worth more than what God would have him to be?

  56. Brother Paul Oct 24th 2012

    Just gotta wonder who is going to take responsibility for the behaviour of this culture which is addicted to ‘self’? Will it be the present generation itself, will it be the generation who taught the present generation to behave the way they do, or will it be that no generation will accept responsibility?

  57. Anthony Donaghey was wise to put Sigmund Freud in the crosshairs regarding this now runaway problem of extreme selfishness. But we should also look further at Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, plus one of Freud’s most perverted students – Wilhelm Reich. Both of these men capitalized on Freud’s discoveries about the weak areas of men’s souls. The diabolic workings of these two men, along with a handful of others, helped to “grease the skids” so Western mankind would degrade at an accellerated rate. Check out the BBC Documentary at http://www.CenturyOfSelf.com in order to learn more about these men.

  58. Andrew Oct 24th 2012

    Good call, Steve.

    You are right.

    But the “people love to have it so” as well. They love to be “consumers”. They love to be spiritually “comfortable” in every way.

    Thus Bernays and Freud were not the only problem.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  59. Tiffany Oct 24th 2012

    excellent article, thank you so much for sharing this. it saddens me to say that it’s 100 percent accurate. With the selfish behavior of many and the “me first” attitude, having no desire to serve but rather desire to BE SERVED, it’s very difficult to separate the church from the world as unfortunately they are both very much alike one can hardly tell the difference ):

  60. Brandianne Oct 24th 2012

    People have always been this way. Pride and preoccupation with self is not something new under the sun… I just wonder if God’s people would find their time better spent in the discussion of the character of God, rather than the character of man; the ways of the Kingdom rather than the ways of these temporal cultures of humanity. I never feel more excited about revival by reading articles or hearing sermons about these things- what gets me excited to seek God and walk in truth and study out the Word is always the articulation of God. We all have a handle on humanity, so let’s focus on the King! People are stupid, but God is good despite our shortcomings. Self-focused culture or not, He has a plan- and there are strategies already in place, people submitted to the Kingdom now. Why not get on the same page about what God is doing so we can be unified in prayer and action! Too often I’m getting emails that are stirring me to despise humanity, rather than inspiring me to love God and look on the lost as sheep without a shepherd. Come on!! God is good, He has a plan, and He shares His secrets with those who walk in righteous submission, seeking the Kingdom!

  61. Mat 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
    Mat 7:14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

    Mat 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
    Mat 7:22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’
    Mat 7:23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

    Maybe the above verses have some relevance to the article.

  62. anthony donaghey Oct 24th 2012

    What has happened to the other 4 5THs of my post cencored like this it makes no sense 🙁

  63. Traveler Oct 24th 2012

    It would be a good idea to get hold of that book “Marketing of Evil” If its not banned already.

    There are a couple of points to keep in mind, When Satan lays a plan it works with a time line of generations. Sow the seed of corruption and just wait for it to mature. The current obsession with the occult themes on the Television and video games is going to produce problems far greater that this down the line in 20 to 30 years.

    But you also need to keep in mind that prophecy given in the word will be fulfilled. This development of self opens the door for this ;

    Mat 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
    Mat 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
    Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
    Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

    Mar 13:12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.
    Mar 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

    Luk 21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
    Luk 21:17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.
    Luk 21:18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
    Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

  64. Andrew Oct 24th 2012

    Anthony – you cannot publish feature-length articles in the “Comments” section, my friend. It was shortened because it was much much too long.

    Sorry

    Andrew

  65. Doug Clarke Oct 24th 2012

    A timely article. But it’s not justNot just the American Church. This self esteem doctrine pervades the western church. It is well and truly entrenched here in Australia. They are trying to get away from the cross. But there is a reminder in our sky, where at night I can walk outside and see the Southern Cross in the heavens. The devil offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world without the cross. So he offers people ‘transformation’ without the cross. But as the hymn says, ‘At the cross at the cross, where I first saw the light…’ Incidently the gospel of self esteem is well entrenched in the music and ‘worship’ of the church.

  66. Scott Tumlinson Oct 24th 2012

    Sad to say, this is one of the most difficult doctrines to overcome. It is so firmly established in our culture. Jesus said that if we want to come after Him, we’ve got to deny ourself, take up our cross daily and follow Him (Luke 9). Yet some “Christians” despise the cross with the claim that He wants to take our burden from us and gve us rest. The only way that we can “lose” our life is through death. Then, and only then, can we be hidden in Christ with God from self. Check out the book, “Hard to Believe” by John MacArthur – great read for some much needed soul searching

  67. watchful Oct 24th 2012

    It seems to be the old old story of man replacing the truth with his own natural carnal thinking….and it always leads to death thereof…this is why there are increasing rates of mental illnesses and other problems such as pedophilia, homosexuality, violence, etc. The scriptures show us these things always happen when sin grows into fullness, filling up it’s measure so to speak – and history bears it out.

    I see it that our job is to get on with proving the efficacity of the cross in our own personal lives first, so that we can then be prepared to be effective witnesses in a desperately perishing world once we ourselves have been crucified to all these things and overcome.

  68. DonaldN Oct 24th 2012

    What we should do!
    We are on the narrow road. God never tells us to look over the rail to see those on the wide path and talk about what they are doing wrong. We must maintain our righteousness. How do we do that? Simply by obedience to the Word of God. Put on the New Man. Renew our minds. Practice righteousness. And most of all, Love one another. If we are being the peculiar people spoken about in the Word then we will be noticed by others. If we live in peace then those that are seeking peace, (whether they realize they are seeking it or not), will notice us and want what we have. We can reach many more, and reach them more effectively, if we just live out the Word in our lives. Telling someone who thinks they are right that they are wrong does very little good. We have to have something better to offer them than what they are being offered. We are known by our fruit. If someone sees the fruit of peace and joy in us they will ask us what we are doing to get it.
    1 Peter 3: 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and always be ready to give an answer to every man who asks you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
    We also need to accept the fact that many of them simply are not interested in the truth. We need to just let them be.
    Matt 15: 14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

  69. Barry Schmidt Oct 24th 2012

    This article describes the fulfillment of Paul’s prophesy , “In the last days people will be lovers of themselves..”

    I recently read a very provocative and powerful prophetic message given in 1990 by a baptist preacher of all people. In it he says this lover of self is a psychological mindset that is unique to this generation and he carefully traces it to a very surprising and unexpected source.
    Read it for yourselves. Here is the link:
    http://www.the-tribulation-network.com/articles/individualism_and_the_american_church.htm

  70. Brandianne, Watchful and a few others have hit the root of the issue. While Freud, previous generations, etc. may have assisted sin and Satan, they are not the roots of the problems we decry in modern society and the church.
    The true root of the problem is presented in God’s Word: we are corrupt to the core and there is no goodness within the heart of man whatsoever (Romans 3:10-18; 7:18a).
    The sinful, corrupt heart of man is always self-centered (even people’s “good” works are often done to make themselves feel or look “good”), even as it is in their father, Satan.
    Mankind is bound by their sinful natures to the kingdom of Satan and the darkness and slavery which it brings (Ephesians 4:18, 19;

  71. Sorry, accidentally hit wrong button and posted mid-sentece)

    (Ephesians 4:18, 19; 5:8; John 1:5; 3:19; Acts 26:19; Colossians 1:13; 1 Peter 2:9).

    Christ said that “As the days of Noah were, so also shall be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:37). Genesis 6:5 tells us what the days of Noah were like – “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

    Sadly, false and perverted gospels are being preached in many churches which mask themselves as Christianity but, in truth, only often innoculate these deceived people to the true gospel. The results are as 1 Timothy 4:1, 2 says: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron . . .” We see further results in 2 Timothy 3 and 4.

    While we should be aware of the nature of the problem, I sense our focus should be on the Solution. There is only One who can bring a one from his/her slavery to sin and the kingdom of darkness into His marvellous kingdom of light.

    I encourage all to preach Jesus Christ and the cross of Christ. May God help us who know the truth to live as disciples of Christ, dying to self, sin, this world, and its pleasures – and live as Christ before the lost and dying. Very often we will be the only representation of Christ the lost and dying will see. Let us be faithful to be His representatives.

  72. Richard Savage Oct 24th 2012

    Barry, that’s an excellent piece on that links. Thanks.

  73. Listen, if sin doesn’t matter anymore, how can being a little preoccupied with myself be of any consequence? Have you talked casually to any believers lately? The internet is a great tool for this because you get real discussion and not “christian speak” like you get at church.

    The reality is you can’t get most christians to take sin seriously much less a selfish attitude. Just getting them to turn from known sin is monumental and this is the prerequisite to dealing with self. You’ve got people like Charles Stanley, Dave Hunt, Chuck Swindoll and a host of other preachers, I mean so-called big time preachers, teaching once you are saved you are forever secure. All your sins past, present, and FUTURE are forgiven. Oh really? You see, sin doesn’t matter anymore. Then there is another angle where we just ignore it, I saw Creflo Dollar the other day “Let’s eradicate the sin consciousness from our minds.”

    From cover to cover the Bible is dealing with the sinfulness of man but many christian leaders have decided that sin is not an issue anymore. “Let’s just not think about it.”

    We need to address sin( lawlessness). That is what the Bible is addressing. Sin(lawlessness) is a salvation issue, selfishness is a discipleship issue. Turning from sin will save you, turning from self is drawing closer to God. Turning from sin is a clear cut issue, turning from self is a process in knowing God.

    In simple terms let me see if I can communicate this… We have allowed the undermining of any effort to address selfishness because we have allowed sin to be removed as a danger to us as christians. This is patently false and unbiblical and easily proven by scripture. My sin should generate fear in me because it magnifies God’s righteousness in my sight but it also magnifies His mercy toward me, which causes me to love Him more and more. God’s Justice should terrifiy me but His Mercy draws out my love for Him. It is this dynamic I believe that causes me to turn my focus from myself to God. The Bible is clear on this, we are to fear God and we are to love God. Sin is actually a catalyst for both.

    Now, if we can make the case against sin that the Bible makes and the need for total repentance from sin because of the danger it holds for everyone, believer or unbeliever, and then establish the answer to sin that the gospel prescribes through God’s mercy, then and only then do we have a basis to address the root of sin, the love of self. Again, this is how it works…

    It’s the revelation of God, first, through Law revealing my sin and it’s horrible consequence and then through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, where His great mercy forgives me and saves me and progressively draws me away from loving myself to loving Him. His greatness and the pleasure of knowing Him- His goodness, kindness, mercy and love reverses the sinful order of loving me first to loving Him first.

    When we truly see God for Who He is how can we not love Him above all things??!!

  74. Andrew Oct 24th 2012

    Great points, Davo.

  75. Christine Oct 24th 2012

    Not surprising one bit. It’s human nature to exalt oneself. It’s the exact opposite of what Jesus taught about dying to self. We expect the world to be self-ambitious and self-centered, but NOT the body of Christ. The obsession within the church to be noticed, honored and elevated is off the charts today. What happened to God’s word? It’s all in there! Humility? Many pastors don’t know the meaning of the word let alone the congregations they are suppose to shepherd? They seek recognition and adulation instead…I thought we are to decrease so that Jesus can increase? More of God, Less of us! Everything is twisted today to accommodate the appetites of men! I wonder what the Lord is thinking when HE scans the globe? Before revival can happen corporately, men who call themselves Christians must humble themselves “individually”, shoulder their cross come what may, not when it’s conducive to their terms or agendas. I speak to myself FIRST daily about this, because it’s a personal choice to let go and let God! People, please examine your own hearts before crying our for revival, change, or God’s benefits. God exalts the humble and humbles the exalted… Cast aside selfish aspirations and seek the will of God. His way is the only way!!! There’s ONE worthy to boast and brag about, THE LORD! We’ll be the losers, not the Lord…. Awaken your family dear Lord!!!

  76. Andrew Oct 24th 2012

    The media has had an ENORMOUS role to play in all this.

    Blessings,

    Andrew

  77. Richard Savage Oct 24th 2012

    The media has had perhaps the biggest and highest profile role in the moral fall of the Western nations. Bit old fashioned I know, but I really do think once television got into homes post WW2 the end was in sight then.

    Now we have ‘Christian,’ media there really isn’t a hope for anyone sucked into it’s output.

  78. Andrew Oct 24th 2012

    Sadly true, Richard.

    I don’t think most people realize how great the impact has been.

    -Andrew

  79. Philip Vermaak Oct 25th 2012

    I find it strange that the “pastors” and “leaders” keep making these statements and yet they never do anything to bring about change,every pulpit drips with the same drivil.

  80. Andrew Oct 25th 2012

    Did David Wilkerson’s fellowship drip with the same “drivel”, Philip? You cannot make total generalizations like that. But yes – it is widespread, sadly.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  81. Averyl Oct 25th 2012

    Brother Paul, – you are so right about the children.
    I have a 7 year old grand daughter being damaged by her parents constant arguements because her father has never understood that he needs the power of the Holy Spirit to enable him to bear fruit.The church he was part of did not preach this and he was not discipled properly. Now he’s a very confused & angry man.
    Her mother is committed to making their marriage work, trying to trust God to work things out.

  82. Philip Morrill Oct 25th 2012

    AMEN! This is what I have been teaching and preaching for years. In the most recent church I pastored, I was doing a series on I John that was very hard-hitting, calling people to live the life that God intended for them as believers. As we approached Resurrection Sunday (I don’t like to call it Easter), one of the leaders came to me and said: “I hope you aren’t going to preach from I John on Easter. I like to go away from church feeling good.” Sad commentary, but so true in most of the church today

  83. jackrabbit Oct 25th 2012

    Relationships that revolve around love make you happy. The happier your relationships are the happier you are.

    I am not surprised that self esteem is seen as the path to happiness by so many people. Unless they see what relationships that revolve around love look like, how will they know?

    Revival that brings us back to love for one another and love for God and relationships that revolve around love is what they need to see.

  84. Richard Savage Oct 25th 2012

    When the Church departed from the NT model it necessarily because a business, trading fraudulently.

    In recent years, as money demands have grown out of all proportion to legitimate spending, so many spurious business models have been tried.

    The ultimate, surely, is what we have now – self, self and more self, just keep on buying into self!

    Commercially, it’s little different from anything turned out by Madison Avenue!

    How different was the rapidly expanding, Spirit guided Church of Acts. How much have we lost? Everything!

  85. D H Barry Oct 25th 2012

    2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
    2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
    2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
    2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
    2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

  86. Richard Savage Oct 25th 2012

    ‘from such turn away.’

    I’m probably going to be shot down in flames here but … I understand from the NT the Body to be exclusive, whereas the churches, needing power and money, have made it inclusive. Echoing a good post by JeffM way above, alive and dead do not make a spiritually sound combination for worship of Almighty God. He abhors mixtures!

    Reading Matthew’s Gospel; from chapter 12, Jesus tangling with the Pharisees, and they plotting to kill Him, thereafter He went in to closed session with His disciples.

    Relating to the subject matter of this thread, it can only come about because the Body has allowed the unsaved, worldly people into it’s highest councils. Mistake! We’re dealing with different worlds. What fellowship has light with darkness? The world allowed into the Church can only mean the world in the Church.

  87. ValleyAnt Oct 25th 2012

    It wasn’t till I got to Katrina Peterson’s comment that I realized that this article includes a survey from the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. I grew up on the OSU campus in Columbus, and I must yesterday mentioned to two people the immense spiritual darkness over the city. I was back there two years ago when, during a short time of fasting with a friend, I saw the shield (literally ‘domed wall’ like those over football stadiums) of ‘demonic guards’ over the city which the enemy and his human workers use to keep the Lord (and His Life, revivals, and reformation) OUT of the city and to keep evil and self (Death) flourishing. (This is one explanation for the tremendous sense of hopelessness for change, revivals, and reformation over America in general. With Light blocked out, it becomes hard to see any single ray of hope.) The enemy has raised these shields over every city, walls strengthened by sin and evil (and so the enemy’s workers continually promote sin, selfishness, and evil in order to strengthen these walls) which are put up to keep out revival; but it was back in Columbus, Ohio that my eyes were opened to this particular setup of principalities and ruling spirits along with demons, sin and idolatry, and satanism. I think that it’s only when we’re given revelation or are ‘in the Spirit’ that we begin to see the Death that chokes our cities and effectively keeps Life out. I’ll return to reading the comments as I’d like to respond to them.

  88. ValleyAnt Oct 25th 2012

    Katrina, I agree with you. Ohio is a Masonic stronghold, and it is totally choked with Death. It’s a miracle of God’s Grace that we live on the natural plane or else we would all be dead in the lifeless spiritual plane of our cities. Revivals in such hostile spiritual climates will come by revelation, humility, and great Grace. If Ohio is ‘the heart of it all’, as is their State motto, then it may be the heart of where God starts off many revivals (that would be fitting and nice). When I was back there two years ago, a pastor told me that they are believing God for and have received words on revival starting in southern Ohio. I pray that with the coming revivals in these last days, people will also know they have an enemy who strongly opposes revival before it starts, during revival, and after it ends, so that it isn’t revival for revival’s sake but for God’s and people’s sakes.

  89. Richard Savage,‘from such turn away.’(I agree!) The Lord hates false worship and yet all the churches invite the unsaved to join them and then they have a time of worship.Who told them to do that? Not Jesus ,and if Jesus does not run things then it is not His Church. Just pointing out problems and not changing is self-deception, and you can’t change if the unsaved are a part of your meeting.How can you ever have true worship? If those who do not worship in spirit and in truth are invited then you can not have a time of worship in spirit and in truth. It is wrong and you will turn away from The Lord and place man above God. Self becomes God, people are first and Jesus becomes second.

  90. Richard Savage Oct 25th 2012

    How true Jeff, but how few realise this? How few want to realise this?

    Church programmes, systems and outreach have generated congregations and now a church hierarchy, who know not Christ and Him crucified. Hell beckons, and yet I understand no mandate from the NT to go charging in! Quite the opposite.

    Judgement begins at the House of God; that’s the Body, not these churches. Judgement has already been passed on Godlessness.

    How true it is; its a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Living God, but I would also say, it’s worse believing you’re in the hands of God and finding it was the Evil One all the time!

  91. ValleyAnt Oct 25th 2012

    Well said, Brandianne.

    This type of study from OSU is one of the things I find ‘interesting’. I was just sharing with two others yesterday how pleased satan has become with America and how he boasts to God about this his ‘favorite child’, “True, there may be revivals (here), but they will never be reformed.” satan sees the depth of selfishness (idolatrous love for self) and hatred (utter lack and absence of regard for others) and is convinced that the ‘Western mindset’ is so deeply ingrained in America that there is no chance of true heart transformation on any national scale here. satan was also convinced that Job would curse God in his pain.

    We should see the enemy beyond all of this on the one hand and the Lord beyond it on the other hand. satan knows that nothing is impossible for God, so he works on convincing us that things are as impossible as they appear (because God works through us and is hindered where faith lacks; if we can’t see with eyes of faith, then satan seems to be right). Maybe we should comment less on these issues and ask more how the Lord sees them. He knows how to separate human sinfulness from the wicked and evil spirits that DRIVE people to more and more ungodliness.

    Regarding self-help and psychology, people are made for love and function fluidly when they are loved but wilt and suffer under hatred and pass on either love or hatred to others. Diabolical in all its ramifications, the enemy’s scheme in America has been to take the pride (that has led to this not-yet-apparent fall) that the colonists brought to the Americas with them (i.e. the pride that vacated the Natives from their land and said, “We are the superior and those unlike us the inferior”) and to turn it back on America. Where America once believed itself superior by birth/race/etc., it now must prove that it is superior and not inferior (e.g. through things like self-help where once superiority and worth were a given if one was simply ‘American’). Now, satan, who takes no sides and double-crosses all who work for him, drives America (through especially media, education, politics, and religion) and dictates what is or isn’t acceptable as far as fashion, social life, religion, ethics, etc. The condemnation (sentence of Death) passed on the Natives (to establish the superiority of the new settlers) in the beginning is being sown as Americans murder each other with it. This environment of condemnation is hostile to human life, and the sentence of Death (condemnation) that makes people think they are better and more deserving of life (and liberty and the pursuit of happiness) than others manifests itself strongly in this country through things like abortion (where babies are condemned as unworthy before they are even born), murder, crime, hatred, violence, and a general restrictive fear and deep lack of love. These are fruits of pride lending power to Death (condemnation).

    While those who know they are loved (not ‘special’ but loved) are gentle, amiable, and accepting, those who are condemned are arrogant, exclusive, and accepting. The colonists down to Americans today chose ‘specialness’ (which engenders condemnation or looking down on others) over love, and inflated self-importance and narcissism must result. Americans now believe that Death is life, bondage is freedom, and bad is good and cling to this culture of Death though it is killing them. Everywhere I go, fear rules this nation, bondage keeps it, pride betrays it, and Death sits enthroned as king over it. We should continue to pray for reformation and revival here, because satan isn’t wise for nothing and has betrayed and literally ‘rigged’ this country so that the only outcome (sentence) is Death (reaping what was/is sown); but God, through the work of the Cross (and those who will intercede accordingly), is able to overturn every legal (warranted, deserved) sentence of Death and to impart Life instead. And let it be Life in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

  92. Is this because entertainment has pushed itself into our lives so much that IT has become reality tv for our lives and our personal lives become meaningless unless we become accepted by others.

    Takes over the culture and dulls our minds and hearts to what is really real and fantasy.

  93. L. Alex Smith Oct 25th 2012

    God has been dealing with me on Pride in my life.
    It seems that our lives (mine in particular) are permeated with much more pride than we hitherto figured on; and on many levels.
    Repentance as well as forgiveness of others seems to go down in many levels, akin to peeling off layers of an onion.
    I find myself being “checked” by all sorts of little things I would not otherwise have noticed: i.e. am I doing or wearing this thing, “to look cool”–that’s Pride!
    That’s seeking someone’s esteem of me, subtily to “praise” ME… that’s not seeking God to be praised….that’s seeking myself to be praised!
    Low Self Esteem = Pride in Reverse. It is being our own self-judge; our own self god… the original eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, instead of eating of the Tree of Life” —going on only “what comes out of the mouth of God” (Luke 4:4)
    Pride, “thinking more highly of one’s self that ye ought” (Romans 12:3)
    “For if a man thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” (Galat. 6:3)
    Thniking yourself “nothing” in a low-self-esteem way is not of God…that is also a False Judgement against yourself that is not God’s judgement.
    But thinking nothing of yourself– in full possession of what God thinks of you– and then Allowing yourself not to Need to be anything… that is where Jesus is calling us.
    Pride is idolising the need to be something.
    If you have received God’s Love for you…you don’t NEED to “be someone”. The eyes of your heart are focussed upon Him, and you are receiving a continual influx of Life from Him, that feeds your inner man.
    It’s not so much “who we are in Christ” as it is, “Who Christ is in us”!!! Is He truly being formed in us?
    God says through the ancient prophet Jeremiah:
    “My people have committed two evils: 1) they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of Living Waters, and 2) they have dug for themselves their own cisterns–broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” (Jerem. 2:13)
    Pride, a broken cistern, into which even Christians pour the water of jobs; important-sounding titles of jobs; titles of any kind (ministry included), clothing styles and fads, music styles, et cetera– the water runs out through that big crack in the side… it may bring a temporary thrill of “being recognised”, but that thrill must needs be topped up again and again…. resting on past laurels… acclaim…applause… even compliments (one can receive a compliment with grace as just a “thank you” or one can puff themselves up on it)… we need a Call To Repentance !!!
    Call them to Repentance!!!! Hammer it home!!! But, Prayer first…. tonnes of prayer… until the very words that come out of your mouth are afire with God’s Conviction… until we see everyone, including ourselves, with tears of broken-ness, crying to God for His mercy, until we have the complete unconditional Surrender of our hearts to Him!!!
    “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite heart, and trembles at My Word!” (Isaiah 66:2)
    “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that HE may exalt you in due time: casting all your cares (anxieties) upon Him, for He careth for you (literal Greek: for it MATTERS to Him concerning you). Be sober, be vigilant, for your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom RESIST, steadfast in the faith…”
    (I Peter 5: 6-9a)
    James says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble. Therefore, submit yourselves to God, resist the devil–and he shall flee (Greek grammar indicates: that he sees that it is in his best interest to do so) Draw nigh unto God, and He will draw nigh unto you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; PURIFY YOUR HEARTS, ye double-minded (wavering between God & the world–see verses 4 and chpt.1). Be afflicted, and mourn and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. HUMBLE YOURSELVES in the sight of the Lord, and HE shall lift you up.” (James 4: 6b-10)
    “Mourn & weep” is the echo of Jesus’ “Beattidude” saying “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matt. 5:4)– a proper, Godly mourning for your own sin, and over the sin of others, see I Corinthians 5:2 –Paul wonders why they haven’t mourned over that sin.
    James was addressing the church toward the end of the 1st century, which was sliding into lukewarmness, which Jesus spoke against in Revelation 2:4 “I have something against you… you have lost your first love”.
    The Idol of Self is rooted in Pride. Jesus said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himSELF, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24). He was our example, for I Timothy 2:5-6 states it concisely: “There is one God; and one Mediator between God and Man– the man Christ Jesus, who GAVE HIMSELF as a ransom for all.”
    I even had one friend say to me, “If I try to please everyone, I’ll lose my heiny!” (slang term for bum). He was against “man-pleasing”, but threw out the baby with the bathwater, and pleases no one but himself….and that hasn’t worked out well, as he is now in a mental hospital.
    It seems that a Revelation of God’s Love for us is the proper answer: not the namby-pamby “Sweet Feelings” Hallmark-style card kind of love– rather, the Strong Love of the Cross (a REAL revelation of it) and the Strong Love of God’s Judgement (ascertation) of your inner being, given to you!) This will both UnDo you (make you fall to pieces) and at the same time, will fill you with Life! WE NEED TO APPREHEND THAT, and then We Need To Transmit that into others!!!
    Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye who labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall fiind rest unto your souls. For my yoke fits, and my burden is light.” The labour of SELF-reliance, SELF-esteem, SELF-works… the true yoke (a wooden contraption like two U U’s connected over the topwith a cross-bar, with which two beasts will pull the plough or cart) is carved by the Master’s hand to specifically fit you… it will not chafe or grind against your shoulder bones or clavicle. So He is telling us to cease from our own labours and take on His labour…and it will be restful. This is the opposite of being Self-Centred, this way is Christ-centred. BTW, “meek” means “having God’s power, but under submission to Him” (like Moses, the meekest man on earth) NOT “spineless”.

  94. Richard Savage Oct 25th 2012

    Exactly Alex Smith, meek doesn’t mean spineless, swayed by every errant doctrine or fashion.

    Unfortunately the hymn Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild, has been misinterpreted by the many without knowledge to mean, spineless.

    And I do fully understand your meanings on self reliance – it’s long been a problem with me.

  95. Andrew Oct 25th 2012

    This is definitely all through the West.

    But America is still the most “Christian” of the Western nations – by far.

    Yet this garbage so ruins Christianity that it destroys the chance of Revival too. America needs a miracle to see the move of God that has been prophesied. An absolute miracle.

    I pray it will happen. Before it is too late.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  96. Richard Savage Oct 25th 2012

    Andrew, my prayers in this respect have long been joined to yours.

    For UK also!

  97. The Lord is teaching you some good things L. Alex Smith… 🙂

  98. Andrew Oct 26th 2012

    What is the solution to this?

    Will even a “Great Depression” affect it? That is a huge question to me.

    -Andrew

  99. booter Oct 26th 2012

    A Huge Problem I see in The Church and Christians these days is the lack of Obediance and Understanding of The (original) Ten Commandments. Not to be confused with the ‘watered-down, politically/socially-correct, touchy-feely, Psycho-babble’ List of Ten Suggestions recognized in many Churches today.

    A Big Percentage of The Church and all of the followers of the Heresies-connected to the signs & wonders/manifestations movements, find it convenient to disregard completely the First-Three Commandments. So the remaining Commandents also fall victim to their disobedience.

    These ‘deceived individuals’ are in deep denial and view The Ten Commandments more along the lines of ‘a bucket list’ (things they might want to try=but probably never will attempt). Rather than heeding the personal instruction of a Loving GOD.

    “This is a ‘Sore Spot’ for me personally, hence=the rhetoric, I Pray daily (several times actually) for my attitude concerning this, I Apologize and ask for Eveyone’s Forgiveness & Prayers.”

    GOD Bless to All! booter

  100. Barry Schmidt Oct 26th 2012

    In the evangelical churches today Sin is often perceived as an abstract theological concept rather that what the Bible presents it as ” a failure to love”. ” love is the fulfillment of the law” and “all sin is lawlessness” therefore sin is. Itching more and nothing less than a lack of love. ” you shall name Him Jesus , for He shall save His people from their sins.” Jesus shall save His people from a lack of love. Self centred ness is the ESSENCE of what sin is. self centred ness is what a lack of love is all about.

    The modern churches don’t get this about sin. If they did they would see the self loving, self centred focus is exactly what Jesus came to deliver us all from.

    Noone ever sins in isolation. every sin is against another ( either Godnor fellow man). Sin being a failure to love is also the neglect of love to others. ” He who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it SINS” this is also why self focus is the Aessence of sin ( a failure to love) because self focus always leads to the sin of neglect of others. How can anyone be self obsessed and NOT neglect others?

    In today’s church ” He shall save His people from their SINS” has been retranslated to ” He shall save His people from feeling badly about themselves.”

    The church has redefined salavtion from being restored to holy and loving selfless relationships to personal empowerment of the self!

  101. ValleyAnt Oct 26th 2012

    L. Alex Smith, what you shared was very edifying.

    Brandianne said, “People are stupid, but God is good…” I had to chuckle in spite of myself.

    It seems that we’ve certainly gained all the knowledge of evil we need concerning our times. Shouldn’t we now be seeking specific solutions? God is Lord of all solutions, and there are many problems today. The beginning of God’s works on earth is usually unity: “If two of you agree on ‘earth’ as touching a thing…” and “they were all with one accord in one place, and suddenly there came a sound from ‘heaven’…” Would it not help for people to pray and to agree in prayer once in a while in these comments. Prayer invites God’s presence and tends to foster an atmosphere of revelation, peace, and unity. It’s frankly hard to go wrong in prayer.

  102. Barry Schmidt Oct 26th 2012

    Our charismatic churches ( i have been a leader in one for 35 years so am indicting myself in this serious indictment as well) have done more to promote this self centrd focus than any other Christian community. We have redefined salvation to being about personal empowerment more than any other community of believers.

    Our sales pitch has been along these lines, ” come to Jesus and be personally empowered to be powerful, gifted, annointed, successful, and blessed and so you dont need anyone else BUT YOURSELF. Come to Jesus and be self fulfilled and avoid any dependence upon others. Come to Jesus and thereby avoid any pain that might be involved in laying down your life in loving relationships with others.”

    This false salavtion of self empowerment and self actualization is the antithesis of what Jesus came to bring. Instead of empowering us it has empowers he’d us. Instead of holy and selfless loving relationships that the Jesus of the Bible came to lead us into the modern “self empowerment Jesus” has led us into isolation, loneliness, slavery to self.

  103. Barry Schmidt Oct 26th 2012

    I meant to type: “instead of empowering us it has Impoverished us”

  104. I believe the Lord will do what He needs to do to get our attention…

    He loves us and He knows His plan for our lives…

    He knows what He has to do to accomplish this…

    He is not self-seeking so we know that any who follow Him will not be self-seeking either…

    The revelation of His love and of His grace, i.e. what He is like, is the only thing which will set us free of what we are, i.e. selfish, in our old selves…

    To effect a revelation of His love and grace He must disturb the wasps nest of our current surroundings…

    The complacency of our current surroundings…

    The strange thing is that our own self effort to improve ourselves is exactly what has caused this complacency…

    We are spiritual adulterers and have been serving a false messiah because we have not seen the real thing…

    We are waiting for the real thing to be revealed…

    God’s Fire usually comes after a time of suffering…

    Hardship…

    Persecution…

    When God’s Love and Grace break through after He’s stripped away all the security blankets we hold on to we are ready to receive it as we’re at a place of emptiness where we know that nothing else works…

    Nothing else works…

    We are waiting for the Fire…

  105. If you board the wrong train, it’s no use running along the corridor in the other direction.

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  106. ValleyAnt Oct 27th 2012

    Dadjr1976, you said, “The answer is submission to the Lord…” Yes.

    Doug Clarke, I never heard of the Southern Cross. Here in the States, we have the Northern Lights.

    Davo, thanks for your post beginning with “Listen, if sin doesn’t matter anymore…”

    Richard Savage and JeffM, I agree about separation and that judgment begins not in churches but among God’s People. This is something that the Lord is qualifying and clarifying.

    Andrew, you asked about a solution. Unfortunately, no depression is great enough. It appears that it will be the same solution it has always been: a repentant people who are willing to stand in the gap and identify with the sins of their nations, as Daniel and Ezra and other righteous men did for Israel and as Jesus did for the world, so that God can turn the tide the way He chooses and many who are living under and headed for certain damnation will be saved.

  107. Sheeja John Oct 27th 2012

    Would one call the wise virgins in the ‘parable of 10 virgins’ (Matthew 25:1-13) as ‘selfish’ since they refuse to share the oil with the foolish ones?
    The wisdom to know when to show selfless love and when to refrain, lies in knowing YAHWEH and abiding in YESHUA HA MASHIACH.
    The Word of God, His Truth and Covenant is hidden to those who are outside of Yeshua Ha Mashiach. But to those who are in Yeshua Ha Mashiach, have understanding and things are plain and simple to them. David ate the showbread that was forbidden for men to eat (only priests could eat it) and he also gave it to his associates; yet he remained guiltless. – (Matthew 12:4-5)

  108. Traveler Oct 27th 2012

    I wrote this a few weeks back but it does seem appropriate here

    The Cross

    Often in Christian circles we hear talk of the old rugged cross and reference of being backed up to the cross etc, which all sounds so spiritual but what does the cross really mean. One thing that many miss is that Jesus was talking about the need to take up our own personal cross and follow him long before he himself actually got nailed to the cross to make the atonement for our salvation.

    The thing is that Christ’s Cross may be central to the worlds redemption but the cross in general and what it means in relation to our own spiritual walk encompasses a great deal more. Take a look at the passage below, note the time frame of the topic covered, this was well before Jesus was himself crucified and he was teaching that we also have to take up our own crosses and what they represent.

    Mat 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
    Mat 16:22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
    Mat 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
    Mat 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
    Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
    Mat 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
    Mat 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

    Consider what is revealed in verse 22 of the above passage. The message of the cross is very offensive to the natural thoughts of men. Peter was having trouble dealing with this and yes Satan does and will take advantage of this revulsion of the cross so as to derail the will of God but Jesus makes it quite clear that God comes first and the revulsion of the cross has to be endured if you ever intend to be accepted of God.

    Now to understand what is happening here you have to grasp the significance of what the cross actually represents in the contexts of this society. The cross represents total rejection by the people of this world. Rejection to the point where the society of the day wants nothing more than to kill you and get rid of you and remove you from its midst with prejudice. It is after all the death penalty of that day like the electric chair or the lethal injection is today.

    To be a friend of the world is to accept caesars way and come into agreement with ceasar but to be accepted by God requires being rejected by the caesars of the day and submitting to Christ instead and coming into agreement with God. You can only serve one master which means you have to reject the other which in turn requires that you have to endure the consequences of that decision and that is the burden of your own personal cross. For quite some time now here in the west Christ has been the establishment and the cross has not carried a price but this is not the normal and certainly was not the case in the days of the original Apostles. Because of this the full significance of what the cross represents has been forgotten but all that is about to change. Caesar is again regaining his hold and Christ is becoming more and more rejected by the world here in the west and the burden of the cross is going to once again have meaning to those that would follow Christ and seek after God. The time has come where the saints are going to have to once again carry the full weight of their own crosses just as the early saints had to under the rule of Rome. Being rejected by the world because of the offence of the cross of Christ is called persecution and the objective of the persecution is to bring the saints to the point where the burden of the cross becomes too much to bare and they fall away to the point where they once again submit to the caesar of the generation just to get by.

    Now this natural desire to conform and be accepted as a part of the greater is used by Satan to corrupt and entice. Hence the reason Jesus made it very clear that there can not be any real compromise and you have to make a solid choice regarding who you are to serve in the full knowledge of what the price is going to be. But this same need for acceptance can and is used to corrupt the doctrines of the very faith that the saints cling to. The saints may be rejected by the world but they in turn cling to each other and seek acceptance amongst themselves which in turn opens the door for a corrupting influence to gain a toe hold. Consider the passage below.

    Gal 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
    Gal 6:13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
    Gal 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
    Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

    In both the passage above and the one below we see an example of religious persecution at work. In Christ the saints are under grace because Christ himself is our sacrifice but there was and still is a push to bring back the old laws of the old covenant which in itself renders the sacrifice of Christ of no effect. The tool used to make this happen is the desire of acceptance by the perceived greater, when in reality it is nothing of the sort. To be circumcised is to be bound to the old laws which in reality only applies to the nation of Israel, no gentile nation was represented at Mount Sinai when God gave Moses the laws. But by bringing the church under the law the redemtion done by Christ gets rejected. In essence being enticed to come into agreement with a false doctrine has the same effect as being enticed into coming into agreement with caesar or the world system of the day. The lesson learnt is that to carry your cross applies to both the world and also religious settings as well.

    You will notice that a lot of the modern denominations are trying to retain acceptance from our modern world system. They have lost the understanding of what it means to bare ones own cross and just how important it is. Those are the denominations that are basically in free fall. The worlds systems are offended by Christ. If the church is not an offence to the world system then you need to ask if there is any of the real Christ left in it to cause the offence that should be there. To demonstrate, if you want to clear a crowded room all you need to do is to start preaching about Christ and the salvation message, in no time flat half the people will have cleared out, if you do not want to be an offence and do not want the people clearing out the room then you have to compromise on the gospel to the point where it no longer is a gospel with any effect or power. If you are solid in Christ you will be an offence to people and you will be rejected by men, that should be the price you are willing to pay and the cross that you will have to bare. Paul explained this in verse 11 of the passage below.

    Gal 5:10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
    Gal 5:11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
    Gal 5:12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
    Gal 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

    Now the severity of the cross is demonstrated in the passage below. The rejection by the world of the cross of Christ will split families, To follow Christ properly will require a commitment that leaves no real room of compromise, You all know the attitude directed to family members that go all religious etc. Well consider the Muslim boy that goes Christian, They understand the full burden of the cross.

    Luk 14:25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
    Luk 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
    Luk 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
    Luk 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
    Luk 14:29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,

    If there is one thing that the modern church and the saints need today it is a clear understanding of what the cross represents and what it means to them personally. In times past the saints embraced the cross understanding its cost but also with the understanding of the reward that is to follow. However those that have the most to lose are the ones that will have the greatest trouble because of the enticements of mammon. Jesus explained this very well in the passage below.

    Mar 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
    Mar 10:22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
    Mar 10:23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
    Mar 10:24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
    Mar 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
    Mar 10:26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?
    Mar 10:27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
    Mar 10:28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.
    Mar 10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,
    Mar 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

    Now that passage gives a lay out of the requirements but also the promises. However the same rule applies regarding the carrying of ones cross as shown in verse 30. You do get a restoration but along with it comes the persecutions as well. To follow God is to suffer the rejection of the world as well.

  109. Richard Savage Oct 27th 2012

    Traveler, that is truly excellent! Thankyou, a timely piece if I may say so.

    I’ll revisit the territory of separation again – the cross separates us from this world, or it should.

    Israel was called out from the nations to be a people unto God, we are called out from the world, in it but not of it. That being the case, we cannot share our times of worship, praise, thanksgiving, and prayer, in fact all our most intimate moments with our Lord, with the world! If we go down that road of being unequally yoked with unbelievers, then satanic deviations and excesses become the norm. We allow the world to infect the Body.

    Isn’t that what this thread is all about.

    The highest councils of the Body, worship, are understood only by the Body; misinterpreted, ridiculed and polluted by the world.

    Extending Galatians 3:1, You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you? The Body has been bewitched, invaded by sin, disobedience and faithlessness, and even a return to law.

    Come out, be separate, else you can’t follow Jesus, you’ll follow the world! And be damned.

  110. watchful Oct 27th 2012

    The way to Life is through death. Remembering that it’s the powers and principalities who persecute the children of God, not flesh and blood, so the Father knows just what each one needs to suffer to be conformed to His likeness, and is able to lay a cross on our shoulders even in the midst of a so-called Christian society or family. The disciple’s cross is necessary for our transformation, but also as He taught me just recently there is an intercessory component to it, just as the cross of Christ was intercessory. This is why we are being conformed to His likeness enough to love our enemies even as we may lie ‘dying’ at their hands in the will of God! This is the example that Jesus showed us! Father not my will, but yours – that is how we deny self and fill up that which is behind of the sufferings of Christ. oh Lord, give us of your Love, because we have it not of ourselves.

    I don’t see it that it’s for us to solve the problem of the church, society or the world, the government is on His shoulders and our shoulders are not nearly broad enough – all we need do is pray according to His will and keep following in His footsteps. The latter rain will not pour out until He has a Body to inhabit, in one accord, and this too is His problem not ours, and He is building it as we speak, His temple, His Body. All we are to do is obey His immediate will for us this moment, this day, which is not ‘our’ will – at least not until our will has been completely conformed to His.

  111. Richard Savage Oct 27th 2012

    ‘I don’t see it that it’s for us to solve the problem of the church, society or the world, the government is on His shoulders.’

    Amen and amen! Oh, that the many would see this, and believe Him sufficiently to just allow Him to be Lord. Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

  112. Father, may Jesus be glorified.

  113. Richard Savage Oct 27th 2012

    In us also.

  114. Richard Savage Oct 28th 2012

    My friends, I have anguished this afternoon; whether to post this on here or not. I believe the Holy Spirit says to do so; I’m obeying, but in deep shame for my country.

    Many will have read the online UK press and know we are nationally embroiled in a scandal, one of mass paedophilia. This sin, we are lead to understand, stretches beyond the initial confines of show business and reaches to the very heart of government, past and perhaps present and beyond into so many other institutions. Being revealed piece by piece is a conspiracy of monumental proportions at all levels of society to corrupt our young ones; no area of national life is immune. Nothing of our once respected institutions is clean.

    This thread is about an easy gospel, self centred, self serving and demonic. No gospel at all.

    My country is today beginning, just beginning, to see the fruits of such a gospel. The fruits of fifty years of kicking over the traces and doing our own thing. Fifty years of saying we know better than the Saviour. What we’re learning is horrific.

    I humbly ask you to pray for those affected, and those yet to be touched, by this outrage. Please pray for us all, because in doing so, there will be an entrance for the Saviour into lives held strong to the evil one for so long.

    I believe a renewed Godliness will come out of this, especially if good men and women everywhere beseech the Lord Jesus, intercede, for those souls in anguish, for whatever reason.

    Please, please, understand, we are seeing the fruit of the threads subject. You don’t need to.

  115. garson Oct 29th 2012

    THE DEATH OF SELF, AND THE LIFE OF CHRIST

    1. MAN’S FALLEN CONDITION:
    -RO 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

    2. GOD’S REDEMPTION PLAN:
    -RO 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    3. THE EXCHANGED LIFE – DEATH TO SELF/ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST
    -Self must die before Christ can live in me. I can not serve two masters. Matt 6:24
    -I am placed into Christ (in Christ) through baptism. Rom 6:3
    -I am buried with him by baptism unto death to be raised to walk in newness of life. Rom 6:4
    -My old man (self) was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth I should not serve sin. Rom 6:6
    -When I die with Christ, I am freed from sin. Rom 6:7
    -Sin shall not have dominion over me: for I am not under law, but under grace. Rom 6:14

    4. THE RESULT: WALKING IN/AFTER THE SPIRIT – (WALKING WITHOUT SIN)
    1JN 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
    1JN 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
    1JN 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
    1JN 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
    1JN 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
    1JN 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
    1JN 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
    1JN 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
    1JN 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
    1JN 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

    5. There are two kinds of people listed here:
    A. Saints – who do not sin, and belong to God.
    1JN 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not:
    1JN 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
    1JN 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

    B. Sinners- who do sin, and belong to the devil.
    1JN 3:6 ……: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
    1JN 3:7..whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
    1JN 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

    6. Yes, I believe in holiness:
    -As pure as He is pure verse 3
    -As righteous as He is righteous – verse 7

    7. Yes, this will happen, in our lifetime.
    -1PE 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
    -1PE 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

  116. L. Alex Smith Oct 29th 2012

    In response to that, John Wesley (or perhaps Charles) taught a doctrine of perfection; however, the notion that we can not or will not sin AT ALL, flawlessly perfect, sinless, I believe is somethings akin to trying to fly at the speed of light. The Greek verb tense in I John 3:6-9 is a ‘continuing action’, that is, “he who continues in sin” meaning a willful disobedience. A person can not truly say that he belongs to Jesus, and continues willfully in sin; yet, many Christians of noble character, such as Paul himself, wrestle with sin on a ‘lower level’. Paul wrestled with “For that which I do (sinfully), I allow not; for what I would, that I do not; but what I hate. that I do.” Romans 7:15. See also Romans 718-19, better yet, the entire passage from 7:14 to 8:1 ff. But Paul is not EXCUSING going on sinning!
    The writer of Hebrews (possibly Paul of Apollos) wrote in Heb. 12:1 “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race which is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher (perfecter) of our faith…”
    There is an Accounted Righteousness that is by Faith in Him who can not fail; there is a ‘perfecting’ of the inner man… but the Greek word usually translated Perfect, is Telios– which means “whole, complete, or mature” (doesn’t precisely infer Flawless). In John 13:5-17 Jesus washed the Disciples’ feet. Peter exclaimed, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” meaning, like a servant-boy, that washed the guests’ feet as they entered the house– modern term ‘footman’ derives from this, a very lowly job… Jesus replied, “He that is washed, needs not but to wash his feet: but is clean every bit; and ye ARE clean– but not every one of you ” (referring to Judah of Kerioth). A man would go to the public baths, and bathe, but as he returned to his house, his feet would become dusty again. Thus he would have his footman wash his feet as he entered the house. Christians are cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb (I John 1:7), but as they walk through this life, their “feet”– their daily walk, become dirty from sin. This sin needs to be confessed and forgiven (I John 1:9) and this is the needed cleansing that Jesus referred to when He washed their literal feet “What I am doing, ye know not now; but you shall know hereafter.” (John 13:7). In the well-known I John 1:9, the Greek verb tense is again, a Continuing Action, so it shoud read, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to CONTINUALLY keep on cleansing us from all unrighteousness.”
    All of these are, of course, never an excuse to live a sloppy life, compromised with sin; but just to give a balance on what is meant by the English translation of “perfection”. It is spiritual maturity, a “perfected” faith, that rests soley on Jesus’ finished work on the Cross– and on its efficasy in our lives, despite our struggles.

  117. In the scriptures, which we call the Bible, we have recorded the very words of God, which are inspired by God and profitable for doctrine (what we believe).
    We are warned several times to not add to them or to subtract from them so that we won’t change and pervert the word of God.
    Our position as children of God is simply to read them, believe what they say, and teach the truth which they reveal.
    Each person who reads what the Bible says, can choose to agree with it, and be God’s advocate, or disagree with it, and become the devil’s advocate.
    In the end, it doesn’t matter what men teach, because they will not judge you. It only matters what the Bible teaches, because the God who gave us His word, will also be our judge; we must agree with Him now, or be forever damned.
    Becoming flawlessly perfect, sinless is as impossible for a mortal man to achieve by his own efforts as is flying at the speed of light; I agree with you. However, it is not impossible for God to make us become flawlessly perfect, and sinless; He does it with every child of God that ever enters the kingdom of God, not because they can, but because God can. The new birth is a miracle of God from start to finish.
    The question becomes: If every believer is “in Christ”, and every believer continues in a little sin, how much sin is there in Christ?
    Answer: None! Because, in Him is no sin.
    1JN 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

    That is why it is impossible for a true Christian to sin; It would put sin into Christ. God will not allow it to happen (1 John 3:9), as it would violate His Holy Nature.

    John 1:12 says;
    JN 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    The power to become the sons of God is the power of the Holy Spirit of God who lives in each born again believer, and is the power to overcome and stop sinning (Rom 8:13); mortify the deeds of the body.
    The reason that the sons of the devil keep on sinning is that they do not have the Holy Spirit nor the power to stop sinning; you either have it, or you don’t.
    1JN 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

    Summary:
    It is so simple, and biblical:
    1- God’s kids are the ones who stop sinning. Do you have the Holy Spirit’s power to stop?
    2- Satan’s kids are the ones who keep on sinning. No power here.
    3- If you still sin, guess whose kid you are?
    4- Go back and read God’s word again (1 John 3:1-10). Believe what it says, and stop making excuses why it doesn’t mean what it says.
    5- If you get nothing else out of this post other than what follows, believe it, because it is the very word of the Father, what the Lord Jesus died for, and you will grieve the Holy Spirit of God who gave it to us if you don’t:
    1JN 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

    “he cannot sin”, are not my words, but the very words of God!
    We all need to stop playing devils advocate, and become ambassadors (advocates) for God.

  118. Quote LAS “such as Paul himself, wrestles with sin on a ‘lower level’. Paul wrestled with “For that which I do (sinfully), I allow not; for what I would, that I do not; but what I hate. that I do.” Romans 7:15.”

    Please take a closer look at this chapter, Romans 7. Over 30 times Paul makes reference to the Law or the commandment. No mention of grace or salvation. This is Paul’s explanation of how he comes to the knowledge of the law of sin in his flesh- through the Law. This is Paul’s enlargement of his previous assertion that “through the Law is the knowledge of sin” Rom 3:20. This is Paul under law, NOT under grace.

    Hence, he is not describing his christian life but his life previous to that, as a Jew under the law. Romans 7 does not represent his christian testimony and cannot be used like so many try to use it, as an excuse to compromise with sin. I’m not accusing you of that but you are leaving that loophole open for others to exploit.

    Rom 7:5 the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law,
    Rom 7:7 I would not have come to know sin except through the Law
    Rom 7:8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.
    Rom 7:9 when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died
    Rom 7:11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me
    Rom 7:13 so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful.

    Listen to his summation:
    Rom 7:25 with my mind I am serving the law of God, but with my flesh the law of sin.

    Paul’s gospel was freedom from sin through the cross that has condemned sin and crucified the flesh. He is no longer in the flesh but in the spirit and hence no longer under Law. The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed him from the law sin that is in his flesh that is aroused through the Law. Paul teaches that conscious exposure to the Law stirs up the law of sin in his flesh and results in his spiritual death (Rom 7:9) even though he knows the law is good and should be obeyed. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh, ending all obligation to the law as a means of righteousness. The righteous requirement of the law is now to be fulfilled in us who walk after the spirit and not after the flesh. “And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness (Rom. 6:18, NKJV).

    Listen to how Paul lived:
    He [Timothy] will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church (1 Cor. 4:17, NIV). Paul’s conduct was in line with is teaching.

    Teaching
    But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving (Eph. 5:3,4, NIV).

    Teaching
    It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit (1 Thess. 4:3-8, NIV).

    Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you (Phil. 4:9, NIV).

    You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed (1 Thess. 2:10, NIV).

    Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God’s grace (2 Cor. 1:12, NIV).

    Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. (2Tim 3:10-12) Paul associates the persecution he endured with the godliness that he practiced.

    Another quote used consistently by so many is the quote about Paul being the chief of sinners. Tim 1:12-16. Look closely and you will see that he is referring to his life before he was saved and not after his salvation. “even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor.” vs 13

    Paul was a righteous, holy, godly man who had no qualms about instructing others to follow the example that he set, even under the most extreme of circumstances.

  119. New Jerusalem Oct 30th 2012

    Most “christians” don’t even know what sin is, so how can they avoid grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit, let alone become HOLY and walk in RIGHTEOUSNESS every day?

    So they make up their own DOCTRINES to excuse their FAILURE to become conformed in the Image of Jesus Christ IN THIS LIFE, which is REQUIRED BEFORE our physical death.

    There is a DIFFERENCE in the Hebrew language between our English words INIQUITY and SIN; between TRANSGRESSIONS and SIN.

    INIQUITY is referring to the Beastly SIN NATURE that is born into every human.

    SIN is the OUTWARD manifestation in word and deed of that Beastly Nature.

    So one can still be a BEAST inwardly and not sin in word and deed outwardly. ( which is much of what I find in the “christians” today)

  120. quote:
    So one can still be a BEAST inwardly and not sin in word and deed outwardly. ( which is much of what I find in the “christians” today)

    Comment;
    The source of all sin is the beast (flesh) within.
    But sin, is not the outward action, but the rebellion against God, and the hardness of heart within a person, that causes them to transgress God’s law.
    I act wrong because my heart is wrong, or
    I act right because my heart is right.
    God always judges the heart (why we do what we do).
    Summary:
    If I am not saved, my flesh will be my master.
    If my flesh is my master, my heart will be hard.
    If my heart is hard, I will be self-centered/selfish.
    If I am self-centered/selfish, I will be self-sufficient.
    If I am self-sufficient, I don’t need God.
    If I don’t need God, I have rebellion in my heart.
    If I have rebellion in my heart, I will always be sinful.
    RO 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

    A person might appear good on the outside and may fool us,
    but God looks at their sinful heart, and is not fooled.

    GAL 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

    So, if we find out what it means to have crucified the flesh, and locate people who have experienced this, we will have found those people who truly belong to Christ.

    Happy looking