Another Gospel? (Taken from Galatians 1:6)

When our church leadership want to get rid of someone with excellent character, Pastor will use this phrase to get us to avoid them. He says, “So and so wants us to believe another gospel!” *Shock/gasp/horror!!!*

Here is another catch phrase which requires no proof to back it up, but the effect is immediate-righteous-indignation. And it gets us all to fall in line and help destroy another individual.

But God says, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again:If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-9).

Could our Pastor be the real perpetrator of “another gospel”?

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen” (Galatians 1:3-4). THIS is the real gospel.

Advertisements

Catch Me If You Can

Frequently marriages here at Calvary are arranged (coerced, set-up, commanded) by the leadership. Contrary to what we are told to believe (that God spoke to the individuals), some of us know that the real reason is to keep someone from leaving Calvary. Not everyone is considered valuable to keep, pastor kicks out many undesirables. Here is the list of assets (people) considered valuable enough to push into quick, arranged marriages:

  • Those that are good looking
  • Those with money or those who stand to inherit money from unsaved relatives
  • They are “fresh fish” lured into a stagnant pond
  • They were raised at Calvary and are very popular/influential
  • Their parents are in leadership at Calvary

These are some of the reasons why someone is kept at Calvary at all costs, and only the most “rebellious” will buck the system.

But God says, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self- control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men” (1 Timothy 3:1-9). “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:12-17).

Do I Look Like I am in a Cult to You?

Have you heard this one before? Especially from rather new-to-Calvary folks. They are naive at best, stupid at worst. The old timers of Calvary know very well just how much our church is like a cult.

Pastor uses the typical allurements of the world to deaden the intellect of those he is looking to grab:

1) Good looking people, especially youth/young adults
2) Well dressed
3) Athletic
4) Well mannered
5) Wealthy with a good job
6) Fancy houses and cars

The subtle message is this: LOOK AT ME!!! I am healthy, wealthy, and worldly wise! I MUST be Godly!

But God says, “For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life —is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 John 2:16). “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). “And constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain” (1 Timothy 6:5).

They Hate Our God

Often someone who leaves our church is characterized as a “God hater”.  Suppose a good friend has decided to leave Calvary Temple for a personal reason.  Maybe they don’t really give an explanation and you are curious as to their reasons why.  Maybe you hope to maintain your relationship with this friend, seeing no reason not to.  Talking to them is discouraged or even forbidden.  You will hear from the pulpit “why would you want to hang out with someone that hates your God?”  Even if you know that they are serving God, you will be criticized and probably find yourself in a meeting being told this person is off limits. Usually, leadership will say that they have information we do not, and that they don’t want to gossip. It is a convenient way to slander someone without any proof.

But God says, “For he that is not against us is for us” (Mark  9:40). “If someone says ‘I love God’ but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar, for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?” (1 John 4:20).  “A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.” (Proverbs 16:28).
And finally, we must be very careful to not bear false witness against a brother or sister.  Do they really hate God? Or just believe God is leading them elsewhere.

Love of God

This teaching is drilled into us kids at Calvary Temple school “DT” whenever a harsh discipline in meted out. The teachers and pastors will tell us it is “the love of God to them”.

Purposefully blurring the lines of truth. Most of us dare not question or we will get the old refrain “do you know more than all the years of combined pastoral wisdom represented here?”

What is the love of God really like? In 1 Corinthians 13 God says that it is patient, kind, not proud, well mannered, not self-serving, doesn’t think evil or get provoked easily, rejoices in the truth, bares all things, believes, hopes, and endures all things, and it never fails.

What does Calvary Temple’s “love of God” look like? It puts children on the streets to fend for themselves, puts wives in motels and keeps them away from their children, tells husbands to divorce wives in order to attend the church, tells kids not to trust their parents, etc. This is eerily similar to the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.

But God says, “But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you:Moses, on whom you have set your hope” (John 5:42-45). “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20). “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10). “But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:11).

(For additional references see: 1 John 3:15-18, 1 John 4:6-12, Romans 13:9)

You Can’t Love Them Enough…

You can’t love them enough to make them obey God.” Our pastor will use this phrase to get some reluctant people to cut off an individual he wants to send to “the pigpen” – to be broken. “Are you more loving than God?” He will ask. “Why no.” He will then reply, “Then let God deal with them” (i.e. have nothing to do with them). Tricky, so I can’t love them enough…I should stop loving them. Right? Question #1: does God love perfectly? Yes. Question #2: does God love us enough to make us obey Him? No. Question #3: does God stop loving us when we are disobedient? No.

God says, “But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people” (Romans 10:21). “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:14-17).

“Own It”

This is the way our pastors shift blame for the decisions they make regarding our lives here at Calvary. Nothing happens at our church except at our pastor’s directive. He shifts focus from himself by teaching the deacons, captains, and fathers to “own the decision”. Pastor says what he wants done then sends out the men to do his bidding, BUT they must say it is their decision, no referring back to the source (pastor). The alternative to “owning it” is to leave and be shipwrecked (i.e. obey pastor and cover for him or be shunned by the church). You need to know the buzzwords, they have a separate hidden meaning. A good question to ask is, “Why is pastor hiding behind his men?”

But God says, “Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure” (Psalm 101:5).

(For other references see: Mark 10:42-25)