By TIAR’A LITERARY & ILLUSTRATION
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As Passover [and ultimately redemption] draws near, for centuries Christians have debated what constitutes as worship, praise, and a true Biblical church service. Some in society refer to a particular group of churches as “mega” churches. These churches practice Christian-based bible study, praise, and worship – not necessarily in that order. However, the acts performed on and off stages mimic the secular form of “entertainment” sprinkled with motivational speeches, and comedy.
Universally, and thanks to the inception of these “mega” church performances, most who sincerely wish to know God intimately are conditioned to accepting that a Christian “church” means singing along to electric guitar riffs and drumbeats, jumping up and down, running around frantic, swaying to-and-fro, re-writing the Bible to suit culture, and accepting all things worldly in place of repentance of sin and true Bible study. Intertwined within the “mega” church practice is the “prosperity gospel”.
The prosperity gospel, as expressed by pastors such as T.D. Jakes, and Kenneth Copeland, has been around for ages and has witnessed a “mega” revival of sorts during the past fifty years. Even during Biblical times, Jesus’s apostles warned those who wanted to discover faith – not to be deceived by false prophets [wolves in sheep’s clothing as they are described].
Most “mega” churches featuring prosperity gospels, focus on the entertainment aspect of a church service. This typically entails a live rock performance, supernatural healings, and teachings about how we can all become rich [as in monetary wealth] in this life. These church services minimize the emphasis of sin, and the repentance of sin, and what truly happens to our eternal souls if we continue along the “wide” path that leads straight to hell. In addition, mega churches [not all] amend God’s Holy Word, like the Roman Catholic church – who openly admit it, and all in the name of appeasing the current “worldly” status quo. That, as stated in the Holy Bible, is an abomination unto God.
The Holy Bible clearly states that true Bible believers of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are not to conform to the ways of the world. Meaning: If God states in the Bible that he rested on the seventh day and that he wants us to do likewise, take it literally not figuratively. If God states in the Bible that women are not to teach men, take it literally, not figuratively.
The result of mega church/prosperity gospel splicing God’s emphatic Word to suit worldly ideology is a “mega” disaster waiting to happen for the perhaps would-be true Bible believer as he/she is led softly astray by a compromising sheep in wolves clothing. God’s Word is
non-compromising. His Word is unchangeable as it is written in the Holy Bible’s Book of Revelation, Chapter 22.
What does a prosperity gospel church pastor look like?
Aside from the aforementioned, many may be familiar with motivational speaker, Tony Robbins. Now, imagine Tony Robbins performing his routine schtick but adding Bible verses, while peppering anecdotes about God and Jesus Christ here and there – now you have an exact description of a prosperity gospel church pastor.
Joel Osteen – a hero to many [and the Bible clearly states that we are not to worship any other gods than our Father in heaven] is a well-known prosperity church pastor. Even Hollywood celebrities who are anything but Christian love Joel. This is interesting because the Holy Bible clearly states that, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own, but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” John Chapter 15 Versus 18-27 [KJV King James Version]. Jesus Christ, the Son of God said this, so take it literally. If Joel Osteen were preaching the true gospel of Jesus Christ, he would not be loved the way he is, much less by Hollywood celebrities.
How is it that Jesus Christ, who performed countless miracles – free of charge, loved unconditionally, gave his life for others, God incarnate, was so despised, yet certain mega church pastors are loved, albeit worshipped by others? According to many prosperity gospel churches – if you are not popular, loved, and rich, you are not living a Godly life? This is false. The Bible states regarding worldly riches in Matthew Chapter 6 Verse 24: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” [NIV New International Version].
Joel Osteen wants us all to “live our best lives now”, and places near zero emphasis on the life that will come in the thereafter. We don’t know about you, but we would much rather live our best lives in the afterlife and as best we can in this life rather than sacrificing the former for the latter. Remember, once this life is complete there is no hope left at redemption. Either you will live an eternity filled with peace and true prosperity, or you will find yourself sizzling on the hot side of a rotisserie forever. It is not a joke. If you care to know the way to avoid the latter, there is but one Way, and that is through the gift of salvation only found through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Another topic while peeling the onion of a mega church, is the concept of worship time versus Bible study time.
Most mega church services focus heavily upon overly loud music or “rock ‘n roll” time – some playing and singing music for up to one hour, followed by maybe twenty minutes of actual Bible study, spliced with speeches of self-gratitude, self-promotion, and the asking of tithes to be given. Where and how these tithes are used – no one truly knows but those who collect them. One thing is for certain. A mega church facility, strobe lighting, flag-waving, spotlights, directors of photography, big screen TV’s, pyrotechnics, cameras, music bands, billboard ad campaigns, pastor autobiographies and what have you, cost a lot of money. Is all this necessary? How about the widow who needs financial help? Or the congregation member who lost his/her job? Tithes would be better spent assisting the people who truly need it rather than the production.
Regarding the topic of Sunday worship. The Bible states that Saturday or “Sabbath” as it is written in Hebrew, is the Lord’s Holy Day of rest and worship. Sunday was adopted as the day of rest and worship by the “Roman” [those who crucified Jesus] Catholic church [not the Protestant Christian church]. The Roman Catholic church had no qualms about altering and ignoring God’s instructions for humankind – His holy scriptures – as found in some of the final words of the Book of Revelation, Chapter 22 – “If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. And, if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book” [NLT New Living Translation]. Not to mention, “Sunday” was a pagan name given to honor the day when peoples of old would worship the false “sun god”.
In conclusion, we are not implying with our own human wisdom or understanding that there is a wrong or right way to worship our Lord, or how a church gathering should unfold. That is not up to us, but the Lord God Almighty. We are merely servants seeking the true source that is the wisdom of God through His Words written within His Holy Bible – God’s emphatic and unchanging Word of Truth. None of us is perfect or righteous. But striving daily to be so is what we do.
If we are to have true faith we must study, follow, obey, strive and live-out the true Word of God without compromise.
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