Deception In The Ranks: A Little Leaven

This is the second installment of the series on deception in the church today.

My original intent was to present you with a single post and highlight a few sacred cows that seem to be fairly commonplace in churches, however, it grew to be such a large article that I’ve decided to split it up.

Today we’re going to take a look at one of the videos from tangle.com. You may be familiar with the site’s previous name – Godtube. This site has become really popular in the Christian community as it really is a great resource for Christian music videos and messages.

Like any popular movement, it is also subject to infiltration.

Before discussing this particular video, I want to point out that if you haven’t read the first installment of this series, Spiritual or Soulish, I suggest you do so now. It provides the foundation for today’s discussion by dealing with our natural tendency to slide from the earthly to the soulish to the demonic.

This particular video is one of the site’s all-time favorites, having recorded over 8 million viewings and over 8 thousand comments, most of which are complimentary.

Without further ado, here’s the video. We’ll take up the discussion after you watch it.

(If, for some reason it doesn’t play for you, here’s the direct link)

One of the site’s favorites, I’ll also mention that the church I attend put on a similar version of the skit not too long ago.

In general, most of the comments on the video site, and the reception that the skit received in my church, were almost identical.

Fawning and gushing out phrases like “powerful,” “wonderful,” “excellent,” the skit, in general gets nothing but rave reviews.

So, just exactly what’s wrong with it?

First of all, let me say that yes, God has the power to use anything for good. And this is one instance where the word anything really applies.

You may need to take a second look at the video. Pay close attention to what actually takes place – specifically look at how the skit portrays Jesus as being pushed around by demonic forces and then having to struggle with them.

This particular skit serves to illustrate the lesson from the last installment about our tendency to view things from an earthly and soulish perspective.

This skit is some person’s worldly (earthly)  idea of trying to re-make the Christ into what people can relate to (soulish) and then to invoke our  (earthly, soulish) emotions on the outcome of the skit.

The danger, as I see it, is this:

Such a portrayal is not spirit-inspired (then again, maybe it is – but what spirit?) and it certainly doesn’t follow what scripture tells us about Jesus Christ.

From scripture, we learn that “even the demons believe, and tremble” (James 2:19). In other words, they shake because of their fear of the LORD.

Now, if they are so afraid of the LORD that they tremble in their fear, what makes you think that they can push HIM around and then fight with HIM?

Am I being too nit-picky about this? I don’t think so.

If you’ve ever had occasion to confront evil directly, then you already know, beyond any doubt whatsoever, that evil can’t leave fast enough in HIS presence, much less stick around and try to fight.

While the originators of this skit, and all who would seek to imitate it, may have good intentions, the bottom line is this:

It is a really sorry attempt by someone to “let us make GOD in our image.”

It dishonors the power and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. It forgets that we are talking about the Lord of Hosts, the Lion of Judah, the Ancient of Days, the great I AM that has the power to part the Red Sea, whose enemies melt before HIM like wax in HIS consuming fire.

And it is an affront, an insult, to the Spirit whenever we paint such a false picture.

In our feeble man-made attempts to entertain rather than preach the true Gospel, we violate Paul’s warning when he told us “do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God” (Ephesians 4:30). When we grieve the Spirit, rest assured that he will withdraw from us.

The Spirit-led preaching of the true Gospel has the power of God behind it. The message of the cross is offensive to the unrepentant (1 Peter 2: 6-8) and has the power to convict, to transform and lead to salvation.

In our (earthly, soulish) justification that “some good has come from it,” once again we fail in our obedience to Paul’s admonition that “this persuasion is not from Him who calls you, ” and  that “a little leaven leavens all the lump” (Galatians 5: 8-9).

Our acceptance and allowing “a little leaven” is nothing less than welcoming in the Trojan horse of the dumbing-down of the Gospel.

As we welcome in  this “leaven” with open arms, we will truly see the scriptures come alive, for “they are vanity, the work of delusion; in the time of their judgment they shall perish” (Jeremiah 10:15) “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, so that all those who do not believe the truth, but delight in unrighteousness, might be condemned” (2 Thessalonians 2:11).

My personal suggestion would be for us to stop this (earthly, soulish) worshipping at the false altar of entertainment (idolatry)  and start preaching the unaldulterated truth of the scriptures.

Satan fears the Word of God. From a personal perspective, I’ve been blessed to have seen the power of the Word of God change lives, heal the sick, cast out demons and to set people’s hearts on fire with purpose and power.

In the early church, people were drawn to the Lord because they witnessed

  • the power of God
  • miracles
  • plain truth, cutting through men’s hearts
  • urgency of the message
  • the authority of those who preached
  • the call to abandon all for Him

Today’s church draws people because of:

  • gimmicks
  • movies, media & more!
  • convenience of the message
  • you don’t have to change to belong

Is it just me, or do you see something wrong with this picture?

The Word of God really doesn’t need our feeble and mis-directed embellishments.

Comments

  1. Great post Joe.

    I had not seen this video before and I thought the same thing as you when I saw the part with Jesus struggling with the demons.

    However, as I was thinking about it, I saw it as a reminder of what Jesus did on the cross for us. On the third day he rose again and won the victory for ever. That was reflected in him shaking off the demons at the end.

    99.99999% of people who watch that video would not be able to see it that way though so I agree it is damaging to our faith. If we can’t believe that God has the power and authority to drive of demons with a single word then we will only ever believe in a weak God who only MIGHT be able to save us.

    • Peter, it’s good to hear from you and I really appreciate your comment.

      I’m glad you saw the point that I was trying to make in this article. If you’re like me, that part of the video produced a sense of being uncomfortable or unsettled.

      And that, my brother, is what scripture calls discernment, which most of today’s churches don’t often show.

      Keep up the good work.

  2. Randy Calaway says:

    Hi Joe…

    I at at work, I cannot watch the video right now… But I have been in the ministry of prophecy for over 33 years and have fought, cried, given up, given in, been rejected, and seen by whole churches from a hero to a zero- And yes, my concerns for the Church are grave.

    It is deeply entrenched in the American church to run it like a business, a business! If that is not the merchandizing of the saints and lording over the flock, I do not know what is.

    Two powerful idols that are active in the church. They are “performance” and “conformity.” These dark spirits cause saints to war amd compete with each other, to compare one to another, all to harm.

    We are to be a church of the heart, living stones, knowing one another by the spirit. I trust God can place a sermon upon the heart even as we open our mouth, cause a congregation to move in an unselfish unity, and rely upon the power of the Spirit.

    I think I could write a book, but leave that to the talented ones.

    However, the latter rains are upon us and our life must become an open book, a testimony. In these last few months, I have seen more sheep get of the fence then in the past several years. The Holy Spirit is moving about!

    • It really is sad to see the direction that much of the church is taking. And I can relate to being seen as a zero. There’s a world of “itching” ears out there and they sure don’t want to hear anything that is contrary to their chasing the wide and easy path.

      Interesting comment about seeing the Holy Spirit move in people – I’ve noticed it too. There aren’t any great numbers that I’ve observed, but the ones that are receptive have been deeply moved. “Narrow is the path and few there are that find it.”

Speak Your Mind

*