Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What Makes Your Pastor/Priest Glad? Do You Care?

The Minor Prophets Speak to Today

My People Are Being Destroyed Because They Don't Know Me!

"My Complaint, You Priests, Is With You(1)"
"Your People Are Like Those Who Bring Charges Against A Priest(2)"
Hosea 4:4b (1)NLT & (2)NIV


Despite the difference in translation of 4b,  Hosea 4:4b-8 is clearly
about the priests/ministers whose duty it is
to furnish religious instruction
to the people.


A Complaint Against Ministers And Priests

"My people are being destroyed       
       because they don’t know me."


          It is the duty of priests and ministers to instruct the congregations, but God's people are being destroyed because they do not know him.

"Since you priests refuse to know me,     
            I refuse to recognize you as my priests."
          God has the last word, not your denomination. Denominational approval of your ordination or recording does not mean you know God. Even some whole denominations refuse to know God and what he has revealed about himself and his will. 

          Certainly there are many priests and ministers who clearly do not actually know God, other than as a topic of study, and many others who are wolves in sheep's clothing just as Jesus told us would come to pass. Many are hirelings, but do not know the Good Shepherd. 

          Humans cannot instruct in what they do not know though thankfully God can take the empty words of the unknowing and in-spirit them by the Holy Spirit and create life where it could not otherwise exist. Still, God's people are being destroyed because their priests and ministers refuse to know God and God, therefore, refuses to recognize these ordained and recorded men and women as his priests and ministers.

"Since you have forgotten the laws of your God,
    I will forget to bless your children."
          Is this why the children of so many priests and ministers live such ungodly, even devastated lives? Is this why their spiritual children do not receive the godly blessings promised in scripture but rather are unfulfilled, devastated, devoid of anything but a few happy feelings?

          True, in Christ we are free from the judgment of the law. But, as we see throughout the teachings of Jesus and the writers of the epistles and revelation, the law still serves to instruct us. To call us back to our God and his love and grace toward us. And, equally true, our love for God draws us to fulfill the moral standards of the law. Of course, if we do not know God, if our priests and ministers refuse to know God, we cannot love him and so it is easy to forget or dismiss the moral good he has revealed.

"The more priests there are,       
         the more they sin against me.
They have exchanged the glory of God
for the shame of idols."
          Given what God has already said it is not surprising that our priests and ministers have exchanged the glory of God for the shame of idols. In some cases they even espouse an equality between the One True God and the god or gods of other faith systems. 

          What is "the shame of idols" today? 

          Idols represented the belief systems and worldviews of their day. They were the "truth statements" of their cultures. They defined the parameters of living and social life. And they were ungodly - not the ways of God - just as their gods were not gods or God at all.

          So the shame of idols today is the adopting and following the secular or other spirituality that has replaced God's teachings and God's ways among us. Scientific materialism is one of the shames of idols among us. Note, I did not science itself, but rather the belief system and judgments based on scientific materialism - the belief that the only reality is that which comes from matter. The new tolerance is another - the belief that we must not do anything that devalues or offends others religious or personal beliefs. Again, I did not say tolerance is the shame of idols. We Christians stand for a tolerance that recognizes that all humans have value and are loved by God. We have not practiced that godly tolerance and so this new tolerance has become our shame.

          Many other ungodly beliefs and pursuits are the shame of the idols among us. These include "free sex", the pursuit of or keeping to ourselves of wealth in the ways that crowd out God and harm other people, our political rhetoric, the elevation of choice as an ultimate, inviolate, standard above God and his morality, and the rising opposition to Christ as preached in the Gospel. From these you can begin to assess others.

“When the people bring their sin offerings, the priests get fed.
    So the priests are glad when the people sin!"
          Sin offerings were the support of the ministry. They were guilt offerings. As part of the law Christ ahs set them aside. So we do not bring sin offerings to the church today.

          Or do we? 

          How many of your offerings are rooted in your sin and seeking God's favor? How many are given from a sense of duty or institutional church requirements? How many are pure gifts of love to the Father? 

          Since the sin offerings were guilt offerings, the more the people sinned the greater the support for the priests and ministers. The priests were glad when the people sinned because they got fed more.

           Under grace God's ministers and priests are still supposed to receive support - not because the people have sinned, but because "a workman is worth his hire." That phrase from Paul is the supporting argument for paid ministry. Under grace priests and ministers value is determined by divine appointment (gifting) and the spiritual value of their work. The apostles stated that the ministers' primary duties were to devote themselves to pray, to preaching of the gospel,  and to the instruction of the people

          In the early church the ministers also performed administrative duties or oversaw those who administered the works of the church such a feeding the widows and orphans. These individuals also received support because of the value of their work and the need to free them for this work of the ministry. 

          But under grace, while fairness is a moral and governing issue, the amount of gifts received by the church did not enrich the priest and ministers. Instead it increased the ability of the church to take care of the poor, the widows, the orphans, travelers, and other among themselves and to reach beyond themselves to support ministry in other places such as by the apostles and missionaries, to support reaching out with the love of Christ to meet the needs of their own community, and to aid other communities under duress. These ministries of the church supported by the offerings of the people were why the church grew so rapidly around the world and in local numbers.

           What makes our ministers and priests glad? Gifts that enrich the institutional church and its ministers or gifts that enrich the Kingdom of God. The former stand under judgment. The latter bring blessings to all. 

          I'd love to have a million dollar home but only because I could more easily establish a school for today's prophetic voices. But I must never minister because I love the rich income I receive. I don't receive one and never have. Unfortunately, like the priests and ministers under judgment, in many churches the people too are busy enriching themselves rather with using their finances for the Kingdom. So again today God says:

"So now I will punish both priests          
               and people for their wicked deeds."

What makes your ministers and priests glad today?

-- * --


My Complaint Is With You - You Priests and Ministers

  1. You Will Stumble In Broad Daylight

  2. Your False Prophets Will Fall With You In The Night

  3. I Will Destroy Your Mother - The Prostitute Church

Already We Are Seeing These Things Come To Pass.

Photo Credits:

Catholic Priest some rights reserved by San Diego Shooter
Lutheran Pastor Singing_1662 some rights reserved by hoyasmeg
20101009 2151 - NYC - SubGenius GFY Devival - Jimbo DeLimbo - preaching - IMG_2324 some rights reserved by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
Ordination Service - Feb. 22, 2009 some rights reserved by gfccphotos

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