Heal The Land Daily Devotional Archives

Devotionals By The Heal The Land Ministry

Fast Food Christianity

Posted by Job on March 2, 2007

I Corinthians 7:22 – For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. 

I frequently speak of Christian movements in terms of II Timothy 3:5: “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” I generally apply that to so – called Christians who deny the truth of the Bible, meaning that salvation can only come by giving your life to God through Jesus Christ and the imperative of forsaking all in the interests of total commitment and obedience to the same God and the same Christ, and instead create for themselves religions, doctrines, beliefs, gods, etc. that allow them to consider and call themselves righteous while doing as they please, submitting to no one but themselves. This can be found both in the “liberal” churches that deny the very concepts of righteousness, sin, salvation, biblical truth, and judgment and in the legalistic churches that preach that righteousness is attained by one’s outward behavior. Of course, Christians who love and desire God should avoid both sorts of satanic synagogues. But Christians who truly have a heart to know God should beware of and avoid another sort: the “serve me” churches. Such churches honor God with their lips but their hearts are far from Him (Matthew 15:8), and evidence of this is their works.
Now in some respects, this is a very harsh judgment on a great many Christians, because though they may have sincere feelings towards God, many have not been taught any better by the religious system that they have been ensnared in. However, these Christians need to be realized that they will not be judged and rewarded based on their feelings, but rather their actions! Simply put: we Christians have the Bible. We are to try, judge, and convict ourselves based on the role models and standards set forth in God’s Word, and not according to man’s religious system. Heed Hosea 4:6! “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” This means that you cannot just sit around and blame your preacher, Sunday school and bible school teacher, or denomination. Oh, they will be judged for leading you astray, but that will be THEIR JUDGMENT. YOUR JUDGMENT will be one who lacks knowledge because you rejected knowledge. How did you reject knowledge? Even apart from the simple fact of your refusal to do what the Bible plainly says, the Bible saying one thing and you following the religious system and doing another, you rejected knowledge by not seeking knowledge as the Bible commands you to do over and over again. Knowledge and wisdom are in God’s Word, but if you read God’s Word and do nothing, then you are not one who has put on the knowledge and wisdom. You only become a person of knowledge and wisdom if you read God’s Word and actually do what it says! And reading God’s Word and doing what it says is not the way of the religious system. The religious system teaches you to read God’s Word and then do what the religious system says! And if you are in a church or denomination of this nature, then you need to leave it for one that will instruct, guide, help, even push you into obeying God.
 

What I am speaking of precisely is how the religious system has conditioned the vast majority of people to expect the same thing from their church experience as they do when going to a restaurant. Though this devotional is titled “Fast Food Christianity”, in truth it matters not whether the restaurant in question is a hot dog stand or a world – famous five star establishment: it is still not what you should expect from a church! Christians have been conditioned to a religious culture where they go to church, watch the service, listen to a sermon, pay for their experience, and go home. In this arrangement, the preacher is no more than a chef, and the church officials are no more than waiters and busboys. Indeed, many churches tell you that “you need to come to church so that you can be fed.” If you do not like the food or the service, you go elsewhere. And ultimately, the church officials will respond to the whims of the “customers” by firing the chef. And “chefs” and “waiters” are not hired, promoted, and reach positions of influence and acclaim according to their being called by God, their dedication to God, or their spiritual gifts, but rather their ability to attract and satisfy customers. As a result, the pastor, preacher, teacher, evangelist, prophet, elder, bishop, deacon, etc. who is actually called by God and seeks to zealously do what is God’s will cannot operate in this system for very long: they will drive off too many paying customers. They will quickly be turned out of their positions in favor of those who are willing to give the people what they want. 

Now it would be one thing if all of these people were operating houses built on sand whose feet will slip in due time. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Why? Because many of the people who are in this system are actually not deceivers, but themselves deceived! They are saved, Holy Spirit – filled people who desire to do God’s Will! Their problem is disobedience. They are not doing what God called them to do, or they are not doing it in the manner that God wishes them to. But they are still people who have given their lives to God, and God is a loving, forgiving, patient God who does not cast away His people (Romans 11:1-2). Further, God answers prayers! So these people who are in positions that God has not called them into doing things in ways that God has not asked them to; they pray. They pray for God to bless their ministries, often not for their own sake but for the glory of God and so that people might come to God, be saved and blessed, and that God would be glorified. Ultimately God will answer their prayers, and the result will be what is by all appearances is a very successful ministry. And it is these ministries that appear to be successful to those Christians who are not elect, and such ministries prop up and propagate a religious system that is outside the will of God thanks to the support of these same non – elect Christians. And because these ministries with their many members, pastors, works, and what have you seem to be doing such a great job filling so many needs, it reduces the hunger for Christians to seek a truly biblically – based church. People are unwilling to speak out or act against the many flaws in such a system because they desire to be on one accord. They do not know that what their desire to be on one accord with is not man’s religion but God’s spirit!  

A true church is not one where the vast majority of people show up, hear a sermon, listen to the choir, participate in a group song or prayer or three, and then leave. That is being entertained; it is being served. No matter how anointed the preacher, how vigorous the worship, or how the Holy Spirit moves through the song and prayer service, that is not the purpose of church; of coming together in fellowship! Now, here is one problem with the charismatic movement in particular. They get so caught up in their emotional and spiritual experiences and mighty manifestations of the gifts of the spirit that it fills them with conviction that their services are the way that church is supposed to be done. How could anything else be so since the mighty gifts and works that occur in their services are absent from other denominations? What these people, legitimately saved and filled with the spirit they may be, fail to see is that for all their charisma, they are just another branch in the religious tree, no different from all the rest. Their glorying in their gifts has blinded them to the fact that they are for the most part exercising them in vain, not using them in the purpose for which they were intended. The result is that just like in all of the other churches, charismatic ones do not give the believer a true opportunity for spiritual development and growth. Charismatic churches measure spiritual development and growth by the number of gifts that you have and your proficiency in displaying them. Other churches measure it in more routine ways, such as regular attendance, attaining offices, and participation in church bureaucracy. The truth is that the person who is capable of healing the sick with the mere spoken word is no more spiritually mature than the person who has faithfully served in a church office for 30 years without ever having seen, let alone performed, a miracle, and vice versa.  

No, a true church is one that teaches people what spiritual growth is, shows them how to attain it, and demands of them that they do attain it. Such a church may not have any bureaucratic structure at all (indeed, there may be so few members that they may not need it). Such a church may lack officers with their many talents and connections required for fundraising: indeed such a church will instead rely on God to provide all of their needs through answered prayers. And the pastor of such a church may not be this magnetic figure who attracts thousands by displaying his handsome looks, brilliant oratory, and scholarly sermons from the pulpit: indeed he may rarely preach! And such a church may lack a large ornate structure with its sanctuary and amenities: it may not even have a dedicated building but rather goes from place to place or even house to house. If these are so, then such would actually represent the early churches described in the portion of the New Testament between the gospels and the Revelation. Such churches would be those that demand of its followers to learn to rely on God for everything; to hate the world and its things and ways and to reject them for the things of God. Such churches would teach its members not to expect to be waited upon or pleased as their church experience, but instead for their lifestyle inside and outside of church to be one that waits upon, serves, and pleases the Lord. These people would not come together to be entertained by a master orator’s silky words, to intellectually discuss and debate the Bible, to listen to carefully orchestrated music performances, and all of the other things that passes for church service. And they would also not come together to perform dead works that are respected by the world. No, they would come together to labor in prayer and supplication, and then to bring forth testimony!  

The purpose of coming together would be for the edification of everyone there, and rather than the job of edifying belonging to the pastor, choir, worship and prayer leader, etc., everyone would have a role in the mutual edification of everyone else. How would this be done? Through ministering service. Everyone in the church would serve everyone else in the church with their prayers, with their testimonies, and with encouragement from the Word of God. Is there anyone sick? Let him come forth so that the people can pray for them. Is there anyone having financial problems? Let her come forward so that the people may give her money to meet her needs, as Job’s relatives did. Is there anyone having marital problems? Let them come forward so that they may receive advice and encouragement from married couples who have overcome the same issues! Learning how to confess our sins so that we may be freed of the pride that causes shame. Learning how to help someone overcome their problems so that we can develop patience. Those are the things that cause spiritual growth! You serve others not only by helping them, but by giving them the chance to help you! We would see that young, old, rich, poor, male, female, black, white, strong, handicapped … we all have problems, REAL PROBLEMS, that only God can solve, and that we need to come together and pray and help each other cry out for God to come down and save us! It is then that we would see that in Christ there is no Jew nor Greek, no slave nor master, but instead all brothers and sisters under a loving God! 

Now, of course, the current religious system offers these same services. But amazingly, they are SIDESHOWS! They literally divide people up into healing ministries and visitation ministries and counseling ministries and women’s ministries and so forth. They take the broom of religion and sweep everyone with a real need that offers a chance for everyone to come together in service of the Lord aside, off in some back room somewhere, so that the vast majority are not distracted from THE MAIN EVENT: a worship service that usually lasts an hour and a half. It is amazing: if someone needs counseling, they are off in a back room somewhere getting counseled while the church service is going on in the sanctuary. Or they are told to report to church during an off – night when there is no one there but the counselor that they are supposed to meet and maybe someone cleaning the church or counting the money and trying to figure out how to come up with more. The very reason why this person needs a church, to receive counseling, is not the impetus for coming together. The main reason why everyone else needs church, the opportunity to give service by providing counsel, is not the impetus for coming together.  No, the impetus for coming together is THE SERVICE, the show! People who are sick, people who are poor, people who are being troubled with nightmares, people who are filled with demons of rage and hate, they get in the way! So we have to shuffle them off to the side so that we can get the show on!  

And no matter how flawlessly the worship service is done, no matter how entertaining it is, no matter how many gifts of the spirit are shown or how much intellectual knowledge is shared, people leave that worship service either the same way they were when they came or worse. It is true, everyone knows it, and what is more everyone expects it. It has pretty much become an accepted thing within the religious system that spiritual growth is not truly necessary, but if you want it then you are going to have to obtain it on your own, with much self – directed prayer and study, even to the point of entering a seminary. But that is not how it should be. First off, it is the job of every Christian to spiritually grow. How else can you produce fruit unless you grow? A two year old cannot father or bear children. It is biologically possible for a ten – year old to father and bear children, but it is certainly not ideal! No, we are supposed to become mature adults before we father and bear children for the good of ourselves, the children, and society! Second, that growth should not come in isolation. A man cannot grow up alone in a jungle somewhere and then expect to marry a woman, have children, and be a successful husband and father! Christians are to grow, and Christians are to grow TOGETHER. And so, you should be in a church where every time the body of Christ comes together, spiritual growth should result. I mean, come on, if you have been going through the same spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, family, and financial issues for twenty weeks, let alone twenty years, why are you even in a church? What good are you getting out of being in one? It would be one thing if you could claim that your being in church is giving you the strength to deal with those issues in a Godly manner, but even that isn’t true! No, you should be in a church where you are regularly being delivered from one issue and moving onto the next, and not just you but your entire family and everyone in the congregation that is real about Christ (and what is more those who are not real about Christ would not last long … they will either become converted or they will leave because of the pressure of the spirit produced by the congregation). If you are not in a church like that, you are wasting not only your time but God’s time, and you should leave and find one. If you cannot find one, then maybe it is God’s Will that you start one!
I earnestly entreat you today: do not settle for the fast food Christianity. Do not think of yourself as some big shot who deserves to be taken care of whenever you decide to grace some church building with the honor of your presence! Instead, look for a place where you can grow as a Christian, and know that such a place will only be found where you will be given the opportunity to help others grow as a Christian. In the Name of Jesus Christ, I pray that you will ask your God to lead you to such a place right now so that you can leave the fast food Christianity behind and never look back.
 

Prayer:

Father God in the Name of Jesus Christ, please lead me to a real church, the place that You desire me to be; a place that will help me spiritually grow and that where You can use me to fill the position that You called me to when You formed me in my mother’s womb. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen!   Deliverance:

The demon that works in this area is religion. It creates a system that purports to honor God, but in truth deceives people to serve God by creating a facsimile wherein God’s true purpose and presence are absent. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

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