Two Ways To Check If You Should Follow A Ministry

One of the toughest things Christian have to do is use discernment when it comes to figuring out if they should follow a certain ministry.

I have a couple of methods I use to determine if I am personally going to follow a ministry. I am going to share those with you today.

First is the ministry “orthodox”? And when I say “orthodox” I mean the Webster’s dictionary version of the word which is, “conforming to established doctrine especially in religion” not the Orthodox denomination.

But how do you do that? Well the first way is obvious read and study the Bible. I know Biblical study takes time and you may need a quicker answer so how about this.

Follow the Nicene Creed,


“We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made;
of the same essence as the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
and was made human.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered and was buried.
The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory
to judge the living and the dead.
His kingdom will never end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.
He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and to life in the world to come. Amen.”

Please note the term “catholic” means “universal” it is not referencing the Roman Catholic denomination. People often get that confused.

That is a perfect way to start. That way you know if you hear a ministry saying something like, “Jesus isn’t God, He was a created Being made by the Father born two thousand years ago”. You can immediately know that the Ministry who says that is teaching false doctrine and you should avoid them. They’re a lot ministries who just by knowing the Nicene Creed you can write off as they teach things that are not the basics of the Christian faith. Things we call “heresy”. It is very important to know who God is and fundamentals of the Trinity.

The second way I am going to discuss is going to be a bit less popular. Does this ministry produce the Fruit of the Spirit?

What is the Fruit of the Spirit? Well this…

Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version
“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

So if you see a ministry that is hateful, wrathful, angry, arrogant, aggressive, graceless, always picking fights and being divisive without every controlling the tongue then avoid them.

That’s right.

Avoid them.

After all they’re many ministries who can articulate theology and preach sermons without behaving in a manner that goes against the way the Bible instructs. (Click the link below to read more on divisive people and behavior)

You may say, “But Pastor So and So has excellent theology and is a great teacher!”

I ask you, “If that Pastor had such excellent theology then why does he behave in such an unbiblical manner? If that Pastor is such a great teacher than why is he teaching his followers to behave like a sinner and not like Jesus?”

I will leave you with this scripture as the best response to any challenge on this…

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 New International Version
“13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Sources:
https://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/creeds/nicene-creed

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orthodox

https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/1%20Corinthians%2013%3A2

For More:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/divisiveness


Discerning If You Heard From God: Test Two

Hello everyone, 

Last week we covered one way to test if you’re hearing from God, please feel free to go check that out. 

A second way to test if you’re hearing God is, are you only hearing things that you want to hear? Does everything you hear about yourself, what you want, what is expected of you exactly what you want to hear? Is what you hear in your mind or through others who claim they’re speaking from God just tickling your hears? Are you being drawn away from church or living a Christian life? Is everything you hear about making your life easier? 

For example, if you keep hearing, how wonderful you are and that we are all sinners so don’t feel guilty. Just be you. Things like it’s okay it was only a white lie or a little sin.

That certainly isn’t God.

I am of course not saying God won’t say anything nice to you or offer encouragement or tell you that He loves you but what I am saying if everything you hear is just telling you what you want to hear then that is not from God. Because that is not life as a true Christian. 

Now are you hearing God tell you what you need to change? Is God exposing to your sins and leading you on the path to sanctification? Is God challenging you to serve Him better? To go out and live for Him? Are people telling you things that you need to hear, not just want? Are people drawing you into service to God? Is what you hear causing you to be a better follower of Christ? 

If you can say yes.

That sounds like  messages from the Lord to me. 

Why?

Because that is what we are called to do, live a self-sacrificial life. Constantly walking down the narrow path, serving Christ, suffering and make changes along the way to be the way God wants us to be. Praising Him along the way when blessings come and praising Him when trials come. 

Next week I am going to take a week off but after that it will be my final entry of the series. The most important test. 

Have a Blessed Couple of Weeks, 
Chris 

The Lack of Trust in the Church

This post is from a couple years ago. I have nothing more to add about the first half but the second half I’ll say seems more relevant today than it did two years earlier.

The Good Word

I once got into a debate with a person in the comment section of a video. They were arguing against giving a church or pastor money when they asked. They argued if a church needed Bibles or anything like that he would send them the items but he won’t send them money. I countered him with different arguments but couldn’t change his view.
In the end we decided to end the debate as neither one of us was getting through to the other.
I’ve thought about that conversation many times since. I get hung up on that debate due to a trend recently I’ve seen of people holding a similar view or even more harshly where they refuse to give anything to a church or pastor.
When the subject comes to my mind I try to think of more points I could have made.
But recently it hit me, I…

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A Follow Up! One Of The Easiest and Hardest Things Christians Can Do Part II

Last week I wrote about how it is easy to focus only others and not self.

However this week I am going to drop the “UNO Reverse Card” and switch it up.

One of the easiest things a Christian can do is NOT focus on the sins of others and faults.

If you read last week’s blog you may be confused or think I am contradicting myself. But I am not, let me explain.

If you see someone in sin or see their faults that are damaging themselves or others and choose to do nothing then you’re taking the easy route.

Why?

Because it is easy to do nothing, even easier than overly focusing on others.

Now one of the hardest things a Christian can do IS focus on the sins of others and faults.

It is difficult confronting people, they’re many reasons and motivations to not want to confront someone and I get there is times when it is not a good idea for you personally to do so but a lot of the times we don’t because it is hard.

It takes bravery, it takes compassion, understanding, patience and love. It takes God to help you do it.

But as I said last week do what is hard not what is easy.

And as always…

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Daily Bible Readings:
Monday – Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22
Tuesday – Psalm 124
Wednesday – James 5:13-20
Thursday – Mark 9:38-50

Be Warned Don’t Become The Wolf

We hear often that we must beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. This a very true and important message found in scripture.

I’ve heard recently from a Pastor that a good Sheppard protects the flock from the wolves.

That is also true.

However when doing so a person must become mindful of their behavior and emotions.

I’ve seen this too many times, a person begins to become angry, hostile in their defense of God’s Word and the flock. They begin to mock, scoff and forget to call to repentance the person they’re targeting. Then before you know they’re more and more people they deem, “wolves” and “heretics”. Before you know it the line becomes blurred and there seems to be more wolves then sheep.

What seems to happen is the Sheppard now has become the wolf.

What then happens is only destruction and bloodshed. To the outsider looking in all they see is two wolves surrounded by destroyed sheep. Even worse the original wolf may looked like the victim and the one who was trying to defend the flock looks like the perpetrator.

So how does this become avoided?

We stand firm on God’s Word by having it in our hearts, minds and spirit. That way our hearts will resemble God’s, our minds will think like God’s mind and His Spirit will be guiding us along the way.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14

Tuesday – Psalm 111

Wednesday – Ephesians 5:15-20

Thursday – John 6:51-58

Toxic Environments in Christian Culture

Throwback Thursday. This is from December 2018. Having gotten really into theology in the past year and a half this post really hits home with me more than ever.

The Good Word

I really wanted to write a Christmas blog this week but this has been on my heart.

Why are so many Christian discussions like comment sections so toxic? It makes me sad. Where is the love? Just because you can quote scripture doesn’t mean you know scripture.

So many Christians take a few scriptures and use that as a license to judge.

Didn’t Jesus tell you not to judge?

Stop taking a few verses out of context in order to behave like you are God, you are not.

All you’re doing is pushing people away from the Lord, your job as a Christian on Earth is to bring others to Jesus and take care of the needy. Not tear down your brothers and sisters in Christ.

It’s okay to go to other Christians and attempt to reconcile them with God. But it seems that many only wish to “expose” false…

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The Lack of Trust in the Church

I once got into a debate with a person in the comment section of a video. They were arguing against giving a church or pastor money when they asked. They argued if a church needed Bibles or anything like that he would send them the items but he won’t send them money. I countered him with different arguments but couldn’t change his view.
In the end we decided to end the debate as neither one of us was getting through to the other.
I’ve thought about that conversation many times since. I get hung up on that debate due to a trend recently I’ve seen of people holding a similar view or even more harshly where they refuse to give anything to a church or pastor.
When the subject comes to my mind I try to think of more points I could have made.
But recently it hit me, I had been focusing so much on the debate that I didn’t think about the core issue.
Those people don’t trust their brothers and sisters in Christ.
They believe that the church and pastor will misuse the money given to them. They don’t trust that the Holy Spirit will guide them on how to use it.
And you know what? Even if they do misuse the money. God will see it. God will handle it in His way.
He also sees what’s in your heart. He knows why you may not be giving. But if the reason is you don’t trust your brothers and sisters in Christ than that’s a shame.
Let God guide you on how you give. Sometimes He may guide you to give more than you want, sometimes less than you think you should, maybe He will guide you not give it all.
But ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, not your own will but His.
This topic is bigger than just giving money.
We as a church lack trust in general.
We use “discernment” as a license to judge. Often leading to us hiding the Light of God from the World.
Look at the reaction many are having about Kanye West. They immediately threw him under the bus and refused to believe his story.
There has been much written about Mr. West and his conversion, I am not focusing on just one man.
I want the church to look at themselves. If your friend was a person who immersed himself in evil and then gave his life to Christ would you want him to be judged in the same way we do to celebrity converts or others you don’t know?
Jesus pointed out to us how easy it is to love our friends* but we are told by Him we must also love our enemies.
So when an enemy becomes a brother or sister in Christ shouldn’t you love them just the same as a friend of yours who becomes a brother or sister in Christ?
This isn’t a new problem. Read the Bible. The people around Job believed he must have sinned and that caused him to lose everything, people didn’t trust Paul’s conversion to Christianity either.
I am not going to lie, I’m very guilty of this myself. I judge people, Lord help me I do.
I know it’s easy when confronted about judging others to say, “The Bible tells me I must use discernment.”
However we must remember the difference between discernment and judgment.
Yes the Bible tells us to discern. We must look at a situation and use wisdom to understand if it goes with the Word of God.
But that doesn’t mean you go and point out the flaws of a person and tell them they’re a wolf in sheep’s clothing or that they’re lying or that they’re going to Hell. That is judgment.
Discern whether or not your using discernment.
I saw this quote on Facebook, “The only One who had the authority to cast a stone, didn’t”.
That is something we truly must remember.
Trust your brothers and sisters. Help them, be with them, love them. Because God loves them.
And He loves you.
Have a Blessed Week,
Chris.
Here is some scripture that relates to this week’s blog…

James 2:14-26 New King James Version (NKJV)

Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without [a]your works, and I will show you my faith by [b]my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is [c]dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made [d]perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was[e]accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+2%3A14-26&version=NKJV

Luke 21:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Widow’s Two Mites

21 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.[a]So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all;for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings[b]for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+21%3A1-4&version=NKJV

*Luke 6:32-36 New King James Version (NKJV)

32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, [a]hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+6%3A32-36&version=NKJV