9 things (May 13)

Lots of celebrity pastors express concern (condemnation) for so many ex-evangelicals who are “deconstructing.” Pause. New subject. Josh Duggar’s pastor, a leading evangelical voice for a leading evangelical family, is begging the judge to allow Josh to return to his children. Let that sink in a little. There might be a connection.

For 40 years now, since the “moral majority” became a thing, the leading voices in evangelicalism have united for “traditional family values”. The result is that Anna Duggar does not believe that she has biblical grounds for divorce and that her children need a father like Josh. This makes me brutally sad. Perhaps Christians should unite over good exegesis, mercy for the oppressed, and being a voice for the voiceless.

Every time I think about writing something, I wonder if there is even a point. Then I remember that the battle isn’t against flesh and blood, but against demonic spirits in high places. So I breathe. Look to Christ. And say what has to be said, even if no one listens.

The most influential religion in America is no longer “moral therapeutic deism”, in my opinion. It has given way to Trumpism and “Christian” nationalism. These are the ugly stepchildren of Dominionism, the moral majority, and revivalism. This false religion, incidentally, grows from the same soil that bred Josh Duggar, just as the Bible said it would. But it has nothing to do with Christianity.

To Anna Duggar: You can do better.

The Bible says that we are “complete in Christ” (Col. 2:10). If this is the inerrant word of God, then it is true. If it is true, then your salvation does not depend upon your emotions, your mood, your works, your doubts, your fears, your anxieties, your questions. Flee to Christ. In Him, you have everything that you need for life and salvation.

Really. Everything. Please turn off the celebrity preachers telling you otherwise (Yes, I’m looking at John Piper). You have everything. This is the root of all joy, all love, all peace – and when you have love and joy and peace, everything else follows from there. In other words, you have life from Christ, for he paid it all.

We should normalize marking ourselves safe from celebrity preachers. There is money to be made and power to be wielded by convincing people that Christ is not enough. When Jesus is known, the religious experts of every age lose their power. This is the heart of persecution.

Go and listen to the preachers that say, “He must increase. I must decrease”. There are a few of them out there. They generally have tiny churches and wear clothes from Target and Penney’s, but they are at peace. They would also love to show you how to have peace with God.

8 Comments

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8 responses to “9 things (May 13)

  1. Janice

    Pastor Sam, We are listening…I am so grateful to God that I found your blog.Keep on sharing what the Lord places on your heart.It resonates deep in my spirit.Praying for you and your family,for strength and wisdom.

  2. Annette

    Thank you again, Sam. Your insights are scriptural and profound. I chew on them, and then I’m strengthened in my walk of faith in our only Saviour. Thank you!
    All glory to our God and none other!!

  3. FreshGrace

    I concur with the previous comments. I always look forward to seeing a new post and know I will be both challenged and comforted by your words. Keep writing. Thank you.

  4. Ditto to the above. Pastor, you are one of the all-too-few who truly “gets it” about abuse. I have bookmarked your post called “Divorce and tempting God” and have shared it with a number of people who really needed to hear it. So yes, there IS a point to your writing!

  5. Marlita

    It has been a mystery to me as to what unity could really be about. These are good points of what to be united about:
    -good exegesis
    -mercy for the oppressed
    -being a voice for the voiceless

  6. Anu Riley

    I loved this line: “Please turn off the celebrity preachers… There is money to be made and power to be wielded by convincing people that Christ is not enough.”

    Every sincere, born again believer faces serious and sticky situations in which they do not always and/or automatically know how what to do. It is even harder when you feel pulled in all sorts of directions. The moral dilemma is real; each potential choice carries their own set of consequences.

    If you seek counsel for some much needed input, it’s imperative to confide in a person who you not only can trust, but also a person who knows you intimately. AND, that person must encourage you to ultimately make your own choice, because you (and not them) will be the one who must live with that choice and its consequences.

    When Pharaoh was told to “let My people go,” he scoffed said he did know this “god” and therefore would not yield to His authority.

    What should have made Pharaoh sit up and pay attention (as with us), is that unlike all the other “gods” he has known, the Living God actually knows each and every one of us in every way there is to be known. That sets Him apart, puts Him in an “arena” that He occupies alone.

    All of my life, I’ve seen and heard all kinds of celebrities, both secular AND spiritual, act like they know me, inside and out, and so they are therefore entitled to control any and all choices I will make. This is absurd, but for years, this seemed perfectly normal to me.

    I’ll start with a superficial type example: Michael Jordan does an ad for Hanes underwear. He doesn’t know my spouse’s body shape or our budget, but regardless of that he thinks he knows what we should choose. No, he personally tell us that, but his fame and fortune put him in a position to exercise a fairly strong influence over the public. His fortune increased significantly in endorsing this product, so it is fair to consider that he may not sincerely believe Hanes is the best choice. But in buying Hanes, we might feel like we are closer to AND bought a little piece of an exceptional athlete.

    Add to that: the celebrities that promote foods, restaurant and retail choices, books and movies, as well as who to vote for. They all seem to truly believe that they know you, so you should choose what they have chosen for you.

    The stakes get even higher and harder when it comes to celebrity preachers. If you not only hear but heed their self-motivated counsel, we might feel as are closer to the Lord, AND gained a little piece of the Holy Spirit.

    Prosperity type preachers are certainly motivated by a greed for money, which in itself promises them power, but ultimately their real goal is power over people they do not know, and have no interest in knowing. Yet they continue to believe and behave as if they know each and every of us, inside and out. NEVER will your hear them quote verses like 1 Corinthians 1:30: Chris IS our Wisdom. Every treasure of wisdom is to be found in Him (Colossians 2:3). That will deplete them of the “image” they work so hard to create and maintain. The form of godliness which has no real power, nor any contentment to be found.

    I’ve had professing Christians as if they are such “celebrities,” they talk at me, about me and down to me, but they never, ever have tried to talk TO me. They don’t have the time to try, but they have all the time in the world to be judge, jury and executioner. Turn them off, tune them out. Talk to Christ, who will not only listen, but He knows you. That is all you need to know, and all you need is to be found in Him.

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