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Horizontal Christianity…

12 Dec

Please take a moment to watch this two-minute video:

I know that it’s funny; I laugh every time I view it, but if I asked you can you relate to this video in your spiritual walk you would probably respond with an emphatic “NO!”. I would not blame you either because nobody wants to be perceived as an immature Christian. However, the last few days revealed a whole lot to me; see I was engaged in a little bit of a debate over a hotly contested spiritual matter, and while I remained an observer for the most part it disturbed my spirit that so many people played follow the leader instead of follow the scriptures…

I remember my salvation experience very well. I knew that there were many people who knew more about Christ than me, and that I could learn from them; so that is what I did, I put my spiritual learning into the hands of other people instead of asking God for revelation of scripture for myself. Was that a bad thing? In theory no, but in practice I can honestly say that it became a terrible thing because a few things happened as a result:

  • I became more dependent on others who I believed had more spiritual authority than me to make decisions for me.
  • I entrusted others to discern the Word of God for me instead of asking for wisdom to discern for myself.
  • I opened myself up to spiritual manipulation and immaturity because of the other two things.

Like the young man in the video I had become a horizontal Christian. I became comfortable where I was, and I depended on a pastor for my spiritual nourishment, never growing in Christ but also believing that I had more knowledge than newer “babes in Christ” because of my longevity or familiarity with the ministry. In short, I was ignorant. Often times there are spiritually abusive pastors out there who prefer their “sheep” to be in the state that I was in because it gives them more control over the flock, but that is not what God desires for us.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him (James 1:5).

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Heb. 5:12-14).

We all know that babies start off drinking milk, be it from the mother’s breast or from a bottle with “formula” in it, but within six months the parent ought to be mixing some solids in with the milk because the baby’s stomach is becoming stronger and they have built up a tolerance for heavier foods. Eventually the baby will be weaned off of the milk altogether and will begin eating solids only, enabling them to absorb the nutrients, protein and all that is needed to grow up. Likewise the babe in Christ should not be fed the horizontal message for his whole walk, there should be some vertical movement along the way; I have been in Christ for more than twenty years now, if I cannot discern John 3:16 without the help of my pastor now then I can honestly say that I am still on Similac, and most likely spiritually retarded.

Back to the debate that I mentioned earlier; the initiator (Pastor) of the debate had some error in his teaching (online) and when presented with correction of the error from multiple people, instead of addressing it with scriptural relevance they deleted all of the posts! However, that would not have been so bad had his “members” or “followers”, since we are online, agreed with his error and gave him kudos for deleting the “haters” as the people who presented what the bible said were called. See, this I cannot understand, but yet I can understand it because I too was spiritually immature. I told my son the other day that at one time no one could say anything against my pastor or I would go full Rambo on them lol! That is how he had us trained, that he was always right and that anyone who disagreed with him or his ministry were disagreeing with God. It did not matter whether he was teaching heresies or not – which I later found that he was. We become so incensed when people disagree with our man of God that we forget the man who IS God! Why? Because we are spiritually immature.

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth (3 John 1:2).

God wants our soul to be enriched with knowledge of Him and His ways. We have to stop playing the childhood game of “follow the leader” unless the leader is Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy speaks about the “last days” saying, “…Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (3:7)”.

Why? Because we lean and trust man to discern God’s word for us, when we have the full power and authority through Christ to seek understanding for ourselves. When we take off the blinders then we can begin to walk uphill toward the ultimate prize instead of walking in place and wondering why we feel malnourished after each church service or bible study.

Notice at the end of the above video that the young man holds up his crushed juice box and yells out, “Yo teach, can I get another one of these?” He was not only complacent he was lazy; we should strive to be the opposite, voraciously seek understanding about the meat of the Word, and get off of our comfy place (yeah that one) and stop waiting for “teach” to bring understanding to you! Still love me? 🙂

Iampastorswife

 
 

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6 responses to “Horizontal Christianity…

  1. Glenn Smith

    December 12, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    Sista, I believe you know that just like you I was in the same boat. One of the first one’s to defend a ministriy sometimes without even testing the Spirits. And just like you I eventually opened my eyes and began being led by the Spirit. Folks need to read their bibles and ask God for clarity instead of just taking other folks word for it. I pray that this message goes over as a learning tool for others that are seeking Christ! God Bless you sis!!

     
    • iampastorswife

      December 12, 2011 at 12:57 PM

      Hey Bro. Glenn, when I look back over my spiritual walk I can only SMH at how naive I was for far too long. There is nothing wrong with trusting people, but we need to have a balance in listening/trusting man and praying for discernment because there are many wolves in sheep clothing. Weren’t we warned that in the last days that Satan would be transformed into an angel of light? That many would cry in that day “Lord Lord didn’t I prophesy in your name…” etc? So I am really not surprised at what is happening, but I am saddened that in this time where God is pouring out his spirit on His people that people are quick to jump in the shower to wash Him off. I have found that even when my husband preaches, I note what he says and then look up the Word for myself later so that I know that I didn’t miss anything. It’s no disrespect to him; he understands that I need God as my ultimate interpreter of the Word! Thank you so much Brother, always encouraging. Stay blessed!

       
  2. Glenn Smith

    December 12, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Sista, on that thread I believe you are referring to. You could literally read folks defending what the Pastor said, and commenting almost word for word! Even on other folks pages! Unbelievable!

     
    • iampastorswife

      December 12, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      Yes that is definitely one example but Bro. Glenn, but I have seen it offline as well. Defending the “mand of gawd” even to the point where we lose loved ones. I have done it before as well, so if I point a finger please know that I am pointing at myself first, but thank God for deliverance of ignorance and I pray for the ones who are walking where I’ve been!

       
  3. Jerry

    December 23, 2011 at 7:43 AM

    Good article sis, I think most new Christians have experienced this, it is natural to take ‘veteran’ believers as your role models, but because of lack spiritual experience in the things of God ‘Sinister Ministers’ take advantage of this, I found this out within the first 6 mos
    of being a Christian, they take you under their wing and try to mold you into their image instead of Christ, after they gain your (naive) trust then comes the indoctrination of
    “Don’t let nobody talk about yo’ passta” church soon became routine and stagnant, but God blessed me with an inquiring mind and independent thought process, the spell wore off quickly, I began to study and grow ‘in leaps and bounds” believe it or not that was frowned upon because the members started coming to me with their questions that I felt a pastor should have had answers to, ‘the mand of Gawd’ became jealous and hostile, I was perceived as a threat, I would be conversing with other members after service and would turn around to seething stares, members were (behind my back) being told to stay away from me, many refused because they were beginning to wake up too, the Passa called a secret meeting (others beside myself were not invited) in essence I was falsely scandalized “The devil was using me and I was the ring leader’ LOL.
    I was hurt behind this because none of it was true
    next meeting I confronted my accusers (in love) they denied it, but unbeknowest to them, the meeting was recorded! After the truth came out, unbibical errors were exposed, ungodly attitudes were revealed and pilfering of the collection came to light, the congregation dwindled to barely a hand full, the pastor was eventually removed by the presiding Bishop
    (after he heard the tape) the church became alive again and grew, this was years ago, I am still in touch with many, they are strong in the faith and vowed never to allow themselves to be in bondage again, I said all this to say, Don’t get caught up in “Pied piper” Christianity
    Study the word for your self! Think for yourself! because, “the Anointing which you have received abides in you…and teaches you concerning all things and is true and is NOT a lie..!
    1 John 2: 26-27 Be blessed, stay blessed!

     
    • iampastorswife

      December 27, 2011 at 9:09 AM

      Bro.,

      How very typical of the abusive pastor to have other members ostracize you because you disagree with his words – not God’s. We had pretty much the same thing happen to us, but it was more subtle. I guess that he could feel us drawing away – my husband and I were VERY close to the pastor and his wife until the luster wore off. God began showing us stuff and we began allowing HIM to direct our path. Then God put other pastors in our lives which made our pastor very jealous. That’s when his wife began to shut me out when the Holy Spirit would use me to prophesy to the church, they stopped asking my husband to help with things and it all came to a head when God finally removed us. We never got the chance to confront anything and I am thankful for that, but the testimony got back to us about the church ending and being sold. My only prayer was that no souls were lost, nor hearts turned bitter. People tend to forget the spiritual casualties of war and it’s a shame. I love your last sentence: “Study the word for your self! Think for yourself! because, “the Anointing which you have received abides in you…and teaches you concerning all things and is true and is NOT a lie..!” Thank you and bless you!

      Iampastorswife 🙂

       

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