I was working through my RSS feed today when I stumbled up a great post by my aunt, Tura Zapata, who is also a pastor/elder at LifeHouse Ministries in Beaumont, TX, about the church’s tendency to exchange “the Gospel of righteousness in Christ Jesus for religious rhetoric.”
To quote the beginning of her post:
“Rhetoric – The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively; speech or discourse that pretends to significance but lacks true meaning.
This could be an abbreviated name of the church in the world today; the sign would be bigger than the building if we put in all the titles that were left out!
“The First New Universal Bapticostal Post Modern Charismatic Church of Reformed Rhetoric” (tongue –in – cheek, but no chuckle here, I don’t think God is laughing)
Paul dealt with the same problem with the believers of his time. The church at Corinth had taken on this title only the names were different!
You may be questioning how this could be, for the church has only tried to answer the need of the society and culture of the people it embraces today; struggling to stay relevant letting go of doctrinal dogmas becoming more inclusive. The five fold ministry has survived and signs and wonders are supernaturally performed. What have we missed?
The next statement [from God] hit me harder than the first. ‘Since the gospel being preached is one of rhetoric, then the response becomes rhetorical, having no practical application, or urgency to answer, no power to change and requires no true faith to endure. It results in unbelief or disobedience.'”
While she goes to develop this point a bit more, it was this last line above that really got me. To lose the ‘practical application’ of the message of Jesus…. to lose the understand that to meet the living Jesus is to change, to be set free from bondage of all kings (addictions, shame, guilt, sin, evil, injustice, death, judgment, etc.)…
That is a sobering thought – or, at least, it should be!
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