Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Throw the Rock, Hide the Hand

Hey my fam. Wanted to drop another post on everyone before I dash back to my next school session. Might be down for a minute. I will try to make this post as pleasant as possible.

Throw the Rock and Hide the Hand? Aight Sid...where are you at now? This post is in response to a certain anonymous blogger who likes to voice his/her opinion concerning my Church Folk blog and this time homeboy(girl) took it a step further than he/she should have. So, guess what....gotta put it down.

Now, I don't mind kickin' it back and forth, but seems this one likes to throw rocks but hide his/her identity. Throw the Rock - Hide the Hand. Meanwhile, I'm out in the open trying my best to hold it down for what I've learned about the truth of Scripture. The truth about attitudes. The truth about what's happening. Observation. What I talk about on the CF blog isn't some fly by night whim I came up with. Public knowledge is public knowledge. Just talkin bout what I'm talkin bout.

And kudos to all the brothers and sisters holding it down for Christ. I tip my hat off to ALL of you. You inspire me. Much love. I need you out here.

Now, nothing wrong with being anonymous on certain things. Gotzta be careful. Everyone understands that. I sympathize. Who wants every Tom, Dick and Harry to have all the goods? Nobody. But who as a Christian should remain anonymous concerning spiritual things? Particularly, when you are supposedly correcting a brother, like myself. Paul was straight up with Peter (cf. Galatians 2:11). Christ didn't hide from the Pharisees. Apologist, Hank Hanegraaff didn't back down from the Word of Faith teachers in his critically acclaimed book, Christianity in Crisis. Martin Luther didn't back down when he nailed his 95 Theses to the front door of the Catholic Church in Wittenberg. Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, didn't back down when he confronted Arius in defense of the Biblical doctrine of Christ (325-328 A.D.).

And I am not ashamed of Christ and I am not ashamed of the Gospel. And I am sure not ashamed to tell it like it is. Church Folk are dangerous and victims need an outlet. Seems I'm one of the voices for them. Can't tell you how many people have contacted me to thank me for exposing what's going on. They felt lifted in their spirits. So, anyone hatin' on that will just have to keep hatin'

Now, Jesus was always in the open. He never did anything in secret. Truth is, the devil is the one masquerading as an angel of light but hiding his true identity. So, let's talk about what it means to be "anonymous" in some cases. And again...this is not directed at all who choose to remain anonymous, but it is directed at the one who likes to sling on my blog but never show his/her hand.

Throw the Rock, Hide the Hand.

My last post, he/she tried to bait me by mentioning specifics. Two churches. Dead wrong on both his/her assumptions. Everyone knows what happens when we assume, right? Ok good. Here's an individual who knows nothing but spouting everything. Loose with his/her facts. Broad in his/her unprecedented accusations. Has no clue why I posted Edified or Entertained? None. Didn't bother to ask, but assumed I was preparing to leave my church. Assumed I didn't like it there. Assumed the pastor wasn't "covering" me. Assumed something happened at my church. Assumed I was bitter. Please. Anyone who knows me understands you shouldn't confuse "bitterness" with indignation. How do I know these are assumptions? They end in question marks. But these are not questions for information. These are "rhetorical" questions. He/She believes that he/she knows what he/she is talking about. I know why I posted it, but that was none of his/her business. Take that in love, but let the truth be told. But the anonymous blogger MADE it his/her business.

Throw the Rock, Hide the Hand.

But he/she can afford to sling rocks without accountability. No one can call him/her into question. Who knows but him/her and God? Hiding behind the worldwide web and trying to psycho-analyze me, like I have some personality disorder. (i.e. I assure you...I am not on meds). I'm sitting on no one's couch looking at ink-blots and hearing a man asking me about what I see. But stepping up and showing him/her self exposes him/her to public scrutiny. He/she can't have that. Why? Because he/she leaves the door wide open for his/her own dirt. Could it be just a mere church member or a scared Christian? If it's the latter, there's a problem. God hasn't given us (Christians) the spirit of being a coward - because that is what fear means in II Tim. 1:7. If it's just a church member....I understand. Church folk are dangerous. Movin' on.

Throw the Rock, Hide the Hand.

Anonymous....hmmm. Let's see. Who would raise her hand and tell you she stole your lunch out of the break room at work? Why do thugs who knock off liquor stores and 7-11's wear masks most of the time? Growing up in Jersey, what kid threw a snowball, broke a window and waited for the homeowners to come out? This is a sensitive one and with one I'd probably agree with, but who would show his/her face on camera if he/she is a witness to a murder committed by a gang member? I'm sure there's plenty more scenarios, but what is the common denominator here? Repercussions.

Same with this anonymous blogger.

Throw the Rock, Hide the Hand.

Putting a name to the blog would mean repercussions. Especially when this anonymous blogger unfortunately reveals his/her ignorance of Scripture by quoting verses and passages out of context. The blogger accused me of being on milk - like in Hebrews. I answered that in the other post, but I'd like to add to it here. In Hebrews 5:13 it says those on milk are unskillful in the word of righteousness for he is a babe. But in the same blog, the blogger stated he/she knows for a fact that I can exegete (interpret) the Scripture. See the conundrum? If I'm a babe on milk, - like the blogger said - then how can I be a skilled interpreter - like the blogger said?

I'll let that one marinate on yawl for a while.

So, I guess we'll just have to keep answering the posts without any clear understanding of who we are really dealing with. I pray I was somewhat respectful. Keep praying everyone

Blessings

Your bro.
Sid

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Edified or Entertained?

Hey everybody. Back again and I gotz to apologize once again. Didn't realize going back to school would drain all your time. But praise God, the Lord let me get an A in my Criminology class. Not sure about my Abnormal Psych grade yet. Going to keep pressing. Keep praying yawl.

Now, the question is...who loves the Word of God? I mean the pure and unadulterated Word of God? Unfortunately, we live in a society - Christendom to be more specific - where the Word is no longer a priority. The Apostle Paul didn't lie when he warned his young protege, Timothy, about the dangers of living in the last days (cf. 1 Tim 4:3-4). Seems many people would rather hear a preacher "hoop" than to hear him break down the Scriptures.

Where is the Biblical theology? Where is the philosophical study? Where is the systematic theology? Where is the study of church history? Where is Christian apologetics? Where is hermeneutics? How about exegesis? What about canonicity? What about the languages of the Bible? What about manuscript transmission, preparation and preservation? What about textual criticism? What about the study of modern English Versions and Translations of the Scripture? What about Old and New Testament Survey? And the study of the Intertestamental Period? What about Biblical archaeology? The study of Doctrine? How about Christian ethics? I can go on and on, but just like society - many people do not feel any of this is necessary.

Could this be the reason the church is weak in this anti-God and anti-Christ culture?

Entertainment in church is so much better - many seem to suggest. How? By their shutting down a true Biblical preacher and listening to the misinformed.

Back to the hoop.

This is not about basketball but it is about closing out a sermon. Now, don't get me wrong. I love to hear a sound biblical preacher tune it up after he has laid down the doctrine. A good example of one preacher is Pastor Dr. R.A. Williams - McCoy Memorial Baptist Church. Check him out on YouTube. His "hoop" is off the chain. But you better believe....before he gets to the "hoop" Dr. Williams will lay down some serious doctrine. So, the hoop isn't the problem? So what is?

Pure entertainment.

That's the hoop without the help. Whole lot of preachers can sing it up, but I need some serious Word when I face demonic forces trying to take me out of this world.

Here are some examples...

How is weak preaching going to help me combat satanic assault? How is weak preaching and teaching - with the aid of the Holy Spirit - going to help me keep my anger in check? How is weak preaching going to build me up to love supervisors and co-workers who keep on "trying" me? How is weak preaching going to keep me from coveting what God doesn't want me to have? How is weak preaching going to inform me about the personhood of Christ and His purpose for my life? How is weak preaching going to confront me when I'm in sin and to challenge me to walk in the way of righteousness? How is weak preaching going to exhort me to live for Christ and not for myself?

Can't speak for anyone else, but I need the Word of God. I need to be EDIFIED, not ENTERTAINED. Not being nasty, but weak preaching really frustrates me, yawl. I cannot live without God's Word and I feel cheated when someone stands up to talk from God's Word and never lines his sermon up with the text of sacred Scripture.

Pastor Teacher John MacArthur put it this way, "This is certainly no time for weak men, weak messages and weak ministries. What is needed is moral strength and courage and uncompromising proclamation of the truth that can set people free," ( Ashamed of the Gospel - Third Edition ).

It is way too unfortunate that many of us leave the church "charged" but never "changed." And that is the difference between edification and entertainment.

Keep praying that God will build up sound biblical preachers to feed His people. And as always, stay prayerful for the strength of the church as a whole.

Blessings

Your brother,
Sid

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chameleon Christianity

Hey yawl. Back in the house. Have to apologize again, but didn't realize that going back to school is a trip. Praising God though. Prayerfully, it will make me even better. Forgive a brother.


So, what is chameleon Christianity? You already know. A chameleon is a lizard that can switch colors and adapt to its environment. A figurative definition would be a person who is subject to quick or frequent change, especially in appearance. Check out this scenario...


In 1990, the actor Keenan Ivory Wayans created a show called “In Living Color.” His sister, Kim Wayans, had a recurring role as the gossiping Ms. Bonita Batrell. Well, this particular character portrayed precisely what we are attempting to convey about some church folk. Near the end of every skit, she would sing the praises of Ms. Jenkins. After praises would lead, wisecracks would follow. Now, how could Bonita show so much love and concern for Ms. Jenkins in one breath and in the next breath tear her apart? It is simple: Bonita never loved her to begin with. With ease, she stretched the heart in fondness for Ms. Jenkins and with just as much ease, she snapped back in contempt


Lord have mercy....is this not many church folk?


Not only does the lizard change colors, it does it with so much ease. Many church folk are no different. You mean it's EASY to switch out? Not good. Sorry, my sisters, but let's look at the wig scenario....I'll get to the brothers in a minute. We see the wig fly off in two ways. Sister-gurl be shoutin' so hard - dancing and running all over the church - until the wig's about to fly off. That's the first way. But out in the foyer after church, she 'bout to remove the wig to jump into a fight with another sister. That's the second way.


From shoutin' to swingin' - WOW.


Don't laugh brothers - many of us are worse. Preacher-man sound so deep in the Scriptures while in church. But I don't hear WORD when the mood strikes. More like Marvin Gaye. You know.."when I get that feeling..." Wuzzup with that? He's a chameleon. A lizard that will change his colors to "adapt to his environment." We play games like that....YES we do. We all have some issues we're fighting with, them so-called "demons" we can't shake.


So, what is the cure to chameleon Christianity? Let us be sincere in our relationship with Christ. Time out for playing church. God is looking for soldiers and those who are willing to stand up for their Lord in ANY environment, without changes colors.


Blessings,


Your brother,
Sid

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We Love to Rock, but Hate to Read

Hey yawl. Man...it's been a minute. But you know how December is. Everyone getting ready for Christmas and that includes me. Can't use Christmas for an excuse though. Truth is, I've just been plain lazy the last few weeks. Forgive me. Writing is a tough job. Freelance. Non-fiction and fiction book preparation. Curriculum. But I promise yawl I will try to keep it more consistent.

Now, to what we'd like to talk about tonight. We're rocking, but not reading. There's another dangerous characteristic I've observed in the church. I'm sure you've observed it as well. When the music in church is pumping, church folk love to rock.

Hips swinging.
Hands clapping.
Feet stomping.

But when the music stops and the preaching starts, what are the same ROCKIN' church folk doing? SLEEPING. Not just sleeping....SNORING. Church folk are KNOCKED OUT.

Is there a Bible in hand? Sad...but no, there isn't. Can't tell you how many times I have seen church folk dancin to the music, but they have no Bible in their hands when it's time for the leader to read the Scriptures. In church - where the Word of God is priority - but no Word! What's wrong with this picture? Do we go to class without books? Do we catch a flight without a boarding pass? Do we drive our cars without gas? Do we drive without a license? Do we fish without bait? Can we write without a pen or pencil? These are absolutely NECESSARY to carry these activities out.

So, how can we hear from God when we care not to READ His Word? No wonder our lives are jacked up. The Word of God isn't a priority for many.

We love to rock, but Hate to Read.

We'll pack out a concert, but we'll hear crickets at Bible Study. So, when the devil starts beating us up with the cares of life, we cannot fight because we've gone to war without a weapon. No Word? No Victory! But we sure do know how to move that body, don't we? Some folk forget they're in church...gyrating like they're in a club somewhere. Wow. For real?

My brothers and sisters, man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. If we want to be successful according to God's standards, we must love His Word. Nothing wrong with music....I LOVE IT. All kinds of music too. But the music and entertainment in church should never take priority over the Word of God.

Blessings,

Your Brother,
Sid

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Disease of Christian Catch Phrases?

Hey everybody. Back on the Dangerous blog and God is still good. I know I have a witness. Wanted to share another entry that has been on my heart for a while. The Disease of Christian Catch Phrases. Check this out, yawl.

In Christendom there is an ever-increasing danger lurking around the the na├»ve mind. It crouches, it waits and then it pounces. And once this predator has its prey trapped in its jaws, the window of escape usually narrows. In fact, many victims never break free at all. The result is painful, embarrassing and deadly. The souls of naive Christians devoured in plain view of an audience overwhelmed with laughter and contempt.


What is this marauder, this disease that eats at the spirit the same way cancer eats at the body? It's a parasite feasting on the whims of untrained and biblically uneducated churchgoers. The culprit is sly and cunning, influencing the borderline Christian to rip and swallow verses of Scripture from their context and to regurgitate them as pretext. The cancer spreads and continues to infect the body of Christ at alarming rates. What is this disease, this virus that kills the minds of more churchgoers than AIDS kills humans?

The modern church suffers from the disease of Christian catchphrases, those empty and powerless slogans that have no benefit. We define a catchphrase as a favorite saying of a sect or political group. Unfortunately, the church is drowning in a cesspool of battle cries and mottos:

"Blessed and highly favored."
"God helps those who help themselves."
"Name it and claim it." (*I really LOVE this one)
"Too equipped to be whipped."
"God said it, I believe it and that settles it."
"God knows my heart."
"Don't put a question mark where God put a period."

Some of these trite expressions are verses we oftentimes butcher beyond recognition and phrases that don't even appear within the pages of sacred Scripture.

What is the cure? What is the antidote? I believe the cure is a deep, exegetical and systematic study of the Bible. Let's talk about my favorite one - "Name it and claim it."
 
There is no verse in Scripture that says this, by the way. Yet I hear it all the time. How about yawl?" Ever heard that one before?" Well let's see if this so-called Christian jargon actually works.
 
I have had the pleasure of hearing some people say they will "name" the brand spankin' new Lexus and "claim" it as theirs. God told us to name it, they say. (..ummm. No He didn't). Well...again, let's look at that. We can "name" the Lexus all we like, but the only way we will "claim" it - drive it off the lot - we'll have to claim something else:
 
Car note!
Car insurance!
Car registration!
 
Just because you name it and claim it, doesn't make it free. And depending on which model you get...those numbers could be pretty steep. I've heard people claim cars and houses and didn't even have a job. How in the world does one plan on paying for it? Now, if you WANT it just be honest. You would like to have it. Don't bring God into the equation, because if it isn't His will, that same Lexus will come with some problems. Heaven forbid the Lexus you "name and claim" gets repossessed for default on your loan. What kind of witness is that to the favor of God? In other words, He tells you to name and claim it, but makes sure you can't maintain it? Sounds like a lot of heartache and sorrow.
 
Is that God? Not according to Proverbs 10:22. "The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it." This blessing the proverb talks about is found in the pathway of obedience. Chasing after Satan's stuff leaves pain and disappointment.
 
Now, if you can afford it, what's the purpose of naming it? Just go buy it.
 
Another scenario - true story.
 
Old acquaintance of mine back home used to tell me every week about a certain girl in the church that he named and claimed as his future wife. He was confident God told him - "She's YOURS." Every Sunday I'd see him in church - he named her and claimed her. He made the wrong move though...
 
Built up enough nerve to tell her she was his wife to be...
Uh oh.
 
Apparently, she hadn't "named and claimed" HIM. Can't tell you just how embarrassing it was when he told her. And I'm too embarrassed to repeat what she said to him. All that Christian jargon left him disappointed.
 
But what makes this so dangerous, since we are on the dangerous blog? The disease is contagious. If it sounds catchy, it will catch on with a lot of people. And many of us grab it without verifying it with what the Scriptures actually say. And if we live and move OUTSIDE of biblical instructions, pain is the outcome. Dangerous.
 
"Blessed and highly favored?" Real popular one. I have an honest question because I need clarity. Is this phrase a ploy to sound spiritual? I'm serious. Does it give the impression that the phrase quoter is DEEP? But how is that? Some of the people I've heard use this phrase are some of the meanest "Christians" in the world. I'm as serious as cancer of the colon. For real. Now, when people ask me how am I doing, you know what I say? "Fine. How about yourself?" Do I really need a catch phrase and a compendium of Scriptures to convince people I'm spiritual? If I do, something's wrong with my character. Some folks will run the table with catch phrases and all you did was ask them "How you doing?"
 
Crazy. 
 
Well...let's be a bit more biblically savvy, shall we? God desires that we soak up His Word like a sponge. If we drown ourselves in His Word, the right "words" will come out.
 
Blessings
 
Your brother,
Sid

Monday, November 22, 2010

Spiritual Mannequins: The Pinchbeck Churchgoers

Hey everybody...yeah, I know...it's been a minute. But better late than never, right? Been ripping and running. Please pray for a brother...so long as you're not one of the prayer warriors in the last entry.
How about this for a subject? Spiritual Mannequins. I actually wrote about this in my second book in the Church Folk series, Church Folk: What's Love Got to Do With It? What better place to revamp it than the blog?

Question. Have you ever noticed a mannequin from a distance and mistook it for an actual human? If you don't wish to admit it, I'll put myself out there. Been fooled a couple of times. Unless we're up close, sometimes it's hard to tell we're looking at something plastic. It's similar to the love of some church folk.

Fakers have the "appearance of love" from a distance. But it takes us getting closer to find out just how plastic they really are. Yep, plastic. They claim they love you, but it's all counterfeit. Love doesn't look for something in return, it always gives. But I've come across a lot of church folk who want to know "What's in it for me?" Just like a no good joker giving a woman flowers and treating her to dinner, because he expects dessert. Some church folk are the same way. It's what I call a "pinchbeck" churchgoer.

Merriam Webster defines "pinchbeck" as an alloy of copper and zinc used especially to imitate gold in jewelry. It isn't REAL gold, it's FOOL's gold. An alloy is a compound of MIXED metals. In it's archaic form, a WEAK metal is mixed with a more DURABLE metal to give some desired quality. It adds up to something of worth being closely imitated.

Enter the Spiritual Mannequin: The Pinchbeck Churchgoer.

Phony and counterfeit love is a mixture of the PURE love of Christ ( the VALUABLE ) metal and the fake love of the churchgoer ( the LESS DURABLE) metal. So, what we see from a distance in church is nothing more than an alloy - FAKE LOVE. And much like a mannequin, some church folk are hard and heartless. Mannequins look real, but how many of us can share an intimate moment with them? Try to kiss one...see if it returns the smooch. Embrace one...see if it returns the hug.

Same result - hard and heartless.

Let me encourage yawl. Be careful getting intimate with spiritual mannequins. They act like they love us, but they're waging war in their hearts against us. Just like Judas...betraying the Lord with a kiss.

1) They'll tell all your business.
2) They'll try to steal your spouse.
3) They'll mooch off you....and won't pay you back! ( And will get an attitude with you and THEY'RE the ones who owe YOU.)
4) They'll cuss you out when the mood strikes.
5) They'll turn others against you.
6) They'll take credit for the work you've done in ministry
7) They'll lie TO you and ON you...deliberately

Can we hang out with some REAL folk? Please? Church DOES have them, but you have to search far, wide and deep to find them.  KEEP SEARCHING. The Lord will put them in your path.

Don't sell out looking for love in all the wrong places. The devil loves church. His minions love church. Fallen spirits hang out in the church.

But God is still on His throne. He has His own disciples in His house. Find em and hold on tight.

Much love,

Your bro.
Sid

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Please Don't Pray For Me

Hey everybody. Been away for a minute, especially since I focused a lot of my attention on responding to comments made on my last blog. Minister or Maniac stirred up a hornet's nest, but God is still good. His Word always prevails.

Back with an interesting post here. "Please Don't Pray For Me." What in the world is the Scribe talking about on this one? Everyone needs prayer, right? I agree. As long as the prayer is for God's ears and as long as the prayer is sincere. But I have had the displeasure of hearing some church folk drop the goods on someone else in the form of a prayer request. Clever way to disguise gossip, isn't it? Let me illustrate.

Say we're all in a circle, preparing to leave the worship experience and it's time to close out in prayer. "Any prayer requests?" the religious leader asks. Someone in the audience raises a hand. Now...here we go.

"Pastor...I would like the church to pray for sister so and so and we must pray earnestly. The devil is busy! We need to pray that God convicts her, because she's living with a man and has been in that state for a while. Shackin' is wrong church, so we need to pray that God speaks to her heart, turn her from her wicked ways.  Those who know the worth of prayer, pray her strength in the Lord. Amen."

Hmmm.....what just happened? Everybody in the prayer circle now knows the sister's been shackin' up. I have seen this happen and I'm sure many of you have too. Maybe not this particular scenario, but someone's personal affairs have been brought public under the guise of concern. We must be more discerning listeners to determine what is true prayer and what is pretense.

What will happen after that? Now...the spiritual Christian cringes, because the request didn't have to be that detailed. And those who love the Lord won't take that information any further. But how many of us know, not everyone in church is spiritual. Everybody can't hold water. So, before the fakers hit the vestibule, cell phones blowing up! Something to talk about. Hot off the presses. So, the dangerous churchgoer who kicked off the prayer pretended to show concern and at the same time dropped a bug in everyone's ear about a "family" member. We have no business airing out someone else's dirty laundry in a prayer to God. That is NOT what prayer is for!

Should the sin be exposed? Absolutely. But not in a public prayer! But as one of the anonymous bloggers said in my last post, the offender is addressed PRIVATELY. If the sister doesn't hear...take a witness. If she doesn't hear after that...THEN we bring her before the church, with the sole purpose of leading her to repentance (cf. Matt. 18). If she doesn't hear the church...the Bible says treat her as a heathen or a tax collecter (cf. Matt 18:17). AVOIDANCE or excommunication. And God is our model for this procedure. Throughout Scripture, He warned His people repeatedly before bringing judgment.

Who would I like praying for me? Those who know and appreciate the heart of God. Prayer can't have a clandenstine agenda. Prayer is dialogue between God and people. And our understanding of prayer will correspond to our understanding of God. Would God endorse our calling out a sister like that? Be your own judge. Yes, preach to the BEHAVIOR. Don't expose the PERSON. Ask yourself this question, though. Would we want God entertaining a prayer like that about ourselves? Do we want God putting all OUR business on a big screen for everyone to see? Think about it...we ALL have some issues we hope and PRAY that God won't make public. Those private sins...yawl know what I'm talking about. Those sins only we and God know about. Nobody is  exempt!

Be careful. We reap what we sow. You tell someone's business, your business is gonna get told. The world says it like this, "What goes around, comes around." So...

If you like to gossip....PLEASE DON'T PRAY FOR ME.
If you can't hold water about MY issues...PLEASE DON'T PRAY FOR ME.
If you want the church to consider you the 411....PLEASE DON'T PRAY FOR ME.
If you could care less about God's heart....PLEASE DON'T PRAY FOR ME.
If you don't know or care about the purpose of prayer....PLEASE DON'T PRAY FOR ME.

Who would I like to pray for a brother here? Those who love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul, body and strength. TALK to God for me! Please! And we DO have folk in the church who don't live dangerously. Gotta appreciate them....much love.

Your Brother,
Sid