It’s after one am. Went to bed as usual and was sleeping well but woke up suddenly with what seemed like ten million things going through my mind. I wasn’t sure why I had mega-rich preachers and mega churches on my mind so much in the past, because even I felt that I was running the subject in the ground, but it seemed to come up regularly in verses in my daily Bible reading. It’s like that was what Paul Harvey would have called the story, but now it seems like I got the rest of the story. Next, I had industrialists, bankers, and how the richest people on the planet was really running everything. That was like the story, but now the rest of the story. Then I had a post about money-changers in the Temple, and that (has it seems to be turning out) is part of the rest of the story. It’s all in the ‘trickle down’ effect.
Broad is the path that leads to destruction, but narrow is the path to eternal life and few there are who find it. Those who have been reading the Bible and many who have had a passing acquaintance with churches are familiar with that verse. Churches are supposed to be showing the way to eternal life. But if that path is so narrow, and so few are on it, then how is it that so many churches can become so rich? In other words, if the path is so narrow, then how could there be so many people who are contributing to an institution that has so few people become so rich and powerful? I know, it started way back when, but even since the reformation, it seems to continue. It starts with Satan being a liar and the father of lies and falls down (part of the ‘trickle down’ effect) to humans being so reluctant to be ‘totally’ honest.
Why are there so many sects and denominations of Christians? Partly because the Bible has a lot of material, and it’s not easy to try to teach so many people so much material- especially if people aren’t to enthused about studying it to begin with. So preachers don’t necessarily preach the entire Bible. Without all of the truth, then you have part of the truth. Satan loves to take a little lie and wrap it in a lot of truth so that he plants his seeds of deception. So people get led in different directions, and then they notice their difference more easily than they recognize what portions of the truth ties them together. But the Bible tells the truth in saying that people have itchy ears and will go and listen to what they want to hear. Preachers preach what people want to hear because the people make out their payroll checks. Preachers become afraid of losing their congregation, so they look for ways to stimulate people interest. They may still preach the truth, but not necessarily the ‘whole’ truth, but they feel they have to win the people, so they don’t really want to preach about what people don’t want to hear about.
The seven churches in Revelation are all over the world, and certainly scattered from one end of the US to the other. Jesus taught that following Him meant taking up one’s cross, but people don’t want to carry a cross. The New Testament teaches much about suffering serving a purpose and we are to persevere and learn to be better Christians and serve Christ in our suffering. Are there people experiencing financial troubles who don’t want to suffer financially? Find a preacher who preaches prosperity. Are there people who are prone to certain sinful pleasures that don’t want to leave their sins? You may well find a preacher who teaches that it’s normal and don’t worry about your sins, just do what you can and don’t worry about the rest. Are there people who are lonely that don’t want to suffer the heartache of being alone? You could probably find a preacher who knows how to fix men up with women and vice versa. Many people know they can live the ‘party-hearty’ life and go to church Sunday morning, and somehow feel good about knowing they can leave their burdens in the church so they can go out the next week and ‘party-hearty’ again. Are you addicted to some drug? There are probably doctors and/or pharmacists in some churches who feel they are doing you a favor and picking themselves up a little pocket change in illegal drug trades in some churches. People tend to forget how Jesus chased the money-changers out of the Temple.
When the mega-rich mega-churches come in, smaller churches nearby begin to lose some of their attraction, so they are hurting to find ways to keep their own flocks from dwindling, so that’s where the ‘trickle down’ effect starts. Smaller churches have to find ways to keep from collapsing due to the people suddenly flocking to the mega-churches, so more problems begin to develop.
It’s long been known that business people (car salesmen, retailers, small shop and small business owners) could expect more business by keeping a good reputation and one good way to keep a good reputation is to be a well-know supporter of a local church. Some of these business people may be trustworthy in their business and some not, but being in church doesn’t necessarily mean they are there for the right reason. But this is something of a ‘trickle down’ effect from the other capitalists, industrialists, bankers, insurance moguls, etc. You see, these business people see these super-rich bankers and industrialists, and they, in their own businesses are just trying to grab their own piece of the pie.
I’m not saying that these preachers and church-pew sitters aren’t ‘saved’ by God’s grace (even if only by the skin of their teeth). No one on earth is perfect, and you can look in the most righteous places and find filthy rags. But remembering that the path to eternal life is so narrow, this is why it’s imperative that people search for themselves, without just taking anyone else’s word for something (even a popular preacher). Never begin by searching within yourself, because the Scriptures teach that the human heart is wicked and deceitful. Start by searching the Scriptures, and honestly let the Scriptures reveal your heart to you. Don’t give up or be discouraged if you feel the Scriptures are showing your heart to be wicked and deceitful, because this is the beginning of realizing your need for a Savior. Keep searching because the Scriptures teach that you will find the Lord when you search for Him with all your heart.
People have to learn to be honest with themselves to begin learning to be honest with others. How could you be true to others if you could be true to yourself? How could you be true to God if you couldn’t be true to your own self? But too often people will tell things the way they want them to sound, more than the way they really are. Sometimes they will think they are doing it for a good reason, maybe to spare someone else’s feelings or to cause them to worry. For instance, let’s say that my sister and my mother live in one city, and I live in a city far away. Suppose my sister moves to the city where I live so she can move in with a man that our mother disapproves, and my mother is concerned about her being hurt. So, perhaps I tell my mother she moved here so I could look out for her and don’t tell her she moved there to move in with a man. Then my mother feels better, because she feels my sister is not living with that man and that I’m looking out for her. Did I do right to cover for my sister to make my mother feel better? But then suppose my sister got hurt terribly bad, and it couldn’t be hid from mother. Then mother would be devastated, not only because her daughter had been hurt so badly, but also because I would have betrayed her. So not being honest to spare someone’s feeling resulted in more hurt than being honest would have been to begin with. But no matter how much we may deceive one another, we could never deceive the Lord, so we would only be fooling ourselves and be guilty of lying to God, if we thought we had successfully pulled something over on someone.
But many relationships are beginning to be destroyed when they first begin because people are so prone to being dishonest. Many men have hurt many women by making them believe something that wasn’t entirely what it seemed to be and vice-versa. This shows how people can care so little for the feelings of others for the sake of making themselves feel better. In the end, it generally ends with more people being hurt than anyone would have thought. Have we not all known of men who would lie to women so they could only get what they wanted from them. The same thing happens in reverse as well. But do you think you could deceive someone if that someone could see into your heart and feel your very feelings? Don’t you believe God can see into your heart and feel your very feeling? Do you think you could ever successfully deceive anyone with Him being aware of it? It’s like the business people who go to church so they can build up their reputation and thus build up their business. Many don’t even realize the part where they tell Jesus how they were big in their church, but Jesus says to depart for He never knew them, and they are cast out into everlasting torments.
Please search the Scriptures and let the Scriptures reveal the you on the inside of you and tell you about Jesus standing at the door of your heart knocking. He want knock your walls down unless you invite Him in and open yourself up to Him.
But it’s very late, and I’m very tired. I just woke up with all this going through my mind, and I knew I had to get it down before I could get back to sleep. Now my tiredness is coming back, and that must mean I’m finished with this.