contending for the faith

I watched a movie a few years ago about a Washington lobbyist who bilked millions from several Native American tribes. (If you are interested the name of the movie is Casino Jack.) The main story surrounded the political activity of tribes building casinos on the reservations because their land was considered sovereign. This lobbyist swindled millions and got caught. There were a lot of interesting aspects of the movie, such as the hypocritical nature of politicians in regards to these lobbyists and the relationships they had. One other aspect of the movie was the relationship the lobbyist had with a former head of a Christian family political activist group. It was rather eye-opening for me.

The issue I wanted to address was the part played by the former head of the Christian family organization, at least as to how it was portrayed in the movie. This person was essentially in bed with the lobbyist. The lobbyist used him to motivate and mobilize the Religious Right on any given issue he wanted to go his way politically he would call his buddy. And the president of this Christian political group would incite the Religious Right and would probably get some financial kickback for his help. I was thoroughly disappointed and disgusted by what was portrayed, even if it was only partially true.

Why I bring this up is because I have been doing a lot of reading from bloggers writing about the celebrity pastors and their affinity to be accepted by the public, especially the politically connected and the Hollywood elite. It seems, like the former president of the Christian political group, that they sold their God so they could be sell-outs for man. It opened my eyes to what is really at stake here and it is not the notion of getting politicians to make decisions and cast votes based on Christian values.

In the book of Jude, Jude tells us we must contend for the faith in verse 3. This does not mean we must contend against the secular world because they are already against the truth of God and we really shouldn’t be surprised when they defame the name of Jesus. The thing is those attacks are only diversions. The real attacks occur from false teachers found with the body of Christ. These false teachers teach heresies and humanistic ideas mingled with enough Christianese to deceive the elect if possible.

Satan does his best work through systematic subtleties and infiltrations of humanistic ideals. It is does not happen in a short time but over an extended period of years. This has been going on for over a century with the progressive politics and progressive teaching of theological ideas of liberal thinkers. And today it has become entrenched in what most consider mainline Christianity like Southern Baptists and Pentecostals.

Beginning with Jesus and continuing through the apostles we are warned about the false teachers and false prophets that will arise from within the church. We are not told to defend against the government but against those within our church who propagate philosophies as direct inspirations from the Holy Spirit. We are to contend for the faith among the elect and expose teachings that will cause the sheep to stop relying on their Shepherd and rely on their own misguided abilities and the deliberate deceptions of those alleged godly men.

We must contend for the faith and judge all that is taught by any person teaching material loosely based on scripture. No one is above critical scrutiny, as the Apostle Paul commended the Bereans for searching the OT to verify that what he was teaching was consistent with God’s word. We are to do the same.

As a Derek Webb song says and I ask: Do these national celebrity pastors have one hand in a pot of gold while the other is in side of Jesus?

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