Dream word – DUPED
“Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.” NKJV
Dealing with the seven dwarfs of a much diminished Christianity
In present day Christianity dwarfism in on the rise. Like some Disneyland Mickey Mouse theme park ride, the Seven Dwarfs of “desperate, dopy, dumb, duped, deceived, demonised and destroyed” are roaming the world selling the largest silver foiled covered roast turkey legs you can imagine and can you believe it, the whole world of Christianity is seemingly buying their airplane tickets, putting on their big ole’ mouse ears and silly sad tiaras and lining up like lemons to have their pips squeaked and a few more drops squeezed from their wallets. Even the elect!
If you are being sucked into the sad money factory, if these seven dwarves are pulling you down to their level, if their fat headed big mouths have infected you with this curse of dreadful dwarfism, then may I recommend a course of antibiotics for you tonight? Yes? Well, here they are: Take some time, just a long weekend maybe, grab some popcorn, plug in the DVD player and let ‘er rip. Make sure you have some extra rolls of toilet tissue available though, cause this stuff I’m giving you will purge you, and great will be the cleansing thereof. Here we go then.
On Friday, settle down and open up Ian Murray’s most marvellous book, Revival and Revivalism, The Making and Marring of American Evangelicism 1750-1858. In my opinion there is no greater book to lay some concrete foundations in your mind and heart for what we have seen birthed on the American Scene and exported abroad. This should take you until lunchtime Saturday. Now, take the rest of the afternoon and the night to plough through the following films:
The Night of The Hunter, starring Robert Mitchum.
Elmer Gantry, starring Burt Lancaster.
Marjo, starring Marjo Gortner
Leap of Faith, starring Steve Martin.
Now on Sunday, get thee hence to a good church. Somewhere that has a good welcome, good worship and a good word. I don’t mean a talk either, I don’t mean a twenty minute recruitment infomercial, I mean a message from a man that takes his time to unpack the Word of God before you in both fear and trembling. A man of Godly hesitation, a man who has one foot on the balances of judgement and another in the fire of hell! A chef of extraordinary care who knows he’s pulled some fugu fish from the sea of Galilee and you are there to eat his prepared delicacy. It tastes good doesn’t it? You want more don’t you? It’s interesting that good preaching will either have your tongue hanging out for more, or have you up on your feet with your fingers stuck deep into your ears begging him to stop the serving of such hot and steamy, illuminating Linguini!
I tell you, this short, long weekend course of antibiotics will stop your dwarfism in its tracks. However, such a cathartic release will have messed up your spiritual GI tract like never before. Don’t worry though, because this will pass. Rest up, grab some good audio sermons from Dr J Vernon McGee, AW Tozer, Paris Reidhead, Leonard Ravenhill, and indeed anyone else whose knees audibly knock together when they preach. Do this and thou shalt recover. Oh and may I challenge you good folks affected by such dwarfism to do just one more hard thing tonight? Brace yourselves now, for here it is: “More than anything guys, please just grow up!”
(PS: No actual dwarfs were harmed in the constructing of this message, though many of you have been. For the better.)
Listen: “But there were also lying prophets among the people then, just as there will be lying religious teachers among you. They'll smuggle in destructive divisions, pitting you against each other - biting the hand of the One who gave them a chance to have their lives back! They've put themselves on a fast downhill slide to destruction, 2 but not before they recruit a crowd of mixed-up followers who can't tell right from wrong. They give the way of truth a bad name.” (2 Peter 2:1-3 from The Message: by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)
Pray: Lord, help us not to believe everything we hear, but carefully weigh and examine what people tell us. Help us to quickly spot those lying preachers let loose in the world, in Jesus name we pray, amen.
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