All posts by Ric Overton

Disgusting Comments From A Minister

I want you to take a moment and read this article.   I have  to say that I have never seen nor experienced a time in my life when the church at large seems to be so violent minded and so mean.

We are experiencing a mass exit from most congregations today.  We are experiencing a situation where even in the most contemporary churches we are losing members and regular congregants at an alarming rate.  I have never seen so many churches FOR SALE.

I have been wondering for some time now why so many people seem to be less and less interested in anything to do with Christians or church.  I began to take a long look at the church and the message of some of the churches and now the picture is becoming crystal clear.

In this week’s news was yet another PATHETIC statement from a more well known Christian personality that spewed from his mouth a ridiculous story about Ebola and a potential reason of why this disease is here and growing concerns about it’s existence.  Follow the information below to see:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/08/06/christian-radio-host-hopes-ebola-will-solve-americas-problems-with-atheism-and-homosexuality_n_5656455.html

There are many things in life that follow a rule that I have:  “It makes sense until you think about it”.

First of all let me voice an opinion and may I add this is only my opinion.  If you don’t have anything sensible to say, PLEASE DON’T SAY ANYTHING.  Since the days of the PTL club and Jimmy Swaggart, I have told many, many people this:  When a minister of the Gospel or a leader in the church falls, he/she doesn’t really hurt themselves on the same level as it hurts the church.

Nothing in the New Testament supports the types of actions that this minister or leader has made.  These statements are not only inflammatory but approaching idiotic.  Not a good witness of the church and certainly not led by the Holy Spirit.

I have gotten weary of the idea that ministers feel as if they can say anything they want to say.  It actually makes me angry to see this happen.  Why? you may ask.  These people are misrepresenting the message of hope.

Jesus was born the ONLY  Son of God and left his heavenly estate to take his place among humanity.  Was born of a virgin and lived a sinless life.  He became the ultimate sacrifice for humanity when he was crucified, while God and His angels watched.  He was laid in a borrowed tomb and rose the third day with the keys to Hell, Death, Sin and the Grave.  He ascended to the right hand of God the Father and has promised us that one day He will return to gather His children home to be with Him for eternity.

He said that he came not to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.  My daily prayer is that we can all learn to communicate to the world the love of Christ and the reason for our Hope.  Love others as we would want to be loved.

1st Corinthians 6

As we enter into this chapter of 1st Corinthians I want to remind you of some of the culture in this area of the world at this particular time. It seems that Paul almost stays focused on sex.  There was such a division going on in the church at this time and also the whole culture in the area was sexually driven.  Reminds me of the world we live in today.

Paul opens up this chapter with a look at what you should do when you are having a major disagreement between two believers.   Paul asks the question in the opening verse; How could you take a matter before the unjust (unbelievers) before taking it to the believers?

Paul explains that the Christians will judge the world.  If the world is going to be judged by us then we should be able to judge the small matters that happen between us.

As Paul goes on he starts to ask if there is not a wise enough person between all the people in the church to judge people in small matters. Today, we see somethings that happen similarly.  Christians don’t want to get involved in small personal matters and we wind up putting others in a situation where they have no choice but to consult the courts. Yet, we have the knowledge, wisdom and authority to help people work out things if we will just allow ourselves to take that step and help.

In verses 8, 9 and 10 Paul categorized some of the sins that are separating people then AND now from God.  While these things do separate us, God continues to love us.  The damage that is done is often what we do to ourselves.  Our shame, embarrassment and self-imposed condemnation leads us to believe that we are less of a Christian or less committed to Christ.  We tend to make ourselves the judge and jury of ourselves and won’t allow ourselves to – first  and foremost, ask God’s forgiveness of our sins and second ask ourselves to forgive ourselves and move forward knowing that we have been redeemed.

Verse 11 tells the end of the story.  We are washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and the Spirit of God.

Verses 12 to 18 warns us that fornication is a sin that is done with our body parts.  Not only the man with the woman but the woman with the man in that in the act of sex, different from most other sins, our bodies are actually making internal contact with each other.  In this act the two participants become one.

Verse 19 explains that we are the temple of the Holy Ghost.  When you join your body with another in the act of sex you actually are becoming one body and in that act you are actually linking with another and causing sin to occur, also because it takes your mind away from the things of God.

Paul closes what must be a very difficult chapter explaining that we should be glorifying God with our bodies.  In  all things we should be working and doing things to His glory.  In this we grow deeper in His knowledge and grace and are able to walk more clearly and with a clear conscience.

Quick Break

It’s at this point that I feel like I should interject a few thoughts.  The first 5 chapters of 1st Corinthians has been heavy and in some people’s mind perhaps even VERY judgmental.

Let’s reexamine the actual messages here.  In today’s world people are looking at everything they possibly can in order to bring condemnation to someone else.  The reason they want to do this is to draw the attention away from themselves; sort of projecting self righteousness onto you in order to clear themselves in some way.

The reality is that when Jesus came He  did not come to bring condemnation, He came to bring life.  Condemnation separates you from God.  Condemnation separates you from the reality of your own human traits.   Condemnation makes you feel unworthy.  As explained by my Pastor this week, conviction is a different thing.

Jesus came to bring us eternal life.  Period.  When the rest of the New Testament was written, it was written as a guideline of how we  should live our lives to draw ourselves closer to God and understanding of His fullness.  In order to draw closer to God you have to remove those things in your life which cause separation. These things are what makes your walk with God difficult.

Unless you are superman you are going to fail.  Unless you possess superhuman strengths you are going to blow it from time to time. When  these things happen don’t wallow in self-condemnation but rather glory in the teaching process and be aware that you are still human.

I am ready to head into the next section of 1st Corinthians but wanted to stop for a moment and explain that this is not condemnation but a step into a closer walk with God.

 

1st Corinthians 5

Paul took the 5th chapter to address a specific person that has apparently been have a physical relationship with either his mother or step mother.

In verses 2-5 Paul admonishes the church at Corinth to put this person out of the church.   It appears that Paul is basically telling the leadership of the church that they can not allow one person to damage the message of the gospel.

Verses 6-8 Paul makes reference to leaven.  Leaven of course is similar to yeast which once allowed to activate will grow bread to twice or perhaps three times its original size.  Perhaps Paul is warning the church to stop the such actions before they fester and grow into something that it should not.

In verse 9-11 the church is told to not only put this person out of the church but he continued to say not to even keep company with such a person.

One of the potentially confusing parts of this chapter is that we are told all the way through the chapter to avoid sinful people.   However, in the last two verses Paul explains the rules of judgement.

Basically, Paul has told the people in the church to NOT judge anyone without first judging themselves.

 

1st Corinthians 4

Paul opens the 4th chapter of 1st Corinthians by explaining criteria of being a minister.  He explains that a minister is a steward of the the gospel.  A minister  holds the “mysteries” of God and because of that trust he must be found faithful.  He tells us not to judge each other but we need to judge ourselves.

As the next section (vs. 6) Paul expounds on some of the misunderstandings regarding his ministry.  He speaks of people getting “puffed up” against one another.

Paul seems to be lamenting for most of the rest of the chapter about the abuse they have suffered and how they have been mistreated because of the Gospel.  In verse 17 he even reveals to the Corinthians that he has sent Timotheus to them in order to warn them and explain the proper delivery of the Gospel.

In verses 18 and 19 he acknowledges how some people have gotten angry because they think he is not going to visit them but makes the promise that he will visit BUT when he comes he will not be preaching to simply satisfy the people who have spoken against him but will be preaching the power of the gospel.

Paul closes the chapter by asking them if he wants them to visit with a rod and preach hard against them or if he wants them to come in love.

Chapter 5 will explain more of why he asked this question.

 

1st Corinthians 3

Paul opens the third chapter explaining that he is feeding the people with the “milk” of the Word.  Eating the “meat” of the Gospel too quickly can lead to many other problems.  Carnality is one of the issues that can appear.  People who are not “seasoned” in the Word can begin to think of themselves as more important than another. This is a HUGE mistake.  As Paul explains in the 3rd and 4th verses it appears that some people were trying to sell themselves as more important by putting titles on themselves to show some type of superiority.

I’m sure this will sound familiar to many people.  Verse 3 explains that even in the early church there were already beginning to see signs of division.  Could this be the beginning of denominations as we know it today?  Just curious……

Paul is self-explanatory in the following verses 5-17.  Paul introduces Apollos who  was a well respected minister of the Gospel in the Corinthian church.  Verses 5-9 explains in a nutshell that there is no one that is more important than the other.  One person does the planting.  Sometimes this is nothing more than planting a seed of love or of a positive message or an offer of hope.

Along comes person number two who waters that original seed. Perhaps it’s nothing more than a kind word or deed perhaps it’s a helping hand or more importantly; perhaps it was that situation where that person was expected to say something disparaging and they didn’t.

Proverbs 25:11 is possibly one of my favorite verses when speaking about witnessing.  It says:  A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.  Sometimes the best words are the ones not spoken. Once a word is off your lips it can’t be recalled.  Something heard can’t be unheard.

Back to the point:  Paul was explaining that each person has their own jobs.  It is expected that you will not always fulfill the same role. Sometime you may be the planter and next time you are the harvester.  The important part of this logic is that you are playing  a part regardless and it is very important that you play your part well.

Paul pulls out of this chapter in verses 18-23 that the ministers of the Gospel will be held accountable for their words, actions and deeds.  He explains in verse 22 that whether your Pastor is the most respected Pastor in all of the Church world OR the least of all, we are all in Christ.

He closes in verse 23: And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.  This is a significant verse because it explains “the chain of command” or exactly who’s who.  We are in Christ.  We belong to Him.  Christ is God’s.  We already are aware that Jesus is the Son of God.  Paul reconfirms that when he use the quote that Christ is God’s.

 

 

 

1st Corinthians 2

Paul opens the 2nd chapter of 1st Corinthians explaining that he may not be the most prolific speaker ever to come to Corinth.  He goes on to explain that he really doesn’t know a lot about the Church of Corinth except that they had accepted Jesus as The Christ. An oft quoted verse is seen in verse 5 when Paul says “Your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” How often in your daily walk do you hear a person who is very well spoken and seemingly very intelligent but doesn’t understand God at all. Verse 9 is like a “mainstay” in our faith.  “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. Paul spends much time in this chapter explaining the “Spirit”.  He speaks of the spirit of man and the Spirit of God at some length.  He mentions the “spirit of the world” in verse 12 and then goes on further to say in verse 14 “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: Verse 16 is also a favorite of mine: “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?  but we have the mind of Christ” Oh to have the mind of Christ.  Where we are able to look through the present situation to the victory that waits for us on the other side.  That mind which allows us to look at sickness, disease and death as just another step on our journey.  To look at that person who we meet and see that their souls are much more vastly important to God than the circumstances we see.  Oh to have the mind of Christ.