There are millions of fake Christians these days, they’re everywhere, and are often referred to as ‘churchians’. They tend to ignore the Bible totally, or twist it to suit their own agendas, or sometimes, they lead a flock astray, as is the case with my first example of a fake Christian.
He’s the pastor at a church I attended for around 7 months. The church is small and independent, and run along democratic lines (always a recipe for disaster and heresy). Sadly the number of female members is higher than the male members, so it’s a church under the indirect authority of women (that’s against the teachings of St. Paul, in case you didn’t realise that). It also means the church is extremely weak, as it lacks any man with authority, and so it is dying a slow death, as the average age of the congregation must be over 70 (the post-war generation that sat by whilst allowing their nation to be turned against God).
This pastor used to focus many of his sermons on the letters of St Paul as it happened, whilst at the same permitting women to have their heads uncovered in church, and allowing them to speak in church too. I say ‘allow’ and ‘permit’, but in fact he had no authority, as they were his collective boss and paid his wages too, so he had to do as they desired, and they really desired to sit and chat in church. He was a very weak man, and a hypocrite in many matters of faith.
I experienced a few instances of false doctrine over the period I was at this church. The first cropped up when I was talking to the pastor about a good friend of mine who lives in Morocco. I had given my friend an Arabic bible to read and some other Christian literature, and mentioned to the pastor that my friend’s wife had told him that if he became a Christian through believing Jesus to be the son of God, that she would also choose to believe in Him, and would convert too, and so would their children.
The pastor looked horrified, and said ‘Well, she can’t call herself a Christian unless and until she has a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ’. As I was still relatively new to faith I didn’t say anything in response, although I knew that didn’t sound correct. Subsequent reading confirmed that the ‘personal relationship’ mantra is a key plank of modern evangelism, but it’s pure fiction, and something I will cover in another post. For now, let’s just remind ourselves that Jesus is in Heaven, sat alongside God, and He left us the Holy Spirit to be our comforter here on earth. Simple enough.
Back to the pastor’s comment, here is some scripture that confirms his words were totally inaccurate:
‘Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.’
‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.’
‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.’ You’ll note it doesn’t mention any ‘personal relationship’ at all.
‘Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.’
So believing and confessing that Jesus is the Christ, son of God, that seems to do it, John’s epistles are very clear and helpful. Perhaps the pastor has forgotten these verses, or perhaps he feels offended that simple folk in Africa can be saved just by literally having faith and belief in the fact of Jesus’ status as the resurrected Son of God? Either way, he’s a hypocrite and a liar.
I attended home groups with this church, for a while. They involved some bible study and some group prayer and a bit of chat. I stopped attending when one of the women prayed for the survival of the NHS (National Health Service in Britain). That’s the same NHS that kills tens of thousands of unborn babies every year, and euthanises elderly people in their care to save money. And carries out hormone therapies on young children who have been convinced they are of the opposite sex. Everyone said Amen to the prayer though (except me). Foolish and hypocritical people, all of them, with no real grasp of their faith at all, or perhaps led astray by a weak pastor.
The final straw for me was when a friend and I were organising a trip to distribute some military surplus clothing we’d bought to the local homeless folk. I’d asked the pastor if he wanted to be involved, or whether we could route the funds to purchase the clothing through the church in order to claim some tax relief on the money, and hence buy some extra supplies. I also asked him whether he could help with publicising the endeavour, as it would glorify God amongst local people, and may encourage some to consider coming along to church and finding their own faith. His wife had been very negative about seeking publicity for the mission, saying ‘Christians aren’t supposed to shout about the good works they do’. She was wrong, and I wrote to him to point out what scripture has to say on the matter:
Regarding the need for us to publicise our works, it is specifically called for by Jesus Himself in scripture:
‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’
Given the state of the nation, if we don’t shine our light (and our good works) as the Lord commands, but seek to hide it under a bushel, we’re doomed, and we’re also ignoring our side of the new covenant by not glorifying God, and deserve His judgement. Yes, we are saved, but we need to obey the word of God and His son in everything we do. I’m not sure why your wife would have contrary views on the issue, but hopefully reading the above will cause her to reconsider.’
Here’s his reply:
‘I do feel that if money is being put through the church account and tax is being claimed back from the govt in the name of our fellowship, that the membership knows about it and is fully supportive of the purpose for which it’s being used.
You said that you are planning to do this with someone else. Is he a believer in Christ? Which church does he attend? Perhaps his church organises things differently and the money can be put through them instead.
I’m cautious about seeking publicity for what we do through the secular media. They love it when we do good public works like helping the homeless and running a food bank. However, as soon as the gospel is mentioned or people are challenged concerning life-style choices etc their attitude immediately changes and they don’t want to hear about the ultimate purpose of what we do (I.e. that people turn to Christ from sin and be rescued from eternity in the lake of fire).’
So, in order to claim back around £40 in tax relief by routing the money for the clothes through the church, he felt he needed the whole of the membership to know about it, and to be supportive of it. How’s that for saltiness!
He then chose to completely ignore Jesus’ own words about shining our light through the world for the glory of God, and instead to behave cautiously for fear that the media may not give a good hearing to any gospel message. So brave of him, and I’m sure that when judgement day comes this pastor will face a question or two on his choices. Weak, weak, weak, and a saltiness rating of 0% with his cautious approach.
So, if you attend a church like this, watch out, you are being led astray, and I suggest leaving and starting your own small church, something that I plan to do in the very near future, so keep reading here if you’re a Dumnonia resident.
We’ll give the final word on this subject to St John:
‘And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.’
Be an authentic salty Christian, not a fake. Follow scripture, keep His commands, tell the truth, confront evil, and don’t worry about the consequences here on earth, instead focus on the glories that await us in heaven, for eternity no less.