Following are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the PNN Network.
by Dr. Danny Morano, www.ConnectionMagazine.org
by Dr. Danny Morano, www.ConnectionMagazine.org
Have churches become counterfeit? Are so-called 'watchmen' of alternative Christian media misleading the people? Who are you following? An unholy mixture is now being exposed. Will true Scriptural leadership please stand up!
A dark hour is descending down upon us with such intense and thick oppression manifesting itself in unprecedented, open demonic manifestation and putrid perversion within secular society. Accordingly, these tentacles have extended themselves unabated, deeply into the root system of what we like to term Christianity or the Christian Church through unrestrained heresy (false teaching) and apostasy (throwing off the moral and scriptural restraints of the God head.
I refer to this un-scriptural, organized, religious, Christian system as the counterfeit Church (Christianity). This is in opposition to the true "assembly of God", "kuriacki" in the original Greek meaning "people belonging to the Lord" and "Ecclesia"-Greek for "the gathering together of the called out ones." This is the true definition given to us both by Christ and the apostles in the New Testament and refers to a "living organism" as opposed to, a "dead organization". I have dealt with this extensively, the definitions and differences between the true scriptural Church and the counterfeit church system in my book "Exposing the Counterfeit Church", making the clear distinction between who the Church is and what She is not.
In the last two decades or so, there has been much loose usage in certain, more progressive sectors of the Church system of the term "five-fold ministry". Yet, due to the inherent error already present in the roots of this apostate structure, this has also overall, been misinterpreted, defined and implemented. I will cite below the portion of scripture from which this terminology and the accompanying concepts originate.
"And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messenger), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.
12 [and He did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints (God's people) for works of service, to build up the body of Christ [the church];" Ephesians 4:11 Amplified
In short, we see clearly right within the text that Christ has given specific gifts to His Church and these gifts are men anointed and appointed by Him to equip the body of believers (saints) to perform the work of ministering to one another, as brought out in the following verse (vs. 12) This has been greatly misunderstood and was stamped out very early on in Church history being eclipsed and eventually, replaced by the one-man bishop ruled church and it's subservient clerical, hierarchical structure as represented in the Roman Pontiff and his Arch bishops and Cardinals and in the more contemporary version, the CEO Pastor and his boards of deacons and elders.
Thus, the servant-model foundation as portrayed in our Lord's humble example of getting down on His knees and washing the feet of His followers, He being the "chief cornerstone" of the only foundation which He laid (Ephesians 2:20), has been overturned. This capstone of the foundation along with its accompanying structural foundation "the apostles and prophets" was turned on its head by this demonic counterfeit and transformed into a top heavy pyramidal scheme with these chief clergy impostors reigning from the top and weighing down on the body of believers. This is in opposition to our Lord's intention of these "servant love functions" - apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastors and teachers providing the support mechanism for the rest of the body of Christ by sitting up under them, lifting them and equipping them to be the instruments of the Holy Spirit in building the Church. For the foundation of the Church is built UPON the apostles and prophets.
It is tragic enough that for at least the last 1700 years this religious aberration called the clergy has largely eradicated the Spirit birthed and empowered service of these servant love functions. Yet, even with this bold departure from the original blueprint of Heaven, one could still appeal to the scriptures, as the reformers did later on, to call these so-called leaders-bishops, deacons, etc. to task. For although, the church had been woefully impoverished spiritually through this usurpation and eradication of Christ's gifts operating in the supposed Church, the main titles and offices that these usurpers had assumed for themselves could be found in scripture. Therefore, any knowledgeable believer could appeal to the scripture's requirements for such a post and qualify or disqualify any self-appointed minister, accordingly.
In recent days however, in attempt to completely acquiesce to the "spirit of the age", those claiming to be called to the ministry have begun to throw off the burdensome restraints of these servant love functions as well. They no longer want to be bound by the religious requirements of pastor, preacher, teacher, etc., (note: scripture says servant leaders are not to be called by the title for the role in which they serve, for we are all brethren, Matthew 23:8-10). Now, in keeping with the modern new age spirit, many aspire to more worldly and culturally acceptable names for their craft like, Life-Coach and Motivational Speaker or "Encourager." Never mind that these titles have their origins in at the intellectual best - New Age Movement and at worst - Sports idolatry. The rationale of course, is that the post Christian mentality of the targeted listeners can relate to these worldly terms much better.
So, what's the problem, brother? After all, what's in a name or title? As long as our intentions are noble and we only want to help people, what's wrong with that? The problem is that first of all, this opens a whole Pandora's box of unrestrained and unaccountable teachings and practices being introduced into the ranks of the faithful with no absolute authority or rule of belief and practice being able to be employed to measure orthodox or unorthodox teaching and practice. The notorious mixture of worldly philosophy and scriptural doctrine which has historically plagued the Church now busts through the boundaries of what can even be tested or disciplined by the rule of scripture. Due to the facts that these titles or names for ministry do not find their home anywhere in scripture, there is no way to hold them or their propagators accountable for what they are postulating under the erroneous authority of these worldly vocations, designations and teachings. Coupled with the abhorrent scriptural illiteracy of the congregants, this is a recipe for disaster!
This is why we see the most popular megastars of the modern "Christian" ministry being able to comfortably share the stage, in and out of the Church with new-age and occult motivated, self-appointed, spiritual gurus also known for their bold proclamation and practice of sexually deviant lifestyles. These supposed ministers of the gospel and life-coach/mega CEO pastors mix unashamedly and fearlessly with Satan's evangelists and prophets, witches and warlocks and even dare to bring these wicked, demonized vessels into the fold and pollute and defile the professing body of Christian believers with this Gnostic filth.
How can this be possible and go on unchecked and undisciplined? Well, as I started out in this article stating, an apostate structure posing as the Church - the Counterfeit Church, Counterfeit Christianity has allowed, through its persistent and progressive departure from Scripture and its author; the Holy Spirit, for the conditions that we now experience.
Secondly, the servant love functions (ministers) have not stepped forward and been willing to firstly, come out of this system and refuse to conduct their ministries from within this aberrant beast. In tandem, they have not risen up and renounced and denounced this fake Christianity and its counterfeit ministry structure and the doctrines and dogma which support it!
It is time for the true Church and its Christ gifted ministers to be defined. Church, servant love functions - We Must Define Ourselves! In doing so, we will naturally, have to "come out from among them and be ye separate". We must "come out of her (Mystery Babylon) and partake not of her sins that we do not receive of her plagues!" The real body of Christ and its truly Spirit led leaders must renounce and denounce this false Church system and all of its impostor ministry titles, offices and operations and raise up once again the Christ inspired model found in Ephesians 4.
There has been a rather large group of dissenters who have recognized in part, the faultiness of the organized church system I have been describing above and they have departed from it. These zealous believers and deserters of the organized counterfeit church system can be found among the ranks of listeners to the "Alternative Christian Media", which can be accessed predominantly on the Internet.
Many of these ministries/news outlets, Intel gatherers and propagators however, are also practicing an undeniable mixture in their presentations of worldly wisdom and sometimes a novice's attempt at merging that with scripture. They even align themselves with and view as allies those who are not professing born-again, Holy Spirit-led and Holy Spirit-filled men rather, only hold in common with the professing Christian alternative newsmen, certain conservative positions for instance, on patriotism, self-defense, the right to bear arms and a vitriol for the present governmental regime. Yet, this is obviously again another unholy mixture.
We also find among this band of religious renegades a lack of ability and willingness to define themselves (as ministers of the Gospel and/or representatives of Christ), according to scripture. They decline, either through ignorance or cowardice to choose designations for themselves and their ministries from the confines of New Testament (instructions that all followers of Christ are to represent Him as ambassadors and servants who preach His word) definitions. Instead they elect to don themselves with titles that the secular world holds in high esteem such as: businessman, investigator, journalist and their misguided attempt at assigning themselves a spiritual/military post - "Watchman on the wall" rather than claiming one of the new testament, new covenant servant love functions; apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher, Ephesians 4:11.
By this, they avoid Scriptural correction from the brethren by not claiming to be a minister of the Lord or representative of Christ. This is a ploy they use to avoid Scriptural correction from the brethren when confronted; "I am not a pastor," they say to avoid accountability. Meanwhile, they take it upon themselves to hypocritically bring correction and instruction.
The 'watchman' title carries a dual connotation of being someone who is looking out for the enemy's approach and uncovering his tactics and schemes. On the natural side of the coin, this has a military application, a soldier assigned to guard and sound the alarm. These men see themselves as soldiers in Christ's army although; however, when one hears their rhetoric it is hard to distinguish what kingdom they are trying to preserve and what King they are actually fighting for, the Kingdom of God and its King Christ or the Defunct Republic of the United States and the king they would like to see installed. For their Christianity is a blatant mixture of Christian "values" and "patriotism", biblical beliefs and worldly ideas and aspirations.
On the spiritual side of the coin, this title Watchman is associated with the prophets of the Old Testament who were called by God to warn His people of coming judgment and call them to repentance of their national sin. There are two problems with our friend's position. One, this title and function is no longer found in the New Testament, or among the ministries gifted by Christ to His Church. It is gross error to apply this ministry function of the Old Covenant prophet to the dispensation and ministry of the New Covenant Church. They carry this also to destructive lengths in their justification of taking up arms to defend themselves, their families and nation by appealing to Old Covenant precedent in the dispensation of Law among the Hebrews. This is not applicable nor sanctioned by Christ for New Testament believers.
Secondly, they are inconsistent and hypo-critical in this regard because they will not take on the responsibility and accountability of the title "prophet" for this is too risky. When confronted about the weightiness of the apocalyptic nature of their counsel and Intel and application thereof, they will quickly herald the disclaimer that they are not a prophet. They are also quick to deride and discredit anyone who actually has the boldness to declare who they truly are as Christ appointed servant love functions such as, apostle or prophet. Of course, pastor is no problem for them, as it is the widely accepted apostate appointment for any self-appointed, supposed expert of the scriptures and leader of other lesser informed believers.
These men are behaving in a non-scriptural and irresponsible manner by assuming this designation which first of all has no sanction in New Testament Christianity. Also, one cannot draw on the authoritative and powerful association of "Watchman/Prophet" yet, not be willing to be held accountable according to the biblical ramifications of a prophet.
Therefore, if you are a businessman or journalist or investigator and this worldly acumen is your qualification and you are not willing to boldly proclaim that you have been appointed by Christ in one of the servant love functions to lead and speak with Spirit given authority to the body of Christ then you need to sit down and stop instructing the body of Christ. For there is no mandate from our Lord allowing mere 'mixture believers' taking pride in their worldly qualifications to assume leadership capacity in the body of Christ such as ordained for the gifts (men) Christ has appointed.
So, we have the same problem when it comes to correcting and disciplining these alternative Christian media personalities and their teachings as we do with those in the churches because they have assumed titles not found in New Testament scripture and again, there is no role, by which to qualify or disqualify their teachings and positions. This is why recently, when a proclaiming online pastor/watchman tried to bring correction to this camp regarding the propagation of false and 'new age' doctrine being proclaimed through their popular alternative Christian news program, he met only with derision and confusion and according to him, he is now being "shunned and rejected".
For these men were not willing to be held accountable and fell back on the excuse that they are not "theologians" or "pastors", in other words, they openly deny being ministry gifts to the body. The problem is misguided and immature believers are convinced of their self-ordained watchmen's spiritual authority due to their dogmatic presentation and irresponsible mixture of religious and worldly ideals.
I will close this article by saying, it is time for the true Church and the true servant love functions to step up to the plate: We Must Define Ourselves!
Dr. Danny Morano is an accomplished author who hosts an internet teaching program called 'Let's Talk, God is Not Religious' airing on BlogTalk Radio. He has appeared on several high profile alternative Christian media programs. He operates in the servant love function of an apostle, restoring proper Scriptural foundation to the body of Christ. His latest book is entitled 'Exposing The Counterfeit Church'. Www.GodIsNotReligious.net