You Can Help Bring Clarity

You can help bring clarity to transform their minds.
In my recent posts I have brought to light the challenge for leaders in today’s church. We are confronted with blended beliefs that keep the born-again believer from walking in the fullness of Christ. Paul tells us in Ephesians chapter four that we are to equip the believers, bringing them into unity and attaining to the fullness of Christ.

As long as believers hang on to a little new age philosophy, a little Hinduism, or a little humanism they will falter in their walk with the Lord. There will certainly not be unity and they will experience bits and pieces of the fullness of Christ.

We must build them up, bringing clarity of mind and freedom of spirit to the church. I encourage you to take on the challenge among those you lead. Find out what they REALLY BELIEVE. It may surprise you! However, with the knowledge of what they really believe, you can begin to transform their mind and bring freedom from the bondage of blended beliefs. You can do it! You are equipped! Praise Jesus.


We Have the Upper Hand in the Battle of Beliefs

We have the God whose qualities are seen in creation.

Blended beliefs have taken up residence in the church. As leaders we are called to bring truth and clarity to people with blended beliefs. I recently read a statistic from George Barna, a prominent Christian social researcher in America. He found that 1/3 of all self-described Christians believe that the Bible is totally accurate in the principles it teaches. That’s good, right? Yet that same group also believes that the Koran, Book of Mormon, and Bible teach the same truths. What’s up with that? How can such a large group of people believe such things? The three books teach very different concepts of truth, salvation and the nature of God. They are very different!

Well, if there’s any good news in social statistics, we find it among the self-described atheists. One in five atheists believes in a god or a "universal spirit". How can you be an atheist, which by definition does not believe in ANY supernatural god or spirit, and embrace belief in the same? Blended beliefs have even invaded the atheist camp!

The bottom line is that every human has an inherent need to believe in the one true God of the Bible. Romans 1:20 says “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what had been made, so men are without excuse.” They will place their belief somewhere and in something. God’s very creation points to Him!
Our job as leaders is to bring forth the God the Bible, the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in a clear and vibrant way. We bring it with teaching, preaching, signs and wonders, gifts of the Spirit, our music, and through simple conversation.

Whether in the church or outside the church we have the upper hand in the battle of beliefs because we have Truth! We have the God whose invisible qualities are seen in His very creation! So we bring forth this God to dispel the blended beliefs to the church—and to the atheist! Praise God!


Build Trust and Then Use Tools

I’m continuing today the topic of blended beliefs in the church. As leaders we are called to prepare and build people in the faith with an outcome of unity and maturity in Christ (Eph. 4:11-13). This call is certainly a challenge in a world of instant cyber access to any faith concept imaginable.

The Apostle Paul had the same call to prepare and build amidst a diversity of belief systems. He battled well-established belief systems from Greek, Asian, Jewish and Gnostic culture as he preached the message of Jesus Christ. In Paul’s day a church he planted may go many months of invasion by false teaching before he became aware. It would be additional weeks or months before he could send a letter to bring clarity to blended beliefs. Paul did not have the challenge of cyber access to undermine his work, but neither did the competition!

Today we have the same tools as the competition! Praise God, we are not limited to Sunday morning messages and traditional approaches to advance the good news of Jesus Christ. We can distribute virtually any of God’s good news via websites, streaming audio/video, facebook, twitter, TV, radio, books and CD’s. And, of course, by personal contact. Yes, Paul’s personal time and investment in the local church developed trust and credibility that served him well when he needed to stem the invasion of blended beliefs.

At the end of the day, the level of trust you develop with people in your sphere of ministry will serve as a sound platform to bring clarity to the invasion of other beliefs. Whether you do it through cyberspace or more traditional means, People tend to go with whom they trust. So leaders, gain trust. . .then use every tool available to bring the clarity of Jesus to the world.


Blended Beliefs Result in Confusion

Blended beliefs in the body of Christ are rampant. These beliefs reveal the confused mindsets of masses of people regarding the Bible as the infallible Word of God. Most of them are insecure and inconsistent in beliefs because they have not spent time and energy studying the Word, receiving from the five-fold ministry gifts based in the Word, and applying what they know from the Word. The result is insecure, inconsistent, and powerless beliefs and behavior in the church.

For example, social researcher George Barna found that about half of all self-described Christians in the U.S. believe the Bible is totally accurate in its principles but also believe the Holy Spirit is only a symbolic reference to God’s power and presence. What’s up with that??!!! How can it be? People can only embrace both beliefs if they haven’t done the above.

Similarly, a majority of Brazilian people practice some form of Kardecism, Umbanda or Macumba, forms of spiritism and witchcraft, yet most of those practicing claim to be Christian and attend churches (Johnstone and Mandryk, 2001). They have blended beliefs, walking and talking as in states of confusion and blinded by the blender of beliefs.

The challenge for Church leadership is to not only teach the clear Word of God, but teach people to teach themselves the Word of God; to declare a clear, unambiguous message of grace and righteousness that comes only through Jesus Christ; to bring deliverance to the demonized and freedom to the enslaved. We bring clarity to blended minds and freedom to captives of confusion. From Africa to Asia to America we take this challenge and advance the Kingdom of God, a kingdom of clarity and good news!


There Is a Remnant!

In my last post you may have wondered, "this is horrible, how can so many people be confused about what the Bible says?" You may have stood on the threshold of despair from such deception in the church. But remember I said there is a remnant! Hallelujah, there is a group of believers that knows their identity in Christ. They know who is their enemy and who is their friend. They are clear in their beliefs and have not succumbed to the "blender"!!

From Africa, to Asia, to South America, to the U.S. there is a remnant who both understands the reality and strategies of Satan and who manifests the power of the Holy Spirit. This remnant is filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18), sealed by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 1:22), lives according to the Holy Spirit (Rom.8:4, Gal. 5:16), knows that God displays signs and wonders through the power of the Holy Spirit ((Rom.15:19), knows that spiritual truth only comes by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:13-16), understands that the Holy Spirit intercedes for the saints (Rom.8:27), are saved by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit (2 Thess. 2:13), preaches the gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Pet. 1:12), worships by the Holy Spirit (Phil.3:3), prays in the Spirit on all occasions(Eph. 6:18), and declares the wisdom of God to rulers and authorities in heavenly realms (Eph. 3:10).

This remnant of the church is coming alongside leaders to clarify the Truth of Jesus Christ and His resurrection power, to demonstrate the activity and gifts of the Holy Spirit and to appropriate victory over all the strategies of Satan and the demonic. It is this remnant that undergirds leaders to advance the Kingdom of God in their city, region, nation, and nations. Leaders, be encouraged by this remnant that has not submitted to the blender!! They are among you, just see and perceive who they may be.


Satan Is Not Merely a Symbol

As leaders from the U.S., Africa, Asia, or South America read this blog, together we take on the challenge of blended beliefs in the church. Every culture has the challenge of mixing the Truth of the Word of God with cultural, intellectual, and spiritual influences.

For example, in the U.S. today, six in ten self-described Christians believe that Satan is only a symbol of evil and he does not really exist as a living entity. A similar number believe that the Holy Spirit is only a symbol of God’s power and presence, but is not a living entity. Such a belief comes from the myriad of influences flooding minds of people in the church. This belief is completely inconsistent with Biblical truth; it gives a platform for Satan to further deceive and confuse, and undermines the credible power and work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

But. . .be encouraged leaders! There is good news in all of this! Halleluliah! There is a remnant, a powerful minority in the church, who know the Truth and it has set them free from confusion. In the next post I will encourage you about this remnant that is coming along side to advance the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom of Clarity and Truth.


Leaders Must Bring Clarity to What Jesus Did to Defeat Satan

Satan is real, living and active on the earth today. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Clearly Satan is active on this earth, yet many people choose to ignore him thinking that ignorance is bliss. I have personally found that people in developing countries have a stronger sense of clarity about Satan’s activity than people do here in the U.S.

According to research by George Barna (4/2009) only about 26% of U.S. Christians believe that Satan is real rather than symbolic. While the Bible is very clear about the reality and activity of Satan, blended beliefs undermine the church’s ability to manifest victory over Satan and his activity because only a minority clearly see him as real.

As leaders we must bring clarity to what Jesus did to defeat Satan. He is a defeated foe over whom we, the Church, must appropriate daily victory in our minds and in the spirit realm. When we teach the church to rise up and resist him, we bring clarity to blended beliefs. We bring defeat to the one who roars like a lion but has not the power of a lion. We remind him of his defeat and our victory. But we only do that if we know it and appropriate it. Leadership must show the way.


Blended Beliefs: Who Knows What Happens When You Drink It?

The church is full of blended beliefs. Blended beliefs contain a little humanism, a little Christianity, a little metaphysical, a little pantheism, etc. Our almost universal access to knowledge has positioned all mankind, including the Church, to accept blended beliefs about who God is, who Jesus is, who we are, what is heaven, who is Satan, what is hell, etc.

Several years ago I preached a message on blended beliefs. I used an electric blender to illustrate what happens when we mix belief systems. The illustration is simple. Take an orange and put it in the blender, turn it on grinding the orange into juice. Add an apple thus blending the two. Add some beans. Add a potato. Add some dog poop. Add some cow manure. Add some of this and some of that. When it’s all blended together, the product is no longer identifiable as anything in particular. It’s a mixture of good and bad tastes; good and bad smells, good and bad nutrition. Who knows what will happen if you drink it??????

So it is with the church today. In America about 35-40% of people say they have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but only 8% ascribe to the core tenants of Biblical Christianity. The church has a mixture of beliefs; a little of this and a little of that. Our role as leaders is to separate the good from the bad; to clarify that which nourishes from that which brings sickness; to identify that which has the aroma of the Holy Spirit versus that which has the aroma of demonic spirits. Be encouraged that you can do it. You can be the separator rather than the blender. You have the anointing and grace of God resident within you. You are called to bring clarity in the midst of blended beliefs.


Leaders Must Bring Clarity to Dispel the Confusion

This week I continue this leadership series on beliefs in the Church. As leaders we must know what people following us believe. Do they really believe what the pastor believes? Do they really embrace what the leaders embrace? The world has instant access to any theology via the internet, TV and radio. What you preach on Sunday morning can be undermined by reading something on an internet site Sunday night. What you teach in Bible study on Tuesday can be squashed by what is read in a popular book on Wednesday.

According to research by George Barna (4/2009) over 40% of self-described Christians believe that the Bible, the Koran, and Book of Mormon are "different expressions of the same spiritual truths." Today’s church leaders are leading a church with blended beliefs. People have absorbed so much knowledge from so many sources that they walk in confusion rather than in clarity.

We must declare the simple gospel of Jesus Christ in a clear and transparent way. The gospel is Jesus-centered; Jesus crucified, resurrected, and alive. We must declare that if you confess with your mouth that He is Lord and believe in your heart that He was raised from the dead you shall be saved (Rom. 10:9, 10). "Saved from what?", many say; saved from sin that entered all mankind in the Garden of Eden. Jesus did all the work on the cross. Our work is to believe in Him and what He did for us. It’s simple. It’s clear. It’s unambiguous. It’s powerful. It’s love. It’s grace. As leaders we must bring clarity to the hearts and minds of those who will listen.


We Have a Crisis of Belief in America

Over half of all people attending evangelical churches in America believe there are "many pathways to God", leading me to declare we have a crisis of belief! We are in a season of separation or satiation; a season where seekers are either separated from or become fully satiated in the things of the Spirit of God. We must help people see the clear choice and the consequences of each.

Within every human being is the innate desire to be connected to and immersed in the Holy Spirit. But our blended culture and beliefs muddy the water and blind the eyes of many. As leaders, we are responsible for creating the environment and presenting clear choices for people to choose Truth or choose deception. The Name of Jesus is clear. The choice for Jesus is unambiguous. The work of the cross is complete. The grace of God is unlimited. The fullness of Christ is available.

Just as Paul refused to stop preaching the Name, we as today’s leaders must refuse to let the culture muddy the water of the message of Good News. Go and preach to all nations the clarity of Christ!


Leaders Are Responsible for Offering Faith and Asking for Committment

Many leaders in the church are affirmed by the number of people they have rather than the depth of the people they have. The problem with that thinking is that many people attend evangelical churches but have a shallow level of faith. Such people are checking out the faith and checking out the church but have not really entered into agreement with it. It’s like they're dating the church and dating Jesus. They’re just checking it out to determine if Jesus is worth a long term relationship. They want to know if the local church is worthy of a long term commitment.

Leaders must confront those who are dating and ask for a decision. Either choose me or date someone else. Leaders must develop the people in their ministry or church to the point that they are past the dating game. We must preach Truth. We must offer an uncompromised presentation of Good News. We must declare there is only one way to eternal life-- Jesus and His resurrection. The difficult times in which we live require people to embrace a faith that is deep, solid and unshakable. Leaders are responsible for offering and developing that kind of faith.