What ever happened to church discipline?

http://gbcdecatur.org/
http://gbcdecatur.org/

I lead a small group for women and recently had to kick out one of our members. She informed me after a counseling session that she wasn’t going to stop sleeping with her unsaved boyfriend. It wasn’t her sin but her defiance which prompted her removal from our group. But why did I have to exercise a judgement? Isn’t church for sinners? Isn’t it the responsibility of the church and not the group? Most churches don’t practice disciplining of any sorts today. Why is that?

A healthy church is one that practices church discipline. Otherwise it will always be noted as a house of hypocrites and unchallenged and undisciplined Christians. Remember the purposes of our scriptures found in the bible:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

So not only is the bible presented as a great book for inspiration and instruction of doctrine, but also for reproof and correction. Why? So that the Christian can be COMPLETE! We are one-sided and nothing but holy rollers if our lives are presented without any discipline.

Does the bible even support discipline of its members? It does and can be found in 1 Corinthians 5 (see entire chapter):

I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.  Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.  But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.

 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-13

So we are to judge fellow Christians but not non-Christians. Our small group which is the primary source of accountability to this individual exercised the discipline with the hope that our dear sister will one day return to following our Lord, and not her sensual desires. She was guilty of not only the sexual sin but also by not heeding the commandment not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. (2 Corinthians 6:14)

There are many ways in dealing with church discipline. The church, church bodies (such as small groups) and even individuals one on one. (Matthew 18:15-17). Nevertheless, discipline although painful for all involved, it must be practiced if we are to purge out sin and produce godly fruit.

The video below was taken back in 2008 in response to a lady who was disciplined by her church and was so upset about it that she went to a local Fox news station to report the “wrongdoings” of her church. Yes sadly, many will not respond to discipline and will just move to another church or less threatening situation. But many blessings to those who eventually will submit to God’s discipline through His church!

Christians Beware: Kwanzaa was created pagan and is still pagan!

kwanzaacard1This time of year after Christmas we black people may be greeted with a “Happy Kwanzaa” without really knowing what Kwanzaa is about.  And sadly, that may be true of many of our fellow believers and churches that give up their space and time to honor this very spiritual yet Christless celebration. I wrote this post in response to the great number of Christians and churches that give time to a celebration whose creator hated Jesus Christ so much he created something meant as a substitute.

CHRISTIANS AND CHURCHES BEWARE!

This will be a brief summary of what Kwanzaa is about and why Christians and churches should have nothing to do with this pagan celebration created by Dr. Maulana Karenga. Even an excerpt from his annual founder’s day message for 2015 shows his true intentions of this very deceitful celebration (see below). Pagan is not used lightly in describing Kwanzaa. As one reads in the description further down about the seven principles of Kwanzaa, Karenga even quotes from ancient African pagan religious writings such as the Husia and the Oda Ifa!

Kwanzaa is celebrated during a seven day stretch from December 26 with the final celebration ending on New Year’s day, January 1. Each day represents one of the principles of Kwanzaa called in Swahili the Nguzo Saba. The celebration itself is very festive and it brings families together complete with gift giving and feasts meant for royalty. But what is the true meaning of Kwanzaa and how should the Christian deal with it?

THE PAGAN PURPOSES OF KWANZAA

Starting with the seven principles of Kwanzaa which are the heart and soul of this celebration. I’ll list each and with a brief summary of as stated on Dr. Karenga’s annual Kwanzaa message for 2015 with italics showing Dr. Karenga’s meaning of the principle:

  • Umoja (Unity) – teaches us the oneness of our people, the common ground of our humanity, the interrelatedness of life and the indispensability of family and community in our righteous togetherness in love, work and struggle.
  • Kujichagulia (Self-determination) – reaffirms our right and everyone’s right to control our destiny and daily lives
  • Ujima (Collective work and responsibility) – teaches us that we come into being, thrive and flourish in needed and principled relationships. And it teaches us that it is together that we must conceive and construct the good communities, societies and world we all want and deserve.
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) – teaches the value and practice of shared work and shared wealth, the right of people to their own resources and the ethical imperative of a just and equitable sharing of the good of the world.
  • Nia (Purpose) – reminds us of the ancient ethical teaching in the Odu Ifa that we and all humans are divinely chosen to bring good in the world and that this is the fundamental mission and meaning, i.e., purpose, of human life.
  • Kuumba (Creativity) –  urges us to practice the ethical teachings of The Husia that put forth the concept of serudj ta, the moral obligation to heal, repair and transform the world making it more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Imani (Faith) – teaches us to hold tightly and firmly to the faith of our ancestors who taught us to respect each person, people and culture as a unique and equally valid and valuable way of being human in the world

These principles just listed may seen innocent enough but when Karenga’s breakdown of each principle is shown, one can see he has spiritual purposes that aren’t centered upon Christ, especially when he urges people to practice the pagan religious teachings of the Husia. These ungodly purposes are what bring this holiday into question when seen being practiced in Christian churches and homes. No matter if one exchanges Karenga’s meanings of the principles with a bible verse, the fact remains that the founder of Kwanzaa has a different intent!

KWANZAA LOOKS RELIGIOUS

With the claims of faithful Kwanzaa celebrants declaring that Kwanzaa is not religious or a religion, there are practices within this celebration that makes one wonder. Practices such as:

  • Chanting of Libations – similar to praying in religions, and praying for the dead in African religions
  • Kinara – Candle holder, very similar to the Jewish candle holder, the Menorah
  • 7 candles – similar to Hanukkah’s candle lighting ceremonies
  • Drinking of a unity cup – similar to drinking of communion
  • Roll calling of dead ancestors names – from ancient (and some present) African religions
  • Practice of seven principles to make each man, woman and child a better human being  – value principles similar to having the Judeo-Christian 10 commandments and New Testament principles that make one a new man and woman. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Even Dr. Karenga in his yearly founder’s message on Kwanzaa, makes it clear that he intends for Kwanzaa not to be just a time of celebration but to introduce a “value system” to make people better. Not wanting to call it a religion but having religious practices within the celebration with spiritual purposes, how can one NOT call this an attempt at creating another religion? Here is another excerpt from Dr. Karenga’s founder’s message for 2015:

As we said in the ‘60s, the Nguzo Saba are a Black value system, a set of communitarian African values which aid us in grounding ourselves righteously and rightly, directing our lives toward good and expansive ends, and toward conceiving and bringing into being the good communities, societies and world we all want and work and struggle so hard to bring into being. We have not changed in this position.

We have not changed in this position” indicates that Kwanzaa has basically been the same since its creation from the 60s. Dr. Karenga also wrote and he uses the words “grounding ourselves righteously and rightly.” Those are words generally used when speaking spiritually of ones self or people. And a “black value system?”  One can not speak of a value system without speaking of a way of life!

KWANZAA IS A WAY OF LIFE, NOT JUST A CELEBRATION

Dr. Karenga had more in mind than just a cultural celebration for ALL to celebrate once a year. He created these principles to be practiced daily. Yes, he does intend for Kwanzaa to be a system for black people to better themselves as a people and community. So what if one doesn’t care what Dr. Karenga’s intentions are? The celebration itself represents another way of life, a life apart from Christ as the only way to God and the bible as the only values and principles we all need for life!

CHRIST IS THE ONLY WAY AND THE BIBLE IS OUR GUIDE BOOK, WE NEED NO OTHER!

The Kwanzaa practicing church and Christian must ask, “Why do we need Kwanzaa?” It’s one thing to have a cultural celebration, but a spiritual celebration? “Is Christ enough? Is the Bible enough?” The answer to those questions must be an emphatic YES and daddling in Kwanzaa’s godless principles and practices is no different than serving two masters.

So Christians beware, and please heed a spiritual principle found in our Bible that says:

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. Ephesians 5:11

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For an in depth look into Kwanzaa, purchase my e-book, The Real Truth About Kwanzaa 

 

Iyanla Vanzant’s Fix My Life – Not for Christians!

FixMyLife_gaypastorsI decided to watch the Oprah Network’s reality show, Iyanla: Fix My Life featuring speaker, writer and minister or priestess of the Yoruba religion (an ancient African religion), Iyanla Vanzant. Although I’m not a big fan of Oprah’s spirituality shows, I was curious on how the three part series on “Fix My Secret Life as a Gay Pastor” would go. I did view this with low expectations but high hopes, hope that these ministers would be confronted not only with their sin of self-deception, adultery (of the married minister) and lies but also their contradiction of being Christian and practicing homosexuality.

Iyanla has great compassion for people and the desire for fixing all kinds of emotional, psychological and spiritual ailments so I don’t fault her there. But I knew if there would be any confrontation of these men regarding their homosexuality, it would come from their family, friends or congregations they lead and not from Iyanla. Being on the Oprah network means simply she is a supporter of LGBT rights and there would be no confrontation from her regarding their lifestyles that are contrary to biblical teachings. And with her being a minister of an entirely different religion, there would be no way these men would be confronted using God’s word.

She interviews two men, both of whom were living secret gay lives without their churches or families knowing about them. One was a down-low man, meaning he was having sex with men while married to a woman who did not know he was even gay.

Both men came out on the show to their families and/or congregations. The single pastor’s congregation gave him a standing ovation after his “coming out” speech while the other’s church wasn’t even shown. His poor wife was completely in the dark about his homosexuality and was humiliated and devastated with the news. Iyanla seemed to be angry at her for not knowing. How many wives whose spouses cheat have any hint of affairs? Iyanla should have showed her more compassion in that area. This woman did the right thing in later divorcing this unrepentant man. Praying that she is STD free!

The Gay pastors had the weight of the lies and deceptions removed from them after they acknowledged their homosexuality, but their honesty shouldn’t have stopped there. For the Christian, we know that the first step in our relationship with Christ is always the acknowledgement of sin. Truth needs to take a step further – leaving that sin behind! It is never enough just to be honest about the sin without doing anything about it:

He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Proverbs 28:13

Now what about Christians receiving counsel from ungodly people? The bible does have something to say about that here:

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
    Nor stands in the path of sinners,
    Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; Psalm 1:1

So these pastors were in the wrong to start off with going on Oprah’s network and receiving counsel from someone who isn’t even a Christian. They knew what they were doing. They wanted affirmation of their gay lifestyles and what greater supporter than Oprah’s network? They probably felt safer coming out with a major supporter. These men obviously had no intention of quitting their gay sexual relationships.

Hopefully I am wrong about them and they are truly doing some soul searching and will leave the Gay lifestyle behind (such as was done by well known ex-gay singer/pastor Donnie McClurkin) and surge forward with a truly godly walk. Praying for these men.

And what about Iyanla? Christians should heed the scriptures when it comes to choosing whom to receive spiritual advice:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 1 John 4:1-3

Iyanla does not accept Christ as Savior and preaches a different gospel – the gospel of self-help. She is the “god” and it’s her words versus God’s word. No Christian should be watching this show to receive any advice AT ALL!

Now a message to those pastors:

  1. Examine yourself to see if you are truly in the faith! 2 Corinthians 13:5
  2. Forsake the sin of homosexuality! Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9
  3. Seek godly counsel Psalm 1:1
  4. Seek to please God and not man! Galatians 1:10

A message to Iyanla:

  1. You must be born again! John 3:3

A message to all: Don’t seek Iyanla to “fix it” but seek only Christ!

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Ex-Trangendered – David’s Story

David ArthurAfter Bruce Jenner went public about his upcoming transgender change to a woman, I wanted to hear/see more testimonies of people who have experienced the transgendered life but who would later change back to their original. I searched the Internet and came across a compelling story by a man named David Arthur.

David’s story includes homosexuality, prostitution, sexual promiscuity (thousands of partners) drug use, alcohol, stealing and many more vices. He found himself desiring to be a woman and took the hormone shots and pills for his transformation. For over 30 years David lived a life of debauchery which included being tested positive for HIV and at the age of 37, committed his life to Christ who changed his life forever!

I’m introducing David because he offers hope through Jesus Christ to those out there who may be just plain confused on homosexuality and transgenderism. Our culture is now accepting these lifestyles as normal when we who love God and His Word, know that it is just plain ole’ rebellious sin. Yes, in our culture it’s not cool to call homosexuality and transgenderism sin, but we must not be afraid to speak much needed truth, truth that David does so boldly but with compassionate love for mankind!

Click on the link to David’s website: IbelongAmen.com (love that name!) and read his testimony as well as check out the videos, one of which is shown below. David also has a link to donate to his ministry and I urge anyone to do so as his ministry is very, very powerful and glorifying to our Lord!