ARE MEGA CHURCHES NOW A DISTRACTION TO REVIVAL?

Do you believe current church trends  will rescue our nation?  My guess is you don’t.  If you don’t, you are not alone.  A growing number of believers—many of whom will not say it out loud—question the value of attraction churches.

One day, I sat with some “hot names” in church growth in southern California.  We had talked a lot about styles of worship, preaching and marketing.  Being older than most of them, I felt a little bold.  I asked them: “Can any of you give me the name of a mega church in Los Angeles in 1906? “

Not one of them could come up with a name.  Then I said, “but you all remember the Azusa Street Revival, right?  Why is that?”  Because history remembers revivals and forgets mega churches.”  The reason is simple; revivals make history by reforming society.

Those who praise the glories of mega churches never mention how they have no impact on cultural sin.  In this golden age of mega churches, society is experiencing its greatest moral landslide.   On their watch, the number of people who claim to be atheists has doubled.  More anti-God legislation has been enacted than any other time in our history.

But do churches bear any responsibility for the moral landslide of a nation?  Charles G. Finney sure thought so!   He said, “If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are about to fall away, the pulpit is responsible.”

Some will say it is not fair to ask mega churches to reverse national destruction.   But you also can’t have it both ways.  You can’t go around extolling the wonders of these mammoth ministry centers and then say they can’t fix the nation.  If they can’t fix the only thing that needs fixing, what is the point?

But people point out, “They produce musicals as good as Broadway” Or, “They give the average person hope” These achievements ring hollow.  In a simpler time, they would be impressive.  Not today.

This is no time for entertainment.  This is no time for mild cures. Society’s condition has forced rule changes.  A demon possessed culture needs a church with power to cast out devils.  A culture reeling with unimaginable addictions needs a church were the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the fire of God is plainly presented.

Are these churches a distraction to revival?  Let me offer this parable about distraction.  A college football team is losing their homecoming game. Badly.  Halftime is a welcome break.  The people are relieved when the marching band takes the field.

The band leader sees how much the people are enjoying the distraction.  He decides “we don’t need a second half; it is a good thing to just keep the show going.”

The lyrics of American Pie put it this way, “Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While sergeants played a marching tune We all got up to dance Oh, but we never got the chance ‘Cause the players tried to take the field, the marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed The day the music died?”

You, dear leader of a mega church, must ask yourself, is my church the band that refuses to yield.  Is my mega ministry a distracting substitute for revival?  Am I keeping the church from starting the second half?

The Bible asks painful questions about times.  Elisha’s servant Gehazi secretly took money and clothes from General Naaman after Naaman was healed of leprosy.  Elisha asked Gehazi, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants?”-2 Kings 5:26,26

In a time of mass murder, mass suicide, of hurricanes floods, and fire, is it time for pastors to parade wealth, and grant mild cures?

Haggai asked another painful question: “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” -Haggai 1:4  The modern application for this is simple:  Pastor, are you building a personal empire, or the Kingdom of God?  Will you allow a nation to go down in flames while you live in a bubble of false victory? 

If we can truly confess that babble has replaced the Bible—that self-enhancement has replaced self-denial –that marketing has replaced miracles—and unconditionally surrender to the Holy Spirit, God will turn our churches into fire-breathing, nation-changing powerhouses.

Vice President Mike Pence leaves Colts-49ers game after players reportedly kneel

Vice President Mike Pence spoke out on Sunday about why he left a football game between the Indianapolis Colts-San Francisco 49ers game,

Vice President Mike Pence spoke out on Sunday about why he left a football game between the Indianapolis Colts-San Francisco 49ers game.

“I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem,” Pence tweeted.

This was his actual tweet.

Several 49ers players reportedly knelt for the anthem on Sunday in Indianapolis.

Last year, while a quarterback for the 49ers, Kaepernick sat or kneeled during the national anthem at football games, protesting the police treatment of minorities.

According to a report by Jason La Canfora on Sunday, Kaepernick has been living in New York and working out privately in New Jersey with the hope of signing with a team this season.

Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem last season to bring more attention to the killings of black men by police officers.

The NFL is now the least popular professional sport.

Over just one month of playercoach, and owner protests of the flag and National Anthem, the National Football League has gone from America’s sport to the least liked of top professional and college sports, according to a new poll.

From the end of August to the end of September, the favorable ratings for the NFL have dropped from 57 percent to 44 percent, and it has the highest unfavorable rating – 40 percent – of any big sport, according to the Winston Group survey provided exclusively to Secrets.

Final note: Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, said today,  he’d stand for the national anthem if he can play in the NFL once more.  In others words, the guy who started the protests will stop, ” if you pay me.”

IF WE DON’T BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL, AMERICA NEVER WILL.

 

The church has a limp-wristed, tepid, disjointed and incoherent response to this frontal assault to the Gospel.  Our unfounded fear of being labeled racist, homophobic, Islamophobes paralyzed our ability to obey God.   Tragically, we should have known that no matter what we do they would call us these names.

IF WE DON’T BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL, AMERICA NEVER WILL.

By Mario Murillo

The Body of Christ is to have a unique influence on America.  From the jump, our founding fathers realized that morality and love of truth would breathe life into the Constitution.  They believed in liberty not license, they believed in freedom not anarchy. They understood that the system of government they created must work in concert with God fearing, hardworking, freedom loving citizens.

The church refuses to face a simple truth today.  That is why we are powerless if the face of our ongoing national destruction.  We must face the fact that grid-locked Washington is about to kill America and only the Gospel will save America.

Social progressives will accuse me of blaming the victim.  I am not blaming the victim—I am naming the villain.  The leftists believe they are the only ones who care about poverty, racism and injustice.

Secular progressives will say they love the poor.  If so, then they loved Detroit to death.  After 61 years and hundreds of billions of dollars Detroit has been reduced to a pile of rubble by liberal programs.   The same damage can be seen in any urban area where liberals dominate.

Early America had a compassionate but tough love stance.  Ben Franklin said, “I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

The Detroit formula continues to cripple incentive and dignity in many cities.  The results are undeniable.  The nation is poorer and heroin addiction has doubled in just a few years.

Leftist ideology is attractive to three kinds of people:

  1. Those who do not want to work.
  2. Those who want to gain power by posing as champions for the poor.
  3. Those who feel self-loathing and guilt for their ancestor’s sins.

The Social Justice Warrior’s The church should be a great force for saving America but we have been neutralized. Obama, leftist politicians and the media changed the rules our Founding Fathers cherished about how God and government.

Obama made it fashionable to bash the church, the Bible and Israel.  On the other hand, he made it wrong for the church to defend itself—directly attacking our freedom to preach the Gospel.

The church has a limp-wristed, tepid, disjointed and incoherent response to this frontal assault to the Gospel.  Our unfounded fear of being labeled racist, homophobic, Islamophobes paralyzed our ability to obey God.   Tragically, we should have known that no matter what we do they would call us these names.

What makes true saints want to pull out their hair is the fact that this sick and stupid leftist agenda is easily destroyed by the power of the Gospel.  The real enemy is our doubt of the Gospel.

We demonstrate our doubt in the Gospel a million ways.  That doubt keeps America from believing.  We show it in our redacted preaching—leaving out the active ingredients of the message of Jesus.  We show it in our emotional binges and bizarre meetings—meetings designed like séances—that are only for hardcore adherents.  We show it in our terminology.  We apply the label “prophetic” to anything we want to sound deep and spiritual.  Nobody knows what you are talking about!  We are a massive question mark.

We show our lack of confidence in the Gospel by our priorities.  We are busy with everything but soul-winning.  We are silly with programs and orchestrated church.

None of our shenanigans are lost on the outside world.

Paul did not shrink from calling out evil government.  Acts 16: 37 “But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.” 38 And the officers told these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans.”

I believe that evil politicians should fear us.  Paul did not believe that his gospel integrity would be ruined by speaking out. Nor do I believe that my out spoken opposition to liberals is in anyway is inconsistent with love or truth.  Christ did not worry that turning over tables and evicting the money changers would ruin His image of love and compassion.

However, our silence has another root: Christians has lost faith in the power of the Gospel.  We have forgotten its surpassing impact.  We do not remember how effective it is in situations just like this.  We have forgotten that it is supernatural.

California values are a crippling counterfeit of the Gospel.  The wackos in Sacramento are tinkering with an America without God and a Bill of Rights.  The answer is fresh passion for the greatest message mankind has ever heard.    We must roar it without apology.  Should we have a bold and fiery  declaration of Christ?  YES. I shudder to think what will happen if we don’t!

We must also shake off all embarrassment of the Gospel.   Yes, there have been abuses but remember what Woodrow Wilson said,  “The proof that the Gospel is divine is the preaching it has survived.”

 

 

 

THE BATTLE FOR AMERICA STARTS NOW

 

In a masterstroke of perverted genius, Satan has plunged America into chaos.  The interweaving of the lawless media—the anti-god Democratic party—the liberal university propaganda machine—the brainwashing film companies—the dysfunctional Republican Party, and last, but not least, Christianity Incorporated, are crushing the American Spirit.

It is a tapestry of travesty. 

If you thought the election of Donald Trump meant victory…think again.  Not only have we not won the war, we barely won a battle—the battle for America starts now.

Do not listen to any preacher who is doing a victory dance over America.

This is a moment of sober reflection not giddy, celebratory denial.  This is a time of deep soul searching— the emptying of self in the pursuit of divine guidance.

Remember the real victim in this war.  Remember who feels the greatest sense of betrayal.  It is middle Americans.  People who obey the rules, pay taxes and go to church to learn righteousness.

“Silly me”, they say.  “I elected you to repeal and replace Obamacare.  For 7 years you wrote bills to end it.  You get in power, and you do nothing!”

“How stupid am I”,they ask.  “I work three jobs to send my son to college and you melt his mind with self-pity, white guilt, no marketable skills, and a hatred for our faith.”

“Hey pastor”, they say. “I don’t go to church just to feel good—but to become good.”

Until now the war was surreal.  We had the luxury of couching it in hyper-spiritual terminology.  We got away with symbolic intercession.  We were fine with shadow boxing, prophetic flattery, and firing blanks.  But after today, this means war.

Let me be clear: this letter is not for everyone.  It is not for the worrier but the warrior. It is for a remnant.  It is for a holy core untiringly loyal to God.

It is a clarion call of hope.  With God, even the smallest group is the majority.  I don’t care who rejects this message.  I only care about the hearts who can declare without doubt…if God be for us, who can be against us?

How then do you begin to war for America? 

Begin by separating yourself.  The moment you realize you are an eagle in a farmyard full of turkeys…take off!  Swamp gas believers make being alone an improvement.

Once you are free of the toxic, social gravity of Christianity-lite, you will be reunited with forgotten treasures

You will recall your awesome God—a God worthy of total sacrifice—a God who made the weak strong, the confused clear, and common men and women legends.

You can start praying now as you have never prayed in the past.  “…You will not fast as you do this day, to make your voice heard on high.” -Isaiah 58:4. “…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”-James 5:16

(Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)

Remember why you are supporting and praying for our president.  Christians who jumped and the bandwagon during the election are bailing on him now.  Why?  They wanted the easy victory.  They didn’t want flak.

If you want to know why you should stand by Trump it’s easy—look at who hates him and why.   It’s not about Russia.  It’s not about his family.

They hate him because he stands with Israel.

They hate him because he is pro-life.

They hate him because he wants to close the border against those who would kill Americans. 

But, the final reason they hate him should embarrass us: They hate him because he stands with the church against her enemies.  Imagine that!  Believers refuse to defend him even as he is viciously attacked for defending us.

The battle for America starts now.  It starts with brave pastors who will transform safe pulpits into turrets of truth.

It starts with Senators and Representatives getting delivered of the need for self-preservation.

It starts with everyday believers like you and me—hearts set ablaze with a furnace of faith and love of country.

Yes, it is true that the battle has only started…but God has no even begun to fight.

At some point, we must offend.

There are reasons the original 12 were so bold.  There are reasons they preached letting the chips fall where they may.  They understood that at some point, they must offend.  They disregarded their personal safety—and for good reasons.  Those reasons escape today’s motivational-speaker-preachers who live not to offend.  They just don’t get it.

At some point, we must offend

By Mario Murillo

There are reasons the original 12 were so bold.  There are reasons they preached letting the chips fall where they may.  They understood that at some point, they must offend.  They disregarded their personal safety—and for good reasons.  Those reasons escape today’s motivational-speaker-preachers who live not to offend.  They just don’t get it.  Here is how A.W. Tozer described the true preacher, “they serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary.”

Before some lazy reader jumps to a wrong conclusion let me say—we are not to try to offend.  We are not to give offense.  My point is that leaving truth out to avoid offending is a disaster—when it is wildly successful, it is an even greater disaster.  Spurgeon said, “It is a very ill omen to hear a wicked world clap its hands and shout ‘Well done’ to a Christian man.”

It is a great evil when congregations reward you, yea enrich you, and raise you to superstar status because you keep God’s rightful demands off them.

When you take aim at a vastly successful far-flung enterprise, you are easily rejected because how can you deny its effectiveness?  How can you keep from sounding petty and jealous?

The reason it is hard to see why it is valid to criticize attraction churches is because we don’t know what might have been.  We don’t know how America would look like today had we obeyed the Holy Spirit instead of the laws of marketing.

They did not offend and they also did not stop the moral avalanche.  On their watch, we lost marriage—we lost millions of unborn—we lost so much that we cannot even recognize America.  And most ironically, after all the efforts to avoid offending, the public hates the church more than ever.

Here are the reasons we must offend:

Preaching the entire Gospel releases power. 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Romans 1: 16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…”

Why is the phrase power of God in two verses that deal with the offense of the Gospel?  Why would Paul even use the qualifier “I am not ashamed?”  Because, as a top-flight intellectual, he was keenly aware of the parts of the Gospel that tweak the human brain, and offend “proper society.”  He welcomes the tweak because it releases great power.

The American Church has a day of reckoning with American culture.  The clash is inevitable because our society has become an open sewer, a bastion of banality where madness has the microphone.  We have the one message that should not be hidden or redacted.

When the suffering soul tastes peace that passes understanding, and joy unspeakable—when marriages are healed—when suicidal teenagers are filled with a will to live—when the lame walk, the blind see, cancers vanish and addictions break in one-step instead of 12, then the Cross, the Blood, and repentance become—what they truly are: the best thing humanity has ever heard.   We must offend in order to heal.

YOU’VE LOST ME

“You’ve lost me.”  That’s the despairing voice of millions of our children. “I don’t get your anger.  I don’t get what you are trying to tell me.  I can’t understand the things you say are important—you’ve lost me.”  What will become of them?  What nameless horror awaits them in the future?  They know that are not valued.  They know they don’t really matter to America anymore.

They are trying to tell us, “You’ve lost me because you do not care about me.”  Tragically, the majority of people who are in their lives, on any given day, do not care about them.   In fact, these activists do not care about anybody’s children—not even their own.

The left really doesn’t even want children.  Seattle and San Francisco have more dogs than children.

In all the noise “progressive” education is making about sex education, diversity and human rights one thing is painfully clear: none of it is about the child.  The noise is for a minuscule number of grown ups–not the children–that liberals see as oppressed.  For Social Justice Warriors there is no tomorrow.

In a telling moment on Fox News Tucker Carlson asked Bruce/Kaitlin Jenner the reason for his/her activism.   The answer was illuminating: “so the next generation will be tolerant of those like me.”  It’s not about what children are going through—it’s not about building a future for them…no, it’s about the cause—the forced transformation of how children should think.  It’s about bulldozing over our current values, no matter what the cost or who it hurts.

Teachers unions make sure the damage begins early.   Most grammar school classrooms are echo chambers of indoctrination.  Your little girl is shamed for not accepting her duty to bring down the patriarchal system.  Your little boy is shamed for, well, being a boy.  Your child is taught to hate America and everything it stands for.

Of course, these lefties have no solutions.   They only have grievances.  They know what they want to tear down.  Then there are the universities.

The welfare of the next generation also means nothing to modern universities where, inflammatory rhetoric trumps reading, writing and math.   Campuses are churning out automatons who can’t think logically, defend their rage, or read their own diplomas.

Look closely into the eyes of protesting students—especially the younger ones.  You will see half-baked convictions.  You will see hysterical behavior from an unsure devotee.  They don’t know if it’s right but they do it anyway out a dysfunctional need for the approval of pseudo-intellectual tyrants.  They want academic approval—chanting and screaming, then like battered children, they’ll glance over at the abusive parent and ask, “is this what you want me to do?!”

And what these professorial bullies want them to do is believe something utterly stupid: i.e. “Your words are like physical violence to me, so I must use violence to silence you.”  Many student protesters can’t explain their protest—heck, they can’t even spell it.  Check out a few of their protest signs!

That brings me to my most important question:  How will they be able to feed themselves with this bogus education?  How will they survive?  Most importantly how will they value freedom enough to protect it?

They are urged to explore their urges—to operate on free-floating anger.  But they cannot persevere.  They possess no marketable skill—nor the will to gain such skills.

Why on earth are we giving these villains destroying our children quarter.  Here’s something all sane people laugh at:  federal funding for institutions who want to overthrow the federal government.  Liberal education is turning into the crime of the century.  They have disgraced themselves.

“You’ve lost me.”  That phrase should awaken a fire in your soul.  Begin with your own child!  Hold them like you never held them before.  Give them the weapons to defeat destructive emotions and dastardly ideas.  Remember how we made fun of home-schoolers…not so much now huh?

I once sat at a round table discussion with other media ministries.  They were talking about future vision and what their ministries would look like in 5 years.  There were a lot of lofty projects in the works.

When it came my turn—they were not prepared for my answer.  I told them I was re-calibrating everything to go after the young.  I told them I was in the throes of fresh surrender to the Holy Spirit.  I told them that we hear the cry of a tortured generation.

I told them the young need meetings where supernatural power gives them proof of Christ.  They need events where the preaching fills them with direction—where God puts the Holy Ghost on them to make them mighty souls the gates of hell cannot defeat.  We need to do way, way more but this is a start.

We have only just begun to fight for them.  I hope you’ll join me in this fight.  At least I hope you will answer the call of God.

One thing I know beyond all knowing—when this generation of children says to me “you’ve lost me,” I will roar back—there is no way we will ever lose you!

WHAT IF GOD CHOOSES TO GO IT ALONE?

If America is about to be destroyed will God still wait for the church?  If we continue to refuse revival will God go it alone?  Would He let America die so the church can save face?  The answer from scripture is clear:

Isaiah 63:5 “I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so, my own arm achieved salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me.”

The answer from American history is also clear.  Michael Medved said: “The history of the United States displays an uncanny pattern: At moments of crisis, when the odds against success seem overwhelming and disaster looks imminent, fate intervenes to provide deliverance and progress. Historians may categorize these incidents as happy accidents, callous crimes, or the product of brilliant leadership, but the most notable leaders of the past four hundred years have identified this good fortune as something else—a reflection of divine providence.”

Don’t think for a moment that I am trying to comfort the church.  I am not trying to comfort—I am issuing a warning.  The church today is sicker than we know.  Many preachers are literally mocking God in the pulpit.

In 1998, David Wilkerson said this about the American Church: “Likewise today, Christians by the multiple thousands are casting off the yoke of Christ, tossing aside all limits and restrictions. This attitude is prevalent in many of the books and magazines you find in Christian bookstores. It’s almost as if our leaders are saying, “Relax! God isn’t hard. He’s our Daddy, we’re all his kids, and we’re meant to have a good time. Don’t let anyone disturb your fun!”

We have begun to glorify homosexuality and lesbianism. Our media applauds the “bravery” of gays who declare their sexual orientation – but we ought to weep over it! TV’s “Ellen” was hailed as a heroine when she came out of the closet on national television. Yet at one time, Christians across the country would have been on their faces crying out to God for mercy over such immorality.”  19 years later, can you imagine what David Wilkerson would say?

 

If God goes it alone it would be and extremely painful and violent—it would be embarrassing…even humiliating.

Learn the difference between a revival and an awakening.  Revival grows from within a repentant and obedient church and spills over to the secular culture.

Awakening is far more turbulent.  In an awakening church leaders are bypassed and the Holy Spirit falls directly on secular society.  Yes, God can still save America but if it is through an awakening it would still be a devastating experience for most Christians.  Jesus said of awakening:   And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. -Matthew 11: 12

Wrath would fall on ministers.  1 Peter 4: 17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God…”  God will not spare the church public humiliation if the option is national destruction.  Pastors hooked on porn will be exposed.  All perversion will be brought out in the open.  God will allow the secular media to uncover secret sin.  Ruining the reputation of hypocritical ministers will not stop awakening—it will enhance it.

Seeker and mega churches would collapse:  Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken from Oak Hills Church in Folsom, California. admit their seeker church was a monster.  In their book, Renovation of the Church they say this: “When we structure a church around attracting people to cutting-edge, entertaining, interesting, inspirational and always-growing services and ministries, there is simply no room for letting up. Once we have communicated to the masses that if they come to our church, they’ll be surprised, then we have this never-ending burden to surprise people every week. The burden this places on the staff and laity can hardly be overstated. There were times when I felt like I simply did not have it in me to perform again at that level for yet another weekend.

Gradually, we began to get some clarity on a troubling truth: attracting people to church based on their consumer demands is in direct and irredeemable conflict with inviting people, in Jesus’ words, to lose their lives in order to find them.”

If an awakening hit today it would doom many mega church pastors.  On their watch—America fell faster and harder into immorality than ever.  Instead of reaching the lost for Christ, they weakened the already saved.   They were helpless to change our culture.

Wrath would fall on hypocrites.  1 Peter 4: 17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God…”  God will not spare the church public humiliation if the option is national destruction.  Pastors hooked on porn will be exposed.  All perversion will be brought out in the open.  God will allow the secular media to uncover secret sin.  Ruining the reputation of hypocritical ministers will not stop awakening—it will enhance it.

People could die.  Some who oppose awakening or live immorally as Ananias and Sapphira did could be killed.  (See Acts 5).

Natural disasters and global calamity:  God reserves the right to use these to spark awakening.

 

It is frightening how American Christians are not acting on the mercy God has shown us.  God is near a choice—a painful choice to stretch out His hand and pour our His Spirit—with or without us.

However, there is a remnant… Many are godly people are growing frustrated and desperate.  It is a good sign!  David Wilkerson said, “God is doing a secret work in our day. He is raising up a hungry people who are growing more and more dissatisfied with the fleshly, worldly system as it now exists—even in the church.

These God-hungry people are saying among themselves, “This is not it. There is something more. The bigness and the sensationalism of it all has left us empty and dry. We want more. More than entertainment. More than big, showy buildings. More than a shallow celebrity gospel. We want deeper values. We want to see Jesus. We want spotless robes of righteousness. We want to go back to doing things in total dependence on God.”

America can still be destroyed.  I don’t believe that will happen without one last radical move By God.  My first choice would be a true revival in the church.  However, if she refuses, God will move on to an awakening that will be brutal to lukewarm believers.  If that’s what it takes…so be it.