We will maintain a healthy skepticism towards all the big-name leaders in the church. No matter how famous a Christian celebrity might be, we refuse to be gullible just because someone has become a "brand name."
We will check everything any pastor/teacher says against God's Word, and when it comes to the most powerful, multimillionaire "Super Pastors," we will assume the worst until convinced otherwise.
We refuse to be impressed or motivated by storytelling, drama and entertainment. God, and His written Word, is the only acceptable focus of a worship service-not the performances and manipulations of men. We will not tolerate idiotic stunts in order to "bring the unsaved to church." We will not tolerate false humility and self-directed storytelling. We will not tolerate claims of direct revelation from any pastor/teacher. Any pastor/teacher that claims to hear "something new" directly from God will be immediately disqualified. No second chances.
We don't need you. We understand that you need a constant influx of new and gullible listeners, but we refuse to participate.
A pulpit and a microphone should only be used to direct attention to Christ, not towards a pastor who loves the attention of an audience. A large church platform does not give any pastor the right to amass power and enlarge their bank account. Pastors must tell the truth, all the time-not just when it advances their career.
Stop telling people "it's all about Jesus" when you actually talk more about yourself and your ideas.
Stop bragging about how much you're doing for God.
Stop bragging about how great your church is.
Stop bragging about how you started out with just a few people meeting in your living room and "now we have (x) number of people coming!"
Stop bragging about the guest speaker-he's a sinner, too. (We know you just want to get invited to his church so you can make a pile of money.)
Stop bragging about your best-selling book.
Stop bragging about your celebrity friends.
Pastor, you're a sinner that deserves God's wrath, just like the rest of us. Jesus took the punishment we deserve upon Himself to set us free from sin and death; you didn't do anything. Either tell us about the true Gospel or we will go elsewhere, with zero regrets.
We are all on equal footing; no pastor should be getting rich from his parishioners. (Read: A Biblical Guide to the Prosperity Gospel)
You are not a rock star, you're a servant of Jesus Christ.
You are not a CEO, you're a servant of Jesus Christ.
You are not a motivational speaker, you're a servant of Jesus Christ.
Any pastor/teacher who misuses the Bible should be removed from ministry. Period. We realize that this rarely takes place, but we will work towards that goal, as much as possible.
Stop taking Bible verses out of context to support your own personal agenda.
Stop spending so much time putting on a good show each Sunday, instead, you need to start really studying the Bible.
Stop emphasizing leadership skills as if you were running a large corporation; you're cheapening the church and starving your sheep.
Stop using marketing gimmicks and promotional tricks to imitate a genuine work of God.
Stop apologizing for the Bible while you pander to newcomers who aren't being told the full story of their sin and need for salvation.
Stop embarrassing us by trying to be cool, relevant and modern. Just preach the Word.
Stop thinking that nobody will show up if you don't tickle people's ears to get them in the door.
Stop relying on musicians to create a fake "Holy Spirit;" you should be more concerned about the Biblical training (and eternal fate) of these musicians rather than just using them as part of the Sunday morning "show."
Stop giving motivational speeches that promise success in the name of God.
Stop telling people to tithe in order to get God to do something. God is sovereign.
Stop using tithing as a false promise of guaranteed prosperity to your parishioners and as a means to fill your own wallet. If you didn't have such an expensive "church" to run, you wouldn't need so much money.
Stop manipulating people-start serving them.
Stop pointing to yourself-point to Jesus.
Stop referring to your own thoughts and ideas-start referring to God's Word alone.
Stop putting people under the burden of the Law-point people to the freedom that only the Gospel brings.
We will seek out the pastor who faithfully serves God and proclaims repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus' name. God's Word alone will be our guide. It will be our joy to serve faithfully under a real, Biblical pastor, no matter what. God help us all, in the great name of Jesus.
Titus 1:7-11 “For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.”
James 3:1 "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness."
Titus 2:1 “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.”
2 Timothy 4:1-4 “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
2 Timothy 4:16 "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
Romans 16:18 “For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.”
2 Corinthians 2:17 “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.”
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Steven Kozar started The Messed Up Church; he is an artist, musician, blogger and stuff.