02 June 2013

Does Your Pastor Really Know Jesus?

If you are a Christian, then you might want to reevaluate what kind of life you're living and the God you know. Just because you read the Bible, pray, go to church, and hang out with people who do, doesn't mean you actually know Jesus. Frankly, very few Christians do.
Your pastor delivering the message.

The Pharisees were God's people too. They thought they knew God, followed all his commands, read Scripture, and went to church, but when God finally appeared, they didn't have a clue who he was. He said and did things that didn't line up with Scripture (Lev 11, Acts 10:9-16). Jesus was unexpected. God was staring them in the face, but they had no idea.

In Jesus' day, everyone was following the God of Moses. The God that appeared to Moses and told him all kinds of things he wanted his people to know and do. In the Old Testament, God gave his people messages through a man who knew God personally. After Moses spent one on one time with God, he gathered the people together to share the Word that God revealed (Lev 7:22-23).

Now I've said this before in other posts, but the God of Moses was also the God of the slaves. Just because Israel was rescued from slavery, didn't mean that they were free on the inside (John 8:36). The way they thought and acted still mirrored bondage. Slavery was ingrained. It was there way of life. They were people who acted and believed like they were still in Egypt.

To be honest, the slaves were clueless unbelieving people who left Egypt without any idea who God was (John 20:29). During their exodus, anyone older than the of age of 20 proved to be a waste of God's time and effort. He couldn't stand their unbelief and couldn't wait until they died off (Num 14:26-38). There was no hope for them. All they wanted to do was follow a bunch of rules and allow someone else to tell them what to do. They wanted someone else to teach them God's Word and intercede on their behalf.

Today, the church is no different. Everything we learn in Christianity is the same Law and traditions that began thousands of years ago (Rom 6:15-23). One of Jesus' goals was to squash this Old Testament structure, but the problem is still very much alive.

All these people go to church to hear the Word. They go to hear a pastor or priest who they believe knows God better than they do (Mat 23:13-15). They have to know God better, right? It's their job. It's their profession to know Jesus and to teach his ways. They are Jesus professionals and have been educated, ordained, and anointed to lead God's people. They sacrifice their lives to serve you and me by delivering the Word that comes from the mouth of God (Mat 4:1-4).

Christian leaders are known for spending lots of time studying and praying. They spend countless hours preparing God's message for their congregation. This is what we pay them to do (Num 18:21-24). They study the Bible, read books, learn Greek and Hebrew, and above all listen to the Spirit. By the time Sunday rolls around, they're more than ready to please God's people with his wonderful message.

You see, Moses did the very same thing. He spent vast amounts of "quiet time" praying and studying God's Words. The only difference being that he actually wrote down what God said. He wrote the first 5 books of the Bible known as the Pentateuch. However, his praying was very different from what you and I understand prayer to be. His intimacy with God was actually a daily face to face conversation (Exo 33:11).

There was no bowing of the head or closing of the eyes. Prayer for him was just chilling with God and talking about whatever it was they talked about for hours on end. After they hung out for awhile, Moses would gather instructions from God for Israel. Then, Moses got everyone together to share what it was God's people needed to hear (Exo 19:21-25).

Israel loved and praised Moses for this. They got exactly what they wanted. Moses did all the work while they followed his instructions.

Honestly, the only God they knew was Moses (Exo 7:1-2). Reality is that they never knew God (Mat 7:21-23). They saw his miracles, followed his signs, and listened to God's Word from their pastor, but they never knew Jesus personally. There was only one guy out of millions of Israelites that could truly say he knew the Father.

Moses was their preacher (Exo 34:34-35). He told his church what God said and they obeyed him like the good little slaves they were. All they knew was how to follow commands and instructions their master gave them.

Church is modeled after this same master/slave system. It's following the same traditional pattern of Law that was developed by Moses a long time ago. Christians gather in a location where they hear the Word from their pastor. This person has spent intimate time with God and tells his people what Jesus wants them to hear.

Let me make this more clear. I could almost bet you've heard your minister pray something like the following, "Lord, let my words be your Words. Move me out of the way so you can speak through me..." Have you heard that before? Yeah. Like I said, the church system you follow is just more of the same.

Is this not exactly what Moses did? God spoke to Moses so he could share his message with his congregation. Your pastor follows the same Law-abiding traditions and patterns.

So what, right? Who really cares. After all, aren't we supposed to follow God's Word? Aren't we supposed to follow how it's always been done? Isn't this how God wants his people to receive instruction and learn more about him?

No. It's not.

The problem with this structure is that people still don't know Jesus. They know what Jesus says through their pastor or someone else who's "heard from God," but they do not know God themselves. They listen to some man or woman tell them what they need to hear. Frankly, this is no better than a slave. Slaves do not hear from God (Exo 20:18-21). They see his miracles and know what God says to others, but they do not sit and chat with their Father like Moses did.

For thousands of years, this is all the church has ever produced - slaves that don't know Jesus. God's people gather in a place to receive instruction, then they leave with a false sense of spending time with God. Not only that, but they praise their beloved pastor and tell everyone of the wonderful Word that was delivered (Don't believe me? Just look on Facebook or Twitter on Sunday mornings). Just because they hear some amazing message or get goose bumps during worship, they really think they've experienced God (1 Cor 3:16). They really think they've heard from him directly.

Christians even go so far to say, "It's like when the pastor was speaking, God was talking directly to me!" Of course he was. Just like God spoke through Moses.

But what's even worse is that your pastor is encouraging this lifestyle and relationship with God. They are simply following Lawful traditions built for slave minded people. Instead of freeing you to hear from God, they are encouraging you to come to them for God's instruction. Instead of teaching you how to hear God's voice for yourself, they keep giving you the Word that God has spoken through them. Honestly, they like playing Moses. This is a high Spiritual role that demands honor and respect and it's not easy to let go of this kind of glory.
More of this needs to be happening. A demolition crew is best.

This usually means 1 of 2 things. 1) Either your pastor truly doesn't know Jesus and doesn't know how to teach you to hear and see God for yourself. 2) Or, he does in fact know him, but insists on making a living by instructing his church on what God says. In other words, they're molding you into slaves that depend on them. If the second option is truly the case, like the Pharisees, it will not end nicely for these so-called "leaders."

However, I do believe the problem is more the first option. I believe most pastors have good intentions and are actually doing what they truly believe is right. Unfortunately, it's not what God wants. Frankly, he hates this system. God sent his Son to instruct people to repent from seeking God in temples/buildings and trying to do things on their own (working for righteousness). He doesn't want us to follow priests, the Law, and its traditions. That was for them. Not for you (Isa 43:18-21).

He sent his Son to complete the Law so his presence could be injected in each of our lives (Mat 5:17-20). God no longer wants a person like Moses to guide his people. He no longer wants a mediator or another individual to instruct God's people in his Word (Mat 16:13-20). He wants people who truly hear his voice and spend time with him face to face.

Out of all the churches I've been to and all the Christian leaders I know, I don't know one person who is doing this. Not one. I truly believe that if they did in fact hear from God, they would immediately shut their church doors and simply invest in a few people on how to hear and see him (John 10:27-30). Once those people know Jesus, then they will share him with others, and so on. True disciples would be made who truly talk and hear from God (Mat 28:19-20).

Churches are full of people that only know about Jesus. And those who know him the least, are usually leading people to do what has always been done before.

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