The previous title was: “Do Not Judge … Unless You Should.” Since that time, an interview with Pastor James Coates, who was imprisoned in 2021 for defying the Government’s orders to not hold church services in person, was done on the program “The Christian Worldview” explaining his insights and experience through that time. This post I made a couple of weeks ago fits perfectly with that interview and this man’s understanding of the “times” we are in currently in this Nation and in Canada. Below is the podcast interview. And below that is my previous post. Please listen to this podcast episode. It is incredibly enlightening.
One night, about a year and a half ago, I reached out to a pastor I knew because a friend of mine, who struggled with feeling welcomed and loved by the Church in general, but who used to feel welcomed and loved at this pastor’s church, attended one day but left feeling rejected, unseen, unheard, and unloved by this church which he used to feel loved by. And I was angry, and I was judgmental towards the head pastor. Do you know why? It was because over time, and being unseen, the world and its ideas had crept into that church. But the problem only fully came to the surface in 2020. But they could not see it. The issue was that individual fears became collective fears, influencing the pastors’ and elders’ decisions regarding the entire Body-of-Christ in that congregation. But it was not just at that Church, it was everywhere. And suddenly, those like this brother of mine, who had a mental illness, or who were homeless but who found Sunday mornings as a sense of hope and relief and a place to worship and fellowship, and a warm cup of coffee, and some prayer and comfort, no longer found a safe and welcoming environment! All because they were told they must stay 6 ft away from everyone, wear gloves, sanitize everything, be clean, cover their face, fear germs, to not hug or shake hands. They were told to not sing, to not gather, to not worship, to stay away. And I was angry and judged those who made these decisions. I was angry because they had exchanged the truth for a lie. They had exchanged the grace and love of God in Christ for fear and for the expectations of the world. Of course, they could not acknowledge this to themselves at the time. But I knew. And I knew the ONLY reason this brother of mine felt and sensed the rejection in that congregation was because the Church in America had exchanged the truth for a lie and was “listening” to the world’s wisdom instead of God’s love, power, and hope which is in Christ. A hope based not on the transitory, fading, and failing human body. But a hope based on the unfading, alive, power-filled, eternal life of the inner-man made whole through the Holy Spirit in them. A hope fixed in heaven, not one dependent upon the “health” of the human body. And not only that, but the greater Church of America had forgotten that they were the Salt and Light of the world and that the only true hope they had to offer a “health- fearing” world was that which was an “eternal, unperishing hope” due to the resurrection from the dead, in Christ. Somewhere along the line, the Church had exchanged the eternal for the temporal, the spiritual for the physical, the unperishable for the perishable, and the truth for a lie. But when I had reached out to this pastor, calling him out on it, he claimed my anger was not a righteous anger, but “human” anger. Sadly, this pastor, along with the entire staff, along with so many Church elders and leaders across America, could not see or hear what the Holy Spirit was “saying to the Churches.”
So, whatever else Covid was/is, it was certainly a wake-up and warning that the priorities of the greater American Church had shifted from the “inner-man” to the “outer-man.” Its focus had shifted from the eternal and spiritual to the temporal and physical. And this came “fully” into the light by Covid. And I am here to defend the truth and glory of God. I am here to expose what is hidden in the Darkness and to separate the truth from the error. To God be the glory.
So, was I “being judgmental”? Absolutely! Was/is my anger “righteous”? Absolutely again!
Is the Church learning Her lesson? Are we changing? Are we looking up with expectation for the coming of the Lord? The answer is: the LORD disciplines every child of His. He corrects and rebukes us in His love. He is near to the humble and brings low the proud. He exposes the lies within us and calls us to authenticity. He is continually calling us to put our full weight on Him, not in the wisdom of the world. And calling us to separate from the lies of this world and to walk in Light and TRUTH.
Finally now, “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13a, emphasis mine).
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb. 10:24-25).