Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Scramble for Popularity

    The most unfortunate aspect of at-large-ministry (especially on the Internet) is the scramble to gain popularity and approval from as many people as possible. The hope is that these ministers will be seen as unique in their own rights but also as popular as the major mega-star celebrities that can be found in the vast populace known as the elctronic church. The new church hero?
     Those ministers are well-known by members of local churches throughout the country, such theo-giants as Joel Osteen, John Hagee, Benny Hinn, Jack Van Impe, Hal Lindsey, T.J.Jakes, and of course the perrennial electronic church icon, the affable Pat Robertson. These theological shooting stars have been with us from eternity! Highly visible on impact, but effective as dust in the long haul!
     As the Internet morphs from a once known "geek" play toy, it is now becoming the arena where no one can afford not to participate in that hawk your ware's venue of any significance. This is a good thing for those innovative entrepreneurs who never had the financing or know how to compete with the "big boys!"
     However, it's also becoming the unofficially free "pulpit" for thousands of "wannabee" super star preachers and teachers of things religious. This can be good or bad when you consider that God can use whomever He chooses to deliver His message to the masses. Some would say that these "instant prophets" really don't have the education that most accredited theologians have acquired through many years of Bible college and seminary training. Novice theologians counter that God can use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, which carries much scruptural validation,(1Corinthians 1:27).
     Nevertheless, whether educated or not, many of these unknown prophets competing in this arena from amongst the lowly ranks of religious society are scrambling for the publicity they need to reach their audience. One thing is certain, many of those who scramble for popularity are becoming obvious to those who hunger for God's truth. But, have they really been chosen and do they really represent God's will? Once again, my favorite theologian of days gone by, A.W Tozer, puts nails to the coffin as to whether how popular a preacher or teacher or broadcaster may be, is that person truly qualified or even sufficient to carry God's message, without Holy Spirit power?

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you, (Matthew 5:11-12)

     Popular Judaism slew the prophets and crucified Christ. Popular Christianity killed the Reformers, jailed the Quakers and drove John Wesley into the streets. When it comes to religion, the crowds are always wrong. At any time there are a few who see, and the rest are blinded. To stand by the truth of God against the current religious vogue is always unpopular and may be downright dangerous....
     Christianity's scramble for popularity today is an unconscious acknowledgment of spiritual decline. Her eager fawning at the feet of the world's great is a grief to the Holy Spirit and an embarrassment to the sons of God. The lick-spittle attitude of popular Christian leaders toward the world's celebrities would make such men as Elijah or George Fox sick to the stomach....
     Lot was a popular believer. He sat in the gates of Sodom. But when trouble struck, he had to send quickly for Abraham to get him out of the jam. And where did they find Abraham? He was out on the hillside, far away from the fashionable crowds. It has always been so. For every Elijah there have always been 400 popular prophets of Baal. For every Noah there is always a vast multitude who will not believe it is going to rain.
     We are sent to bless the world, but never are we told to compromise with it. The Next Chapter After the Last, pp 20-21, by A.W. Tozer."
     Those who are involved in this new arena, who genuinely want to do God's work, can only do their best. And only time will tell if they passed the test. Then they will know if they were truly sent by God. Myself included!

For more information about this blog and the author's two books The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation please click on Joe Ortiz

1 comment:

  1. In a word - riveting and insightful and timely. Oops, this was more than one word, but you deserve more than one accolade and kudo! Thanks for your internet contributions. Alex