MICHAEL ANTHONY BLOG
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Here’s an excerpt from our Wednesday livestream about the National Week of Repentance where Mike gives a genuine invitation for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to repent, along with the rest of us . . .
Video except from the October 19 lifestream for the upcoming National Week of Repentance (Facebook.com/Godfactor). Don’t miss the National Week of Repentance, a historic, simultaneous, nation-wide movement of God and people happening October 30 – November 6. Visit RevivalMatters.com and sign up now.
The Myth of Progressive Christianity
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” – 2 Timothy 4:3 (NIV)
There’s a breed of revisionist Christ-follower making the rounds on social media these days. They are not at all selfless. They are selfish and self-serving. In the name of love, they hate. In the name of tolerance, they are intolerant. Meet the progressive “Christian,” the man or woman masquerading as a follower of Jesus Christ. They are walking contradictions, not living sacrifices.
In the name of progress, progressive “Christians” have regressed – and they want you and throngs of the orthodox to follow them in their downward spiral of moral, theological and social decay. They defend killing the unborn (abortion), and embrace biblically alternate views of God, heaven and hell, gender redefinition and more. Pay attention, because they are not merely after you, but also your children. They are hell-bent on change – not because they’ve been liberated, but because they’re deceived.
These self-identifying “Christians” often morph into social media gigolos and prostitutes. They are sold out sell-outs, having denied historic Christianity that is founded upon the overt, obvious teachings of the Bible for the cheap and temporary gain of growing blog audiences, Twitter followers and Facebook likes. They’ve sold their souls, and there is nothing Christ-like about them at all.
MORONS, IN THE CLASSIC SENSE
A moron is “a person who is notably stupid or lacking in good judgment.” A progressive Christian is, by definition, a moron – and I say that respectfully, in the classic, dictionary meaning of the word. They may be sincere, but they sincerely lack good judgment.
The terms “progressive Christian” and “progressive Christianity” are oxymorons – only embraceable when we ignore huge portions of the Bible to suit a liberal, diabolical agenda. Anyone in favor of abortion in the name of it being a “woman’s right to choose” while claiming to be a Christ-follower is a walking contradiction, not a living sacrifice. The push for redefining sex and sexuality apart from clear biblical standards follows from their morally deprived, self-serving system of ignoring huge, obvious portions of the Bible. They must ignore it, because it is literally impossible to support their views with the sacred text. Instead, they put their own “logic” and unreasonable thinking on par with the writings of the Scripture.
One may claim to know and follow Christ all day long in blog, Twitter and Facebook posts. If you teach and promote things that oppose the sacredness of life for the unborn, the sacredness of sex in the context of heterosexual marriage, you certainly have every freedom to do so. But the rest of us, those who actually know what the Bible teaches and do our best to put it into practice, albeit imperfectly, have every right – and biblical obligation – to call you on the carpet.
Heresy and heretics are not to be embraced. They are to be exposed and avoided. The progressive “Christian” is a heretic, embracing and promoting false teachings about Christ, the Bible and God. That’s not a small thing. It’s huge – and you should speak up when you see it happening and warn everyone you know.
IT’S ALL RELATIVE
The surge of progressive “Christians” and “Christianity” is a reflection of the growing rejection that absolute truth exists. Relativism reigns in the twenty-first century, making ours an age ripe for Scripture-twisting folks to redefine God – and His teachings – in their own image.
Don’t fret – but do pay attention: the Bible predicted this uprising long ago. Paul said it well in 2 Timothy 4:3. Beware the fake Christ-follower appearing to be sincere, loving, tolerant and compassionate. Jesus’ words are more pertinent today than when He first spoke them nearly 2,000 years ago in Matthew 7:15 (NIV):
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
DUCKS AND WOLVES
If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s a duck. Progressive “Christians” are following a Jesus – but He’s not the Jesus of Scripture. He’s the Jesus they refashioned to suit their own means. If someone claims to be a Christ-follower, but supports the murder of the unborn in the guise of a woman’s right to choose, or if they use linguistic gymnastics to reinterpret the basic meanings of words, that’s a huge red flag.
Yes, we live in the twenty-first century, but claiming to follow the biblical Jesus still requires that we follow His teachings as found in the Bible, not distort them to suite our own aim.
Do you see them? They are all around and increasing in number. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing, claiming to know and follow Christ, when all they are really doing is following a retooled, mythical Jesus to suit their desires. It’s time for the faithful to stand up and speak out, to follow the biblical Jesus like never before.
America needs a bath. You can jump in during The National Week of Repentance, coming October 30 – November 6, the week before the election. You don’t have to travel anywhere to get your personal overhaul underway. It will happen simultaneously across the nation. Visit RevivalMatters.com, sign up now, and you’ll be on your way.
Deal With This Or It Will Deal With You
Strife is part of life – but much of the strife we experience can be minimized. This is especially true if you’re a leader, in any capacity, because leaders have to deal with people, and people have a way of not always agreeing with each other. If you want to reduce the strife in your life, and in the lives of others, there is something you must address head-on, or it will play head games with everyone within earshot. Never – and I mean never – let gossip go unaddressed. If you’re going to ignore gossip, you might as well participate in it.
Proverbs 26:20 speaks about the destructive power of gossip:
“Without wood, fire goes out;
without gossip, conflict dies down.”*
Gossip fuels conflict the way dry, seasoned wood feeds a campfire. Allow it to go unchecked and a small campfire can become a raging wildfire. While none of us can avoid all conflict in life, you are a poor (and foolish) leader if you don’t address the kinds of conflict created by the flames of gossip. Don’t debate the truth of God’s word. Gossip is a serious, destructive sin.
HOW TO PUT WATER ON THE FIRE OF GOSSIP
1. Get your facts straight; don’t make assumptions. Before you assume things, do your research. Find out if your suspicions about potential gossip are justified. If they are, take action. If they aren’t, move on.
2. Be humbly courageous. Make the decision to confront the person/people involved. Remember, if you do nothing when you know gossip has occurred, you are deciding to risk the potential of a small fire becoming a raging inferno. If that happens, even more of your time, energy and resources will be taxed. Small sins, left unaddressed, grow (See James 1:15). The lack of courage is a reason for many leadership wildfires. Pray for courage, then lovingly, patiently and firmly approach the person/people involved.
3. Begin by affirming the person/people. Then, ask questions; avoid making accusations. Let the person/people know you value them and their time, and care about their quality of life and the quality of the lives of others. Let them know the motive for your getting together with them, so they know you love them and people.
After doing this, ask questions about the details you discovered in your research. Allow them time to answer, and be open to the possibility that you may have received incorrect information. However, you must also be ready to confront the sin if your information is correct, and gossip did indeed occur. Good leaders don’t shy away from problems — they address them head-on.
4. If the person/people are sorry, lovingly hold them accountable and help them repent. If someone has gossiped, they need to not only be sorry. They need to make amends. Gossip is a sin with tentacles. Those tentacles need to be lopped off. The way this happens is for the person/people who gossiped to approach those they gossiped to and say, from the heart, “I am guilty of gossip. I sinned. I sinned against God. I sinned against you, others and myself by doing so. I am sorry, would you please forgive me?”
Of course, there can be variants of this, but not significant variants. The core of the confession and repentance must be present: admission of guilt/sin against God and people. Remorse for the sin. Asking for the person/people sinned against for forgiveness. Without these ingredients, the person/people have not dealt with the fire they started. It’s very important that humble repentance is manifest by the gossiper, or else the damage they started will spread. We have God’s word on it. Don’t forget Proverbs 26:20.
5. If the person/people who gossiped are not sorry and won’t take ownership of their sin and repent, follow Matthew 18:15-20. The Bible is God’s handbook for conflict resolution. Follow it. By doing so, you are following God, not just a book. Do the right things in the right ways. This is true when it comes to handling someone who has gossiped. Don’t skip steps and don’t compromise because to obey this process is to obey God.
6. Follow up and make time to thank God, personally, and with the person/people who gossiped. If the people involved repent and follow #4, above, wonderful. You have followed the LORD well, led people well, and they have followed well (especially the LORD). The fire will be doused. Take time to stop everything and thank God for His goodness, and commend the repentant person/people for taking godly steps to correct a godless act.
Yes, there may be consequences for the sin of gossip even after the guilty repent and apologize, but all you can do is all you can do – and great leaders are responsible leaders who don’t shy away from conflict. If you are a leader, you must address conflict and its roots, because without doing so, you aren’t going very far. And, neither are the people God called you to lead.
We have to get to the heart of the matter, and the heart of the matter is the human heart. Each of us needs to participate in The National Week of Repentance, coming October 30 – November 6, the week before the election. You don’t have to travel anywhere to jump in. RevivalMatters.com provides all the information you need to invite the deep change of heart and lifestyle that only God can bring.
*Scripture taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB).
ARE CONTROL FREAKS KILLING YOUR MINISTRY?
THEY’RE OFTEN SUCCESSFUL IN BUSINESS, WEALTHY, AND INFLUENTIAL WITHIN THEIR PROFESSION – AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT MAKES THEM DANGEROUS. They appear kind and generous until you get close enough to realize they aren’t. But by the time you realize this, it’s too late – deep damage has been done, and you will be left picking up the pieces.
They are control freaks – men and women prematurely respected and therefore often placed into positions of leadership in churches and ministries before their character can be clearly confirmed – and that’s where the real problems start.
For more than twenty years, all over the world, I’ve observed the spirit of control at work in people, churches and ministries as much, if not more, than the Holy Spirit. It’s outright diabolical – and it’s something you, as a leader, must not tolerate. If you tolerate the spirit of control it will not play fair, because it is the spirit of destruction.
THE WHOLE NINE YARDS
If you give the spirit of control an inch, it will take far more than a yard. It will take over. While the Holy Spirit liberates, the spirit of control imprisons. Next to the Holy Spirit, the spirit of control is the most active spirit in the body of Christ – and a good, godly leader must keep both eyes open, constantly, to ensure that control is dealt with the instant it raises its ugly head. Failure to do so can be . . . fatal.
In order to control someone, a control freak has to be a master at deception – and this is a huge problem if tolerated in churches and ministries because deception is the exact opposite of truth. To achieve their end – being in control – control freaks learn to look good on the outside so they can manipulate people and be respected.
A Spirit-led person, however, cares only about being controlled by Christ, not manipulating people. A Spirit-led person cares only about how Christ looks and is respected. The agendas of a controlling person and a Spirit-led person are diametrically opposed. They cannot mutually co-exist for long. One will win out over the other.
At the heart of a controlling person is a refusal to fully surrender to Jesus Christ. In other words, a control freak struggles with really loving Jesus. When such a person is placed in a position of influence (leadership), it’s like tossing a pebble into a pond. The ripple effects will eventually be felt throughout the team, organization, church and ministry. Those ripple effects are contrary to the work of the Holy Spirit. People who are not surrendered to Christ will make disciples who follow their example. That example is fundamentally flawed – the ministry that results is likewise askew.
If a leader is not fully surrendered to Jesus Christ, but they succeed in deceiving others into thinking they are, they will replicate the exact thing God does not want replicated: hypocrisy. Jesus said a lot about hypocrisy, and none of it was flattering.
At the heart of a controlling person is a desire to look good and be respected because they have a very low view of themselves. In a word, this is pride. This is what drives them to manipulate, seek the respect of others, and to gain status. If they can control people and situations, they temporarily gain a twisted sense of self-respect, power and worth – but none of this comes from Christ.
The control freak is destined to roam the earth with a deep, gnawing sense of emptiness because the satisfaction they receive from manipulating people and circumstances is not from God. True satisfaction comes from being fully surrendered to Jesus Christ. The control freak misses this because they are pursuing control rather than surrender.
A controlling person has a serious character flaw that must not be tolerated by anyone placed by God into a position of leadership. This is true in a family, a church and every ministry. The spirit of control steals, kills and destroys the work of God. These are the devil’s objectives (John 10:10), and they are utterly at odds with everything Christ wants to accomplish in a life, family, church and nation.
The good news is that a control freak can become a Jesus freak. The antidote for the spirit of control is genuine humility and repentance. Martin Luther hit the nail on the head with the first of his famous 95 Theses: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent’ (Mt. 4:17), He willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” It’s just not possible to be a Christ follower if repentance is not our new way of life.
Since the spirit of control is so common, we need to deal it a death blow. This is why the upcoming National Week of Repentance, October 30 – November 6, is so vital. It will help you and the people you know discover and embrace biblical humility and a lifestyle of repentance in a day when control is . . . out of control. The National Week of Repentance is a simultaneous, historic movement of God and people you simply don’t want to miss. VISIT REVIVALMATTERS.COM now, and sign up so you can participate.
HAVE YOU USED THE WRONG CRITERIA FOR PLACING SOMEONE INTO A LEADERSHIP POSITION? IS GOD – OR SOMETHING ELSE – CONTROLLING YOUR LIFE, FAMILY, CHURCH OR MINISTRY? CAN YOU AFFORD TO ALLOW CONTROL, RATHER THAN THE HOLY SPIRIT, TO REIGN?
why I hate evil far more than the 2nd amendent
( and you should, too)
IF YOU ARE AGAINST VIOLENCE, YOU HAVE TO BE IN FAVOR OF ITS DEATH.
The past 48 hours have been especially violent for America, with deadly attacks in Minnesota, New York and New Jersey. As much as none of us in our right minds rejoices in the death of anyone, there are times when the death of evil should – and must – take precedence over the death of the innocent.
I don’t love guns – but I do love innocent people. This is why I know how to use, and have been certified to conceal-carry, a legal firearm. It’s why I encourage others to do the same as a means of being prepared to stop evil when it rises up.
For the record, I’m a pastor — and since we’re talking about the record, let me set it straight, because so much of our thinking about evil is askew. Hold on a moment, because if you really think about what I’m saying you just may find yourself agreeing – all ideology aside.
What happened at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud, Minn., on Saturday – a knife-wielding attacker stabbing nine, thankfully none fatally — supports my stance. It is a stance made continually by law-abiding, conceal-carry citizens who unabashedly love the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment. Our hatred of violence and love of a peaceful society where freedom, not violence and control, reigns, is part of what drives us. Sometimes, the only way to deal with violence is to use deadly force. Spare the violent and the meek can be murdered.
In a news conference, St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis provided a synopsis of the knife attack, and how it was stopped by a law-abiding, violence-hating, off-duty police officer who just happened to be carrying a concealed firearm:
“Jason Falconer, a part time police officer for the Avon Police Department, was shopping at Crossroads Mall at the time of the attack . . .
“Officer Falconer walked into the department store and identified himself to the suspect. The suspect then waved a knife and lunged at Falconer, quickly closing the 20-foot gap between them. Falconer raised his gun and shot the suspect. Knife still in hand, the suspect got up and continued to approach the officer and was shot again. The suspect tried to get up two more times before being fatally shot.”
Mayor Kleis and Chief of Police Blair Anderson credit the off-duty, conceal-carry-permitted officer with preventing further carnage.
What if Minnesota was a state where conceal-carry was illegal? What if we lived in a nation where the 2nd Amendment was marginalized or altogether eliminated? What if law-abiding citizens were restrained from restraining violence? You know the answers, and they lead nowhere good for a peaceful, lawful, free society.
THE UPPER HAND
If we keep rejecting common sense by villainizing such law-abiding citizens who hate evil and conceal-carry as a means of restraining it, evil will gain the upper hand. In fact, I think we’re already seeing this happen, thanks to politically correct people who are theologically incorrect.
You see, the sixth of the Ten Commandments is not, “You shall not kill” (Exodus 20:13). Better translations are “You shall not murder,” and “You shall not take an innocent life.” The proper translation is a game-changer. The truth is that innocent, law-abiding people have a right – and an obligation before God and each other – to do all they can to protect other innocent, law-abiding people and to strive toward a peaceful, free society. To not do all that is within our power to restrain evil is, by default, to promote it.
A FOUNDATION OF COMMON SENSE
Our Founding Fathers were men filled with common sense – a trait going the way of the panda bear in our modern times. It’s what led them to draft and adopt The 2nd Amendment, the right to “keep and bear arms.” Why? For no other reason than to restrain evil. The 2nd Amendment is not an endorsement of hunting, my friends. It’s a means to prevent the evil that is in the heart of every single one of us from gaining the upper hand. The Founding Fathers knew that the heart of man is dark, and when darkness reigns, freedom wanes.
We really are in a titanic fight between good and evil in America. Good prevails when we are intentional about stopping evil. If we shrink from this responsibility, chaos, disorder and violence.
America needs a return to common sense, and a real spiritual awakening courtesy of God Himself. We have to get to the heart of the matter, which is the heart of humanity. This is why The National Week of Repentance, coming October 30 – November 6, is so important. If you’re against violence, then you need to participate and spread the word. Let’s stop dealing with the symptoms of our problems and get to the causes. Visit RevivalMatters.com and get yourself ready for the kind of hope and change that only God can provide.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? WHAT IF AMERICA BECOMES A NATION WHERE THE 2ND AMENDMENT IS MARGINALIZED – OR ELIMINATED?
PULLING TEETH FROM A ROARING TIGER
One of the reasons America is in such a mess is because we Christian leaders don’t seem to give a darn about the damned. The level of mistrust, competition and disinterest between pastors works against the unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17:23:
In light of the moral decline, racial division, financial turmoil and political nonsense we are seeing this election year, I’ve been reaching out to pastors and Christian leaders, trying to get us all on the same page – God’s page – so that we can fulfill Jesus’ prayer in John 17 and actually reach the lost. Here’s what I’ve found: getting Christian leaders together these days is about as easy and comfortable as pulling teeth from a roaring tiger.
We don’t need the devil to derail us. We are doing a find job all by ourselves. Isn’t it ironic that we are pursuing church growth and “ministry” without prioritizing unity – the most important ingredient for church and ministry success? At the end of day, we’re shooting ourselves in our own feet by diminishing the importance of Christian unity. No wonder the world yawns when we open our mouths. Can you blame them? We don’t practice what we preach.
We don’t seem to believe what Jesus taught: people are persuaded about the love of God in proportion to the unity among Christians. The greater the unity, the more irresistible God becomes. The more divided we are, the less people care about Christ. If our objective is to get people to follow Jesus, we have to start following Him ourselves. Until we do, we are nothing more than hypocrites. We want people to love and follow a Jesus we’ve left behind.
It’s not complicated. Our disunity reveals that we Christian leaders don’t seem to really care about reaching the lost. If we did, we’d be doing far more to be unified, because unity convinces people that God is real and the message of the cross is true.
A few months ago, I asked my assistant to reach out to senior pastors from neighboring churches, asking if we could “set up a time to meet in regard to the state of the nation and how churches can cooperate together in unity.” Here is the ironic response of one such pastor:
Is that really God’s “very best”? We make false assumptions about each other that keep us at arms length – in the same city, at this pivotal time in American history. What is wrong with us? We leaders have lost our way. How is it possible to talk “shop” without the shop itself? If we keep talking about all the other issues we face, except the most important issues of the day, aren’t we merely postponing the inevitable day when the circling wagons will achieve their goal? Aren’t we wasting precious time – and precious souls – in the process?
We pastors and Christian leaders all need to repent – big time. We’re too divided to be of any use to the Jesus we say we want other people to follow. The National Week of Repentance is coming October 30 – November 6. Get involved and be part of the solution to the division that is so obvious within the Church. Visit RevivalMatters.com and sign up, now.
ARE YOU A CATALYST FOR UNITY, OR ARE YOU SHOOTING YOURSELF IN THE FOOT at this key time as history is being written? do you give a darn about the damned?