The same thing is happening today in many religious circles around the world: Leaders who are playing religious politics won't allow ministers to preach the Gospel freely. They won't allow prophets to prophesy the word of the Lord unless it is always bless, bless, bless, and more bless! Some churches won't even allow the prophetic ministry to coincide with the other grace gifts that Jesus gave to the church, when He went back to heaven.Many leaders, pastors will tell you they they don't need the prophetic voice in their church because they are prophets themselves. Not only are they the pastor and prophet, but they complete all of the five-fold ministry gifts;" I guess some are saying, "when you got me, you got the bundle package!" lol. The body of Christ particularly its leadership, has a problem allowing anyone to bring a word of correction from God. They won't allow anyone to convey the power of conviction that turns people's hearts toward God.
Some leaders only want things that will cause people's emotions to rejoice so that they will think they have it altogether when they really haven't. Many leaders want the people to hold them up and view them as "superstars," "a wonder," "the greatest thing since sliced bread." They want to turn the hearts of the people from God to a co-dependency relationship with them.
The prophet Jeremiah faced the same situation in his day, and he nailed the religious politicians. (Jeremiah 23.) he said, "You pillow prophets-all you say is, "Peace, peace," when there is no peace. And God is against you!" (I'd) rather have man angry at me than God.) Jeremiah said, "You prophesy things out of your own heart. You say you saw a vision when it was your own head. You're telling people there's going to be peace when there is going to be war. And you are telling people they are fine when they are guilty of worshiping themselves and their possessions.
"You're prophesying wrong-out of your own heart rather than out of the heart of heaven. God says, "I am against you, and you shall be judged."
Jeremiah told the people not to listen tho these false prophets. But he did not stop there; he even got on the pastors. He said, "You pastors don't visit the sheep. You don't feed the sheep. You don't take care of them. You abuse them. Woe unto you!" Any time God says "Woe," you better look out, He means, you had better take what I am saying seriously!
Religious politics destroys the heart of a man for his congregation. He becomes more concerned about his reputation, about filling up the pews, lining his or her pocketbook with the tithes and offerings in the plates, rather than caring for the poor sheep in the pew. Many of these leaders are walking in "Hollywood Christianity!" It's no wonder that the "Preachers of LA" , had such a wide platform, and generated lots of interest among church go-ers. Most preachers that get to the level of a Bishop Jakes, Bishop Noel Jones, or Bishop Ron Gibson have multiple streams of income that have contributed to their wealth, prosperity and lavish lifestyles. I don't think people are hating because of their success! But to exploit it on television and allow the congregations around the country that are barely able to pay their bills to witness their home life is a bit much. I don't have to see all of that, on TV to know that God is blessing and has blessed you.
The bottom line is, God has no superstars; He only has servants. If a servant does his job, God will promote him or her. But no matter how great his name may become, a servant will still have power to meet the needs of the people and help them when they are in trouble. That is what God's ministry gifts are for.
My next blog will give the characteristics of Religious Politicians. Stay tuned.
And: "Don't Forget To Say Your Prayers!"