Paul’s Unpopular Teaching in Today’s Church

What Paul said to Timothy in 2Tim.2:3-7 is not a popular thing to say in church today. Think about it, how many Christians today would want to share in suffering as a good solder of Christ? Wait a minute, do we even know that we are soldiers of Christ, called to fight invisible spiritual battles against invisible spiritual enemies and that Jesus is the Captain of the hosts? The impression we often give people today is that Jesus is ALWAYS & ONLY the Lover of our souls who calls us to be His precious precious children. Not wrong, but it’s only half the truth. Half truths produce half-baked Christians. We have been misled to think that being a Christian is merely about being a child of God. We are not just a people of love, we are a people of power too! Paul went on to say, “no soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him” (v.4). Oh this is so hard today because we are so entangled in civilian pursuits or everyday life. So many amongst us in the church want the exact same things non-believers want in life and our aim seems to be to please ourselves! Sometimes you can barely tell the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian whether in the workplace, school or neighbourhood. Competing according to the rules (v.5)? Well, not every Christian likes to be told what to do. We prefer the freedom bit In Scriptures, not the rules bit. Huge theological issues we have! The hard-working farmer gets the first share of the crops (v.6) – I beg your pardon, have we not been told by popular preachers today that Christians live by grace and to work hard as a Christian is pure legalism? Well, maybe these preachers didn’t read the whole Bible, but we must.

2Tim.2:3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Old Is Not Always Better, But Sometimes It Is

I was listening to live worship songs led by Kent Henry earlier today and I was led right back to times of worship in the past where there was so much hunger for God, such great desire to be pure and holy, and determination to be like Jesus. Something else also became very obvious to me – the fact that musical accompaniment was simple and was mainly in the background which naturally allowed the words to be in the foreground. What we say to God in worship was certainly far more important than what we play. There was so much more meaning to worship. The musical arrangement may not sound so cool by today’s standard, but it was hot – full of holy fire! It led me to ponder, what do worship teams focus on today? What are our priorities? Sometimes it just seems like we prefer hype to holy, and that’s just terrible.

Check out this Kent Henry album:

The Dark Side of Church Leadership?

It is very easy for pastors and church leaders to unknowingly let our passion for God and love for God’s church turn us into manipulators, dictators and politicians. When that happens, the church becomes our personal kingdom where we rule as kings and queens. (Additional note: What happened to praying and waiting on God and letting Him make the moves in His perfect time instead of us actively engineering things?)