The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Responding to Leaders

Shady Shepherd Tactics: Gaining Rank

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

In the vast world of Christian leaders, there are those who sincerely want to help you, there are others who sincerely want to harm you, and there are others who don’t care about you one way or the other—they’re just using you to benefit themselves.  When it comes to the tactics that Christian leaders use when they engage with you, some are good, and some are shady.  Good tactics encourage you to keep your focus on God and to pursue the right spiritual goals.  Shady tactics discourage you from focusing on God while they encourage you to pursue the wrong goals.  The purpose of this post is to familiarize you with certain shady tactics that are commonly used by Christian leaders today so that you can become less affected by them. Read more of this post

Recognizing Wolves: By Their Fruits You Won’t Know Them

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No one is more fabulous than Jesus. He is our glorious God, our magnificent Creator. He introduced Himself to us by coming to earth to die on our behalf—how amazing is that? We can never come to the end of our admiration of Jesus. The better we know Him, the more deeply we cherish Him, and yet…

There’s nothing simple about Jesus. Like Yahweh and the Holy Spirit, He is a mind-blowing swirl of infinite and opposite passions. Love and wrath, mercy and justice, compassion and indifference. Jesus creates and destroys, He heals and He tears down. Just when we think we’ve got Him basically figured out, He suddenly removes some invisible veil and reveals a whole new mysterious side of Himself. There’s nothing boring about Jesus. The closer we get to Him, the more fascinating and puzzling He becomes. Read more of this post

Anointed: What it Does & Doesn’t Mean

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

If your pastor says something is good, is that the same as God saying it is good? Not hardly. If your pastor says something is good, but God says that same thing is bad, then clearly God’s opinion trumps your pastor’s. The same is true for the word “anointed.” Your pastor might say his sermon was anointed, or claim that he is anointed. But what does God say? Unless God tells you that He approves of your pastor’s claim, then you can’t eliminate the possibility that the man is just full of hot air. As a general rule, if you substitute “pompous windbag” for the title “anointed”, you’ll get a far more accurate picture of what you’re dealing with. To understand why you should not view the “anointed” label as evidence of God’s approval, let’s learn about where the anointing ritual came from, and what our shady motivations are for using it in the Church today. Read more of this post

Trained Shills & Blind Trust: A Winning Combination for False Shepherds

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

I want your money. If I mug you in an alley, I’ll probably end up in jail. That’s not very satisfying. Besides, I don’t want to just mug you, I want to mug thousands of people at the same time and take all of their money without ever being accused of a crime. But how can I possibly pull this off? Clearly physical strategies won’t work, so it’s time to turn to something far more effective: mind games. Suppose I manage to convince you that I’m amazing—so amazing that you actually consider it a privilege to hand over all of your money to me. That sounds tantalizing. But how do I get there? You don’t even know me, and I don’t want to know you. I don’t want a relationship, I just want your money. Hm. I need to find a backer. I need someone who already has your respect to publicly endorse me—then I’ll have your respect as well. But who can I get? Other people don’t know me, and I don’t want to have to work at making social connections. I’m far too egotistical to kiss up to anyone—I want the world to kiss up to me. So who can I get to back me? Here’s a brilliant idea: I’ll get God. After all, you don’t know God very well, and neither do I. But that’s what makes it so perfect, because now I can make God be whoever I want Him to be. I can put words in His mouth—words that make me sound fabulous—and you’ll never know the difference. This is a plan with all kinds of potential. Read more of this post

Can Christian leaders claim special protection from God?

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

There’s a popular rumor floating about in certain sections of the Church that fancy titles can earn men and women special privileges from God. Some leaders like to claim a blanket promise of protection from God and then drop not-so-subtle hints that you’d better treat them extra special or else God will strike you down. If He doesn’t strike you down, He’ll put some kind of curse on your life and bad things will happen to you. So then, is this true? Can pastors, prophets, missionaries, evangelists, healers, and teachers really claim special protection from God?

This theory was clearly started by human ego, and like so many ego-based fantasies, it directly counters what we find in the Word. The Bible is far from perfect, but it does provide us with some very educational records about how God has dealt with His leaders in the past. So let’s see what we can learn. Read more of this post