You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?
Jesus calls the religious leaders of His day hypocrites no less than seven times in Matthew 23. He calls them a whole lot worse as well! In verse 34 He tells the scribes and Pharisees that they will scourge the people He sends in their synagogues. Sadly, the scourging of God’s people still exists today in churches.
I should be clear. Discipline is not scourging. Being given feedback is not scourging and the often-used example of mine, not being allowed to play your shofar during worship is not scourging. I am a fanatic about sonship and submission. Submission is a powerful act of service and discipleship. Laying down your life for the sake of the vision for another is really important to me and I think it is important to God. As Paul Manwaring told me, it is about having your bags packed and laying them at someone’s feet saying ‘I am here to serve you and your vision’. This is not scourging.
I am talking about the scourging of God’s people that keeps them in slavery, a term I use cautiously. It is happening in churches throughout this great city. People are told they are nothing, that they are not worthy of anything and should God be gracious enough to glance in their direction just once, they should be eternally grateful. People are told their destinies are not important and they should die to the very gift God has given them.
It is time for reformation in the church. A reformation of fullness and His ancient, perpetual love for us, His children. You see, if I as a father know how to give good gifts to my children, then how much more does our heavenly Father? He is a good, good Father who delights in our success and prosperity and loves it when we use what He has given us. It delights Him to see us walk in our fullness, empowered by His Spirit inside of us.
Beating people up, keeping them down and in ‘their place’, teaching that God thinks we are nothing, has got to stop. It has an effect of the self-esteem and worth of millions of people who are churched but have no idea who they really are. I would argue that it creates a system of worthlessness where taking a life means nothing and losing your own is an act of valor. At it’s core is control; powerful weaklings stealing from Jesus’ beautiful bride to quote Jason Upton.
The church in this city is under the influence of a spirit of witchcraft that seeks to control His people through bad beliefs and it is time to kick that hell out of Chicago. The church is the hope for the lost and hurting, the broken and wounded and it is time she stood up to become all God intended. People caught under the spell of teachings that seek to keep them in bondage and hopelessness need to find a true apostolic body where they will be encouraged to life and equipped for the fullness of who they were made to be.
500 years has been a long time to wait for another reformation of the church. Who is with me?
This is based on a sermon I gave. For the full download, click here. Available for a limited time.