Though you may find it hard to believe, there is an addiction more subtle and more powerful than either drugs or pornography. Its older than prostitution, more prevalent than alcohol, more addictive than cocaine. It doesnt discriminate between male and female, black or white, young or old, rich or poor. Its strength is greater than all other addictions combined. Its as rampant in the Church as it is in the world. It leaves the body unscathed but destroys the soul. The vast majority of people addicted have little if any understanding of its power or perils.The history of the worship of success dates back to Lucifer, the rebellious archangel who wanted to relegate God to a subordinate role and take the top gun position for himself. This desire for success soon spread throughout the earth like a cancer, reaching its pinnacle with mankind seeking to build a tower and to make for themselves a name. What a contrast in attitudes we find between Genesis 11 and 12. Chapter 11 exposes man striving for recognition, while chapter 12 we find God promising humble Abraham that He would make his name great.A clear picture of this obsession with success can be found in the story of King Ahaz. His numerous sins had brought judgment upon himself and the nation of Judah. This punishment came through the king of Aram who carried off a great number of his people as captives. Embarrassed and distressed over his glaring defeat, the Jewish king made the monumental mistake of attributing the Aramean victory to their gods. Whatever small faith he may have had in Jehovah was completely discarded in favor of idol worship. Because the gods of the kings of Aram helped them, he reasoned, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me. (II Chronicles 28:23) It seems that Ahaz was prepared to pay any price for success.Lamentably, it seems that much of the American Church holds this same misguided logic. Pastors around the nation are flocking to follow the mega church pattern, believing that what worked somewhere else will work for them as well. We now have the mentality that success is purely numerical. Witness what the Barna Research Group stated as the result of a recent study:The most discouraging study we ever conducted was one in which we attempted to identify churches in the U.S. that consistently and intelligently evaluate life transformation among the people to whom they minister. We found that very few churches - emphasis on very - measure anything beyond attendance, donations, square footage, number of programs and size of staff. None of that necessarily reflects life transformation. (Italics mine)How tragic! Success is now measured by attendance, donations, square footage, etc. Its time we stopped worshipping the gods of success and turned our gaze afresh upon the Lord, for beholding we will be changed. I think that is the definition of SUCCESS in the Kingdom of God.from: http://www.davidravenhill.com/
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
I often wonder what the issue is, what is right... One huge church building with many or many church buildings with few? Where I live there are some big churchs with many but there are also many many little churchs with few. So many denominations as well.
Thank you Greg for posting this teaching. This explains why there is little difference in the morality of those within the church as compared to those that are in the world. At one time I attended a large AOG church. God was moving in that church. People were being saved, and the presence of God was there in the services. However, as in many churches, there was much mixture. The bottom line in most churches is not how much the people are being changed into the image and likeness of Christ, which is God's top priority, but what will bring the maximum amount of people and hold them in that church. What will produce the biggest offerings? Pastors are afraid to preach the uncompromised word of God because it will seperate the disciples from those that are just interested in whats in it for me. The message of dying to self has been replaced by "God wants to make you a success." So there is little difference between your typical church member and the world. The same selfish ambition that is driving the worldlings is behind the suceess teachings in the church. Many seminaries are teaching those called to the ministry how to build a big church. Seminaries for the most part are a failure because the message that they are conveying is "bigger is better." The more people in your church, the more money in the offerings, and so you will be able to advance the kingdom of God in your region. Programs have taken the place of prayer and fasting in the church. Many preachers are not going to be at the morning prayer meeting, and they will tell you that they just don't have the time. Many of you probably remember Robert Tilton, who had one of the fastest growing ministries in the nation. The name of his ministry was "Success in Life". This man was so caught up with money that he was caught removing the donations from the envelopes and throwing the prayer requests in the dumpster. It took one of the major networks to expose his ministry. The one teacing that dominated his ministry and that can be seen on so much of the Christian T.V. today is to sow your biggest seed into the offering and you can claim from God whatever your heart desires. Mike Murdock is doing the same thing. He is from the city that I live in. At one time he preached the true gospel but he got caught up in the success teachings and now he and his partners are in total deception. May the Lord have mercy on us. May the Lord send revival to His Church. God cannot and will not heal our land until the church gets it right first. Mike
What a contrast in attitudes we find between Genesis 11 and 12. Chapter 11 exposes man striving for recognition, while chapter 12 we find God promising humble Abraham that He would make his name great.