December 30, 2013 by AJ Briones
Currently, I am watching a service of Lakewood Church where Joel Osteen serves as a senior pastor. In his introduction along his wife, he mentioned that the one that would be sharing God’s Word was Joseph Prince, the pastor of New Creation Church in Singapore. Some of you may like what I am doing and some may not like it that much. Here’s the thing, both of these two pastors have been hit by so much controversies and their names has been dragged along with the topics of New Age and those other stuff. I’d be honest with you, for a time in my life, I stray away from the topic thinking that if I never read their books or even watch their sermons (though I listen to Lakewood Worship), I would also stray away from any “false teachings.” Well, I listen to Steven Furtick of Elevation Church, and that guy has a load of controversies but I still do listen and that whole thought reminded me of something.
No man is perfect yet we all can strive to be the perfect way we could be and that is in the very will of God. Though for human standards we fall, in God’s it’s not a matter of falling but in giving trust to Him. It’s never about us. We can create a list of televangelists, well-known pastors, prophets; and alongside with them we can throw every controversy regardless if we have tried to validate it or not, if those were true, it would still the same, I can never judge if there is no relationship. I can’t judge based on rumor or comments. In fact I have not been listening to any of them (other than Furtick of course). Well, you may tell me, “Hey! Even John Piper gave a comment about Prince.” But it doesn’t matter. The thing is this; what does matter? Is it man’s comment or the comment of God? Sometimes we as Christians get so much stuck up with the comment of men (much more with the comments of personalities) than be sensitive of what is God’s opinion is about a matter or a person. Where do you get His opinion? The Word: The Bible.
1st Kings 13 in the Bible shows us a good picture of all of it. Here comes a man of God who given by God a command to come to a certain place but given a command to never eat or drink from the place he went (1 Kings 13:9) but there came a time when another man came and said that he was a prophet and that the man claimed that God told the man of God to eat and drink with Him. Hearing that it was God’s command he drank and ate. Here’s what happens next:
18 The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the Lord: ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (But he was lying to him.) 19 So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house. 20 While they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the old prophet who had brought him back. 21 He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have defied the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. 22 You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your ancestors.’” – 1 Kings 13:18-22, NIV.
Know what? Here’s the point, it’s not about the speaker. Do we still validate or read what God’s opinion is? Do we still apply what the Word says? Any man can say that they heard from the Lord but does it align with what the Lord says? Francis Chan, my favorite pastor may say something that I totally want to agree with but the question is, do I still bounce it back to the Word? Do I; do we still dig deep into the Word and see what God says? Or are we just complacent with what people say because they are men of God? Men of God are men who stand on the same ground as you do. They make the same mistakes. They have the same God as you do but do we still sink ourselves in the presence of His Word, validating what we understand and applying so? Here’s something I heard from a Pastor I sincerely don’t like but he’s sincerely following Jesus. Here’s his 1st point to his introduction to his preaching, GOD’S WILL IS FOUNDED ON GOD’S WORD. That’s it. The truth is that truth is in the Word. The very will of God; the blueprint of living; the truth behind the validity of what each preacher, missionary or pastor says; the truth behind whatever I say here, can only be understood if we do dig into the Word. OPEN THE WORD. READ THE WORD. APPLY THE WORD. GIVE GLORY TO HIM WHO GAVE THE WORD.
Here’s an additional material for us to watch:
Francis Chan – Passion Conference 2012