A commentary by
By Chuck Baldwin
February 3, 2004
(Used by Chuck Baldwin's permission on CR's Range)
I constantly marvel at the thinking of today's professing Christians. The majority of them seem incapable of comprehending anything above the spoon-fed diet of religious and political propaganda that is daily disseminated from the ivory towers of "anointed" Christian institutions. In no place is this "sound bite" mentality more apparent than when reference is made regarding those people whom they believe are qualified to speak on their behalf.
When speaking of those leaders who seem to have a robot-like following, a common mantra goes something like, "He must have God's blessing: look how large his ministry is!"
However, is bigness the evident sign of God's blessing? If it is, I must assume that I, and thousands of people like me, must not be blessed of God! After all, we don't have big ministries, big budgets, big congregations, or big any things.
Therefore, I must deduce that God has chosen only a handful of "anointed" leaders to be the recipients of His blessings. It would appear that these special people have been divinely chosen to lead us and to speak for us. I'm not really sure why the rest of us even try to speak. Hardly anyone seems to be paying attention.
For example, when is the last time you heard of a faithful pastor with a congregation of 150 people being invited to speak at any major Christian gathering? When is the last time such a man filled the pulpit for any large pastor's conference? When is the last time any Christian voter paid any attention to what such a man had to say?
It seems the only pastors who are worthy of heed are those celebrated preachers with mega-size ministries. However, is this really true? If so, why do those tens of thousands of ministers across America who pastor small churches not simply get out of the ministry? Does anyone really consider them "blessed" or pay much attention to what they have to say?
I know scores of Godly men who will never pastor a church of more than a few hundred people. However, they are men of outstanding character and integrity. They are men of deep spiritual conviction who possess profound wisdom and discernment.
Beyond that, unlike many celebrated ministers, these men have faithful wives and children. They've never had an affair or cheated on their wife. Their children share their Christian convictions and serve the Lord with great fervor and gladness. Yet, these men seem to have little influence upon the thinking of most professing Christians today. Seldom do you hear someone say about them, "They must have God's blessing." And neither do you hear of any Christian millionaire giving them money!
In fact, today's Christians are quick to overlook even egregious sins committed by the chosen and "blessed" ministers, while at the same time quickly ignoring the obvious stellar character qualities demonstrated by these "little" preachers. However, this leads to some questions.
How big were the churches in Asia Minor and Galatia? How big were the churches in Thessalonica, Philippi, and Colosse? I wonder just how big any of the churches where Paul served as pastor were?
And speaking of the Apostle Paul, he was more noted for his stripes and imprisonments than he was for any mega-sized ministry, was he not? Are we to assume, then, that Paul was not one of God's "blessed" preachers? After all, a "jail bird" couldn't be taken seriously as a messenger of God, could he?
Furthermore, if bigness is a sign of God's blessing, the Muslim religion must be considered greatly blessed. After all, the Muslim faith is one of the largest and fastest growing religions in the world!
Also, if bigness is a sign of God's blessing, General Motors, Ford, AT&T, and those other "blue chip" companies must be regarded as highly blessed. And while we're at it, let's not overlook Las Vegas! Now there's a town that must have God's blessing, because it is big, and it is rich! Can I get an "Amen?"
Should I, then, tell my good friend who owns a small "mom and pop" sporting goods store, who scratches and claws just to keep his doors open, but who has a wonderful Christian family and who is a faithful usher and Sunday School teacher at his church, that it is the owner of Mega Mart, not him, who is "blessed?"
It is high time that rank and file Christian people started thinking for themselves and stopped being led around by the nose by the "rich and famous." It is time they started judging righteous judgment and stopped being a patsy for star-studded charlatans. It is time they started listening to truth and stopped being spoon-fed by religious and political propagandists.
It is not too late to turn America right side up, but it will never happen until some common people start using some common sense and some old fashioned courage to do what is right. And if they can read a Bible, they already know what is right and what the true blessings of God really are. They also know to turn away from those who say that "gain is godliness."
© Chuck Baldwin
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