Tag Archives: clergy

Stop the Deception!

love_3_by_mjagiellicz1Just stop! I use to think I really knew what love was all about. I have to confess that what I thought was love, was not really love at all. In fact, it was a form of love that earthlings have come to believe as love ever since the fall of man. Wow, were we deceived. Then we started saying how much we loved this and how much we loved that-when all we were professing was a form of love the Greeks called, “phileo love.” The word was well known, but there was a serious problem with it. It wasn’t good enough.

No? No.

It only had a shelf life of a few years. Some brands lasted only for a few moments. Others, not even a few months. We used that love to express some emotional need (that we felt in our brain) to tell others that we “loved” them. But we used that same word for our dog, our cat, our car, our children, our house, our president, our neighbor, our sofas, our dentist, our church, our spouses and even God. Now how can that be? How can that be authentic love? We’ve been deceived.

Men and women take vows and say “till death do us part,” only to find out that the shelf life on their love had expired way before death ever thought about coming around. Friends say I love you, only to realize that that wasn’t a good brand of love they bought into and eventually say, “sorry, I must part ways with you now.” How about the brand of love found at the end of a date that causes you to fall for that guy and do anything for him just because he said he loved you? Where did you buy that love? At the dollar store?

Phileo love is good, but not good enough. If Sears were selling it, it would be in the better section of the store. You know, they sell stuff like good, better, best. Phileo love is not the love that glues friendships, lovers, spouses, parents and children together. When we use the same kind of love for a spouse and a dog, then something is not right. I know–I hear you clearly shouting at me, “THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF LOVE!” No, calm down. There are different “depths” of phileo love but it’s all the same.

Agape is a love, created by God, which causes man to bond in a way that is like super glue. It’s not artificial. It’s not a love substitute. It’s not cheap and ugly. It’s lasting and pure.

Not many people understand or know about agape. Yet. Even in the “best of the best” respected books in Christianity, such as Richard Foster’s “Celebration of Discipline,” not one word is mentioned about the discipline of agape love. It’s difficult to find those who really understand it.

I don’t use the word love much anymore because it is so overused and has such contempt with it. I use the word agape because it means more than love to me. It means what I feel and say.

So who has deceived us? More on that tomorrow.


That’s what I think about it.


DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.comeclogo12

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Why Do We Call Ministers Reverend?

ordinationJesus was so right on when he made several statements about the titles many carried in His day. He realized that agape didn’t need titles to get people to love and respect Him. Even in His last days, the opposition tried to call Him king, and He just replied with a non-answer answer.

We have so many religious titles that men love to have, wear and become attentive to when called by their title. We have the reverends, the pastor, father, bishops, overseers, elder, priests, and rabbi. Many in the religious fields probably feel that they could take them or leave them. However, there are those who feel that respect is in a title. Their expectation of others to call them by their title is their reassurance of that respect.

Agape doesn’t label religious leaders with titles. We give men titles because of protocol in our religious world’s system. Men receive titles to assure others that they have completed the criteria and process demanded of them for that office.

People who know me call me Tim; others call me Timothy. Some call me Pastor Timothy. When I was growing up in church, we called the pastor, “preacher.” Some, I have come to find out, feel that that title is disrespectful. I never could figure that one out.

I appreciate it when people call me pastor, but the truth of the matter is that if they wanted to call me Tim or Timothy, it’s just fine with me. Agape carries with it a respect and care for others without the crown of a title. Agape says that you can just call me by my name; I don’t need to be called by any title.

Jesus even referred to those who were psychologically gratified and loved having their egos fed when others would call them by their titles. They loved it. They lived for it. Vanity is the foundation for such titles. They are used by those who crave attention.

I was in the presence, years ago, of a man who was a district overseer for a particular denomination. He demanded that no one call him by his first name, but by his title, “Bishop.” I guess some people need that sort of thing in the religious world.

Agape says you can love me for who I am. Agape says that I’m going to love you for who you are. Agape is not bias, prejudice nor judgmental. Agape loves when all other loves fail.

Paul says that if I have not agaped, I am nothing. It doesn’t matter if you have titles a mile long, If you don’t agape people, then you are absolutely nothing. That’s pretty harsh. However, agape should be the basis for our leadership and not what title we hold. Jesus asked Peter if he agaped Him and then he told him to feed His sheep. It was agape that would cause Peter to lead people, not a title of rank. Respect is not found in a title. Respect is found in a person.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.comeclogo11

Tattoos: Not For Me

religious-christian-jesus-neck-tattoos-flash-designs-tattoo-pictures-gallery-tattoo-art2Tattoos have been around for as long as anyone can remember. They are an art to themselves. Some people have dedicated their lives to doing the work of tattoos. Some call it skin art. Others have used their bodies as a canvas for tattoo artists.

In doing research for this topic I found four interesting facts from a Harris Survey.

o Thirty-six percent of those ages 18 to 25, and 40 percent of those ages 26 to 40, have at least one tattoo, according to a fall 2006 survey by the Pew Research Center.

o The National Geographic News stated in April 2000 that 15% of Americans were tattooed (or approximately 40 million people!)

o Esquire Magazine estimated in March 2002 that 1 in 8 Americans was tattooed.

o According to the American Society of Dermatological Surgery, they stated in 2005, that of all the people they treat with laser and light therapy, only 6% are getting a tattoo removed.

o Harris Poll, 2003, estimates that fully 36% of those aged 25-29 have one or more tattoos.

o A 2006 a study done by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that 24% of Americans between 18 and 50 are tattooed; that’s almost one in four. And the survey showed that about 36% of Americans age 18 to 29 have at least one tattoo!

There are Christians who feel that having a tattoo is taboo. They adhere to the Old Testament principal that marking up your body is wrong. Other Christians have no problem with it and many have religious tattoos placed on their body to honor God.

Some Christians do it for fun. Some out of curiosity.

Me? Well I’ve thought about it several times. Sometimes out of curiosity, sometimes out of doing something I had never done before. As my personal belief whether it is right or wrong? I think this one is totally up to the individual and his relationship to God. I don’t find anything wrong with doing it as long as it is in good taste.

Now would I get one? Most likely not. For reasons you might be surprised. I dislike anything with pain. I definitely don’t like the idea of a needle blasting my skin so many times. But then again, I’m won’t rule it out either.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.wordpress.com

I’m Sick; This is a recording! (please rewind and play)

 

Did you know it is a fact that stress attacks the body in a way that it tears down our immune system?  Did you know that once that happens we become vulnerable to any kind of illness or infection that is in our general locality?  It’s factual. 

 

You might say that we all live with a certain amount of pressure; that we’re all bound to get ill every now and then.  While that might be true, it is more in surplus with others.  People who get sick repeatedly are found to be accident-prone and are diagnosed more often with some sort of infection.  Studies show this to be true more often in stress-laden individuals, swallowed up in the complexity of life’s problems, than their counterparts who live the “stress-free” approach to life.

 

Now I’ve seen people who don’t go to church to be some of the healthiest people living. They run, they walk, they work out, they eat right and they take care of themselves.  They are also people who have found balance in life, and they take care of their personal business.  There are exceptions to this rule, obviously, but there are those in good physical and mental shape nevertheless.

 

What is it about church people?  In my own observation, Christians seem to be the ones with the majority of sickness, the most troubles and seem to be the most diagnosed as being morbidly obese?  We say we’ve been saved, healed and delivered.  We testify to the fact that Jesus is the burden bearer.  We preach about the body being the temple of the Holy Spirit.  However in all this, we carry our own burdens, which brings stress.  Why?  Our temples need some major work on them, and some of our temples are about to fall because our “human load bearing legs” just can’t hold up all that weight.  We know that tobacco brings with it the stepfather of cancer, yet we can’t break the habit.  So, what are we to do?

 

I’ll tell you what we do.  We take the easy road.  Shamefully, we turn to deliverance instead of self-discipline.  We turn to healing instead of healthy living.  In doing so, we empower our powerlessness to actually care for ourselves the way the Word teaches us.  We give a name to our lethargy and our lack of wanting to do anything about it.  We wallow in weakness.  We live the label of laziness.

 

Your failure to deal with and abolish stress with the help of Jesus Christ is going to give you a life span of bad health and illness.

 

We stress out, and we eat too much.  We worry, and we eat fried chicken.  Stop!  Stop!  Stop.  Take charge of yourself.  It is time we started making the “righteous bird” stress more than we do and make him feel like nobody wants him (especially with a coat of Crisco; lined with flour.) 

 

We like him more with a tan and grilled to perfection.

 

That’s what I think about it.

 

DTW – www.exaltationchurch.com

 

(it’s finger lickin’ good)

Women Are Not Second Class Christians!

women-in-the-bible1

 

 

 

Why Not Use Women?

The last thing my dad said to me before passing away was, “Are You Whacky?”  He was dying of a brain tumor and his speech was so slured that he would say something or asks a question and I had no idea what he was saying so I answered him according to what I thought he was saying.  So then, he finally mustered up all the strength he had, said it as plain as he could, “Are You Whacky?”  I had answered his sensible question with an insensible answer.

Sometimes when I think about churches refusing to use women in leadership, I want to express my feelings thusly; are you whacky?

Many say it’s not Biblical to use women in management. But then again we have to think about the source of those who believe it.  It is the men driven officials of these groups.  I know for a fact that I’ve heard some women who are in the clergy that could preach the socks right off of some pretentious, theologically trained, unbending white collar man preacher.  In fact I enjoyed their homilies much better than a lot of clergymen I had heard.

Why are we so against this?

I’ve heard of silly men who refused to go to churches where the pastor’s wife was part of the senior staff of pastors.  But then again, we have to consider the source and look at the ludicrous lifestyles of those who say these preposterous things.

The Apostle Paul is so cultural when it tells women to keep silent in church.  Women in today’s society have a place in the church.  In God, there is not male or female.

So, women, forge ahead.  Do what God called you or is calling you to do.

Don’t let some legalistic male preacher tell you that God doesn’t want you or need you to do his business.  Just consider the source.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.com

Disenchanted of Church Like I Was?

About five years or so, I had it up to here (imagine taking your right hand and holding it level with your neck) with non-resultant churches so that I accepted the challenge and the call from God to begin pastoring.  Now, I wasn’t one of those who just said, I think I’ll start preaching. (Imagine a brain surgeon doing that; “I think I’ll be a brain surgeon, someone hand me a drill. Any volunteers?”)  No, I went to seminary during the 70’s, worked in small and large churches as associate pastor from 150 to 5,000, so I wasn’t a novice at this.  I was weary of the internal hostility of churches that ran the gamete of firing pastors, running off good people to litigation taking place between pastors and church boards.  I thought this is ridiculous, preposterous and uncalled for.  So I started Exaltation Church. 

 

These are a group of people right now that are so enamored with the idea of growing a church.

 

Let me give you several reasons that I have been told why people attend Exaltation Church.

 

1.      Growing a church from scratch is electrifying.  Who wants a cookie cutter church?

2.      Emblematic irritants are sternly avoided – people being envious of others, distain for leadership, legalism is not taught, the same people doing all the jobs, boring service that includes dull sermons and lifeless music.

3.      The focal point and the vision of the church are understandable; seeking after hurting people and making warriors out of them for Christ.

4.      We not only seek the down and out just because we’re not intimidated by them but out but the up and out because they need hope as well.

5.      Since moving to the new location we’re on the increase quicker than anticipated.

6.      Worship music is exciting, uplifting and done with a standard of excellence with a full band and singers.

7.      Messages are energetic, realistic and heartening.

8.   You are accepted, not shunned.

 

So, want to help me build a new church?  Come on, there’s plenty of room for you.  We are setting goals to reach people like you and me who just want to enjoy freedom, give and receive love and not be judged.

 

You are free to use your gifts and talents.  Free to roam, unconfined. 

 

So, if you’re weary of such stuff like I was, join us and let’s rise up and build together.

 

Nehemiah 2:20.

 

That’s what I think about it.

 

DTW – www.exaltationchurch.com