Tag Archives: hypocrisy

The Label Says Cotton Blend But I know Better!

cotton_labelI come from a background of textiles.  Yes, Gaston County, North Carolina was my hometown area, and our bread and butter were textiles.  I didn’t know anything else for 18 years.  My dad and mom worked in it all their lives.  It was nothing for me to see my dad covered in lint from the top of his head to the tops of his shoes.  The fragrant smell of cloth, yarn, cotton and material dye permeated our clothes, our house and our town.

Even now, I find myself buying a new garment and putting it up to my nose to get a nostalgic smell and memory of my childhood days. I know that someone has just used the label to sell me a cheap product.

I overheard a conversation recently with some pastors and one pastor’s comment was that he makes sure that they are “Christians” before he marries them.  I interjected into the conversation.  I explained how that it is a sad commentary, as there are non-Christians who have better marriages than Christians a lot of the time.

Just because someone wears the label “Christian” it doesn’t always mean what we think it means.  However, many choose to use that label to be accepted by others, to gain favor in business relationships or even to gain a position or favor swinging the pendulum to their side.

When folks wear the label and don’t measure up to the standards of what Christ meant–it sadly devalues the entire family of believers.  So what do we do about it?  We continue to show others what it means to be 100% Christian and not a blend of good and evil.  Even Jesus said that there would be tares among the wheat.  Tares look like wheat until maturation at harvest time.  The wheat bows over with the golden top.  However, the tares stand upright and proud.

Interesting that wheat bows while tares pridefully do not.  Yes, there are people who look like, smell like, act like and even wear the label of Christian that live among us.  In actuality, they are just not Christians.  Jesus said at harvest time, he would take care of them.

Remember, it might say it on the label, but it doesn’t mean it is the read deal.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW-www.exaltationchurch.com

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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

Why Would I Have Enemies?

0102043368700I remember Jesus saying to “agape my enemies.” Then I had to think for a minute, “who are my enemies,” and then, “why do I have enemies?” Enemies, that’s a pretty harsh thing. Enemies? Do you know what the definition of enemy is? An enemy is somebody who hates or seeks to harm somebody or something. Wow! Do I have someone who hates me or wants to do me in? I don’t have any connections with the mafia (that I know of.) I don’t know of anyone personally who dislikes me that badly.

Now, there are people who probably don’t like my personality or the work I’m doing, but I don’t think they would consider me their enemy. Certainly I wouldn’t think of them being MY enemy. Jesus even used the word “enemies,” plural. Can you imagine having, not one but, several enemies?

You say, yeah, I have enemies. Really? Why? What have you done or what have they done to you that caused this?

I know that America has enemies because of our belief in capitalism and freedom. I know that there are people, groups and even nations that would love to see our country collapse into oblivion–but to have personal enemies? That’s pretty unusual.

But, nevertheless, do you realize what we are to do if we have enemies? Agape them. Are you kidding me? No, I’m not. Now, if you are to agape them, your enemies, how much more should you agape those who are not your enemies? Is that person who lives with you your enemy? No? Then agape them. Is that person with whom you work your enemy? No? Then agape them too. How about your boss? Is he or she your enemy? No? Then agape him or her.

Jesus was serious about this agape stuff. He wanted others to know about His Kingdom because of our agape and nothing else. If we agape our enemies and show them God’s agape, then how much more will our friends, co workers and family know that we agape them too?

Agape takes on all kinds forms, actions and words. What can you do today to show that agape lives and breathes in you? Agape is a strong word. It is an amazing supernatural emotion. How about giving someone a hug today that you wouldn’t normally hug? How about giving someone a kiss that you normally would not kiss? How about doing something more that just nice for someone that you normally would not do something nice for?

When they ask why you did it, just say you’re practicing on them so that when it comes to performing agape on your enemies, you’ll be perfect.

That is, if you have enemies…

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.comeclogo10

Mary Magdalene; She Understood It!

tombMary Magdalene was the grateful woman who knew what agape love was. She had no choice. It overwhelmed her from the beginning of her walk with God. It absolutely did a major overhaul in her life. She went from turmoil to total peace. She understood what Jesus taught about agape. She found it to be a sweet solace to her spirit.

Mary was targeted early on in Jesus’ ministry. She was a prostitute, a woman of the street, a lady of ill repute. She was a member of the world’s oldest profession. She had no self-esteem. She had no respect from the community. She was just rubbish in the eyes of the religious world.

However, Jesus recognized that she had a problem. It was a huge problem. It wasn’t that she was intent on continuing her business out of greed and lust. It wasn’t that she felt this was the only thing she knew to do in life. No, it was because she was the carrier of seven demons inside of her. She was being controlled by the adversary. Jesus recognized this by His agape for her.

He didn’t need to go to some ministerial conference on how to win the un-churched and make the sinner feel comfortable. He didn’t need to evaluate the problems of evangelism and how to attract more people to Him. He didn’t try to figure out ways to stomp out prostitution in the city. No, He just agaped her. He knew she needed God; plain and simple.

When will we, as the church and church leaders, comprehend that it’s not about solutions and programs? It’s simply what Jesus said, “Agape people.” See, people want agape. People need agape. Agape is what altered Mary Magdalene’s life.

Jesus agaped Mary and cast the seven demons out of her life. She felt the agape and returned it to her Master. It changed the way she worshiped Jesus. Again, she didn’t have to have a worship leader telling her how to love and worship the Savior. She agaped Him with reckless abandonment of image and feelings. She wept over his feet and her tears washed the dust off. She dried them with her hair. That is agape.

She was the first at the tomb early before daylight came. Her actions show she understood it. She got it. She knew what agape was, and she lived it. She was moved with compassion toward her Savior. She knew her Lover’s voice. She knew the look in His eyes. She felt and knew His agape.

Jesus showed agape and she realized it was the ingredient that was missing in her life. It was the essential that would change her world; the very world as she (and everyone else) knew it.

Mary went from being a prostitute to being the first to see Jesus after the resurrection. How in the world could that happen to anyone, especially her? It’s called agape. Jesus wants His people to understand it, enjoy it and show others what it is. Like Mary, it will change you too. It will, in fact, change all of us.

That’s what I think about it.


DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.comeclogo7

Love Is A Wonderful Thing

320_si_207_kissDuring the campaign of President Obama, there was much talk of religion and him having to distance himself from his pastor of 20 years as a result of political pressure. This action didn’t help those who see themselves as being “religious” and only aided the cause of those who do not see the need for religion. To some he was doing the right thing, to others he was playing the role of the hypocrite for just now doing this for the sake of his campaign. I have a gut feeling that he’ll be viewed as a prodigal who lost his mind for a while and then returned to the safe haven of his former pastor.

All too often, people view events such as this and shake their head in bewilderment and confusion wondering what the real deal is as it is pertains to Christianity. People want to see and know if believers are “keeping it real.” Now, here is where it gets perplexing.

Everyone uses phrases like, “we ought to love one another. We ought to love our neighbor as ourselves. Love is a many splendored thing,” and on and on. However, are we really receiving this kind of love?

Imagine with me a world where people actually loved one another like family. Ok, so that’s not going to happen, I agree. So where are we going to get this love? And when we need it, where do we find it? Don’t you know of people that are in dire need of love? Don’t you know of people who don’t have any love? What do they do?

God originally asked his children to love others and to show His love to others. I long for our Christian brothers and sisters to become skilled at of the love of the Father and distribute it with others. However the first thing we have to do is recognize, experience and know this love. It’s not just any kind of love. It is a love that looks beyond faults, failures and flaws. It’s a love that gives someone a hug because you know they need it. It’s the kind of love that kisses someone on the face because they need it. It’s the kind that cries for the person who needs it–out of concern for them. It is a love that loves intensely.

See, this is the kind of love of which Jesus was speaking. When you understand this love, you’ve understood God’s love; agape love. A love that comprises all loves within one. A love that cares, embraces and serves others. A kind of love that is so far above all other types of love, that it is inexplicable.

Anybody need some love?

We have plenty of it.

That’s what I think about it

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.com

NCIS: Is Jethro Gibbs Right?

tv_ncis01I was watching one of my favorite TV programs recently and a character, played by actor Mark Harman (named Special Agent Jethro Gibbs), made a statement that got me to thinking. He said, “Everybody has something to lie about.” I found that quite interesting.

I started to write about the privilege of being a trustworthy person because, in essence, that’s what Agent Gibbs was talking about. You give others the ability whether or not to trust you based on your credibility.

Credibility. Now that’s a word we don’t use very much any more. But isn’t that what we want those around us to be? Credible? The word means “easy to believe.” This person inspires trust and confidence.

Agent Gibbs reminded me of many people I’ve met and known in my life; people who would tell you one thing and do another. People with whom you thought you could trust and believe only to find out later that you couldn’t.

Have you ever heard anybody say, “I don’t promise anything or commit to anything because I don’t like to lie or break my promise?” These people are the ones who, more than likely, don’t commit to anything or trust anyone else. I’d bet they don’t even trust themselves for that matter.

Then there are the people who will tell you a lie just to get you off their backs. They will look you in the eye, email you or even leave you a phone message and you know as soon as you see or hear who it is, you know you cannot count on them.

Does everybody have something to lie about? I would hope not. But the sad fact of the matter is that the majority of people do have something to lie about. There is a hidden pot of trash in people’s lives that they don’t want you to find or see. It’s the wastebasket where a lie or a broken promise can be wadded up, thrown into and no one will be the wiser.

Many people make despairing remarks about how Christians lie and don’t do this or the other. Let’s be honest. People are people, especially Christians. Those who say this about Christians are people who want to take advantage of the goodness that Christians should have. Many people do business with those they already know before hand and how they are going to be. They just hope they won’t be like they expect them to be. And when they are, they rail on the very thing they knew was going to happen.

Yes, there are people that you and I know that will lie to make themselves look good. They will cover up the truth for their own selfish reasons. I’m sorry about that. But it’s the truth.

Hey Jethro, you might be right about this one.

That’s what I think about it

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.com

Headlines: Sen. Grassley Swallows A Camel While Straining A Gnat!

Televangelists FinancesDon’t you find it quite remarkable with me, that in November of 2007, Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee at that time, called for the investigation of six prominent Christian ministries? His reason was to uncover the possible financial misconduct that had occurred; curiously while there were MAJOR (VERY MAJOR) corruption and misappropriations going on in secular boardrooms across America that he ignored?

These are the kinds of things that make you want to say, “Mmmmmmmmmm?”

Jesus said these people strain for a gnat while swallowing a Camel. The idea behind this quote was when the people would use cloths to strain the liquid for their drink; they would try to keep any insects or bugs from going into it. Jesus said while they were concentrating on small things, they were ignoring the bigger things.

It almost makes one wonder if there is any truth to the Oliver Stone-type conspiracies that say the government is really targeting Christians in an effort to keep them silent. Could it be that this present administration is going to manifest that theory in building the wall of separation higher between Church and State so that believers have no rights at all?

So, Grassley looks for the Copeland’s, the Longs, the Meyers, the Hinn’s and others while ignoring the Madoffs, the CEO’s of AIG and the Wall Street money laundering magicians. He, while looking to be upstanding and right, truly only gave us more proof that you can’t always believe what you see and hear out of the “best” of Washington.

So many believers jumped on the right wing of his political air machine as he flew through the conservative Christian wheat fields, hoping to mow down some of what he considered tares among the wheat. While in the back room of Grassley’s political church of the most righteous, the moneychangers of Wall Street firms were selling off American’s assets to the devil. Hey, fellow brothers and sisters of Christ, we forgive you. Just be more discerning next time.

As usual, Jesus is right. We have to watch out for those who will strain a gnat and swallow a camel. He called them hypocrites.

Somebody call 911! Grassley is choking on some camel meat.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW-www.exaltationchurch.com