by John Greene
A new Barna Group study points out that no single Christian leader captures the attention of the nation’s population. When asked to identify the single most influential Christian leader in the U.S. today, two out of every five Americans (41%) are unable to think of anyone who would meet that description. (“Live As Children of Light“; “A Fountain of Life“)
All of us like to feel good, especially about ourselves. However, we live in a time when feeling good isn’t enough. Christians that are honest and serious about not wasting their time would do well to examine their personal “faith life.” We are living in end times, facing unprecedented times and perhaps, a little uncertainty. The world, however, doesn’t have a clue. Some even believe that mankind will bring about the ‘Kingdom of God’ [Elohim, YHWH]. The truth is that the decisions (choices) that you make today are likely to have long-term effects on your relationship with YHWH and your ability to enter into His Kingdom, which the Elohim of Hosts will bring into reality without the help of the world. (“Heavenly Father Has A Name“; “Facing Adversity in Faith“; “Faith and the Harvest“; “The Beginnings of Faith and Salvation“)
As far as Christian leadership is concerned, I am uncertain that this is really a problem except that less and less attention is being garnered by real teachers of truth. The world and much of the world of faith that claims Jesus [Yahshua] the Messiah has adopted their own gospel. On the other hand, truth seekers have discovered that American Christianity from 50 years ago, and even before, isn’t YHWH’s truth, but a doctrine of man. Even Christianity of the recent past has been steeped in the world without real reform, which is actually repentance through new spiritual knowledge through real Bible study. We were in active and routine physical ministry until 2 years ago and I must speak honestly here. In more places than I care to admit, the crowd began to look at us in response to what we were teaching as if they were deer in headlights. We were speaking simple truths and it was as if simple truth was going over their heads entirely. We noticed that pastors were keeping professed Christians in ignorance, a failure of the ‘pastoral model’ entirely. What’s worse was that Christians were not cracking their Bible for any reason, having a form of godliness, but proving false to that. (2 Timothy 3:5; “The Importance of Practical Repentance“; “Christians & Leadership Crisis“)
The fact is that Christians must not idolize leaders, but instead develop a personal relationship, answerable only through their Savior and Master. This means that more is required than attending a service once a week while expecting blessings to somehow ‘rub off.’ I believe that we are living in a new generation where an increasing number of sanctified disciples of the Messiah refuse to be contaminated by deception, even as they seek to root it out of their lives. They aren’t counting on the ‘church’ or a leader to follow. They are looking at Messiah and learning to listen to the Sanctified [Set Apart, Holy] Spirit. Yes, many are falling aside after the world. However, you can’t put everyone in the same barrel. Real truth-seeking disciples of the Messiah have become unapologetic about compromising YHWH’s Word and can’t gather continually with a corrupt body of believers, no matter how much they may know them or love them as people. Sooner or later, bad associations spoil good habits (1 Corinthians 15:33) and disciples must set themselves apart. (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 5:6,8) We are set apart to live the Word of Elohim in the Holy Spirit. (“Filling Your Life with Truth Instead of Deception“; “Are You Running Away from Messiah?“; “Living in an Apostate World“)
That, I believe, is the reality of ‘today’s church,’ YHWH’s genuine body of believers.