The Curse of Conflicting Messages
Robert Wurtz II
Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. (Matthew 23:3)
Conflicting messages are far too often the curse of those who would seek to teach and preach God’s word. It was true in the time of Jesus and it is true in our day and age. Matthew 23:3 is a sad commentary on certain of the Pharisees. Jesus told the people of His day that they are teaching you right with their mouth, but leading you astray with their actions. In the broken English of my former teacher from Japan, “Word and action no match.”
In the churches of God, conflicting messages cause tremendous confusion. Even children are capable of picking up on inconsistencies in our teachings. If I teach a group of children that something is wrong and then allow my own children to do it — it is an inconsistency. It will damage my credibility in their eyes. I risk the charge of hypocrisy. However, conflicting messages in the churches of God are more subtle than this in modern times.
Confusion Comes to the World
Militant atheist George Benard Shaw once said that “all great truths begin with blasphemies.” This is how the Devil warps peoples’ minds. He blasphemes sacred things as a platform to promote his ideals. For example, there was a time when a clear line existed between sacred and secular things. False and carnal professors of Christ have compromised this fact. Thirty years ago it would have been considered a profanation to play secular music in a church or during a Christian meeting. In 2014 secular music is being played during altar services where people are supposed to be getting right with God. Twenty years ago a generation sang about going into the enemies camp and taking back what the Devil stole; this generation has gone into the enemies camp — stole Satan’s stuff — and are offering it up to God as a sweet savor. And if that lunacy is not bad enough, consider that now a popular beer company is using the classic Gospel Hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” to promote alcohol in its commercials.
To take a Gospel Hymn and profane it in such a way is as brazen as Belshazzar taking the holy things of God into his debauched party in Daniel 5. “Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms…” Perhaps the Devil figured, “The church ain’t using it .. maybe I can use it.” The trouble with this is that some old timers will hear this message and play the tune out in their mind. When they do it’s liable to backfire on the Devil, just as it does when secular music is playing during so-called Christian altar calls. At any rate, the enemy has raised the cup of this sacred hymn to God as if to join these so-called Christians in blaspheming the things of God and distorting the concept of holy for the saints and sinners alike.
Looking To the Future
Be of good cheer, things are about to get worse. If God spares our lives ere many years, we are liable to see compromise, confusion, blasphemy, and profaning at a level believed only to exist in Hell right now. This is the true cost of redefining time-tested definitions of Bible concepts such as conversion, new birth, born again, “saved”, holy, sanctified, and the rest.