Blaspheming the Word of God

Blaspheming the Word of God

Robert Wurtz II

Let the aged women likewise be in reverent behavior, not slanderers, not enslaved by much wine, teachers of good things, that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, kind, subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be blasphemed. (Titus 2:3-5)

An inscription was found in the city of Pergamum, home of one of the seven churches of the Revelation that read, “Julius Bassus to Otacilia Polla my sweetest wife, who loved her husband and children and lived with me blamelessly for thirty years.” (Vincent) We can safely infer from this that the husband Julius left this behind as a memorial to his beloved wife whom he referred to tenderly as “my sweetest wife” and praises her for what the Greeks would have called philandros and philoteknous. These two words are compounds beginning with philo, one of the Greek words for love (fondness) combined with husband and children. He completes the praise saying she was blameless (faithful) for thirty years.

Otacilia Polla, based on her husband’s testimony, was a model wife by any standard. She lived out the essence of Titus 2:3-5 in an age of gross immorality. What an awesome legacy. John Wesley once stated that the older women are to train the younger women to “love their husbands and children with a tender, temperate, holy, wise affection.” Wesley knew first-hand what this was all about. His mother Susanna trained him up at her knee to know and love the Lord. In an age where many women are lining up to get their credentials in ministry, it would be to the churches of God a priceless service, and honor to God, to simply have these neglected verses in Titus 2 obeyed. We cannot improve on simple obedience no matter what we may aspire to accomplish. 

Coming to Their Senses

What child does not long for motherly affection? How horrific it would be to seek and not find it? This is why Paul’s directive in Titus 2 is so critical. In verse 4 Paul uses a Greek word that we translate as teach or train, which actually means to bring a person to their senses or into their right mind. Generally speaking, a woman who does not love her husband and children is not in her right mind. That is to say, she is not thinking in harmony with how God designed her. Paul is saying that she (whosoever it is who does not properly love her husband and children) needs to be brought to a “right mind” before God’s word ends up being blasphemed. 

Why would God’s word be blasphemed? Because many people blame a person’s religion for their bad behavior. When Christians act out in public — what do people say? They blame it on Christianity. This is why we have to be very careful. Paul said to let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity. This is how God’s word can be blasphemed; especially if the husband and children are unbelievers. 

How a mother treats her children will have a direct bearing on whether or not that child ends up serving God. This is common sense. It is disastrous for women to act contrary to Christ in a rude and unloving disposition because it brings reproach on the Kingdom of God before the eyes of the children and husband. Contrary wise Peter gives this encouragement, “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.” (1 Peter 3:1–2 ESV) 

Trained to Love 

It is interesting that God commands men to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, but He instructs the older women to train the younger women to love their husbands and children. They have to be instructed and shown by example. A man cannot command his wife to love him and children cannot demand it. They are completely at the mercy of the woman. If somebody does not come along and train them to love or if they refuse to follow their natural instincts, there is not hope for a family to receive motherly love. A man can learn of the sufferings of Christ and understand what God means by “love as Christ loved the Church;” young women generally must be shown by the older women. 

Think of all the times you have seen men and women disrespect their spouses to friends, etc. Think about the times you have heard parents speak evil of their children or act as though they were a nuisance. This behavior is an abomination. Moreover, young people are watching this and learning from it. This is how it gets repeated and normalized. 

Feminism and the Churches

In modern times feminism rules the day and has greatly impacted the churches of God in the West. As early as the first part of the 20th Century the renowned Greek scholar A.T. Robertson lamented how women would prefer to love their poodle dog to their children. This is a strange thing to consider given that God puts it in the heart of women to love their children. It is natural. To act otherwise is unnatural. This is why Paul says that young women need to be brought back into their “right mind” in this regard.

The scripture teaches that in the last days people would be astorgos a word meaning “without natural affection.” (2 Timothy 3:3) We see this played out at abortion clinics every day. How can a woman be involved in ministry or pretend to worship God who does not even love her own offspring? The same can be asked of a man. Ministry begins at home. That seems like common sense, but common sense is not quite so common these days. Moreover, it is almost a badge of honor for men and women to treat their spouses disrespectfully in modern times. Sitcoms mock fathers and husbands as if it were a light thing. All these things are evidence of the spirit of Antichrist running rampant in the land. Motherhood is depicted as a plague to be avoided. God’s order is under fierce attack.

In today’s society in the West we have an epidemic of fatherless children. What is often overlooked is that those children also need a tender, loving mother. Not just some of the children, but all of them. There was a generation that taught the next generation to select their “pick” (favorite child) and mistreat the rest. Not in all families, but many of them. It’s not uncommon today to hear of boys in prison or even dead and all they wanted was their momma to love them. I think of stories of prisoners lying in their prison cells crying for their momma. This is a reality you will rarely find depicted in this evil age.

Rejecting God’s Design

Indeed, we need a generation to renounce feminism and get back to bible-based family living. We don’t need a line ten miles long of women trying to imitate and aspire to being a TV minister like Joyce Meyer or Paula White. This is not what God has called women to do. We need a generation to imitate the home life of godly women like Susanna Wesley or the late Lily Burch, who like Otacilia Polla, was a tender, loving and faithful wife. “I’m not her!” says the proud and rebellious feminist generation. This may be true, but what is more sad is that there is little or no desire to be a “Otacilia” or “Lily.” Few if any books are written about such godly women. And this is how the scriptures are being fulfilled. The reason why the last days is filled with people who have no natural affection (familial love) is that it is a rejected concept. Feminism overthrew the natural God-given motherly desires. Nevertheless, God knew this was coming and He warned us. Here we are.

If anyone on earth ought to love a child, it should be their mother. Who would disagree with that? It is horrific and offensive to even the hardest of evil people to hear of a mother abusing or killing her kids. I don’t want to pick up the newspaper and hear of another mother killing her kids. If I never heard another story of a mother abusing her children or hating them, it would be too soon. Nevertheless, there is a more subtle behavior going on of non-love that is also destructive. Kids and husbands want their mother and wife to love them kindly and affectionately. They want to view their mother as a sweet and kind to everyone. 

Consequences of Non-Love 

God created men and women to love one another and love their children. When this ceases to happen the world becomes hell on earth. Satan is influencing as we speak to prevent Titus 2:3-5 from ever becoming a reality. He wants posts like these to sound chauvinistic. Nevertheless, we all are going to stand before God some day and give an account of the stewardship of our family. How did we love our kids? How did we treat them? How did we love our spouses? How dreadful do you suppose it is going to be for those who followed the course of this adulterous generation and blasphemed the word of God? Life is short. We are only here on average of seventy odd years. What after that? Hopefully those who have rejected God’s counsel in this regard are coming up with a profound excuse. Not that any excuse is going to help. Because their actions risk leaving the churches and the world in total havoc; or in Paul’s words, “that the word of God be not blasphemed.” We have a choice to make. We are either going to follow God’s blueprint or this evil world’s. We are either going to be part of the solution or part of the problem. Let the aged women likewise be in reverent behavior, not slanderers, not enslaved by much wine, teachers of good things, that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, kind, subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be blasphemed. (Titus 2:3-5)

When Truth is Out of Season

When Truth is Out of Season
Robert Wurtz II

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:2–5 NKJV)

Paul is writing to encourage Timothy, who traveled to Ephesus to help out in the oversight of the church. In Acts 20, Paul had ended his three-year stay — warning the people day and night with tears that grievous wolves were coming to destroy them. Nevertheless, as he was departing for the last time, he commended the leaders to God and the word of His grace so that their faith and hope would be in God and not in men. At some point, Paul sends Timothy to tend to them and later writes 1 and 2 Timothy to fortify his resolve to stand for the truth. 

Towards the end of his letter Paul charges Timothy to Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.” This urgency is reminiscent of the tears he shed while he was at Ephesus. There was no time to let up or tone things down. The enemy was at work day and night trying to knock Ephesus off track. Paul urges Timothy to be ready “in” and “out” of season. He had already told the saints that the Old Testament, in one sense, was written for our instruction so that we do not follow some of the destructive patterns of Israel. They were up and down in their faith and obedience. Therefore, Paul tells Timothy to be ready to preach The Word — whether the people were willing to receive it or not. This was the attitude of the prophets of old who served as God’s prosecuting attorneys — calling the Israelites back to the covenant agreement they had made with Him and the nations to turn from their evil ways. 

The Time Will Come 

It is a mystery as to why sound doctrine, at various times and places, goes out of style. It is understandable why unbelievers reject it, but why would people who name the name of Christ? Nevertheless, Paul said emphatically, the time will come. “Out of season” (for sound doctrine) will be the state of things. He encourages Timothy to preach the word. This is in the emphatic; not “a” word but “The” Word. Preach the faith that was once delivered to the saints. Do not alter it to their taste or preferences. Preach it as it is — unadulterated. This implies tremendous preparation in rightly dividing the word of truth. 

The tendency for teachers and preachers during these “out of season” times is to get discouraged, aggravated, or both. The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah would weep over the people. Elijah called fire down from heaven. However, the operation of the Holy Spirit in this age is one of grace and mercy. Frustration may have driven the disciples to want to follow Elijah’s method and call fire down on the Samaritans, but Jesus said we are not of that spirit. Likewise, some may resort to angry preaching that denounces and upbraids, but loud volume and harshness does not work the works of God in this age. 

Paul states that they will “not endure sound doctrine.” The Greek word for endure means “to put up with.” I recall as a child hearing my grandmother say things like, “I’m not going to put up with your bad behavior” or “Stop acting out because I won’t put up with it!” Now, imagine a person’s inward attitude towards sound teaching and preaching as “I won’t put up with it! ” They view even the slightest challenge to their personal caricature of Christianity as an offense or a berating. These things are employed by Satan to get the man or woman of God to keep quiet and hold their tongue for fear of causing a stir. Paul’s remedy? Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. In other words, keep after it and don’t allow the peoples’ obstinacy and indifference to wear you out. 

Tickling Ears

Clement of Alexandria tells of speakers tickling (kneœthontes) the ears of those who want to be tickled. This is the temptation of the merely “popular” preacher, to furnish the latest tickle. (A. T. Robertson) In modern times we would say the speaker, like a salesman or politician, tells people what they want to hear. The one sells products; the other sells themselves. To do this they have to appeal to the lusts of the hearer. Marvin Vincent writes, “In periods of unsettled faith, skepticism, and mere curious speculation in matters of religion, teachers of all kinds swarm like the flies in Egypt. The demand creates the supply. The hearers invite and shape their own preachers. If the people desire a calf to worship, a ministerial calf-maker is readily found.”

Walk into any bookstore and look around. There you will find a snapshot of the condition of mainstream Christianity. This is one of the places people go to “heap to themselves.” Likewise, look at the ratings of Christian programming and you will find what Vincent called “the demand that creates the supply.” Seeing this can be a great discouragement to people who are trying to be faithful to New Covenant truth. Paul could see through the prophetic lens these times vexing God’s ministers. None of it takes God by surprise. Paul sees it and speaks to it. This is why his encouragement in 2 Timothy 4 is so important. 

In modern times, God’s ministers risk being wearied by the onslaught of teachers who are telling people what they want to hear — rather than teaching them the rightly divided word of God. They are a dime a dozen. Nevertheless, there is still a demand for good, solid, biblical, no-compromise, teaching and preaching. The Devil says, “If you can’t beat them — join them!” God says, Be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 

The House of Man

The House of Man
Robert Wurtz II

And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him. (Luke 19:45–47 KJV)

It is almost shocking to read these verses and realize that “men” were not content to run God out of His own house, but were seeking to destroy Him all together so they could completely take over. The Temple was “a house of God” and as such was intended to be a place where Heaven touched earth. These demonized chief priests and scribes joined forces and remodeled it after their own lusts. Out with prayer and in with profits! Jesus wouldn’t stand for it. What should have been a place where people could reach God — was now a place where men could reach their own ambitions. 

God’s House — A Place For God 

I sometimes wonder what would happen if the Lord Jesus really showed up to some of the meetings that purport to have a great presence of God. Would He come with a whip in His hand? Would He overthrow many of the things that Christians have come to expect in a church meeting? 

Man-centered meetings are designed with men in mind. God centered meetings are designed with God in mind. Men ask “how does the building look?” or “how does the music sound?” God tells us in Isaiah 66:1ff what He looks for in a “house.” 

I recall being in a large meeting in Oklahoma in the early 90s with a famous evangelist. The music sounded majestic; the lights were just right; people thought of how powerful the presence of God was in the building. Suddenly a little light above the platform began to flicker on and off. From where I was sitting I could see the sound crew frantically trying to press one of buttons in the giant sound and light booth to stop it. Finally at the end of the meeting the evangelist stepped to the edge of the platform and hollered into the microphone, “I’m going to fire somebody if that light does not get fixed!” Many of us were stunned. He simply qualified the remarks by saying, “Because Jesus deserves our best.”

Jesus — Our Best? 

Jesus deserves our best” is the standard cop out for dealing with all things that people don’t because they don’t meet “mens'” standards. Do you really think that Jesus cared about that flickering light bulb enough to embarrass the sound and light crew like that? People are dying in North Korea for the faith, and here is an evangelist acting out over a flickering light. Hmmm. Flickering light. Now there is a sermon title. Perhaps what was happening over the evangelists head was merely a metaphor for the ministry he was operating. Light one second and dark the next. 

If Jesus deserves our best, why does He seem to choose the weak things to confound the mighty? Why did He use Paul, who was rejected of the Greeks because his bodily presence was weak and his speech contemptible? Do we really think that Jesus wants our polish? Does His presence leave if the piano player plays a bad note or the singer is off key? Obviously, Jesus wants a heart that is right towards Him, not a polished performance. That is for man — not God. Let’s keep that straight. It is utter foolishness to suggest that God wants what man wants. His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. 

Who is Comfortable?

If what we are calling “a house of God” is really for God, why is so much stuff done for man? Would we decorate our churches like we do if the people coming were blind? Would we focus as much energy on getting the sound right if the people were all deaf. Just asking. Be honest. These things are done, generally, for men and not God. I believe God is pleased by people whose heart is right towards Him — not all the aesthetics. God wants to hear from a pure heart — man wants to hear a pure voice. Man wants a professional production — thinking somehow that “professionalism” contributes anything to God or the churches. It does not. 

Why not make God’s house a place where He feels comfortable? Why not let it be a house of prayer? Why not let God be God in His own house. Why try to design everything around man and then pretend were doing it for God? We don’t even look at the same things God is looking at. My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a ________ (fill in the blank). Otherwise, lets just start calling it what it is, “The House of Man.” This Sunday Morning were all going to meet at the house of man. Sound repulsive? How do you suspect the Lord Jesus feels when people gather “in His name” but do most everything to please themselves. 

It is worth noting that in Luke 19 Jesus was saying the place was His Father’s house, but by the time we reach Matthew 28:38 we read; “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” You see that? your house. Not God’s house, but your house is left unto you desolate. By the end not even God would claim the place. This is what happens when men pretend to be serving God but have fabricated a means of pleasing themselves in His name.    

When The Lamp Goes Out

When The Lamp Goes Out
Robert Wurtz II

“If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:23b ESV)

Our passage is one of the most gripping in all the Bible. It is both a question and a statement. If someone or something that has been designed by God to be a source of light has instead become a source of darkness — how great is that darkness? We know from a cursory reading of Revelation 2 that if the fire goes out, the lampstand will be removed. Why? A lampstand with no fire (light) is just one more thing to stumble over in a darkened room. God will not long tolerate a church that is falsely representing the kingdom of God. This can play out in various ways, but one thing is certain — if the light of a church goes out, and the church begins to emanate darkness, it has already been abandoned of God. 

Abandoned to Abomination

For many years I have tried to herald a warning that many churches, especially youth oriented churches, are behaving dangerously. Having grown up in the 80s on a steady diet of MTV and the various power ballad love songs, I have a good handle on the power of music and atmosphere to move a person. In fact, nothing has the power to motivate a person quite the same way as does sound and music. Some have gone as far as to say that Satan was created with an internal musical instrument and may have led music or worship in Heaven. (Ezekiel 28:13) So he knows how to influence with music, etc. 

So what happens when a “forty something” year old man sees youth centers and churches imitating the very 80s style MTV-ish — concert-ish environment that God delivered him out of when he was born again? What happens when modern worship looks like a scene out of the 1984 blockbuster “Purple Rain” (Click Here for a precursor to todays’ “P&W” atmosphere, hands lifted, and the whole lot.)? Well, he points out the error, loses friends, gets labeled a legalist, pharisee, critical spirit, mean spirited, fuddy-dud, etc., ad nauseum. That is, until Chrisma Magazine runs an article this week about a so-called “pastor” using his “church” as (pardon the expression) a “Sexy Spring Break Night Club.” 

Jennifer Leclaire, in her news section, “Watchman on the Wall” writes:

“When you think you have seen it all … the church is converted into a night club every night,” McKeithen said. “You should be warned that it is X-rated. You can even buy sexually explicit T-shirts at the site. Lets not forget how creative the reverend has gotten just in case you forgot your cash. There is an ATM machine located at the church entrance for your love offering. This is supposedly a youth ministry, but we will let you decide.” (Click HERE for the full article)

Understand that when I was a teenager much of what we see today would have been considered abominable — just like what is going on in Florida is an abomination even to young Christians now. What is common today was on the “fringe” 30 years ago; but few believed it could ever become commonplace. Well, here we are. It only took about 30 years to become acceptable. In “30 years” we have watched meetings transformed to the point that had a Christian from the mid 80s been transported to our times, they would not recognize them as “church” or “worship.” I suggest they would have thought they were either at a concert or a night club, but not a church meeting.  

What if in 30 years we look up and the Spring Break church in Florida is commonplace? Perhaps you say, “It won’t happen!” Well, that’s what people said 30 years ago. The churches will never look and feel like a club and worship services will never look and feel like a Journey or Prince concert. 

Perhaps I will close this entry with Jennifer Leclaire’s lamentation and call to action:

Again, I’m shaking my head. Where’s the fear of the Lord? Why are some churches looking more like bars and strip clubs than holy sanctuaries? Why are pastors getting minors high and making sexual advances toward them? Why are so ministry leaders falling into sexual immorality, for that matter, and why are denominations allowing practicing homosexuals into leadership?
We need to repent. Yes, you and me. We need to posture our hearts like Daniel and repent for the sins in the church even if we’re not the ones committing them because if one part of the body suffers, all parts suffer with it (see 1 Cor. 12:16). The body of Christ is suffering, it’s sick and wading in sin. The Great Falling Away is underway. We can sit and point fingers or we can fall to our knees and intercede for the church. I choose the latter. How about you?  

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