Cheryl has a Bachelor degree from The Sure Foundation Theological Institute and is the founder of two outreach ministries.
Christians should not immitate the world
Romans 12:2 King James Version (KJV)
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The modern-day church has begun imitating everything the world does. There are red carpet events, the same way it is done at Hollywood award shows. Many megachurches have strobe lights, fog, and a set up just like rock concerts. Every decade there are also popular phrases that everyone uses in the secular world. Decades ago people were saying groovy, boss, hip, cool, and out of sight. In later decades young people said, "Waas up." Rather than being imitators of Christ, many in His body are mimicking what the world does, by using slogans instead of hearing straight from His Spirit.
Be led by His Spirit
Romans 8:14 - For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
From the book of Acts through Revelation, the Biblical writers spoke about hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 3:16 says All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
Many of the things that church people are saying today do not even sound as if they were inspired by God. On the September 4 episode of the OWN network program Greenleaf, people were walking through the church greeting each with "God is good" to which the response would be "All the time." I was a member of a church close to twenty years ago where the pastor would say from the pulpit, "God is good all the time, especially right now." He would then ask the congregation to repeat it.
Christians are instructed to share the good news of Jesus Christ, and saying this phrase does not do that. Believers are to let their lights shine, before men,(Matthew 5:16) not try to impress them with catchphrases. It sounds spiritual to say God is good all the time, but this is not being led by His Spirit. It is jumping on the bandwagon of whatever everyone else is saying.
Other popular slogans are: What God has for you is for you, If God brings you to it He will bring you through it, It's your season, What's coming is better than what's behind you and God helps those who help themselves. When you hear the Holy Spirit, He can give you something unique and original.
Have ears to hear
NKJ Revelation 2:29
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
A number of years ago a lot of women were going around saying "I'm blessed and highly favored because some of the more popular preachers told them to do so, Had anyone researched the scripture and understood what the context of it is, they would not have been quoting it for themselves.
In Luke chapter one verse 28, the angel Gabrielle told Mary that she was blessed and highly favored because she had been chosen as the mother of the Christ Child. There is not another woman on earth who has had a similar honor, so quoting this verse, in my opinion, would not be hearing the Spirit because it was intended for one woman only. Now, let me add that you may indeed have a specific situation in your life where you were blessed and highly favored by the Lord. This is different than simply saying it every day like a mantra.
Today church folk fill Facebook with meaningless phrases such as "Look at God," "Won't He do it," and “God got this.” When someone dies most everyone now posts that they got their wings. I cannot prove that people don't get wings when they die but I do not know of a scripture that indicates they do.
Mark 12:25 does say: When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. Some theologians say this indicates that when we die we will have spiritual bodies like angels but does not indicate wings.
I understand that people grieve in different ways but when you see "So and So got their wings, no more suffering, no more pain all day every day on social media, you have to wonder why believers don't allow the Holy Spirit to give them something original that may minister to others. I recall when my mother in law passed away, my husband and I discussed how at most every funeral, the same two scriptures are read. They are Psalms 23 and I Thessalonians 4:16-18.
We discussed how there were many scriptures in the Bible and the Holy Spirit can give comfort through any of them. We read four different scriptures that night and the next day at the funeral, His Spirit confirmed. The eulogist utilized two of the verses we had read, and two ministers each used one of the other two. These three preachers had ears to hear the Holy Spirit and my husband was given comfort knowing the Lord approved of the Bible verses we chose.
Know Him for yourself
Second Timothy 2:15 says: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. When you read His word yourself and listen to His Spirit you will not jump on the bandwagon of cliches, catchphrases, and church lingo. Another scripture that has become repetitious is 3 John 2 which begins: Beloved I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health. I cannot count the number of churches I have sat in, the television programs where preachers used this or the number of people who paraphrase by saying. "God wants you to prosper and be in health."
3 John 2 is the last of three letters that the Apostle John wrote and this one is directed to a man named Gaius. This is a greeting the same way people used to begin letters with something like I hope this correspondence finds you well and good. God is not speaking, yet people all over America say this scripture proves God wants us to prosper and be in health, but the writer and the subject are two men. This is not a promise from God.
Don't grieve the Holy Spirit
Mimicking the latest church catchphrase may seem spiritual or that you are up on the current lingo. Not long ago Facebook would be filled every Sunday with "Church flow" and "I'm getting my praise on." If believers would spend time in prayer and reading the word, they would be able to hear His Spirit and share with others what the Holy Spirit has imparted unto them. Unfortunately, the church at large has been trained to allow the preacher to heat God on their behalf. Parishioners know how to shout and dance, say Hallelujah and point a finger in the air when they tip out of the service, but not know to har Him for themselves.
Christians have learned how to do church but not how to have a personal relationship with the Savior through the Gift he left His church. Consider Ephesians 4:30 King James Bible which says:
And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Surely He is grieving over what His church has become.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Cheryl E Preston
John Welford from Barlestone, Leicestershire on September 08, 2019:
It is a long time since I stepped inside a church for a service, but if what you describe was going on, I would step back outside faster than I had stepped in!