I want to be clear and straight forward with everyone who reads the following...I believe that this is a word for each and every one of us. It's not a word where we point fingers while only thinking of others. It is a word of self-evaulation before self-preservation. This will not be one of those feel good, God's got you, regardless of your desire to repent kind of words. This is definitely a word that is good for you, but I want to be very clear with the urgency that I feel as I have spent countless hours in prayer and seeking wisdom for what I have been seeing and feeling throughout the Ekklesia. So, if you want to tap out now, I get it. But for those that will proceed, please prayerfully consider this as a serious warning (or alarm), and not just another word to like and/or share. Let us all as individuals examine ourselves!
I don't believe for one minute that God is an angry guy looking down upon mankind waiting for the right moment to zap us with a bolt of lightening to further validate His reason of hatred toward sin. I strongly believe in the reality of God's Grace, His Mercy, and His Love for man. However, I am not a reckless fool in which I believe that the LORD is turning His head from the wickedness of man and simply winking at our destruction. Though full of Grace and Mercy, the LORD is still Holy and Righteous. Sin, regardless of how we may want to define it still defiles mankind from the Father. There may be those who are advocates of life without repentance, but the word of the LORD still defines repentance as a necessary right to our relationship with the Father. I could go on and on at the differences of opinions that have continued to create a division among one another, but I will leave those topics for another day. I have been at a loss for many months now over what I have witnessed, what I have heard, what I have seen, and what I continue to observe.
Altars of Error
While in prayer recently, I was overcome with the urgency to intercede for others. But it was different than what I had encountered before. It wasn't strange, but it was very different. I cannot give accurate words to detail my feelings in that moment, but I do know that this is a word of warning. We are in one of the most exciting times of the Ekklesia. We are seeing the advancement of the church in ways that generations before only dreamed about. We are getting to witness the good news travel the world through social media and television programs faster than we ever imagined 20 years ago. We have more translations of the Bible, more study guides, more books, more schools, and even more of the more. It's truly an exciting time to be living in. I see before us Altars of Error. We are building altars for sacrifices, but they are not sacrifices unto the LORD. Rather we are spending every moment we can to do what appears to be right only to discover that our foundations are being built on a dangerous fault line. We are progressing so fast that we are seldom taking the time to evaluate our own hearts. It is why I believe that we are on a very dangerous path that will lead many into a pit that will take years to come out of. While we are establishing our status among the audiences, we are building altars of error.
The Altar: Admiration
Admiration is defined as, "something regarded as impressive, and/or respect and warm approval". There is nothing wrong in wanting to be respected among our peers for we must be in environments in which we are accepted and not tolerated. However, we must ask ourselves what price we are willing to pay for the admiration of others?
The Offering: Relationships
Many are willing to sacrifice relationships for the advancement of admiration. We are quickly throwing away relationships that we have had for many years as if they never existed. Granted, I don't want to be blind to the reality that people change through the passing of time. The people that you ran with 20 years ago are often no longer around. Life happens, minds change, and friends can grow a part. You will discover that people come and people go. You cannot always run with everyone and everyone will not always want to run with you. Those kind of relationships are not what I am addressing here. I am talking about our eagerness to sacrifice someone who we have had a relationship with and do away with them as though they are nothing because our "new" friends refuse to run with those in which you have a history with. We are killing those closest to us for the approval of those who appear to be showing some king of respect toward us. We are exchanging our history for a moment. This is a very dangerous mentality for us to embrace!
The Altar: Pride
Not a single one of us want to admit to any ounce of pride within us. We can easily point it out in the lives of others, but we seldom ever acknowledge our own.
The Offering: Weakness
It would seem that when we talk about an altar built for pride that we would eagerly sacrifice our pride. And yet, I see how Pride is playing a power struggle against weakness and many are willing to sacrifice those who we deem to be weaker than us. We are playing a chess match with those who we believe are weaker (spiritually speaking) and we position ourselves to take them out. We think nothing of sacrificing the weak to help elevate our status among peers. Our ability to evaluate others as weak and not as important as those we long to be with (a part of the 'in crowd'), we are using others as a stepping stone thinking nothing of the sacrifice we have to make in order to advance our own goals.
The Altar: Competition
Competition is one of those things in which can be a great thing if it is kept in the perception of better one self. The problem is that competition can easily morph into a bitter rivalry.
The Offering: Everyone
When competition becomes aggressive, it quickly targets anyone and everyone as a potential threat. Everyone is against you. You see everyone as a threat to your advancement. Those who once cheered you on, soon become a victim of your own mind. They helped you build, and now you think that they are after your position, your title, your place, etc. Competition soon becomes that threat that rules your vision. You no longer demonstrate the heart of the Father for your vision is blurred by those who seem to be a threat to where you are at. No one is truly safe around you. You share the stories of those who have betrayed you, all the while recognizing that those nearest to you are a threat (but only in your mind). You end up devouring everyone while defending yourself with positional victories.
The Altar: Assassination
It's the altar that presents the most power. It's built on the reputation that you are either with me or against me. There is no in between. There are no disagreements. It's my (your) way or no way. You cannot have any relationship with anyone unless they have been approved.
The Offering: Sons/Daughters
In Jeremiah 19, the passage tells us of a time in which people sacrificed their own sons to the false god of Baal. It's one example of other scriptures where generations once sacrificed their children alive for the sake of a false god. We cannot comprehend such actions today, and yet many are doing the same in a spiritual sense. We have Spiritual Fathers and Mothers who are sacrificing their spiritual sons and daughters with ease. They aren't doing so for a false god, but they are sacrificing them for a multitude of different reasons from personal advancements, to disagreements, arguments, disappointment, etc.. You name it, they are doing it. The stories are multiplying as Spiritual Fathers and Mothers are professing love to their spiritual sons and daughters, but with one breach of (fill in the blank), those sons and daughters are sacrificed, never to be acknowledged ever again. They profess to be loved and yet were so easily written off. Granted I do not want to pretend that bad or horrible things can occur in a relationship between Spiritual Parents and children. What is sad is how quickly they are being sacrificed rather than keeping their (Spiritual Parents) eyes on the road of redemption.
Truth is...we are all guilty of building altars that we should not embrace. There have been altars built upon our flesh, our emotions, and/or our frustrations. No one is immune to error. I am not writing this to point fingers at any individual. I have written this word because my spirit is grieved and I recognize the urgency for repentance. Let us repent for building any altar of error that we may have built. Most importantly let us repair the Altar of the Lord. Let us sacrifice ourselves so the that Fire of the Lord will consume us. Let us lay our own lives down for the sake of the Kingdom. Send your Fire Lord, consume what is in error and renew in us the fire of who you are!