THE BOTTOM LINE
In all things, we are to obey God rather than man. Man-made systems for trying to improve on God's word (for instance, trying to convert millions when God's word says that few will be saved, and that many will fall away from the faith before Jesus comes) will ultimately bring only frustration and disillusionment.
God's word and God's will should govern all that we do - whatever replaces or contradicts them cannot be Godly, and cannot bear genuine everlasting fruit. (The supposed "fruit" of attracting large numbers of people into churches doesn't count - all religions recruit new members.)
In the meanwhile, however, there's a false gospel being preached and a false kingdom being set up that appears to be the real thing. There's a false unity being pushed that is far from the organic one-to-one spiritual unity that Jesus gave us as believers.
The problem is, most people don't want to know what God says, or what he's asking, nor what he's told us will happen. Most people are unwilling to see or accept God's truth because it's unpalatable to them. In this world of immediate sensual gratification and pleasure all they want to hear about is success and victory. They are:
"Children who will not hear the law of the LORD; who say to the [truthful] seers, "Do not see," and to the [genuine] prophets, "Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits." (Isa 30:9-11)
Believers looking for excitement, self-fulfillment and a "positive" message (whereas the bible is not always "positive" and pleasing) will be drawn into cell churches and the apostolic reformation without understanding that - on a global scale - it is a method of control and indoctrination.
The fact that many, elders included, are sincere and zealous, seeking to save souls, is to be applauded, and I'm not here to criticize well-meaning pastors engaged in evangelism and discipleship. The motives in many cases may be worthy, but the doctrines and methodology are incorrect.
Does this matter? YES, it matters vitally, because nothing we do for God can be an invention of our own minds and thoughts and ideals. Finding a few scriptures to back up our own predetermined plans is deceitful. Everything must be initiated by and sanctioned by God.
The leaders need to heed this before it's too late. Is it better to save one person by a genuine word of God and lead that person into a biblical faith, than to influence thousands to follow a false doctrine?
What shall we therefore do?
What is to replace all these things, you ask. What shall we therefore do - how can we "evangelize the world" and "fulfill the Great Commission" and "reform the Church" without these things!
This is like the drug addict asking "if I give up my heroin, what can you give me to replace it? How shall I get my kicks now?" No, drug addiction is entirely wrong! There is nothing to replace it, but living the life God gave you without artificial substances to support your needs.
Even if we had absolutely nothing in this life, would falsehood be acceptable just to fill the gap? Is it right to turn a blind eye, accept second best, go along with error simply because that is all there is?
However, it's not true that we have nothing - we have everything! God has richly provided for our needs.
Faith in God, belief in his word, heeding his call, trusting in his provision and power, serving him - this is what we are called to do. We can have powerful, effective worship and intercession without religious systems and tight organizations, if only each individual is taught to know God and hear God.
With God as the Head, not men, each individual fits into the Body as a limb, just as the bible says. Each person has a place, a positioning, a gifting, a role and a mission.
Self or the true God?
Are you prepared to accept a small-scale, humble, hidden work that does not attract glory and status? Are you prepared to go on faithfully preaching from the word of God, despite the fact that few will accept the gospel message and that you will meet with persecution rather than approval and acceptance in the local community?
Do you value truth over excitement, and faith over works? Are you prepared to fellowship with the one's and two's, the misfits and the cast-offs? Will you seek out those who genuinely trust, love and serve God and obey his word, rather than personal satisfaction?
Will you do the hard work of seeking God and knowing him intimately through prayer and study, rather than sit back and expect the leadership to know everything and do everything?
Some argue that its "negative" to expose the deceptions of cell churches without putting something in its place. But that would be to imply that Jesus has not given us sufficient for all our needs. Hasn't he said that he has given us "ALL THINGS THAT PERTAIN TO LIFE AND GODLINESS"?? What then do we lack?
We already have all we need (potentially) to serve God and do his work. What is desperately needed is the obedience, faith and dedication to put those things to use, in the good old-fashioned way, believing that God will bless the tools he's given us.
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Rom 8:31-32)
"So Jesus said to them, "...if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." (Matt 17:20) .
by Tricia Tillin