But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. 2 Corinthians 11:12-15
There's been a lot of press recently regarding some things that were said from the pulpit by a certain mega-church pastor and his wife. While I'm not going to join into the fray in this post, I did watch the video clip. I have to admit, it was pretty creepy.
But rather than throw rocks at the pastor, I believe it should be viewed as a warning to Christians: Be careful who you listen to, because not every "pastor" is preaching the same Christ.
Just because a church is big doesn't mean that Jesus Christ is being preached. Slick web and media presence doesn't equate with sound biblical theology. Paul warned us that the time would come when Christians would spurn sound doctrine for teaching that would, in effect, simply make them happy:
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. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
If we want to see what Jesus considers to be important in His church, a good place to look is the book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3. In this passage, Jesus issues a progress report to seven churches, and out of the seven only one received a passing grade: The church of Philadelphia. What was it that set this church apart from the rest? It wasn't their size, or their programs, or the size of their missions budget. Listen to what Christ commended them for:
…for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Rev 3:8
That tells me that a church should be focused on two things:
The Word of God
Exalting the name of Jesus
When a church is centered around a person, the mission of the church begins to be focused on promoting that person, what they say, what they write, etc.
When a church is centered around the word of God, and exalting Jesus Christ, it keeps the focus on telling people about Christ, worshiping Christ, and following Christ.
"Lord, let our focus be on your word, and your Son Jesus Christ."