The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Blogger Recommends Ichabod, The Glory Has Departed.



Jesus and the Moneychangers – or – How much do you love the truth?

 
 Weeds in the church
Have you ever wondered why the only time in the whole Bible Jesus is shown to be angry was when he threw the moneychangers from the temple? And what does this have to do with us – and the church – right now?
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. -Matthew 21.12-13

Sheep ready to be shorn

In the Jerusalem of Jesus’ time, just imagine how many turtle-doves and livestock were sacrificed each day. How much more convenient to buy what you need when you get to the temple? What in the world could have gotten Jesus so upset?
Religious people are credulous 1. They’re easily convinced and tend to go along with what they’re told without checking anything out. This is especially true in the area of religious truth. They don’t suspect – nor do they want to believe – that there are people who love to take advantage of them. Ah, but wolves are found in the church. And they’re nice to look at.
And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light…13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. 15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. -Luke 16.8,14-15

How much do you love the truth?

I’m going to assume that you’re not like what is truth Pilate 2, but understand that truth exists and can be known. There’s something they don’t tell you about truth. It’s holy. Holiness means set apart. And that’s what truth does to a person. The world at large hates truth. The more truth you wholeheartedly seek – and find – the more separated you become.
No normal person wants to be separate from other people. Human beings are social creatures. God made us this way. One of the first things He said is, It is not good that the man should be alone. 3 But this social tendency has been corrupted by the fall. So step-by-step communities become cliques and cliques become mobs and the first thing to fall is truth. Anyone who tries to tell the truth is punished. If this doesn’t work, the truth-teller is shunned, maligned or worse.

The littlest ones

Ask yourself this: If you had a child who was abused by your pastor or priest, would you:
  • Tell your child it was their own fault (This is the approach of Bill Gothard, the religious authority of the Duggars)
  • Say nothing, but keep your child from being alone with the man
  • Get the man removed before he can do damage to others
How many Protestants – Anglicans, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians – right now know about pedophilia or sex abuse done by pastors or church authorities – and are keeping that information to themselves?
And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. -Jesus, Mark 9.42
If you are keeping information back that could result in a little boy or girl – or anyone – to be abused, then Jesus is talking about you. It doesn’t matter if you think you are forgiven. I’ll ask you again, how much do you love the truth?

Jesus and the Moneychangers in the 21st Century temple

What would you call a man who tries to tell people about pastors and denominational leaders who betray their members for power or the almighty buck? Would you call this man who’s trying to warn the sheep, “devil-possessed”? Here’s how Jesus might well weigh in on such a scurrilous accusation:
And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? -Matthew 12.26

One of the modern day truthtellers

Christians who seek to call out wrongdoing in the Church sometimes call themselves watchmen on the wall. Other times they use the term discernment ministries. One who has patiently sought to uncover harmful and destructive practices in the modern American church is Lutheran Pastor Gregory Jackson. His website is Ichabod the Glory has departed.
Even if you’re not Lutheran, but reformed, evangelical or Catholic, you’ll find much of value at his blog. Bookmark it, read it, and act upon the information. If you find errors, let him know. He’s an honest man, and a Christian. From what I’ve seen, his detractors bring little tangible proof against what he says. Rather they focus on ugly, un-Christian, ad hominem attacks 4.

Here are a few of Pastor Jackson’s posts:

His website also offers a number of significant Lutheran eBooks in PDF format for free download. You can access these on the left side column under the title: Martin Chemnitz Press PDFs – Free to Download and Share.
Please respect and support the truth, wherever it may be found. Lord, please help us to love You, your Truth, and your truthtellers. Amen.
Image credit.

  1. Credulous: Apt to believe on slight evidence; easily imposed upon; unsuspecting. -Websters, 1913. ↩
  2. See John 18.38. ↩
  3. See Genesis 2.18. ↩
  4. The phrase now chiefly describes an argument based on the failings of an adversary rather than on the merits of the case. -American Heritage Dictionary ↩
© 2015, Alec Satin. All rights reserved. Excerpts and links may be used if full and clear credit is given with specific direction to the original content.