Beginning this fall, a major television network will begin airing a new reality show called Preachers of L.A. Before you continue reading this article, please view this trailer.
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Though every ounce of my being is tempted to respond in condemning judgmentalism, I will obey God's command and judge not.
As with everything else, Christianity has changed in this new millennium. The question we must all ask is, Is it for the better or for the worse? Never before has the church earned such a poor reputation as we have in this generation. It appears as if the current church in America has two gods--the god of attendance and the god of money. We are seen as superficial, arrogant, self-serving, unloving and unholy.
If this is so, where did we go wrong? Hmmm?
Though I have studied church history, I am not much different that most believers. My point of reference regarding Christianity begins with my first experience in the church.
I was witnessed to and led to Christ by two different people simultaneously. Bob Birdsong, a former Mr. Universe, and Kim Kimberly, a former Vegas musician turned street preacher.
Bob came into a clothing store where I was working while I was studying at the University of New Mexico. Kim would also come through the mall handing out tracts, followed by her band of homeless rejects and the dregs of society.
I was soon led to a church called Calvary Assembly. It was an old-time gospel church pastored by the late R.C. Dobbins. He was a cotton-spewing gospel preacher who shouted out phrases like, "Saying 'Amen' to a preacher is like saying 'Sick-em' to a bulldog!" and, "I don't mind feeding you milk, but I find it a shame when I have to part the whiskers to get the bottle in."
I was handed over to a beautiful ex-hippie couple by the names of Mike and Sherri Schaefer for discipleship. Today they pastor a wonderful church on the west side of Albuquerque. Not long after, I met Paul and Joyce Austin. Paul taught me how to be a man.
Within a few months, I was accepted to Rhema Bible Training Center in Broken Arrow, Okla.
I remember sitting through Kenneth Hagin's faith library class. Though Brother Hagin is credited for the Word of Faith message and "name it, claim it," I never heard any type of extreme teaching from him. He didn't drive a Ferrari or Bentley. He drove a red Ford Bronco.
He was a humble man who lived a simple life, though he was accused of the contrary. He was married to one wife. He came from humble beginnings, and after God healed him as a child, he preached the gospel until the day he went on to be with the Lord.
Something has changed in our midst. We, the church, are in a very controversial season. Could it be that we, the leaders of this church, sometimes forget whom we are serving? I was always taught that the word minister meant "servant." We serve God by serving the least.
I remember learning in a practical ministries class that as a pastor, we should not live below our congregation or above our congregation. It is important that we live right in the middle.
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SOURCE: Charisma News