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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Help, The Anointing Has Lifted and I Can’t Make It To My Limo!

Note: This is a very rough draft of one chapter of a book I am writing called "For Real, Being Real in an Unreal Church". It is, like the rest of the book, unfinished. I wanted to post this because this is what is going on in my head right now.

Shortly after we were saved, after the glory cloud lifted and we started seeing that even though they were in church, people were still people; we had the chance to see the inner workings of a real life, not too sure how biblical, pastor search committee. During this time we saw a variety of “preachers” come to audition. It was during this time that I realized that a majority of preachers and pastors are full of themselves, especially the self proclaimed bishops, evangelists prophets.

After one such “audition” the prospective pastor, an over the top spitting, screaming towel carrying man o’God called the worship team to play during the altar call. Somewhere between then and the mad rush to Applebee’s this guy ducked out the side door into the office across the hall. As we, the guardians of truth and all that is holy, known as the search committee filed into the office we saw this guy with head in hands looking as if he ran a marathon. When asked how he was his rely was, “The anointing really takes it out of me.” Being a new Christian at the tome, I didn’t read too much into it. But his words stuck with me.

From Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary one form of anointing “was also an act of hospitality (Luke 7:38, 46). It was the custom of the Jews in like manner to anoint themselves with oil, as a means of refreshing or invigorating their bodies (Deut. 28:40; Ruth 3:3; 2 Sam. 14:2; Ps. 104:15, etc.). This custom is continued among the Arabians to the present day. (emphasis mine)

As I look back I realized that this guy was more about his power, and not too much about God. If this man were truly anointed he would have the energy to do what God set before him. I’m pretty sure that hiding from the people after service was not part of God’s plan for this man.

I read an article from J. Lee Grady recently titled Reality Check: The Case For Relational Christianity. The following is an excerpt from that article.

A friend in Alabama recently told me about a preacher who came to his city in unusual style. The man arrived at a church in a limousine and was whisked into a private waiting room behind the stage area. The evangelist gave specific instructions to leave his limousine's engine running (I guess he wasn't concerned about rising gas prices) so that the temperature inside his car would remain constant.

This evangelist then preached to a waiting crowd, took up his own offering and retired to the waiting room for some refreshments. Then he left the church with his entourage without even speaking to the host pastor.
Reality Check: The Case for Relational Christianity June 23, 2009

It was the combination of my encounter with the anointed pastor and J. Lee Grady’s article that gave me the title, and got me to thinking (again) about the absurd heights we place church leaders.

We have created a cult of personality within the church. We have taken 1 Samuel 26:9 But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against the LORD’s anointed, and be guiltless?” (New King James Version) and let charlatans and wolves into our churches, all the while living in fear that hail the size of VW Bugs and lightning will hit us if we dare question anything, cause you know there is that part in the bible where David had the chance to kill Saul, but didn’t, so somehow that applies to the new covenant. (There is also 1 Chronicles 16:22 and Psalm 105:15 that really have no connection to today’s modern church) This gives these leaders carte blanche to do whatever they please without any fear of real consequence in this life.

Another thing that happens to these untouchables is sad and regrettably avoidable if there were such a thing as accountability, and that's sin. A result of placing these people into these elevated celebrity status is that they are left alone, to their own devices and eventually end up in some sort of sin that shocks us and makes us recoil in disbelief saying, “But aren’t they God’s anointed?”

We have heard countless stories of pastors having marriage problems, infidelity issues, porn addiction, runaway children, etc. These issues, and countless others have kept leaders isolated felling like they can’t tell anyone they are human and they need help because, after all, aren’t they God’s anointed?

We need, as J. Lee Grady puts it, a reality check

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