The ultimate purpose of a cult is to distract people from their plight of sin (Rom 3:23; 6:23), and Christ’s salvation of His elect people (Mt 1:21; Jn 10:11; Eph 5:25; 1 Pet 2:9). Some cults add to Jesus’ blood atonement for His people, and others detract from His substitutionary death on the cross. Regardless, the deception is noted by the distraction. Cults will do anything…and everything…except preach the Word of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:19).
The reason the church of our Lord Jesus has only one Leader, that is, Christ (Mt 23:10), is because it does not need a second leader. Every member of Christ’s body receives her directives from the Head, who is Christ the King. The born again believer, in Jesus, has the Holy Spirit indwelling her (Rom 8:9, 11). The body of Christ is a spiritual organism, not an organization. There are offices of service to be sure (1 Tim 3; Titus 1), but there is no hierarchy apart from Christ, our one Lord (Eph 4:5–6).
The believer’s faith and works are from the Lord Himself (Eph 2:8–10). He is the One who gives gifts to His saints and who produces spiritual fruit (Gal 5:22–23). He has created them, as new creatures, to be zealous for good works (Titus 2:14), prepared for them before creation (Eph 2:10). Those who truly serve Christ are slaves of Christ (1 Cor 7:22; Eph 6:6). They are not leaders.
There are many false christs in the church, today (Mt 24:24; Mk 13:22). They go by the title, “Leader,” or “Lead Pastor.” Their titles expose them (Eph 5:11), as usurpers of the church’s one Leader (Mt 23:10). Their works give them away, too (Mt 7:16, 20). These “Leaders” are impassioned to get followers for themselves (Prv 28:10; Is 3:12; 9:16; Mk 13:22; Rev 2:20). Arrogantly, they allow men to speak blasphemies, without correction, “Oh, I worship in Andy Stanley’s church.”
The gospel of leadership development is the message of hope, for the ambitious cult followers. Allusions to Jesus and the Holy Spirit are strategically placed to entice “followers” that God has a wonderful plan for their success in life and the ministry. The false christ, of course, has special knowledge about God’s plan for you.
The Christian cult leader promises his followers that if they faithfully follow his new program (on Amazon for $29.95…while supplies last!), they will become “kingdom changers.” In this, the Jesus of the Bible is replaced, by the Jesus who gives you success in the world — and many have learned that “world” and “church” can be synonymous, when it comes to prosperity.
False prophets in the church love to attend Christian leadership cult conferences. Mega leaders (usually the same line-up of false christs) tell the false prophets what to teach and preach, to gain a mega-following. The false christ is the expert on, “what’s working in the church, now.” The false prophet secretly lusts after the position, power, and prosperity of the false christ.
The false christs promise to give, “the 7 secrets of church leadership,” for a price, which typically ranges from $99 to $999 per conference. They, of course, deny they are peddling the Word of God for a profit (2 Cor 2:17); and in one respect, they are correct, for they are actually posing, as if they are peddling the Word of God for a profit. They would have to actually preach the Word, in order to be found guilty. Never mind, its another souled out crowd!
False prophets return to their smaller congregations and regurgitate the message of the false christs received at the conference. The false teachers, who sit under the false prophet, and who know the false christs, all too well, are happy to have the false christs’ new material before the less fortunate, who have to wait for each false christ to release it in book form or DVD.
In their organizational pyramid scheme, the role of the false teacher is to ensure everything is well-funded, “Man looks at the outward appearance, people, so let’s make ‘our’ church look good!” Everything, from the pastor’s little talk, to the dark sanctuary strobe light settings, to the new logo, for the new church name release-party is included in the show.
The apostle Paul preached Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor 2:2), the Gospel of Christ’s vicarious atonement for sinners (Lev 16; Rom 5:8; Eph 5:25; 1 Pet 2:24), applied to His chosen people (Rom 11:5; 1 Pet 2:9), by grace alone (grace is the exclusive work of God toward His elect people). Christians are focused on this alone because it is the power of God unto salvation for those who believe (Rom 1:16–17). Christians believe because God has graced them with faith (Rom 12:3; Gal 3:22; 5:22; Phil 1:29; Eph 2:8–9; Heb 12:2). Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ (Rom 10:17). Preaching the Word is the work of the faithful minister (2 Tim 4:2).
To preach, rightly dividing the Word of truth (2 Tim 2:15), the minister must learn the Word and be apt to teach (1 Tim 3:2; 2 Tim 2:2, 24; Titus 1:9). To feed and protect God’s people (1 Pet 5:1–4), the Spirit-filled man of God must set his heart to study the Word (Ezra 7:10), so that he might be found faithful in proclaiming Christ (Col 1:28).
The Christian leadership cult has another agenda, another gospel, of another christ, whom Paul did not preach (2 Cor 11:3–4). Thus, all Christian “leaders” everywhere are called to repent and turn to the stewardship of the true Gospel entrusted to them (1 Cor 9; Gal 2:7; 1 Thess 2:4; 1 Tim 1:11), as slaves of Christ (Eph 6:6). Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, alone, is who we follow…listen to Him.
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 17, 2021