Christian Life 

The Kings of Sodom

Steve Taylor brings a word which has been 'burning within him' and offers his thoughts and writings to the wider body, leaving it to the discretion of each and every believer to do with it what he or she will.
 


THE KINGS OF SODOM

by Steve Taylor
 
 

Introduction


Ancient KingIt is a number of years since I have written anything remotely prophetic and it is with great hesitation that I do so now: but anyone who has experienced anything akin to a word in the heart being like a fire that must be released may just realise why I write.

What I am about to say has formulated over the last few months. This has come as a result of meetings with people, information to which I have become privy and situations I certainly did not seek to be aware of but did so all the same. Finally there has been the strong impression (I believe of the Holy Spirit) that something is far wrong and someone needs to speak in to the void - perhaps others are also - but I am not aware of them. I leave it to the discretion of each one who may read what follows as to what they do or do not do with it. Ultimately God alone is the one to whom each of us will give an account.

The Message


When God spoke through the Prophet Isaiah at the beginning of his prophecy it was not to the literal cities of Sodom and Gomorrah but to the Sodom and Gomorrah Jerusalem had become. He also accused them of prostitution - “See how Jerusalem, once so faithful, has become a prostitute.”(Isaiah 1:21)

It is my conviction that the church in Scotland, in general terms, including vast swathes of the so called Evangelical / Pentecostal / Charismatic, movements stand in the same place.

As for the situation in the national church - this is now so obvious no further comment is needed.

However, there are also groups and organisations within the so called Evangelical / Pentecostal / Charismatic wing of the church who survive only at the the behest of the kings of Sodom. Unlike Abraham who would not “take so much as a single thread or sandal thong” from the King of Sodom (Genesis 14:22), they take all they can in the self assurance that God will use them for his glory.


There are also are men, at various levels of leadership in these groupings, who practice sexual perversion, cheat, rob, lie, worship money more than anything else and then wonder why their evangelical efforts bear so little fruit.
In some areas the reputation for lack of honesty, lack of integrity and lack of purity, of so called 'Christians' (and we are talking about Christians who come under an Evangelical /Pentecostal / Charismatic banner) is so low as to be heartbreaking.
Those outside the church not only mock and scorn but in one sense seem sadly resigned to the fact that many “non christians” are more honest, more moral and more trustworthy than most christians they know.

Yet, come next Sunday, you will find these people in pulpit and in pew, at the door or leading worship, serving communion or singing heartily in the choir - in general making the pretension of being fine upstanding christians. Perhaps on Monday they will be organising an evangelical outreach or arranging a prayer meeting - they appear not to realise God sees through their facade.
 
The truth is that while, for sure, the more obvious sin of Sodom roams the corridors of the church the underling sin of Sodom remains hidden and seldom spoken of. Addressing his adulterous wife, Jerusalem, God, speaking through the prophet Ezekiel, cut to the heart of the matter -

"the underling sin of Sodom remains hidden"


“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me.” (Ezekiel 16:49&50).

The kings of Sodom who support todays church and to whom many churches and groups look for their financial support, at many levels, including so called 'evangelical outreach', are of a similar calibre - cold and calculating, devoid of grace and mercy and whose God is, in the final analysis, money and power. They may make a fine show of religion but inwardly they are corrupt and an abomination to God.
 
At yet another level the old issues of control and abuse within the church has risen to new heights. Many leaders, at all levels, bully, cajole and pressure people in to toeing the party line in order to ensure the pews are warm on Sunday. Some of their behavior borders on criminal abuse. "Many leaders, at all levels, bully, cajole and pressure people"
 
Many 'Christians' it appears, maintain their hypocrisy by resting on the precarious precipice of a 'once saved always saved' theology. Yet the day of reckoning is coming.

Several years ago now someone speaking prophetically said that God was going to shake the church and that what was not founded on God and His principles would fall. And, although on many levels this has happened, I believe we have seen nothing in comparison with what is coming.

The final tragedy is this, as history shows – the previous (most recent) carrier of revival often becomes the main source of opposition to the next one. Could it be then that the current Evangelical/Penticostal/Charismatic movements will actually be opposed to revival? I believe that many people who today pray, work and strive for revival, in association with the kings of Sodom - will actually oppose it when it comes – indeed the seeds of such opposition are already being sown!

Brothers and Sisters – we need to open our hearts and listen to God as he speaks to us again through the prophet Isaiah! That is our only hope. If we do not listen and act I truly fear for the future of our church and nation. God will not be mocked.

Isaiah 1:10- 17


10 Listen to the Lord, you leaders of “Sodom.”? Listen to the law of our God, people of “Gomorrah.”?
11 “What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?”? says the Lord.? “I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams? and the fat of fattened cattle.? I get no pleasure from the blood? of bulls and lambs and goats.? 12 When you come to worship me,? who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony??
13 Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts;? the incense of your offerings disgusts me!? As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath? and your special days for fasting —? they are all sinful and false.? I want no more of your pious meetings.?
14 I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals.? They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!?
15 When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look.? Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen,? for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.?
16 Wash yourselves and be clean!? Get your sins out of my sight.? Give up your evil ways.?
17 Learn to do good.? Seek justice.? Help the oppressed.? Defend the cause of orphans.? Fight for the rights of widows.


Steve TaylorSteve Taylor, a retired Police Officer, has lived and worked in various parts of the Highlands and Island where he has been associated with and preached amongst different churches and groups.

At present Steve is co-leader of a new Church work in Skye whose passion is to reach the un-churched within their community. Xcel Church meets in Portree.

Steve is also a student of past revivals and author of a book The Skye Revivals. The volume is the culmination of seven years research. It includes eyewitness accounts of the power and speed with which the Spirit of God swept through the communities of Skye and its sister islands and, as a result of emigration, parts of Canada and North America. His personal blog is at www.loves-excelling.org

Steve Taylor, 26/01/2011

Feedback:
Martin Lisemore 27/01/2011 12:28
I'm of the strong opinion, the greatest danger facing Christians today is deception in the church; in it's many guises it is endemic. Not just in Scotland, but Europe and USA wide. It is escapism from the doctrines of sin and repentance, the pure doctrine of salvation.

As a church, we no longer test the spirits; too often we rely on baseless translations of the Bible for our beliefs; listen to preachers and teachers on TV as being an oracle of God, when they are an oracle of the dollar.

Yes we are seeing a shaking of the Church, judgement begins at the House of God. Yet, there is so much more to come. I don't doubt I will be found wanting in that shaking, in that judgement. I can only encourage every Christian to get close to God, through His Son, the rock of our salvation. There is no other way through.

In my understanding, there is no place for high-flying preachers with TV ministries and fat salaries. No place for over-comfortable vicars and ministers afraid to preach a hard work because their comfort may be threatened.

More than anything now, we need a clear trumpet call; the preaching of sin and redemption from pulpits, the Bema seat for conviction and submission to a Holy God. Deep repentance. No more preaching tacit acceptance of liberal social policies abroad in government and society. Lead the nation from the Bible.

The people who have influenced me most over forty odd years have been humble, Christ-like men and women, sometimes in the ordained ministry, but all of whom it must be said, the light of Christ shone from them. Would that there were so many more such people today.

The major prophets speak loudly into our times, if we would but hear them. They're hard words, words of judgement, words which if heard will bring us back to God through Christ Jesus. They're also words of consolation - if you do this, I'll do that - promises no less.

I'll stop there because it begins to rad like a rant, which it is not. These are my convictions. I stand on them

Martin Lisemore 01/02/2011 14:51
Further to all the above; in considering just 2011, with Tunisia revolting, now Egypt, the Gulf States fearful of destabilisation, a massive cyclone over Australia after the floods, the US economy in collapse, like UK ... I could go on, and it's only 1st February.

Whether we say this is a judging of the nations, or a shaking of the nations, our God is moving against His enemies. And these enemies might be closer to home than we realise!

What do you think?
Emma Jones (Guest) 04/02/2011 12:13
I know of a very vibrant church in a Scotish city where some of the praise leaders (people in their 20s) turn up on Sunday mornings suffering from hangovers and then 'lead worship' at the front of the church.
Penny Lee 04/02/2011 13:23
I believe many, many churches in our country have completely lost the way. Either we have happy, clappy churches where it's all about praise and nothing said about God's judgement or else we have dismal stuck-in-the-past churches where it's all about judgement but nothing is said about God's love and mercy. There there are the liberal churches where anything and everything goes and God will love us all the way we are - no need to change. I suspect those that believe that are not reading the Bible at all as it couldn't be clearer that, although God does love us even in our sinful state, once we have received salvation we have to turn from sinful ways and live by God's commands. To tell people anything different to that is to deceive them and ourselves and those who do it will be answerable to God for preaching a false gospel and leading others astray.

Perhaps the best thing to happen is for these churches to collapse and new ones spring up in their place which are founded solely on Bible principles and better able to point people to Christ to have that aching void filled which only Christ can fill.


(Guest) 04/02/2011 14:04
Emma, why am I not surprised?

But, please, in reading the article and my post above, don't understand all churches are equally affected. It is not the case. Nor did I intend that meaning.

'Perhaps the best thing to happen is for these churches to collapse and new ones spring up in their place.' Andrea, spot on as usual.

Lets take a step back. The original Churches of the New Testament were founded by the Holy Spirit working in men. No less. During the Christian era, denominations, firstly Roman, founded churches to extend their power and reach across a country. I don't see the Holy Spirit's work there. It's the wrong kingdom.

Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house the builders labour in vain.

Don't we have an excess of vanities today?

I've written here before, every new move of the Holy Spirit in the Western Church has put in place the five fold ministry and spiritual gifts. Even Methodism in England began in this way, although the Wesleys quashed the gifts.

Unless the LORD build the house ... then I'm not interested. Unless the offices and gifts are in place, and Jesus is centre stage by the Holy Spirit, the sole object of worship, an assembly has no more right to call itself a New Testament church than the House of Commons, or the Scottish Assembly. (I hope for diplomatic reasons I got that right!)

Why do we continue to offer strange fire to God, offer Him far less than our best, which is what He demands of us?

You're quite right, such places should be allowed to fail, and new, Holy Spirit led fellowships spring up. Ecclesiastes 3:3 a time to tear down and a time to build.

It's a time to build, perhaps the last time in the Christian era. Pray God He will hear us when we seek Him.

A final thought. We are required to worship God in spirit and in truth. Rare commodities these days, no?


(Guest) 04/02/2011 14:05
The above was Martin Lisemore, but I can't seem to log in at the moment. The system will clear itself.
Peter Carr 05/02/2011 10:32
Purity has always been a problem for individual Christians and church fellowships alike. I concur with the author of this article. It is certainly my experience that the culture in which we live is informing (and even transforming) the church in ways that are unhealthy and unhelpful, and which will bring God's intervention.

Josh 24: 15 "But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

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