Thursday, February 10, 2011

Strongholds in the Church: Judgmentalism, Unholy fear

The Holy Spirit must lay bare the strongholds in our churches. There are false ideas, false thought patterns, habitual sin patterns, deception or other things behind the corporate sins we see in the Body of believers (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). We are not talking about personality flaws or differences of opinion. We are talking about destructive forces that seek to derail a church’s mission and direction. 

Unholy fear. The person or thing we fear losing is our idol. Fear of people, fear about finances, fear of offending the big-givers, preoccupation with keeping up the numbers, fear about our reputation in the community or the denomination, fear of “losing” a family or a person, fear of “losing” our old church the way it was, etc. (Psalm 34:4; Isaiah 54:14; 1 John 4:8). 

Seek to know the holy, reverent fear of the Lord (Proverbs 14:16, 26; 31:30; Isaiah 11:3; 33:6). Give no honor to intimidation (Nehemiah 4:1-9; 6:1-19). Fear no person, no organization, no power other than Jesus (Psalm 76:7; Isaiah 35:3-4; 41:10, 13; Revelation 14:7). When we have no fear but God, we break the yoke of the adversary off our church (Isaiah 58:6).

Judgmentalism. A critical spirit manifests itself in prejudice, judgmental attitudes, self-righteousness (Matthew 6:23:25), the elder-brother attitude (Luke 15:25-32), accusation (Revelation 12:10; James 4:11-12), fault-finding (Ephesians 4:29-32), pet doctrines and a condemning heart (Hebrews 12:15) toward those who disagree. 

Cold hearts and cold love are the opposite of the attractive, winsome, loving, and redemptive grace of Jesus (Acts 4:33; 11:23; 14:3; 2 Corinthians 8:9).