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
It 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.
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 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