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A certain teacher of The Word defines church hurt as the pain sometimes inflicted by religious institutions causing the sufferers to distance themselves from community and from God. Church hurt is unfortunately an increasingly prominent topic in the church. More often than not, those entrusted with those who’ve been hurt are typically the culprits of the pain and they tend to overlook it or have no means or wisdom to deal with it.

The Importance of Strong Foundations

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! Galatians 1:6-9 NLT

For ministers and those who are entrusted to run a religious institution, the foundation on which you build the church, namely the doctrine, patterns, how you hear God and how you discern how to share what you have heard are all important. For example, an individual is ordained as pastor simply because they have the necessary academic credentials, hold a certain reputation in society or possess a theological degree from a well-known and prestigious biblical institute.. In this case, the life of this individual is only studied from the surface level. It could be true that they serve consistently and have the language and grammar to match their ordination, but at the core of things, they have not been proven or weighed against the state and consecration of their heart. Because gifts are without repentance (Romans 11:29), the man or woman of God teaches from their place of gifting (eloquence, grammar, quick wit) and builds a congregation that demands what it wants to hear and disconnects when not given it.

Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:14

Gifts are not a source. When you build a congregation based on your gift, the lack of the vindication of the spirit upon your gift causes your well to run dry because you are inevitably working for and not co-laboring with Christ. In our theme scripture, Jesus says that of the water He gives, whoever drinks cannot be thirsty again – meaning, there is an endless supply that comes out of the heart which has truly believed and consequently seen the salvation of the Lord (Romans 10:10). We know that God equips those He calls (Isaiah 51:16),but for the shepherd in our case, the discouragement is inevitably consistent, so much so that he/she is unable to give the congregation what they need — proving that this indeed was the work of men with gifts and not the guidance of God Himself.

The Product of Foundations Built By Men

The congregation which started on the basis of worshiping their shepherd instead of their Creator, exalting the gifting above their own search for intimacy with God, grows embittered and cannot receive from the altar which does not tickle their fancy anymore. A certain man of God once said:

‘My experience has been, that even in respect to personal popularity, “honesty is the best policy” in a minister; that if he means to maintain his hold upon the confidence, and respect, and affection of any people, he must be faithful to their souls. He must let them see that he is not courting them for any purpose of popu-larity, but that he is trying to save their souls. Men are not fools. They have no solid respect for a man that will go into the pulpit and preach smooth things.They cordially despise it in their inmost souls. Let no man think that he will gain permanent respect, that he will be permanently honored by his people, unless as an ambassador of Christ he deals faithfully with their souls.’

Ministers must understand that great sermons lead a congregation to praise the preacher but good teaching leads the congregation to praise the Savior. This is why the strange times we are in, God presents common exhorters without any credentials from theological schools or accreditation by men, who are able to make the unregenerate spirit understand the power and righteousness of God in their own condemnation. Conversion to christianity is an intelligent change (Acts 17:22-23)and it must sink in the heart of the convert that the acceptance of mercy is based on a prior understanding of their deserved punishment. When you do not understand the depth and irreversibility of your sin by your own works and idea of righteousness, you reject the offer of mercy and the Good News becomes vain to the careless, and unconvicted sinner.

The Correction of Faulty Foundations

I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. Galatians 1:11, 12,16 NLT

Scripture defines revelation as the redeemer of time. Every time God gives us revelation, He is demonstrating a redeeming love that is only after His nature that man may not chase or follow after things that delay his destiny or cause him to be distracted from purpose by what surrounds him. As Paul says in this theme scripture, when Jesus revealed this Gospel to him, he did not run to confer with men for he discerned that some could dissuade him, plant seeds of doubt because what he had been given was too great for mere human minds to comprehend. The same applies to you today. Everytime a present truth or glad tidings of redemption are imparted to you through wisdom, have the courage to separate yourself so that God can water His seed and give you strength in the inner man to fulfill His intended purpose in His time. Teaching is very instrumental in this journey and scripture encourages us not to despise it, and always keep a teachable spirit. Learn to stand firm and take the word spoken by God’s servants, don’t let offense blur the lines of reception between you and your Father. The Spirit of God we carry is called the seal of our salvation (Ephesians 1:13) implying that with this Spirit, you cannot go wrong. With this spirit, what the teacher omitted, you will be reminded and taught. With this spirit, nothing God speaks shall fall to the ground and die. But you must be willing to sit, and listen.

Child of God, do not let the errors of men, who are equally in this race of faith with you, hinder you from running to win. Nothing, absolutely nothing should interfere with the vertical relationship and impartation you receive from God through Jesus Christ. Let it be known that by no means do I despise the need and contribution of theological studies but it is important to understand the necessity of being vindicated by God’s Spirit.

If you have never given your life to Jesus Christ, and you feel that this is the perfect time, pray this prayer:

“Lord Jesus, I thank you because you died for my sins and you were raised for my glory. Today, I receive you as my Lord and Savior. I am born again. Amen.”

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