Head First: Jumping Through Hoops for Jesus

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Jumping Through Hoops for Jesus

I think this article from Relevant magazine, reprinted on Christianity Today's website asks some surprisingly honest and spot-on questions about church and culture. I'm not convinced of the author's conclusion, but his insight shows a self-awareness that I find normally uncharacteristic of most church organizations.


RF2R2 said...

I don't need to be afraid of the giant gorilla. I have not been given a spirit of fear. In fact, I am more than a conqueror and if I have Christ, who can stand against me. The church is the one that prevails, not culture.

It is dissappointing that he can spin such a compelling anecdote and ask some important question and yet still feel that Christ is against culture. Why can't Christ reclaim culture and make it new? Why does it have to be us vs. them.

And the opinions of man are just that: opinions. But the reality is one that God dictates and we can trust that He is still much more interested in redemption than we are. And, since that is the case, God will build His church the way He wants to.

I really don't understand what he is getting at here (can someone help me?) and it doesn't seem to flow from the great points he made in the rest of the article. Oh well.

Herobill said...

God will build His church the way He wants to.

... we live in Hope!

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of an article I read from Dr. Mark Hanby

The Women and the Wife
The Book of Revelation depicts a beautiful woman decked in finery and jewels. She is so magnificently adorned that the great apostle John is amazed at her appearance. She has drawn much of the world into an intimate relationship with her and it is her departure from the world that causes a great lament to rise from the earth. However, I am not referring to the Church, the Bride of Christ, but to the great whore of Babylon upon the beast.

In the Holy Scriptures, the people of God are referred to as a woman betrothed to God. The prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea all use this imagery, and rightfully so, for woman is the crowning glory of the creative work of God. She is the last creation that God formed. The apostle Paul, in his discussion of marriage, automatically refers to marriage between a man and a woman as the premier human relationship that stands as a type of our Lord and His Church. As in creation, when God took from the side of a sleeping Adam a "rib" and made woman, so in redemption, God takes the blood and water flowing from the side of Christ and forms a new creation, the Church. Yet there is another woman in the Bible who depicts a church, but is not the Church. She rides upon a beast, which means she uses something besides herself as a vehicle of motion and transport. She stands for the wayward, whoring, religious system that is not a bride but a prostitute.

The Whore of Babylon

"And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: and upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration" (Rev. 17:l-6)

A prostitute does the same thing a wife does. She gives herself to a man in an intimate way. She pleases the man in movement and speech just as he would have her do. If her appearance is not enticing, she will do everything possible - from wardrobe, diet, surgery, and exercise - to keep her form pleasing and seductive.

A prostitute, though, will defile herself with any man who comes along. She will enter into intimate relations with anyone who can pay the right price. A prostitute will go through the motions, acting alive, mimicking desire and pleasure, when in truth she is stone-cold dead inside and feels nothing toward the man she is with or even toward herself. A harlot will speak more persuasively than many wives, but she is full of death. She spends her life attempting to effect an emotion in her clients. But the whore can appear and act so much like a man's bride that he can easily be deceived.

However, a whore is not a wife. She has no covenant with the man she is lying with. She is not giving herself to him, but leasing a portion of herself for hire. This woman, outside of their transaction, cares nothing for him. They would act as strangers were they ever to meet again. She gives pleasure, but not commitment. She desires his finances, but will never bear the man's name or his children. The woman in Revelation 17 is called the whore of Babylon; she rides the world system and gives it great religious pleasure. Babylon has always represented false worship and been the foe of true spirituality in Christ. However, there is no need to look to Rome or some New Age cult to find the literal historic fulfillment of this woman on the beast. We need only turn on our televisions, read our Christian magazines, check our junk mail, and attend our churches to find her. She is there, dressed in the finest clothes, saying all the sweet words, groaning at all the right times. She stands behind pulpits and spreads her form on church pews. She caters to worldly systems and appetites, appeasing fleshly desires and carnal "church-anity." She knows how to create certain moods with music, how to make people shout and make them cry all at the appropriate times. She is a professional and she can captivate even an apostle.

"...And when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration" (Rev. 17:6). The word for wondered in the original Greek appears only one other time - in Second Corinthians 11:14. There Paul warns us not to marvel because Satan (as well as his ministers) can appear as an angel of light. It is this very deceit that Paul was desperately concerned with when he wrote in the same chapter:

"For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Cor. 11:2-3). We can be so easily deceived by form and manner that we can lose all relational reality.

The Pure Bride

Again and again in the Bible. God warns us of "whoring" after other gods. God desires a temple cleansed not only from Molechs and Baals, but also from our idols of entertainment and production religion that we gaudily parade as true and right. God is scouring the earth, diligent]y searching for a people who will love Him not for what He will give in return, but for Himself. God's desire is for a Bride who will be totally committed and give herself only to Him. Jesus is longing for a people who will worship without hype, praise without promotion, and serve without self-seeking. He is seeking a people who know the difference between love and lust; spiritual gifts and human talent; covenant relationship and pseudo-Christianity.

The system of man-centered, man-ruled religion called "the Church'' in America is whorish. But within the system of both denominational and so-called independent churches are millions of starving, hungry, dying people who do not know they are deceived. They have no idea that what they are doing is only an act, not a relationship. Unless God raises up pure model and example - a Virgin Church somewhere in the earth - they will never have anything to measure their loneliness by. How will they know they are unclean unless they see purity? How can they distinguish religious performance until they perceive spiritual spontaneity? How will they know that they are defiled until they see the Virgin Bride brought forth? God is raising up a people unafraid to be simply devoted to Christ in foundational purity.

God is raising up - in the middle of a whorehouse - the Virgin Bride of Christ. She doesn't have to adorn herself with trappings of performance. She doesn't have to put on "airs" or jangling jewels. She doesn't have to surround herself with greatly talented musicians or well-known preachers who say, "Lie with me," and then, "Pay me!" She has a love covenant with her God; she goes into His secret chamber and makes love to Him. Her worship is not an act, but a true offspring of absolute love. The Bride can do exactly what the harlot church does, but there is real life and desire inside the Bride's heart.

"And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left.... And He shall set Up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth" (Is. I 1:10-12).

"These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouths was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God (Rev. 14.4-53.

God, out of every nation and denomination, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, is gathering a remnant that will be His pure Virgin Church. She will not enter into intimate relations with just anybody who seems to be "the right one"! The Virgin Church will be hated by the harlot system. The whore despises the purity of the girl who was chosen by the groom. The prostitute loathes the chastity of virginal truth and will spew vile animosities toward the people who keep themselves unspotted from the world. But already Babylon is beginning to crumble from her decadence within and all that will be left for the nations to behold will be the Virgin Church.

In the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, God closes this last and final word to the Church by showing us New Jerusalem prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. We hear the accompanying cry of the Spirit and the Bride inviting the remnant to "Come. And let him that is athirst come. ...let him take the water of life freely" (Rev. 22:17b).

dorsey said...

That Babylon chick sounds familiar...yeah, I think I dated her right after college. What a bitch.

Anonymous said...


bob said...

Hey, just keep blogging for Jesus!

Omar said...

Anonymous, I'd be wary about the teachings of Mark Hanby. He calls the church world in the US 'whorish', but he wants to restructure the church to suit him. He calls himself an "Apostle", and in his book "You Have Not Many Fathers" he claims he has a right to a tithe of the tithe from churches underneath him in the so-called "Five-fold ministry" model (I speak of his understanding of the five-fold).

Just a post to show the irony in this man's teachings.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Re MARK HANBY-- HUGE SCANDALL About to break!!! Hint--Mark Hanby is Bishop Earl Paulk's "Son" in the ministry and let me just say...Like Father like son!

There will also be some SEC fraud lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

Mark Hanby and Earl Paulk
SEC Fraud go to

Scroll down to end of February and March blogs for Hanby Scandal info.

Big G said...

Mark Hanby is not Earl Paulk's son in the ministry...Mark Hanby's Father in ministry is his own father Stanley Hanby who raised him in the United Pentecostal Church...a totally different background than what Paulk has

Anonymous said...

mark hanbyteaches that we need to grow up in the church and not be there for 30 years and not do something for god. that is the sad state of our churches today

Anonymous said...

i have not know a man with
brighter talent, nor
darker character.
mark a grisham

Anonymous said...

dear god i know for a fact , at one time mark hanby was a very powerful, dedicated preacher, anointed man of god, we all are subject to satan,s devices, if we are not careful we all can be deceived, just like br hanby. this is about the saving of a man,s soul, we are on the brink of being lost if we don,t live a repented life. remember david was a man after gods own heart. oh god how we need to humble our selves before the lord. hes the judge of all. i dont beleive in what any preacher that try,s to use god to profit for his own personal gain and don,t have a burden for my eternal soul. i won,t sat under his minstry. lets all seek out our own soul salvation. please pray for me

Anonymous said...

As a young convert under the ministry of Stanley Hanby, I have heard many live preachings of Mark Hanby and honestly, in all my years of being a Christian, he is one of the most annointed men I have ever had the privledge of meeting. I have had the privledge of knowing his father and mother, sisters and nieces and nephews. He is a true Man of God.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

The glory days are over for Mark Hanby - he was mighty magnificent preacher and pastor - now all gone.

Anonymous said...

For those of you that are having trouble digesting the teachings of Mark Hanby et al make sure you look up the book "Apostolic Fathers and Spiritual Bastards" at allnationsmin.org. It provides a balanced look at potential abuse that can occur with the father son teachings. It will enlighten you and provide assurance that there is no mediator between God and man but HIM. Not him. The number one thing the Lord gave you is your free will and when others try to dictate to you and tell you what your supposed to do, watch out!