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Why I’m Not Always Positive and Encouraging

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  • December 15, 2013
positive-encouraging
Will a steady diet of positive and encouraging words cause me to see myself as I am, or will it seduce me into thinking I’m better than I really am? Do I wish to be entertained into spiritual dullness or challenged into spiritual maturity?

At first blush there would appear to be nothing wrong with something labeled “positive and encouraging.” Three Christian radio stations service my area, and all three of them make the same claim: that they offer positive and encouraging programming for the whole family. The appeal is obvious: no one wants to spend a lot of time dwelling on things that are negative and discouraging.

But I have discovered a flaw in this positive and encouraging, family-friendly environment that should be addressed. This desire to provide people with a positive and encouraging experience (whether it is by radio or by television or by church service or by website) creates an unrealistic expectation in the hearts and minds of the audience and congregation who have come to rely on “the ministry” to keep them properly fed. Content is judged not according to Truth, but according to how I feel about it. Do I feel good, positive, encouraged, uplifted, and happy afterwards? If so then all is well. Or is it?

We must seriously question things that pass themselves off as “ministry”. It is clear that the practice of “ministry” – whether it comes in the form of a sermon or a song – is becoming synonymous with “Christian Entertainment.” It is not so much what they say as what they fail to say. The most glaring omission in this positive and encouraging Christian sub-culture is meaningful reference and teaching along the lines of taking up the cross and denying self, and I would suggest this one thing sums up most of what is lacking in Churchianity today.

I do not mean a wistful remembering of the cross that Jesus died on for our sins, as this is given a fair treatment. I refer to the following “positive and encouraging” words from Jesus that somehow get overlooked:

“He that takes not his cross, and follows after Me, is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:38).

“Jesus said to them all, ‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).

“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33).

“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26,27).

“Someone asked, ‘Lord, will only a few be saved?’ Jesus answered, ‘Make every effort to enter through the narrow gate, because I tell you this: many will try to enter but will not be able to'” (Luke 13:23,24).

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the Will of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

Since taking up the cross is basic to discipleship, why do we not hear more about it? Because crucifixions are not “family friendly”! Those who understand the cross in a practical way – meaning, those who are actually following the Lord Jesus as a disciple – know that this denial of Self is hardly a positive, encouraging experience. Dying is not easy! Letting go of my will and embracing the will of Another is hard! Being crucified daily is not a positive, encouraging event.

And so, in order to fulfill its obligation to its audience, Christian entertainers (pastors, preachers, prophets, and performers) must skirt the issue. If we look hard and long enough we might find anecdotal evidence of a song here, or a sermon there, or a few words sprinkled in that seem to hit the mark. Let us thank and praise God for anything we can get, but a few obligatory references to the true cost of discipleship every so often tend to get lost in a vast ocean of Christianspeak that mostly focuses on the positive and encouraging parts of the Bible and virtually ignores the hard, but necessary, sayings of Jesus.

Positive, Encouraging False Prophets

“And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, ‘There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil” (I Kings 22:8).

Look at what the king of Israel says of Micaiah the prophet: “I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me.” Yes, this is the heart of it. To a carnal, worldly generation the prophetic word is supposed to always be positive and encouraging, always speaking good things concerning me and always tickling my fleshly little ears.

The Micaiahs are not allowed on Christian television, and they are not welcome in Christian churches. In my spirit I get the sense sometimes that when you talk about anything that isn’t deemed positive and encouraging the people are sticking their fingers in their ears, squinting their eyes shut, and shouting “la la la la la la la la” to themselves. Maybe if we pretend like we don’t hear it or see it then it will go away. We do not want to hear the Truth because it is too depressing! It makes us feel bad. That, after all, is the most important thing – not whether a thing is Truth, but whether a thing makes me feel better!

Those who only seek the positive and encouraging route are those who gravitate towards the quick fixes and the easy answers; religious activities that do not require a lot of time and effort, and preferably, no effort at all. We have special numbers to call for prayer, and we have preachers to tell us what the Bible says, and we have Christian bookstores to give us things to read, and we have the Internet to keep us connected with other Christians, and we have Christian music playing in the background to keep us in the mood. What could be easier! Just think how much more effective and powerful the Early Church could have been if only they had the same positive, encouraging support system that we have today!

Do you realize that almost every false prophet mentioned in the Bible is positive and encouraging? That is not to say that to be positive and encouraging is to be a false prophet, but it illustrates something. It demonstrates a weakness, a flaw, in human nature. We naturally embrace those things that lift us up and make us feel good, and we naturally shun those things that are unpleasant to think about. A false prophet is able to deceive people precisely because there is something in humankind that desperately wants to believe nothing but positive, encouraging things about themselves.

What am I suggesting, that we seek out things that are negative and discouraging? No, we should not necessarily seek them out, but we should not automatically shut them out, either. We should seek Truth, regardless of how it makes us feel, whether it is positive or negative. Paul says he has no confidence in the flesh. Over-confidence is a deadly form of pride, and relying totally on positive, encouraging input is a recipe for disaster. Maybe your only hope is to lose confidence! If you are in the flesh then you need to be brought to a place of discouragement – the sooner the better! Maybe the secret to overcoming is not in shouting the victory but crying out to God in despair and admitting defeat. What if, instead of embracing positive and encouraging thoughts about ourselves, we go to God and freely admit that in spite of all our positive and encouraging helps we have made a total mess of things and we don’t know what to do?

We need to revisit our Christianized value system and ask some hard questions. What makes a message “good”? What makes a church service “edifying”? What makes a Christian song “anointed”? What makes a ministry “positive and encouraging”? Does God even consider these things as important criteria at the judgment seat of Christ? Do I judge these things with righteous judgment, or do I judge them by my feelings?

Why are a certain Christian personalities popular? Why do I read their books and listen to their messages? Will a steady diet of positive and encouraging words cause me to see myself as I am, or will it seduce me into thinking I’m better than I really am? Do I wish to be entertained into spiritual dullness or challenged into spiritual maturity? Am I going to eat cotton candy and bubble gum for the rest of my life or am I going to seek strong meat?

Sometimes, in spite of my best efforts to put a happy spin on things, the most positive and encouraging thing I can say to a person is, “I encourage you to repent, because if you don’t, I’m positive that your life will only get worse. I encourage you to lose all confidence in yourself, take up the cross, and put your life in the very capable hands of Another, because I am positive that apart from Him you can do nothing.” The more self-centered you are the more negative and discouraging this sounds – and that is EXACTLY the way it should be.

About Chip Brogden

Chip Brogden is an international best-selling author, teacher and founder of TheSchoolOfChrist.Org and Sonrise Television. His writings and teachings reach more than 135 nations with a simple, consistent, Christ-centered message. Connect with Chip on Twitter or Facebook.

44 Comments

  • Doris Howie says:

    Thanks for this, Chip. It is EXCELLENT. Are you planning on re-releasing it in the near future? I’ll add a few links to it here and there, but nothing takes the place of reading the actual message.
    Just thought I’d ask. :-)

  • Doris Howie says:

    Hi, Chip –

    Sorry, I should have expressed myself better. Are you going to circulate this article to your mailing list again anytime soon? I can and will post links to this page now that I have found it, but if you’re planning on mailing the message out again shortly, I’ll wait and circulate that instead. As a parallel: Do you remember the Reader’s Digest and how they would sometimes reprint an article from the past because of its extreme timeliness given the events of a later day? Well, ‘Positive and Encouraging?’ strikes me as being extremely timely – always – and therefore well worth drawing to the attention of your subscribers another time.
    Mind you, ALL of your posts are timely, so that’s hardly a litmus test, is it? Oh welllll..

    • Claude CHAINE from France says:

      Wrong Bible reference

      “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:23).

      “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33).

  • Kate Ward says:

    Dear Chip, Thank you for this very timely article. After coming out of a very legalistic Church, we have been feeling very confused at what is out there. We have listened to several of these positive and encouraging ministries, and have ended up really discouraged, because what they have been saying, (healing and prosperity etc) is not happening in our lives. Thank you again for speaking the truth, especially as we have been growing more and more dissatisfied with what we have been hearing out there. Also,interestingly, my husband has been feeling increasingly dissatisfied with all the “encouraging” messages, but has not been able to odds what they have been saying, until he came to the conclusion that the messages are mostly correct but not the full story! Just as you have been saying.

    He has been saying that we have got to start listening to what Jesus is saying to us, even though it is quite strong meat.

    To finish, I would like to leave you with this thought, and that is that there seems to be little mention of fearing God, even though the Bible is full of the expression to “fear God” and the benefits that go with it. It’s a subject that no-one ever speaks on! What are your thoughts?

    Thank you again

    Kind regards

    Kate

  • JC says:

    Another tremendous read!!!

  • Bob McCullough says:

    I really appreciate this message. I can recall times in the past when I was speaking the truth in love only to be accused of being negative. It’s amazing that many believers will listen to only what they want to hear.
    So Chip, this message is very good and much needed.

    Thank you,

    Brother Bob

  • GP says:

    The reason the believer’s cross is not being preached is that it is not compatible with the “another gospel” that is being preached. For the most part the root of the gospel that is being preached is not salvation, but the assurance of salvation, i.e. a free gift that costs nothing. And salvation is defined as “going to heaven when you die.” Sin is forgiven but not overcome. In fact many teach specifically that sin cannot be overcome.

    Add in the promises of the prosperity gospel and you have a multitude that has been taught to expect to be given encouraging messages of Christian self-esteem with a sprinkling of Christian self-help. Given this state it should no surprise that the true Gospel of Christ is not received.

    • sherry says:

      GP,
      You hit the nail on the head. ” The reason the cross is not preached is because its not compatible with there message.” I also believe the reason the cross and repentance is not preach is because those preaching it don’t live and obey what it takes to live by the way of the cross and the true cross of Christ is foreign to them.

  • Ruth Allison says:

    Right on! We need to recognize that things are going to get horribly dark very quickly, and be prepared with prayer, and HS strength and courage. As (Lincoln?) said: Forewarned is forearmed!

  • Kevin Anderson says:

    Hello Chip,

    I enjoyed the article very much. What you are saying is very accurate about the state of “ministry” in a lot of churches. Sadly, a word that is used an awful lot in these circles is the word, “Destiny”, meaning “our” destiny. Usually the term is used, not regarding our eternal destiny, but rather our “destiny” on the ground in the earth. It seems to me like a very self-centred “gospel” that is no gospel at all. Gifts and destinies are one thing. Brokenness is something quite apart on its own. God Bless!

    • Mary Darrell says:

      You don’t know how happy your comment made me. Happy because I hear someone else objecting to the constant use of the word “Destiny”. I agree, it is self-centered. Jesus had a “destiny”–the Cross. But it says that He foresaw the joy that would be His when He gained a people, a Church, for Himself through His death and resurrection. His death–His destiny–was for others. Jeremiah 29:11 is often quoted in reference to the destiny teaching. However, these words were spoken as the Israelites were being dragged off to Babylon because of their sin and disobedience. Most would not see the Land ever again. God was giving them hope as a nation, not as some personal promise of destiny and prosperity. Context!

  • Wendy says:

    timely, timely timely and on target and Brother Bob I understand exactly what you are saying , I have been accused of being “negative” when I speak the word exactly as Jesus said it; as most people wants to hear the ‘mushy nice encouraging positive confession”. I always say to the people around me If you do not want to hear the truth, please , please do not ask me my opinion. Another great article

  • Gary Leduc says:

    Hi Chip,
    Article was right on. Christians want the easy listening stuff and don’t want to be challenged to press on into Him. Keep proclaiming the Gospel. God bless.

  • Jim says:

    Spot on again. I think most “churched” people today look at Jesus as some sort of santa claus rather than Lord & Savior. As our nation slides toward the cliff it will take real disciples to stand up and proclaim the truth.Keep up the good work!!!

  • Doris Paxton says:

    I was raised in church, but became agnostic in college and remained so for 13 years until a Damascus Rd. experience, a vision that is real to me to this day.

    I was on my riding lawnmower, praying to be like Jesus, and mentioning all the wonderful qualities He had that I wanted in my life when I lost all sense of self-awareness. I saw Jesus on the cross. All the wonderful abilities, traits, and power he had did not win Him the acclaim of the multitudes, it had taken him straight to the cross! I had never before really praised Him other than sing hymns and read Psalms. I now know what the expression “lost in worship” means. I loved Him so much I thought my heart would break.

    Then very strange thing happened. I saw myself on that cross! It was very real. I did not understand it until much later, but I knew something very important had happened to me. You don’t have to convince me that Christianity, real commitment, comes with a price. It is the Pearl of Great Price, but worth far more than it could ever cost.

  • Mary Darrell says:

    Thanks! Sometimes I get so weary of the “positive” messages without any reference to taking up the Cross or discipleship. Just finished reading an intriguing book entitled “Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America.” by Barbara Ehrenreich. This is NOT a Christian book written or published by Christians. However, she does have a chapter on how the secular world of positive think has affected the Church: “By any quantitive measure, the most successful preachers today are the positive thinkers, who no longer mention sin and usually have little to say about those standard whipping boys of the Christian right, abortion and homosexuality. Gone is the threat of hell and the promise of salvation, along with the grim story of Jesus’s torment on the cross.” This book is an eye-opener! A “must read”.

  • Kris says:

    The reason that this is such a foreign concept to so many is because church, tv ministries, etc. etc. is all about “me, me, me….what’s in it for me?”. When people find out that “its NOT about me” AT ALL, they turn a deaf ear to the Truth. What a sad state that the vast majority are either seeking God out of fear, or for what I see more than anything; what God can do for them….prosperity, healing, gifts, etc. etc. etc. And what a viscious cycle it becomes, one person tells another who tells another “if you do this, God will do this”. They make God the debtor and think THAT is the normal Christian life!

    • sherry says:

      What you said “If its not about me, they turn a deaf ear.” This is so true with my family and friends. I know this is off subject, but me and my household have decided to boycott the Christmas celebration with all the heathen pagan influence. I find nothing in scripture about this celebration. But I do find a lot about false worship, creating false gods, idol worship and God says to not go the way of the heathen. This is my cross I am having to carry, because I’m being accused of being different and critical. Therefore I’m mocked for standing on truth instead of going with the flow. No one wants to hear what Gods word says about idolatry, paganism, and heathen ways, so they turn a deaf ear.

  • Melissa says:

    The truth IS the only thing that sets us free….Thank you for the freedom you have expounded in this article. What a joy we are denying the church world of true brokeness, and repentance,and the dicovering our true ever present need for our sweet Savour–by just making them “feel” like everything’s alright. Thank you for this true article…may it bring freedom to many!

  • Janvier Billong says:

    Hello Chip,

    I give thanks to God our Father in heaven in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth for haven inspired you through the Holy Spirit to write this message. Most of the questions you ask here have been troubling my heart for the past six months.In fact, I have practically been thrown out of all christian cycles in my town because of my strong desire to call christians to repentance & to return back to the true gospel of Christ. My Country Cameroon in particular & Africa in general is full of this other gospel Paul talks about in his epithets.Radio stations & TV channels are full of “prophets” issuing messages o prosperity, miracles, healing,weddings,jobs etc & the crowds are amazed.No preaching of the cross,the fear of God or the wrath of God.”Just give your life to Jesus & you’ll get well,married,have a job, travel to Europe or U.S.give birth etc.A message like this one will be treated as heresy.
    May God continue to bless you with every spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus our Lord & Savior.
    Janvier Billong from Douala CAmeroon

    • Eugene Begnaud says:

      Thanks Chip for your timely message,I can remember when this positive message was considered New Age in the 80’s and now just about every church has embraced this false teaching.It amazes me how people can put their faith in their own capabilities to perform something positive,this teaching is not even positive it is mysticism.Being positive would be to place you total trust in CHRIST and what he did on CALVARY to fulfill any need of the believer.It is WITCHCRAFT AND ANYONE IN ANY OF THESE CHURCHES SHOULD RUN OUT AND NEVER GO BACK.This is one of the doctrines of devils that the BIBLE states would destroy the believer who would sit under this false teaching.Thanks brother for speaking the truth in love.

  • Len says:

    A just God granted eternal life to only one man, the only man who, in Himself, was not under the curse that the wages of sin is death. All other men, born in sin, have been judged to die. Otherwise, God would be breaking His own Word. Our salvation lies in taking up the cross, following Christ into the grave, where the fallen, flesh, earth, stone man is buried, and a new creation is resurrected in Christ. It is no longer I that lives but Christ in me. This is the meaning of baptism and is beautifully illustrated in the account of Israel crossing the Jordan to enter the promised land, heaven. Each tribe took a stone and placed it on the riverbed as they crossed as a picture of burying the stone man (dust to dust) with his stone heart. For our fallen man is dead and we are to leave the dead to the dead.

    We would have, and do preach, Jesus as savior but not Lord. Sure we call Him Lord, honoring Him with our lips, but unless He truly has the reigns of our hearts, as Shepherd, we are no different than the hypocritical pharisees and will never find the promised land. And God is not fooled. Rather it will be us who are counted as fools, like the foolish virgins, having been given a measure of light, having had a taste, by God’s great graciosness, through willful disobedience have not received another measure of oil, the Holy Spirit, and hence are deceived by our own stone hearts, thinking more of ourselves than we ought.

    To be the Israel of God, His everlasting family, we have to be true to the meaning of the word Israel, i.e. God prevails. Christ came to restore our right (righteous) relationship to The Father, with God as our God. Our greatest enemy as David writes in Psalm 55.13 is ourself. Ye shall be as gods. Self as god must die.

    I thank God that despite our slumbering, in the dark, in His great graciousness and longsuffering, with undeserved mercy and compasssion, He is waking some of us up to the Truth. Christ did not die for nothing. Though I grieve and mourn over the waywardness of mine own heart, and that of “christians” in general, I am absolutely convinced that God and His Christ will be glorified, in the end, when Jesus harvests just men made perfect-come quickly Lord Jesus into my heart and soul as my all, my everything.

    So let us heed our Savior’s Word as the darkness is on us like a flood, Rev. 12. We are what we eat, so eat the Holy righteous spiritual manna of the Word, Christ, with that Word quickened by God’s breath the Holy Spirit, and starve that fallen flesh nature by refusing the whore’s wine and bread. This we must do daily,striving against ourself, that we, through the counsel and power of the Holy Spirit, can be overcomers of self. And pray without ceasing, asking, seeking, and knocking for the acceptable fruit of Christ’s righteousness in us. Give God no rest till He brings the peace of true reconcillation of us with Him, into our hearts. Amen.

  • Jean says:

    Hello Chip.

    I was encouraged by your article, or rather should I say this is something I needed to hear, something negetive…. At times I strugle with the sin of pride, but I am normally in denial about it and try to brush it aside, yet God will do what He has to do to cleanse me of this wicked sin. And He normally does it in a negetive way- to my discouragement! Yet for my own good. Your article just spoke to me. Thank You.

  • frank pytel says:

    I appreciate your fellowship, and the statement you made that today, “Content is judged not according to Truth, but according to how I feel about it.” When Jesus spoke the truth concerning Himself, many said, “This word is hard who can bear it?” This was their feeling or opinion. From that time they went back to what they left behind and no longer walked with Him (John 6:60,66). Brother, may we be those who take what we hear to enquire before the Lord, and not firstly be occupied with how I feel about it. Then we might see Micaiah’s word in a different way, and not hate him, but repent and believe.

  • Rick says:

    Good word, brother.

    Jesus won’t be another one of our lovers (idols) and He is not here to entertain us. We are to come to Jesus Christ with our whole heart and not be joined to anything else in our heart but Him.

    We are to say what He says and do what He does and be more interested in being a friend of God than a friend with the world. The church today is a dwelling place of demons and people are calling curses, blessings and good, evil and evil, good. The stumblingblock of their iniquity has blinded the church to what God’s Word is really saying.

    God’s will for us is our sanctification and to walk in holiness and righteousness before Him. The only way God’s character will be formed in us is if we get rid of the idols in our hearts and come to Him with our whole heart, not holding back otherwise we are just going to have a religious experience. The Churche’s doctrines of once saved always saved is a false security that has put the church to SLEEP. Yes, to sleep! “I prayed a prayer 20 years ago, so I am safe”. Try telling Christians today that a relationship with God requires, no demands that we walk in holiness and righteousness. Why is the hedge down and many are sick today and being destroyed? May I recommend Isaiah 5 (all of it), 2 Tim 4:3-4, 2 Pet 2:1-2, Isaiah 30:9-14, Jer 5:30-31, Amos 8:11-12, Titus 1:13-16

    There is a trumpet blowing and a few are hearing it, but the false doctrines of the church have captivated the majority. The unspoken mantra is “Peace and Safety”, that everything is ok. God is love, God is love, God is love. And God’s Grace and Love have been perverted today. That is the False Gospel.

    Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

    Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

    Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (If you do not receive God’s chastening you are illegitimate).

    The very first doctrine of demons from the chief demon himself is, “Ye shall not surely die”, and this lie is still being whispered into people’s ears today. You prayed your prayer and went to the altar, and you were “saved”, so its ok to have a little “fun”, YE SHALL SURELY NOT DIE.

  • Madonna says:

    This is positive and encouraging for me. I have young adult children some of whom go to church and like the confort of positive words. In fact, they say I am negative when I say anything that sends waves into their comfort zone, but I have told the Lord that they are truly only His as He created them and trust Him as their shepherd, who will bring them into His flock in His time. They are continually in my heart and prayer life and I hope for the timing that will bring them to the reality of His Life. I have failed Christ by providing them with comfort and nuturing to an unrealistic degree for the sake of His kingdom and am saddened.

    As for myself, prior to meeting you Chip, God has been the primary focus of my life, but I have looked to organized religion too much and not listened many times to His guiding voice. This is another sad regret, but it does show me how long suffering, compassionate, loving, and forgiving He is.

  • Laurie Tracey says:

    Great words of life brother! Your messages are so encouraging to my heart…repentance & death to self have always been the key to get more of Him & less of me & more of His abiding Presence…Thank you for your faithfulness to those of us who have no church & no human shepherd…You are truly a breath of fresh air & then some!!! So grateful!!! Laurie

  • Wilma Korthuis says:

    Thank you for speaking truth.

  • Kathy says:

    Excellent Chip! I just finished reading David and Goliath by Malcolm Galdwell. He talks about the benefit of struggle. It is the “hardness” of life that makes over comers in Christ.

    The power of positive thinking is a lie and who is the king of lies?

    Thank you for your discipleship!

    Kathy

  • Colin Saxton says:

    I was once so broken over positive messages that I was reading my bible but at the same time I was praying…and the following jumped out at me in Isaiah 4. This was for me but it may ring true if others have seen this.

    [Isa 4:1 KJV] 1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

    and what I saw was that the seven women was talking about the seven churches in the last age. They were saying “We will eat our own bread”: meaning live by our own words, “Wear our own apparel”: meaning clothe ourselves in our own righteousness. “only let us be called by your name”: meaning let us be called Christians – “To take away our reproach”: to take away our sin!

    Some Christians want to live their lives as they want to but they want to be called Christians to take away their sin…they don’t want to know Christ…there is no fear before them and they don’t repent…why? Because of the positive messages that keep telling them all is okay…just carry on doing what you want.

  • sherry says:

    PRAISE YOU, PRAISE YOU!, Brother Chip! for speaking truth.

    Yes, if we won’t repent and turn from our wicked ways, we will not inherit the Kingdom of God! I use to read feel good books that I thought would be helpful and fix me. Because if these well known pastors or writers put something in writing then it must be good and true. Well that’s a lie from the Pit of Hell!! God tells us to search out ourselves to see if there is any wicked way about us, that we might repent and be made right with God. I truly believe this is a daily purging of self. God is concerned with our heart toward Him and how we finish. If we start and finish with Jesus and went the way of Truth, then we will have run our race well, no matter how many times we fell and had to get back up. God only wants us to finish with how He said to finish. We may be broken up, we may be worn through and through, we may be hurting so bad we cannot take another step. But if we focus on the Prize, who is Jesus, then God’s strength and wisdom will intervene to get us to the finish line, which is Him and His kingdom to come and His kingdom is eternal paradise with Him. I’m remembering the saying “If it don’t hurt it’s not working.”

  • kenneth dawson says:

    that guy colin saxton said it just right–I say both of you said it good

  • Lynne Clark says:

    You are so right in saying that these people and the message that you give would not be allowed in the front door of the church.
    I realize that I am meant to be outside the church, that is why I am so frustrated and angry at myself and so downright moody, heaven help anyone that asks me if I enjoyed the message…lol
    anyway, that is something I am grappling with now and pray that I will have the fortitude to step outside the system as the Lord has been telling me to do.
    Thanks for the message, well received

    • sherry says:

      Lynne,
      The Lord was calling me to check all things to see if it was of Him concerning the institutional church teachings and functions or of the world? It took about 5 years for my eyes to be opened. I believe the Lord was taking me to the lowest place imaginable, for me to see the truth of it all. The church I came from was worldly and worshipped idols made by man, and men love to take the seat of Christ and to make Him of no effect. I have been out for 2 years now and it has been a very difficult road to walk, it is a very lonely place at first, until we realize Jesus is our all in all. The longer I’m out the more evil I see. It’s amazing how much more we see wrong with it all, once we leave it all. The Lord will direct, but it’s up to you to obey His call, whatever that call may be.

  • dan says:

    hey chip– great word as always. i also enjoy so many of the comments others are making. at least some of the church is catching this message– i have been preaching it for years and i am so glad there are a few others who are catching on. it hasn’t won me a single friend however, and i now find myself an island. thank God the reward has been the closer walk i enjoy above my fellows. my reward has been–truth. the word has been opened up to me and the hidden mysteries of Christ, and the interpretation of prophesy,drive me forward to a closer walk with him. the time is short– I KNOW.

  • Mike Gantt says:

    Yes, your reference to Micaiah is relevant and important.

    If we are truly willing to listen to the prophetic voice that will speak the truth to us in love, even when it means giving us a “hard” message, then the first and most frequent place we should turn is to the voice of the Holy Spirit in our own conscience. There, He will make known to us our ungodliness and immorality that we might turn from our wicked ways and live the way of Christ.

    Let us not be like Esau who could not find a place for repentance (Hebrews 12:15-17). Rather, let us love righteousness and hate lawlessness (Hebrews 1:9), for then the Lord can show us the way He would have us walk today. Again, let us not harden our hearts that we might hear the voice of the Lord (Hebrews 3:7ff).

    Your focus on the cross as the way of discipleship is absolutely right for we will learn obedience by the sufferings we forebear for His sake (Hebrews 5:8).

    You are doing a good work. It is all about Christ. Christ is the beginning, the middle, and the end.

  • mark powers says:

    Chip
    It seems you only post things that are positive and encouraging you in what you have to say.

    Mark

  • Renee says:

    Thank you Bro. Chip for speaking the truth.
    I have your book “Embrace the Cross” and it has changed my life and my walk with the Lord in such a deep and powerful way. The Cross is central to real Christianity and satan has done a masterful job in obscuring it from the modern-day American church. I am convinced that those who keep embracing these “positive and uplifting” messages are going to be the ones who will fall away when persecution comes because their faith has no root. True faith is tried and tested in the furnace of affliction and will come forth as pure gold. None of these messages address affliction, suffering, or self-denial. The “once saved, always saved” doctrine, and the pre-trib rapture doctrine have borne the fruit of apathy, complacency and a false sense of security.
    Our Lord is going to visit His church with His goodness and His severity in the coming days. We had better make sure we are for Him, and not against Him.

  • Brenda says:

    Alright! This does go against the grain of a lot of folks. I’m glad to have found this article. A girl I work with “apologized” to another co-worker one day; she was sorry, but “Brenda is not very positive at times…” I told her positive is fine, but there’s also reality! Some folks want “ear-tickling” as the bible says….

  • Kyle Pierce says:

    I don’t necessarily disagree with the message in this article. I do, however, take issue with singling out of these radio ministries, and yes, that is what they are. I believe to be called a ministry, your purpose is to simply bring the word of God to the people. This can take many forms. As a frequent listener of these stations, as well as, secular stations, I can tell you that their purpose is to bring the word of God. They do not gloss over the hard parts of life and do not make any attempt to only show the positive aspects of life without showing the negative. There are many stories throughout the day of the hardships of life and how God, and God alone, is bringing them through that situation. I feel your use of “positive and encouraging” is missing the mark entirely from the intended use by these radio stations. To me, it is simply a positive and encouraging alternative to the sex-crazed, sadistic, negatively influenced drivel that comes from mainstream radio. What better way to take up your cross and follow, than to leave what everyone else considers acceptable to listen to, and choose to fill your ears with music that is inspired wholly by God.

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