Can You Guess Who Wrote This?

Read excerpts from this article and take a guess on who wrote it.

“When Martin Luther lamented at the end of his life that he might not be justified, he must have seen something dark in himself in relation to the Scriptures, something that we in the modern church might be overlooking.

The Scriptures say that we are to be known as followers of Christ by the evidence of our love for one another, but we’re not (see John 13:35).

The Scriptures say that we are not to boast about what we have or what we have done, but we do (see Jer. 9:23-24).

The Scriptures say that in the last days people will be lovers of themselves and lovers of money, and we are (see 2 Tim. 3:5, NKJV).

Very often we charismatics rejoice in the power of God, and rightly so. But we subject ourselves to ridicule when we boast that we are not among those “having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5).

We claim that we have spiritual power and others don’t because of our openness to accept and operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

But our words fall short when our marriages don’t work, our children are wild and disobedient, and we refine the art of giving and receiving money to the point that we could qualify as the experts in greed that Peter warns about in his second letter (see 2 Pet. 2:14).

We have a credibility problem. We have some wonderful churches, but increasingly, people do not seek to be connected . . .

. . . Maybe we’re not Christians. Maybe we’re just the most popular religion of the day, using the power of persuasion, the force of our numbers, and the strength of our money to advance our ideology.

Maybe we just believe whatever makes sense to us by default, and we don’t truly—as individuals and as communities of Christians—seek to be genuine disciples and to do God’s work of caring for the fatherless and the widow of our day.

Could we be Pharisees? Our own books, television programs and prophecies should make us wonder.

I believe that we all know and love the Word, but we live in earthly vessels with a fallen nature. We feel and see the hopes of the Spirit within, but we also end up doing the very things we do not want to do.

When we preach, write, lobby, raise money, build, broadcast, threaten, sue and spin, we present conflicting images that don’t stand up very well against the tests of time and scrutiny. We are confusing the world, other Christians, and our families.

This isn’t something that can be changed with a list of practical exercises. This is something that has to be dealt with deep within us by exposing ourselves to the wisdom of the Scriptures, to one another, and to God.”

The author suggests that maybe we aren’t Christians but Pharisees if we are more interested in the superficial than really seeking to be disciples of Christ. Now the ironic thing is that this article–that is packed with great insights–was written by Ted Haggard who three years after he wrote this confessed to having an adulterous relationship with another man.

What can we learn? Maybe that we are all conflicted people who struggle against sin and that one of the most dangerous things that we can do is to pretend to be someone we aren’t. Or maybe we can learn not to rest on the past. Past spirituality is not a sure indicator of future faith. Or maybe we can learn that all of us need to be on guard against sin. We never get to a point in our faith where sin cannot destory our lives and ruin our ministry.

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