GUIDE TO TRUTHTELLING IN PRO-ZIONIST CHURCHES
By Rev. Ted Pike
29 Jan 14
Editor's Note: This is an edited version of the recorded Bible study under this title at Truthtellers.org.
Never in history has there been a greater need for bold public declaration of the truth. This especially includes truth concerning the threat of Jewish supremacism. Yet there exist forces of control and censorship within the establishment, society, and even the church which tell us we are not allowed to speak truth publicly. But the Bible says the Christian is morally authorized to speak truth others may not want to hear. This is when as Christians we feel the Holy Spirit leading us to speak and when what we have to say is eternally important. But there are precautions we must observe before we speak out, especially in church. Why? Because we are in a danger zone.
In few places is freedom to speak truth authoritatively more controlled than in most evangelical churches. Speaking truth which is controversial can quickly result in expulsion and religious exile of the truthteller.
There are biblical guidelines for speaking truth in church. In the Old Testament God instructed the Hebrews that if they heard of some evil or injustice in one of their tribes, rather than taking immediate action, they should make diligent inquiry concerning whether it was true. They were to react not according to a notion or hearsay, but when there was substance to the report. Before we speak or act publicly we also must make diligent inquiry, basing our observations and criticisms on facts.
Such foundational knowledge is vitally important because many in society and the church do not appreciate spiritual or political reality and will do their best to ruin our credibility. This reaction is very likely to come against the bold truthteller at every level of society. From the classroom to Congress each arena has its terms of conflict. In this article I will focus on the difficulties of bringing new truth to evangelical churches.
Before I was able in 1984 to break out to international recognition through release of my book Israel: Our Duty, Our Dilemma and video The Other Israel I labored to bring truth to a number of evangelical churches in my area with little success. Mine was not an anti-Zionist message, but only of the need for total consecration and daily trust in God in order to be sure of salvation. It is with this background that I speak of the even greater difficulty of bringing new truth concerning Zionism and Jewish supremacism to such churches. A primary reason for such difficulty is that most Christians do not fully understand that the true church of Jesus Christ is not the people filling the pews. Rather, it’s the "church invisible" which consists of all who have given everything to Christ and trust in Him as a little child. The church invisible thus spans denominations and is united not by agreement of the mind but of the heart.
As such, it should be natural that a visitor from a separate church body be allowed to speak as the Lord burdens him and also that the laity be allowed to speak in an appropriately allotted time, such as a testimony service or Sunday school class. Of course, such occasional public utterances must occur with utmost respect for the pastor’s authority. There is no room in such truthtelling for abrasiveness or abusing the reasonable limits on speech. On the other hand, truth and the burden of the Holy Spirit transcend all humanly established limits. From the time of the Hebrew prophets, the word of the Lord has burst forth despite every effort of false leaders and prophets to establish rules to stifle it. Scripture is clear that every member of the church invisible has divine approval to speak under God's prompting. I Peter 4:11 says we are to speak as "the oracles of God." No man is to forbid us. To forbid is to quench the power and potential of the Holy Spirit to have sent us. To forbid is possibly to insult the Holy Spirit.
Scripture teaches that every true Christian is a priest unto the Lord, part of a holy congregation which should never be rendered silent and powerless by the pulpit. I Peter 2:15 says the saints are lively stones built up into a spiritual house, a royal priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Christ Jesus. I Peter 2:9 says: "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation…" Rev. 1:6 says that God through Jesus has made us kings and priests unto God. Yet too often the mentality of the local church is: "This is our church. We started and built it. If you have something you feel the Lord wants you to say or teach, start your own church and teach your own people."
Pastors are usually extremely protective of their role as the dominant theological authority and teacher in a church. They believe there can exist only one such authority per church. If any church attendee is too knowledgeable, articulate and outspoken and wants to bring the crying issues of our time before the consideration of the church and presumes to teach without prior permission, it may result in vilification from the pulpit. The next stage is expulsion. Most church leaders, despite their smiling exteriors, are really motivated by much the same territorial defensiveness as a stag elk, suspicious and ready to drive out any younger male that threatens their dominance. Yet it is Christ’s will that, just as every part of our physical bodies communicates and cooperates with every other, so each member of His spiritual body, the church invisible, be allowed to speak and be respectfully listened to.
Churches that cannot receive Spirit-led exhortation and learning are churches which are spiritually dying. As such, they become persecutive of the truthteller. In ancient Israel God exalted the innocent and guileless David. Fleshly King Saul, being rivalrous, could not understand how David could be without such instincts. "He is unclean. Surely he is unclean," he muttered. Thus, he tirelessly pursued David in the wilderness, attempting to kill him. God raised up David as a test of Saul's loyalty. Similarly, the Holy Spirit has always sent messengers to the church, attempting sometimes to shock the church into wakefulness. It is the right of every believer and priest of Christ to boldly hold up God’s requirement of death to self-will to the drunkards, fornicators, materialists, and slaves of Israel who exist in evangelical pews.
God has a quarrel with evangelical pastors who teach their laity that they should only speak approved ideas, heaping contempt upon Christians who bring actual salt and light. Scripture instructs pastors not to despise prophesying, thinking they are God’s only legitimate mouthpiece. Yet too many pastors say of such independently led voices: "Who is he to think he can stand up anytime he pleases and speak like a prophet?" Such pastors argue it is the height of inconsideration for such a person to keep them in apprehension as to when they will next speak and what they will say.
Yet the real reason pastoral staff is kept on edge does not necessarily reside in the one speaking as the oracle of God. It comes from God’s determination that His church always be punctuated by words that are authorized by Him and not by church leadership that is prone to be man pleasing and formulaic. Do not think it strange, then, if you are oppressed by a burden of concern for your church that will not go away and eventually erupts in truthtelling only to result in vilification from the pulpit. Such persecution of truth from those who should be upholding it is what is truly worthy of contempt.
The Book of Hebrews says some have entertained angels of God unaware. How can we know with finality if a visitor to our church is not a messenger from God? The answer is simple: If he speaks falsehood. Churches are obligated to test the spirits, making diligent inquiry and finding the substance of what a visitor or parishioner believes. It is not enough to say a person poses a threat just because he is seen as creating competition to church leadership or "speaks like a prophet," with authority -- or criticizes Israel, like the Hebrew prophets and Jesus. Just how would a true prophet behave in an evangelical church as a visitor? Would he first seek permission to speak, describing the content of his words? On the contrary, the mark of the true prophet is to decline to please leadership first and, like Micaiah, say, "As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak." (I Kings 22:14)
Obedience to the Scriptural command not to quench the Spirit guarantees the church will remain Christ's and not man’s. What should leaders do when confronted by attendance of what used to be called an "exhorter" who desires to rouse the people to righteousness? They must not take any action until he or she utters lies or truly heretical doctrine, such as denying the Trinity, virgin birth, or deity of Jesus. At that time they are free to publicly contradict and even forbid that person to speak. But as long as no serious untruths are spoken, leadership is taking the same risk Old Testament Jews did in saying, "We don’t have to listen to Jeremiah!"
Ours is a God of unpredictability. He is capable of sending a prophetic voice to lukewarm and materialistic, pro-Zionist churches calling for revival and testing both people and leadership. To quickly denounce and even expel an inconvenient visitor or parishioner is to take a real chance of expelling the Holy Spirit. For this, such a church will have to answer to God.