Capture Sheep in a field in Israel“The Word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel ; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves!  Should not  shepherds take care of the flock?  You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.  So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.  My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.  ” ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the Word of the LORD:  As surely as I live, declared the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because My shepherds did not search for My flock but cared for themselves rather than for My flock, therefore, you shepherds, hear the Word of the LORD:  This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for My flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue My flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.  ” ‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I Myself will search for My sheep and will look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after My sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.” (Ezekiel 34:1-12)

Even though the Scripture I posted above speaks of the rulers in Israel and their failure to care for their people, and how they instead chose to seek after the best of things in order to satisfy their own needs, this passage of Scripture still came to mind when I was reading some of the comments on THE ELEPHANT’S DEBT one day last month.  These comments were made by many who still attend Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows (my former church of almost 15 years), as well as by those who have left there.  So many of them were heart breaking, to say the least! 

The first words that came to my mind as I read one of the comments in particular, were, “Woe to the shepherds” because of the obvious hurt and devastation that James and his behavior has caused this person, and countless others.  Could it be that James MacDonald — among many other prominent pastors — has forgotten the responsibility he  has been given by God to not only love and care for his sheep, but also to be there to feed them His Word on a consistent basis, as well as how he is to set a good example for his congregation?  Maybe the fact that one day he will have to give an account to God for how he cared for them has somehow escaped his mind, as well.  Or maybe the pleasures and riches of this world have captivated his heart and caused him to wander, as 1 Timothy 6:6-10 clearly warns us can happen.  (Posted below).

I wondered about the recent Act Like Men Conference.  Was the focus on Christ and magnifying His name, and were the teachings based on sound Biblical theology?  Were men challenged to be strong in the faith and to ‘act like men‘ as God’s Word challenges and commands men to do? The video below seems to indicate that was the main intention of this conference:

However, I read one response by someone who writes on HUMBLE STUMBLE and who attended the ACT LIKE MEN CONFERENCE.’  And although he reports on the fact that he was beginning to “appreciate some solid teaching,” he follows that by giving a very sad and detailed account of the heartbreaking things that happened next that shows the conference — at this particular  location — to be anything but a conference that teaches men how to ‘act like men.’ At least not godly and mature men.  You can read his account, as well as the godly advice he gives, here: MY RESPONSE TO ACT LIKE MEN

And add to that the immature decision of James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll to show up at John MacArthur’s ‘STRANGE FIRE CONFERENCE’ on the way to James MacDonald’s ‘ACT LIKE MEN’ CONFERENCE, (as seen in the ‘quick capture’ below) and you can see that somewhere along the line, sadly, James seems to have lost the ability he once had to be a true reflection of Jesus Christ and to honor God with his life.  You can read more about what happened on that day, below, under ‘FURTHER READING.’

Capture James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll at 'Strange Fire Conference'The sadness that I feel concerning James MacDonald’s (among other pastor’s) behavior over the past five years or so, and the desire to see him once again be the man he once was — a man who powerfully preached God’s Word and never gave into the pressure to conform and use the tactics that so many modern day preachers use today to ‘grow the church’ — as well as the deep concern I have for all of you who still attend Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows, in spite of the fact that many of you have been harshly treated or ignored by James and those in leadership, and yet still cling to hope that James will change, –these are the things that prompted me to write the following poem.  I am still praying that James, and those in leadership at Harvest, will one day come to realize the downward spiral that they are going in, and that each of them will  truly repent and be restored so that God might once again be glorified at Harvest in every way.

Even though I have posted the following video on a few of my other posts, I am choosing to do it once again, because it clearly demonstrates the shift taking place in many churches today to water down the gospel and to make the church into an organization by using worldly methods and the philosophies of men to grow the church rather than depending on the Spirit of God:

“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47b)

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.  So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (1 Corinthians 3:6,7)

If you have never watched this video before, I encourage you to do so in order that you may realize what is happening in many churches today.  The information will clearly help you understand the dangerous trends taking place today that are causing many to move away from solid Biblical doctrine, leaving many people in a state of confusion and sadly, causing many to leave churches permanently.

Below is the updated and longer version of the video above:

Thank you very much for stopping by and taking time out of your busy day to read some of my posts and poems.

God Bless You

~Mary Dalke/Living4HisGlory

RELATED SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT ON

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure, or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.  Therefore do not be partners with them.” (Ephesians 5:1-7)

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:6-10)

“He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.” (Isaiah 40:11)

“When He saw the crowds He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)

“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17)

lightning1

WOE TO THE SHEPHERDS

Woe to the shepherds who lead their sheep astray

They seek to satisfy themselves, they’ve veered off the narrow way

Their sheep are bruised and broken, from the lack of their shepherd’s care

And God will hold them to account, of this truth they seem to be unaware

Often harsh and immature in word and in deed, and yet they speak of ‘love’ and how to ‘act like men’

Will they ever rend their hearts in grief, and return to Him again

Will they repent of their ways and stand for the truth, content to just preach His Word

Will their hearts turn back to their First Love once again, will they preach the gospel of grace

to those who have not heard

Or will they continue to run here and there, pursuing their own passions and dreams

Desiring instead to be pleasers of men, will they continue on with their fleshly schemes

God’s Word is filled with warnings to shepherds , who reject His firm command

He Himself will somehow remove them, and He will do so by His very own hand

His sheep He will not leave as prey to shepherds, who seek to satisfy their lusts

Their behavior must grieve the very heart of God, and fill Him with disgust

God Himself will rescue His sheep, He will gather them near to His heart

He will rescue the lost and bind up their wounds, and from Him they will never depart

This warning goes out to the shepherds, to fear God and to repent of your ways

For the way you now live brings shame to His name, a life that surely betrays

How many today are like Judas, they appear to follow Christ by all that they do

Tares among wheat who walk the broad path, those who walk the narrow way we are told will be few

Woe, woe to the shepherds, wake up before it’s too late

Repent and return, and give heed to His Words, if you don’t you will seal your own fate

Copyright© 2013 Mary K. Dalke/Living For His Glory/Living4HisGlory All rights reserved.

Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible New International Version® 1973, 1978, 1984, International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved.

FURTHER INFORMATION

MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY ON EZEKIEL 34

‘DO NOT BE SURPRISED’ – ACTING LIKE MEN? MARK DRISCOLL CRASHES STRANGE FIRE, JAMES MACDONALD WATCHES

CHRIS ROSEBROUGH – FIGHTING FOR THE FAITH: RECAP OF ACT LIKE MEN –  INDIANAPOLIS CONFERENCE

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