The Elephant Room is a high-glitter theological roundtable featuring frank discussions among influential pastors. Recently, controversy was generated due to the invitation of Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter's House in Dallas (linked to resignation of another Pastor James MacDonald) ... controversy related to Jakes supposed “heretic” position on the Godhead.
"He has brought a charismatic, theatrical, excessive, 'Word of Faith' flavor to the city that permeates many churches (especially black churches)" says another Pastor Baucham (who also stayed away) ... adding that he has seen firsthand the influence Jakes has had on Texas communities.
I would rather not comment on influence as determined by the size of congregations or popularity/community visibility as an indicator of spiritual size. It cannot hurt to be edutained by elephants in the boxing ring of theological thoughts.
I recently adapted an article by Zac Poonen on the importance of fellowship but still many will quote ...Galatians 1:8-9 as they steer clear of the elephants altogether seeing this as another vain attempt by elite oddfellows to unify the ununifiable or unwise exposure to ungodly counsel.
Galatians 1 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to and different from that which we preached to you, let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)!  As we said before, so I now say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel different from or contrary to that which you received [from us], let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)!
Fellowship remains a challenge for many in the body of Christ...our egos can also get in the way of admitting we are not infallible and we all need His grace to know Him. The Blog article entitled “Behold how these Christians hate one another” is republished below...
Have you ever met believers who are so anointed but who still avoid the company of other Christians... regarding some only from a safe distance ... except even at Church meetings, where they smile patronizingly through others with plastic prepared superior glances. Of course this does not describe your own Church family... if the word family can still be used. There is more warmth indeed in the local bar – but do not venture there. God wants to do wonders but wait ... He wants us to get rid of the foxes...
Joshua 3 And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.
Despite man's advancement in many areas, human relationships continue to present problems all over the world. Business concerns and agencies spend huge sums employing personnel to promote harmony among workers. Well, one might think it is understandable that self-centred, unconverted people find it difficult to get along with each other, but surely when people are born-again and have become new creatures in Christ, such problems can never arise. For, after all, when God is the center of one's life and service, what possible room can there be for the petty problems that besiege others?
Yet, sadly, no proof is needed of the fact that Christians fight and quarrel with each other, all over the world. Many are not even on speaking terms with some of their fellow-Christians; some cannot even stand the sight of certain other Christians. The Name of God continues to be disgraced in the world by the behaviour of professing believers. Jesus said that the world would identify His disciples by their intense love for one another. This was - generally speaking - literally fulfilled in the first two centuries of the Christian era. The world looked at the Christians with amazement then, and exclaimed, "Behold how these Christians love one another!" Today, the story is different and the world often says, "Behold how these Christians hate one another!"
Relationships are indeed most important. Gifts, talents, methods, techniques, programmes and finances are all secondary to people and to inter-personal relationships. The church can fulfil her God-ordained function as the light of the world only when there is true Christian fellowship among her members. Likewise, an individual believer can become a minister of life to others only when he himself has learned to live according to the law of love with his fellow-Christians.
The Bible plainly and repeatedly teaches that no Christian can have fellowship with God without fellowshipping with other believers. You cannot walk with God if you do not walk in love with your fellow-believer. The cross on which Jesus died had two planks - a vertical one and a horizontal one: Jesus came to bring peace not only between man and God (vertically) but also between man and man (horizontally). The vertical and the horizontal relationships go hand in hand. You cannot have the former if you ignore the latter.
John, the apostle of love, has some very strong words to say on this matter. One of the evidences, he says, of genuine conversion is that a man begins to love his fellow-Christians. If a man does not have this love, it is a sure indication that his conversion is spurious and that he is heading for eternal death (1 John 3:14). Doctrinal correctness was not the only test that the apostles applied to ascertain where a man stood in relation to God. Later on in the same letter, John says that if a man claims that he loves God while hating his brother, he is a liar. Mark that! The proper name for such a man is not "believer", but rather, "liar"! And John's logic is irresistible. He says a brother is visible whereas God is invisible. If you cannot love the visible, it is impossible to love the invisible. (1 Jn. 4:20).
Now compare this with the experience of most "believers." Love for God is usually assessed in terms of busy activity in Christian work or in terms of rapturous feelings of delight experienced in a meeting. These can be most deceptive. I have come across believers who are out of fellowship with other Christians, who testify nevertheless to "wonderful times of prayer" and to "amazing results in service." How could they possibly be walking with God when they have not even made an effort to settle matters with other members of God's family against whom they have a grudge? Surely Satan has blinded their minds to the truth of Scripture!
Often, we do not realise what we deprive ourselves of, when fellowship is broken with other believers. The Bible tells us that we can discover the breadth, length, depth and height of Christ's love and be filled with all the fullness of God only along "with all the saints" (Eph. 3:17-19). It is only as we know the reality of fellowship with the believers God places us with, that we shall be able to enter into an experiential understanding of the love of Christ and of the fullness of God.
The one – no matter the level of anointing, who cuts himself off from any fellow-Christian ( no matter how high or low in hierarchy), even for perhaps so called good reasons, thereby deprives himself of the experience of Christ's love and grace which could have been his through that person. When we fail to live by the law of love, we rob ourselves of some of Christ's riches and some of God's fullness. Adapted from article by Zac Poonen
Let me end with another story. An eagle living in constant jealousy of another eagle that always seemed to be flying higher than others agreed with a hunter in need of prey to have him struck down. But every time the arrow of the hunter was launched it could not reach the targeted eagle. The now desperate hunter suggested to the other eagle ... ”give me some of your feathers to attach to the arrow and maybe it will hit the high flying eagle”... but in spite of adding several feathers of the envious eagle, the arrow always fell short of bringing the eagle down ...more feathers were provided but still no success. The hunter now absolutely frustrated at not having any game realised that he had a fat and vulnerable eagle with no feathers, close to him ...and aimed the arrow at him - instead, striking him dead with ease ...
Psalm 139  Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Talking of elephants, eagles and other animals, I have come of recent to learn from and admire the giraffe ...a rather dull, quiet unassertive and unassuming animal, that starts very small and continues to grow without any conflict ... walking amicably, and at peace with other animals but eventually emerging as the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant.
The grass suffers when elephants fight is an old maxim ... May God preserve and keep us pure in Him, always. Amen
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