I spend most of my time in the New Testament, but the prophet Malachi’s words are ringing true today, not for Jewish priests, but for the modern (and even traditional) “church”. Following is my parody of Churchianity Today, to the “tune” of Malachi 1:6-3:6.
“A son honors his father, and employees their bosses. But if you call me your Father, where is my honor? Where is my respect?”, says the Mighty One. “It is you Pastors who trash my name!”
But you ask, as if you are innocent, “How have we trashed your name?”
“By your ’ministry’!”
But you ask again, “What’s wrong with our ministry?”
“What’s wrong with it?? You say the Bible is outdated, you give me the leftovers of your life. When you offer me Purpose and Contemplation and Alpha, is that not wrong? When you give lip service to my Word but practice the teachings of Satan, is that not wrong? You might as well send play money to your tax collectors!”
“Now I suppose you want God to be gracious. But with such trash from your hands, will he accept you?” says the Mighty One.
“Oh, that one of you would shut the church doors; make it stop! No, I am not pleased with you, and I will take no more of this from you. I will be honored among the nations, from sunrise to sunset. People will bring pure offerings to me at last.
”But you, you turn up your nose at me and look down on my ways. You say ’What a burden! Who needs doctrine?’
“When you sing ’worship songs’ that ignore sin and holiness and praise only yourselves, should I be okay with that?” says the Mighty One. “A curse on anyone who knows my ways but ignores them! Don’t you know who I am??
”And now as for you, ’Preachers’ and ’Pastors’ and ’Pulpiteers’, take warning! You will be cursed if you don’t repent and start honoring my Name. In fact, I’ve already begun to curse you, because you have already rejected me.
“Because of you, your children will suffer. I’ll wipe the garbage you’ve been trying to feed me on your smug faces, and you’ll be carried out with the rest of the garbage! Then you will know, then you will understand.
”Learn a lesson from Levi. He honored me in word and deed and was in awe of my Name. He never lied but spoke only truth; he walked with me in peace and purity, and turned many from sin. Because the lips of a leader and teacher should be trustworthy with my Word.
“But you! You have done the opposite. You trip people up and lead them astray. Now as a result I have caused the lot of you to be despised and publicly humiliated.
”Here is an example. You despise the marriage bond by your unfaithfulness. You flood the altar with tears because life hasn’t been the bowl of cherries you tried to make for yourself, and then you whine, ’Why, why Lord?’. Can’t you figure it out? Did you think I couldn’t see you cheating on your wife? I hate divorce caused by cruel people who are covered with injustice.
“You Pastors are really irritating me. Yet amazingly you ask ’How?’
”By saying bad is good, self is God, we are our own Saviors!
“I will send people to warn you and then I myself will return. But you won’t like it one bit! You won’t be able to handle the Truth, because I will refine you with fire and purify you with soap. Finally, I will have leaders that represent me and not themselves! So you will be put on trial, and your secret sins will be exposed. You have not respected me, and I will not respect you.”
Oh, I could go on, but you get the picture-- and it isn’t a pretty one. Since the apostles died the people of God have been led astray, down the path of Religion and Control. Those who made themselves leaders have forgotten that each of us is the “temple” of God, that each of us is a “priest”, that we are all equal parts of one Body. But judgment is coming soon!
For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17)