Monday, October 29, 2007


During the Halloween season, we begin to see a lot of Halloween Alternatives in churches and among our youth. People scramble to find ways to duplicate the experience and fun of the devil's celebration without it being devilish! They want the fun for the children and the excitement of the holiday without giving in to the enemy's celebration. Kinda like sweet n low. They want it to taste the same, but be better for you! This is a common problem among our churches and ministries of the day. From Hip Hop to Christian Nite Clubs, our people have a problem with totally letting go of their pasts and becoming new.

We have become such a selfish church that we don't want to part ways with our old man completely. We would rather mimic the things that used to give us pleasure and hold on to them so we can some how have God and our flesh satisfied. But there is a problem with this whole scenario that bugs God like you wouldn't believe. It's the fact that it makes him appear as a knockoff of what you had before him. It turns God into a knockoff, which makes him a substitute of the original and in many ways, only leads us back to what we had originally because there is no real satisfaction in a substitute. Kinda like a substitute sugar or filler that is created to work in place of a thing, but never really tastes like the real thing. We usually don't think this deep about it, but we should! The old man, once we are saved, is suppose to be dead, and we should not be looking for ways to substitute what the old man desired. Our desire should be Christ and not how to continue the sinful things that we once found pleasure in.

Is there an alternative to drugs? What about alcohol? When a person that was a sex addict comes to Christ, but still desires promiscuous sex, what do we give them? What about the person that was a gangsta or thug and comes to the Lord? Well, I know, we make them Holy Thugs and Gospel Gangstas right? We now have Christian Clubs, that people are starting. We have Holy Hip Hop, Christian Dances, Youth Proms and Hip Hop Dance ministries. We have alternative after alternative, but what is it all for? Is it to get people closer to God or to make them more familiar with their old wants and desires? Of course we know that people on large platforms do it for money and fame, but where does it lead the people? Are their youth growing stronger in the Lord because they can now mimic BET dances in church? Are the singles getting more spiritual because they can haphazardly date from a buffet of single's profiles? Are the children gonna feel that God is better than Halloween if we give them an alternative that all their peers reject? Their school, their favorite recording artists, the WORLD is celebrating Halloween, so how do you go against that and come up with a celebration that will counter something that huge? You can't! You can't compete with the fleshes desire to be fulfilled. You cannot make something Christian outplay something that is carnal. You can't compare the two because one feeds the flesh and the other feeds the spirit. The answer is to deal with the fleshly desire and challenge the flesh to be denied! The whole point in coming to Christ is self denial, so then why are so many seeking self fulfillment these days? Why are we seeking to be rich and seeking to be popular?? Why are we seeking online friendships and virtual relationships so much? Why are most TBN and national platform preachers talking about money, self fulfillment, and self promotion? What is going on?

Have we considered these things? Take a look at these comparisons and you will see that we are on a fast track to being as self centered as the world in some cases.

Show: Sunday's Best on BET (Alternative to American Idol)
Allows sinner, saint, homosexual, lesbian, and whomever else sing the gospel as a competition rather than as praise to God. For what purpose? So Kirk Franklin can have a job? So BE BE and Mary Mary can show that they are above them and can judge their fate? So the world can see that ANYONE can sing gospel no matter what kind of lifestyle you live?

The main problem with a show like this is that those that win are not ministered to and are put in positions to become ministers of music without even being held accountable for living right or being saved. Many of them have confessed to partying, getting drunk, and whoring right before the competition, but because BET is the machine backing it and Kirk Franklin got his success while being hooked on porn, it's ok. You don't have to be in Christ to sing for Christ! You don't have to live for God to work for God. You don't have obey his commandments to love him right? WRONG!

Show: Exalted on BET (Alternative to VH1 Behind the Music)
This show exalts men and women that preach. It's a platform for celebrity preachers to shine and show how they got famous. It shows their money, their success, and people exalting them and lifting them up before men to look like God's anointed ones. But come on folks, if BET lifts them up, are they preaching the truth? If BET, the most exploitative, degrading, sin promoting station on cable "exalts" them, does God approve of them? Can they please BET and God at the same time? If they preached against the sin that BET promotes, and preached against the people that BET promotes, and preached against the degradation that BET promotes, would BET really "exalt" them? NO, because if they preached against the people that BET promotes, they'd be calling their own name!!!

The saddest part of this is that the preachers that BET have decided to "exalt" are doing exactly what God said don't do! He said if a man exalts himself, he would abase him. But if a man humbles himself, he would exalt him. So, why are men being "exalted" in the first place? Shouldn't Christ and the truth be exalted? Shouldn't the bible and the message against sin be our focus? And why in the world would BET promote the very thing that is dead set against it? Well, they would never do that. BET is a business and that business knows that if they present a message against their programming they would go under, so they strategically looked for some effeminate preachers that would love being "exalted" and won't hurt their agenda. They picked men that are friends of the world and enemies of God. They picked people that hide truth for the sake of actors, performers, and celebrities attending their churches. These men and women they are exalting are not of God, but of themselves because they hide truth for the sake of fame and large followings!

The church has become so self oriented that now we seek to put our fleshly desires before God. Now we want to keep the old man alive instead of rejecting him. Now we want entertainment in place of ministry. We want man's books instead of God's book. We want superstars instead of the bright and morning star! We want to shine instead of allowing the light of God to shine. And now we want God to be the alternative to what is worldly or what is popular. We want to pitch God and fix him up in a way that he can compete with television, movies, music, and dances. We want God to be like the world's gods, but with heaven to put us in! But God said to be in the world not of the world. If the love of the world is in us, then the love of God is not! When Christians seek to make an alternative to something that should not even exist, then you know we are following the flesh. When Christians want to use what we desire in the flesh as a tool of ministry, just so we can keep it, then you know we are in the flesh. When the preachers seek large churches, fancy cars, movies, television, and stardom more than they seek to preach the truth, then you know God is only a substitute for their real desire. They really want mammon! And if this is what they are doing, then they have chosen their god! God is not an alternative. He is not a substitute or filler. He is the WAY.

Lev. 18:30 Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.

1John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Eph. 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Luke 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

In Love,
G. Craige Lewis