What happens when celebrity pastors, such as Rich Wilkerson, Jr., not only fail to warn their congregations about immersing themselves in the moral cesspool of pop culture, but also encourage them to dive headlong into such filth with their mouths wide open? What happens when these same pastors are leading (or being led by) some of the most unrepentant and scandalous rap and pop stars like Kanye West and Justin Bieber? What happens when they not only endorse their music, but also actually participate in that which is blasphemous and abominable to the Lord Jesus Christ? It is with a heavy heart that I feel I must reveal what you are about to read. What is taking place in the church is bringing severe harm to the body of Christ and leaving a tragically compromised and flawed witness of the gospel to the world that desperately needs Jesus.
Pastor Rich Wilkerson’s new reality program “Rich in Faith,” produced by Oxygen Media, began airing on December 2, 2015. The show features Wilkerson building his church in Miami, Florida through gimmickry and endorsements by none other than rap and pop stars, Kanye West and Justin Bieber! One member of his church, after watching the first two episodes of Wilkerson’s reality series, posted a comment under the trailer for the show, “I just watched the two episodes that have aired. I enjoyed the show yet still didn’t hear the word Jesus.” Another posted, “I saw Pastor Rich got a new book out and in his release party he had rappers of the world performing and stuff like that.. but why?? I wouldn’t have snoop dog performing in the release party of my Christian book. I’m just saying.” (Source – Comments by “Dolly A.”)
Many posters were heartbroken just after seeing the trailer for the show, where Wilkerson is shown getting a tattoo at one point and jumping on his nearly naked wife at another. Wilkerson’s angle is to appear hip, cool and relevant, but as my eldest daughter said after watching the trailer, “It made me sad. If he wanted to be famous and be a rock star, he shouldn’t have become a pastor.” True! Jesus was crucified by the evil world and said His true followers would be hated by the world just as He was:
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19)
Jesus also warned that we are not to compromise the truth or biblical morality to try to fit into the world to be accepted:
“Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26)
One of the dangers of reality television is that the success of such shows is based on ratings. Christians who seek more and more viewers are often in serious danger of compromising the gospel. Paul warned that we cannot please both men and Christ, “If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)
Wilkerson has already demonstrated that he will seek to get a following on the basis of sensationalism: "We were young people, so whatever it takes to get someone to church tonight, we’re willing to do it — other than blasphemy." (Source)
However, as we will see, gimmickry can easily descend into blasphemy.
When Church Becomes a Circus
When Wilkerson’s church was new, one gimmick he employed was to offer to eat a live gold fish if 300 people attended. Some time later, he offered to be zapped with a stun gun when they hit 2,000 attendees. Today, Wilkerson no longer has to swallow gold fish and be publicly zapped to get a crowd, because now he has the endorsement of the notoriously scandalous Kanye West and his former porn star wife, Kim Kardashian. West heard about this new hip church in Miami that would blast rap music and is more like a nightclub than a church. Kanye and Kim even had Wilkerson officiate their marriage in Paris. Later, Justin Bieber, who has also been known for his share of scandals, including visiting a whorehouse in South America, visited Wilkerson’s church as well. All this brought Wilkerson instant fame and led to his current reality show as a hip pastor. Wilkerson and the celebrities to whom he caters appear to be feeding off a symbiotic relationship with one another; the celebrities benefit by looking less scandalous and safe for a Christian audience and Wilkerson gets the huge numbers he has craved and becomes a pop star in his own right.
Wilkerson’s church is a place where one can feel comfortable while involved in any number of sins and scandals. "Everyone is welcome," Wilkerson preaches routinely from his pulpit, "I don’t care about your religious background, sexual orientation, your skin color. You are welcome." (Source) One can be in total rebellion to God and never have to feel uncomfortable hearing about who will not inherit the kingdom of God, even though Paul often preached this very message (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:5-8). At Wilkerson’s church one can be involved in adultery or homosexuality and not be concerned about hearing about who will go to hell as Jesus often preached (Luke 16:19-31; Matthew 7:21-23; 25:31-46; Revelation 14:9-12; 21:8). Wilkerson says, "I don’t know who’s going to hell. I just know that followers of Jesus are going to Heaven — that’s what the Bible says," he explains. "My message isn’t ever who’s going where." (Ibid.)
When faced with the notorious, immoral lifestyles of Kanye, who is known for his profanely, diabolical and misogynistic lyrics, and Kim Kardashian, who thrust herself into the limelight with a sex-tape in 2007, and then by posing nude for Playboy, Wilkerson states, “I think I know who Ye is, and I think he’s on a journey.” West is certainly on a journey, but the question is where will it end and what is being done to steer him in the right direction, along with his millions of fans who commit his wicked lyrics to memory? "We have a church where it’s really, really comfortable to be on that journey” says Wilkerson, “There’s a come-as-you-are mentality." (Ibid.)
Wilkerson doesn’t seem very concerned about what God’s Word says about right or wrong and sometimes speaks of God as though He is some force out of Star Wars rather than the thrice Holy God of Scripture, “I come from a different perspective. I don’t think people are interested in a bunch of religion, like tell me what I can and can’t do. But I think people are interested in having a relationship with a higher power.” (Source)
Wilkerson’s message isn’t so much about repentance and salvation from sin as much as it is a version of the prosperity gospel of his good friend Joel Osteen, who preaches “Your Best Life Now.” Wilkerson purposely avoids controversial topics that many of his congregants are struggling with in his efforts to keep a large crowd, "At our church, homosexuality is not a topic I like to chat about very much, but I don’t talk about a whole lot of issues.” (Source)
Rubber Stamping the Wicked
When Wilkerson was asked by Cosmopolitan about how Justin Bieber is doing, he praised Bieber for his new single "What Do You Mean,” in which Bieber sings about a girlfriend wanting to “make love all night”:
“I think he is doing great. It’s a big day for him today obviously. It is a great new song! I just saw him three days ago in L.A., he’s doing awesome. We are proud of him.” (Source)
Beiber’s accompanying video to the song "What Do You Mean,” which Wilkerson calls great, is salacious and reportedly filled with steamy sex scenes. It is one thing for a pastor to tacitly condone premarital sex, adultery and homosexual behavior by saying little or nothing abut such issues by those who need to hear it most, it is another thing to praise Bieber publicly for one of his many songs that glorifies sexual sin among his millions of fans.
Something is terribly wrong when you have Hollywood and music industry insiders repudiating the sexual perversion of those in the industry, but you have pastors praising celebrities for songs celebrating promiscuity. “Girls” star, Lena Dunham, tweeted of Bieber’s song, "What Do You Mean,” “Let’s do away with pop songs where a girl nods yes when she means no and vice versa, k?” (Source)
After the revelation that Charlie Sheen had been diagnosed as HIV positive and allegedly continued to have relations with countless prostitutes and other Hollywood “stars,” Burt Reynolds stated in an interview:
“His father is a very, very decent man and a dear friend of mine, I feel bad for him. But Charlie, I don’t feel bad for him. He’s getting what he deserves. If you’re going to misbehave like that, they’re going to get you…He deserved it. He misbehaved badly. Very badly.” (Source)
How is it that famous celebrities will point out sin and its destructive and deadly consequences, but pastors like Wilkerson and his ministerial associates, and friends like Joel Osteen and Carl Lentz of Hillsong NYC, will not? Some “stars” within Hollywood and the music industry have not only repudiated the celebration of immorality in Hollywood, but have acknowledged the toxic contribution that these industries have had on the downfall of the family in the United States. Angus T. Jones, who starred with Charlie Sheen in the show “Two and a Half Men” as the wise cracking kid, spoke of the show’s filth that contradicted his “moral values” and warned viewers about the show’s propagation of immorality and no longer wanting to be part of the “enemy’s plan.” Jones said:
"I’m on ‘Two and a Half Men’ and I don’t want to be on it. If you watch ‘Two and a Half Men,’ please stop watching it and filling your head with filth. People say it’s just entertainment. Do some research on the effects of television and your brain, and I promise you you’ll have a decision to make when it comes to television, especially with what you watch. If I am doing any harm, I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be contributing to the enemy’s plan … You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can’t. I’m not OK with what I’m learning, what the Bible says and being on that television show." (Source)
After Complex magazine did a story entitled “Justin Bieber’s Brazilian Whorehouse: Reviewed!” (Source), about Bieber’s visit to a brothel, where he reportedly spent three hours and left covered up in sheets to obscure his identity, Complex interviewed him about his profession of faith in Jesus. (Keep in mind that Bieber has been professing to be a believer for several years now.) I previously pointed out in an article on Bieber that his profanity-laced responses in this interview demonstrated a total lack of contrition and repentance (See GF Article: “Is Justin Bieber a Legit Spokesman for Jesus?”). I underscored the fact that Bieber attacked pastors who are faithful to give the biblical warnings about repentance and hell, and that Bieber promotes an unbiblical version of cheap, greasy grace that offers forgiveness without repentance and heaven without holiness. Bieber claimed that God’s grace makes him feel invincible and seems to believe that He can rebel against God’s commands with impunity. Bieber stated that he wouldn’t say he is sorry for the evil things he has done and would do them all over again given the opportunity:
“I wouldn’t do anything over again. I would do it all the same way. I’m not going to say I’m sorry for the things that I’ve done because I think that it allows me to tell a story.” –Justin Bieber, Complex Magazine, October 2015 (Source)
Sadly, even after Bieber’s recent claim to renewed faith in his interview with Complex he has since repeatedly been seen on stage before countless impressionable fans appearing to smoke and pass around a joint, as well as drinking hard liquor. Tragically, Rich Wilkerson doesn’t just rubber stamp much of Justin Bieber and Kanye West’s perverse music, but he actually contributed artistically to his West’s wicked stage show for his Yeezus tour.
When Gimmickry Becomes Blasphemy
According to Miami New Times “When West was readying the Yeezus tour, Wilkerson collaborated on some dialogue for the bits between songs and hung around backstage during tour stops.” (Source) One part that Wilkerson contributed to in West’s tour was the depiction of a blasphemous Jesus. Carl Lentz, who pastors Hillsong NYC, tweeted about Wilkerson’s hand in West’s Yeezus tour:
“So my brother @richwilkersonjr had a huge hand in writing the script for Kanye’s current tour.. WATCH. THIS..https://t.co/UXWT4dPbdo.” (Source)
Sadly, on the Yeezus tour, Kanye, while rapping on stage makes a mockery of Jesus as he has a tall Jesus “look-a-like” walk across the stage and appear before him with 12 female dancing apostles in tow. (Source)
After “Jesus” strolls across the stage Kanye shouts, “White Jesus, is that you? … Oh, s***!” (Source)
West then says he shouldn’t have cursed in the presence of a Jesus, and then to the amusement of some in the crowd, he goes on to repeat the same curse word all over again in the presence of “Jesus.”. (Source)
How much Wilkerson helped with the dialog between the phony Jesus and Kanye West we will probably never know, but what we do know is quite troubling and seems to reflect Wilkerson’s aberrant antinomian theology. After West asks "White Jesus, is that you?" West tells the counterfeit Jesus "I been looking for you my whole life." To which the phony Jesus replies to West, "But I found you, I’ve been here the whole time." The idea is that even while West is living a wicked lifestyle and corrupting millions of impressionable youth, Jesus is right there with him. Kanye West irreverently claims that he was pointing out that you could just have a relationship with Jesus as your “Homeboy”:
“One of the things I wanted to get across with that message, is that you can have a relationship with Jesus, that you can talk to Jesus. … In the same way as someone can have ‘Jesus is my homeboy,’ that is the way I would express it.” –Kayne West, San Francisco’s Wild 94.9’s “The JV Show”
A New Age “Jesus”
However, the dangerous message of this counterfeit Jesus extends beyond having a casual relationship with Jesus as your “homeboy,” and also conveys the idea that He is with you and in you, whether you know it or not, and no matter how wickedly you live. Kanye has the Jesus look-a-like tell him that he wants West to share the light that is in him with others, as though the unrepentant, potty mouthed Kanye has Christ living in him already, “That’s all I need from you is to show people the light” says this “Jesus” — “the light of truth in you.” (Ibid.)
This is definitely not the historical Jesus revealed in Holy Scripture, but a new age Jesus who lives in everyone and approves of anyone regardless of their chosen lifestyle. Indeed, the scriptures warn to beware of a “different Jesus,” for “Satan transforms himself into an angel of light” and his servants into “ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:2-4, 13-15). Tragically, West, with the help of his pastor, Rich Wilkerson, is claiming that Jesus is in everybody and we can all have a relationship with him no matter how evil we choose to be. In contrast, God’s Word declares:
“We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:3-6)
It should also be pointed out that the Yeezus tour was done for an album where West uses the title “Yeezus” as a blasphemous moniker and profane amalgamation of his own nickname “Yeezy” and the name of the Lord Jesus! Wilkerson even calls West “Ye” as a nickname. West has previously stooped to such blasphemy as impersonating the crucified Christ on the front cover of Rolling Stone Magazine by wearing a crown of thorns. (See my article: Beyonce’s Blasphemy). Satanists and new agers have been falsely claiming to be gods for a long time. One of the lies taught in the counterfeit prosperity gospel, with which Rich Wilkerson is associated, is that Jesus is a God-prototype of what we can become as little gods. In West’s song “I Am a God,” he claims that he is a god next to the highest God, which is similar to what Lucifer desired (Isaiah 14:12-15).
The album art for Yeezus also sports a prominent upside down cross. Such crosses are commonly used in Satanism. West has not only worn shirts with the goat head, often used as a symbol for Satanists, but has admitted, “I sold my soul to the devil” (Source). One of the songs on the album Yeezus is “I Am a God,” states in part, "I am a god/Hurry up with my damn croissants." Rolling Stone’s Jon Dolan said, ‘Yeezus’ is the darkest, most extreme music Kanye has ever cooked up, an extravagantly abrasive album…" (Source).
Justifying Unbiblical Evil Associations
When Wilkerson was asked, “If you’re working with certain artists … [and] they have curses littered just all throughout their music, but they meet with you weekly … and you have a discussion, ‘OK, this is going to be the new walk of life,’ but then on their platform speaking to a thousand gazillion people, it seems completely opposite [of] the side of the light. Does that look like a reflection on you guys?” Wilkerson claims he is not worried about their reflection on him, because they are on their own “journey of faith.” (Source).
However, when you contribute to a stage show of a notoriously perverse rapper and help present a different Jesus to the world, you share in their wickedness and will be held responsible before God. The tragedy is that Wilkerson is not only being used by these artists to rubber stamp their behavior, but he in fact, to at least some degree, is participating and promoting their evil deeds. Sadly, Wilkerson not only disobeys the clear commands to separate himself from those who call themselves Christians, and refuse to turn from sin, but he teaches the lie that God’s word never tells us not to associate with certain people. Let’s compare Wilkerson’s dangerous lie with the Holy Scriptures. Rich Wilkerson declares, “The Bible is never talking about not associating with people. That’s where people I think sometimes get misperceptions.” (Source: 20:34 to 20:40). However God’s Word says the opposite:
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.” (Psalm 1:1, Emph. added).
“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)
“Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man.” (Proverbs 22:24)
“Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.” (Ecclesiastes 9:18)
“For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person 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 … Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:5-8, 11, Emph. added)
“I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.” (Romans 16:17)
“But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.” (1 Corinthians 6:11, Emph. added)
“Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-15, Emph. added)
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
” (2 Timothy 3:1-5, Emph. added).
“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)
“And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonians 3:14, Emph. added)
“Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” (2 John 1:9-11, Emph. added)
So much for Rich Wilkerson’s patently bogus and dangerous claim that the bible is “never talking about not associating with people.” Much of the examples that Wilkerson provides his audience is not only to embrace those who claim to know Christ but deny him by their works (Titus 1:16), and actually embrace the darkness that pollutes the very soul.
Reaching the Lost with Wisdom and Compassion
As Christians we are not to totally isolate ourselves from the lost, rather we are to be salt and light to a world that is in desperate need of the grace and salvation that comes through the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to follow the example of our Lord Jesus who humbly and lovingly ministered to everyone from Pharisees and Sadducees to drunkards and prostitutes. Both were in grave need of forgiveness and reconciliation with God. We are called to remember that we do not in any way deserve God’s grace and that we were as lost as those we reach out to before we were saved by God’s amazing grace (Titus 3:1-5).
However, the worst thing we can do to other human beings is to pat them on the back and pretend they are going to heaven when they have yet to repent and be saved by truly placing their faith in Christ. Jesus did not just reach out to the woman caught in adultery, he warned her “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)
When we show love to the lost by caring for them and reaching out to them with the gospel, we are warned to be careful as we snatch them out of the fire, so that we are not infected by the flesh:
“Save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” (Jude 1:23)
The apostle Paul warns that even when we seek to restore a fallen brother, we are to do it in a spirit of gentleness and watch ourselves, lest we also fall into temptation (Galatians 6:1-2).
When Grace Becomes License
One of the serious problems that intensely grieves the Holy Spirit of God today is that self appointed ministers fail to make a distinction between that which is holy and that which is profane (Ezekiel 22:26, 44:23). We are told that those who are babes in Christ are in serious jeopardy because they cannot distinguish between good and evil, and that they must go on to maturity, lest they fall away (Hebrews 5:12-6:8). In Rich Wilkinson’s book Sandcastle Kings, whose artwork was done by Kanye West at Wilkerson’s request, he claims that no matter how wicked one’s chosen lifestyle, one is permanently in Christ no matter what he does:
“When God looks at us He sees Christ … But when we put our trust in Jesus, we are reminded that our performance does not dictate our position. His performance has already secured our position, in Him.” (Rich Wilkerson, Sandcastle Kings: Meeting Jesus in a Spiritually Bankrupt World (Thomas Nelson, Nov. 2015), p. 214-215)
In other words, according to the gospel of greasy grace, if you visit a brothel like Justin Bieber or blaspheme Christ like Kanye West, all that the Father sees is Jesus, and you are secure in Christ. However, the Scriptures are clear that we are made righteous in Christ through a living, abiding faith (Hebrews 10:26-39). The Lord warns that in the last days false teachers would tickle the ears of the masses and tell them what they want to hear in their desire to get huge audiences (2 Timothy 4:2-4). He further warned us that they would turn grace into a license of immorality:
“For certain men have secretly slipped in among you–men who long ago were marked out for the condemnation I am about to describe–ungodly men who have turned the grace of our God into a license for evil and who deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:4)
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” (2 Peter 2:1-3)
Peter’s prophetic warning that false teachers in the last days would repeat the lies of the false prophets of the past is quite instructive. When we examine the lies of the false prophets in the past we see that they promised salvation without repentance from sin:
“Because you disheartened the righteous with your lies, when I had brought them no grief, and because you encouraged the wicked not to turn from their evil ways and so save their lives.” (Ezekiel 13:22)
“Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: the committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; and they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah … They keep saying to those who despise Me, ‘The Lord has said, “You will have peace”’; and as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, they say, ‘Calamity will not come upon you.’ … “I did not send these prophets, but they ran. I did not speak to them, but they prophesied. “But if they had stood in My council, then they would have announced My words to My people, and would have turned them back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds … “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream!’” (Jeremiah 23:14, 17, 21-22, 25)
The apostle Paul clearly warned that we are not to be deceived into believing a false grace message that would claim the wicked will inherit the kingdom of God:
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Indeed, Isaiah warned repeatedly, "There is no peace," says the LORD, "for the wicked," (Isaiah 48:22; 57:21), and gave this promise to those who would repent:
“Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:7)
Undeniably, grace has been turned into a license in thousands of churches across the Untied States and such license shows up daily in the lives of millions of professing Christians who behave no differently than the wicked world around them. Such professing believers are labeled hypocrites by the world and bring open shame and disgrace to the name of Christ. Jesus poured out His precious blood to save us from the penalty and the power of sin. God’s Word states that all those who are in Christ are new creatures and old things have passed away and all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). May the Lord help us to love the lost and shine the light of Christ, so they can witness the transformative power of the gospel of Jesus Christ in each of us and come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior and have new life in Him.
Pray, Pray, Pray!
I want to encourage you to pray for the rap and pop stars who are leading so many away from the Lord and to eternal perdition. May the Lord give them true repentance that is demonstrated by the fruit of righteousness and the proclamation of the biblical gospel and the authentic, historical Jesus who died for our sins and rose on the third day! Pray for the millions of fans who follow them and have no idea that they are being led by Satan’s army. Please pray for Rich Wilkerson and other teachers who are preaching the false gospel of prosperity and greasy grace. As a pastor, my heart breaks for those who are teaching such serious false doctrines and condoning the wickedness of the world system that so plagues the church. My heart breaks because I fear and tremble, knowing that the scriptures declare that we will have a stricter judgment (James 3:1-2), give an account for souls (Hebrews 13:17), and that the blood of those who perish, will be on our heads if we fail to preach repentance and the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:21, 26-27). However, my heart breaks even more for the countless souls that are led into darkness by preachers who rubber stamp that which is so blatantly wicked and even participate in it. Rich Wilkerson wasn’t sure about becoming a pastor and following in the footsteps of his father, Rich Sr., a cousin of David Wilkerson. He says, "In my teenage years, I strayed a little bit," referring to his drinking and partying. "I was trying to fit in." (Source). This desire to fit in and be conformed to the world still plagues many leaders today and affects the churches they lead. God states that by trying to be a friend of the world, we become enemies of Christ:
“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4).
Trying to please men and be accepted by this evil world will cost us far more than the life of one gold fish, but will entail the damnation of countless souls. May the Lord direct our paths as we lean not on our own understanding but acknowledge Him in all our ways (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Blessings in Christ our Lord!