Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

  by Jeannette Haley

   The last thing the fun fanatics of the fast-growing purposeless churches want to be around is anything (or anybody) who is “negative.” It doesn’t matter whether the perceived negativity is truth or not, because it is automatically and unthinkingly labeled as negative and the person involved as a “the-glass-is-half-empty” type of person. After all, people who consistently deal in reality seem to be good at throwing a wet blanket on the delusions of others.

   What about God? Is the God of the Bible always “positive” according to the guidelines and concepts set cemented into the minds of an alarming number of church-goers today? Let’s consider just a few passages of Scripture that, according to the “never-say-anything-negative” crowd would be deemed as “negative”.

   In Genesis 2:17, we read the Lord God’s commandment to Adam: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” This one verse gives incredible insight into God’s holiness, authority, power, omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence. God is laying down the law, revealing to Adam that He is the Lawgiver, the Judge, and the Highest Authority who will, because of Who He is,  fulfill His Word that Adam would “surely die” if he disobeyed.

   I doubt very much if Adam sat and judicially contemplated whether God was being “positive” or “negative.” Neither word appears in Scripture, even once. However, there are countless examples of rebellion against God’s commandments, precepts and principles, all of which boil down to the same mindset of the “positive confessors” of today.  The bottom line is, such thinking exalts one to the status of a “little god” who impudently sits in judgment upon anyone who is realistic and honest concerning their own personal life, and upon anyone who preaches or teaches God’s Word in Spirit and Truth.

   To insist that others must never say anything “negative,” regardless of how true it may be, is asking them to commit the sin of lying. Is God being negative when He declares: “The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight…and he that speaketh lies shall perish” Proverbs 12:19:22; 19:9b? And, how does one fit their concept of a “positive God” alongside Revelation 21:8 which reads: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” [Emphasis mine.]

   The “positive confessors” of today remind me of the covetous prophets and priests of Jeremiah’s day who dealt falsely with God’s people. Of such the Lord declared, “For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace…And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord” Jeremiah 8:11; 9:3. Here we see that the leaders of God’s people were ineffective to bring spiritual healing because they prophesied “positive lies” instead of the truth, and because of this, the Lord declared that He would “surely consume them.” Obviously, God isn’t concerned about how “positive” His Word comes across in light of the truth.

    In Malachi 1:3, we read how God “hated Esau. Does this sound like the god of the positive confessors who insist that God is always “positive?” Isaiah 45:7 says: “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” He is Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and not some wimpy puppet on a string that dances to our every whim and whimper, so that our little boat of life never gets rocked by reality. The false shepherds of God’s flock today, who bow down to the god of pleasure and popularity, are guilty of perverting the Word of God. Therefore, instead of feeding Jesus’ sheep the bread of life, they are fed polluted, watered down slop that leaves them spiritually famished. The end result is that man is deified, while God is demoted to the level of man because He is grossly misrepresented and His holy character warped and defiled.

   The Holy Spirit is not only grieved, but He lifts altogether because He cannot descend and impart the life of God to that which is unholy by nature, and uncommitted to God in actuality. The message such wolves in sheep’s clothing bring may be “positive” and “ear tickling,” but there is no heavenly power and authority behind it, and it is devoid of anointing and life.

   Jesus was anything but positive when He declared: “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” Luke 13:24. [Emphasis mine.] Another tough verse is John 15:6 where Jesus states what the end is of those who fail to abide in Him: “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” Through the years, I have heard and read some ridiculously far fetched “explanations” of this verse, all of them attempting to nullify the plain words of Christ concerning the necessity of abiding in Him in order to bear fruit, be His disciples, and avoid eternal destruction. In verse 10 of this chapter, Jesus plainly states how one can abide in Him. He said: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” Then, He gives His disciples (those who abide in Him and obey Him) this commandment in verse 12: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

   The positive-only people love to talk about love, but what kind of love is it? Is it the rigorous love that Jesus exemplified—the kind of love that knew no fear in telling the truth, regardless of how hard (or negative) it may have sounded to the hearers, or does careful scrutiny reveal it to be self love to the core? It goes like this—whatever makes one feel good is “positive,” while anything that disturbs his or her peace of mind is “negative.” Granted, many have been ignorantly seduced through indoctrination and brainwashing into believing this unbiblical, mind-science, positive confession lie, but they will, nevertheless, be held accountable for blindly choosing to (as the old saying goes) leap without looking.

   The question is, why are most Christians (including those in leadership) so terribly lacking when it comes to spiritual discernment? Testing the spirit behind things is not an option for the believer. Rather, it is a command. (See 1 John 4:1.) Perhaps this lack of spiritual discernment is due to the fact that the world and its influences, flooding into the church today, have so diluted what constitutes pure and true Christianity that it is hard to distinguish what is of God and what is not. No doubt, arrogance, rebellion (doing it our way) and lack of true commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ have also dulled the senses where spiritual discernment is concerned. Many today who give lip-service to Christ, but who deny Him in every aspect of their lives, live according to the practice of the ancient people in the time of the Judges when, “…there was no king in Israel, but every  man did that which was right in his own eyes” Judges 17:6. Of such, it is recorded, “…they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way” Judges 2:19b.

   Spiritual discernment will always escape those who have no love for the truth, because “…God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12. Not very “positive” is it?

   What does all this mean then? Are the saints of God to walk around all the time under a gloomy cloud of depression, devoid of life and joy? On the contrary! All through the Bible, God commands His people to rejoice and be glad with thanksgiving in their hearts. However, this rejoicing and gladness can never be found in worldly amusements and attractions, or fleshly entertainment. The joy of the believer transcends anything this world has to offer, for it is centered in Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, who gives to His people the Living Water that satisfies. He came to fill the [spiritually] “hungry with good things, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” Luke 1:53a, 79. Jesus said, “But the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” Luke 19:10.

   The true follower of Christ may not always be “positive” according to the positive confessors, nor may he or she always give the appearance of “happiness” by the world’s standards, but he or she will possess the deep, abiding joy that is anchored in the Rock of Ages. In 2 Corinthians 6, the Apostle Paul outlined the hardships, persecution and sufferings he and his fellow servants had endured, yet in the midst of it all, he wrote: “As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing…” verse 10a.

   Where is your soul anchored today? Is it anchored in Christ, who never changes, or is it drifting with the current, going nowhere? If you are merely floating along with the latest religious movement because it “seems right to you,” then you need to stir yourself up, humble yourself, and grab hold of the Rock of Ages in true repentance, before you drift into a Christless eternity. Being “positive” can never save your soul. There is only one way to gain eternal life, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone.