As always my obligatory intro: I am a nobody trying to point everybody to somebody that can and will change anybody who lets Him.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, onto the subject at hand.
I am sure when you clicked on this article, your initial observation was there is something wrong with the graphic at the top. Being that the WWJD movement was started years ago (early 90s), there aren’t many people on this planet (from an Evangelical standpoint) that do not recognize the letters WWJD. Entering the term in Google yields you a lengthy Wiki article that indicates that the phrase may have originated all the way back to the 1400’s and names its possible originator. A fairly unknown guy that goes by the name of Charles Spurgeon. (jaw dropping discovery). The phrase yielded a host of apparel, I still remember my blue bracelet, events, conferences and even garnered lots of usage from secular institutions as a way to hold Christians accountable for their behavior and practices.
Right about now you may be wondering well how and why did you switch out the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Yeshua Hamashiach) with the name of one of the most notorious betrayers in the text of scripture?
I’m glad you asked. (you’ll get the short version..not really but I’ll try..I know you have work to do)
The story of Judas Iscariot is an often told story, but rarely an often explained one. For the sake of time, I’ll try to list some key point of Judas’ life that we all know about or are familiar with if we’ve hand any type of Sunday School training. We know the following:
• Judas was one of the 12 disciples.
• Judas was the treasurer who held the money
• Judas was the one who betrayed Jesus with a kiss for a small amount of money
• Lastly Judas was chosen by God to fulfill a duty.
I went with the basics as to not try to assume that everyone was raised on the years of BTU (insider) training I had coming up Baptist and COGIC.
Upon digging a little deeper in to research, we find out somethings that may not have been as noticeable from just an outside observation. I’ll do my best to keep it short as I have a tendency to overload on detail and information. Using a few choice dictionaries and encyclopedias from the trusted Logos Software (great investment), here are some additional nuggets of information that may or may not be known to the casual Bible reader.
- Judas’ name indicates a few things – One because he was from Kerioth, he possibly would have been the only disciple from Judea while all other disciples would have been from Galilee which technically would have made him an outsider of sorts. He theoretically would have been considered probably the most Jewish disciple of the 12. Secondly it’s possible that the last name could be derived from the Greek term σικάριος, sikarios which means assassin or bandit. (Word Studies are direly important when reading certain Biblical stories)
- Judas is always listed last in every list in the Gospels. (Matt 10:4; Mark 3:19; Luke 6:16) – Although he is considered one of the 12 and for all intensive purposes is not seemingly demeaned in any of the primary gospel accounts of the disciples, his name generally appears last in three passages listed, his act of betraying is associated with his mentioning. While this is not super revelatory, I don’t think the writers listed him last just out of coincidence.
- Judas betrays Jesus for a small amount of money. – Essentially Judas held just about every offering that was given to the disciples and Jesus as he was the treasurer for the 12 disciples. The text states (John 12), that Judas regularly helped himself to the offering. We have no idea of how much money Judas stole but in observation, he was with Jesus in ministry 3 years and we would be safe to assume that whatever amount it was, added up to more than the 30 shekels of silver Judas was offered to betray Christ. Coincidentally the price for a slave at the time: 30 pieces of silver. (Commentaries suggest the amount was less than $25. Think about that the next time you go to eat.)
- Judas’ kiss would have been considered the highest form of hypocrisy. – (Matt. 26:48-49) The greek word kataphileo would have indicated that Judas was attempting to show great affection for Jesus and in verse 49 the usage of the verb would have indicated that he kissed Jesus repeatedly. Once the story is being retold, the listeners understanding the manners and customs of that day most likely would have been repulsed at the level of hypocrisy.
- Jesus calls Judas a friend – At the time of betrayal, fully aware of what is about to happen, Jesus looks Judas in the face and asks him this question: “Friend do you have what you need?” – Matt. 26:51 The word appears three times in this gospel and is always used in context of a righteous person in communication with a wicked person.
- Judas forfeited his position of disciple (unpopular) to work along side the chief priests and Jewish leadership (popular). – It is unknown to us, initially why Judas was picked to betray Jesus. And other than being called the son of Perdition (lost one) in the high priestly prayer in John 17, we have very little insight from the text itself as to what about Judas made him a perfect candidate for betrayal. All we know is that Jesus picked him, Satan influenced him, and Judas ended up committing suicide after realizing what he had done.
For the sake of keystrokes and your time, I’ll move onto the summary. I can only imagine right now you are probably asking AGAIN what in the world does this have to do with music, radio stations or anything related to JudahNation Radio????
Well, I’ll tell you. Lately there has been a trend in Christian music and ministry, specifically CHH and Gospel music, to display tendencies that are contradictory of Biblical mandates and principles. Let me list what’s happened in the last few months: (yes another list…I like lists sorry)
• We have had three Christian Rappers denounce their faith and for all intensive purposes declare that their interaction with the Gospel was essentially a facade and now they are enlightened.
• We have CHH/Gospel artists who feel that its ok and persmissible to blend the lines of sacred vs. secular for the sake of widening an audience by collaborating with secular artists and producers who normally act as shepherds of darkness (@JmontyStudios phrase) and calling it evangelism when it’s clearly contradictory to the text of scripture.
• We have popular CHH labels changing their mission statements to exclude any mention of the name of Jesus Christ for no other apparent reason than to distance themselves from a sub-genre that made them famous.
• We have Christian artists who suggests using vulgar language is viable as they believe the Apostle Paul cussed when using the term dung in addressing the church at Philippi
• We have preachers and prophets caught up in scandals with quoting witches word for word in prophecy and then refuse to accept any accountability or even explanation for their apparent mishaps.
• We have reality shows where Christian artists who are ILLEGALLY pastoring, (that’s another blog) taking to the streets and passing out cigarettes and condoms which will comfort sin, and then publicly appear on social media intoxicated while using vulgar language and then ask for love, not righteous judgment or accountability for their sinful actions.
• We have Pastors who will for the sake of popularity include secular artists into their fellowship, allow them to perform at their conferences and demonstrate special treatment and not take into account the confusion it causes with young believers.
• We have believers who use social media as a tool to communicate unGodly principles which gains higher fan base and often times further damages the testimony of our affirmation. (Periscoping Pastors, Facebook Fathers of the Faith, Tweeting Teachers, and Instagraming Intellects)
• We have a host of Christians in general who are so fed up with the term Christian in their everyday secular professions, that they would rather not associate with the term and use a back door approach to ministry through what’s considered relevant relatable discipleship. (You don’t disciple the lost and then convert them, you evangelize, allow God to bring them into the fold and finally make disciples.)
I’ll stop because right now you are either in one of two categories : you are either righteously infuriated with a passion that is fueled by Christ for purity of the body and defense of the faith or self righteously infuriated with a passion fueled by pride and condemning this entire article as judgmental and hypocritical. Either way you made it this far and God allowed us to do our job by sparking thought.
(Who am I to judge or write this article…your answer is the first sentence of this blog)
Is this an indictment on all of Christianity and Christian Music? Certainly not. There are artists of the faith who live out their life victoriously everyday and strive to put their faults, issues, weaknesses and struggles on the altar of God and allow Him to work with them through their issues. Just to name a few that we believe you can connect with: @JMontyStudios, @ @Hazakim
@HannahBeckMusic @myjnichole, @, and @.
How does this tie into Judas? Well Judas was just like the previously mentioned group. He was called by Jesus, he was chosen for a work by Jesus, he served with Jesus, he walked with Jesus, he participated in ministry with Jesus, he was associated with Jesus, he seemingly was present or took place in miracles with Jesus, he was listed in the members of Jesus’ apostles and disciples…
AND SIMILAR to the BEHAVIOR of SOME of the previously mentioned group above (<—reread THAT again) he was also….
a hypocrite, a deceiver, a liar, an instrument used by Satan often, a thief, a misrepresentation of the Gospel and basically lived three years in ministry to essentially become an INDUSTRY (metaphor, allegory, euphemism for the choice Jewish men of that day) SNITCH and a SELLOUT.
His entire testimony is summed up in one passage in Matthew 27:
3 Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” 5 And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. (NASB)
One thing we don’t see is Judas REPENTING. I am in no way trying to insert my own thoughts into the canon and profess to know the mind of Judas, but we do know that as remorseful as Judas was he never repented. And right now, neither does the body of Christ when we do certain things. Judas in no way celebrated or glorified in his wrong doing. He essentially came to himself realized his Entire life was wasted and because of essential greed and Satanic influence and conformity, he threw away his entire ministry. The most chilling factor about all of this is that Jesus knew all of this about Judas, picked him for ministry, and continued to use him anyway.
I pray God gives us all a frightening look at our own individual walks and ministries and reveal to us the areas in which we can improve and drive us towards producing God ordained fruit and Christ centered worship and not just an increase in popularity.
Grace and Peace to You.
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