Texas Pastor urges Christians to avoid a ‘Judas-type syndrome’

A Texas megachurch pastor urged his congregation to avoid the “modern-day betrayal” of Jesus and warned against falling into what he called the trap of “different degrees” of “Judas-type syndrome” — the act of denying or betraying Christ in today’s society. 

Rev. Terry K. Anderson, the senior pastor of Houston’s Lilly Grove Missionary Baptist Church, preached a Sept. 25 message stressing the importance of Christians evaluating their relationships with Jesus daily and remaining humble through sincere repentance before God. 

The 63-year-old explained that genuine repentance to God is vital to avoid betraying Jesus just like Judas Iscariot, who famously betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

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“There are two or three names in Scripture that are so infamous. No one has named their daughter ‘Jezebel.’ No one has named a good dog ‘Judas,'” began Anderson.

“Those two names, among others, live in infamy. We cannot help wondering about Judas. … He wanted to reap position and prestige and prosperity and power because he thought Jesus’ kingdom was an earthly kingdom. But, disappointment over Christ’s failure to materialize the earthly kingdom on which he set his sights probably played a large part in Judas’ decision to sell Jesus out.”

Anderson, who has pastored the Baptist house of worship since December 1990, emphasized that “any of us … can be a Judas” within the modern-day Church.

“We [often] pride ourselves that we are not like Judas. But are we?” Anderson inquired. “Judas represents all who reject the Messiah out of greed and selfish ambition. Judas was neither a hero nor a demon but a deeply flawed human being who did, in fact, betray his Lord.”

“All of us are flawed human beings,” he added. “There are, brothers and sisters, degrees by which we fall into a Judas-type syndrome.”

Anderson listed examples of “how you can betray Jesus and not be named Judas,” the first being that “you can betray by being a closet-Christian.” He defined ‘closet-Christian” as someone “who never tells anybody about your faith.”

“You can deny Jesus in a moment of intense pressure, wanting to fit in,” Anderson stated. “That’s betrayal.” 

Another way is to be a “passive apostate,” referencing James 5:19-20. Those verses highlight the importance of turning “a sinner from the error of their ways,” which in turn “cover[s] over a multitude of sins.” 

Anderson said that Judas’ life showed that God allows all Christians the opportunity to choose whether or not they want to display sincere repentance for their sins.  

“Jesus chose him. Jesus knew who Judas was, and He still chose him. Jesus knows who I am, and He still chose me. Jesus knows who you are. Jesus knows what you are capable of. Jesus knows your sinful proclivity. Jesus knows that you will go left when you’re supposed to go right. Jesus knows that you will fall. But, it’s not the falling that sends you to Hell. It’s the refusal to get back up,” Anderson said. 

“I can’t testify for you. I can only be a witness for myself. I did enough last week that God should have blotted my name out of the Book of Life. But, He says: ‘whoever comes to me, I [will not] cast them out.’ Jesus said: ‘if you’re in the Father, you’re in Me. And I hold you in the palm of my hand, and the devil in Hell can’t even pluck you out.'” 

Anderson warned against the idea that “Judas was born to be condemned” while acknowledging that he was known as the “son of perdition.” 

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