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Christianity - Under Attack From Within
Christianity is under attack. Christians realize that Christianity has always come under attack from the non-Christian world. Millions have died over the centuries at the hands of pagans or those of other religions. That is to be expected. Jesus made it clear in the Book of John when He said
If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to this world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you....If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. (John 15:18-20)
However, another attack has been going on at the same time from within. Scripture also warns about this, but this warning tends to be ignored. Jesus told us to beware of false prophets who come in sheep's clothing but are ravenous wolves (Matt. 7:15) Other such warnings can be found in Deut. 13:1-5, Isaiah 30:9-14, 2 John 7, Romans 16, 2 Corinthians 11 and many more.
The danger isn't just in how they deceive Christians, but how they deceive non-Christians by giving them a false idea of what Christianity teaches and represents. Let's look at a few of these.
Many groups and people fall into this category. The non-Christian - and, unfortunately, many Christians - can't tell the difference between orthodox Christianity and cults such as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses, the over 600 offshoot groups of the Worldwide Church of God, and numerous others.
Just in the past year we have witnessed the false end-of-the-world predictions of Ronald Weinland of the Church of God PKG and Harold Camping of Family Radio. Many don't realize that there's a difference between true Christianity and pretenders to Christianity. The two get lumped together, especially by the media.
Unfortunately, Christians also get caught up by date-setters such as Hal Lindsay and Jack Van Impe, or writers like Tim LaHaye, Christians who generally hold to the basics of Christianity but foolishly try to predict how prophecy is going to unfold.
Word of faith Teachers
Secondly, we have teachers who hold to the prosperity gospel and to the teaching that everyone should be healed and not get sick. The airwaves are flooded with such teachers, the biggest television network offender being the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Undoubtedly some of these teachers are deceived themselves while others are knowingly deceiving others for the sake of the millions of dollars they get in contributions every year.
Feel Good Christianity
Thirdly, we have the feel-good version of Christianity. Joel Osteen is a golden example of this type of teacher. Very little of the Gospel message can be heard in their messages, being replaced with how good a life you can have in the here and now. It's usually coupled with a prosperity message.
Another such teacher was Robert H. Schuller, founder of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. His star has since tarnished and the Crystal Cathedral has been sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.
Fourthly, we have the liberal wing of Christianity, perhaps the largest cult group of all. They can, by no means, be considered Christian given the fact that they openly deny the reliability of Scripture, the historic events of the Gospels and the clear teachings of the Bible, such as its condemnation of homosexual practices. The United Methodist Church, Metropolitan Community Church, and Unitarian Universalist Association are good examples of this type of church.
Lack of Discernment
Unfortunately, there is an almost complete lack of discernment on the part of today's Christian church member. Doctrine is a four-letter word in much of modern-day Christianity, as is the word "morality." Many young Christians will think nothing of blatantly ignoring the moral codes given in Scripture. They think of them as outdated. The pastors of today's churches, while giving lip service to correct doctrine, do nothing to correct that misconception. Churches today tend to be nothing more than a "Christian" social club, and the blame can be put squarely on the shoulders of the church leadership. Their god is numbers, popularity, and church programs that bring in more people.
Many Christians - and that term is used very loosely - will easily fall for any new teaching and teacher claiming to be from God. Again, doctrine to them is not important. They will flood churches to listen to speakers who boast about trips to heaven - something even the apostle Paul wouldn't do - and hell, even though their descriptions are at odds with what Scripture says.
As Paul told Timothy,
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. (2 Tim. 4:3)
Walk into many churches today, especially the largest ones, and this is what you will find. It's little wonder the media and the rest of the non-Christian world get confused and have such a low opinion of Christianity. Lord, save us from ourselves!
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