True Worship: Still Missing In Action.
We Have Been Forewarned!
A. W. Tozer
The Final Straw!
A friend at the church I once attended came up to me one Sunday and handed me a book to read; suggesting that I might find it very interesting. It was a book concerning the end of times; the believer's relationships to certain current events and future fulfillments of biblical prophecy. I cannot remember if I made it through the complete first chapter and into the second before I realized, the writer of this book must be a heretic, a false prophet or just a plain wolf in sheep's clothing. I did my homework, researched him as thoroughly as I could and confirmed my suspicions of a man with a very dark nature. I read both pro and con posts articles but nothing changed my initial conclusion. The common theme throughout for those who staunchly defended his ministry was "Look at all the good he has done."; interestingly the Bible lets us know that all of our righteousness is as filthy rags.
A. W. Tozer quote #1:"Promoting self under the guise of promoting Christ is currently so common as to excite little notice."
The above quote is very apropos concerning this individual as he has developed an empire and a devout following: completely under the radar for far too many Christians. He has a salary in the millions, lives in opulence, committed adultery, divorced his wife and married his lover. Then he moved on to bigger and better things including a mega-church, failed rapture prophecies, has written books on marriage and believes in the give to receive principle held by all the "blab-n-grab-it" heretical ministries that proliferate the airways in these last days.
To end this portion of my tale: I gave the book back to my friend with a letter tucked inside its cover. The letter fell out and he, thinking that it must be some of my personal notes tried to return it to me. I said, "On no my friend, this is for you to read after our morning Bible study.": which was a series on the subject of heaven taught by a very close friend of mine.
Mega Churches - The New Belief System
How Did Satan Purloin Worship Within The American Church?
A. W. Tozer quote #2: "Religion today is not transforming people but being transformed by the people."
First things first: I do not hold that Mega Churches within themselves are all evil for I once attended one these assemblies and received some the best Bible preaching and teaching in my 50 years as a Christian. Even then, I began to notice areas within its scope that could become and did become issues that eventually tore its congregation apart.
- Lots of money: we know the potential issues with too much money on the table. Soon, the preachers serve the big donors, not tithers, for these individuals want some influence over what comes out of the pulpit and to share in its glory.
- The church became centered around one individual whose teaching, from both the pulpit and across the airways, drew great crowds; including my wife and I. A lot of power vested in a single person though there were at least 10 other pastors on staff.
- The people came to quote this man more than the Bible; whatever he says must be the truth.
- He was handsome, charming and with women predominating the overall crowds praising his every teaching, he became a victim of his own press. Yes, it was a Delilah that brought the mighty preacher down.
- Another interesting facet of large churches, people can attend in relative anonymity. Large crowds, no one can tell if they financially support or participate within the program and it is very easy to avoid personal responsibility, for you are just a face in the crowd.
It is not just the preachers, for they must have willing accomplices. Yes, many of the well-intended preachers do fall under the spell of the unbelievable money, power and glory that is heaped upon them and they cave into the system of the church being an end unto itself. A great many on these churches unfortunately present a prize too great for the dark-side, the super dynamic but unscrupulous charlatans that have the science of ear-tickling down to an art form.
Satan has a plethora of churches to choose from and scores of men willing to sell their souls for the opportunity to reap in the profits, financially and socially from such a golden opportunity. But even so, the Devil knows our nature far better than we ourselves and he doesn't need an existing church upon which to wreck his havoc, for the crowds are always available for the picking. All he needs is a goat with a bell around its neck and the sheeples will come running: the times are getting scarier by the day and they clamor for comforting words, though they be lies: just tell them what they want to hear.
The Power of Personal Worship.
They Call This Worship?????
The following is my last Tozer quote: I looked everywhere and I cannot find it, so what follows is according to my best recollection.
A. W. Tozer Quote #3; "Worship is not adapting to the world without, but displaying the Christ within."
Unfortunately, welcome to the 21st century church worship service:
- The show, I mean service, begins at the appointed time or times, and depending upon the amount of services to be held, the time allotted for each one must not intrude upon one another. Commonly it is an hour or so but that is up to the individual assembly.
- Please remember to invite all of your unsaved friends, co-workers, neighbors and heathen family members as we really don't worship but put this service on for the lost soul's benefit. The real members are required to find other sources for instruction in righteousness if they really want to get know our Lord more intimately.
- The music must be modern with lots of rhythm (drums) because it will attract more young people who are much easier to dupe into believing this is what religion is all about.
- If a church does have a bible study time set aside, be sure to segregate out the older believers for they are too stodgy and too many of their life experiences will get in the way of the modern teaching methods.
- Be sure to have a good balance between the mood setting music, announcements and be sure to keep the preaching short and simple so as to not lose the listener's attention.
- Have a come as you are atmosphere, since there is no sincere worship to be found, who needs to dress as if you coming to worship the King of Kings. Also, modesty is not as important as it once was and much to the pleasure of the entertainers (the worship team) on the stage, keeps things interesting.
- Make sure there is plenty of coffee and other assorted sundries.
One last item:
- The church leadership does not need to worry about vetting new staff or holding them to such overly strict guidelines as found in Timothy and Titus: this is America after all.