Lovers of Religion and the Lost, Both Hate the Truth.
The Truth: Source of Misery to Both the Religionist and the Lost.
The Lost Have Found an Ally in Their Hatred of Christ.
We have been warned in the scriptures, that “…evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” There have always been evil men and seducers; it is the worse and worse part that affects our lives today. Deception and game playing at church when I was a kid was so tame compared to this age’s wholesale slaughter of Christian principles. It seems like it changed overnight. How so you ask?
- Post WWII and prior to the 60’s, the Sunday homilies, commonly known as sermons, always carried with them a sense of justice, peace, family, good works, patriotism and the American Way. Sadly, the fences they built were wide and many found themselves a very comfortable perch: the legions of the lukewarm began to grow. No one was ever truly offended, there might have been enough for a debate over the dinner table, but all was as it should be?
- A nuclear bomb hit the churches in the 60’s, called the Jesus movement. Satan was on his best game as he coaxed the drugged out, immoral hippie crowd to seek a new kind of high; live anyway they choose, but with a guaranteed life assurance policy. Modesty, godly music, the golden rule along with a plethora “modern” versions to grease the doctrinal slide, it has gone from being a form of godly order to becoming pure theater. There is no denomination or church assembly that has not been impacted in one form or another; but the majority of today’s crowds don’t even notice.
- Today churches in a large part espouse most everything that is non-biblical; heaven and hell ceased being preached, greed for the almighty dollar, the pursuit of power, acceptance of beliefs contrary to holiness along with working overtime to be acceptable to the worldly. Look like the world, dress like the world, have music that sounds like the world and have a policy of out with the old (over 60 crowd) and in with the youth.
Caveat: all of this is as according to the will of God. The church I attended as a kid, I now refer to as - 1st Amalgamated-Methelbapterian: it was a cold, pomp and circumstance emporium of religious gobbledygook, filled to the rafters with a lukewarm religionists. If His own will not come out from among them, He would drive them out; by what I see, read and hear, there are not many of us that have chosen to separate ourselves from the religious crowd.
Religion has supplanted the Gospel with a new gospel, though it is not really new; in fact it is as old as Cain. Abel by faith believed God and knew what was required of him; whereas Cain acknowledged God, but he, like the new gospel, determined that his way would suffice. When his way failed, his countenance turned to hatred for his brother and eventually murder. Today’s religious crowd is no different as they espouse hatred for those who hold to the purity of the Word and as the wickedness continues to grow so will their hatred eventually turn to murder. A much greater delusion is coming and myriads will flock to the worship of the Antichrist with the first order of business being the slaughter of the Martyrs, those who espouse the Truth.
The "Church" Apologists Claim America's Sinful Decline Is Due to the Failure of the Church.
An Assembly / Denomination Was Never and Will Never Be a Church.
Ask anyone where do they go to church and you will receive mostly one of three possible answers; the name given an assembly (i.e. 1st Baptist, etc.), a religious affiliation (i.e. Baha'i, etc.) or one of no affiliation. We have become flippant with the word church and it has become that which is averse to biblical doctrine.
The Greek ekklesia 1577 is translated church / churches 136 times in the New Testament. It is simply translated and refers to those who are called out peculiarly as in 1 Peter 2:9. Per Peter we are a chosen (ooh, a Truth that punches a ton of hot buttons) lot, a royal priesthood, a holy (Gr. hagios 40 - sanctified, separated) nation of peculiar people, that have been called out of darkness into His marvelous Light. We are the CHURCH; the called out ones; when Paul, Peter, John, James and Jude wrote their epistles to various churches, they wrote only to the true believers wherever they gathered. Corinthians is a prime example of a gathering that got out of hand, for they placed form over substance and Paul rebuked them severely, even demanding the removal of one individual that was casting dispersion on the whole assembly. Wow, that is not something you will find in today's assemblies; demanding purity? We have lost the sense of purity and the power behind the command to "come out from among them"; interestingly found in 2 Corinthians 6:17.
When one makes the statement that it is the failure of the church; one must determine what was is meant by that statement. Does this mean the church has failed to boldly insert itself into the politics of the age? Are we not vocally loud enough, is our presence not felt strongly enough within the media and entertainment world, have we not become worldly enough to fit to this modern culture or have we come too isolated? A lot of books and media have been produced concerning the "failure" of the church; but a rare find would be one espousing 2 Corinthians 6:17.
I personally detest the WWJD mentality; rather it should be, "what did Jesus do". He never decried the politics and sins of the age but He did blast religious hypocrisy and made some enemies in the process. Ah, strange bedfellows; the Romans and religious establishment attempted to put an end to His nonsense. Oh, the power of the foolishness of the Gospel that has changed the world forever but as the Word states...there is nothing new under the sun. The Romans (today's worldly empires) and the religionists are working overtime to silence the Truth. We, the true believers, are the Church, and our Lord will see us through to the end. When anyone preaches that it is the failure of the Church, they then impugn the name of Christ, His power and the glory that is due our Savior. The Church will NEVER fail; the religionists failure will end in eternal death.
Caught in the Middle, What is a Believer To Do?
Jesus Never Promised an Easy Road, Paved with Easy Decisions.
I often wonder why it took me so long to come to the realization that the world’s church-system is not interested in the biblical Gospel but preserving the system itself. Then, I am reminded of an incident, that changed by view of childbirth.
I have nine children; the five oldest were delivered in hospitals. It was the 5th that illuminated my uneasiness with the medical profession and babies. Complications arose; the doctor froze, nurses were scrambling to set up an emergency C-section; mother and child were in grave peril. A trauma surgeon arrived, took command and my son was delivered healthy without surgery. My wife also recovered quickly; prayer works. The last four children were delivered at home by a midwife where mother and child were the only priority. Now my children and many young friends of theirs and ours now use home birthing, and they all love it.
Maybe I am just a slow learner, but when the Truth sinks in, I will never go back. For over 40 years I labored within the church system but never felt fully at peace with having so many questions concerning so many doctrines or practices being truly biblical. My last affiliation with a specific church is when the light came on; I realized that its main goals were attendance, money and the dictates of the pastoral staff. It offered a comfortable atmosphere with come as you are, coffee bar and bringing a bible is optional. The only reason I stayed as long as I did was because I felt an obligation to the adult class I was teaching. Over about two or three years several stopped attending the “worship” service and only came for my class. Eventually, several left the church to seek fellowship elsewhere. I never said anything derogatory concerning the church or its leadership. The reason given: they had to find another church where they could actually be fed, enjoy the fellowship and not feel like an outsider. When another class approached the church leadership wanting me to be their teacher; the answer was no for it will be one of the pastoral staff to take over the teaching. I took that as my cue to leave and I found a small church 40 miles away where the preaching was really good; but too denominational. Shortly after I was contacted by several people from the class that wanted me as their teacher, wondering if I would start a home church. The rest is history, and I am at peace with my decision. We spend approximately 3 hours on a Sunday morning and often do not get to the core study, which is presently Jude, until the 3rd hour. Work and personal relationships, private reading and study along my writings shared with the group bring up questions and testimonies. When dealing with scripture, we leave no one behind; a fleet is no faster than its slowest ship. We communicate and share during the week; it is health to the bones.
The 2nd Corinthians passage stands true concerning both the practitioners of the world and religionists of the worldly church system. It will be a difficult decision for the few but in the near future, it will be an absolute necessity. May God bless.