Too many churches in America, in exchange for putting more paying customers in the pews, have ceased to be the earthly representative of God.
As opposed to standing for Christ, they have made an unspoken deal with a society headed for destruction that says you support us and we will hide and protect you from God’s truth and your own sin. That’s why certain subjects are seldom preached from these pulpits. Sadly, instead of leading, there are churches who simply follow present secular trends; which is why so many church services are a feel-good session orchestrated to give people comfort in their spiritual rebellion.
Now more than ever our nation needs to know God, and churches need to turn from going along to get along. Churches need to stand for something, not merely sit by in silence as God is removed from our government, schools, and everyday consciousness.
On a personal level, find a church that reflects undiluted biblical truth, and run from those that interpret God’s Word, for if God’s Word needs worldly interpretation to be preached in His house, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on. And it’s certainly not worthy of praise, worship, and obedience. But those of true faith know God’s Word is worth that and more. Many churches today don’t seem to understand that.
Here’s how to know if your church is one of them.
5. The truth about evil is never addressed - instead, every sermon is devoted to making us feel good, to emotionally recharge us for the week to follow. There is no talk of abortion, adultery, divorce, cheating, or stealing. Every word spoken is to assure us that we will be forgiven for our disobedience.
But that head-in-the-sand view of good vs. evil makes us vulnerable. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 2:11 (NKJV) that we should know the enemy “lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” Simply put, we either know the enemy or we will be consumed by the enemy.
4. Repentance is a dirty word - part of making the flock feel better about their sin presupposes a continuation of #5, which is, if we don’t discuss evil and sin there is no reason to discuss God’s commands regarding how to elevate ourselves from our fallen position. The implication being, I’m OK, you’re OK, and there’s nothing to be concerned about. But there is!
Jesus said, “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3.) And so there is no misunderstanding, repentance is far more than saying “I’m sorry.” It is turning from our sin, and then making right what we have made wrong.
3. Unrepentant sinners are welcomed - the secular definition of a church is that it is not a hotel for saints, but rather a hospital for sinners. On its face, that sounds charitable and somewhat holy. Unfortunately, it is in direct conflict to how God sees His church.
In 1 Corinthians 5:6-7 we are told, “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened.”
It is not love or true fellowship to sit silent and thereby tacitly condone open sin in a house of worship. For example, if each Sunday we sit next to Bob and his pregnant live-in girlfriend.
The church is to ask the unrepentant to repent. If they will not, they are to be asked to leave. Not to harm them, but in the hope that through their discipline they will see their spiritual error and seek to be restored.
2. There is no teaching - many church services have turned into little more than the equivalent of a TV rerun. We sing hymns. We say the Lord’s Prayer. Collection is taken. And the pastor says as few words as possible so everyone can go home and get on with their day. Each week is pretty much the same.
What a waste, as services should have biblical teaching at their core. Bible scholars spend their entire lives studying the Word of God only to die knowing they had barely scratched the surface. That’s why each week, in addition to praise and worship, you should learn something new at church that you didn’t know.
1. You feel comfortable - the surest sign that you should run, not walk, from your church is that it makes you feel comfortable. Encouraged, fortified, uplifted, excited, energized -- yes -- but in a true house of the Lord, since we are all less than perfect, no believer can ever feel comfortable.
“But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;” (Isaiah 64:6).
How can we feel “comfortable” in a holy church? We should instead be convicted and inspired to do better.
“…because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:16)
I am very impressed with the clear points you have given. In one point I am undecided - as to how to treat church goers who lead an immoral life. This is very complicated and I would say it depends on many factors... I know what the Bible says and I know that we can't have double standards, but if a child of God knows so little about God he/she just has no understanding and no teaching and not enough grounding in the word and in the "walk" with God. His or her heart didn't see much of Christ yet, I would boldly assume - or its been a long time ago. So, if you tell these people to leave the church because of their immoral life style, you starve them from receiving anything at all - with this exactly being the problem in the first place. They know too little about their God and this needs to change. They might be very much on fire for Christ. Like Keith Green, for instance. He had a big heart for God, was very radical in his faith and he had a heart for missions, too. And his music/lyrics urge you to be serious in your walk with God. It took God quite a while to get through to him back then that he and his later wife were not living this relationship the way God intended it to be. Both of them got the message and married. They were lovers of God and wanted to honour God. No doubt about that. I feel that "Living With Christ" needs to be showcased in all areas of life and the love for studying the Word of God and praying can be showcased and people can be infected by that lifestyle. This in turn will make them open to God's voice, eventually, and they will - in time - realise that they are morally wrong ... I am for bearing with people who have a blind spot because we all have one and need God to help us admit it and change our sinful status in whatever area we are currently failing.