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Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Worldly Church?

Just like the World??

You are watching TV and a big "Crusade" featuring a famous evangelist is giving an "invitation" to"come forward" and or "make a decision" for Christ".  You then see streams of people move toward an area in front of the stage.
 Or perhaps you have been in a church service where the minister says something like "with every eye closed and every head bowed, if you want to be saved, ask Jesus into your heart (no one looking now, to give everyone privacy), indicate yes by raising your hand".   

This action may be followed by asking them to "come forward so we can pray with you", or from the pulpit pronouncing the hand-raisers "saved".  Others may include baptisimal salvation.
Having watched this scene or a variation played out countless times over the years, I suppose we just ignored the still small voice inside that softly nagged at us with doubt because we had never read of these methods or statements in the Bible.
But we trusted our leaders as we thought they knew what they were saying was true... 

Still, questions flitted through our minds like "did they repent? what about being baptized? Are they really "born again" like Jesus said?  

We were part of a 150+ member assembly, regular church attendees, tithers, and read the Bible and there was much exhortation to "be faithful". (attendance, participation in programs, and of course, "giving" in the form of tithes and offerings...)
We followed our leaders and were busy doing church "stuff", but in looking back, I wonder how many of the "brethren" were really even "born again"? 

If "accept Christ", "going forward", or "ask Jesus into your heart" was how you get saved, then WHY wasn't that in the Bible? 
Those last couple of years "in church", as we considered our own lives and those in our assembly, it became painfully clear we were all a pretty worldly bunch, -all the while we played the church routine.


What do I mean by "worldly"? 

We talked about the things in the world,
we borrowed and charged to finance our wants just like the world,
we pursued financial gain and security like the world.
we saw church people divorced and young people pregnant without marriage like the world,
we listened to worldly music and even had a dance or two in the church just like the world.
we watched the same movies and entertainment produced by the world...
we followed sports and news just like the world.
we broke traffic and other laws just like the world.

We coveted wealth just like the world,
we over ate and indulged in fleshly appetites like the world,
we accepted blatant sin among us just like the world,
we fund-raised and sold merchandise for profit just like the world... 

we avoided taking loving responsibility for others just like the world,
we looked down our self-righteous noses at those we disagreed with just like the world,
we held grudges just like the world,
we got political just like the world,
we pledged allegiance to a worldly kingdom,

we got angry and resentful just like the world,
we murmured and complained just like the world.

we told a few risque jokes like the world.
We sought help from lawyers, tax specialists, psychologists, and doctors just like the world without seeking the Lord's help first..

We substituted church attendance and membership for discipleship,
we substituted "seeker sensitivity" for repentance,
we substituted tithes for giving to the needy,
we substituted a few catchy songs for real worship,
we traded fellowship in a building for reaching out to the lost,
we traded holiness of character  for the comforting acceptance from a pastor or the group. 

......... and we justified every bit of it just like the world.

The main difference was that we called ourselves "Christian"and a lot of our time was centered around church activities.

If we believed the preachers on TV or behind the pulpit we could convince ourselves it was so, but when we dared to compare the gospel and message of Scripture with what the religious leaders said, and we gave attention to that "something is missing" sense inside, then we might have cause to rethink the smooth and easily acceptable "salvation".

Let me ask you, is "going to church",
living a moral life,
being a nice guy and
a "good" person,
taking communion or the mass,
listening to Christian radio or watching Christian TV,
but still doing the things listed in the blue paragraph above, evidence of a disciple of Jesus Christ?

It might ease our conscience to put a church-patch over a gaping wound, but it truly grieves me to say much of the church-world has lost its salt. 

Some might want to do what Paul told the church in 2nd Corinthians 13:5

Examine your own selves, whether ye are in the faithprove your own selves. Or know ye not as to your own selves, 
that Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed ye be reprobateReprobate means
unapproved, that is, rejected; by implication worthless (literally or morally): - castaway, rejected, reprobate.

You see, it is easy to build an assembly if you water down the gospel by offering a pleasant sounding, comfortable, easy-to-accept message.

What we have done is removed our cross from the gospel; by this we have walked away from the gospel of scripture.
I realize most of the readers of this are no longer "in church" and many of you have walked away from the hollow shell of church services.  Some of you are trying to make sense between the conflicts of scripture and the Christianity that is mostly represented by traditional church.

 You may find you really don't know much about your walk with God
until you walk away from a church building

And if you are reading this and wondering if you have obeyed the gospel, there is GOOD NEWS for you. Salvation is free,
but God requires faith in Jesus Christ, rrepentance from dead works of sin, and for a life of obedience where Jesus Christ is Lord.
Those who are "born from above" will produce the fruit of the nature, character, and authority of Christ as evidence of a truly transformed life. The works Christ did, we shall do also.

Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby.
Luke 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but,
 except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Luke 14:33 ..whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
to the church, Jesus said:
Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from where you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except you repent.

Repentance is a change of mind and heart that brings forgiveness and was never a one-time response to the gospel.

8   And he entered into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, reasoning and persuading as to the things concerning the kingdom of God9   But when some were hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples,
(from among the unconverted Jews at the synagogue)
reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.

That friends, is how several dozen new believers were added to the church. And not a word about:


Is there any wonder when we shuffle people through the wrong door into Christianity that we get an altogether different looking Christian from those in the Bible?  -And this is why Jesus Christ is once again calling His people to come out from the religious institutions of man.


  1. I wish to ask you a question (being that you are a teacher) that is constantly burning inside of me. Perhaps you will have some insight.

    We know that it will bring us under the curse if we add to or take away from scritpure. Also as believers we strive to keep everything in context of scripture.
    So here is my question:

    The New Testatment is made up of letters and/or writings by the Apostles/disciples of Jesus. Since most of the New Testament is thought to be written by Paul and much of what we quote universally today were private letters written to a person or groups of persons and then told to be read in the local assembly.One might say that everything taught and lived was lived at a local level. Was this just because the internet, radio and tv had not been invented yet? Or were the local churches being address locally for a purpose. When Paul instructed that they should mark a particular person who was in sin ( for sake of example), it was at the local level.

    If he had meant for the whole of country or known world to know the mans sin, he would have hired a crier or whatever they did in those days to announce things to the known world.He didn't do that.
    "Church" was lived out in person, up close and why then given everything was on a personal and local level in the first New Testament Church, do we try to live it over the internet, tv, and radio today?

    Likewise, if a man is ordained by God to be an elder, prophet etc. are they called to the whole world wide Church? Yes, we should recognize the calling, gifts and office of everyone who is in Christ no matter in what region of the world they dwell. We are told if we recognize a prophet and recieve his gift we will receive a prophets reward...but did God make any of us the " hall monitor" of the whole world when he gave us our callings?

    I have become more and more questioning ( not judgemental) of internet gatherings, webpages, etc.This is beause when I read Pauls instruction to the Church it is the local churches that he himself planted and to people he personally taught and trained. I see no instruction to anyone he was not familiar with or that he made announcements to the general public, which is basically what websites, radio, TV do today.

    Can you tell me how many times the Church was instructed to tell or repeat the telling of a mans sin? Once, twice or perhaps his whole lifetime. Are we to follow his every more and expose every word he speaks to the whole world from now until he dies? If we are dealing with the local church everyone would know who needs to know would the not?

    When I belonged to online groups in which I faithfully served (as unto the Lord) as best I could by the grace given to me from the Lord and I was happy to so; I found that I was still very much alone in a practicle sense. If for example,I was stuck by the side of the road or unable to care for myself due to an ongoing battle with illnesses (from which I was healed and delivered) it did not matter how I loved, served, or desired to be used of the Lord for His glory or the extent of my obedeince, there was still no one from those groups who was able to bear my burden and so fulfill the law of Christ up close in person? There was no one able to come pick me up or help me get home, no one called to ask if I needed anything from the store, or if they could bless me by mowing my lawn etc. There was no practical needs met in 8 years of so called "online fellowship". We prayed with people when called upon, shared quite a bit of our income...and laid down our lives but because know one "saw us", or broke bread with us, or even knew us personally other than over the phone, email or chat...we were on our own. These needs would have been seen if we had been in scriptural fellowship. ( cont)

    1. Please understand, I am not bitter or unforgiving, I share this for a purpose for how could anyone help in a practical way? The lived thousands of miles away! I wish to say here, that God did work ALL things for our good, and we learned a priceless lesson in that we know now by experience that in Him we live, move and have our being. What was intended for evil was used for our good, so there is no bitterness involved here, or pointing of the finger. :)

      My point is this, the internet and telephones are tools that are useful to share our testimonies, to encourage and to glorify God. We can gain knowledge in this way, but knowlege is only in head if it is not walked out by our feet. I do beleive that people who are of Christ who make up the Church ( at large) can communicate and encourage one another and even be a witness to the unsaved. I do not beleive that we can be part of a group of beleivers on the internet and call that being the Church and doing what the Church is supposed to be doing.

      I find that most people who cling to online fellowship do so because they have received a revelation from God that today's "churches" as we call them are not following scripture. They have either come out of them or been ridiculed, thrown out or spurned and find themselves alone without the 'fellowship' they once had and loved. Also, most are like minded and are drawn to like minded believers. Therefore, many (not all)have no fellowship with anyone other than those they "fellowship" with on the internet and by the way, we need also to define "fellowship" according to scripture and setting in ones home listening on the computer or talkig on the phone is not the sum total of fellowship either.

      I don't believe the scriptures teach this. The Church as I understand it is meant to be local...going house to house, knowing each others needs by being in each others lives etc. I don't beleive there is any scriptures that support being a Pastor, Teacher etc. to the whole world wide Church just because technology developed the internet. I think we are out of context today because we have webpages and Facebooks etc. and wish to call communicating with people with whom we do not know or may never know "fellowship" and/or being the Church. I believe we need to rethink what we are doing because I just don't see it in scrpture.

      I was taken aback the other day when I was looking for a particular scripture in Ezekiel and I am sure you are familar with the whole context of these verses as I am. Almost every person who claims to be a watchman or prophet quotes these verses at some point. But what stood out to me was this verse. I am using the ASV here but it's the same in KJV : Eze 33:2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and set him for their watchman;" ... of course we know what comes after this verse and what happens if the watchman fails to warn or the people fail to listen. However notice....and the people of the land take a man FROM AMONG THEM, and set him for THEIR watchman. This describes again being local even in the choosing of who is your "watchman" does it not?

      Thank you for allowing me to ask the questions. :) Be blessed brother Rory.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Sorry I could not reply do to a program glitch, if you still are getting these...
      If this posts, it is fixed... hoping...

  3. ""...I don't believe....."" is one of the first steps away from God When we stop being led by HIM and decide to do things the way "we believe"... we are on the road to destruction. Whether we share online or gather with like minded believers at home for fellowship is up to how He leads us. For one He sets in a bible study in a home with many friends and another is set at solitude because there is no one else nearby. ALL things require that we abide in Him, feed on His word, and listen for His teaching and direction. BUT HE HAS CALLED US OUT... out of the world and out of the blasphemous churches of men. Not to do so is sin!!

    ""...Look how these people wear their churches as a garment! For they take much pride in their own names, they are puffed up. See how they walk about, with their heads held high, speaking proudly, taking no time to stop and listen... THEY REFUSE TO HEAR!
    I tell you the truth, their faces are covered in shame! Their nakedness is uncovered, their rebellion is made plain! Their ears are full of their perverse doctrines, and their detestable traditions are always upon their lips! There is no light in them and darkness covers them... They are unable to see. ...""