2Tim 3:5 "…. having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
The modern church has become a candy store to delight the eye and ear of the so called “seeker.” I am not saying all churches are bowing their knee to the needs of the world, but a good many have done nothing but let the world influence their worship, preaching and even church design. Don’t get me wrong. I am not against the church being contemporary. But if being contemporary means less of the truth of the Word being preached for fear of offending someone, music that ministers to the body but not to the soul, and raising lazy Christians who don’t even know where to find many of the books in the bible, you can count me out.
An evangelist friend of mine who was my mentor for several years, and has now gone onto glory taught me a valuable lesson that I have passed on many times. “In your effort to find a good church, pay attention to this most important thing: “When you drive up in the parking lot and people are going into the church, see if they are carrying their bibles. If they are not, immediately drive out and go find a church where they are!”
There are many methods in preaching the Gospel. If we choose to be more contemporary, then we must be careful that the means we use to facilitate our teaching is only a tool and does not become a crutch. In today’s church you will find big computer screens (which I am not against) with a bible reference and the scripture written out so you can follow along. When I first experienced this, I have to say I thought it was very beneficial. That was until I begin to see how the new Christian, several months passed conversion, still struggles to find the most basic books in the bible. Unfortunately, many of these same kinds of churches are causing their people to become church junkies, instead of Jesus junkies, for lack of a better word. The music is geared to cause an emotional high, almost a form of euphoria to make the worshipper feel good. Instead, the music should be focused on God and His throne, whether it makes me feel good or not. Repentance doesn’t always feel good, but it is necessary.
The Word has become adulterated with worldly antidotes. You see, I rarely hear a preacher preach on the “blood of Jesus” anymore. Instead, we talk about His love, His grace, His forgiveness. This is all good, but how can we experience His love, grace and forgiveness without first experiencing the “blood” that covers our sin. We’ve cleaned our churches up a little too much.
What would happen in a church today if spontaneous revival broke out? You know, like the old days when Gods’ presence would come and spontaneous repentance and deliverance would take place for hours. Would our orderly program make room for a move of God? You can’t plan a move of God. You cannot even orchestrate it. But you sure can thwart it! This is where man has failed or should I say been successful.
The sugar coated gospel is designed to cause the unsuspected believer to become dependent on music, nice short preaching or sermonettes and wonderful aesthetics to experience a “quick fix” or good feeling inside. They also become church junkies, because they do not know how to worship or study the scripture outside of the church. Believe me, in Africa, we had none of these seeker friendly antidotes going for us. We had hillsides, hard benches, hot rooms, preaching on Jesus' life, sacrificial death and resurrection and some long services. What was the end result? Thousands coming to Christ!
I am not pretending that I know all the answers. What I am saying is that we need to stop leaning over so close to the world that the church cannot even be recognized. Instead of asking, “Where is Waldo?” the seeker is now looking at the body of Christ and asking, “Where is Jesus?” Everything looks good on the outside but the inside just doesn’t add up. God tells us to avoid those who are like this.
“…holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 2 Timothy 3:5
This is a hard word, but it must be addressed. The church needs to wake up from its’ slumber. We are in the last days, and every soul counts!
(I originally wrote this article seven years ago, and I felt it was time to share it again)
The only thoughts that I have after meditating on Gods' Word and hearing about the events worldwide this last week such as , earthquakes in Iran, freak Artic storm, snow in Africa, shooting at A&M, dead fish in the gulf, and floods in the Philipines, is that we as a nation need to REPENT.
On the last stretch of the Olympic Games, I have been watching many a valiant player after another give their unconditional all to claim their gold medal of prestigious victory. I have to say watching these magnificent athletes brings admiration and determination into my spirit not to give up when it comes to winning my own race in life.
No, I am not a running champion, and I have never won a single trophy running, swimming or playing any sport. I have never beheld a crowd of spectators so engrossed in my performance, nor have I disciplined my body to adhere to such stretching and endurance as these athletes have proven time and time again. Yet, in the foreground I can hear something that perhaps many a spectator cannot. I can hear the cheers of a thousand voices beckoning for me not to give up the race of faith. To some of you, that will be reason enough to contact a psychiatrist, and for others, it will mean a warning is coming my way telling me that I need to slow down a bit, take some time off, and regroup.
Before you begin jumping to conclusions, let me share something very real with you. In Hebrews 12:1-3 we read, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
The church today is guilty of winning others to Christ, however, when the sinner finds his way and becomes a bit more excited than accepted, we find a way to get them to slow down, or even sit down. I have seen it over and over again, and I have heard the statement, “Oh, they just got born again…., they’ll settle down, don’t worry.” Seriously?? When you witness a new believer on fire for the Lord, is your response like that above? Perhaps you started your spiritual race only to decide later on to sit down, and now the new believer’s actions are somewhat embarrassing to you because they have energy, passion and purpose and you have, well--- a comfy seat.
If you are intimidated or possess a spirit of discouragement, you might be guilty of saying to these new believers, “Ready, set, sit down!” The other day I was out with a girlfriend of mine and she stated, “You’re a stirrer upper---you get people moving in the right direction.” I don’t know, sometimes my passion for the lost, or my zeal for the Lord appears a bit foolish to a bystander, but I have decided that I would rather be a fool for the Lord any day, than to sit still and watch the world around me die a horrible death when I have been given the answer to eternal life.
1 Corinthians 1: 27 says, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”
So, whether I am foolish, weak or any other adjective that you can conjure up to insult my passion, I can say this, I am a woman of determination and one that has heard the prophetic call of those who have gone ahead of me, cheering me on as I run this race of faith for the prize--as I have the last (36) years of my life. Not one of them is telling me to sit down. If any deserves a gold medal ---it's Jesus for never ceasing to run the race that led Him to a cruel cross.
So be forewarned, as long as I am able to hear that great cloud of witnesses call out and encourage, I will continue running my race of faith while picking up those who fall in front of me. So, if you are in your comfy chair, you can stay there; but if you want to run a race that has rewards that are out of this world---come along with me!
About the Author
Jane Morin is an international speaker, worship leader, Bible teacher, and award-winning author. Her latest re-release, The Weapons Of Our Warfare is now available on Kindle Books! Learn how to fight the "fight of faith" effectively and snatch up your copy today!