God's Roadmap

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail, encourage your hearts and inspire you with strength to always do and speak what is good and beautiful in his eyes (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 TPT).

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Persecuted Church or the Pretentious Church?

by Barbara Latta

“We are going to give customers what that want—which is not God.”
Filling pews is more important than the truth.

An article* circulating about Lifesong Church in North Carolina stated that talking about God would cease from the pulpit to prevent alienating people and boost the congregation’s attendance. A pretentious church is more acceptable than a persecuted church.

The pastor told reporters they had to stay true to their mission statement, “Get butts in the seats and keep them there.” He also made comments to compare their church to a business. Filling pews is more important than the truth.

If that’s their mission statement it is no wonder they are willing to stop mentioning God. Why even call yourself a church? Rename the congregation as a motivational group or join a civic group, but stop saying you are a church if you are ashamed to mention the name of the one you claim to follow. If this were my church, I would be better off staying at home on Sunday morning and leaving that seat empty instead of filling it with my body so the attendance roll could check me off.

A true church’s mission statement should be something to the effect of proclaiming the gospel and saving people. If the only reason to open the doors is so people will come in and sit in the pews, why be there?

The world is hurting and the message of Christ is the only answer. Yet too many congregations that were formed years ago have gone by the ways of the world and not had the backbone to stand up for Jesus.

Compromise is not the way to the kingdom of God.
Compromise is not the way to the kingdom of God. Too many times, I have been on the wrong side of standing up for Jesus. I am not proud of that fact. The compromise has resulted in shame on my part. But after the shame I have strengthened myself in the Word and become stronger.

If Jesus was willing to die alone, suffering, naked, and ridiculed for me, standing up for His name is the least I can do for Him.

In many instances, the world has infiltrated the church instead of the other way around. Thankfully, there are still churches that are strong in the power of the Holy Spirit and are on fire for God and expanding the kingdom. Otherwise, no discipleship would be taking place.

Jesus said, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3: 15-16) NASB).

Why have so many people who call themselves Christians absorbed the world system?

  • Our way of life has become too comfortable. If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me (Luke 9:23).
  • Christians have become politically correct and fear offending others.  But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven (Matthew 10:33).
  • Belief that Jesus is not the only way to God. I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me (John 14:6 NASB).
  • Seeking methods and activities to draw people instead of preaching the Word. Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths (2 Timothy 4:2-4).

I am certainly not saying I want to invite hardship, but the Church of Jesus Christ has always grown the most when under persecution. I enjoy my comfort as much as the next
Stay true to the Word of God.
person, but I hope I will never rely on that comfort so much I am willing to give up what is right to remain cushy.

The only way to stop ourselves from becoming polluted by wrong doctrines is to stay in the Word and avoid absorbing anything that contradicts the scriptures. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of me, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ (Colossians 2:8).

May we stay true to our Lord and when He returns He will find “a church having no spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27b).

*The source for this article was from a Christian satire site but is used here as an illustration of many Christians and churches diverting from the true gospel.

What are your thoughts about the pretentious church?