There is an obliviousness in the church which is distressing to see. Aside from the few in many congregations who diligently seek the Lord, the vast majority of those in the pews generally live what I call a ChINO life, i.e. Christian In Name Only. Each person must take responsibility for his own faith, but in large measure the reason for this lack of seriousness in pursuing God is because of the men in the pulpits. (Yes, yes, we can argue about women as lead pastors, and no doubt there are a few good ones. However, men are most prevalent in leading church flocks; and I don’t particularly like giving into gender neutral language which destroys the rules of grammar.)
This problem, then, is twofold. It comes from pastors that don’t preach the whole Word of God, and it derives from congregations that have learned that poor lesson well. The issue with pastors has been a long developing one. It goes all the way back to the church fathers who – as they got further away from the 1st Century – lost the sense of Jewishness and that ancient mindset in the Scriptures. We do the same thing today. We place the template of our current culture over what we read in the Bible and think that they thought like us. The worst offenders of this seem to be in the liberal/progressive circles where they apply their thinking on homosexuality or race or social justice upon the actors in the Old or New Testaments. This – among other things – creates a distorted message that God never intended.
When a Jewish Messiah became someone just like the men in the 15th Century, the literalness of Scripture was lost as anti-Semitism arose. It’s why to this day we have interpretation of the Bible through a metaphorical or allegorical lens rather than through one that sees God’s promises to Israel as future fulfillment. It birthed questions as to who Jesus was and dumbed Him down to the least possible denominator, i.e. a wandering sage at best, or someone who never existed at worst. This corrupted thinking also led to the idea that God was finished with Israel because of her indiscretions and disobedience. In this poor understanding, Replacement Theology became a major idea within many churches. This says that all God’s promises are solely for the church and that prophecy, if it’s to be believed at all, is all directed toward the church. From this, followers of this ideology see Israel as unimportant, and even an impediment to how the church should treat Israel’s enemies such as the “Palestinians.”
Yet, what did God say in Genesis 12:3?
“I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
If God’s Word is to be believed – which it certainly should be! – then anyone who comes against Israel is subject to God’s wrath. Yet, this is exactly what has been lost.
Another factor in churches that has ripped people from God’s truth is the infiltration over the last 100 years into seminaries by Marxists. Their intent was on destroying religion in America, undermining our nation itself, and winning the “long war” against our capitalist society without firing a shot. It appears that objective is close to fruition. What this has meant to churches over time is that the seminaries and Bible schools that should have turned out men faithful to the Word of God have actually caused many of these students to have a compromised understanding of Scripture that is corrupted with Marxist thought.
We are now several generations into this transformation. It caused the mainline denominations to go into apostasy many years ago. Of late we’ve seen the destruction within evangelical circles.
If pastors aren’t preaching the whole Word of God, their congregations are taking their cue from the leaders of those flocks. If no one has a true Biblical worldview, is it any wonder that most churches are lost causes and our society is in disarray? If the church was to be salt and light to the world – different from the world – and it has become the world, what is to stop the world’s descent into oblivion?
This has eternal consequences for all concerned, from these wolvish pastors to their errant flocks. A Bible message that isn’t true to what God gave the world results in large numbers of people who are unsaved. They never hear the true message of salvation with the absolute necessity of repentance. In the worst situation among these participants, they are destined for hell, pure and simple. In the best circumstances, where people in these congregations have been saved despite the aberrant teaching, they will conceivably have a weak faith that is useless in the world and to God.
Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 discussed this:
Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
Weak faith with feeble works results in a Christian life that produces only wood, hay, and straw, i.e. that which the fire burns up and proves it to have been worthless.
Do these people have any idea where they stand in God’s eyes? Have they any sense that what they practice as faith is useless to God? I think it’s doubtful. That’s the tragedy of this history of the church. It’s why nations fall. If they aren’t a blessing to God and blessed by Him, they cannot survive.
That’s where we are today in America. Weak churches. Futile faith. Silent pulpits. Anemic believers, if they’re believers at all. If the church was supposed to speak to the culture and be its leading light, it has not done its job.
All this was foretold in prophetic Scripture, if only pastors and their people had read and believed it. As it is, we are on the cusp of a great change in this world. Once Jesus snatches true believers from this alien place, the world will get exactly what it has wanted for a long time. There will be no more preaching of righteousness to prick the conscience of some. Worship of self, with all the gratification that comes with it, will be the order of the day. Sin will find its pleasure for a very brief season. And then the end will come.
For those of us who love the Lord, and will with all our heart to faithfully serve Him, let us do so until the trumpet sounds.