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by Steve Countryman
7/29/2011 / Christian Living
Growing up my grade school taught both creationism and evolution. Most other Christian kids of my era experienced the same at their schools. What is concerning is that there are Christians out there who have blended the two together. Believing that God start it all with creation and evolution took over from there. But the problem doesn't stop there. Compromise has been sweeping through the church by blending the belief systems of the world and sinful lifestyles with Christian beliefs for decades. When most pastors get together one of the first questions that they ask each other is "How big is your congregation?". Growing church membership and church size by recruiting new members at any cost becomes the most important thing. They are known as "seeker friendly" Churches rather than churches who disciple their flock or win the lost.
Are saints only allowed to attend church? No, it should be open to all people. The problem is the concern about offending others. They don't want to upset anyone for fear that they might run someone off which of course affects membership. Instead they look the other way or worst yet openly accept church members who are living a sinful lifestyle. Those who sinful lifestyles include "shacking up", gay unions, life of crime, drugs, gang banging, party animals and proud of it. When church keeps quiet about such things they loose their integrity and effectiveness in reaching the community and those who are really in need of God's love, healing and forgiveness. That is when church stops being a church and turns into a social club instead. The moral compass isn't just broken but has disappeared all together.
"Love the sinner but hate the sin" is what church is supposed to do. I pray that the Holy Spirit will fill all pastors, preachers and teachers of God's Word with courage and boldness to preach sermons filled with truth from the Word. When was the last time you heard a sermon on fornication, gay marriage or on sex? How about the evils of addictions and crime? How about speaking on satanic tattoo symbols and excessive body piercings? They are too afraid that someone will be offended. For those coming to church to find Jesus and they look that way is totally understandable and they should be received with open and loving arms. Church should be a place for them to receive salvation, deliverance and counseling so that they can become part of the church body. What happens instead is that they are offered positions of responsibility as teachers, preachers and authority in the church without ever leaving their sinful ways behind.
We Christians are to be set apart from the world as scripture states but that is hard to do when you look just like them! How do you witness to someone while covered in satanic tattoo symbols or if you are dressed like a prostitute? Where is your credibility? It isn't condemnation of the saints but good sound Christian principles. But those who call themselves Christian who dress like, act like, talk and behave like the world should not be allowed to continue as church members, Sunday school or Bible class teachers, ministers or preachers! Who should speak to those "Christians"? The pastors, elders or deacons of the church are the ones who should have a private conversation with them. Letting them know that God loves them so much that He doesn't want them to perish for their sinful lifestyles nor does He want them stuck in their sinful past. But they cannot be allowed to keep attending church if they will not change. For the true believer there should be an outward sign of a radical inward change that God is alive and at work in them! "They will know you by your fruit."
Mark 11:17 And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written: 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.' Paul said to the church at Corinth 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father's wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? Revelation 2:4-5 4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. Revelation 2:14-16 14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. 15 Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. Revelation 2:20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. Revelation 3:1-2 1These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Revelation 3:15-17 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarmneither hot nor coldI am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. The sad thing is that these problems still exist in most of our churches today!
Why isn't God moving in our church? Why can't we see the miracles, signs and wonders? Why aren't people getting saved, delivered and healed in our church? Why does church service seem to be more of a routine than praise and worship time followed by a Holy Spirit filled message? When church compromises God's Word in order to avoid offending people they have traded God's righteousness for the world's sinfulness. That explains why they can't find God in their church! Fruit of the Spirit should be a visible sign in both the church and the church body. Jesus created church but man created religion.
Tolerance, diversity, understanding and acceptance are what the world wants everyone to do. They want you to compromise your beliefs to accept different sinful lifestyles not just different cultures. What those same people don't want to even hear about is you quoting the Bible. In fact they are the ones who are intolerant of Christians and the Bible while preaching tolerance of other beliefs. Compromise is ALL one-sided costing you everything and them nothing. It is bad enough that you hear this from all types of media including TV, movies and songs but to have churches and religions incorporate them into their services and theology is heresy! Having ordained preachers and ministers who boldly live their sinful lives in front of their congregations is a church and/or a religion that is cursed and void of God's presence!
Am I saying that we should have "Hell, fire and brimstone" preaching? No just honest, truthful, righteous, Bible based preaching in love! What we desperately need are pastors, ministers, preachers and teachers who are filled with the Holy Spirit with courage, boldness and righteous indignation who will speak up and preach the FULL gospel without fear from their pulpits. Churches that operate as Jesus wants not as we or the world wants. They need our support and prayers to do so. Bring the church back to God by His Word, His power and His ways to allow God to move mightily and powerfully through us His children. It is time to stand!
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