Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Western Evangelical Church


If the gospel of redemption is a foundational doctrine for your theology, but if it finds little expression in your life and words, then you are a hypocrite and you are using the gospel as a cloak for your carnal and condemnatory life. And if this same gospel doctrine does not forbid you to embrace idols, then you are a hypocrite. And if this gospel doctrine allows you to join hands with infidels, then you are a hypocrite. The number of hypocrites in evangelical circles is growing with each passing day.

Robert Morris, the pastor of a mega church, recently had Glenn Beck address his congregation and called him a believer. Kirk Cameron endorsed the influence of Glenn Beck. James Robison had unbelievers speak at his recent conferences. Just what has happened and is continuing to happen to the church? Who could have believed such things only a few decades ago? What deceptive leverage is being used to lead the church into both compromise and apostasy itself? Surely this must be a significant signal that the end is near.

Franklin Graham called Islam a wicked and evil religion, but he took down any negative mention of Mormonism from his internet site on cults. He reason? "If I want to win a person to Christ, how can I call that person a name?” Some hypocrisy here. Are we called to give our lives for Muslims or make them give us theirs through bombs and drones?

But the situation has spiraled to such a great degree that the gospel has become a mere doctrine which can be spouted when appropriate at certain meetings or at the end of political sermons, but it no longer seasons our lives and our lips. In fact, evangelicals can berate and castigate and demean all kinds of sinners, and they can join forces with infidels and cults, and still pretend they believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. The sad truth is that they now embrace a false gospel that still speaks the same words but has completely morphed into a different meaning altogether. This kind of gospel is nothing but a new and improved version of stone tablets.

And in today’s evangelical community if you can nod to a written doctrine, and better yet defend that written form, you are pronounced “orthodox”. And armed with that label you are free to roam around and demean sinners, castigate liberals, and generally spread words and attitudes of hate. And you can kneel before banners of red, white, and blue, and when asked if that is appropriate for a follower of Jesus you can point to your written doctrines as a proof of your doctrinal purity and as a license to do what the heathen do. In effect, you are using and abusing the gospel as cover for your deep compromises. And that canopy provides cover for violence, hatred, self righteousness, idolatry, greed, and a joining of the hands to any and all heathens, cultists, and even the most hateful and virulent voices of our age. But because your statement of faith has a traditional gospel construct, that absolves you from obeying the words and ways of Jesus. How wonderful.

But this is how far the church in general has sunk. Earthly battles now define the church. Its leaders are false teachers who in one hand hold the golden doctrinal tablets but the other hand is tightly joined to Mormons, unbelievers, and an array of unholy alliances. And hardly anyone really notices. But every two or four years Christians march into fallen voting booths and make God subservient to mob (majority) rule. It is an incredible act of spiritual treason which at its core is greed. Oh yes, if your eyes and ears are open you can see and hear evidence that indicts the heart and motives. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

I have come to see written doctrines as not only worthless as they are currently formed in the western church, but as they are used they are cloaks of self righteousness and “get of jail free” cards to act and speak like the fallen sinners all around us. And like a picky eater, the church separates a few chosen doctrines and feasts on those while ignoring and even disobeying volumes of teachings from the lips of our Lord and the New Testament writers. If You believe in the Trinity you can be hateful. If you espouse the virgin birth you can be greedy. If you believe in God's sovereignty you can complain. If you believe in the inerrancy of Scripture you can shout the sins of unbelievers from the housetops. And if you believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, you can frolic with those who do not. That is some Christian construct we have adopted.

But let us face facts. Most of what I have described has not come through the emergent church or liberal theologians. It isn’t Brian McLaren or Rob Bell or Joel Osteen that is shepherding the evangelical community to these unbiblical pastures. This is coming directly from all kinds of popular and respected leaders. And in these fellowships and movements men like James Robison join with Kenneth Copeland; Franklin Graham joins with T. D. Jakes; Southern Baptists join with Word of Faith leaders; and Calvinists join with Rick Warren. And without argument just what is the undertow that drags all these people together?

It is the open idolatry of nationalism. For years we assumed it would be the emergent church or the liberal theologians or the Joel Osteens or the prosperity movement that would cause the church to depart from Christ, and in some ways they have. But the tsunami of compromise and spiritual blindness was right in the churches we thought were orthodox and doctrinally pure. I mean those churches would never recommend Joel Osteen or Rick Warren or Kenneth Copeland, in fact they taught against them. But the love of an earthly nation brought them all together under the mission to “save a nation”. The Great Commission must wait since we have an Alternative Commission about which to attend. The president of Liberty University said it openly when he said, “We can worry about doctrine later, for now we have a nation to save”. That was in response to criticism that he invited Glenn Beck to speak at Liberty.

Does it ever occur to anyone that God has never been interested in “saving” any nation at all? Redemption is in the blood of Jesus, and that blood was shed for sinners not for governments. We don’t have a nation to save, we have a church that needs to repent. Does not God use persecution many times to purify His church? Doesn’t God send missionaries into some dark places in which they will hazard their very lives? Didn’t Jesus Himself come into a desolate land of sin and rebellion? And didn’t He leave without changing it? We are called to preach the gospel to every creature, and if God has already told us the overwhelming majority would chose the wide gate of destruction, then how can we believe democracy is a divine construct? Does God desire the heathen to rule over us?

But the heathens do rule over this earth and the whole world is lies in the wicked one. BUT WE ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD!!! When will we once again realize we are sojourners and pilgrims who have no earthly dwelling place? Our lives are in Christ with God, and the life that we now lead we live by the faith of the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us. This is no word game or some astro-projection exercise. This is a walk of faith in the Spirit and surrendered to the Word of God. No one and no thing commands our allegiance but Christ, and if we as the church walked in that reality it would not be many days before we all found the tip of Satan’s sword. But as it stands now we can recline and bask in the culture and become energized by causes that do not bear His name.

It is extremely difficult to live within the framework of the gospel when we are surrounded and bombarded by all sorts of carnal systems and the spirits of antichrist. And when the church invites them in and sanctifies them and teaches them as truth, then the sheep are scattered and many newborn sheep are born dead.

All over this world are hurting and suffering people. Little girls who have been molested by their fathers or a family friend. Little boys who are consistently beaten. Drug addicts who walk with unbreakable chains. Families who grieve for fallen soldiers. Rows of rooms in children’s hospitals filled with heartbreaking sights. Hundreds of thousands who live everyday with thoughts of suicide and thousands upon thousands who bring those thoughts into reality. Millions go hungry every day; thousands of children are forced to commit violence in Uganda; girls bodies mutilated because of wicked superstitions; hundreds of thousands of rapes; orphans by the millions; and against the horror of all these and more, God is calling the church to save a nation?

This is gospel blasphemy of the highest order. It is spiritual savagery. It takes the gospel of Jesus Christ and uses it to pursue the carnal dreams of men. And instead of being the message of eternal redemption, the gospel is now a doctrinal Sam’s club card that is checked at the door and allows its holder to enter the warehouse of Jesus’ teachings to be purchased and obeyed at a discount rate. This is where we are as a church. Repent now. He may come before the Mayan’s thought. Jesus said He would come when we do not even expect it. In this present evangelical climate, that means He could come at any time. Who know, who cares.


Anonymous said...

I'm still in shock about all this too. Never thought this day would come when church leaders we thought would never compromise, have. This idea of God calling His church to save nations never computed with me until books started coming out on Jesus' return and the sudden aggressive interest in how nations played a vital role in last days' scenario. But, for some reason these authors were setting some of us up believing that we had to influence our national leaders to support a side. Studying end-time prophecy is for being ready and like Daniel was told by the angel, to be wise to understanding in the end times. Being studied up to discern the times we are in is a n altogether different thing than becoming a political influence towards the players in the clashing of God/Magog wars, or Armageddon. I don't think the saints in the seventh church of the Laodicians, were ever commanded to become string-pullers to help powerful men to support, place in power, topple government leaders across the globe who they think will be the players in wars and chaos before Christ's return.

It scares me that wealthy influential christian leaders are lining themselves up with traditional conservative politicians and values councils, conservative family group leaders and churches to become a voice in influencing their government to choose sides in the Middle East. Wherever did the church get off the beaten track? It's becoming like the crusades. When we read about the crusades, we shudder to think that men could have been so gullible and easily manipulated by leaders to actually believe they were on a mission from God.

In fact, when I hear christian leaders on national TV using bullying tactics to gain christian support for Israel, it isn't right. I know there's a special love that christians have for Israel, it's their inheritance, as grafted in, as adopted children, with the real children of Israel. It's hard not to feel a connection with the land that the Everlasting Father has set as the apple of His eye.

But, as children and heirs through Christ, He would have us embrace all men, love them as Christ loved them, share with them, all, Palestinians, Egyptians, the whole world, if possible. I can't read the bible and see where we are supposed to take up sides to a specific nation. If we show partiality and while suffering and loss goes on in both sides, how can the church proudly claim allegiance to a situation that is hurting innocent children, families? It's our job to pray, not to take sides. Jesus is the right side.

It's sad that the church craves excitement and glory and power and it wants to be right in the center of things that it's not been appointed to be in. Not until Jesus as the Bridegroom returns and claims His Bride. I also agree here, I think the western evangelical church has strayed.

Anonymous said...

All this nationalism reeks of self-righteousness. I think the western church has forgotten from whence it came...out of this world, by way of a gracious, loving Saviour, Who had compassion on us, lost sinners, shed his blood for us, saved us, giving us redemption. And after all that we refuse to show that same grace to lost sinners, in need of that same Saviour, Who died for them just as much as He did for us. Where is the love? Where is the mercy? Where did grace go?