Call me an extreme narrow-minded, intolerant Bible-thumping fanatic if you wish, but there is a movement going on this day and age that is leading people away from God with every nod of the head given to it by modern-day “Christian” leadership. It is the movement that is growing some churches by leaps and bounds, but is not making much of an impact on society.
This movement is filling churches with people who stay the same week after week; continuing in the sin they came with on the first Sunday they visited. They hear a motivational or inspirational talk, hear some skilled music, but they are void of a worship experience and sin in their life remains unchallenged.
Anymore, preaching against sin is unpopular. In this secular humanistic world where anything goes, people challenge the very Word of God in order to continue living the loose lives they live. I recently read the transcript of a television interview that troubled me. I know this particular minister who was being interviewed was being backed into a corner on some of the subject matter, however, it still troubled me how the answers were given in such a “politically correct” way. Jesus was never politically correct. The Gospel is not politically correct. When confronted with questions like, “Do you believe homosexuals are going to hell,” or “Where do you believe Muslims will go when they die,” the apostles would never have watered down the answer by saying “I don’t know their heart.” The Bible is clear on who the one true God is, and what the penalty of sin is. Until someone accepts God’s gift of eternal life by believing in Him, repenting of their sin, and confessing Him as their Lord and Savior, the wages of sin is death.
This is not a Christians opinion, it is the truth. We are doing the sinner a great disservice unless we tell them the truth. The preacher in the interview I mentioned later stated that he didn’t believe it was his calling to preach on sin. What good is the preaching of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior if no one is defining sin according to the Word? He didn’t die on the cross just to make our lives better. Wouldn’t Christ’s sacrifice simply be reduced to an assassination? How would the Gospel be good news if there were no bad news?
I call this the “Culture-Shaped Church.” Today’s culture is about acceptance. Not the just the welcoming kind of acceptance, but a condoning kind of acceptance. Your adulterous, homosexual, lying, or manipulating lifestyle will not be confronted with the Truth in this church. The culture-shaped church can be from any denomination, any size, and in any town. There is plenty of acceptance, so little repentance there. Following the culture, it is almost silent on false religeons, creating few – if any – conversions there. Because today’s culture is so human-centered, when it is asked if Muslims or Buhddists go to Heaven, the answer is generally – “I don’t know.” To this culture God could be Allah or Buhdda. So the culture-shaped church will skirt around the issue to keep from offending those who worship these false gods.
Bunny trail: What ever happened to Mt Carmel showdowns like we see with Elijah? “Waterlog the sacrifice – my God will still answer by fire.” Or the anchored determination of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: “make the fiery furnace 7 times hotter than it should be – I still won’t bow”?
Disclaimer: I believe we should be respectful of those who don’t believe in the true living God. I do not believe, however, that we should preach an “all inclusive” gospel, teaching that all roads lead to Heaven. We are not all going to the same place. Jesus is the way the truth and the life. NO MAN comes to the Father except by Him.
Unfortunately the teaching from the culturally-shaped church has been deceiving culturally-shaped “Christians” into thinking they can continue living the same way they always have, having no fruit, and not making an impact on the world. In fact, there’s no difference between a culturally-shaped Christian and the average sinner on the street. Their friends are in total shock when they hear a rumor that this person even goes to church. They have to wear Christian t-shirts and hats, and have little fishy’s on their cars to identify them as Christians (I’m not against these things-so don’t call me a hypocrite when you see me wearing one!). Shouldn’t a Christian strive to become like Christ, causing others to see Him. Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
My questions for pondering:
- Do you believe that His Word (the Bible) is the absolute truth?
- Do you believe that God is who He says He is, and will do what He says He would do?
- Are you a culturally-shaped Christian, or are you a Christian who is shaping culture?