In part 1 of this two-part series, we briefly discussed the issues related to a mainline protestant denomination we used to attend, but walked away when it became clear that their theology was conforming more to the world’s philosophy than Scripture. Political correctness or Cultural Marxism us rampant there and has become their guiding light. Because of it, tremendous inroads have been made by those on the Left who wield political correctness as their main change agent against all those who oppose their agenda. The goal is to shame people either into silence or to force them to at least give lip service to Marxist philosophies and ideas.
We also mentioned in passing that in more and more churches these days across many denominations, the atmosphere is becoming almost circus-like. The senior pastor, youth leader and worship leader all strive to whip up a certain degree of intensity within congregations. One of the ways this is accomplished is through high-energy music, which tends to help people shake off their reserved attitudes and just let things go…all in the name of worshiping the Lord.
Another way that people are loosened up is through the preaching of the senior pastor. For too many churches, gone are the days when an actual pulpit was placed center platform, the pastor was dressed in suit and tie, and literally opened the Bible, read from it, and commented on it. Today, many churches have given themselves over to tricks, gimmicks, and motivational speaking. It also really helps if the speaker is a decent comedian to help keep people in the seats entertained. One side joke after another is preferred because it keeps the laughter coming and the resistance to the message low.
It is a fact that generally speaking, people who are relaxed, happy, and having a great time will go along with the speaker in whatever direction he/she is trying to lead people. They will thrill to the idea of being involved in a place where “love” is so seriously on display. Of course, in this case, “love” means simply “feeling good” about others and yourself.
I find it fascinating that as far as God is concerned, love includes discipline and sometimes even chastisement. The Bible tells us that God disciplines those whom He loves (Hebrews 12:6), and certainly good parents do this same thing. But the goal of too many churches today is to make people feel warm about themselves and one another. To do this, it is required to set any sort of judgment aside. I realize quite clearly that the Bible tells us we should never judge another person (Matthew 7:1). Many take that to mean we should not speak disparagingly of another person’s lifestyle, actions, or words. That’s not the point that Jesus was making. In Matthew 7:1, Jesus was making the point that we should not judge another individual’s motives for doing something because we cannot see their motivation. Only God can see that and because of that, only He can judge with justice.
The Bible is also very clear that we should not be afraid to judge actions or words. In fact, Paul points out a number of problem areas in people’s lives and notes that when we see that type of behavior in others, we should make a note of it and avoid them (Romans 16:17). Why? Because if we do not, we will likely become like them in their words or actions. We aren’t to avoid them because we are somehow better than they are; we’re not. We are to note their behavior/words and avoid them because bad apples will always spread their rot to other apples.
At the same time, I’m not allowed to hate a person who exhibits terrible behavior or uses off-color verbiage. I’m supposed to pray for them and live life in such a way that my life speaks to them as a testimony of God’s love. How often do we fail at that? I know I do.
Admittedly, this can be very difficult to do and it reminds us that we need to rely heavily on the indwelling Holy Spirit to make that happen in our life. We cannot do it through sheer willpower, however, we can and should force ourselves to seek God, allowing Him to create this in our life.
But too many churches today are not interested in this balancing act of being a Christian. They are more concerned about the prevailing attitude and atmosphere within their church. Churches are marketed today. Marketing agencies...