THE CHURCH OF TODAY
Scholars tell us
that in Jesus’ day there were twenty-four known sects of Judaism. While it is
true that there were many Pharisees who agreed with His teachings, and equally
true that He affirmed much of what they taught (Matthew 23:2-3), it is
also accurate to say that many had strayed so far from the truth that Jesus
rebuked them as hypocrites and said
“This people honors
Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship
Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’
exact scenario exists in today’s church with the Body of Christ fragmented into
so many denominational and non-denominational expressions of “the truth” that
your average “seeker” has no idea what a “bible believing” assembly of believers
really looks like.
While we examine the condition of the modern church
and the methods employed to propagate our faith, it is I believe important to
remember that while the church has strayed from biblical precepts; it was a
process that has happened over time. So
then, this is not
about pointing fingers and laying blame at anyone's doorstep. Instead we
hope to look at standards put forth in the Word of God, and examine ourselves as
to whether we are in the faith.
Where we find discrepancy between the standards of
His word and our practices, we need to determine a course of repentance and
correction that moves us towards a biblical expression of community; instead of continuing to
do what is right in our own eyes.
An example of
such a discrepancy is the fact that we’ve modeled our church government after
the world system and the oversight of the house of the Lord appears more like a
business than a new testament assembly of believers. See example:
beginning in Matthew 20:25 — You know that the rulers
of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority
over them. Yet it shall not be so among you;
but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.
And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave — just as the
Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a
ransom for many.”
more in-depth discussion on this topic, see the article:
A New Wineskin
The initial point of this discussion can be put
forth by these questions: When we see the
discrepancy between God's word and our practices, do we seek the Lord asking for
His guidance and commit to changing directions? -and- If we
ignore these differences and do nothing, do we not disqualify ourselves
and our ministries from the very anointing and refreshing that is so necessary
to carry out the vision we've been given?
confronting today’s church are too numerous to fully discuss here.
However, one glaring
issue that cannot be overlooked in this prologue is the disproportionate and
ever increasing cost of new facilities especially when compared to more
legitimate or biblically mandated ministries. It is sadly ironic that the
largest and fasted growing church in the world is the one in China and they
very rarely have any facility for public meetings.
that are shaping the life in today’s church concern the opportunities and perils
facing not only the present leaders, but also the ones who will lead tomorrow.
The issues are more symptomatic of what Jesus said was present in the seven
churches in Revelation 2 and 3. Some of the spiritual conditions that Jesus
Leaving their First Love
Deeds & Doctrine of the Nicolaitans
Holding the doctrine of Balaam (for profit Re: Jude 11)
Jezebel, to teach and seduce God’s servants
6. Having a name
that you are alive, but you are dead.
7. Being lukewarm
describes what seems to be a small minority among the believers —
“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open
door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word,
and have not denied My name.”
As we consider
the various models of institutional Christianity currently in place, and the challenges
facing the body of Christ - keep in mind that
not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts
of wickedness in the heavenly places."
(Ephesians 6:12) In other words, if we are to win the battle, it will be
won on our knees with brokenness and humility.
Before continuing, we felt it was best to
communicate that parts of the vision section will be very
difficult for some to read. Be assured it was difficult to write as well.
We have many precious brothers and sisters who are in the institutional
church... We love them very much; but we can no longer be part of a religious
system that chokes the life out of us.
Personally, there is a pastor at one church in
particular that I will always have a soft spot in my heart for... When we
first moved into the area a number of years back, coming out of a natural
disaster and not yet having a job... our
one automobile broke down and needed a new engine... This precious man of
God whom I had only known for a couple of months; calls me up and said that his
wife (who is also very precious to us) and him had been praying and felt led by
the Lord to give us their family car... What was so amazing to us about this is that
we were not given their second or third best car... instead they gave us the
best they had at the time. I will always love and appreciate them for this
genuine expression of Christ's love...
So then as you read the next section understand this first: We love our brothers and sisters in
Christ... and this is not an indictment of the Lord's people in any traditional
church. The standard of Christ's liberty we desire to raise is for
them as well.
This is about Jesus and being obedient to His ways;
believing He has called us to take this stand. For we know that our God is a jealous God and He
will STILL have no other gods before him... even the idols of brick and steel
that we build in His name.
As you continue then, there are two choices you
can make: If you are looking for a new group of believers to fellowship
with, and feel (being fully convinced - see Romans 14:5b) that the Lord would
lead you elsewhere; then you are free to stop reading... May the Lord give you
favor in your search.
You can click on the link below
ALL SCRIPTURES UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED ARE FROM "NKJV"
VERSION OF THE BIBLE