Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church

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Beware of False Prophets…  

…You Shall Recognize Them by Their Fruits

 


Those opening and closing words of our Lord Jesus Christ from Matthew 7:15-20 ought to wake us all up from the spiritual stupor we so often battle, which attempts to assure us that all successful and large ministries with all the bells and whistles going along with their baby-faced preachers, can be trusted to be profitable for our souls.

Sadly, too many professing Christians follow such ministries so undiscerningly and end up being sucked into their sub-cultures through their over-the-top use of various forms of media. But the Bible’s admonitions towards such men and their ministries are still to be heeded today: Acts 17:11, “they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so;” 1 Thessalonians 5:21, “but test everything; hold fast what is good;” and 1 John 4:1, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” The package they come in today is not one of open and rank heresy, but rather comes in the more subtle form of the pragmatic. These practitioners are easily known by their fruit of not being concerned about: Biblical Authority, a deeper Scriptural and experiential knowledge of God, man’s spiritual depravity and inability, Gospel Clarity, true discipleship, the true Nature of the Church, applying Church discipline, personal holiness, every home in their church being led by a man who desires to be the pastor and priest there, and churches being pastored by faithful Shepherds who can both lead and feed. One example of what I am talking about can be easily seen from the following quote taken from Andy Stanley’s recent book, “Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unbelievers Love to Attend.” Follow his erroneous thinking, “People are far more interested in what works than in what‘s true. I hate to burst your bubble, but virtually no one in your church is on a quest for truth, including your spouse. As long as you are dishing out the truth…you will be perceived as being irrelevant by most of the people in your church ...You may be spot-on theologically, like the teachers of the law in Jesus’ day, but you will not be perceived as one who preaches with authority. Worse, nobody is going to want to listen to you. Now, that may be discouraging, especially the fact that you are one of the few who is actually on a quest for truth. And yes it is unfortunate that people aren’t more like you in that regard. But that’s just the way it is. It’s pointless to resist it. If you try, you will end up with a little congregation of truth-seekers… But at the end of the day, you won’t make an iota of difference in the world… I would rather have you face the reality of this world… So, if people are more interested in being happy, then play to that. Jesus did.” What!? Not the Jesus I know! Did you catch that? He’s saying, just tone-down the Bible stuff and be relevant. Find out where their itch is, and scratch it. Aim for a large church (ignore being faithful to preach the Word – 2 Timothy 4:2-5). Build your church the right way (not trust God to build it His way through you – Matthew 16:18). Beloved, this is none other than a bunch of post-modern gobbled-die-goop. This travesty of Scriptural teaching is not worth dissecting. There’s so much error here that it’s down- right frightening. The Bible warns us of such teachers and their ultimate end, “and count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:15-16). Therefore, I close with an important Latin phrase from the 16th Century Protestant Reformation, which should be known and applied by every child of God who’s serious about God receiving all of the glory in His church (Ephesians 3:8-10, 20-21), “Semper Reformanda et Semper Reformata – i.e. “The Church reformed (conformed to Scripture) and always reforming (conforming to Scripture).” 

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