Where are we today as the Christian church? Are we closer to God today more than 100 years ago? A better question is are we closer to God today than yesterday?

I find myself asking these questions more and more as I observe Christianity today. With the current trend of seeker-sensitive’ism mixed with the mysticism of “signs and wonders“, it’s easy to see how the Christian church is changing quickly. With this in mind, we have witnessed many pastors emerge as prophets who claim to receive special guidance(visions) from God. This trend is not solely exclusive to the charismatic movement today. It’s almost like watching the church turn into the Roman Catholic Church(a charismatic non-formal version) except every church has a pope. This new “pope” commonly declares ex cathedra(his divine vision for his church) to the sheep vs. how the Pope of Rome declares ex cathedra on extremely rare occasions generally upholding Catholic dogma. This mystical transformation of the office of pastor is spearheading the direction of Christianity today.

Are we witnessing another reformation? Just what is happening to the American Christianity?

The way I see it, all this started many years ago when the people of God compromised on seemingly small things in order to avoid conflicts. Instead of speaking out against a divorced man becoming a deacon(1 Timothy 3:8-13), they remained silent and/or praised the open mindedness of the church. Little things like a divorced man becoming a deacon or pastor started the fire that we see ablaze today within our Christian faith. This new fire is not the fire of the Holy Spirit, but the spirit of anti-Christ blazing through the church. If we do not draw the line and stand firm now, what will the church look like in 5, 10,20 or 100 years?

It’s time to do the hard work and stand for sound doctrine. It’s time to stand for sound living and to enforce the Bible’s requirements for deacons, pastors, and the leadership. I am not talking about setting up a legalistic system to combat this trend; in fact legalism is just as bad as what I am complaining about in this blog.

One major complication we face is the nature of the pastor has changed right before our eyes. Today, many pastors have placed themselves above the authority of the church. They set themselves up as the untouchable authority in which the title of pastor can never be revoked. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 is no longer the basis for the qualifications of the pastor. For example: Pastor “X” gets divorced. Pastor “X” takes time off but does not resign because he has spend many years of his life preparing to be pastor. I do not care if pastor “X” spend over $40k and 6 years to get his degree in theology, if this man gets divorced and/or cannot manage his home, we: the church, are told to fire him if he will not step down. The problem we face is the office of pastor has become a job, therefore many feel they are obligated to earn money because they spent money to get a college education(1 Timothy 6:3-10). Instead of removing the title of pastor and being there to help him with his crisis, many just ignore the Bible. Instead of redirecting his abilities to another work within the church, they compromise the Bible. Sometimes groups like the SBC will simply move a untrustworthy pastor from one church to another without ever addressing the problem. I fear instead of putting the emphasis on God’s requirements for the pastor, the church only looks at a formal educations and resume. While schooling may help, it is not required to be pastor.

What about the un-churched? Will all this fighting over doctrine run them away?

These types of hard stands will split churches and cause problems(Matthew 10:33-38). Many will say this hurts spreading the Gospel because lost people will see all the infighting. I say that by doing nothing, we are hurting those on the outside far more because this new direction of Christianity is virtually no different than the world these lost people live in(1 Thessalonians 5:21-23). The only difference is  the labels “Jesus” ” volunteering”  and “worshipping God” is applied to everything under the sun.

The church has made the creation’s intentions far more important than the Creator’s rules. The authority of the Word is slowly falling behind the vision of the pastor. If we allow the world to mandate our actions in the church and we depend of the vision of a pastor, then why even bother using the Bible? Why not just follow the pastor and conform to the needs of the un-churched?

Again I ask, where is Christianity headed? Are we going to draw closer to God or draw closer to mankind’s concept of god? Are we going to fight the hard fight(2 Timothy 2:14-16; Acts 17:11-13) or sit in silent agreement as we watch Christianity transform into a bride that Christ will not only reject(Revelation 3:15-17), but possibly a bride whom He has never known(Matthew 7:21-23)?

See also:

Discernment is telling the difference between right and almost right

Straddling the fence

The blunt truth about the gospel and the false god of purpose

Do not judge – Matthew 7:5 – the forgotten passage

The Seeker-Sensitive Purpose Driven Church for the Carnal Nature of Mankind

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