“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17).
Present-day churches have quite an intricate structure which is very much the case in large secular corporations. Order must be in the house of worship, but when rigidity based on earthly principles sets the pace, the work of the Holy Spirit is truly compromised. The assignments spelled out for participants in the Body of Christ are negated by that patch of green-grass mentality. A specific station in the structure is viciously guarded. Self-interest overtakes what is directed by the Living Word.
This tendency permeates about every echelon of the structure to the degree where it suffocates the trajectory set by the Lord. The true objective is sidelined as vested interests become regular talking points. The tone found in meetings of whatever sort is no different from that found in Fortune 500 boardrooms. Scripture is sidelined and perhaps misquoted for the sake of an argument or counterargument!
Maybe it is that too-big-to-fail adage that is driving many clergymen and lay persons to muzzle portions of Holy Writ. They claim it is all for the purpose of maintaining peace and harmony. Seemingly contentious topics like Bible Prophecy are verboten; the mere mention of something to that tune would risk a riotous implosion. No need to rock the boat or, rather, the likes of the Titanic!
So the misguided need for pleasing everyone versus God translates into the proliferation of a feel-good focus. Give them what their itching ears desire; get the ‘experts’ in this area to speak, sing and even dance about it. No bad feelings after every Sunday session. This fits like a glove where 2 Timothy 4:3 is concerned!
As everything moves further away from the truth in the Word of God, the journey down the slippery slope takes root. The enemy loves the pleasing of men over God. Simple! He is able to have the upper hand because it is dead easy to manipulate flesh that has shunned the Counsel of God. This is done with swathes of sugar-coated lies. The evil one could be seen savoring the thrill of a turkey shoot when it is hook, line, and sinker, whatever form the deception that is in play!
When Scriptural truths are encapsulated into a convenient, manmade slot – the floodgates which welcome lawlessness are flung wide open. Forbidden fruit is tolerated if not encouraged. Oftentimes it is all for the sake of pleasing the masses. With that, there is hardly any Godly rebuke or correction in love. So that portion of the Bible is to be avoided at all costs – all because of the negativity bestowed on fornication and adultery. Would it not upset the sizeable number of cohabitating couples which are regularly showing up on Sunday evenings? How about the youth pastor who is having an extramarital relationship with the lead soprano? Wouldn’t it upset the boys and girls that adore the man?
Once money versus God takes the driver’s seat, it is like the engine room taking a direct hit. Compromise in every questionable realm like tomorrow never comes; it sounds like broad daylight robbery when the infinite resources of the Heavenly Father are ignored. All for the megabucks, without which can the carnival continue? So they say while blatantly discounting the blessings that come with believing in the Word of God. If they have heard of it, they simply laugh at it.
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10).
It becomes a pitiless game of exploiting weaknesses to the full when the adversary makes the most out of the money ploy. This is where the commandment to love one another gets tossed into the bin. Material gain becomes a powerful motivating device that can override relationships based on trust. Bad feelings between churchgoers pop up like pockmarks. It can lead to a state of spiritual emptiness amidst the ensuing hypocrisy. It could cause certain affected individuals to totally turn their backs on the Gospel of Hope and, in turn, embrace another belief. If not, they become one of the gang.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” (Matthew 23:15).
It is not uncommon to hear of laments about people turning out worse after considerable time at a certain fellowship. This comes as no surprise when nothing from the Living Word goes into their hearts and minds. They pick up things through observation and eventually participation – all the wrong stuff! Peer pressure versus the workings of the Holy Spirit, being fooled into deeming the unacceptable as acceptable. Mindsets are realigned according to the ways of the flesh, and with that comes packages straight from the pit of hell. What would have become salt ends up as a tasteless substance; perhaps even much worse – becoming a carcinogen where winning souls for Christ is concerned. It is enough to give the unsaved the wrong picture of the faith. That is the calling card of a worker of iniquity!
It may appear like a church from some distance, but in all truth, it is no longer one once there is a de facto removal of the Living Word. It is no better than a structure set up solely for idolatry. God has to reign supremely if a church is dedicated to His praise and worship. But when He is forced into a slot, it is tantamount to idolatry. So what if verses from the Gospels are occasionally quoted and the music sounds ‘Christian’ – all for show with absolutely little to no room for the Lord. Where there is heavy emphasis on the self, it is all about worshipping the fallible creation versus the infallible Creator. It is a form of idolatry, like it or not. A spiritually destitute church ends up in that abominable mess!
“You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3).
These folks could tell the Lord everything they have done, claiming that it is for His Kingdom and Glory. Really? More like a satiation of personal egos when the Lord tells them that He never knew them. It cuts both ways; they never really knew Him in the first place.
If you are still planting your feet in such a so-called church, it is time to move and not look back. Better to be on your own communicating unceasingly with the Lord through His Living Word. You need the fellowship of those who truly love the Lord; this may necessitate the online option. Take heart; this is a temporary practice. Before long, you will be part and parcel of a glorious eternity with Jesus Christ our Lord.
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