The Church ...Then And Now
The Church... Then and Now
The church has drifted so far from the original blueprint, that there is little resemblance between what takes place now, and what took place when James headed up the church in Jerusalem, and Paul was busy planting churches and training new believers. To start with, most Christians assume "church" means the organization, run by ordained clergy, that conducts religious ceremonies in brick and mortar buildings down the road. In fact, the situation is so bad that should the ranked clergy and all the buildings disappear to morrow, most Christians would bemoan the loss of their "church". But, nothing could be further from the truth. There never was a building especially designed to be a "church", and the entire proceeding were not supposed to be designed and led by the "clergy". The concept of virtually inactive, mute believers would have been totally foreign to the early church, since the New Testament teaches that gathering together with other Christians is to be a participatory and interactive event, where each person uses his God given spiritual gifts for the benefit, or building up of the congregation as a whole. Additionally, although the modern terms we use in reference to the leaders of the church, find their roots in the New Testament, the concept behind the words has changed to a very large degree. For example, "clergy" as a body of ordained religious practitioners does not exist in the Scriptures, nor do priests. There were no separate Pastors and Bishops in the early church, and a "deacon" was the same as a "minister"... a servant, or one who serves, not someone in a fancy hat. Finally, if you consider that the New Testament Christians meetings were never called a "worship service", simply because they did not gather together for corporate worship (nor to hear a sermon), one is forced to the tragic conclusion that much of the modern church has little or no idea why it exists at all, or what it is meant to do. Much less how the meetings are supposed to be structured and who they are supposed to be led by.
Why Christians Are Deceived
Why Christians Are Deceived
The reasons that so many modern day Christians are deceived are numerous. They believe they should be "united", and are commanded to "love". They do not want to be labeled "heresy hunters", accused of quenching the spirit, or found guilty of 'touching' the Lord's anointed etc. etc. However, I believe these, and all other reasons deception is so rampant in the church, can be attributed to just two underlying facts... Too many Christians are Biblically illiterate, their theology confined to catch phrases, and daily devotionals of familiar passages of Scripture, preferably well sprinkled with inspirational stories and jokes. This shallow understanding of their faith causes them to be more conditioned by the culture than by the Bible. Besides which, Christians seem to be very addicted to ‘spiritual highs’.
Four Most Dangerous Mistakes Any Christian Can Make
The Four Most Dangerous Mistakes Any Christian Can Make
1) Believe that we, or our pastor/denomination/spiritual leader cannot be fooled, 2) Attribute every personal testimony and “sign” as being of or from God, 3) Take Bible verses out of context and 4) believe that we, as Christians, are not to judge anything or any one. Not necessarily in that order.
Fraternizing With The Enemy
Christians are Commanded To Separate Themselves From Those Who Teach, and Practice, False Doctrine
In the spirit of our overly tolerant, anything goes society, we tend to look on confrontation as something to be avoided at all cost, but the Bible's instructions on how to deal with those who teach and practice false doctrine in the church are very explicit. It is a two step process. The heresy has to be actively confronted and, if not repented of, has to be shunned. The duty of every true believer towards those who profess to be Christians but deny the Word of the Lord, is to come out from among them. Leaving, or separating oneself from apostasy and heresy is not optional, but commanded.
True and False Unity
Christian unity is unity under and through the gospel. It is nurtured through the teaching of sound Biblical doctrine. False unity is unity that is demanded and prescribed by religious leaders to their own ideas and organizations. This is the unity that the religious leaders of Israel wanted and that Jesus threatened.
The Occult Take Over of The Once Christian Church..
Borrowing From Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism.. even The Occult
Literal Doctrines of Demons (Directly Derived From The Occult)
Remember the verses in Scripture that speak of The “Falling Away” when some will give “heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons? Well THAT DAY IS ALREADY HERE. We have lost all rights to call ourselves Christians by our counterfeit revivals and our wholesale adoption of doctrines and practices DIRECTLY derived from the occult...Tongues, The Word of Faith Movement, Labyrinths, Contemplative Prayer, Slain In The Spirit and Santa Claus. All of which means the man of sin isn’t far behind.
Shepherds Or Wolves
Shepherds or Wolves
The church is flooded with so called ‘Christian’ leaders who collectively, present a plethora of viewpoints, all under the banner of 'Christianity'. Many of these leaders are very well known in the Christian world... either they pastor very large churches, make regular appearances on television, and/or churn out books by the truckload (a considerable number of which become very popular best sellers). Many of them profess to be innovative or progressive Christian leaders, who claim to be rethinking Christianity. Others hide behind titles such as "motivational speakers" or 'management experts' who's aim is to cultivate or develop leaders. Unfortunately, popularity is absolutely no of indication of Biblical accuracy, or spiritual reliability. The truth is that many of these books/teachings not only flatly contradict the Scriptures, but subtly introduce New Age concepts, ideas and teachings into the church. These authors/speakers/pastors are not Christians, but wolves in sheep's clothing who do little but lead people away from salvation and life.
The Emerging Church
The emerging church is a 21st-century Protestant faith movement that questions many of the beliefs of traditional Christianity. It is usually called a "conversation" by its proponents to emphasize its diffuse nature with contributions from many people. There is much talk, many questions, a free exchange of ideas, and much emphasis on the subjective over the objective. The topics of the conversation are diverse but center mainly on how to "do" church and the validity of established evangelical Christian doctrines. While it is true that the emerging church movement is highly decentralized, with no single spokesperson, there obviously are leaders, some of whom helped pioneer the movement, and many of whom are still considered to be formative 'thinkers'.
An Anemic, Spineless, Diluted Substitute for Church
The People and The Pastors
The People... What passes for Christianity is an anemic, spineless, diluted substitute without convictions or principles. Christianity has become just one more brand we consume along with Gap, Apple, and Starbucks to express identity. The demotion of Jesus Christ from Lord to label means to live as a Christian no longer carries an expectation of obedience and good works, but rather the perpetual consumption of Christian merchandise and experiences... music, books, T-shirts, conferences, and jewelry. Somewhere along the line we have become convinced that the greatest thing they can ever say about you as a Christian is that you are a “nice” man. The Pulpit... Despite what the political parties would like you to believe, the problem in America is not the politicians, it is the pulpits. America’s pulpits are largely filled with snake-oil salesman marketing the “blessings of God’ and feeding our flesh, Where have these guys come from? What we need standing in America’s pulpits is a return of the Voice of God thundering through the prophets... not the prissy Purpose Driven drivel passing as the Gospel today.
The Circus Is In Town... Again!
Christians have a seemingly bottomless appetite for new fads and jump from bandwagon to bandwagon every few years.. There is a new book, a new program or a new emphasis every year or so. It's all anyone can talk about; it's all the preacher preaches about - for a while. Then, as quickly as it came, it's gone. Some of the most recent Christian courses include .. The Purpose Driven Program, The Alpha Course, Cleansing Stream, A Course in Miracles, Theophostic Ministry Etc.. .
The Market Driven Church
Church Growth Movement
The Market Driven Church focuses is on what the consumer (Unchurched Harry) wants and thinks he needs, rather than on what God wants and what He says Harry needs. In other words, market-driven churches are built upon the foundation of polls, surveys, and the latest marketing techniques, instead of upon the Word of God. Apparently Jesus was not "hip" to the pragmatic methods of modern preachers. Perhaps He had not yet read the Purpose Driven Church, because it certainly appears that at times He went out of his way to offend people and not build a mega following. There is simply NO evidence that Jesus had any kind of strategy other than telling people the pure unvarnished truth.
Seeker Friendly, Church Growth Failures in The Bible
Rick Warren says both the Old and New Testaments are filled with many examples of God choosing to reveal himself to man according to our needs and that Jesus Himself won people over by starting with their felt needs. He also says that The New Testament is the greatest church-growth book ever written and that we should apply Jesus’ methodology. So how did Jesus and other Biblical figures do with seeker friendly methods? Actually if one takes the trouble to read the Bible.. they were all total failures according to modern standards. See
From very small beginnings a mere twenty years ago, there are now some 850 Vineyard churches worldwide (in over 80 countries) with approximately 600 Vineyard churches in the United States alone. They also boast of an international church planting movement, a publishing house and a music production company. This phenomenal growth begs the question.. What are the Vineyard churches about?
Dangerous Delusions of Grandeur
Dominion Theology: The Stench And Foul Smell Of Joels Army
Reconstructionism/Dominionism is a militant Biblicism… holy war theology under the guise of Christianity. The Dominionist doctrine is a volatile cocktail of outright error mixed in with authentic truth. Evil men and impostors have borrowed terminology and concepts from the occult, endeavored to white wash them with a veneer of Christianity in the form of a few out of context Bible verses, and present the resulting swill to a Biblically illiterate church… along with some very murderous intentions. However the strength of their delusions make these people potentially very dangerous. This movement, gathering momentum by the week, could very well bring about the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 10:21, which means that every Christian should be aware of who these people are and what it is they profess to believe.
The pressure is mounting for interfaith communion and dialogue. Christians seem to totally forget that they are followers of the man who called the Pharisees white-washed tombs and drove the money- changers out of the temple. We are students of the Apostle Paul, who called down God's curse on anyone who preached a different gospel, the man who publicly confronted Peter. Yet we cosy up to organizations like the World Council of Churches. (Section)
Also See Three Part Article on The Vineyards Approach To “Blessing Muslims” and The Church’s Reconciliation Program
A Smorgasbord of Fictitious Doctrine
The Anointing, The Deification of Man, Self Esteem, Jesus re-born in Hell, False Prophecy etc.
The Problem With Creeds
The word creed is from the Latin credo, meaning, "I believe." Of course, there is nothing wrong in itself with stating a belief. This is, in fact, necessary if we will take a stand for truth. One might even agree generally with the teaching of the material in a creed; but a "creed" goes beyond stating a belief. It is essentially an authoritative statement of a particular position (or positions) to which others are expected to assent.