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 in the first century. To begin 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 tomorrow, most Christians would bemoan the loss of their "church" little realizing that 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 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 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, 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 NT 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.
The Occult Take Over of The Once Christian Church..
Borrowing From Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and The New Age
Doctrines Directly Derived From The Occult and Mysticism
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. Our wholesale adoption of doctrines and practices DIRECTLY derived from the occult (Ex.Tongues, The Word of Faith Movement, Labyrinths, Contemplative Prayer, Slain In The Spirit etc.) has lost us any right to call ourselves Christians.
Shepherds Or Wolves
Shepherds or Wolves
The church is flooded with so called ‘Christian’ leaders who collectively, present a plethora of viewpoints all sailing 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.
Modern Day “Apostles”: Perhaps the worst of the lot are the astonishing number of men who not only claim the title of "apostle", but believe they get their authority directly from God. Many of them they hold that they are equal or even superior to the New Testament Apostles. They are part of a movement centered around the belief that an elite group of believers will be revealed in the end times to prepare the world for the millennial reign of Christ. In fact, Christ can't return to earth until they do. However, if you trace this movement back it becomes pretty obvious that it stemmed from the occult
False Prophets: The Bible tells us that that if a prophet presumes to speak a word in God's name that God has not commanded him to speak, that prophet shall die. Yet false prophets abound and thrive in the Christian world. Also considering the Lord made it an extremely simple matter to distinguish false prophets from genuine ones, listeners are in no way excused because they were lied to. Giving credibility to these fabrications will result in the hearer to be as severely judged as those who actually prophesied.
The Market Driven Church
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.
The Emerging Church
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'.
Various courses abound in the Christian world. Because it is near impossible to cover very many of them, I have focused on two of the most popular - The Purpose Driven Program and The Alpha Course.
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". Additionally, 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. Also, Christians seem to be very addicted to ‘spiritual highs’.
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
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. Leaving, or separating oneself from apostasy and heresy is not optional, but commanded.
True and False Unity
Although doctrine has often been allowed to divide people in disgraceful ways, division is not something that can be avoided. you could scour the Scriptures for the next ten years without finding a single word about being united at the expense of truth. On the contrary, since all too often what passes for "unity" is nothing but compromise, Christians are commanded to separate themselves from those that believe and teach false doctrine. They are to refuse to have fellowship with those who cross over the line. It is far better to be divided by truth than united in error.
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 which is necessary if we wish to take a stand for truth. One might even agree generally with the teaching of the creed. The problem being that 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.
The Fad Driven Church
The dictionary defines a fad as "a practice or interest followed for a time with exaggerated zeal." This could just as well be a description of congregational life of many Christian churches today.
Christ’s Church To iChurch
When we approach Christianity as consumers rather than seeing it as a comprehensive way of life, an interpretive set of beliefs and values, Christianity becomes just one more brand we consume along with Gap, Apple, and Starbucks to express identity. And 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.
Dangerous Delusions of Grandeur
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 cozy up to organizations like the World Council of Churches. (Section)
A Smorgasbord of Fictitious Doctrine
The Anointing, The Deification of Man, Self Esteem, etc.