Whats wrong with today's church?

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Used by permission, an excellent encouragement in grace ...
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What’s Wrong with Today’s Church?


“And He has qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
2 Corinthians 3:6

I want to be clear from the get-go: the church is the body of Christ, not a building. After all, Jesus destroyed the need for a building to have access to God. He also replaced the requirement of a human middleman to receive forgiveness, with Himself.
Yes, it’s still a healthy thing to gather with other Christians, to love and encourage one another. But the church is you and me, believer. Not once was a church building referred to in the New Testament but only groups of Christians. However, for this devotional I’ll be using the word church in the context of our building gatherings. I’d like to point out some unhealthy characteristics of today’s churches so we can repent and grow into the full measure of the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
People are leaving churches in droves. According to a recent survey, more than two million have left their church, every year, for the past seven years. 62% of churches either have no growth or their congregations are declining.
What’s strange is, on Christmas and Easter our churches are packed. So why not during the rest of the year? The answer is simple: the message. The message isn’t the gospel. The gospel is good news, not bad news, and it’s hard to find good news being preached to us non-Creasters.
Christmas and Easter sermons are normally about the birth and resurrection of Jesus, which is good news. But why can’t we hear good news sermons all year long? Because the message is changed the other 50 weeks. We’ve believed the lie of the enemy, that good news might lead to bad behavior. The reality is, bad behavior is already happening plenty with not-such-good-news preaching.
It’s as if many churches think God is naive, or that He baits and switches us, before and after salvation. For them, once you’re saved, the good news turns into really bad news. As a result, we get behavior improvement sermons, sin management sermons, “Just be like me, I’m your best example of holiness” sermons, and of course, “Try harder, do better, surrender more!” sermons. None of which is good news.
Churches aren’t normally filled to capacity 50 Sundays of the year because many of them turn back into a country club for members only. Volunteer requirements, tithing to be blessed, and pastoral worship replace the simplicity of the gospel. Sometimes you won’t hear the name of Jesus an entire teaching, but the pastor will repeatedly talk about how influential they are, or how we need to rebuke the devour by giving until it hurts.
To add insult to injury, many churches want to “keep things balanced” by placing us into the Old Covenant while ignoring the New Covenant completely–as if it never happened. This is subtle, but deadly. If microscopic pieces of glass are placed in our food, even though we can’t taste the glass because it’s so small, ingesting it will eventually harm us in great ways. When the Covenants are mixed the Old Covenant becomes those shards. Most don’t realize what they’re being fed, they think because it’s coming from a person on stage it has to be the truth. Unfortunately, Covenant-mixing theology is destroying many lives.
Here are a couple examples of what I mean:
  1. The praise and worship team begs God to “Fill this place with His Spirit.” This is completely Old Covenant. God is not filling any geographical place with His Spirit because we are now the place. According to the Old Covenant, God filled the temple with His presence. The Jews called this temple His house (see Psalm 27:4). We are now the temples. We are now the house of God, not any building. Both our spirit and our physical body is His abode (see 1 Corinthians 6:17,19). The Holy Spirit in us goes into the church building with us. We aren’t going there to find Him. He’s not bound by two-by-fours, bricks, or man-made walls (see Acts 17:24). He’s everywhere at all times, and for believers, inside us. There’s no need to “call God down into this place” because He’s already in each believer evenly. The first time this happened was at Pentecost, recorded in Acts 2. This is extremely important because when we think we have to keep begging God to fill up the church with His presence we neglect the truth. He always dwells in our presence. Even deeper, in our very being (see Acts 2:4,17, John 12:32, 14:23).
  2. Old Covenant patriarchs and prophets are used as our best examples of righteous behavior. This can be very confusing because most of them followed the Law of Moses. They delighted in the Law, meditated on it day and night, and were instructed they’d be healthy and wealthy by doing so (see Psalm 1:1-3, Romans 7:22). What’s odd is, although obsessed with the Law, much of the writings in the Old Testament expressed their infatuation and frustration with the commandments in the Law. This is not how the New Covenant works. In fact, Jesus put the hypocritical Jewish health-wealth preachers to shame. He said, “What good would it be to gain the whole world yet forfeit your soul?” to those who had grown up being taught the Law’s principles (see Matthew 16:26). He said, “It would be more difficult for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle, than for a person who’s gotten rich from following the Law to enter heaven” (see Mark 10:25). He also said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor” to the Pharisees, basically calling them sick (see Matthew 9:9-12). On this side of the Cross, Jesus’ Spirit is our example of holiness and righteous behavior, not Law-followers nor anyone from the Old Testament. It’s good to respect and glean from parts of their lives, but they longed for what we now have! God’s presence in us, guiding us, and keeping us secure forever! We are spiritually rich and healthy! (See Romans 6:14, 10:14, Galatians 3:24,25, 2 Corinthians 3:7-17, Hebrews 11:39,40, Ephesians 1:3).
Easter and Christmas are the open houses to attract new members but if the New Covenant isn’t being preached all year long the sermons are of no deep value. The Bible says we are only qualified to preach the New Covenant, and nothing else. The New Covenant is complete reconciliation with God through faith in Jesus Christ (see 2 Corinthians 3:6, Ephesians 2:8,9, Romans 5:1). Therefore, if we aren’t teaching people about the peace they have with God, right now–or can have instantly–there’s no competency to our message (see 2 Corinthians 3:5). Our churches have got to start preaching the good news every time because it’s the goodness of God which leads people to change their actions and attitudes (see Romans 2:4).
“Matt, you just want pastors to tickle ears!” one might say. “Our planet is in terrible shape because of ear-tickling sermons!”
Friend, I’m not saying tickle ears, I’m saying preach the good news. There’s a huge difference. This planet isn’t in bad shape because of the good news being preached but the opposite. In fact, Paul told pastor Titus it’s the good news–the grace of God–which will teach people how to live authentically as saints:
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age (Titus 2:11,12)
Paul never said, “That’s too much grace! Balance it with Law!” No, he said it–grace–is what teaches us how to live godly, self-controlled, upright lives. Pastors don’t need to talk out of both sides of their mouths, confusing their flock. They need to preach grace. I’ve never seen anyone who has finally understood the grace of God shout, “I’ve got a license to sin! Sweet!” It just doesn’t happen.
God knows this and that’s why He wants us to think we’re holy so we’ll live holy:
“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (See Proverbs 23:7)
You will act like who you think you are. If you think grace empowers you to live in a godly manner, guess what will happen when you embrace grace as the air you breathe? A life of godly choices and thoughts inspired by His Spirit within.
What’s more is, grace is not cheap, as the self-centered person will yell. They think it’s cheap–as did the Jews who refused to believe Jesus was Messiah (see Hebrews 10:29)–but God’s grace is the most expensive thing ever and Christ paid for it in full at the Cross. Grace only becomes cheap when we try to water it down by adding to it through our own efforts or feeble attempts at Mosaic Law observance (see Romans 11:6, Galatians 3:2,3, 5:4).
Titus 2 is overwhelmingly powerful Scripture in regard to God’s mighty grace and what it does for His children on a moment by moment basis. If our churches wouldn’t dabble in grace, but instead, dumped it on the crowds in buckets, sinful lifestyles wouldn’t stand a chance. If you don’t understand this fact reread Titus 2:11 and 12 daily until you do.
GRACE. EMPOWERS. US. TO. LIVE. PROPERLY.
I don’t know how much simpler God could have made it.
Yet still, most churches won’t teach this. Rather than water their parched people with grace, they heap flies into sticky ointment. Fear-mongering, guilt trips, and scorekeeping of sins-to-good-deeds are their hallmarks. Scattering both the lost and saved alike, they’ll say, “Oh yeah, we teach grace, but Pastor does it with righteous anger.”
What? Are you kidding me?
Grace insults the most sanctimonious folk because it’s completely unfair. “These newcomers need to repent and be like us! We ain’t going crazy on grace!”
We should be going crazy on grace.
Paul calls the gospel, the gospel of grace, in Acts 20:24; and if we look into Scripture, the only time ear-tickling is mentioned is in 2 Timothy 4. And guess who were the targets? Non-believers, not Christians, “Those who turn away from the truth.” Who is the truth? Jesus (see John 14:6). It’s impossible for a Christian to turn away from Jesus because God has hidden us inside of Himself with Jesus. Nobody can snatch us out of His hand and we can’t “jump out” either. He’s combined our spirit with His Spirit forever. The only way this could possibly be undone is if Christ dies again. That will not happen (see John 10:28, 14:19, 2 Timothy 2:13, Colossians 3:3,4, 1 Corinthians 6:17, Hebrews 7:25).
So who really wants their ears tickled? The people who spit on the Cross. Those who want teachers to give them more spiritual disciplines and stuff to improve their completeness with God. Those who want to prove to God how holy they are by what they start and stop–and through “gifts.” Those who are bored with Jesus and want more sermons of Jesus-plus-this and Jesus-plus-that.
It’s impossible for a Christian to have itching ears because we have the same ears as God because we’ve been reborn of God (see John 1:12,13, 1 John 3:1). But most churches won’t teach this. They teach us we’re at battle with God, even as His own children. This is wrong. This is not the gospel.
The gospel is Jesus. The gospel is grace. The gospel is good.
So today, my friends, know this: If today’s churches would preach the message of the undiluted gospel they’d be overflowing all year long! What Jesus has done for us so He can do to us so He can do through us–this is good news! 52 messages a year should be good news!
A prayer for you: Father, today I pray that our churches will begin to embrace the simplicity of your grace through faith in Jesus, as well as our new righteous identity. I pray that the message changes into what you want it to be. I pray for a new revelation to sweep the minds of behavior-centered church-goers, those who belittle your grace and the work of Jesus. Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. So many of these dear readers have experienced harsh, double-talk teachings. The craziness of Covenant-mixing has harmed their thought life tremendously. I ask for you to begin revealing just how much Jesus has accomplished on their behalf, according to the New Covenant. As they grow in this grace, teach them how to be their true selves day by day, moment by moment. In Jesus’ name, amen.

This devotional is from The Christian Identity, Volume 2.

True Purpose in Jesus Christ


Matt McMillen Ministries.
 

Madman

Senior Member
There are two things that I see;

1) Mark 11:17 He was teaching and saying, ‘Is it not written,
“My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations”?
But you have made it a den of robbers.’

2) I am there. (But Christ is working on me)
 
As I read the post above, I began to wonder... how big of a church is this guy leading, and is it full every service? If it is, why aren't they building a bigger place, so more people can hear the correct teaching?

Research is in order
 

j_seph

Senior Member
Our church sermons come from old and new testament. If I went to a church where all that was ever preached was how good I have been then I would be quick to leave because I would know myself I have not been that good through conviction I had fro my wrongs. I would immediately know this was false preaching. Have you ever been in a church service and get the feeling during a hard message of did the pastor see me this weekend, does he have my phone tapped? When it feels and you know that this hard message or part of it has came to your home straight to you. You know good and well that he hasn't been around you in a week and there is no way he could know of whatever it is but yet he is preaching straight to you. That is a message straight from God's throne room. It was not written down, pre planned weeks, months in advance. When a youth lesson is given on a Wed night, then the exact same thing rolls right out of the Pastors mouth during the same service that night. Yet he was in another area and no way he knew what the youth lesson was about.
I have to agree a lot have left the church because the message was hard, or multiple messages week end and week out have been hard. They leave because 1) they are not willing to except the conviction that has came to their lives and repent. or 2) They can go over to such and such church where they do not hear a message that brings conviction to them and their home because that message more than likely was devised by man with carnal thoughts not spiritual. The bible tells us to try the spirits. How many churches today have gotten rid of the alters? How many churches today will set you down if you were to jump up and give your testimony? How many churches would look at you as if you were crazy for shouting an Amen? How many would think you were crazy if you asked for prayer, then someone felt led to request that the church come together as one, and pray over that person, laying hands on them, or even anoint them?
This worked for years just as a certain translation of Gods word has to bring people to Christ yet men got their hands into it because they felt it needed to be changed "To attract" more people. I am not sure about some folks God but I know mine can reach them today just as he did 100, 200, 500 years ago. He is not dead he has not changed, he is the same God today as 2000 years ago.
 
The bible tells us to try the spirits. How many churches today have gotten rid of the alters? How many churches today will set you down if you were to jump up and give your testimony? How many churches would look at you as if you were crazy for shouting an Amen? How many would think you were crazy if you asked for prayer, then someone felt led to request that the church come together as one, and pray over that person, laying hands on them, or even anoint them?
This worked for years

the churches that do allow things like this, things that bring people together, and united us as believers are growing in the US. The ones that accept the alphabet lifestyle, that go along to get along... those churches are losing members by the hundreds of thousands each year.
 

j_seph

Senior Member
the churches that do allow things like this, things that bring people together, and united us as believers are growing in the US. The ones that accept the alphabet lifestyle, that go along to get along... those churches are losing members by the hundreds of thousands each year.
We had a lady yesterday had a spell, almost like a heart attack. First person she asked for as she had gotten to the back pew before she collapsed was the pastor, then her husband. Could you imagine this happening in a mega church? As he held her hand the entire time until an ambulance got there, while her church family some were by her side helping, some nurses, others taking care of the young children of a nurse we have at church, others getting the 5 and 9 year olds out of sanctuary away from it, another leading prayer at the top of his voice, and the pastor leaving to be at hospital with her. This is part of the being yoked together, a christian family, brothers and sisters in Christ that will keep me out of the Mega churches.
 

pjciii

Senior Member
The testimony of a wayward person that has found God's grace can be more powerful than an entire church full of followers. Because that person didn't deserve it, but received it anyway.

Even God realized that things were not working out the way he had planned in the Old Testament. That is why he sent a Saviour and an inclusive message.

A person who lives a righteous and admirable life can sometimes feel like God does not have their back thru trials and tribulations. A sinner that has been shown Gods grace will never have a doubt.

Just my 2 cents
 
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