The Seven Sins of a Lukewarm Church
In Matthew Five Jesus warns that the people of God, when they are no longer lights to their communities, are like salt that has lost its flavour. Tasteless salt is worthless and should be thrown out. Has the western Church become tasteless salt? If that is the case it cannot be effective in prosecuting the cause of Christs. Instead it will only exist as an institution non-Christians perceive to be worthless with a message to be ignored and even actively opposed.
There is now no doubt that many in the western world are now treating the Church as worthless, a sure sign that it has failed in its mission. If you go to the many articles and declarations on this site you will find Truth Watch has been warning the Church for at least a decade that it must reform its ways. Our experience is that church leaders, in particular, are resistant to change. Despite the failure of the Church over decades to make any impression on the advance of atheism and liberalism they are adamant things should stay the same.
Compare Christians today with those in 17th Century England or 18th Century America. The 17th Century Puritans, confronted with a king determined to rule on his own authority, rose in revolt. Over a century later Christians in the U.S. led a rebellion against a regime they determine was going to rob them of their rights and tax them mercilessly. No doubt both groups took God’s warning about kingship in I Samuel 8 seriously. Today, the Church takes next to no interest in anything beyond a limited range of activities and actively supports politicians who support things God hates. Even as we write a Baptist pastor in the U.S., Robert Jeffress, is exhorting Christians to get behind Donald Trump, an adulterer who has been actively greasing the palms of politicians for decades to make business deals. To be fair, Pastor Jefress has stood boldly against immorality and the American cults, but his political activism is entirely misdirected when he had good Christian Candidates like Cruz, Huckabee and Ben Carson to get behind. It is this sort of faulty thinking that blights Church leadership. Arguably the Christians three centuries ago had less to get upset about than Christians do today. Truth Watch is not advocating revolt, only a more direct, forthright and active engagement with the wider society that spread the good news and stands up for righteousness.
Seven deadly sins
The Church loses its way, hides its light and is no longer salt in the world, when it falls into one or more of what are the Churches deadliest sins:
- Refusing or failing to defend God as creator.
- Failing to obey and follow God’s commands.
- Finding common cause with other faiths (idolatry).
- Reducing the true gospel of repentance from sin to just a ‘relationship’ with Jesus Christ.
- Assuming the works of faith have nothing to do with the public square (government policy and political debate.
- Failing or refusing to challenge the secular world view.
- Failing or refusing to actively defend the Bible as the ‘word of God’ – as truth.
When the Church is failing in any one of these ways it is only a matter of time before the others take hold. While individuals and some churches are doing good things, in a collective sense the western Church is failing in all seven areas. It is salt without flavour. The only way forward is to ‘remake’ the way church is done. The old Church is no longer of any use in building God’s kingdom. All it can do is be a home for Christian gatherings. God expects a whole lot more from his people. Jesus sent his apostles out to all the world. We all as Christians need to see the world as our stamping ground. The whole of life is our courtyard, the place where we must all be active, according to the gifts God has given to each of us.
There is a well used adage that all evil needs to triumph is that good men do nothing. But there is something even worse - when good men see evil for decade after decade and still do nothing. Such is the state of the western Church. In the NIV, Jeremiah 3, starting at verse 6, is headed 'unfaithful Israel'. Few Christians would see a parallel between the Israel God judged with invasion and captivity and the western Church over the last 50 years. Israel and Judah actively aligned themselves with foreign powers, embracing their gods and their ways in the hope it would bring them peace, security and acceptability. They ignored God's prophets who warned them to hold to their covenant with their God and forsake their infatuation with foreign cultures.
The contemporary Church has been thoroughly unfaithful. To garner acceptability it has ignored the significance of Galatians 6:12 and embraced the declining values of a failing western culture. No good has come of it. Its silence or complicity has aided the liberal and atheistic cause by failing to stand in its way. Moral and spiritual cowardice has marked its way as the Church has done everything to remain acceptable to a post-Christian society and avoid persecution. The so called emergent church movement is a stark example of fawning social sycophancy. If God were to send another Jeremiah or an Ezekiel to speak to today's church, predicting what they would probably say is not difficult. Here is the short list:
- If you love your God, return to obedience to his commands: Stop committing adultery and divorcing the wife of your youth. Honour your bodies as his temple. Stop your promiscuity and reject homosexuality.
- Judge situations on the basis of God's commands. Do not claim you are not to judge on matters on which God has already judged, providing you are not acting hypocritically (Matthew 7:1-5).
- Stand against the teaching of evolution. Believe in an old earth if you must, but do not forsake the fact that God committed six literal acts of creation. Defend God as creator and the first and only cause of the cosmos.
- Do not remain silent any longer on the false god Allah and his false prophet. Tear down the pretentious arguments and practices ranged against the true God in the West by this satanic faith.
- Stop supporting the politicians and political parties, that continue with laws and policies God hates, with your vote.
- Publicly tell the people what is good and what is evil - to love God is to hate evil (Romans 12:9; Proverbs 8:13).
- Stop preaching a gospel of relationship and centre it instead on repentance from sin and Jesus as Lord.
- Leaders! Stop cloistering God's people in your entertainment citadels. Equip them properly to defend the faith(Jude 3) and proclaim the gospel of the kingdom.Send them out to be bold and courageous.
- Publicly and relentlessly bring down the pretentious arguments ranged against God by prominent atheists and politicians.
- Advocate changes in society that will glorify God. Demonstrate faith with good works (James 2:14, 17, 24)
The last word goes to Paul and his injunction to the Galatians in 6:7-8. If the western Church is to win back lost ground it must stop trying to please the world and start pleasing God by standing up for him in all spheres, for it is in all spheres of western culture that God's kingdom is under attack.