I have become disappointed with Christian churches over the last few decades, and that frustration continues to grow. Many of our churches are becoming less and less Christian as our world changes. Since our religious institutions are changing to keep up with social trends and lifestyle differences, they are moving away from being truly Christian.
It used to be that the church would help in changing people from their lives of sin to lives of righteousness, but some move in the opposite direction, now. Churches are changing from teaching morality to becoming worry-free social clubs. The messages in the Bible did not change, so what happened?
Churches today are doing their best to present themselves as modern and comfortable; they do not want to offend you, no matter what your lifestyle. They are more interested in being politically correct and supporting social justice issues than in teaching and preaching about Jesus Christ. They aren’t interested in God’s blessings and sinners’ redemption, but in presenting sermons to make the audience feel good.
The churches, especially the megachurches,1 use bands that play exciting music to emotionally move the audience and they have high-tech big screen computer monitors so everyone can get a good look at the fancy entertainment. There are even church helpers covertly planted within the congregation to lead the audience in hand waving and vocal appreciation. Don’t get me wrong, Christian music and entertainment have purpose in the Christian community, but they are secondary to preaching and teaching, they should not be the main focus.
An article at Charisma News stated that their antics are removing the church’s anointing power. It said, “The happy church will entertain you. They say they exist to give people hope. They have fun programs for all your children. All their music and songs will make you feel special and soothe your guilt-ridden emotions. And they’ll do whatever they can to keep you coming back for more.”2
And you don’t have to practice Christian virtues to participate, either. Many churches approve and accept gay, lesbian, and transgendered people into their congregations. They bless their unions and even perform their legal marriage ceremonies. Some even support abortion, or at least say nothing against the practice. In a frenzy to become inclusive, church leaders make congregational adjustments for a number of reasons, including not wanting to lose members and their money, and not wanting to offend or hurt people’s feelings.
Changing tactics will not only help keep their current membership, but see it grow. That sounds like most any business establishment’s monetary growth plan, doesn’t it? And by judging such sinful behavior as acceptable, they are implying God’s word is false doctrine.
People will follow their own desires . . . they will reject the truth.
While some find these changes as reasonable, they should take to heart the message of the apostle Paul, which foretold of a time when evil would steal many away from the truth. “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4, NLT).
In the garden in Eden, God made the first human creature and then removed a part of its body and used it to create another human creature. These two creatures, each with different attributes — masculine and feminine — were the first man and woman (Genesis 2:7–25). He arranged the order of all animal creation to be of two, and only two, distinct genders. So, it is obvious that God created humans as heterosexual beings. God neither made them any other way, nor encouraged them to act in any other way.3
“From the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 10:6–9, NRSV).
Now, about this idea of being a transgendered person, God did not arrange for the possibility for someone changing their sex. Anyone deciding to cut off some part from their body, or attach something different to it, will not in any way change their gender. That would only be wishful thinking. It would be disgraceful and only bastardize God’s perfect work.4
None of this, however, appears to make a difference in many churches. In 2007, 90 percent of churches forbid homosexual behavior, whereas in 2020, that figure has dropped to 65 percent. And, more now support same-sex marriage, too. Within eight years, that support increased from about 34 percent to 56 percent.5
And concerning abortion, how did that go so wrong with the Church? Come on, how can the sixth commandment be forgotten? For a study on abortion and the sixth commandment, see the article “Exodus 21:22-25, Pro-choice or Pro-life – Is a Fetus Valued Less Than a Person?” which is listed in References & Notes at the end of this article.6
What if you are living in some sinful way?
It is not just the new sinful social beliefs that are accepted by these churches, but they are lax in more established anti-Christian areas, as well. Some don’t seem very worried about marital unfaithfulness or drug and alcohol addiction. They may allow groups like AA7 and NA8 to use a meeting room once or twice a week, but although that presents an appearance of helping, they still don’t take an active part in preaching God’s word on these subjects. As long as a person’s sinful activity doesn’t upset the status quo or flow over into regular congregational meetings, the organization’s leaders don’t seem to care very much.
Don’t let their inattention dupe you. If you are outside of following our Lord’s teaching, and you are unrepentant, then you are not a Christian. If you continually enjoy your sin and make no effort to change, you are not a Christian, no matter what church you attend.
Some people believe that all they need do to be a Christian is attend church services, quote a few verses of scripture, and say “praise the Lord” occasionally. They may be fooling themselves and some of you, but those in heaven are not fooled. If they want a ticket onto the train to everlasting life, they must follow the instructions of the conductor, Jesus Christ.
So, don’t be fooled into believing that your sinful ways are acceptable, because they are not. Choose a church that is representative of following Jesus and work to bring your life into alignment with him. Sometimes you have to walk away from what is comfortable, to find the truth.
And there is hope, if you now live outside God’s rules and sincerely wish to change and actually make the effort. If you truly try to live your life as a Christian and believe Jesus died for your sins, then, yes, you are a Christian. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, ESV). So, if you are sincerely struggling to live righteously, yes, you are a Christian, too.
Remember though, even after making any necessary changes, you cannot stay in the adolescent stage of Christian spirituality, either. Truly living as a Christian means growing and learning. Those that stay ignorant and lazy may voluntarily reject all that Christ has done for them.9 And all churches should preach this truth; they should teach this fact and help you accomplish your growth in Christ.
Related to this picture of people dedicating their life to Jesus and making changes for the better, I have selected the song “The Baptism of Jesse Taylor”, as a theme related presentation. This music video (with closed captioning) tells the story of a sinful man who was lost by Satan, because he found Jesus. It changed his life, as well as the lives of his family. Selected lyrics are below. (See listing in References and Notes.)10
Among the local taverns they’ll be a slack in business
‘Cause Jesse’s drinkin’ came before the groceries and the rent
Among the local women they’ll be a slack in cheatin’
‘Cause Jesse won’t be steppin’ out again
They baptized Jesse Taylor in Cedar Creek last Sunday
Jesus gained a soul and Satan lost a good right arm
They all cried “Hallelujah” as Jesse’s head went under
‘Cause this time he went under for the Lord
Copyright © 2020, Dr. Ray Hermann
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Reference & Notes
- megachurch: a church with an unusually large membership, and also offers a variety of educational and/or social activities, usually Protestant or Evangelical.
Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed., (Oxford: UK, Oxford University Press, 2005).
- Farias, Bert M., “Is Your Church Flirting With Delilah?” (The Flaming Herald, CharismaNews.com, 1 June 2018), https://www.charismanews.com/opinion/the-flaming-herald/71394-is-your-church-flirting-with-delilah
- Hermann, Ray, “Does God Approve of the Gay Lifestyle: How Should a Christian Treat Gays?” (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 7 February 2018), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/does-god-approve-of-the-gay-lifestyle-how-should-a-christian-treat-gays/
- Denison, Jim, “Are evangelicals changing their minds about same-sex relationships?” (The Christian Post, 15 August 2020), https://www.christianpost.com/voices/are-evangelicals-changing-their-minds-about-same-sex-relationships.html
- Hermann, Ray, “Exodus 21:22-25, Pro-choice or Pro-life – Is a Fetus Valued Less Than a Person?” (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 1 April 2018), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/exodus-2122-25-pro-choice-or-pro-life-is-a-fetus-valued-less-than-a-person/
- AA: Alcoholics Anonymous is an international self-supporting fellowship for the purpose of enabling its members to recover and stay sober, using a 12-step program.
- NA: Narcotics Anonymous is an international self-supporting fellowship for the purpose of enabling its members to recover from various substance abuse addictions, by using a 12-step program.
- Hermann, Ray, “Hebrews 6:4 — Can We Lose Our Salvation?” (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 20 August 2018), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/hebrews-64-can-we-lose-our-salvation/
- “The Baptism of Jesse Taylor”, Artist: Guy Penrod, (Live with the Gaither Vocal Band at Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, SC, in 2018); Author: Dallas Frazier and Sanger D. Shafer (1973); Album: Gaither Vocal Band – Reunion LIVE, (licensed to YouTube by UMG, Sony ATV Publishing, and others, uploaded 26 September 2019) – MUSIC VIDEO, https://youtu.be/uxM5Scm2mJM