Borrowed Truths

Get Out of There

Borrowed Truths

Get Out of There

If you are familiar with Romans 14:11 then you know that a day is coming when every single person, everyone will bow the knee to the Lord, no exceptions. Since this is true, where does this pride come from that so many that profess Christ seem to have these days in some churches, where did they get this banner that they fly that proclaims they are superior Christians, the one that some carry that reads that this makes them better than others who are not. Not from anything that I have ever found in the Scriptures.

Why do some in certain religious organizations believe that if you do not follow the path that they have proclaimed as the only route that you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven, why are there long time members in some congregations that look down upon the new visitors as if they should not be there, as if they have not provided the proper documentation for admittance before entering the church building. Why do some look at the one behind the podium, whether he be in a suit or flowing robes as one that is closer to God, and thereby to be revered by all in attendance, no matter what he preaches. Why do some believe that since they have been attending the church for many years or even decades that they are the ones that should be consulted before any new program or task can be accepted.

Self-righteous pride has taken the place of self-effacing humility within too many churches today, and it is part of the reason why the love of many has grown cold and memberships in most churches are declining or have become stagnant. Who wants to walk into a church a second time where only stares and downward glances are given to them, or one where all they receive is a handshake and a greeting and nothing else, where all that are new to the building are asked as part of the prepared, repetitive program to fill out a visitor card, but no one from the church knocks on their door in the following weeks. What exactly is it that these people in these churches think that these individuals and families came to the church for, because there was nothing good on the television that Sunday morning and they were just looking for something to do to fill the time?

Not only is there very little if any one-on-one discipleship training or preaching on the convictions and commandments that should be in their hearts, but the fellowship has taken on a mentality of a clubhouse, where certain criteria and obligations must be met, along with the prerequisite time period allotted before the new visitor can be considered for enrollment in the clubhouse. Certain standards must be adhered to, do not sit over there, that’s Mr. and Mrs. So-and -so’s spot and has been for many years, if you are here long enough, if we desire for to become a part of our society, you too will receive your own special, reserved place in the pews. Of course, it may take quite some time before you are accepted as one of them, much patience and adherence to the prescribed guidelines must be followed, but, there are quicker routes, it just depends on the size of your bank account or your current status in the community.

It is quite easy to recognize many of these churches, almost everyone that does not have an “assigned” seating place can be found in the last few rows towards the back. No questioning of the pastor’s authority or of the elders and deacons must ever be voiced, no matter how far they may stray from the truths of the Word of God. These churches will almost always have a large screen television somewhere in the main hall, usually just off to the side of an equally large cross, but not covering up the flag of the country that they reside in. Entertainment is a major part of every service, hence the television screen, and the pastor will inevitably start his sermon with a joke or some new incredible news from the worlds stage.

His stage, his responsibility is not to bring the assembly to the knowledge of the convictions that they are to have within them, it is not to make them to understand that they are to be effectual servants of Christ, it is to make them feel better about themselves. There are a lot of “glad-handers” in a church like this, in fact in most of them you will be asked to stand up and shake the hand of the person not only next to you, but to march up and down the aisle and greet all with a smile and warm handshake, at every service. Happy, smiling faces completely devoid of any spiritual maturity whatsoever.

These type of churches do not exist to grow spiritual servants of Christ, they are there to make themselves feel better, to listen to the words of the one behind the podium who has promised never to ask them to be convicted, never to challenge them, only to convince them that every thing is fine and that they are fine too. There are a lot of potlucks and cookies and coffee gatherings at these churches, and those who stay to attend them will find great company with all those that also take part in them, with not one single word of Scripture to be heard the entire time. The financial committee is concerned with the carpet, paint, grass and the appearance of the outside and inside of the building, but not the missions work so much, meetings are held to discuss who will mow the yard, shovel the snow and clean the windows, but not for visitation times or prayer groups, and only those who hold tenure within the church need attend.

Mid-week Bible studies, if they exist, are virtually the same as the Sunday service, these are the verses we will be going over and we need to be done by this time, please keep all questions till the end and as short and to the point as possible, if you have a personal need, it would be best for you to set an appointment time with the pastor. You will not find open discussion groups within these churches, too many unanswerable or spiritually in-depth questions may be brought up, and these would be best left up to the individual to discern for themselves. Everything must be done in order and as planned, no deviation is acceptable, unless of course it goes thru the correct committee first.

When you meet the individuals that attend these churches outside of the building during the week, they will be kind and polite, but the closest that you will get to discussing anything spiritually relevant to with them will be their invitation to you to attend the church again, unless of course you have been making some waves while you were there, then you will receive only the customary pleasantries. I am sorry to say that many of those that attend these churches will not be bowing their knees in heaven.

These types of churches have a very high turnover rate, the core group will make sure of that if necessary, if you do not attain to the value system that has been set in stone, you will not be asked to not return, but you will in no way be made to feel welcome anymore, there is a very specific way that things must be done in these buildings, and the long time members are there to make sure that it stays that way. These churches can go through a lot of pastors, if they by chance are deceived in their hiring of one and it is found over time that he will not follow the prescribed path that has been set, it is quite easy to make him feel just as uncomfortable as anyone else that passes thru the doors. The acceptable candidate will be informed of his expected duties, what he can and cannot preach on, and it is sad to say, but many of these types of places pay quite well, so it is really not that difficult to find someone to stand behind the podium who will toe the line.

The one they hire will of course be expected to join the local interfaith organization, for many of the friends and relatives of the long-time members attend other churches in the area, and no one must ever be offended in any way. Reproofs and corrections are never allowed, not only would this also cause the possibility of offending, but no one can say how God might be working in the life of another person, so it is always best just to leave that up to that individual and God. And lastly of course there is tradition, every holiday must have its own sermon, special “holy” days must always be acknowledged, some that they have even made up themselves. Mediocrity must always be celebrated to the fullest extent possible. There is one acceptable path to continued membership in these churches, and it is rarely God’s path.

My friends, if you have walked into one of these churches, run, do not walk to the nearest exit, I do not care if it is in the middle of the message. I know that you want to help them, to assist them in seeing that they are blind, but I have never seen or heard of one of these churches changing yet. Although I would applaud your efforts, and would pray for you if you came across one such as these 2nd Timothy 4:3 churches, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” I personally do not know if it would be worth your time.

Ask the Lord to open your eyes to show you if you are in one of these churches, and if so to provide you with one that truly serves the Lord Jesus Christ, they are few, but they are still out there.  

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