Transforming the Church of Christ into the Temple of Belial
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first..." Thessalonians 2:3a
We know what is written. There shall be a great falling away from revealed truth in Christianity as many are swept away into a delusion prior to Jesus' coming. Even now, we can look around and see Christian cults veering into apostasy as they turn away from the truth of God's words.
Often, the term cult brings to mind pictures of anti-social groups of people, hidden away doing unspeakable acts. However, what about the thousands openly walking away from the Lord while sitting in football-style arenas...often with hands and voices upraised, singing God's praises? Do we believe that because something is popular, attractive, or expansive then it must be right?
Any church whose teachings diverge from the essential truths of the Gospel is indeed a cult.
In the sermon below, Pastor Mike Hoggard addresses the apostasy of the emergent church. These fellowships are often the most known, for they believe that God's house of prayer needs to be a marketing machine as we "get the people in" at any cost.
When a church starts to focus on increasing membership, it has already taken its eyes off of Jesus. The church should be so focused on Christ, that we can honestly say, "Who is Paul? Who is Apollos? It is God who gives the increase." Yet in much of the churchworld, the Gospel has been forsaken in deference to getting the "increase" - apart from the organic growth that comes naturally from planting and watering. As such, many are failing to heed Paul's warning that we take care how we build...as long as we build.
Need some suggestions on appropriate topics? How about a sermon on "Desperate Households"? "Lifeswap"? "Girls of the Bible Gone Crazy"? Or, you can simply put in an ad at your local Hooters about how to have better sex....God's way! Think I am kidding? Just take a look at what is being done in the name of evangelism.
Yet, whose responsibility is it to grow the church?
"And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." Acts 2:47a
Such efforts at self-promotion are the evidence that these churches are not only ignorant of how the church grows, but they are likewise ignorant of even who the church is. It reveals that the Spirit of the Lord is not behind their evangelism.
As a result, they must offer a synthetic gospel, counterfeit spiritual experiences, and man-centered worship in order to mimic the real move of God's Spirit. Like the pied piper, the worldly "Christian" music itself becomes the minister as it leads the people off to their own destruction.
* By the way, I am not a KJV-only proponent. However, the info shared about efforts to water down God's word is certainly worth consideration.