In part one of this article, I talked about how far too many Christians have shifted their positions on morality and perhaps have moved it to the bottom of their contemporary concerns. But what could have contributed to that?
Recently, I heard a pastor state that it was his intention to be “culturally relevant” in these last days so that the church can become the center for evangelism, community driven and to be intriguing for sinners to come to church and get saved. Sounds good, but it’s wrong.
Since the past few years I’ve heard many Pastors, youth leaders, Christian entertainers and Christian laypeople state this same rhetoric, that in order to win the world, we must become relevant enough to get their attention so that we can give them Jesus. But are we?
I do not doubt for one moment the sincerity of these people, I honestly believe that they believe they are doing what they think is best to win the lost, to garner more attendance, to satisfy the great commission for their cause. But the problem persists that as more and more churches declare this agenda, they are merging on the edge of losing their identity simply to appease the world.
Because of this style of evangelism which is found in many churches, it’s leading many into an open area of compromise and sin. This is why the number of fallen Pastors has risen sharply in the last few years. Because of this new concept to become current with the world, we have allowed the world’s ideas and beliefs within the church itself. Hence, why so many believers are now struggling with sexual sin and immorality like never before. We are getting sick from the disease we once had an immunity to.
The argument for this philosophical nugget is that if we can become more appealing to those in the world who are already engaging in behavior that is both sinful and ultimately harmful, then we can draw them away from that style of entertainment or lifestyle with something identical yet spiritually enriching. I call it the “New Coke” syndrome.
Back in the early 90’s Coca-Cola decided to create a new Coke, something better, something people would want that would replace the old Coke. What they discovered was that although ideal, it was a marketing nightmare. People tasted the “new stuff” and realized that the old was a lot better than the new. Soon, people demanded the original, they wanted to good stuff! They couldn’t stomach the new formula for taste and I’m sure stock holders couldn’t stomach the drop in revenue.
Reinvention or Revival?
What was the problem? They tried to re-invent a tried and true formula for success and it didn’t work. It’s the same with the church today. I see more and more preachers today trying new ideas, new concepts, new messages, new songs; it looks good, it sounds good, but when you taste it then you are left with something that is not genuine, it’s an imitation of the original. The church today is trying it’s hardest to replace a tried and true formula, something that has worked for over a thousand years and that is the basic message of the cross.
In a day when the church is trying to look as much as possible like the world, where we dress like the world, talk like the world, are entertained by the world, how can we even begin to fulfill the great commission? The very idea of being holy, separate, and pure, is counter to the real goal of “reaching the world”. Yet, we are doing it trying to be relevant at the cost of our very identity of a holy ghost filled church. It simply won’t work!
This is why our young people are giving in to the lie of alternative lifestyles, bi-sexuality and homosexuality, because we changed the purpose of the great commission and we didn’t stay true to the core message of the cross.
God has one method to win the world – just one. It’s the gospel through the preaching of the word. That’s it! Uno tournaments, Christian rock concerts, seminars, community activism, none of it can never or will ever become the tried and true formula that God has placed into position to win the world, it’s still the preaching of the word and nothing more.
The problem is, when we start going to bed with the world to win the world, you wake up with contamination, a spiritual STD. This is why the church today has virtually no power it once had, all because it tried to be like the world in almost every way, yet God said over and over to be less like the world and more like him. Until we realize this, the less of an impact we will have on society and the world. And God knows we need to be an impact on the world today!
When the message is about loving ourselves, there’s something wrong. When leadership begins to fall morally, there’s something wrong. When a Pastor can write a book and state that Hell no longer exists, there’s something wrong.
We must begin to shake ourselves as Samson did and realize that the enemy is all around us, we’ve slept in the lap of Delilah for too long and it’s time to wake up and loose the bindings on us. The world is in chaos, the world is hurting, it’s looking for something that is true, tested, sure and not been re-invented. It’s looking for the gospel.
We must return to a faithful prayer life. Give ourselves over to fasting at times as well as getting back into the word of God. A faithful dedication to reading our Bibles, studying the scriptures daily, is the only true means of success the church can assure a positive and healthy life.
We must be willing to denounce our sins, our pride and arrogance which has brought us false teachings and corrupt ideas. When we remove the leaven in our lives, we’ll begin to see God’s healing within us.
I believe in the coming years God is going to wake his church and then the greatest revival of evangelism will occur, but we need to start preparing and part of that is going back to what is true and good, the old paths, the old ways.
I’ve tried the new Coke and you can have it, give me that old stuff, the good stuff. It might sound cliche’ but that old time religion was good enough for my parents, it’s good enough for me.
6 thoughts on “The First Church of God on Sodom Street Pt 2”
Great article! Very motivational! Thanks brother.
Well stated! This article needs to be read by all. I am an ordained minister an have been affiliated with The A/G for almost 43 years (most of my life). Oh how the pentecostal believers in America need to return to holiness and the power of the Spirit. Thank you for declaring what we need to hear and do in this wicked hour.
Wonderful. May I beat my body into the submission of the Spirit daily so that I can help contribute in such a move.
Well said and so true, my brother. You have just about covered all the things that has been very wrong in today’s mainstream ‘American’ church. I am with brother Mike, this needs to be read by all!!
A very well written article! How true that we need to get back to the old paths and the old ways. By the way, it still works!! Consequently, the church is believing a lie that the old way doesn’t work anymore, simply because it is old.
This is sad, that as a result, it is bringing in a social gospel that lessens or reduces the power of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore, this brings in tolerance and acceptance of sinful behavior, that loses our identity with Christ. In closing, we must shake ourselves to wake up so that we can loose the bindings that bind us!
Hello. Maybe I didn’t read the article closely enough, but the author mentions the “wrong” forms of outreach & evangelism–getting buddy-buddy with and pandering to the world. But I don’t think I noticed the author’s recommendations for “right” forms of evangelism and outreach.
This issue is of course important as it seems some folks are forgetting that we can still reach out to a lost and dying world without getting in bed with the world. Some of us seem to have forgotten how we ourselves eventually came to Christ–one of His own (or perhaps several) somehow introduced us in our sinful, worthy-of-death state to Him (Romans 5:6).
The author writes: “God has one method to win the world – just one. It’s the gospel through the preaching of the word.”
That’s quite true, but what does this preaching look like? Don’t the occasions for this life-changing proclamation also begin on a personal, human level? Is the only way we can reach the lost simply by “preaching” to them? Instead of trying to be culturally relevant, we can try simply remembering that we’re all human. We are all the same at the basic levels — we have bills, frustrations, challenges, suffering pain and loss, etc.
The only difference between Christians the unsaved in these matters is that we also have the joy, peace, and wholeness (i.e., general well-being) found in Christ Jesus our LORD. This is the greatest witness, but how can the unsaved even notice how we truly depend on a right relationship with God (and what such a relationship looks like) if we don’t befriend them on SOME level? I’m not talking about changing or hiding who we are in Christ to make others comfortable (that’s no witness at all). I simply mean treating people like people and not simply as sinners; not simply seeing the unsaved as the enemy, but (as one writer put it) victims of the enemy.
Let’s look at the relationships God has given us w/ the unsaved–our neighbors, barbers/hair stylists, co-workers, store owners, and especially our own family members–and try to make sure that we are allowing Christ to be present with & within us when WE are present with these people. This doesn’t require us pronouncing judgment on folks and listing all of their sins to them–most times they know exactly what they’ve been doing.
As Christ showed during His own ministry, an effective witness is more about showing the alternative to a sinful, wordly life and the joy, peace, and well-being (i.e., shalom/wholeness) found in God for those who trust in Him. We don’t need to shove anything down anyone’s throat or rattle off their sins in the process of proclamation, after all, doesn’t regeneration come after/because of faith in Christ?. We can still stand firm upon the Rock while reaching out to those God has put in our circles who stand on shaky ground.
There is a way to remain in the world and be LIVING EPISTLES to the world without becoming of the world–and that is why Christ prayed the Father NOT to remove us from the world, but to protect us from the evil one (John 17:15).
Perhaps if more churches/local assemblies would remember that Christ didn’t make Himself attractive to the world by becoming like the world, but instead taught and showed that change is possible for those who seek after God with a sincere heart (God even works with faith the size of a mustard seed)… perhaps if we could remember this, we would stop compromising ourselves. And, hopefully, look at the lost as God looked at us in our once-wretched state–as people worth dying for.
Sorry if I was all over the place with this comment… but it helps to show what may work while slamming the things that we are doing blatantly wrong. There is more than one way to preach the gospel.
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