Summary: The compromising church is leaving the way of holiness and righteousness so that we can reach the sinner, but are we really reaching them?
LEAVING THE WAY
One of the greatest problems that I see in the realm of Christianity is that there is a wholesale turning away from the ways of holiness and righteousness, and there is a tendency to leave the ways of the Lord that have been passed down from the time of the early church. The modern church has been deluded and deceived into believing that “anything goes” and our fear of God’s judgment for sin has been dulled by teachings on self-esteem, man centered worship and social gatherings in the name of Christ. We have compromised our convictions for holiness and lowered our standards of righteousness before God so that we will become more acceptable to man.
We have taken the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:22, "...I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some," and we have interpreted them to mean that we should become like everyone else to be accepted so that we can reach them for Jesus.
I believe that we have looked at those words of Paul and that we have used them for an excuse to become a church that has no power, no testimony, and very little ability to see the hearts of people changed through the anointing power of the Holy Ghost. In fact, I believe that we have grieved the Holy Spirit so much that most of the modern-day churches that are labeled “Full Gospel”, or “Charismatic”, or even “Pentecostal” are actually labeled as “Apostate” in the mind of God.
They might be Charismatic because they certainly know how to appear spiritual and to act as though the power of God as in the midst, but in reality there is no power. It’s all a show and a performance to draw people into their charade. How can God be present when man is glorified instead of God? There is no real move of the Holy Spirit in the “moshing” that goes on in most of our youth pep rallies. Jumping up and down with the music, diving off into a crowd of youth in front of the platform and “body surfing” across the upraised hands of those who pretend to worship Jesus has nothing to do with real worship. It’s all a show of the flesh.
When you can’t tell the difference between the world’s music and that of the modern “worship band” and you see those who are supposed to lead the congregation to a higher standard in Christ actually lower their own standards of dress and appearance of holiness to be better accepted, then I believe that we are headed in the wrong direction.
God calls us to come out from the world and be a separate people unto him. He calls us to lift up his standards of righteousness, not to lower them. He calls us to be more committed to him and to become more like him with each passing day, not to conform to the image of this world. Whatever happened to abstaining from all appearance of evil?
I know that the voice that I raise today is not popular with the modern church crowd. Most will only laugh and say that we are “old fashioned” or that I am an “old fogey” who is behind the times and unwilling to “move on”. To those who would think so I say AMEN!
If it means that I choose to live holy and righteous before the Lord and to refuse to compromise the convictions of the Holy Ghost upon my heart and life to maintain the standards that I have been convinced are right and in line with the Word of God and the Will of God, then I guess I am “old fashioned” and I will always be that way.
I like what I heard one preacher say, and there ought to be a lot more saying it –
“That statement by Peter does not mean that we are to see just how far into the world we can go or how much we can become like the world and still call ourselves Christian. It does not mean that we can get so close to being like the world that we are walking a tightrope between godliness and ungodliness.
What it does mean is that we must pray and seek the face of God to know how far from the world we can get and how much difference we can become from the world of sin and still be able to call out to the sinner so that they will hear us. We are to lift the sinner out of his miry clay of sin and call him to a higher level of righteousness in Christ. If there is not difference between our life and his, then why would he need to be delivered from what he is doing right now?