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The Church Becoming a Circus, Part 2

Thursday, June 21, 2018 8:12
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Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective

Last time, we briefly discussed the issues related to a mainline protestant denomination we used to attend, but walked away when it became clear that their theology was conforming more to the world’s philosophy than Scripture. Political correctness or Cultural Marxism us rampant there and has become their guiding light. Because of it, tremendous inroads have been made by those on the Left who wield political correctness as their main change agent against all those who oppose their agenda. The goal is to shame people either into silence or to force them to at least give lip service to Marxist philosophies and ideas.

We also mentioned in passing that in more and more churches these days across many denominations, the atmosphere is becoming almost circus-like. The senior pastor, youth leader and worship leader all strive to whip up a certain degree of intensity within congregations. One of the ways this is accomplished is through high-energy music, which tends to help people shake off their reserved attitudes and just let things go…all in the name of worshiping the Lord.

Another way that people are loosened up is through the preaching of the senior pastor. For too many churches, gone are the days when an actual pulpit was placed center platform, the pastor was dressed in suit and tie, and literally opened the Bible, read from it, and commented on it. Today, many churches have given themselves over to tricks, gimmicks, and motivational speaking. It also really helps if the speaker is a decent comedian to help keep people in the seats entertained. One side joke after another is preferred because it keeps the laughter coming and the resistance to the message low.

It is a fact that generally speaking, people who are relaxed, happy, and having a great time will go along with the speaker in whatever direction he/she is trying to lead people. They will thrill to the idea of being involved in a place where “love” is so seriously on display. Of course, in this case, “love” means simply “feeling good” about others and yourself.

I find it fascinating that as far as God is concerned, love includes discipline and sometimes even chastisement. The Bible tells us that God disciplines those whom He loves (Hebrews 12:6), and certainly good parents do this same thing. But the goal of too many churches today is to make people feel warm about themselves and one another. To do this, it is required to set any sort of judgment aside. I realize quite clearly that the Bible tells us we should never judge another person (Matthew 7:1). Many take that to mean we should not speak disparagingly of another person’s lifestyle, actions, or words. That’s not the point that Jesus was making. In Matthew 7:1, Jesus was making the point that we should not judge another individual’s motives for doing something because we cannot see their motivation. Only God can see that and because of that, only He can judge with justice.

The Bible is also very clear that we should not be afraid to judge actions or words. In fact, Paul points out a number of problem areas in people’s lives and notes that when we see that type of behavior in others, we should make a note of it and avoid them (Romans 16:17). Why? Because if we do not, we will likely become like them in their words or actions. We aren’t to avoid them because we are somehow better than they are; we’re not. We are to note their behavior/words and avoid them because bad apples will always spread their rot to other apples.

At the same time, I’m not allowed to hate a person who exhibits terrible behavior or uses off-color verbiage. I’m supposed to pray for them and live life in such a way that my life speaks to them as a testimony of God’s love. How often do we fail at that? I know I do.

Admittedly, this can be very difficult to do and it reminds us that we need to rely heavily on the indwelling Holy Spirit to make that happen in our life. We cannot do it through sheer willpower, however, we can and should force ourselves to seek God, allowing Him to create this in our life.

But too many churches today are not interested in this balancing act of being a Christian. They are more concerned about the prevailing attitude and atmosphere within their church. Churches are marketed today. Marketing agencies are paid handsomely for their efforts and advice to churches so that they can build a large following. Anyone can do it.

Certainly, in too many churches today, it seems to all be about gimmicks. Church Watch Central recently posted an article on this very thing. As I read through it, all I could think of was how often I have seen some of the tactics highlighted used in churches I’ve been associated with in the past. Summing up the article, here’s a list of what they came up with and for more detail, please read the full article linked above.

  • A children’s show – pretend the people in the seats are children and design the whole service as if trying to engage a very young person’s mind. This often includes some form of carefully staged belittling of the people in the seats or talking down to them with antics like jumping on a huge foam couch, skipping around the stage like a child and other things.
  • Something HUGE is coming! This is one big way to get people excited and expectant. It also gives the impression that the pastor is on close terms with God who clearly told him/her to expect something big.
  • The faster he speaks the more you’ll be in awe. This is where the speaker talks at breakneck pace. Trying to keep us is frustrating and tiring so people just give up and wind up clapping with delight when speaker is done. Clearly, God must be with that person for them to be able to speak that fast and coherently.
  • One that really annoys me is what some call the “Holy Spirit Tourettes Syndrome.” This is where a person supposedly under the “anointing” of the Holy Spirit shakes like a cement mixer while uttering “words of knowledge” allegedly from God. I know of no instance in Scripture where this occurred, but it happens a lot in the Charismatic and NAR arena. If you can stand to watch it, check out the video below. Folks, in my opinion, this is not God-ordained. It is demonically inspired. By the way, why does anyone have to try to hold the person down? Isn’t she under the power of the Holy Spirit? If so, what good would trying to hold her down accomplish? One other thing…this is simply a newer version of being “slain in the Spirit,” which is where people fall over onto their backs as the Holy Spirit supposedly comes upon them. Do you think that these people feel as though they are holier than you and me if it doesn’t happen to us? They would deny it but that is the implication.

  • The “How big is your God” dare. This presumes to go around Scripture by saying that God is bigger than the Bible and the Bible does not and cannot contain all that is about God. While this is true, it is also true that God gave us His Word to help us understand what He wants us to know about Him and how He works in this life now. To go beyond the Bible is dangerous because the person doing that becomes their highest authority.
  • Probably one of the ones I hate the most: “God told me.” People use this all the time to get other people to do what they want them to do. If you have a relationship with God through salvation provided by God the Son and you have entered into that relationship through faith, then God will direct your life. It is a growing process where we grow in our faith just as we grow physically. We take baby steps first and as we mature, we take bigger steps. We are not living in the Old Testament where there was little of God’s Word and required Him to send His messengers with His message. We have all of the Bible today and God will lead us as we allow Him to lead. No one will show up at your door with your marching orders. They are in His Word, but if you don’t avail yourself of His Word, how will you ever know? You won’t and you’ll be in danger of succumbing to some charlatan who is out for him or herself and they won’t mind using you to accomplish their goals.
  • Endless, mindless blathering. I recall when I was involved in the Charismatic Movement in the 70’s, it was not uncommon for people to stand up during services and give a “word” from the Lord. These words were generally accepted as fully authoritative as the Bible. What I thought interesting is that often the person stood and would give a mishmash of several verses of Scripture that always made it sound like God was doing something brand new. Looking back, it is very clear to me that God was not doing anything new at all. There was never any lasting impact. Never. This does not stop people from using the same type of approach though today because it instills excitement in folks and makes them feel alive and glad to be there with others who are also seeking more of God. Here’s a video of several examples. The first is Cindy Jacobs who apparently believes being loud and shrill instills a sense of authority in her. The second example is from Chuck Pierce (starting at 2:29. Listen to him drone on and on about the “buckling” of the highways. Spare us. I like how at the end Chuck seemed to not know what to say – he was looking for a word and couldn’t find it – then bent over deeply and poof! Found it so he could finish his “word” from the Lord. There must have been a glitch in the Spirit…

I could go on an on and you likely have your own examples as well. If I’ve offended you, I’m sorry, but I speak from the experience of having been involved in the Charismatic Movement and have attended churches that became “emergent” with full-blown use of every gimmick known to society. Religion is huge business because it’s tax-free and non-profit.

Large portions of the visible church are becoming little more than circuses where “motivational speakers” work up crowds to a level of excitement the first century Christians apparently knew nothing about. Worship leaders crank the volume, pound on the drums, produce high-flying electric guitar licks and the crowd goes wild. I recall one church we attended in California where a very well-known secular guitar player (who said he was a Christian) became the worship leader. The way the music changed was interesting. Each service was literally a concert complete with drum, guitar, bass, and keyboard solos. There really was no difference between that and attending a Journey concert except for the actual songs.

Folks, if you attend a church that exhibits the type of behaviors noted above, certainly, you can stay if you want to, but I’d personally run as far away as possible. They won’t change so don’t think you’ll be able to “witness” to them. They will come to dislike your presence and do what they can to chase you off. Find a church that takes the Bible literally (not literalistically), and seriously; one where a male pastor uses expositional preaching and is filled with integrity. I know that type of church can be difficult to locate, but try to find one. God will help.

As the circus within Christendom continues to grow and exploit gullible people, it’s only going to get worse. Remember Paul’s words…

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1-5 KJV)

Folks, we are there.

Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective



Source: https://studygrowknowblog.com/2018/06/21/the-church-becoming-a-circus-part-2/

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Total 2 comments
  • Gordon

    You really don’t have a solution do you? You warn about what to watch out for, when your own doctrine leads people into a humanistic setting. In the box the people of God follow rules that are manmade and man centered.
    To lead people back into this environment even if it is conservative is still death to the Christian life.
    The Box is all about an outward show of devotion, when Jesus is about changing the heart. You yourself should be rebuked for your council. You haven’t found the way yet.

  • Truthseeker

    Gordon and Modres

    The time is coming when the entire earth, not just so called christianity, will obey and be of ONE mind.

    When Jesus Christ sets HIS Feet on the Mount of Olives and when He sits on the Throne of David and begins to rule with a Rod of Iron—– All, every last person on earth will Keep the Commandments and DO the Torah –what do you think the rod is for?

    And will come before the KING of kings and worship on the Day Jesus Christ is LORD of —- The Sabbath.

    23 And it shall come to pass, [that] from one new moon to another, — and from one Sabbath to another,— shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

    Gordon, Jesus Christ is that ONE WAY and the LIFE and the entirety of so called Christianity refuses to OBEY, refuses to follow.

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