Friday, November 15, 2013

Churchianity: The Heresy of Accepting Things As They Are

In my previous three posts, I discussed various aspects of Churchianity, which is the elevation of the church above Christ.  It comes in many different forms and most churches in America suffer from it.

In this post, I wish to discuss how it manifests as a Church adhering to the cultural or societal standards of the times while not keeping the law of Christ in mind.  What do I mean by this?  Well let’s first set the standard that Paul set in 1 Corinthians 9:19-22:

19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.

In this passage, Paul discusses evangelism and how he practices it.  Because not all are Jews, he does not adhere to the Jewish customs nor impose incredible burdens on the Gentiles.  What he is saying essentially is that you do not have to keep a strict diet or a strict standard in order to be a Christian.  He does, however, indicate that he is under the law of Christ.

When the non-Jews started to believe and the Holy Spirit was baptizing them, the Jewish leaders of the early church decided to write a letter to indicate what “laws” they should follow.  Here is the result:

22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers, 23 with the following letter: “The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the brothers[a] who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings. 24 Since we have heard that some persons have gone out from us and troubled you[b] with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, 25 it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: 29 that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”

In essence, the Apostles decided it was best to not burden the non-Jews with their 613 laws.  Instead, they simply gave a few simple requests.  In essence, they were saying that the Greeks could keep much of their culture, save for a few simple things that were known to corrupt the hearts of men.

In the modern church, we see all kinds of boundaries broken in order to meet modern standards (or is it post-modern?).  Feminism, despite being denounced by many conservative churches, is alive and well in churches across America.

For example, have you ever heard a pastor who states openly that a wife who does not submit to her husband’s sexual advances is committing a sin?  Or simply being a bad wife?  While I can agree that a wife is there for more than just sex, sex is probably the most important activity in marriage for all married couples.  To deny your husband sex is the same as saying you don’t love him.

Divorce attitudes is another example of how the church meets the current cultural standards.  Where as divorce was either forbidden or frowned upon except in cases of marital infidelity, it is now held as an acceptable action that a wife or husband can take.  What’s worse is that the attitudes for the justification for divorce has shifted as well.  No longer do churches preach only in cases of adultery, but allow just about every reason as a legitimate case for divorce.  And so wives leave their husbands because they are simply not happy at the current moment in time.  Talk about evil, self-centered bitches.

We see this kind of thing constantly where the current culture of fornication, consumerism, and downright idolatry is perfectly acceptable within the church.  Instead of being counter-culture, in the truest sense of the term, churches are perfectly happy to tolerate accept the sins of their fellow sinners instead of encouraging them find a better way to live.

And then these churches wonder why Christianity isn’t growing at all in the United States.  Or rather, they wonder why they aren’t growing as a church.  The fact is, you cannot simply do acts of good service.  You must preach from the pulpit on the importance of absolute morality and condemn those within your congregation who break the law of Christ.

People need moral certainty, not watered-down messages of God’s love or Christ’s love.