Paying an attendance fee and attending a Joel Osteen presentation may end in a lot of shouts, affirmations and talk of your victorious life, but is it the real gospel?
Today’s so called Christian victory rallies are a long way from the haunting harmonies in Ricky Skaggs rendition of “Little Mountain Church House”
“There’s a little mountain Church in my thoughts of yesterday
Where friends and family gathered for the Lord
There an old fashioned preacher, taught the straight and narrow way
For what few coins the congregation could afford”
Which is the way to go – are we all “victors” just for shouting out to the Lord and proclaiming our inestimable worth in the sight of God – regardless of our beliefs or even what religion we adhere to?
The apostasy (falling away) of the church is a well prophesied phenomenon of the last day’s and since it is so well covered in prophecy we may think that anyone with half a brain would see it coming down the pike and do everything to avoid it. But it comes with sparkle, pizazz and lots of bells and whistles, it appeals to greediness, false confidence and the inclination to make the musings of men conclusive. It is self-esteem gone wild and the latest episode of ‘Jackasses’ all rolled into one.
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It is bad behavior laced with twisted doctrine bolstered by a crowd bellowing out the victory slogans of the deluded. It is not the gospel and it can only keep us up in this life, it will fail as we transition to the next. It is deadly.
It is confidence for today and nothing for tomorrow. It is sinking sand.
The sweeping popularity of Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life” has ended in the lack of confidence about just what happens to the emerging waves of unrepentant homosexuality, perversion and child abuse. It is purpose gone wrong just as much as the false prophet seeks to steal the truth.
Christian News.net posted a report on November 29, 2014 about Warren’s doubts concerning the homosexual life. In a highly doubtful tone Warren says he is not sure that homosexuality is sinful, yet he is willing to say they will go to heaven. What?
It’s the age old argument that all apostasy starts with. It is the question of how far one can slip into the world and not lose the kingdom. It is the opposite of ‘how can I serve you Lord.’
It is in direct conflict with one of only two definitions of true religion given in the entirety of the Bible.
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1: 27)
The term, ‘unspotted’ carries the idea that we are not to let any of the world’s proclivities to sin take root in our lives. Paul said a little bit tends to spoil the whole lump. (Ga 5: 9)
Most apostasy is a result of laboring under the completely false notion that if people are flocking to a movement that it must have something going for it – too big to fail mentality sways the believers as it does the secular world. It is a crowd mentality that ushers the unsuspecting to their doom.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” (Mt 7: 13)
The leaders of the apostasy often already have full recognition in the Christian community and they use their popularity and celebrity to usher the lambs to the slaughter.
Kenneth Copeland now cozies up to the Pope while the Pope cozies up to the evolutionists and the big question of the homo-life splits everyone else right down the center. Warren warms to the Muslims and Jakes jumps in with Oprah. It’s a wash of diluted, pop-culture influences mixed with the gospel to produce the latest in the last day’s apostasy – it is the ‘goofy gospel.’
If you need to stand in a big crowd to feel confident – you are probably standing in quicksand.
And yet, the apostasy is not limited to the Christians. From the President on down it seems that the Godless generation is more prone to follow anyone not just those with obvious error written all over them. Barack Obama thought his daughter’s view of ‘gay’ being cool worked for him and next he threw out thousands of years of traditional marriage to comply with his daughter’s vision of “cool.’
Perhaps the most serious warning in the entire New Testament comes not to those who decide to turn aside a little, but it comes to those who want to take others with them.
Christ strictly warned that we should not seek to be called ‘teachers’ because the level of responsibility increases exponentially for those who would lead others especially if they are leading them to error and eternal separation from God. If we want to play the dunce in the Kingdom of God, that may be loss enough, but dragging others into our apostasy increases God’s disdain for the dragger not the dragee.
What to do?
There is no new bottom line but there will always be an old line drawn in the sand. It is the line we call ‘the word of God.’ It is the immovable, immutable and untouchable Rock of Ages.
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Mt 24: 35)
It is humble, persistent and willing adherence to God’s Word that brings out the poignant chorus of Ricky Skaggs version of ‘The Little Mountain Church House.’ If you think this is a bit quaint then consider the turbulent flood of variables flowing down from the latest promoters of the great apostasy.
Looking back now, that little mountain church house
Has become my life’s corner stone
It was there in that little mountain church house
I first heard the word I’ve based my life upon
– Jim Rushing and Carl Jackson
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.