This is in continuation of the previous couple articles about false teachers, preachers and prophets. I think in my own mind I am trying still to answer the question of why it is so easy for false teachers and preachers to take hold and deceive the Church with their lies. Why doesn’t the Church recognize it?
I did some research and here was some enlightening information.
In a 2017 Gallup survey, 75% of Americans claim to be Christian, yet only 24% of them believe the Bible is the literal Word of God. “Fewer than one in four Americans (24%) now believe the Bible is “the actual word of God, and is to be taken literally, word for word,” similar to the 26% who view it as “a book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man.”
Why are so many denying the Word of God? Why are so many denying the TRUTHS of the Bible – the creation, the fall of man, the flood of Noah, the Ten Commandants, God’s covenant with Abraham, the exodus from Egypt, Israel enters the promised land, Saul, David, Solomon builds the temple, Jesus is born and baptized, Jesus begins his three year ministry, the sermon on the mount, the transfiguration, His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the last supper, Jesus’ betrayal, trial, and crucifixion, Jesus’ ascension, Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost, Saul’s conversion, John’s revelation of Jesus’ return for His church… and that just names a few of the hundreds of Biblical TRUTHS.
How can so many preachers be teaching so many falsehoods that 75% of folks out there don’t believe the Bible to the point of denying the Word of God? These liars are becoming more and more prevalent in this age of tolerance and rebellion against God and all that He stands for. People want to be able to say, I am a Christian, but at the same time they want to be able to pick and choose what that means. They choose their eternity like they are choosing from a buffet line; I’ll take a heap of this, a dollop of this… oh no, none of that, perhaps just a smidgen of that.
Many want an easy religion; one that requires little or no effort (yet with all the benefits) on the part of the believer and thereby no consequences. They desire to continue to live how they live and let their religion mold to fit their life just as it is… not vice versa. An entire generation is being raised up with either no belief system or a belief system so distorted that it is unrecognizable. This leads to no boundaries because there are no consequences, because there is no moral authority.
Folks search out a preacher that will tickle their ears and teach them just that… do as you please and eternal consequences be damned… as long as you feel good after listening to them, that’s all that matters. Whether it is feel good theology, or those who deny the existence of eternal decisions, or you can earn your way to Heaven with enough of the right works, to the folks that teach there is no such thing as sin if no one is getting hurt to the rejection of the Ten Commandments … wholesale false teachings are everywhere. Did that preacher make you feel bad last Sunday? Did he allude to your life choices as morally sinful, that it goes against the Bible and that you are sinning? Didn’t like hearing that, then just move along, there’s one more to your liking just down the road.
I see the perplexing difficulty like this:
First we must agree that there is a Sovereign God in Heaven who created all of us. He is our Father and we are His children. As such God has expectations for His children. We must then know and acknowledge we can’t possibly meet His expectations. It is only then that we come to the place where we recognize, and admit that we are sinners in need of God our Father’s grace and forgiveness. If we get this far and admit that we are a sinner, then we must admit that there are consequences to our life decisions – and those chosen decisions have eternal consequences for our eternal souls. Sadly this series of admissions and decisions appears to be out of the realm of possibility for so many today.
Perhaps this is why they see this life as relative. What applies to you and the design of your personal TRUTH may or many not apply to me. Your code of standards is not my code of standards. I may not be inclined to apply your TRUTHS to my life; however I am required to recognize and agree to your code as your personal TRUTH. To me this is mind boggling… It is as if the Ten Commandments and the Teaching of Jesus are just willy-nilly suggestions… then and only then if you are not offended by them, if they do not offend your personal sensibilities. If you are personally offended, you have the right to renounce them from your personal TRUTH and insert your own TRUTH instead.
And we wonder why this world is upside down?
Where are the preachers? Where are the anointed men of God that will speak the TRUTH, even when it is unpopular? Where are they that will call sin a sin? Those that won’t pat me on the head and say it’s okay to continue what you’re doing? Where is our collective conscience? Why are so many preachers afraid of preaching the TRUTH? For fear of loosing congregants or being unpopular? Guess what, if they are there to have their ears tickled, you never had them in the first place. Is it easier to speak about feeing good get everybody all warm and fuzzy? Speak the TRUTH. Speak the TRUTH of consequences, speak the TRUTH of eternal separation, speak the TRUTH of the lies of satan, speak the TRUTH of deception, speak the TRUTH of forgiveness, speak the TRUTH of Jesus.
It is time to educate and train those that sit under your teaching about the TRUTH. It may be unpopular, but it must be done. Give us the tools to discern what we watch and listen to, show me how to apply the Word to messages I hear. Give and train us more than the basics of our faith. Teach us about discernment, encourage open discussion, let us ask questions. We sit under your instruction for a mere 90 minutes a week. There are 166.5 hours left in the week. Help us to see through the haze of messages bombarding us and our family’s hour after hour from silly 30 minute television sitcoms with suggestive situations and downright blasphemy of all that God and the Church stand for. Give us the Kingdom knowledge the doctrines and instructions from God’s Word to stand against those that would rebuke us for being a believer. Help us to be able to know and recognize falsehood, speak the biblical TRUTHS without fear of reprisal and judgment with clear, concise TRUTH. What the Church needs today is more 1 Peter preachers and teachers.
“Therefore, I strongly urge the elders among you [pastors, spiritual leaders of the church], as a fellow elder and as an eyewitness [called to testify] of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory that is to be revealed: shepherd and guide and protect the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not [motivated] for shameful gain, but with wholehearted enthusiasm; not lording it over those assigned to your care [do not be arrogant or overbearing], but be examples [of Christian living] to the flock [set a pattern of integrity for your congregation].” 1 Peter 5:1-3
The flock is waiting; we are looking for the one that will stand up and be the leader and light in a world that is oh so dark and foreboding for those of us that choose to follow the TRUTH.
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Unless otherwise noted, scriptural references are from the NIV – New International Version© Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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