With the spring come carnivals, fairs and fun things to do outdoors. The first carnival of the year has just visited our city. Normally, this information would not affect my life, but that was before having a 7 year old granddaughter. She makes me aware of this type of data. Observation of the carnival caused me to draw some comparisons to the “new Christianity” inundating the church.
The carnival is designed solely to appeal to the desires of the flesh; thrilling rides that go nowhere, kewpie dolls impersonating valuable prizes and huge servings of cotton candy containing zero nourishment. In the end, the only ones that profited were those running the carnival. That pretty much sums up the “new Christianity.”
Gone are the sacrificial lifestyles of those who followed Christ closely. The IRS would never have a reason to investigate Peter or John; and if they had, they would have willingly opened their books. Someone has aptly said, “Truth fears no investigation.” When someone asked Christ about His personal lifestyle, He said, “Come and see,” (John 1:38-39.)
Gone are is the forthrightness and courage God’s men once possessed. One preacher does not want to offend another preacher, so the truth is circumvented. One does not want to offend those financially supporting the ministry; therefore, preaching repentance is ignored in favor of helping one “discover the child within them.”
Paul challenged Christians to “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22) He did until the New Age Bible changed the word appearance. Once we got that word out of the way, then we could look like drug dealers, rock stars or pimps. Why we could even get tattoos and body piercing! By doing this, the devil’s crowd would like us and think we were cool. You see, it is really important to us about what the devil’s crowd thinks. We want to fit in with them. By dressing like them, maybe they would bring their advanced thinking and street talk into our church. Do you see how much our Christian faith is influencing the lost? How stupid can we be? The modern day Christian is led to believe that he must go “undercover” to lead someone to Christ. God asked His people to SEPARATE from the lost, not blend in with them!
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord…” 2 Corinthians 6:17
God said that we should have nothing in common with the lost.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God…” 2 Corinthians 6:14-16
Listen to me carefully. Never think for one minute that the “new Christianity” promoters are lowering standards in order to win the lost. They do what they do to fulfill the desires of their own flesh. They want lower standards and this is way to achieve the lower standards and blame the lost for them.
We need for God’s men to stand with Paul and say,
“For our exhortation was not of DECEIT, nor of UNCLEANESS, nor in GULE: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; NOT AS PLEASING MEN, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we FLATTERING WORDS, as ye know, nor a CLOKE OF COVETNESS; God is witness: NOR OF MEN sought we GLORY, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 2:3-6 (caps mine)
Let me tell you what is heartbreaking about this situation in most of today’s churches. The preaching of the cross and lower lifestyles do not co-exist. You can have one or the other, but never both. Paul was emphatic that the grace that produced salvation also produced changed lives (Ephesians 2:8-10.) This new “marketing philosophy” runs counter to “preaching of the cross” (1 Corinthians 1:18.)
The upside to what we are seeing in today’s church culture is that Paul said it was coming! We are living in the very thing that he warned us about. Surely Christ’s coming cannot far off.
“PREACH THE WORD (not psychology and social improvements); be instant in season, out of season; REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the TIME WILL COME when THEY WILL NOT ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE; but after THEIR OWN LUSTS shall they HEAP TO THEMSELVES TEACHERS, having itching ears; And THEY SHALL TURN AWAY THEIR EARS FROM THE TRUTH and shall BE TURNED UNTO FABLES.” 2 Tim. 4:2-4 (caps and parenthesis mine)
I thank God for those who still cling to His word. They fight an uphill battle, but it is a battle they will win. They will not win it on this earth because “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:12.) Paul said that the victory will come when we get home.
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
What we must remember is that our focus should not be on what others are doing wrong, but on what are we doing right? How many people have I persuaded to join me in heaven? What are my goals while I am still here on earth? What am I doing to help people go to heaven? Are my words and actions honoring the Lord Jesus Christ?
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Colossians 3:23
Keep Looking Up!