Once upon a time in America, this land was full of G-d fearing men and women. In fact the very foundation of this country started with Puritians and Pilgrims looking to escape religious persecution and live a life wholly dedicated to following G-d’s will. This is what was most important to them above raising crops, livestock, and the like. Very few people did not attend a house of worship, and when we say house of worship, I am specifically referring to a Christian church. Those who did not were in the minority, and for those that did attend church, each sermon was filled with messages about hellfire and brimstone, and that the only way to escape this was through Jesus Christ.
Now we fast-forward to today.
The modern church is full of ungodly men and women. Now that I have your attention, lets focus on what I am stating here. Simply put, in churches across America today, very few are truly preaching and teaching the gospel in it’s totality, but have instead subverted the gospel by preaching only how to be a good person or how to make your own heaven on Earth. Sermons are no longer about preaching on “the wages of sin is death”, but instead are about believing in yourself, and being positive in your life.
We have huge buildings that are supposedly erected for promoting the gospel of Yeshua. Yet, sitting in on one of these sermons either in person, or watching them on a local TV channel, you hear very little, if any scriptural preaching, but more about stories, anecdotes, and other fanciful quotes that people later love to post to Twitter. Many of such postings happen while the service is going on. Instead you will find sand volleyball courts out behind in the church, ping pong and pool tables in the young adults area, and of course, an XBOX in the youth area. I mean afterall, nothing says “praise the L-rd” than blowing up aliens in “Halo” right? Oy vey!
Whatever happened to coming to the house of G-d to, I don’t know, worship G-d? Now in order to get people to come to church we have to lure them in with all sorts of other distractions. Recently, some churches are now desginated as Pokemon gyms and that is bringing in children by the hordes. Many say that this is a good thing because now they can hear the gospel. That is, until these same churches bring about sermons and bible studies that do not address sin. In fact, many of our teenagers today in youth groups are simply there to be with their friends, and if quizzed about the gospel, would fail miserably to answer some of the most basic questions.
Because of the lack of preaching the true Word in it’s entirety, this has allowed evil spirits to infiltrate the church’s members. For example, there are couples today regularly attending churches all across America who are not married. Let me be blunt, they are sleeping together and that is a sin of fornication. However, they have no conviction of what they are doing, because the church they attend refuses to address the issue. That is to say the pastor is willfully turning a blind eye, because they think, “I don’t want to run them off.”, or, “Who am I to judge. The Bible says judge not.”
Another spirit that is infiltrating G-d’s church today is the spirit of homosexuality. We see this a lot in larger congregations, but it can happen in any size church, because in larger churches the area of accountability is reduced significantly due to population size. Gays and lesbians are attending church because likely they were raised in church, but somewhere along the way started listening to the lies of the devil. Those lies that they buy into go along the lines of, “G-d made you this way. You still believe in G-d and Jesus so you are o.k..” There is of course no counter message to these lies, because the pastor and bible teachers in the church refuse to teach what G-d’s Word has to say on the matter. They find it too controversial, and again they, “don’t want to run anyone off.”
In a lot of situations, these people, who are living a life of sin, have large amounts of disposable income and regularly tithe and give offerings. Especially in the mega-churches where praise and worship looks like a Broadway production with expensive lighting, sound, and musical instruments. With bigger church populations comes the need for more paid staff. In short, many church leaders do not want to rock the boat by bringing out the entire truth of the gospel for fear of people leaving the church and with them, the church’s means of financial support. It is really sad to say, but the gospel has been sold out strictly for the sake of money. The words of the gospel are so true when G-d stated through His servant Paul, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” 1 Timothy 6:10.
This is why church today, in many parts of the country, is nothing more than a social club. It is a place where their children can play with other kids, and adults can either fellowship with one another with everything from Super Bowl watch parties that take the place of a worship service (yes, this really does happen) or they go to be entertained at “bible conferences” where the main attraction is the “Naked Cowboy”. If you do not know what I am referencing with that latter reference, Google the words “Naked Cowboy” and “Hillsong”. That’s right, I just dimed out a church by name.
My last statement in the above paragraph goes back to something I mentioned earlier. A lot of churches do not confront sin in their bodies because they think they are judging and they mention the famous verse that they think makes the controversy go away. This is a gross misinterpretation of what that verse is referencing. “Judge not” means that we are not to judge what is right and wrong according to our own reasoning or made up system of beliefs. We are absolutely supposed to judge sin and use the Bible to do so. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that the Word of G-d is good for “reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness..” Therefore, this completely debunks the “judge not” cop out and it is high time that churches stop glossing over sin. That does not mean that you shout down people saying, “SINNER!”. However, church leaders need to stop making excuses for not confronting sin in the church body.
Finally, for those who are reading this article and saying to yourselves, “You know, I cannot remember a time where our pastor gave a sermon on heaven, hell, and everlasting life.”, or, “I cannot remember a time when our pastor preached on holiness and righteousness.”, it might be time to have a chat with you pastor. I would encourage anyone who is in this situation to speak with your pastor about it, and be as candid and frank as possible, but be respectful. Listen to what they have to say, and ultimately, make sure it lines up with the Word of G-d. If you are in a church today where the sermons and the bible studies are not lining up with the entire Word, then it may be time to look for another place of worship that does preach the gospel in an uncompromising way.
But wait you say. “Are you literally telling people to leave their church?” The answer to that is, if they are not preaching the uncompromising gospel, then what is the point of them being there? If we as believers are not going to church to ultimately worship the L-rd and Savior Yeshua, then why are we even going? If we are going to church because they have a coffee bar, or video games, or singles night out at the local go cart track, then we are doing ourselves, and more importantly the L-rd no good, because our purpose for being there is for something other than worshiping Him. At that point it would be time to really get on one’s knees, and ask G-d to open a door to another place of worship that is 100% preaching the Word of G-d in it’s entirety.
American society is in a degraded state, because it has drifted from the gospel. This has been brought on by the softening of the message of G-d. If we want the lawlessness to stop spreading, if we want to see a reduction in crime, if we want to stop the spread of diseases, if we really want to stop the desensitizing of our children to sex and violence, then believers must abandon any preaching, teaching, or place of worship gathering that is not regularly preaching on these subjects. We must as believers seek out those places of worship where pastors are preaching about heaven, hell, and everlasting life. They may not have Starbucks in the fellowship hall, but rest assured, they will have Hebrews.