“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
We live in a Semi-Palagian, Arminian world. It’s a world where so-called evangelical churches no longer preach about man’s radical corruption and God’s absolute sovereignty. It’s a religious world where in a real sense the Humanist Manifesto is given credence unwittingly, as though it had the answers to our sin-cursed world. So pluralism, inclusivism, individualism, and skepticism regarding absolute truth seem to hold sway in the minds of many professing believers.
A recent blog, lamenting the same sense of decay, caught my attention:
“Why are there so many different Christian churches?” asked someone to this blogger. “Well… there are two reasons I would suggest to you. One is something that is legitimate and one that is not legitimate. What I mean by that is that the first reason is that God didn’t make us out of a “cookie-cutter” mold, and I think that there are legitimate differences between certain churches. There are some churches that have one style of worship. Some churches where the pastor is, you know, dresses one way and another dress another. I think there are legitimate differences between some churches; I don’t think the church at Rome was identical to the church at Corinth or the church at Thessalonica. But, in reality, the reason that there are all sorts of different churches is primarily due to the fact that people will pick and choose what they will or will not believe out of the Bible! That is, men bring their traditions to the text of scripture, their ignorance to the text of scripture, and they have certain things they want to find. So instead of believing all that the Bible has to say, they’ll pick and choose certain sections they like better than others and choose to ignore others. They’ll just pick and choose. I think that’s why you have the illegitimate differences that there are – simply false teachings that divide people in various churches.” (Dr. James R. White; “Lane’s Blog”)
A phenomenon of our 21st Century evangelical scene is the movement of many true believers from one church to another, longing to find a church where the traditional elements of Evangelical Protestantism are not thrown out in an effort for contemporary church leaders to market the church by embracing the marketing methods of our secular culture.
Contemporary, political commentators complain about the very large percentage of American citizens who are simply ignorant about the real issues facing us today. Having had the history of our nation pushed to the perimeter of the public school curriculum, and getting political information from the national, liberal news media or TV sound bites, many citizens simply can’t be bothered about the ways in which our nation is declining – morally, politically, and internationally.
The same attitudes are seen in churches. Theology is like a foreign language that no one wants to learn; and few seem to grasp the fact that biblical theology is the foundation of the Christian religion, like the Constitution is the foundation of our American liberty. Since it appears that both are sliding toward oblivion, those who know what they hunger for are wandering around trying to find it. In the churches where they visit, the ear ticklers try to get them to join by providing religious entertainment, dressed up like a city pop concert, where everyone can get some kind of a therapeutic shot in the arm.
A revival of preaching the whole counsel of God, as found in the infallible, inerrant, inspired Word of God is the answer to our spiritual hunger. A revival in the lives of our seminary professors and their students – now filling their churches with what they think are “seekers” is what is needed. Our church leaders need to spend more time in the Book and on their knees rather than in the coffee shop or in seminars on “church growth”. God help us to pray for and seek the Father for such a revival!