Yes, it is disturbing where the 'church' has gone. In fact, the church is so far behind in carrying out its mission, there are those within it who think it is ahead.
"Oh, please do not speak out against the 'church'...there are many good people within its walls and you are just being judgmental and hypocritical and yadda yadda yadda."
Edmund Burke said, 'As the church goes, so goes the world.' So, take a look at the world. What do you see? Sad...isn't it?
It amuses me to read and hear those who wish to defend the church of today. When, in fact, there is no defense. How about the black couple who were good enough to attend a church, but when they wanted to get married in the building, the decent church folk said 'NO' and the pastor backed them up? I know, only one example...but one of many.
Why it amuses me is they purport to read the Bible, study the Bible, know the Bible and then when they open their piehole, they reveal they don't know squat. The first volley of defense is, they say not to judge. "GOD sed donchu judge!" No, he didn't, at least not in the context these people use it. We can judge right from wrong, bad from good, sin from righteousness. What we can't judge is someone's eternal condition. That is God's territory alone. They always like to point to Matthew 7 as their proof text. The first verse is Judge not, lest you be judged. The problem with the defenders is they stop reading at that point. A rule of thumb for studying the Bible is to study ALL of it and use ALL of it when you're deciding what to believe about it. One shouldn't rebuke a person unless they clean up their own act, Jesus goes on to say in that chapter. But, verse six is the killer. 'Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn again to rend you.' Seems to me a judgment is in order. What is holy, and who are dogs? What are pearls, and who are the swine?
The church in Galatia was having a 'backsliding' problem. What did the Apostle Paul do? Did he come and pat them on the back and say soothing words and tell them they were doing the best they could and they were all good little soldiers who were just having a bad time? No, he didn't. He said, "O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth..." The vast majority of 'church' folk today wouldn't sit still for being talked to like that. No, they would rather listen to the Rick Warren's and Joel Osteen's, the false prophets of our time. "Send us your money and we'll tell you how everything's gonna be all right...and OH, by the way, buy my new book."
The entire book of James is one big, solid rebuke with steadfast instructions that aren't delivered with a spoon of honey.
But, my detractors say...'Let us speak of the evil democrats and the evil liberals and the evil of other men and other nations and other religions. Let us then speak of love and how to solve family issues and financial issues and personal issues. But, God forbid we speak of the personal inner condition or the spiritual condition of the church. You just need to keep looking for that 'good' and 'decent' church because they are out there.'
Funny how that is a defense that if you keep on a'huntin' you'll suck into a good church after a while. How is that a defense? It should be the other way around. But...unfortunately...it's not. Yes, I'm a bad boy for judging the church of today. But, why is that? In Peter's first epistle, let's see what he had to say in chapter four, verse seventeen. "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God...". Hmmmm. Where are HIS detractors?
One of the main reasons the church has decayed over the years is that men in the pulpit have been more concerned about their ministerial 'careers' than their 'calling'. The vast majority of pulpits today are filled with Pharasaic mentalities that espouse the scratching of the itching ears that listen instead of dispensing truth in all its ghastly gore. Too much was paid to defend what's going on today. We have a faith that is founded in the bloody and violent sacrifice of God's son and a faith with a symbol of a cross that was covered in its sickening gore. What the church needs is angry men. Angry at the condition of the church...angry at the weak minded, limp wristed pastors that spew out nothing but garbage Sunday after Sunday....angry at the prevailing wind of sin....and angry that the blood is not even an afterthought anymore.
Pastors have succumbed to the will of the people instead of the will of their God. They tremble at the might of their board of Deacons, instead of the power of the Spirit that should be driving them. They look at people like me and it scares them. They see the scars and the battered remnants of what once was a warrior...but now lies defeated by his own weaknesses, and they fear they might end up like me. However, I have been to the wilderness...I have rested...I am healing. And if my God wills, I may once again take up the mantle and not care what anybody thinks about the true message...the true Gospel...and wield that two edged sword once again. Yes, I will not be bringing an olive branch. The last thing I want is peace with the world or peace with a congregation. John Wesley said, "Give me a hundred men who hate sin and nothing else...who love God and nothing else...and I will change the world." And he did...in his day. Where are the sermons such as 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God', preached by Jonathan Edwards in 1741 and so powerful people were holding onto each other for they felt the wretched hands of hell pulling them in? Alas, men such as he and Wesley are almost gone. There are some, but they are a precious few.
"But, people aren't willing to hear that," my detractors say. So? What they do should never be a preacher's concern. His only concern, his main concern, should be doing what God wants him to do. The rest is God's business. I had an old mossback deacon come up to me one time and say, "Son, you ain't gonna get too far in this business until you learn to start pleasing people." He thought I was in a business. How sad. I looked at him and replied, "Sir, I haven't been called to please people. I've been called to please God." In less than six months, they threw me and my family out on the street. I've been fired on Christmas Eve. I've been forced to resign because I didn't want the teenagers having a potty parade the whole time I was preaching. I've offended many during my days behind the pulpit, but what others didn't realize is that I was in a position that required offending people. Do you think that Jesus and his disciples were killed because they were trying to win friends? Do you think that Apostle John was exiled to the island of Patmos because they thought they could hear his message better from there? O foolish church of today, who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth? There is one...at least one...crying from the wilderness. One day, hopefully, he will return. And when and if he does...the very gates of hell will not shut him up...again.