The church is divided. A majority of churches do not accept the Bible as the full and final authority for faith and life. Doctrine is interpreted and humanly developed and often inconsistent with the Bible. Read Christianity Today’s report on the Lutheran Church http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/septemberweb-only/46-31.0.html).
Let’s consider further the disunity and disgrace that comes with the American church. Almost countless denominations, variations within denominations, differences of opinion within individual churches and splits and divisions running rampant. For instance, in the area I minister in, there are at least 6 churches that have split off of the local Baptist church. I believe there are more and there are a few that have split off the splits in recent years.
Then, there are the varieties of churches with varying beliefs and all claim Biblical, Holy Spirit, or Apostolic authority as the basis for what they accept and teach.
Look at some of the beliefs. Some teach that Jesus is not the only way to salvation. Some don’t even teach Jesus, or doubt his death and resurrection. Some question whether Jesus even came in the flesh (new forms of ancient Gnosticism). And sin is not exempt from the variations.
Here’s the new spin on sin:
- Lying is acceptable. Once a student told their Home Ec teacher that they couldn’t trust anyone who doesn’t lie.
- Homosexuality is not condemned in the Bible therefore it is not sin and is accepted and may be endorsed by God.
- Sex before marriage is expected. Googling statistics on premarital sex, it appears that now 82-95% of people have had sex before marriage.
The church is lost in…
- Christian Atheism (http://christianatheist.com/). Christians who claim faith but live as if they do not believe in God
- Casual Christianity (http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/13-culture/268-casual-christians-and-the-future-of-america). Living in the ways of the church of Laodocia, Revelation 3:14-21 (ttp://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=revelation%203:14-21&version=NASB).
- Pastor/Minister to lay-person division (http://www.gotquestions.org/priesthood-believers.html). So the membership expect the pastor/minister to accomplish all while they just live as good as they can.
The American church is the church of “I don’t know.” When one looks at the church, one may not know what to think or believe because of the variations and differences. There is one truth and variation is not allowed.
If Jesus or the Apostles appeared in your church’s meeting next Sunday, would they recognize the church of Jesus Christ, that he had the Apostles establish? I have my doubts that they would recognize the Church of Christ because sin and compromise have been the trend of the church in America.
What is the solution? Repent and follow the Scriptures alone. The Scriptures are the Bible, exclusively. Jesus is the only way to salvation. The Bible is the only and final rule of faith. And the only revelation God will give is Jesus’ second coming which we do not know when it is.