Does this sound like your church?
[Bob Klingenberg’s commentary and comments, as here, are in brackets. This very thing happened to me not too long ago, namely, that I was severely criticized for fighting for truth and attacking error in the modern church, because I am thereby causing disunity in the Body of Christ. Yes, it was nothing more or less than sheer GET-ALONGISM with a healthy dose of condemnation for being a stumbling block to the church’s GET ALONG.
Every time I go to the Dentist’s Office for a teeth cleaning, I go with apprehension. First of all, a thorough hygienist does a lot of probing, poking and picking to get rid of gunk and plaque that can rot the teeth, infect the gums, and cause all kinds of oral havoc. It hurts!
Of course it all appears so peaceful and harmonious inside the mouth from my vantage point. So why stir up things and cause all kinds of pain, bleeding and strife? Hey, leave well enough alone, after all, the teeth look so happy, peaceful and united in their oral cave. They are all getting along so well. TEETH GET ALONGISM.
Second, there are those X Rays that add to the cost if you don’t have dental insurance. Then the dentist may come to you and show you a few gray spots in a couple of teeth and tell you that it is decay. Ah, no big deal, after all it doesn’t show, and I don’t feel anything as yet. We surely don’t have to do anything precipitous right now. Furthermore, maybe the X Ray machine is defective. I try every song and dance known to dental patients to avoid the issues. Sound familiar?
The longer TRUTH DECAY is left to spread in the church, the sicker the Body of Christ becomes doctrinally, spiritually, and morally even unto eternal death. There is a doctrinal-neuterism and a no-big-dealism that has softened the heartbeat in the modern church to a passionless pulse for truth. People don’t want to be bothered with the fact that TRUTH DECAY is a hideous and dangerous killer growing inside the “pulpit cavities” of the Body of Christ which will sicken and destroy the host organism.
It has never been easy to get a hold of people’s spirits and minds to enable them to see error in their belief system. It is about as difficult as trying to get a hold of and extract the end of a drawstring that has been accidently pulled into a sweatpants. The reason that I use that illustration is that it happened to me just the other day. Oh how frustrating and even exhausting!
No wonder we are commanded in Jude 3 to,
“…contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all
delivered to the saints.”
Let me tell you that those who are trully gripped by the Spirit of Truth are very contentious – for truth and against untruth. They will turn on the wailing sirens and the flashing lights on their patrol cars as they pursue in order to arrest the felon called Truth Decay who is infecting the church. Martin Luther was surely a contentious little bugger, now wasn’t he? 95 times! And because he protested against error in the Roman Catholic Chruch, we are Protestants today. Thank God for the truthfully contentious. Oh how we need them more of them more than ever today.
UNTRUTH IN THE CHURCH, WE ALL SHOULD BE HIGHLY
CONTENTIOUS SO THAT FALSE PROPHETS AND FALSE-
HOODS IN THE CHURCH TODAY DO NOT GET ALONG
WITH US WHATSOEVER AND MUST LEAVE.”
I could go in many directions here, for heresies in the church today are as rampant as mosquitoes in a swamp. For instance, a pastor begins to give indication in his preaching that he is under the utterly deceived conviction that there is no place called Hell in the afterlife. If you will, Hell is what people go through here, but not in the hereafter. It is called UNIVERSALISM in the theological context and it is spreading.
What is UNIVERSALISM? It is the lie of Satan that no one will go to Hell, but in the end everyone will be saved and go to Heaven. Satan loves to attend churches where this truth decay of UNIVERSALISM is untreated and spreading. Oh the spiritual and moral rot that he can accomplish in churches who teach and believe in UNIVERSALISM.
WHAT THEY WILL GO TO HEAVEN.”
If you will, oh the eternal horror and pain that will result:
TO FIND IN ETERNITY THAT IT HAS COMPLETELY THAWED
OUT IN THAT PLACE WHERE THE WORM DIETH NOT
AND THE FIRE IS NEVER EXTINGUISHED.”
(Mark 9:44, 46, 48)
We read about these false prophets in Ezekiel 13:10,
people by saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace. And when
anyone builds a wall, behold, they plaster it over
In short, these false prophets cry peace in the midst of sin, and anesthetize people against sin, guilt and its eternal consequences. There are truth cracks in the walls of Zion allowing spiritual and moral corruption in the camp, and these cracks are covered over with whitewash so that the people can live like everything is wonderful. If you will:
THERE IS NO PEACE.”
Even as they are crying today:
Moreover, we are told in II John 10 that when it comes to teachers of falsehood, we are not to invite them into our house, and in fact, we are not even to acknowledge or say “hello” to them. No, we are not to say to such falsifiers,
No, rather we are to say to them,
Then one Sunday morning, you find yourself walking into an entertainment complex where a sanctuary used to be; you see a lot of cushioned movie theater seats where pews used to be; a big multi-media projection screen where a wooden cross used to be; a half dozen interpretive dancers performing where a choir used to be; a young female singer leading simplistic chants before a confused audience, where a music minister used to lead great hymns of worship and praise to God; and where a charming “facilitator” in a golf shirt preaches that we should all GO ALONG TO GET ALONG, where a once humble man of God in a suit and tie used to courageously proclaim the Word of God.
Does this sound like your church?
[And I might add to Bruce’s striking, right-on and sad contrasts – a wordsmith speaking Confucius–like platitudes and moralisms with oratorical flare, where a preacher used to stand faithfully and powerfully preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
You can now go to churches for years, and never once hear the word sins, blood, cross, salvation, or repentance and rebirth for that matter. Why? Because they are ecclesiasticized and religionized social clubs rather than a true “Gospel House of Salvation from Sin.” And there sit hundreds if not tens of thousands of people week after week listening to polished- motivational drivel which doesn’t have the power to save a worm, let alone their souls.
WORLD WHICH SEEM TO MULTIPLY IN NUMBER DAILY, YET
THESE RELIGIONS AND RELIGIONISTS WILL IN THE END
BE CONDEMNED FOR THE SAME THINGS – NOT
ESPOUSING AND PROCLAMING THE GOSPEL
OF JESUS CHRIST, AND CAUSING
BREACHES IN GOD’S TEN
“I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of
God unto salvation….”
I remember as a child getting down on the floor in the backseat of our family car when we would pass through certain towns where it was reported that there was a polio epidemic. In those days of the 1940s and early 1950s, polio was on the rampage. No one had an inkling then about what caused polio. We didn’t know whether it was flies, the atmosphere, the water or what.
When my parents took us traveling from Holland MI to Kalamazoo MI to visit relatives, as we went through such polio ridden towns as Allegan or Plainwell or Otsego that were reported to have the polio plague, we as children would go down on the car floor and cover our noses and mouths with out head between our knees. It of course didn’t help me, for I still came down with polio and spent many weeks in the hospital where God miraculously healed me.
And then, a preventative to Polio was finally and mercifully discovered that was made public in April of 1955. You may have read about, or like myself have vivid memories of the jubilant and rightful acclaim that went to the research scientist who discovered the polio vaccine – Jonas Salk!
If you had cancer, and there was a cure for your brand of cancer, and now you could live another 15, 25, 30 or more years with your loved ones, what a cause for celebration and overflowing thanksgiving to God!!!
The sin-sickness that we all have is the disease that we were all born with. There has never been a disease like it, and there will never be one like it again. In fact, it is the root cause of all of the sins and sicknesses in the world. 250.000 people a day in the world die from their sin-sickness!
And now I ask you, “Suppose you had a cure for the sin-sickness that causes all of the Hell in the world and lands people in Hell in the end! Where would your market be for your cure? What would you do with your cure?” I’ll tell you where your market would be – everywhere on earth, for all men are infected with terminal sin and destined to die in Hell forever.
But suppose now that you actually had a cure for the human race’s pandemic sin-sickness. I mean a real cure, and not just one that worked for some and not for others. Not one with a 50% cure rate. This cure would eliminate sin’s decay and corruption from the human race, and would wipe out all crime, divorce, perversion and hatred in the world.
Then I must go on to ask you what kind of man or woman would you be if you kept that cure for global, terminal sin-sickness all to yourself, and not share it with others? Unthinkable! However, have we forgotten that we do have that cure? In fact, we have the ONLY CURE FOR WORLDWIDE SIN-SICKNESS! We have it now, and it is available to the entire human race. It is free and there is an unlimited supply for all of the 6 billion plus sinsick people on planet earth. Is that good news or what?
The only, worldwide cure for the pandemic sin-sickness that is destroying humanity is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ! That is why the Aposle Paul states in Romans 1:16,
“…it is THE power of God for salvationto everyone
“EVERYONE IS A SINNER AND WITHOUT JESUS CHRIST EVERY
SINNER IS INCURABLE AND WILL DIE FROM THEIR
SINSICKNESS IN THIS WORLD AND FOREVER
IN THE NEXT WORLD.”
But as if things our not bad enough, our horrific problem today is that entire churches are intentionally hiding the only true cure for sinners, for many churches preach a “Social Gospel of Do-Goodism” and not the “Salvation Gospel for Bad-Doers.” We can’t even GET ALONG anymore as to what the “GOSPEL” really is.
Frankly, the apostasy of the church has gone so far now, that there is nothing left for the “OLD TIME SALVATION GOSPELERS” and the “NEW AGE SOCIAL GOSPELERS” to GET ALONG ON!
The Apostle Paul became very fierce when writing to the Galatian Christians, as he writes in Galatians1:8-9,
you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you,
let him be accursed.”
“As we have said before, so I say again now, it any man is preaching
to you a gospel contrary to that which you have received,
let him be accursed.”
I can illustrate what is going on by a simple story. A man was consulting with his psychologist. He said to the psychologist, “I’ve got this terrible problem. Lately I’ve been misbehaving, and my misbehaving is getting worse. My conscience is troubling me terribly. And I was wondering if you could prescribe something that would help me?” “Oh,” responded the psychologist, “you want something that will strengthen your will power.” The patient protested, “No, no, you don’t understand, I want something that will weaken my conscience.”
And I can tell him where to get exactly what he wants. Go to any number of churches these days, some smaller churches nearby me, and some mega-churches throughout the country, that totally downplay sin and actually refuse to call people sinners. As a matter of fact, go there, and instead of a true Gospel Preacher, you will have a Secular Clinical Psychologist/Pastor telling you every week that “YOU’RE OKAY AND I’M OKAY.” So, “LET’S JUST TRY TO GET ALONG, OKAY!”
No, No, No, it is not okay:
CHRISTON THE CROSS FOR SINNERS IN YOUR
CHURCH, DON’T GETALONG, GET OUT.”
PREACHING THAT IS BACK-SLAPPING AND NOT SOUL-
SEARCHNG, DON’T GET ALONG, GET OUT.”
Perhaps you’ve even heard your pastor reciting “group-think” platitudes like: “YOU CAN’T BE RIGHT WITH GOD AND AT ODDS WITH EVERYONE ELSE“, meaning it was now time for your congregation to compromise your conscience and convictions for the collective.
Now does this sound like your church?
My friends, this is the “Consensus Process” at work, a 200 year-old socialist brainwashing technique known by social psychologists the world over as the “Hegelian Dialectic“, developed by George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in the mid 1800’s that involves the practice of compromise to achieve social harmony between opposing groups and/or belief systems.
The “Hegelian Dialectic” is especially damaging to those of the faith who are compelled by the process to accept the unacceptable in order to gain the approval of the group. It is the herd mentality of humanist thinking
and an abomination before God.
Open the Word of God and you will seethat the Bible is full of godly men who stood alone and died fighting the heresy of the herd mentality, including Jesus Himself. Being “at odds with everyone else” is EXACTLY why people wanted Him nailed to a cross!
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the
way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in
by it. Because narrow is the gate, and difficult is the way,
which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
This certainly doesn’t bode well for pastors whose primary agenda is church growth and big numbers.
It was not a tolerant Jesus who cleared the temple in Jerusalem of moneychangers with a whip –
Or a tolerant John the Baptist who publicly railed against King Herod for marrying his brother’s wife –
Or a tolerant Paul that stood up against Peter for alienating uncircumcised believers –
Or tolerance that got most of the disciples beheaded or crucified in the early days of the church.
Yet, here we are in the 21st Century, as a re-invented church of tolerance, diversity and unity. As the doors are all thrown open to anyone and anything, I ask you, is the church affecting the culture or is the culture infecting the church? Who is proselytizing whom here? Look around and tell me what you see?
Dr. Gotcher is the founder and director of the Institution for Authority Research. His background is in education and European history and philosophy. He is internationally known for his research, and is referenced as a source in many articles and books. As a Christian, he believes the ultimate authority is God and His Word.
I had the opportunity to hear Mr. Gotcher lecture and near the end of the hour-long program, he casually mentioned a couple of Christian organizations that were known for seducing churches into a “Consensus Process” with “progressive” church-growth programs where compromising brings in big numbers. The temptation of such worldly fruit is obviously hard to resist, even among the most faithful of pastors. Nonetheless, doing unholy things in the name of Christ does not make them holy. Mr. Gotcher mentioned one of those organizations as being “The Willow Creek Association.”
As I went on to research The Willow Creek Association, I discovered that thousands upon thousands of established churches around the country were being transformed into sensory driven “seeker churches” under the guidance and direction of this organization, all with the same tolerance, diversity and unity theme, liberal worship format, scripturally shallow teaching, heavy on the comfort and light on the conscience, equipped with huge multi-media projection screens, large sound systems, exotic music, no choir, female ministers, feelings-motivated skits, dance interpretations and heavily burdened with millions of dollars of debt from building state-of-the-art entertainment venues they call “worship centers.”
[I was pleased to hear that my former catechumen Pastor Bill Hybels very recently has come forward with the admission that the “Seeker Friendly” philosophy has not produced “Disciples.” That confession for those who are steeped in the “All Mush And No Must” method of ministry is a hopeful sign that they are coming back to the Word of God, to the true principles of discipleship (self-denial and cross-bearing), and to the mind of Christ.
We must fervently pray that it will continue for the sake of the people who have been sucked into this “Hakuna Matata” and “Self-Indulgent” mirage. Welcome back to Biblical Christianity and to the following life-changing and soul-saving principle:
“GOD IS FAR MORE INTERESTED IN OUR CHARACTER
THAN HE IS IN OUR COMFORT.”]
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves
the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in
the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and
the pride of life — is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but
he who does the will of God abides forever.”
(I John 2:15-17)
Frankly, I’d much rather have God’s acceptance and approval than the herd’s. You see The Willow Creek Association always emphasizes “felt needs”, unity, harmony, peace and human relationships over everything else…Just like the United Nations. But, that’s not the Gospel.
[I would carry it even further. I would rather have “God’s Disapproval” than the “Herd’s Approval” any day. The former is redemptive, while the latter is not. Let me state it this way:
“THE REPROOFS OF THE LORD ARE HARD BUT DESIRABLE FOR
THEY WILL EQUIP US FOR EVERY GOOD WORK, WHILE
THE APPROVALS OF THE HERD ARE EASY BUT
WILL INCLINE US TOWARD EVERY
As Charles Spurgeon stated, “If there be no blueness in the wound, then the soul is not made better; if there be no crying out, then there will be no emptying out of our depravity. … ill weeds on the surface; they are good, for this reason, they make us know our blackness.”
I have always loved II Timothy 3:16-17,
reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that
the man of God may be adequate, equipped for
every good work.”
REPROOF THAN THE PASTOR WHO ONLY APPROVES AND
NEVER REPROVES, WHO ONLY COMPLIMENTS BUT
NEVER CORRECTS, WHO ONLY PLACATES BUT
Why do I make such a big thing of this? Because, without mentioning names, it is rampant in modern Christianity to hear astonishing statements like the following, and I quote word for word:
THEY ALREADY KNOW THAT. THEY NEED TO HEAR THAT
GOD LOVES THEM AND HAS A WONDERFUL PLAN
FOR THEIR LIVES.”
ISTHE GOODNESS OF GOD THAT LEADS TO REPENTANCE.”
God have mercy! Enough said!]
“Consensus” is all about compromising toward “group-think” not God think. It is conformity to the collective through peer-pressure. This is the very heart of the heresy. Conscience and compromise can NEVER co-exist. They are ALWAYS incompatible. One MUST surrender to the other for there to be unity. Consensus therefore, will ALWAYS lead its followers away from biblical absolutes and authority (i.e., “Thus sayeth the Lord…”) to obtain the acceptance and approval of the group.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is
the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
Be sure to look for the next entry when Bruce continues with “Flocking Away from the Church, Part 4: A Lesson on Tolerance.”
In His strong love,