We are in danger of creating a monster! How is that you ask? By abandoning the truth of scripture and “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Mk. 7:7). Life Coaches (formerly known as pastors) teach whatever suits them using religious language to help people be successful, happy and reach their dreams and potential. In American Christianity today there is no doubt that an ugly caricature is growing at an alarming rate. We are seeing “worship centers” (I will not call them churches) who want to build the size of their numbers by man-centered sociological, psychological rules rather than by the written Word of God. Then there are the media versions of Christianity that are like infomercials for blessings such as, weight loss, marriage, healing, and deliverance.
Since we never would desire to create a monster, we must have every good intention to create something good. That may be the intention of ministers and their staff members today. But no matter. Monsters are a creation of the imagination run amuck. Like the fictional Dr. Victor Frankenstein deranged ecclesiastical scientists focus on playing God by creating life from dead flesh. They are attempting to either imitate or replace the work of the Spirit by man-centered principles that are “born of the flesh or products of the sinful nature of men. They want to create people in a religious mould. This is nothing new, that is why Paul had to ask, “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal 3:3). The church growth movement is a religious experiment like no other in today’s form of humanistic Christianity. Rather than relying on the tried and tested testimonies of the scripture and historical teaching they test and try marketing techniques on people in churches. They are salesman selling soul dope and religious paraphernalia. It has ended up creating a religious monster, destructive, worldly, and odious.
Only the power of the Holy Spirit can regenerate, only Christ can save, and we are but men. We should put our entire being into knowing Christ! Oh, that America would repent of this great evil-that we have forsaken the Lord and turning churches into creations of our idolatrous imaginations! Like Paul Washer said once, “preachers are much too civilized.” These bobble heads nodding yes to anything new, are born and bred in a religious matrix, and they are unwilling to face the truth and feed them with religious misinformation that blinds them to the shining face of the Son of God (2 Cor. 4:4). They are the most diabolical agents of Satan, shimmering angels of light (2 Cor. 11:13-14).
But is the truth enough for the man behind the pulpit today? The Gospel is a jagged pill to swallow, and scripture is dangerous to his projects and activities. American church goers love the fleshpots of Egypt and are losing their freedom (Gal 5:1). They are forfeiting it for a false sense of security and a knock off God made in their own image. They are moral, weight watching, non-smokers, nondrinkers, heterosexual pro-life Republicans and so people see them as Christian. This is not enough to help those who are dead and lifeless in sin. You may find as you stand before God your worship was empty and all you learned was wrong.
Minister friend let your plans come to a screeching halt in the presence of the Thrice Holy God. Or will you be like Cain bringing your word salad of human understanding? Let all your fleshly ideas unravel and your comeliness, vigor and strength become pale in the presence of the radiant light of God’s presence (Dan. 10:8)! Stop this foolishness and let the Lord Jesus of the Bible reign in your minds and hearts! The French theologian John Calvin stated, “Man’s mind is like a store of idolatry and superstition; so much so that if a man believes his own mind, it is certain that he will forsake God and forge some idol in his own brain.” The greatest idolatry is found right in the human heart-that is why all our notions, dreams, visions, and goals must without another thought surrender to the Bible and it is teaching about God and serving him.
People are lawbreakers in God’s sight and are hell bound souls-preaching the cross of Christ and the gospel serves as a warning to them. Left to themselves they will go to hell with ease. Like C.S. Lewis said, “The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” The man of God will warn them with no self-interest. The man who shivers and breathes heavy even to correct his congregation is a gutless, spineless jellyfish. The greatest tragedy among pastors is when they step up to the pulpit with a message geared to “meet the needs of the people” rather than a message that is worship to the God who only can meet the needs of the people. Many pastors today are big schmoozers skilled at politics rather than “men sent from God” from the burning deserts where they have learned to hear the voice of God in the scriptures alone.
They reject the classical Christian Creeds and Confessions saying that they are inventions of man and tout, “I don’t have religion but a relationship with God!” or “We only need the Bible!” But reject the systematic teaching set forth in scripture by the Reformers and hammered out by men of God in history. They constantly bend, I mean change the rules by introducing something they learned. Look upon the ruins of the former Meccas of Saddleback, Hillsong and Willow Creek and be warned! Don’t be such suckers for religious sales!
Have they forfeited their relationship with Christ to be a servant of men? Paul’s idea of spiritual growth was “that I may know him” and his idea of ministry was to “make known Christ” was yet how often have we preached on the attributes of God that conveniently leaves out his Sovereignty, wrath, holiness, justice?! The grace, mercy and love preachers speak of today is different from scriptures testimony of the Lord, but they have reinvented a more palatable version of Christ, the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit in the name of being coordinated culturally.
Theology needs to have a prayer meeting and knee-ology needs to go to school. Forgetting the call has weakened the gospel ministry into religious science and clinically tested churchianity. It is turning people out in the church who are confused in their relationship with God. That is the heart of the problem with religion and that is why the Reformation began in Europe because people ended up religious slaves! God heard their groanings and cries and sent men like Moses the man of God in the humble Reformers.
Many pastors purvey a flimsy, spiritual sentimentality that calls for spiritual disarmament and focus on pop-culture spin doctor theology. They are creating a monster. The message is diseased and infectious. It is the bogus invention of spiritual mad scientists who for lack of courage to preach the Bible as it is. They have embraced motivation psychology above the Word attempting to get the evil world system and the church in a strong relationship. It is a match made in hell. If you don’t preach the Word to people, you do not love them! You cannot love someone you are lying to.
Martin Luther in his commentary of Galatians said: “To this day you will find many who seek to please men in order that they may live in peace and security. They teach whatever is agreeable to men, no matter whether it is contrary to God’s Word or their own conscience. But we who endeavor to please God and not men, stir up hell itself. We must suffer reproach, slanders, death…The world is crucified unto me,” means that I condemn the world. “I am crucified unto the world,” means that the world in turn condemns me. I detest the doctrine, self-righteousness, and the works of the world. The world in turn detests my doctrine and condemns me as a revolutionary heretic. Thus, the world is crucified unto us and we unto the world.”
It is time for the men who stand in the pulpit to know that God’s judgment will fall like rain upon them removing them from their positions unless they repent! The Lord is passionate for his justice and his glory in his church, “For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns.” (Isaiah 62:1) and he gladly will replace the ecclesiastical scientists with men who preach the truth, “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, “And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” (Isa. 62:6-7).
How many leaders will end up like Victor Frankenstein that as soon as his monster came to life he said, “the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.”
Tell them the truth-don’t create a monster!