Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Crisis in the Church

This is a combination of an initial book report, and a call to action.

There is a crisis in Christian Churches in America. Actually, it has been going on for decades, and is epidemic in many countries. Many people think this crisis is some unconfessed sin of pastors or may blame the bingo parlor, night club, strip joint, or tavern down the street. Some may think it is the stinginess of the congregants not putting their full tithe in the offering plate. All of these things may be a slight problem for your neighborhood Church, but there is a bigger crisis.

The problem comes into your home on television. No, it isn't MTV or VH1. It isn't PBS or National Geographic. It isn't the late night soft porn on many cable channels. It isn't the ever increasing sex, drugs and profanity on prime time, or the references both hidden and overt to the occult on those same shows, or on saturday morning cartoons. All of these things are bad enough, but they are the things of the world, and do not present a crisis inside the Church.

The crisis is brought into your home through the so called christian networks, and the many so called christian programs that air on sunday morning, purporting to bring the Church into your home, but are really wolves in sheep's clothing, teaching a form of new age metaphysical deism, wrapped in christian jargon, plucked at will from the Bible.

In the past, I didn't pay much attention to these television preachers, because I have learned over the years to inspect what men tell me is true, and in the area of religion, I must inspect all they tell me against the standard of the Bible. This is a lot of work, and I am somewhat lazy, so I never paid attention to them because I didn't want to have to go to all of the work to verify what they were teaching.

These so called christian leaders were brought to my attention through a book I have begun reading - a book that I more or less "stumbled across" in a Family Christian Bookstore catalog:

The author, Hank Hanegraaff, has quite a few books to his name, including an earlier edition of this book.

A reviewer on Amazon made the statement: "... he correctly points out that no teacher has the free hand to have his teachings go unquestioned. We should never be in the habit of receiving a teaching or teacher without examining its biblical accuracy. This book correctly points this out."

And this reviewer is completely correct. Is it no wonder that we hear those in the congregation (and those who should be in the congregation) espousing points of view that are quasi-Biblical or just plain non-Biblical? Catchy sayings and country music lyrics and the teachings of pseudo christian religions are more likely to be taken as Gospel than the Gospel itself. This is a complete disaster for the Christian Church, and needs to be dealt with in every truly Christian Church.

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