The Moral Bankruptcy of the Christian Church in America
June 23, 2020
I am fully aware that those words will not be easily entreated, and will probably be scoffed at by many. In all probability, most detractors will try to point at the success being enjoyed by many churches in America as their buildings are strained to capacity and beyond, boasting of 10, 20 30 and 50 thousand members. Others will point to sweeping reforms within their controlling bodies that make the churches more "relatable", " relevant" and "inclusive", thus attracting more new members.
It is those very points of growth, relatability, relevance and inclusiveness that demonstrate the FACT of moral bankruptcy that has grown like a malignant fungus within the church.
Let's define moral bankruptcy: it is the state a person (or organization) reaches when they trade away or violate too many of their core moral values and commitments. Someone (thing) that is morally bankrupt may or may not recognize that they have reached this state.
When a church is spiritually (and morally) alive, there is an effect that is felt within the community surrounding that church. Look at the book of Acts, and observe how the community changed from the preaching of the Gospel. Thousands were added to the church DAILY. Look at how the "world was turned upside down" from the preaching of the Gospel in just a few years, and Christianity spread from one small town to cover most of the known world.
Take a look at what was written about the effects of spiritually rich preaching.
Welsh Revival 1904
"ALL South Wales is aflame with the spirit of a great religious revival. In a few weeks the fire of it has run up and down the length of the Garw Valley and the Rhondda, and has spread into hundreds of little outlying hamlets, where in steady, deadening routine the men work in the black coalpit through all the glorious days that come in that wonderful country of mountains and sunshine and clear air. "
"They are speaking of little else in the snug little stone cottages that line the ridges like low ramparts; in the tiny shops where the women come to buy the day’s supplies; in the railway carriages, and at the street corners. Every church community is stirred to the depths, and out on the edges rough miners are shaking their heads wonderingly, and are being drawn toward it until the power of it seizes them and they leave their work to attend the day meetings as well as those at night. Strong men are in tears of penitence; women are shaken with a new fervour, and in the streets small children at their play are humming revival hymns."
“And they do say that the publicans (saloon keepers) are closing,” says a bent little man with a black beard, in a train to Landore, and certainly many drinking places that were crowded are empty, the frequenters being led away either by the religious workers in person, as they were at Ponticymmer, or by the irresistible spirit of the movement. "
"What were the results of this awakening? During the time of revival the police were left with virtually nothing to do and the courts were empty. Saloons and bars shut down for lack of business. Public drunkenness was almost non-existent. Old debts, many long forgotten, were paid off in full. Traveling theatrical agencies canceled their engagements, as everyone was in church! Profanity disappeared. It was said that horses everywhere were in complete confusion. They had become accustomed to responding to their master’s profane shouts and kicks and cursing, virtually of all of which had disappeared."
"At one rugby match, a pastor said he heard only one man cursing, who thereupon repented. Of the 40,000 present, 10,000 began singing hymns. Relationships were healed and marriages restored."
Obviously, society surrounding the revival was changed for the better.
It has been said that Charles Finney, having been converted, gave himself to seeking God's will, and spent some time in the woods near his hometown. After several weeks, and while walking back into town to begin preaching, people encountering him on the road suddenly fell to the ground, being overwhelmed by the Spirit of God and crying out in repentence. This continued as he made his way into town, with businesses, saloons and homes emptying as people ran into the streets seeking forgiveness and wanting to be immediately baptized. This continued on for almost a year, with people from several hundred miles away being drawn to the revival. Entire familes, towns and counties were converted, with saloons shutting down, crime dropping to nearly zero, and singing of hymns replacing cursing.
Jesus said that those who follow Him would be a light in the darkness, and we all know that light dispels (displaces, eliminates) darkness. So too should the church be.
Since the '50s, the general moral condition of society has declined, not grown stronger. Standards of living have generally improved for everyone, but standards of living are not the benchmark for God's approval. The wholesale slaughter of unborn children, legalization of mind bending drugs, alcoholism, sexual deviancy, divorce, public corruption and theft, mass murders, suicides, foul mouthed rants and common use of vulgarity in public, adulation of "influencers" who vie with each other to see who can get the closest to total nudity while broadcasting their pictures via social media...all of these and many more examples speak to the issue of a deteriorating moral fiber within society. Why is it that just recently, liquor stores were considered "essential" while churches were deemed "non-essential" and ordered closed?
It is not the politicians, or the voters, or corporations who are to blame...it is the church.
I think it was Charles Spurgeon who once said "I looked for the Church in the world, and found the world in the Church."
Why is this? Why has the Church become the church? What has happened to cause the church to become little more than a social club meeting once or twice a week?
Let me ask you a question. When you last went to church, what kind of sermon did you hear? Was it about how you can live a better life? Did the preacher tick off 5 points about how you can improve? Did you hear something about how you can have eternal life, just get into a personal relationship with Jesus and be saved? Or was it about how you needed to "plant a seed of faith" by giving more?
Since the 70's, and the advent of CBN and TBN, televangelist/telepreachers have gone out of their way to concoct their own versions of the gospel message. One thing you can count on, and that is that the message doesn't correspond to the Biblical Gospel any more than a wart resembles a zuchinni squash. I'm talking major deviations of theology, outright heresies and tons of platitudes, all made to sound scriptural by quoting selected texts (often not having anything to do with the message), and constant repetition of Jesus' name. Even a cursory comparison of the theology of Hagin, Copeland, Hinn, Todd White, Bill Johnson, Joel Osteen and many, many others is sufficient to declare that these people DON'T KNOW GOD...yet here they are preaching, pandering, begging and being adored by millions.
Step away from the TV, and you have denominations re-writing the Bible, declaring whole passages as spurious or fraudulent, and declaring that what God said He didn't say, or He didn't mean what it says He meant, but what WE say is the way to look at it.
The result? Ordination of sexual deviants, pastors and deacons twice and thrice divorced, embezzlers, swingers and more leading and teaching in our churches.
It's no wonder the church has no influence. It no longer preaches the Gospel of God, it preaches a gospel of YOU, or ME.
What is the purpose of the Gospel of God? Do you really know? Most everybody would say something like "well, it's to bring about salvation."
NO, it isn't. The real purpose of the Gospel is to bring you to a point of worshipping GOD in spirit and in truth. Salvation, eternal life, heavenly benefits, and abundant living are all fringe benefits of the Gospel.
Jesus did not die so you can have a better job. He did not suffer affliction, torment and pain just so you could drive a Benz, or wear a Rolex. He wasn't buried so that you could say "I am wonderful, I am blessed, I am smart..."
He suffered, He died, He was buried and He was raised from the dead for ONE PURPOSE...and that was to reconcile you to God Almighty, to worship Him and Him alone in spirit and IN TRUTH, to understand how magnificent He is, how much He loves YOU, and everyone else. He lowered Himself to our level so that we could come up to His. He didn't have to do it, but He did, because He wanted to. He wanted to have communion with you, He wanted to comfort you in your trials.
That is the purpose of the Gospel, and it is not being preached in the churches of modern America except on rare occasion, by the few preachers who truly know God, and who HE is.
The condition of society proves that failure, and is only going to get worse UNLESS the church falls on it's knees in abject sorrow and repentence, and return's to it's first love.
Next time you go to church, if the preacher doesn't bring a message with that exact intent, then get up and walk out. Go find a church that PREACHES THE REAL GOSPEL.
Remember that Jesus had some things against certain churches, and what He had against them was that they TOLERATED false teachers and preachers.
He is going to HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE, too.
"He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it" John 8:44
Satan's modus operandi began in the Garden of Eden, and he has consistently used it ever since. Come with us as we take a look at how he operated then and now, so that "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." 2Cor 2:11
The Garden Conspiracy is a short book (only 7 chapters) detailing how satan works by using Christian pastors, teachers and "prophets" to corrupt the Word of God, and introduce doctrinal errors, snares and heresies into the Christian community.