The Fallout of the Institutional Church

There is a post going around on Facebook, which has been shared by multiple people, so I can’t say with any certainty who the originator of the post is, but it is publicly shareable, so I am going to share it here:

WHEN THE CHURCH BECOMES A BUSINESS

1) Pastors function like CEOs
2) Members are turned into customers
3) Other churches are seen as competitions
4) Evangelism is reduced to marketing
5) Church planting looks more like franchising

(6) Numbers are primary measure of success
(7) Prayer and Word study are replaced by formulas
(8) Revival is reduced to a few days of fund-raising program
(9) Preaching sounds more like motivational speech. All people do is shout, “I receive, Amen,” throughout the concert. I mean “service.”

(10) Praise and Worship is turned into a performance. The best actors are made the worship and praise leaders
(11) The Spirit of God is reduced to “emotionalism.” No real power of God other than hypnosis and sensationalism

(12) The saints are entertained instead of equipped
(13) Disciples of Christ have become papa’s sons, daughters and fans
(14) The Church, the body of Christ, a living Body has now become a lifeless body
(15) A leader’s empire is built instead of the Kingdom of God advanced
(16) The pastor becomes the super man and Jesus Christ reduced to just another religious figure

Does any one of these sound familiar in this generation? Beloved, if you are under these pattern of “Christianity,” you are already in a cult, not the Church of Jesus Christ. Get out before it is too late!!!

**

I was brought up in the institutional church, but it was more like the biblical model of the church the early half of my 72 years of life. But I didn’t really notice the big change until 1999. And my husband and I served in areas of ministry within the institutional church for about 40 years of our lives, and we were church planters twice. So we know well the inner workings of the church, its leadership, its organization, and its marketing schemes.

So, I can vouch for most all of what is said here with regard to the church becoming a business, which most all are these days, at least here in America. Yet, I will also add that many pastors become like cult leaders and entertainers, and Prayer and Word study are replaced by studies of books written by men who were not led along by the Spirit of God, many of whom are teaching a false (half-truth) gospel with a mixture of the world.

And the result of all of this is what was discussed in this Facebook post, but it is much worse than that. For, they have reduced the gospel of Jesus Christ to a “fast food” “quick in quick out” with no commitment to serving Jesus Christ as Lord, with no fear of God in their hearts, and with no requirements for repentance and for walks of obedience to our Lord Jesus. In fact, in many cases, repentance, submission, and obedience are being discouraged.

Thus, many people are making professions of faith in “another Jesus” and a “different gospel” other than the Jesus and the gospel of the Scriptures. Again, it is a half-true false gospel, so it is a half-true picture of Jesus, too. And that is how these charlatans are able to deceive the people, because what they are teaching is a clever blend of truth and lies. But now they are calling the lies the truth, and they are calling the truth the lies.

So, what they are doing is teaching their adherents that all that is required of them is to “believe” in Jesus, which seems more just an acknowledgment of who Jesus is and of what he did for us on that cross, only they aren’t even being given the whole story of what happened on that cross. For they are only being taught that Jesus died to forgive us our sins and to remove from us the punishment of sin and to promise us heaven when we die.

So, they say they “believe” in him, but many then go on living in deliberate and habitual sin against the Lord and against others because they are being convinced that now that they are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and so all their sins have been washed away, their sins no longer matter to God, and so if they continue in deliberate and habitual sin that it will not impact their relationship with the Lord nor their hope of eternal life with God.

But What Does God Say?
James 1:22-25 ESV

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

All throughout the New Testament we are taught that faith equals obedience, and that if we are not obeying our Lord, that we don’t have genuine faith in Jesus Christ. But now obedience is not just keeping a list of rules by rote while we still hold on to control of our own lives, like the Pharisees did. God always defined obedience as faith, which involves surrender of our lives to Christ and going with God wherever he leads us, but it also includes obeying the Lord’s commands (New Covenant).

And the perfect law being spoken of here is the gospel of our salvation, which is the law of liberty, because it sets us free from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin, and it frees us to walk in obedience to our Lord and to live godly and holy lives to the glory of God, in the power, wisdom, and strength of God’s Spirit now living within us. And this is what we are to persevere in, in walking according to the Spirit and not according to our flesh. For, if we don’t, then we don’t have the hope of eternal life with God.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]

Come and See

An Original Work / May 20, 2013
Based off John 1:35-51

John, the Baptist, called of God to
Make straight the way for the Lord,
Told his disciples about Jesus,
So two of them followed Him.

One of them who followed Jesus
Told his brother, Simon Peter,
Who then he brought to the Savior,
Who had told them, “Come and see.”

Jesus Christ, our Lord, Messiah,
On his way to Galilee found a man, Philip,
So he told him, “I want you to follow Me.”

Philip then found his friend,
And he told him, “We have found the one
The prophets spoke of – He is Jesus!”
Philip then said, “Come and see.”

Jesus saw the man, Nathanael,
While he sat beneath a fig tree,
Even before Philip called him,
So Nathanael did believe.

Nonetheless the Lord said,
“You believe because of what I told you.
You will see much greater things than these
If you will Come and see.”

Jesus’ calling to each one of us.
He tells us to believe in Him
As our Lord and Messiah,
And to follow where He leads.

He says we must turn from our sins,
Die to sin and self each day,
And put on our new lives in Jesus;
Bow before Him; humbly pray.

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