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Pay attention to the trends in today’s ‘cool-of-the-culture’ Christianity. When messages are all about being relevant to the culture and reaching out to them, what exactly are we reaching out to them with? Tolerance? Tolerance of what exactly? If we are drawing people in for the sake of drawing them in to get crowds, to say that we are “diverse,” what does that really mean?
We live in the days when preachers stand firm in what they believe in… Yet what is it they are really believing in? Messages, sermons, and conferences that have hip-looking preachers with loads of charisma are dotting the scene in American Christianity, yet what message do they hold?
Pay attention to sermons being presented, especially what the focal point is of the sermon. If it’s all about us, and how we can strive to become “better” and how we need to simply change bad habits into good habits, then that message is all about “self help.” It’s not the Gospel.
The problem with Progressive Christianity is that it waters down the Word of God and makes everything about the soul and about the self. It amazes me how Christians will pick and choose what they do and don’t believe in when it comes to the Bible. It’s as if they are stocking their pews with TNIV Perforated Bibles, allowing you to tear out pages, chapters, and whole books that you don’t like. Or maybe replacing Bibles with Adult Coloring books in pews would be more helpful for some congregations that aren’t quite willing to put their faith in the God of the Bible, as the satirical Babylon Bee points out. (See HERE for the article)
Yet this isn’t really a laughing matter. Churches and ministers have softened down the Word of God, obfuscating the Truth. When sin, forgiveness, the blood of Jesus, the cross of Christ, eternal salvation (etc.) are not being discussed in sermons, there is a problem. After all, it’s not merely a change from bad habits to good habits that will make us “good” people. It is a saving relationship with Jesus Christ that will turn us from our old man into a new creation- this only happens by the power of the blood of the Lamb!
Tolerance is really a terrible word. Did Jesus tolerate false teaching? No, he didn’t. As a matter of fact, He was very much against false teaching, as was the Apostle Paul. If you think about it, Jesus, the Apostle Paul, and Peter, would all not be allowed to preach in many churches, Christian universities, and “Christian” conferences in these modern days, because their messages would be filled with the unadulterated Truth of the Word of God.
Something you’ll never see in Progressive Christianity are deliverances and freedom from (1) sin, (2) ungodly lifestyles, and (3) moral depravity. The agenda that comes with the American Left has crept into major churches, even entire denominations in the United States, and has created a younger generation of “touchy” lukewarm, bobblehead clones, who are willing to have their consciences seared with a hot iron, unwilling to acknowledge that God wants to change them from the inside out in order that they may serve Him with their entire life.
If we deny that we have sin, then we deny the reason Jesus came to this earth–which is to free us from our sin. Frank Peretti, the Christian suspense author, once said:
“Sin is the monster we love to deny. It can stalk us, bite a slice out of our lives, return again and again, and even as we bleed and hobble, we prefer to believe nothing has happened. In Jesus Christ we are forgiven and empowered to overcome sin… but toying with an animal that is actually toying with us is a sure way to lose part of ourselves.”
We have created a generation of wanderers, rather than overcomers. God promises in His Word that we are able to overcome the world because He first overcame the world (see John 16:33). Jesus doesn’t save those who are simply “friendly,” he saves those who overcome! Overcome what? Our sin! How? By having faith in Jesus Christ and allowing Him to root out the sin in our lives.
Let’s not deny our sin any longer.
Be on the alert when you hear “Christian” programs that are all about Wellness, Wellbeing, Contemplative spirituality, and soul care. Watch out. All of that is trying to replace the Gospel. In this “wellbeing” doctrine, everything is psychological and spiritual, but the key is that it denies the power of God to change your life through the cross. In contemplative spirituality, it’s all about self, self, self, self, self. As if we can really take the reigns in our lives and overcome it on our own? No… We cannot.
Let’s hold onto Biblical doctrine. The Apostle Paul was so concerned about true and pure doctrine in his epistles… He instructed Timothy and Titus with very purposeful insights on how we are to conduct teaching. We are to “test the spirits” and hold onto what is good (See 1 John 4).
John says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come int the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God… Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:1-6, ESV).
We must truly love everyone, as God is love. Though we must love people deep enough to tell them the Truth. And telling people the truth isn’t always easy; it is hard.
I know what it’s like to be told by a “Christian” minister that what I preached needed to be “watered down,” though the thing is, I can’t water down the Word. To water down the Word of God is to do a disservice to my King, my Lord, and my Savior. God only blesses His Word. He doesn’t bless anything else. What this Watered-Down Christianity has done is it blesses what God has cursed, and it curses what God has blessed.
So something that I said might offend you? Okay, well, getting your feelings hurt is not my doing; you alone are the bishop of your own heart. You are the one who decides what is going to hurt your feelings. Hurt feelings simply means that your pride and ego got poked. …and that’s not a bad thing at all. I’ve had several opportunities to get offended, but offended people are not mature in their faith. We need to start growing up and getting in the Word of God so that it can correct us!
Watered down Christianity only believes 2 Timothy 3:16-17 to a point. Here is the scripture:
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (ESV).
Watered-down (Progressive) Christianity wants the Word of God to simply encourage us in the life we are already living (including the lifestyles we are currently living in), though it has a very hard time with allowing God (through the Bible) to correct us, train us in righteousness and equip us. Notice that if you are going to be equipped for every good work, you need to have had your sins forgiven, and you need to be able to deal with reproof and correction.
A church or minister who teaches or preaches a watered-down message or word does more disservice and creates more dysfunction in the body of Christ than the world does, simply because it does it under the guise and cloak of “Christianity.”
Thankfully, as we live a life from the Bible–the unaltered, unadulterated, uncompromised Word of God–we are able to live a life sold out to Jesus, transformed by His saving grace, and freed from the sin that held us down.
To glory be the name of Jesus Christ, our everlasting God, the Prince of Peace, our Great High Priest, our Lord of Lords, and our King of Kings! Amen.