THE TUMULTUOUS 2020s: THREE MODERN DAY FALLACIES DEFILING THE CHURCH

I heard a popular television preacher recently say this: “If God judges America He’s going to have to apologize to Jesus.”

But the Word says: “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (1 Pet. 3:12).

And this:

“The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the Day of Judgment” (2 Pet. 2:9).

The first fallacy in today’s visible mainstream church world is ignorance concerning God’s judgments and even wrath.

FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND GOD’S JUDGMENTS

The aforementioned preacher’s understanding lacks balance and the whole counsel of God. He says that Jesus bore our judgment and therefore God will not judge America or anyone for that matter. Honestly, this belief system is the edge of universalism.

It says Jesus bore everyone’s judgment on the cross, so no one will be judged. Everyone is okay. Everyone will be saved in the end. Actually, it is this popular view that has opened a large door to so much deception in the church. It breeds a lackadaisical spirit and an absence of holy fear in most Christians. It emphasizes a positional truth at the expense of an experiential truth.

In fact, Romans 1 offers specific proof that America is already under the judgment of God.

“The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth through unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18).

God’s wrath is already being revealed. Present tense. In other words, we don’t need to wait until the Day of Judgment to see God’s wrath. It is being demonstrated now. You need to read the rest of the verses that follow this verse to see this.

“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness” (Rom. 1:24a).

“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions” (Rom. 1:26a).

God gave them over to a debased mind” (Rom. 1:28b).

These verses are talking about sexual immorality, specifically the sin of homosexuality and lesbianism. The entire so-called sexual revolution is a product of God’s wrath. America has been under the judgment of God for decades! We’ve praised AIDS victims as if they are heroes, but in actuality, it is the penalty of their sin that they have received (Rom. 1:27).

In fact, when those who practice such things that are deserving of death, also approve of others who practice them (v. 32) it is one of God’s final signs of His wrath on a society.

HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF THE PRESENT JUDGMENT OF GOD UNDER THE NEW COVENANT

This list does not include the promised future judgments of God that are also found throughout the New Testament.

1.  The wrath of God is currently and continually abiding upon all those who reject Jesus Christ as the Son of God (John 3:36).

2.  Ananias and Sapphira (believers) are struck down dead for lying to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-10).

3.  King Herod is struck dead by an angel of the Lord for not giving God glory (Acts 12:20-23).

4.  Elymas the magician is struck blind “by the hand of the Lord” for being a fraud and son of the devil (Acts 13:8-12).

5.  The immoral brother is judged and handed over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh (1 Cor 5).

6.  Believers are judged and become sick, some even die, for not judging themselves before partaking of the Lord’s supper (1 Cor 11:27-32). 

When you take away the present wrath and judgment of God from the New Covenant you are changing the word of God and removing your name from the book of life and the holy city (Rev. 22:19). You are guilty of creating a god made in your own image and participating in an antichrist agenda.

Wake up, church! What are some of these preachers saying? God’s judgment and wrath are already here! Can they escape? Yes, if they turn to God in sincere repentance, they can still receive His mercy and be saved and delivered. But many will not do so.

CROOKED VIEW OF HOLINESS

The second fallacy in much of the church world today is a total misunderstanding of true holiness. In fact, the Lord told me that there’s been a diabolical silence on it. I believe that restoring the beauty of biblical holiness in the Church is a critical ingredient to healing the moral confusion in our culture. As the Church goes, so goes the world. Our disproportionate view of holiness is one of the big reasons there is so much of the spirit of the world in the Church.

True holiness has gotten such a bad rap and is looked upon with a sort of disdain, as being primitive, outdated, and just not culturally relevant. We need to realize, however, that negative experiences or unsound teaching does not nullify the real meaning, necessity, and beauty of God’s holiness.

One of my favorite definitions of holiness as it applies to believers is that it is a moral dedication and a life committed to purity of thought, word, motive, and deed. At the center of that definition is the fact of being set apart or consecrated to God’s purposes. in other words, we are not to be conformed to the world’s ideals, patterns, or standards, but to God’s nature and will.

But even more importantly, holiness has more to do with whom we belong to. To whom do we give our loyalty, love, and allegiance to? To be holy means that all we are and all we have belongs to God, not ourselves, and is set apart for His purposes. This is the theme of the apostolic letters to the early churches. How are some believers, even preachers, missing that today?

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Cor. 7:1)

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord…” (Heb. 12:14).

A distorted view of holiness, or simply the ignorance of it, is clouding our understanding of God’s true love. When God is seen as a loving, non-demanding pushover whose love overrides His holiness, whose grace no longer teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts then people will live in accordance with that belief and come under the judgment of God. Permissiveness and promiscuity will be prevalent.

This brings me to the third big fallacy I see in the church today and that is the false concept of the love of God.

WRONG CONCEPT OF THE TRUE LOVE OF GOD

“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

There’s a sentimental mushy kind of love expressed in the church and lives of so-called Christians today that falls so short of the real God-kind of love. It is a love not based on truth and deeds.

For example, one of the hot controversial topics today is that of the aforementioned homosexuality. More and more people in the church world are accepting it and now celebrating it. Entire denominations are now ordaining gay clergy. This is being done all in the name of love. But it is so clear from the Word of God that this is a complete abomination that should have no place whatsoever in the church. There are churches and entire denominations turning into “synagogues of Satan” “where his throne is” (Rev. 2:9,13). Doctrines like this are the “depths of Satan” (Rev. 2:24).

Does this mean we stop loving gay people? Of course not; we should love them all the more because they are in grave danger, but we must do so in all kindness, wisdom, and love, speaking the truth to them. But most people will hate you for it as they did Jesus.

“No man was ever more loving than Jesus Christ. Yet even His love made people angry. His love was a perfect love, a transcendent and holy love, but His very love brought trauma to people. This kind of love is so majestic we can’t stand it.” (R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God).

You see, love must be mixed with truth and holiness for it to pass the biblical test. As I said, today we are altering the Scriptures because we don’t like certain verses that contradict the lifestyle that we or our friends may be living. Many have removed God’s judgments and wrath, holiness, and hell, right out of the Bible. It’s one of the signs of these evil last days we are living in.

We may criticize what is happening in the world all we want, but judgment must begin in the house of God if we desire to see His glory and the awakening that many of us have been praying for. Let us remove the evil from us. Let not any form of sexual  immorality be even named among us (Eph. 5:3).

“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God, and if it begins first with us, what shall the end be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Pet. 4:17).

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WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT LAUREN DAIGLE?

It’s really simple. Lauren Daigle was attempting to live in peace with all men without pursuing holiness. She is to be commended for seeking to reach out with love to her audience and show hosts, but with so much pressure to conform she fell short of presenting clear truth.

“Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14- AMPC).

Here are the arguments Christians are making on Lauren’s behalf:

  1. Stop being a hypocrite and get the plank out of your own eye.
  2. Stop identifying her sin and identify your own of not loving the poor, the widows, and the orphans.
  3. Stop condemning her because you’ve never been in her shoes.
  4. Stop treating your brothers and sisters like this.
  5. We are not called to identify people’s sin but to be salt and light.

What we are doing is rebuking one another in the face of the world. That is exactly what the devil wants. because he knows that the world will only know we are disciples of Jesus by our love for one another.

“By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves]” (Jn. 13:35 – AMPC).

We shouldn’t be settling our differences in front of the whole world in this manner. The voice of reason must prevail during such controversy. And besides, if indeed Lauren Daigle is our sister and she has sinned, she needs to be spoken to privately about her behavior by someone mature who knows her.

The other problem is when the majority of Christians are saying these things it gives room for deception to spread in the church and in society by lowering God’s moral standards. Issues like this are to be dealt with in house or in the Church amongst ourselves (read 1 Cor. 5 when Paul encouraged the Corinthians to judge the man who was committing incest).

THE COMBINATION OF TRUTH AND LOVE

Christians are divided over Lauren Daigle’s words and actions. Some are calling for love. Others are calling for truth. What we need to see and understand is that both are right. Our constant squabbling  and rhetoric is useless and unproductive. As I said, it divides us and makes us look foolish to the world.

Love spoken in truth is the combination of wisdom that we need. Compassion blended with conviction is the most effective way to present the gospel. Mercy and might will make things right.

Lauren Daigle fell short of finding this combination so she lied. Yes, it is shameful, cowardly, and grievous, but could you have done more? Considering the limelight, the platform, and the large audience she was speaking to…considering the pressure she was under to want to say the right thing and not be misunderstood or misinterpreted, are you sure you could’ve done better? Do you even know the terms of the agreement she probably had to sign to even be interviewed?

THE BIGGER ISSUE

This incident, however, speaks to a larger and much deeper problem within the Church today. Not many pastors are educating and equipping their people to always be ready to give a defense of the hope that is within them. Now watch this: we are to do this “with meekness and fear” (1 Pt. 3:15).  One translation says “with gentleness and reverence”.

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…” (1 Pt. 3:15).

What if Lauren Daigle was so prayed up and filled with God that she began to weep as she told her audience of the dangers of sin including homosexuality? Do you think many more people in the world would be touched in a godly positive way? Do you think Christians would be bickering so much over this interview and what she said or didn’t say?

Much of the time combining love and truth has to do with our approach, our gestures, and disposition. The stronger the truth and the harder the message, the more broken the vessel needs to be that its spoken through. Excessive zeal for truth without love shining through a broken vessel is abrasive. It’s like fingernails scratching a chalkboard.

What is emanating from us when we speak? The bigger issue is not so much our words, but what spirit is transmitted through our words? That’s a big part of what it means to sanctify the Lord in our hearts.

And this is what the American Church needs to learn to do. More to come…

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Thank you, and may God’s richest and best be yours.