17 July, 2012

A Voice From the Past Speaks

I have been greatly disturbed by the trends that I have seen taking shape in the Body of Christ over the last 20 years or so. The face of the church has changed tremendously in that time. So much so, that I should think that if someone of my father's generation were to step out of time and walk into our world today, they would not even recognize many of our churches as that of being a church.  Not only have we seen changes in the way that we worship (something that will always change as cultures change) but we've seen traditional theology and dogma thrown out the window. While we may have at one time been somewhat legalistic in our standard of holiness, it seems today that in most churches there is no longer any standard as churches embrace the theory that anything goes so long as you chant "grace" while sinning. We've seen a full swing from that of 20 years ago when it was the "in thing" to be a pentecostal/charismatic to where today in many of our churches, even entire denominations are debating on changing their stand on the Baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Many of our younger preachers in my own denomination (Church of God, Cleveland, TN) are no longer preaching or teaching this fundamental doctrine that defines one of the major distinctives of the Church of God. In recent years, the concept of the doctrine of inclusion, or Unitarianism is growing in popularity, as people are embracing the notion that it does not matter what you call God, we are all worshiping the same god, only with a different label, or that everyone in humanity is already saved, they just don't know it. Popular TV preachers are now preaching and writing books that basically tell us that there is no need for repentance, and that if you believe on the cross, it simply does not matter what your flesh does.

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, the church is morphing right before our eyes and (I believe) is pointing to the soon coming of Jesus, for we are seeing the great falling away that is recorded in the Scriptures.  Amazingly, I recently read a quote made by General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army that accurately prophesied the times we are living in. He said: "I consider that the chief dangers that confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell." 

I'd say he nailed it.

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