I saw a study that projects nearly 100 million Americans would make 2012 New Year’s resolutions and that by the end of January, nearly 90% would walk away from that resolution. So how are you doing and just what was your resolution this year? I might suggest that if your primary resolution was anything short of a deep study of God’s Word, getting to know his nature and character better, you are aiming way too low with that resolution.
We live in very perilous times as Christians. Sure the world is turning more and more away from God and economic stability seems to be in peril—but something far worse is happening that is much more dangerous: The bible as the absolute truth of God is slowly being discredited—and it is being done by those who call themselves Christians!
Truth has become relative—what I think it should be; we have become cowards and seemingly ashamed of the gospel; and more and more we approach the Word of God the wrong way. We start off with something we believe is true and then go to the scriptures to find a verse or two that seems to confirm our belief. We ignore the full counsel of God’s Word, seeking to find an isolated verse that can support our shaky version of the truth. This approach is very dangerous and over time we develop a mentality that attempts to conform God to our image and likeness instead of conforming our beliefs and life to Him.
These are dangerous times for the church. Highly influential pastors like Rick Warren and Joel Osteen teach anything but the complete gospel and yet their churches are booming. And other pastors, faced with a numbers and financial crunch, see their success and want to tap in to their “success formula”. Youth pastors turn our kids on to the teachings of Wallis, Campolo, Bell and McLaren—instead of teaching them the Word of God.
God is patient; but he is not tolerant. And unless we repent of our slide away from Him and his Word, he will prune the church in America. Not with a small set of pruning sheers, gently trimming loose ends—but with a chain saw cutting off as much as is necessary to get rid of all the dead wood from a tree that is no longer producing good fruit. If and when that happens, do not think it will be a gentle nudge. It will rock our world, hopefully dropping us to our knees to ask forgiveness of how we have strayed from God and his purpose for the church.
- Dear Pastor Joel Osteen. Shame on You! (noiseofthunder.com)
- Rick Warren Tweets Trauma As The Root of Dogma? (christianresearchnetwork.com)
- Wake Up Church! (standupforthetruth.com)
- The Great Evangelical Divide (standupforthetruth.com)
- 2012: A Year For Spiritual Preparation (standupforthetruth.com)
- Joel Osteen Getting a Reality Show (christianitytoday.com)
- Does Joel Osteen Not Know, or Does He Not Care? (albertmohler.com)