"Worldliness is rampant in the church. The devil is not fighting churches, he is joining
them! He is not persecuting Christianity, he is professing it. When many think the world is becoming more Christian, Christians are becoming worldlier. The friend of the world is the enemy of God and if we love the world the love of the Father is not in us." - Vance Havner
We are rightly concerned for the state of the church in our day. We might point out a number of specific issues that tell us that the church is not what she ought to be.
I'd like to address just one area: the holiness of her leaders. Please hang with me...
A few days ago, a flyer came in our mailbox, advertising a big multi-campus "church" that is nearby. Since I like to have a feel for what's out there that is local to me, I thought I'd check out their web site.
What I found was a fairly typical web site. The doctrinal statement was a bit lite, but reasonably sound.
Before I list what was a big concern, let me state something first. Most of us, at one time or another, have seen things on a screen (TV, movie, computer, etc.) that are not appropriate. Maybe it was accidental, or maybe it was even on purpose. Maybe it was just questionable, or maybe it was WAY across the line. But hopefully, such things should cause us to grieve over sin, to hate it, to confess it to God, and repent (turn away). Our commitment must be to holiness, to view things that are honorable and of good reputation.
But on this "church"
What was there, exactly?
Some of their bios also list a favorite movie. What was there?
Well, the High School Pastor liked "Gladiator", which is rated "R" for extreme violence.
By far, the most common favorite movie was "Braveheart". What do movie reviews say about that one? Above the waist female frontal nudity, below the waist male frontal nudity (though from a distance), below the waist male backside nudity (clearly seen), extreme graphic violence, and significant profanity. Just WHO from this church listed "Braveheart" as his favorite movie? The Lead Pastor, the Weekend Programming "Pastor" (a female), the Children's Pastor, an Assistant Campus Pastor, and a Student Pastor. It's not just that they liked this "R" movie -- it is listed as their favorite!
Just a couple more issues, before I close...
Some of the bios have a "favorite quote". The Lead Pastor listed a quote from the movie "A Few Good Men" (rated "R"), which (according to reviews) is a movie that is riddled with profanity, including multiple statements of pure blasphemy, the taking of our glorious and holy God's name in vain.
And if you don't believe me that all these folks in this one "church" advertised all this openly, you can see for yourself, here.
It is worth showing Vance Havner's quote again:
"Worldliness is rampant in the church. The devil is not fighting churches, he is joining them! He is not persecuting Christianity, he is professing it. When many think the world is becoming more Christian, Christians are becoming worldlier. The friend of the world is the enemy of God and if we love the world the love of the Father is not in us."If Pastor Havner said that in his day, think what he would say about ours!
May God grant repentance and saving faith.
"I believe that one reason why the church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church." - C. H. SpurgeonSee Kevin DeYoung's article ("Not Even a Hint") about this subject here.