Destroying the Christian Church One Denomination at a Time

A great apostasy and falling away is taking place in the Christian church today, and there are many contributing factors to this. Big ticket items would include: a wholesale rejection of biblical authority; a loss of an awareness of the holiness of God; wilful rebellion in the pews; theological liberalism in the pulpits; and acceptance of the world’s standards instead of God’s standards.

One of the chief ways in which all this is playing out is the homosexual assault on the churches. And it is not happening by accident either. Decades ago cultural Marxists specifically targeted churches, along with other centres of power and influence, seeking to undermine them from within.

And homosexual activists have been very busy as well, rewriting the Bible and history in order to push their false gospel on the churches. And sadly many churches have capitulated to this onslaught. Indeed, just two weeks ago I wrote about how the Presbyterian Church (USA) sold its soul to the devil as it decided to reject 2,000 years of Christian consensus and embrace homosexual ordination:
billmuehlenberg.com/2011/05/12/when-churches-commit-suicide/

Almost like dominoes, a number of liberal denominations are beginning to fall in this area as well. Just two days ago news reports appeared describing how the Presbyterian Church of Scotland is quickly heading in the same direction. And these two denominations are not the only ones.

Indeed, they join others which have given up the ghost decades ago now. The Episcopalians in America and the United Church in Australia are two other clear examples of spiritually and theologically sick denominations which seem to be headed on the way out.

As to the Scottish situation, here is how one press account covers the story: “A minister in the Presbyterian Church of Scotland says he will likely resign after the denomination moved one step closer to allowing the ordination of openly and actively homosexual clergy this week, with indications that they will even explore the blessing of same-sex unions.

“‘We have capitulated to society. … It’s a sad day for Scotland,’ Rev. Roddy MacCrae, the minister of Glenelg and Kintail on the westcoast mainland, told Christians Together.  ‘I’ll probably be one who will be leaving the Church of Scotland, and over the next few months I’ll be working that out.’

“‘My problem is that our witness is weakened.  Society knows that we’re wavering from left to right and we have no moral voice,’ he added. The denomination’s governing body, known as the General Assembly, had instituted a two-year moratorium in 2009 on ordinations of those in same-sex relationships and on public discussions of the issue. On Monday, they voted 351 to 294 to ‘consider further the lifting of the moratorium’ and created a theological commission that will prepare a report on the issue for the 2013 meeting of the General Assembly.

“The theological commission will also consider ‘whether ministers should have freedom of conscience to bless civil partnerships and possible liturgy for such occasions’ notes a press release from the Church of Scotland, also known as the Kirk. The General Assembly also voted to allow those homosexual ministers and deacons ordained before May 2009 to now be given pastoral responsibilities.”

As to the PCUSA, one American theologian and pastor in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church said this about their ongoing schism: “It didn’t happen overnight. The new schism over gay ordination is the culmination of three decades of evangelicals battling the progressive tide, arguing that biblical authority is on the line. In the 1970s, Northern Presbyterians (United Presbyterian Church USA) adopted a statement that ‘self-affirming, practicing homosexuals’ are not eligible for ordination to church office.

“The Southern Presbyterians (Presbyterian Church in the US) adopted a similar policy the next year. These two denominations united in 1983 to form the current PC(USA). After ongoing debates in the ’80s on human sexuality, including homosexuality, in 1993 the weary Presbyterians decided to call a three year voting moratorium on issues related to the ordination of gay and lesbian members to church office.”

He continues to explain how the process has unfolded, and then looks at the bigger picture: “When I was a young ministerial student studying at a mainline Presbyterian seminary I read Don Williams’s 1978 book, The Bond that Breaks: Will Homosexuality Split the Church? and I recall wondering if homosexual ordination would find acceptance among Presbyterians during my lifetime. Now, more than 30 years later, I have an answer to my question. But as a historian, I believe it is a mistake to focus our attention on how the church has dealt with this issue over the past three or four decades. The long view that church history offers is often the clearest perspective of all.

“And church history is crystal clear: Homosexual practice has been affirmed nowhere, never, by no one in the history of Christianity. The church fathers insisted that doctrine and practice must be tested by Holy Scripture. In addition to careful exegesis, another test was catholicity, that is, what has been the universally accepted scriptural interpretation passed down in the church. When novel teachings were shown to fail both the careful scrutiny of Scripture and the consensus of the orthodox Fathers, heretical ideas were doubly condemned. In the 400s, Vincent of Lerins expressed it this way:

… if anyone wishes, to detect the deceits of heretics that arise and to avoid their snares and to keep healthy and sound in a healthy faith, we ought, with the Lord’s help, to fortify our faith in a twofold manner, firstly that is, by the authority of God’s Law [Scripture], then by the tradition of the Catholic [universal] Church. …[W]e take the greatest care to hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all.

“Christianity is a tradition; it is a faith with a particular ethos, set of beliefs and practices handed on from generation to generation. The Christian tradition may be understood as the history of what God’s people have believed and how they have lived based upon the Word of God. This tradition is not only a collection of accepted doctrines but also a set of lifestyle expectations for a follower of Christ. One of the primary things handed down in the Christian church over the centuries is a consistent set of lifestyle ethics including specific directives about sexual behavior.

“The church of every generation from the time of the apostles has condemned sexual sin as unbecoming a disciple of Christ. At no point have any orthodox Christian teachers ever suggested that one’s sexual practices may deviate from biblical standards. Concerning homosexuality there has been absolute unanimity in church history; sexual intimacy between persons of the same gender has never been recognized as legitimate behavior for a Christian.

“One finds no examples of orthodox teachers who suggested that homosexual activity could be acceptable in God’s sight under any circumstances. Revisionist biblical interpretations that purport to support homosexual practice are typically rooted in novel hermeneutical principles applied to Scripture, which produce bizarre interpretations of the Bible held nowhere, never, by no one.”

One is reminded of what Paul says to the Corinthians: “No doubt there have to be differences [or heresies – KJV] among you to show which of you have God’s approval” (1 Cor. 11:19). It is testing times like this where the wheat and the chaff become more easily distinguished.

As the days grow darker, both in the world and in the church, those who will take a stand for biblical orthodoxy will pay a price for doing so, but at least they will become clearly distinguishable from those who are compromising and selling their souls for the latest trendy social agendas.

www.lifesitenews.com/news/scottish-presbyterian-church-moves-toward-openly-gay-clergy-same-sex-blessi?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=7c16bed880-LifeSiteNews_com_Intl_Headlines05_25_2011&utm_medium=email
www.christianitytoday.com/ct/article_print.html?id=91853

[1272 words]

36 Replies to “Destroying the Christian Church One Denomination at a Time”

  1. Hi Bill,

    Or to look on the bright side, your title could just as well have been: ‘Purifying the Christian Church One Denomination at a Time’.

    Mansel Rogerson

  2. Yes quite right Mansel.

    That is certainly another way to look at it, and quite accurate. The passage from Corinthians which I cite in my article would fit well with such a title.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  3. Well said, Bill. Christian churches are undergoing a severe pruning, but I always remind myself that my roses flourish best after the majority of the bush has been cut away to leave a very discouraging stump that looks half-dead and beyond help.
    Mishka Gora

  4. It is strange all these christian “churches” deciding now is the right time to start hating homosexuals with a passion.

    I don’t really get it. I thought the church was about accepting everybody and calling them to a life following and in imitation of Jesus.

    Instead they abandon all this and seek to foster the destruction of those they are entrusted by God to care for and minister too.

    Insanity.

    Jason Rennie

  5. I like the pruning comment already made. The problem I have being a member of The Episcopal Church (of USA) is that the new growth is not coming fast enough!

    The Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) has no parishes even close to me. Not that I’m in the mind to move immediately. For the moment my little parish is still adhering to the traditional faith but there are strong outside pressure to conform to the apostasy found in the Episcopal Church here in the States.

    If and when that fateful day comes when the walls collapse I will have nowhere to flee; no place of refuge.

    Rich Delzer, US

  6. Thanks Rich

    But if need be you can always fellowship with one or two other believers at someone’s home if that comes about. That may well be preferable to staying in an apostate church. But I believe God will provide some sort of church home if and when it is needed.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  7. Jason, Christian churches are not taking a stance of hating homosexuals, but rather they are taking a position of hating the sin. Where the devide is occuring is that liberal denominations are abandoning the biblical truth and either seeing homosexuality as no longer a sin, or deciding that there is no need to change from sinful ways as somehow you can knowingly continue to live in sin without any attempt of change due to God’s grace (i.e. totally ignoring what the point of repentance is about).

    Homosexuals are more than welcome in a church as much as every other sinner (aka every human being). The defining point is if they are allowed to take a position of authority or gain endorsement for their lifestyle. If some homosexuals and others see this attitude as hateful, then they are misguided and not looking at the principles behind the stance.

    Nathan Wahl

  8. While the issue of allowing homosexual clergy is an obvious apostasy, what has really been hitting home for me is the not so obvious apostasy that is taking the seemingly sound churches. I am referring to the incorporation of Eastern practices into Christian practice – contemplative spirituality, Lectio Divinia, meditation after the pattern of the East. I woke up the other day and found out that my church is starting down that path…very discouraging. Never thought Apostasy would come to my church. Thanks for quoting 1 Cor. 11:19, very thought provoking.
    Denise Hayden

  9. Thanks Nathan

    I could be wrong – and Jason needs to speak for himself here – but I was taking his comment to agree with us, but it was worded perhaps a bit awkwardly so it may have given the wrong impression. That is, I believe he is on side with us here, and meant to say that in compromising on this issue, we are not really loving homosexuals but in fact abandoning them, thus hating them. But I will let Jason reply to this as well if he would like.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  10. One hopes. Faith says “God will provide” but the skeptic in me says “when?”

    Some of my former parish members have ‘crossed the Tiber’ and are attending services at the local Roman Catholic Church.

    I can’t. In my heart I’m Anglican. I discovered the Church back in 1979 when I was 20 while searching for others who seek Christ in a quiet respectful way.

    Rich Delzer, US

  11. Yeah you are right Bill.

    It is a profound act of hatred on the part of these Chuches to affirm homosexuals in their “lifestyle”.

    I agree with you Nathan. It would seem the churches who endorse the homosexual agenda are actually “hating the sinner and loving the sin”, which seems a little backwards to me.

    After all, it isn’t like God changes His mind on these things and rightly condemns homosexual practice (and all extra marital sexual practice) because it is destructive of the people who practice it. So to tell these people, God doesn’t care how you act is to indulge in a host of evils.

    Sorry, I probably could have phrased it better 🙂

    Jason Rennie

  12. Just an additional thought.

    I think i’d be willing to go so far as to say that the PCUSA and other churches who are embracing this “love the sin, hate the sinner” attitude are actually at least as bad for the proclomation of the Gospel as the evil collection of lunatics as Westboro Baptist church.

    Jason Rennie

  13. A self-described ‘little country preacher’ told me one that “you don’t get righteous to come to church – you come to church to get righteous.” This is great advice about the proper role of ‘inclusion’ in our spiritual lives.

    Based on my reading in scripture God does not care about what you were. He cares about where you are at that point in time and most importantly where you are going. This is the path of righteousness that all Christians are called to follow. Whatever the sin is that lurks in your past if you repent and seek God’s righteousness you will find him – and you will be changed by the process.

    We need to keep our eye on that prize – salvation of sinners. And if someone makes you uncomfortable ask yourself why. And trust in Christ that if they refuse to repent of their sins they will leave on their own. This I have seen happen myself where individuals and couples refused to renounce their sin. They are not longer associated with the Church.

    Rich Delzer, US

  14. Thanks for the article Bill. The IRD has been fighting the gay agenda in churches for 30 years. Of the Seven Sisters of the Church in the US three drank the poison. The other four now find themselves in the fight of their lives. Unfortunately, many are not aware and simply are lulled into playing nice. I for one am done playing nice and stand with you Bill in raising the trumpet for righteousness.
    Hey Rich, we attend a ACNA church in DC and its become a movement. Hang in there, reinforcements are on the way.
    Luke Moon

  15. As to the great apostasy, one need look no further than Brisbane’s St. Mary’s, and the deceitful removal by the parish priest Peter Kennedy of his parishioners away from the Catholic and dare I say Christian faith. As shown on compass last Sunday, it finally came to light that he now doubts even the existence of Jesus let alone His divinity.
    One can only thank God for the local bishops intervention.
    Gerry Van Hees

  16. Excellent comment, Mishka, re: the pruning of the rose bush. I attend a liturgical, traditional church that is going rotten at the top. One day the time may come when we will be asked to leave as we openly talk about what we believe and where we stand on a number of issues. There may come a day when the ‘religious elite’ will take over the beautiful buildings of their religious institutions and the Bride of Christ will be meeting in living rooms. It’s the Bride of Christ that matters to Him and all that is happening is for our good, to make us pure and spotless before His appearing. He’s not impressed with the institutions of man, even denominations. As far as I’m concerned, if there is any difference at all, it’s all going to be good. God has seen our future, every second of it, and all the way into eternity. We can rest in that.
    Dee Graf

  17. I really think that the “liberals” are becoming irrelevant as they take over each denomination and crash it. People exodus even faster under liberals, so their powerbase diminishes. I know an ex Methodist pastor (Bible believing) who was first assigned to a remore rural congregation to get rid of him. Then he was sent to an urban, liberal congregation, who had been primed to “re-educate” him. He eventually left and is now running Charismatic teaching seminars. The middle class white congregation from his former church has disappeared and been replaced by an ethnic congregation who actually believe the Bible. All the central city, main line churches are only afloat due to immigration of Bible believing Christians. The white, hand wringing liberals are a flash of irrelevancy.
    John Subritzky, NZ

  18. I agree with Tas Walker. The proposition that all life, including human life, has evolved from a single source over billions of years and that a worldwide flood is “impossible”, has rendered the Book of Genesis, in the public mind, to be no more than a collection of folk tales from a “primitive” people. If such an obviously foundational part of the Bible no longer has the authority of “God’s inerrant word”, why should anyone take the rest of scripture seriously. The fact that most ministers of the Gospel and theological schools seem to accept a compromising position on the authority and historicity of the Genesis creation accounts makes it little wonder that they will also compromise on other orthodox doctrine as well.
    Col Maynard

  19. The talk of the church being pruned to a stump that will allow new shoots to develop, I fear is a fanciful one. Surely the next generation are our new shoots and they are being radicalised by Marxist anarchists against the values and morality of their parents in public schools on an industrial scale. That is the place where Christian parents need to be concentrating their efforts. If ever the church wanted a mission field our children’s school are the place to start. Those Head teachers and staff that are sympathetic to Christian values put themselves into extremely vulnerable situations and therefore need the support of Christian parents and school governors.

    David Skinner, UK

  20. What does one do if the church one attends advocates unbiblical principles? Perhaps first try to correct it. If that fails, and as difficult as it may be for those who have attended the same church or denomination for many years, it may be time to find a new spiritual home, Even if it’s in a different denomination. We need to find a home that defends and promotes the basic Christian tenants that have stood the test of time. Christ did not come to build denominations. He came to build His church and when we are called to our home in Glory by His amazing grace I don’t think that there will be a roll call according to denominations. It’s the Christ in us that is the hope of glory.
    Keith Lewis

  21. John Subritzky, that is really interesting. I had a vivid dream a couple of years back and when I woke up, I prayed about it and felt that its interpretation was that God was going to send ‘missionaries’ from foreign nations to revitalize the spiritually dry west as a return blessing for the years sown into missions on foreign fields by our more passionate spiritual forefathers. As a confirmation, that very morning as I was on my morning commute, I saw a Korean woman, Bible in hand, sit down next to a rather bored young man and start asking him if he knew Jesus. His body language might have turned most westerners off, but she was completely undeterred by his reluctance and persisted. Finally, he turned around and actually looked at her and conversed with her.
    If we look beyond our radical left’s attempts to split our society into a million multicultural splinters, I believe that there are hidden blessings and opportunities in our large numbers of immigration that we may not yet realize. The left have been so focussed on the west that they have barely begun to scratch the surface of the rest of the world with their deadening dogmas.
    Dee Graf

  22. Thankfully there are Networks and Confessions in the Uniting church that are not compromised and are dertermined to hold testimony to Jesus, the commands of God and to reject the deification of self. All denominations are flawed now on the sodomy issue. Local congregations of whatever association or connection must strand in Truth.
    Ian Clarkson

  23. Thanks Ian

    Yes there would be very few denominations left which have not at least partially begun to cave in to the homosexual agenda. But those which are compromising have usually caved in on plenty of other matters before that.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  24. There are many men and women with same sex issues. They are scared to open up and find a way out. The Churches need to remind the faithful that there are organisations to aid such people. The Catholic Church runs a group called COURAGE and Cross Ways has a couselling centre. The is also Catholic Care in Fitzroy which has the right people to aid such people. The gay and Lesbian’s movement voice like the DEVILS is strong and loud. LET US MAKE THE RESOURCES WE HAVE AVAILABLE HEARD IN ALL CHURCHS. The gays and lesbians are children of God who are looking for a shepard to lead them. Let that be heard. They are worth saving as well.
    Tony Khawaja

  25. Indeed Tony, organisations like Core Issues and Jonah, that help gays escape from their bondage must be developing skills that are transferable to evangelism for we are all under bondage of one kind or another. To a certain extent we are all polysexual perverts, ie adulterers and fornicators, if not in deed, then in mind.

    http://www.core-issues.org/

    William Wilberforce was also not only a great social reformer but an evangelist.
    No surprise then when people like Lesley Pilkington, a Christian therapist who helps gays with their unwanted appetites to escape from their slavery are disgracefully disqualified for practising by the gay and secular dominated British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the Royal College of Psychiatrists

    http://www.christianconcern.com/our-concerns/sexual-orientation/gay-journalist-continues-aggressive-campaign-against-christian-couns
    http://www.christianconcern.com/search/node/lesley%20pilkington

    David Skinner, UK

  26. We need to remember alot of the gays and Lesbians are people who came from Christain Churches are trying to find a voice and a Shepard.
    Tony Khawaja

  27. Sorry I am late to this discussion, folks.

    David, re the school situation.

    I have a different perspective – from the home education direction. I confess to having basically giving up on the mass education system, from day care and kinder right through to university.

    It is now dominated by humanism, and assisted by the shift in our legal framework from a Biblical basis to a classical/ Enlightenment/ humanist basis, so that the Christian faith is no longer in the favoured position it once held, but is now only one of many “equally valid/invalid” mythologies.

    And in Australia the funding and curriculum demands set by “secular” government Education Departments mean that Christian schools fare no better. In Victoria, we have only just managed to regain the freedom to employ people from within the faith, rather than being subject to anti-discrimination laws.

    I now believe that supporting CRE in public schools is a wasted effort, and CRE is operating contrary to the authority of parents whose children partake. The parents’ default view (with some exceptions, of course) is that CRE is OK for some general moralistic stuff, as long as it doesn’t make their little darlings into real Christians. (The related issue of Christian chaplaincy is also being attacked – again from a humanistic and anti-Christian worldview).

    It is time for the church to call for children to be withdrawn from schools and taught by parents within the framework of their faith.

    Until we and our children regain a Biblical worldview we will always be on the losing side of specific policy issues – whether abortion/infanticide, euthanasia, marriage/sexuality issues or even day-to-day civilities. (Today, there was to be a rally about swearing in public – to defend people’s supposed right to spout gutter language without receiving an on-the-spot fine. The issue is portrayed as if this was a new law infringing personal rights, rather than an old law simplified to release Police from frivolous court appearances).

    John Angelico

  28. Forgot to add:
    We are on the losing side because we are fighting these battles on enemy territory, using his philosophical frameworks and worldview.
    John Angelico

  29. I have learnt that saying I am a Baptist or an Anglican or a Pentecostal is bondage as it traps us into adherance to a system and prevents us from majoring on being a member of the body of Christ which recognises no boundaries or allegances other than to the Lord of the church.

    As denominations are man made and not to be found in scripture, which is not surprising as they tend to divide not unite, I no longer subscibe to their unbiblical claims.

    ATM I fellowship with four different groups that meet in homes at different times. I do so on the basis of they are members of the body of Christ so labels, which they don’t have are totally unecessary and rejected.

    One body, one Lord one Faith. What is it that we don’t understand about that simple statement in scripture or is it a case we don’t want to understand.

    The fact is that there is only one true church and that is “His Church” and all what is happening today is making that happen as the apostate church sells its sould to the world.

    The sooner we come out from among them the better.

    Roger Marks

  30. A Pre-emptive apology for anyone who is offended by my following comments.

    1 Corinthians chapter 5 shows that when a member of a congregation is in unrepentant sin that they should be cast out of the fellowship so that they may have an opportunity to realise and repent of the sin they are partaking in.

    This is what should have been done to all church attendees who had been in fellowship for an extended period of time who choose to continue in any form of fornication, gay or straight.

    The solution is cast them out, not discuss whether to give them positions of leadership!

    We have become so afraid of church splits that we now refuse to preach righteousness. We let the leaven affect the whole lump because we’re scared of offending the leaven and fear that they might take their tithes elsewhere.

    I pray that every minister who still has a right standing with God on this topic would make a decision to follow Paul’s example of preaching the truth without fear. If 80% of the church walks out, at least you will now have a smaller congregation of genuine believers who will advance the gospel and not hinder it.

    Mario Del Giudice

  31. Hi Bill,

    You may not remember me but I’m the founder/board member of Life Ministries Inc. Perth.

    I couldn’t agree more with you article. It’s spot on in my opinion.

    There is an answer though to the dilemma and I invite you to have a look at a website I’ve put up. http://www.onechristianchurch.org

    The jump is huge but it is inevitable as God will have one, undivided Church in His name, before the end.

    If you have any comments please feel free to email me.

    David Drew

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