The Crisis of the American Church
I hate to say it, but it grieves me greatly whenever I start thinking about the state of Christianity in America. Every time I hear about what is happening there, it makes me groan within. I sometimes wonder if America is now a lost cause.
America – once the greatest nation in the world – is now so appallingly bad in so many ways, that it hurts simply to think about this once blessed land. And guess who is primarily the fault of this? Yep, the church. Christians by and large are responsible for the horrible mess the country is in.
The question is not only, “Is America a goner?” but this as well: “Is the American church a goner?” To spare you the suspense, let me answer the second question immediately by saying, “no it is not,” if we bear in mind the true remnant that God always preserves.
But “yes”, if we look at the great bulk of what passes for Christianity in the US. There is so much wrong with the church in America today that one really does wonder if it is heading down an irrevocable spiral. While many pockets of true disciples of Christ can be found, the great bulk of professing churchianity in the US is as close to what John was talking about as I can find.
I refer to his words in Revelation 3:15-16 : “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” To illustrate my concerns, let me just point out four areas which demonstrate the sorry state of the church in America.
One. Christians and Obama
One of the most shocking things about the sad state of the church in America is the number of clueless Christians who not only voted for Obama the first time, but the second time as well. Here is the most anti-Christian, pro-Islam, pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality POTUS of all times, yet countless Christians supported him, and still support him.
Their complete lack of any sort of biblical discernment tells us all we need to know about why the church is going down the gurgler there so quickly. And they are still blindly supporting the guy. Just consider his absolutely dreadful remarks at the recent Prayer Breakfast. I have discussed that elsewhere:
Although he defended Islam while attacking Christianity – at a Christian event no less – he still has masses of Christian zombie supporters. The number of them defending his remarks utterly astounds me. I expect secular lefties to support him in this, but those claiming to be Christians? Bagging their own faith and siding with the enemy?
And this just in; it is no surprise to many of us of course, but it shows what a despicable man this guy really is:
A former senior adviser to President Obama has confirmed what his most strident critics have said all along: Barack Obama lied to the American people about opposing gay “marriage” to boost his chances of winning the 2008 presidential elections. David Axelrod, a veteran of Chicago left-wing politics who advised Obama during the campaign, makes the admission in a new book Believer: My Forty Years in Politics, which hits book shelves today.
Two. Christians and homosexuality
Speaking of homosexuality, the number of Christians, let alone Christian leaders, who have jumped in bed with the homosexual activists is utterly incomprehensible. There seems to be mass deception and delusion going on in our churches.
How else can we account for so many professing believers falling hook, line and sinker for the diabolical homosexual agenda. Scripture is clear about this sin, yet “Christian” leaders are trying to outdo one another in supporting and promoting this sinful and deadly lifestyle.
For example we had one pastor recently tell us that a “divine wind” caused him to go down the road of endorsing and blessing sodomy. I kid you not. The degree of deception and the amount of biblical illiteracy is at an all time high in the church in America.
And all over America true Christians are being bitterly persecuted by the homosexual militants, yet most of the church is sleeping through all this. As Daniel Ott asks concerning one recent infamous case, “Where is the Christian Love for these Christian Bakers under Attack by Lesbians?”
The Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery closing in Oregon puts on display for the country to see the stark disregard that Christians have for the plight of other Christians in this country and, for that matter, in the world. Aaron and Melissa Klein were forced to close their business after a case of so called discrimination against lesbians, who were determined to have the Christians make their wedding cake.
The resulting public backlash of the case has forced them to close their business, but where is the Christian retroaction? Where are the marches for religious liberties, freedom of speech and freedom of choice? Where are the women’s groups, as this female owned bakery is forced into bankruptcy by anti-women lesbians?
If the Klein’s were Muslims, there would be swift and loud counter protests. However, Christians are notorious for ignoring attacks on their fellow Christians as they sing Amazing Grace in their own megachurches with jumbotrons and lattes. Where are the Christians in Gresham, Oregon, flooding the Klein’s with orders for cakes and confectionaries? How many years of preaching does it take in the countless churches in this land to convince Christians to stand beside and to love their fellow Christians?
Three. Christians and Sexuality
It is not just homosexuality of course but all things sexual that are destroying the Christian church in America. Not only are American Christians doing everything their pagan neighbours are doing (easy divorce, shacking up, promiscuity, etc), but they actually are making excuses for all this.
“Oh, but we are not under the law, but under grace” they will tell you as they live like the devil. Simply looking at porn consumption amongst church goers explains why there is no power, no influence, no nothing coming out of most US churches today.
Let me highlight just one example of this. How many “Christians” have read the book or will go see the film? I refer of course to the pornographic and sexually violent Fifty Shades of Grey. I actually read one woman saying this:
Don’t hate me for this but I read the books and liked the story line. The sexual parts meant nothing and I know we’re exaggerated. I’m going to see the movie only because I felt like I got yo know the characters so well, if it gets to be to graphic then I’ll get up and leave. My salvation is not based on if I watch this movie or not.
Sorry lady, but your salvation most certainly is tied up with this. If you are seeking to justify lust, degradation, porn and S&M, then yes, we can say something about your salvation: You are not saved! You need to repent and get on your face before the living, holy God and get right with him through his holy son Jesus.
For more on this film, see here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/02/10/fifty-shades-of-sleaze/
Four. Christians and spiritual charlatans and dodgy theology
Of course most of the above can be traced back to this: a complete lack of sound doctrine, proper theology, and solid teaching. Just about every crackpot Christian movement, cult and heresy of recent times has come out of America. Whether the deplorable prosperity gospel or name it and claim it gospel, every shyster and huckster around seems to thrive in the American churches.
The gospel is no longer being preached in far too many churches. Instead we get heaps upon heaps of feel good, therapeutic, self-centred, New Age baloney. Incredibly, the largest churches in the US – and the rest of the West – are peddling these damnable heresies.
“And my people love it this way” as Jeremiah said of the deceived Israelites whoring after the ever-popular false teachers and false prophets. As Sir Weary Dunlop is reported to have said about the situation on Australia, “we have wimps in the pulpit and cowards in the pews.”
The text I just referred to (Jer. 5:31) is worth reciting here: “The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?” And the other words to the church in Laodicea that I mentioned above are worth concluding with:
“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent” (Rev. 3:19). Without repentance the American church looks to be toast. But the good news is, God always preserves for himself a remnant. So we must pray for the American church.
Pray for a wave of heartfelt repentance resulting in a wave of glorious and powerful Holy Ghost revival. Without it America is lost. The fate of America lies in the fate of the American church.
25 Replies to “The Crisis of the American Church”
Entertainment has captured the culture and Christians are justifying watching all the worst that gutter dwellers HBO and their ilk have to offer, frequently under the gross distortion of “spiritual maturity” and scriptures including but not limited to Colossians 2:16-17.
The days are upon us where “Christians” in the West will earnestly discuss the technical and artistic merit of popular porn films in order to “redeem” porn films for Jesus. Elsewhere, heroin, divorce, and theft will also be redeemed for Jesus through practise and indulgence.
I agree Simon. I was going to say the culture has seduced many Christians here in the US.
And coming out of the USA is The Gospel Coalition which, just last year, set up shop in Sydney. Now, while its intentions seem noble, it would appear it waters down the Gospel, especially as we see it represented in The Westminster Confession of Faith. You see more emphasis on Grace and less on Repentance; more on Faith and less on Obedience, etc..
It would appear there are some controversies here, but there is little written about it, so it is hard to get a genuine idea as to what is going on with this group.
Anyone here know much about this?
If the Klein’s were Muslims, there would be swift and loud counter protests…”
Ain’t that the truth. I am not sure what it is that prevents Christians from taking a stand in support of their own kind. I’ve seen it before; there’s a tendency to assume, maybe, that “God will sort it out” and thus no-one actually DOES anything, because protest is seen as ungodly. We are actually all too darned POLITE! That’s the trouble. I forever think of Jesus with his whip, in the temple….no politeness there!
Let me give you an insight as to why some so called Christians vote for the left.
The following is an exact quote from someone I know who calls themselves Christian:
“I am voting for X party because, I want the second coming to hurry, so I am voting for X Party so it comes faster”.
I am not kidding in any way shape or form here.
With regard to the situation in America, one roadblock may be the whole concept of ‘separation of church and state’ that gets bandied around. And as I understand it, it is the fervent secularists that promote this concept, obviously to minimise or even eliminate religious influence altogether.
Matt Patchon, how about this?
David Skinner UK
Can I continue:
Not only are many christians not actively fighting against the murder of the unborn, but many remain apathetic or even pro-choice!
A large number of vaccines are derived from abortive foetal tissue. Yet when I reveal this fact to people, they continue to vaccinate whilst still claiming to worship the Living God!
We have humanistic, atheistic government mandated curriculums. I am continually surprised at Christians who have no problem with their children sitting under such an education for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, 36 weeks a year, for 13 years. These same people are then surprised when their children walk away from the faith.
Whilst the women are given the power to lead and preach in the church, in direct disobedience to the Word of God, the church will die. Woman in the church have walked away from motherhood and biblical womanhood, preferring immodesty, short hair, contraception, daycare and a professional career.
I would strongly recommend one contemporary writer who has sought answers for much of what you have described in the American church (applies equally to the UK IMO).
David Wells in his two books “No Place for Truth’, and ‘God In The Wasteland’ has powerfully exposed where we are going astray and has suggested some of the answers:
One quote which I think summarises a central issue (and one I think you have raised before Bill), namely, a much needed return to the doctrine of the holiness of God:
“It is time to recover the biblical emphasis on the fact that God is in his very essence holy. The Bible does not begin, like liberal theology, with an emphasis on divine love for the sinner to which divine wrath is and must be subordinated.
It begins with God’s indignation at the fall into sin, which was an expression of his holiness……. God’s love seems less burdensome than his holiness”.
It is only as this truth is increasingly understood and taught that the Cross, and all that follows from it, including the need for our personal holiness, will have any purpose or meaning. “Be ye holy as I am holy” is the foundation for everything else.
Thanks Graham. Much of that great quote of course comes from Carl F. H. Henry (God, Revelation and Authority, vol. 6, p. 325):
“The Bible opens not with God’s love for man as a fallen sinner as the context in which God’s mercy is to be understood, but with creation and with God’s sovereign instruction to Adam and his flaming indignation over the fall of man. It does not begin, like liberal theology, with an emphasis on divine love for the sinner to which divine wrath is and must be subordinated.”
Sharon. If I may a ninth, which is the place of tradition for the collective church has added a raft of humanly devised traditions that have suppressed the living, breathing, functional headship of Jesus Christ.
Think of the relative simplicity of the life, witness and work of the early church. – i.e.
“When the Church Was Young” – it had:
No buildings, no denominations, no fixed organisation, no New Testament, no vocabulary of its own, no dogmatic system, no Sabbath rest (in the Gentile world).
(quote from book of that title by Ernest Loosley)
Thanks Graham. Of course some caution is needed here. Sure, the very earliest church had little, except Judaism, to work with. But it never operated in a vacuum, nor did it ever intend to. Soon enough it did produce the very necessary New Testament, a vocabulary of its own, and a dogmatic system. There is a place for institutions, for order, for systems, for rules, for doctrines, and so on. Of course all this can be taken too far, but heading the way of anarchy is not the biblical answer either.
Hello Bill, I agree with you on the condition of todays Church; a great falling away of the faith that was once delivered unto the saints.The word christian has so many individual meanings. All through-out the Bible from Genesis to Revelations, it is always the same “they who leads you, leads you astray” Church leaders have lead the institutional church into the place she is at now. The true gospel to the masses has slowly drifted into the lane of “another gospel”. The true church must stand up and hold them accountable, speaking the truth, even if it cause them harm, in somewhat way. In this fashion of old, has it been done. The Reformers of old, martyrs of the faith present and old.
President Obama, is not the problem, he has been dupe too, by church leaders ,claiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must always still remember that the United States is not a Christian nation but build upon christian and non-christian principles. It is a place where a person can practice a religion of his choice. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a religion that demands that a person follows it, It is a gospel of persuasion to the truth of God.
Also we must remember President Obama is not the President of the church, but the President of all the people of the United States of America.
He is the President, not the Dictator of the United States of America. He is the President of those who worship; Islam, Jehovah Witnesses, Buddhism; and also Homosexual, the poor, the rich, the smart, the ignorant, the sick, the healthy, the believer, the non-believer, the atheist, fake christians, true christians, lesbians, and the mormons. He is the President of the people. No matter how hard things are or seems to be God is still sovereign.
It is somewhat sad, but this is how it is. The President concern is for all the people. So I will say, a law does not change a person ways, a change heart unto salvation from death to life changes a person ways. this is the goal of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in which has become a fading message.
This country is what it is supposed to be “the world and all the things that are in it”. “But today the church is not what it should be and all of the things that should be in it”!
Thanks Bill, for your insight, keep the good fight, up!
Thanks Chris. But no need to seek to justify Obama. He has claimed to be a Christian all along, and he has lied to us all along. And he is obligated to uphold the US Constitution, which is overwhelmingly based on the Judeo-Christian worldview. And the majority of Americans still claim to be Christian, so there is nothing amiss in affirming biblical values in the public square. And of course laws are important. God created the state to keep evil in check. Sure, only the gospel can radically transform the human heart, but God also works though human government to maintain righteousness and keep evil in check. So it is not an either-or here, but a both-and. See more on this here:
Revival just doesn’t occur without anybody asking for it and one must realize the need for it and the purpose solely is to repent for restoration which has a costs to bear. We need to pray for God’s intervention that he might cause Christians to see the need of god in their lives and humbly turn to him with repentance before god can bring the healing. We need to ask god to compel us with his love that forces us to realize that Christ was crucified for all including myself. I need to accept the fact that I’m crucified already with Christ and now I live to glorify him through my being including my body. In order to offer our bodies as living sacrifice we need to be an example in the image and fullness of Jesus. However one must see the need for all this and pray that god will cause us through any means to realize that.
Almost as bad as the Christians who voted for B. Hussein Obama are those who stayed at home. While they might self-justify that they were making a protest against both major candidates, in reality they were saying “either one is fine and dandy with me.” And others wasted their vote on third parties, which enabled Obama’s election and re-election with the rapid erosion of Christian rights.
Thanks Graham Wood. I would agree. Funny you should mention that because the Lord Jesus is on a theme about that for me at this moment.
I wrote about it just last week here.
In your fifth paragraph, you quote the words of Jesus in Revelation 3:15-16 to the church of Laodicea in Asia Minor: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Actually, Jesus was making a point that would not have been lost on his Laodicea congregation. Eight kilometres away from this city was a spring which produced tepid, foul-smelling water that was full of minerals and quite unfit to drink. Its only possible use was as an emetic – that is, a substance to induce vomiting.
What Jesus is literally saying here about a lukewarm ‘church’ is that it is enough to make Him want to puke.
John Ballantyne, Melbourne.
It seems there still are some heroes in Alabama that are doing their utmost to resist the homosexuals. Support them in any way you can.
“In other news, a majority of Alabama counties did not issue marriage licenses to gay couples Feb. 9 despite the ruling of a federal judge in Mobile that Alabama’s ban of same-sex marriage violates the U.S. constitution, The Washington Post reported.
Roy Moore, chief justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court, released a letter Feb. 8 advising probate judges in the state’s 67 counties not to grant same-sex marriage licenses.”
Thanks again Graham. Your quote reminded me that a year or two ago I started an article on Henry and holiness, but never finished it. I now have thanks:
Isn’t the Japanese word for “divine wind” “kamikaze”?
One of the first things that crossed my mind when you wrote about a person voting for party x, was the verse, “Shall we sin that grace may abound?” “Shall we vote for party x that Jesus may come sooner?” This approach beggars belief. We know that sin will abound in the last days preceding His return, but there is no Scriptural warrant to sin to accelerate His return (or sin at any time), as Jesus’s return seems dependent on the good news being preached in all the world, “and then the end shall come.” (Matt. 24:14)
Extending grace by sharing the gospel is what brings Jesus back sooner. This person’s biblical illiteracy is writ large, and that ignorance leads them in the opposite direction to the Spirit of God, and the thrust of His word.
On the subject of being moved to support sodomy by “a divine wind”, how personal experience trumps the clear word of God in an experience oriented world! This brings to mind those precious, illuminating and disturbing words, “they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2 Thess. 2:10)
Even though our lives may be dry and seemingly empty sometimes, it is no reason to put a longed for experience, or something already experienced above the previously written and clear word of God.
Totally agree with you there. There are so many scriptures that one can call upon which totally blows such a belief out of the water, too many to put into an easy to read post comment.
But rest assured I am slowly working on them bit by bit, mainly I am trying to guide them to the proper scriptures so they can find this out for themselves. This has worked with the same people on other occasions and, it is wonderful when they run up to me and inform me of some wonderful thing they have “discovered”, which obviously I have never thought of LOL.
Remember the Chic Fil-A controversy back in 2012 after Christian Founder Dan Cathy criticised same sex marriage. Christians and others, I assume, came out in support with their wallets. Sales across the country soared. In some locations customers had to run the gauntlet of protestors but they did it. So we can make a difference. I don’t know why this didn’t happen in the case of Sweet Cakes. We are too timid but what are we frightened of?
Forget about Obama. He is a lame duck and his hands are tied for the next two years anyway. What America needs is a person of the calibre of Mike Huckabee as President. We also need to pray that Tony Abbott survives here in Australia. Pray for him and the other Christians in the Government.
I agree with you John. However Obama is not quite so lame, with veto power, the ability to appoint Supreme Court justices, etc. Thus he can still do real damage yet, adding to all the damage he has already done.