CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

When the Church Becomes Indistinguishable from the World

Jun 22, 2019

That the Western church has some pressing problems goes without saying. While pockets of believers remain faithful and true to Christ and his Word, we have far too much rank disbelief, disobedience and deception found all over the place.

Sadly there is never a shortage of examples of this. I encounter it repeatedly, so I write about it often. And an event from yesterday is just another case of this. It in fact entails two problematic things – one not so important but the other one very important. Let me begin by briefly dealing with the first of the two.

Why does this happen to me so often? Someone asks to be my friend on the social media, so I check them out a bit, and if OK, accept them. But then I hear nothing from them. Then all of a sudden, they come to my page, pick a fight, attack me, and push some quite appalling nonsense, all the while claiming to be a Christian.

So I try to rationally debate with them, but they get even more angry, emotional, and irrational, and then they take their ball and go home – unfriending me along the way. What is with these people? Why do I always have to put up with them?

But anyone on the social media has to deal with this, so we just have to live with it I guess. However, this very same person was also part of a much more important problem – that of completely siding with the world while ignoring or denying the Word.

This certainly is serious, and sadly it happens all the time. It is an indication of why so much of the church in the West is on its last legs. It involves people who claim to be Christians but who have allowed the surrounding pagan and anti-God culture to completely determine their values and beliefs.

They will simply parrot all the lousy pagan clichés and mantras found in the world. Instead of standing firmly on the solid rock of Scripture over against the false views of the surrounding culture, they do the exact opposite: they align themselves with the ungodly culture, and actually stand against God and his revealed Word.

Examples of this are endless, and this particular gal was a classic illustration of this. I had posted a bit from my recent article on a Christian gal who makes excuses for fornication by claiming Jesus is OK with it all, and saying it is nobody else’s business to judge. That article is found here: billmuehlenberg.com/2019/06/21/judgment-free-christianity-an-express-train-to-hell/

All that is bad enough, but then this gal came along to defend her – and attack the rest of us! Worse yet, she claimed to be a Christian as well. If some clueless pagan came along and said these idiotic things, that would be one thing. But here we have a gal who obviously thinks we are substandard Christians, and she is here to set us straight, and show us what real Christianity is all about! Good grief.

She began with one of the oldest tricks in the book: ‘So who among you are sinless?’ Oh for heaven’s sake. The implication of course is this: since we are all sinners, no one has the right to judge or reprove or assess anyone else. No one – end of story.

But to claim that one cannot speak out against any sin, evil or wickedness because one is not perfect is utterly ridiculous. That would mean no one could ever speak out against anything – not the Nazis, or rape, or murder, or torture. Zippo.

But we know that the prophets and the disciples constantly spoke out against sin and evil – even though none of them were perfect. That one fact alone shows how utterly nonsensical this position is. By the thinking of this gal – and others like her – Elijah and Isaiah and Paul and John were all out of the will of God and sinful because the routinely and constantly rebuked sin in others.

When I and a few others pointed out these most basic of biblical truths to her, she simply dug her heels in even further, and emoted even more with increasingly irrational comments. This was among the most bizarre of the lot: “I love how it’s always the Christian male laughingly pointing to his sister in Christ as going to hell. Stop and address your own issues first.”

Um, what!? What on earth is that all about? Now she’s pushing some goofy feminist victimhood trip on us? Really? And just what is she suggesting: that no Christian male can ever say anything negative or correctional to any Christian female? That they can never point out error or sin in a female believer?

But things just kept on going downhill from there. When I pointed out the obvious biblical reality that Paul publicly rebuked others, and he was fully right to do so, she kept on with her rant: “By the way where does it say we are to reject sin and call it out? Where? Show me.” And this: “All sin is ugly but it’s up to the Holy Spirit to convict her. Not you.”

Um, has she ever actually read the Bible? How can anyone make such claims if they are even remotely familiar with the contents of Scripture? Is this just incredible ignorance or wilful defiance? The simple truth is, the Bible is loaded with passages commanding us to rebuke and reprove and call out sin.

So I proceeded to give her a long list of passages that she could check out. I said that for starters she should read these: Prov. 27:5-6; Prov. 28:23; Ezek. 9:6; John 7:24; Romans 12:9; 1 Cor 2:15; 1 Cor. 6:2-3; Gal. 1:8-9; Gal. 3:1,3; 1 Thess. 5:14; 1 Tim. 5:20; 2 Tim. 4:2; 1 Peter 4:17; etc.

Just consider one of these passages – 1 Timothy 5:20: “Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.” I cannot see how it could get any clearer than that. Yet this gal was so fully immersed in the world and its beliefs that she simply could not handle biblical truth.

It obviously goes against everything she valued so highly: tolerance and acceptance and diversity – all wrongly understood! It was apparent from the start that we were just not going to get very far with her by calmly and rationally running with the Word of God. That seemed to mean nothing to her. It was all about “lurve” and accepting everyone, no questions asked.

But one of the most incredible things that she said during this brief exchange occurred as she further tried to defend and justify the fornicating TV celeb: “she has worked out her own faith with fear and trembling which is all the Lord asks of any of us.”

What! If she actually read the original piece in which the gal proudly defends her immorality – and on public television as well – there is no way in the world her behaviour can be excused. See the original piece here: www.christianpost.com/news/bachelorette-on-shows-sexual-relations-i-can-do-whatever-i-sin-daily-and-jesus-still-loves-me.html

Yet this commentator claims she is working out her salvation with “fear and trembling”! To quote Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” How could anyone describe someone who boasts of her sexual immorality on national television as having any sort of godly fear and trembling? This is simply wilful, deliberate defiance of the holy and righteous God.

Yet this other gal wants to fully defend her and make her out to be some sort of Mother Teresa. The mind simply reels at both of these women. They both are clearly wedded to the world and use God-words once in a while to try to justify sin and disobedience. This is scary in the extreme.

But as I said in my original article about this, we have no need to single out a few individuals here, since there would be millions of people in the West who have deluded themselves into thinking they are Christians, but in fact live and think just like pagans. They very likely ARE pagans. Deluded, obviously, but pagans nonetheless.

Moral of the story: When the church becomes indistinguishable from the world, then you no longer have a church. You simply have the world using God-talk as it continues to live in defiance of the one true God. Sadly these two women – one on national TV and the other on social media platforms – are living demonstrations of all this.

As always, we need to keep these two in prayer – they are in desperate need of it. But so too is the remaining remnant of true believers. We must pray that they keep standing strong, and do not fall for the tsunami of deception which is engulfing the church right now.

Who will withstand this onslaught? Who will not sell his soul to be loved and accepted by the world? Who will stay true to God and his Word? Or as Jesus asked in Luke 18:8, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

[1530 words]

11 Responses to When the Church Becomes Indistinguishable from the World

  • Bill, I couldn’t agree more with your comment: “It is an indication of why so much of the church in the West is on its last legs.” There’s no doubt about it.

    What you have described indicates a Christian who has never had good Bible teaching, is completely disoriented to what the Bible teaches, and operates on a human viewpoint rather than the divine viewpoint of Scripture.

    We live in a day where far too little good systematic Bible teaching is available in our churches and it is sufficient for many to make what one pastor called “a nod-to-God” on a Sunday where they receive “sermonettes for Christianettes” for twenty minutes, thinking that is all there is to it. There is no hunger to know the Word of God, therefore no spiritual growth.

    I came across a web page report about Christians in China recently, and it is enough to make a genuine Christian weep, as well as to feel intense shame for the apathy of Christianity in the West.
    The report is here and I urge the sighting of the video clip for the real details—see the link at “recent sermon”, second paragraph: https://www.christianpost.com/news/chinese-christians-memorize-bible-prison-cant-take-whats-hidden-in-your-heart.html

  • We (the church) may have surrendered to the Prince of this world?
    i.e following the wrong master?
    Ring any bells?
    Terrence McDonnell

  • Hi Bill,
    The bachelorette who has no clue. Would any decent single male (Christian or Not) really be interested in a long term relationship with someone like her who is so sexually undisciplined and wanton. I certainly wouldn’t if I was single. “Hyper grace on steroids”. What did Jesus say to the woman at the well. Go and sin NO MORE.
    A Truly tragic case.
    Best wishes
    Phil

  • Thanks Bill for another timely article. I keep hearing that Pres. Trump is going to drain the swamp in D.C., & also the swamp in L.A., and drain the swamp in the church I believe is also close to being upon us. All the sex trafficking, and other evil. Everyone, including church leaders will be exposed and this will be difficult to see but we need to. Have heard it’s all going to be on TV — the tribunals will go on for months possibly years. High up officials arrested for treason, child trafficking, etc.

    May the fear of the Lord sweep through the world and bring the church to repentance and then He may change His mind about sending us judgment.

    Blessings to you & yours for the powerful standing you take.

  • Dear Bill,
    Completely off Topic, but I am presently severely shocked.

    It is 6:45pm in Sydney. I just turned on ABC NEWS and was confronted with DARK MOJO presentation from Hobart . The scene was a darkened hall with blood red lighting and an standing audience surrounding a stage. Here on stage in the darkness we see a band and topless woman almost in a trance-like provocative dance dressed in black attempting to sing a horrid song. This is a timeslot when children are still wide awake. This scene was distinctly evil. There was nothing positive of uplifting in the scene. For more details go to https://www.darkmofo.net.au/. The singer on the website video is very decently dressed compared to what I just saw. What the hell is the ABC doing putting this Adults Only (AO) material out in this time slot. It is abhorrent.
    As you well know we are living in very dark times. Satan is very active. Thankyou for all you do,

    God bless
    Phil Browne

  • For it is time for judgement to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? – 1 Peter 4:17 (ESV) – Peter’s Old Testament text would seem to be Ezekiel Chapters 8 & 9, where the LORD responds with an executioner’s sword against abominations within the very Jerusalem Temple itself and against the flagrant sin in the land of Judah more broadly.

    Love is not that blind indulgence of unrighteousness that drives the divine Glory to depart from amongst those who claim His Name. Love must reflect the holiness, the purity of that God who is love.

  • Irony
    I actually found your site because i googled christian trolls. I was dumbfounded when I came to social media and found trolls arguing and snipping at every little thing. Early on I tried to reason, it never worked out. It became such an issue of pride and anger with me and left me feeling very ashamed of myself for engaging. It never ended well, I have never helped anyone see what they didn’t want to see. Now I know I have to walk away or block it just isn’t for me. You have more fortitude than I have Bill keep up the good fight.

  • Over the past 50-plus years I occasionally have met people who have the “Do not judge” or Speak no evil” mentality to the extent that no one in their presence even dares to say something is wrong, immoral, or evil. Yes, these people profess to be born-again Christians, but their attitude leads them, at best, to ignore sin and, at the worst, to promote it and even participate in it as if what they are doing is “sanctified sinning.” Whatever happened to basic, Biblical standards of right-and-wrong in the minds of these people?

  • Heb 10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins,
    Heb 10:27 but a certain fearful looking for judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
    (MKJV)

    The sad thing is that it is not only the bachelorette who is on the path to Hell it is whoever has taught her this nonsense doctrine who will be cast into the fire as one of the goats because they have not fed people. They have promoted lawlessness.

    Time and time again I hear people preaching how nothing can separate us from the love of God and so people use that to justify using Jesus’ blood as a license to sin. The problem is the scripture actually says nothing “else” can separate us, i.e. nothing outside of ourselves, which we know is the correct reading of this scripture because of all the other scriptures that show that people who deliberately continue in sin do *not* have their sin covered by Jesus’ blood. In deliberately continuing and promoting sin they are demonstrating, not only their lack of belief and faith, they are also insulting Jesus’ sacrifice and making it an unclean thing, which, of course, is impossible, so the covering of sacrifice has to be removed.

    Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
    Mat 7:16 You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
    Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit.
    Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruits, nor can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
    Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
    Mat 7:20 Therefore by their fruits you shall know them.
    Mat 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord! Lord! shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven.
    Mat 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works?
    Mat 7:23 And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness!
    (MKJV)

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