Let’s Think Some More about the Popular “Christian”

Isaiah 53:3 ESV  He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

I would like to ask you to think carefully about the Lord Jesus when he was here on this earth, and about the Apostle Paul as he went about preaching the gospel of Christ. Think about how they were treated, and even by those who claimed to be God’s people. Or think of this:

Hebrews 11:36-38 ESV  Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.  (37)  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—  (38)  of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

And now I would like you to think about the kind of “christian” most churches and church leaders try to produce.

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Christ’s Remnant – There ARE True Christians

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” (John 1:45-47)

We deal with evil most of the time. And the victims of evil. This evil is usually hiding in churches, wearing an “unholy” disguise of holiness. Sometimes (we are tempted to say “often”) the evil is in the pulpit or holds some ruling office in the church. And the typical response of local churches to this evil is also very often evil. Alliances are formed with the abuser while victims are mistreated and rejected.

Now, for myself and I think probably for many of you, all this dealing with counterfeit Christianity can take a toll on us. It can be extremely discouraging to realize that much of what we thought all our lives was the real thing is in fact phoney. We have been fed traditions of men that we were told were God’s truth. We have looked up to people we thought were genuine Christians, only to find out later that they were hypocrites of the worst kind. We have even been rejected by entire churches and even denominations when we called out evil in disguise for what it really is.

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Should we Speak Publicly About Evil in the Churches?

More than once now I have had Christians ask me if it is wise for me to publicly criticize the local, visible churches as I do here on this blog, in my books, and in person with friends and acquaintances, some of who are not Christians. The concern is  they voice is that such criticism will keep people from attending church and finding Christ. It is a fair question asked by people who as far as I know are asking it honestly.

Some of them might, for example, point to the following Scripture:

1 Corinthians 6:1-6 ESV  When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?  (2)  Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?  (3)  Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!  (4)  So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church?  (5)  I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers,  (6)  but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers?

So perhaps we are not to be critical of the earthly, visible church in front of unsaved people? Isn’t that “going to court before unbelievers”?

Continue reading “Should we Speak Publicly About Evil in the Churches?”