Many of America’s churches are victims of a deadly indoctrination similar to what’s happening in our public schools.
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
Last week we looked at the indoctrination of America’s children to Islam through the one-sided whitewashed Islamic propaganda tool, Access Islam. Today we’ll see how the same deceptive one-sided approach has affected many of our churches.
To adequately present the gospel of Jesus Christ, both sides of God’s nature (character) must be taken into account. One the one hand, He is loving, merciful, and gracious, and takes no joy in punishing anyone. On the other hand, He is just and righteous and, therefore must punish sin. In considering God, it’s like picking up a coin. You get both sides. You can’t have one without the other. Like His Father, Jesus was full of grace and truth (John 1:14), full of mercy while being full of righteousness and justice-both sides of the coin.
The same 2-sided approach applies to how the gospel is presented in our churches. Some churches become guilty of indoctrination when they focus on the truth side of the gospel (the bad news about man’s sinfulness) at the expense of the grace side (the good news about Jesus paying the penalty for us and showering His grace on us). These are legalistic churches that preach the “thou shalt nots,” complete with regular reminders that all those who do these things are bound for hell.
You leave these churches feeling condemned and understanding why all the regulars seem as miserable as the pastor. Many of these churches have been around for ages but never have grown in size. While many new people may come through the front door, many leave by the back door after the reality of the church’s approach sets in. The regulars (modern day Pharisees) are convinced that few visitors measure up to their own imagined righteousness, so they are very protective of their turf (and their pew).
These churches usually prefer the old hymns and sing them like funeral dirges. They are set in their ways and addicted to routine. It’s all about knowing the right things to do and looking good on the outside. In their minds their spiritual lifelessness is accepted as normal and they view perpetually joyful Christians with suspicion. They live a life of constant striving to measure up, but never ever “arriving.”
Prayer plays a role (small) in the services of these churches because they know it’s important. Yet, the prayers are powerless and lack the hope that comes only with an appreciation of God’s grace. They usually have elders and deacons as described in the Bible, but they are usually set on maintaining the status quo.
On the other end of the spectrum are those churches that indoctrinate their members by preaching the grace side of the gospel at the expense of truth. These churches normally attract a younger crowd and strive to provide a worshipful experience enhanced by a great praise band and contemporary praise songs. When the gospel is presented, it seldom, if ever, addresses the sinfulness of mankind (including those in attendance) or the need for repentance or a savior. Instead, the gospel is pictured as simply desiring a relationship with God that will fulfill the hidden needs and longings of the heart.
This approach renders Christ’s death on the cross irrelevant, along with the need to be forgiven. Since these churches typically measure “success” by the number of attendees, baptisms or “apparent” professions of faith, their half-gospel is presented in a way that ensures “good numbers.” Consequently, while these churches often attract large crowds, they eventually prove to be a mile wide and only an inch deep. This is because a partial gospel is a false gospel, which is powerless to save and transform anyone.
Those in attendance on a typical Sunday usually find the experience to be positive, uplifting and emotionally satisfying. In the long run, however, without having been truly changed, the emotional high quickly dissipates as soon as life starts happening on Monday. Saved people who visit these churches are attracted to the energy and life that were missing in their previous church(es). There may be so many positive things that they never pick up on the indoctrination.
Even though Jesus said His Father’s House was to be a house of prayer, prayer is often lacking completely in these services (you can draw your own conclusion why) and many have no elders or deacons, and therefore, no biblical accountability or biblical governmental structure. (Once again, you can draw your own conclusion why.)
These two descriptions are, of course, extreme generalizations, and most churches lie somewhere between these two. The point is that Satan, the father of lies, doesn’t want the gospel to be preached and will do whatever it takes to keep people in darkness. The master deceiver is also the master of indoctrination.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
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