If your eyes are open and are a follower of Jesus, you no doubt feel in your spirit that something is “just not right” with the Church in America these days.
We see churches across the nation making bold moves to become more culturally relevant and to pacify the difficulties of their parishioners. Their pastors claim to be doing God’s will and seeking God through prayer as they pragmatically remake their churches to conform to secular standards. They want big churches that draw the “unchurched” to come and not feel threatened or convicted by that old Gospel stuff.
We know them to be false shepherds who are scattering the sheep and leading them to ultimate destruction.
The cheap gospel of the compromised church is one of “easy believism,” appealing to a mass audience.
- It is a humanist gospel, a system of thought that centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth; the doctrine emphasizing a person’s capacity for self-realization through reason.
- Humanism says that God made the universe and provided salvation for the happiness of Man, thus there are many paths that lead to God.
- Humanism places man at the center and says that the end of all things is for the happiness of Man.
- Instead of man conforming to the image of Christ (Rom 8:29-30), humanism teaches that Christ should be conformed to the image of Man.
Indeed, the Humanist Manifesto II states, “As in 1933, humanists still believe that traditional theism, especially faith in the prayer-hearing God, assumed to love and care for persons, to hear and understand their prayers, and to be able to do something about them, is an unproved and outmoded faith.“
The genuine Gospel, on the other hand, is costly and requires the disciple to deny self as they take up their cross to follow Him. The cheap grace of the compromised church, on the other hand, does not mention repentance or the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Hypocrisy in the Church
The compromised church is not just a problem of the 21st Century, rather it has been a problem throughout history. Christ confronted seven churches in Asia (Rev. 2 & 3) with similar problems present in the church today.
And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; – Revelation 2:12
Pergamos, Pergamus, or sometimes Pergamum (located in modern-day Turkey), was capital of Attalus the Second’s kingdom, which was bequeathed by him to the Romans, 133 b.c. It is also famous for its library, founded by Eumenes (197-159) with a statue of Athena, the goddess of wisdom, standing in the main reading room. It was later destroyed by Caliph Omar. The city became the seat of Babylonian sun worship, a center of idolatry and demon controlled religions with splendid temples to Nature. People from all over the Roman empire came here to seek healing in the pagan temples and shrines.
I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. – Revelation 2:13
Here was a faithful church amidst “Satan’s seat” or “throne”. While the phrase has received differing interpretations, it almost surely refers to Pergamum as a major center of pagan religion, especially the imperial cult. The city symbolized secular power and civil religion working in concert as Satan’s proxies.The Great Altar of Pergamon dedicated to Zeus is perhaps what John referred to as “Satan’s Throne”.
Pergamos is also famous for the magnificent temple of Aesculapius, the healing god [Tacitus, Annals, 3.63]. Aesculapius is the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek religion and was worshipped there under the serpent form by fanatical devotees who persecuted one of the Lord’s people (Antipas) even to death. The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today, although sometimes the caduceus, or staff with two snakes, is mistakenly used instead.
But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. – Revelation 2:14
The definition for the Greek word Pergamum is objectionable marriage, which alludes to the church mixing the truth with lies of questionable teachers, such as the Nicolaitans. The Nicolaitans was a heretical gnostic group in the early church that taught that the law of God did not apply to man in the flesh because man is spirit and flesh and therefore what he did in the flesh did not apply to his spirituality. They are condemned in Revelation 2:6, 15 for their practices in Ephesus and Pergamon. The Nicolaitans have been linked to the type of heresy taught by Balaam (Num. 25:1-2; 2 Pet. 2:15), especially the pagan feasts and orgies that they apparently propagated in the first-century church. Modern translations of the Bible often equates “fornication” with sexual immorality; although fornication probably more accurately refers to spiritual idolatry.
So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. – Revelation 2:15
The church is being charged by Christ for compromising with the world, in that some held to the doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolaitans. Just as Balaam taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel some 1400 years earlier, there were some teachers in the Pergamos church who taught that it was lawful to eat things sacrificed to idols, and that committing sexual immorality was not sinful.
To make matters worse, there were not only some in the church that practiced this idolatry, but as a whole, the church apparently accepted the practice (compromised) rather than hating them (Rev. 2:) and rejecting them. Is it not proper to hate what God hates and to reject what God rejects? Do not mistake the hate God has with the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes as a hatred of people. It’s not people God hates, but the false doctrines, systems, and deeds some people practice.
Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. – Revelation 2:16
Like the church in Pergamum, the compromised church in America is not dissimilar. The pluralism that exists in western society today has had an effect on both the Christian church and its preaching of the Gospel. Many Christians today have so much of the ‘other religions’ in their lives that it is difficult to discover a Biblically based Christianity in a lot of fellowships throughout the West.
How tragic is it for those who profess to be believers and yet close their eyes and shut their ears to all manner of sin and evil within the church. Why is it that some churches can become so actively, and vocally involved condemning the sins of those of the world, yet turn their face away from the blatant sins within their own pews? Some can quickly condemn the sexual immorality of the world, homosexuality, and abortion, but yet refuse to deal with the sin within their own members. We can condemn those in the world who hate, but yet refuse to remove this cancer from parts and members of the Body of Christ. We speak against segregation and separatism in the world, while the church is perhaps the most segregated. White church, black church, protestant and Catholic church, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, and so on.
In many cases, the church has become an extension of social and government influence.
In 1939 Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, began the “Negro Project” to promote birth control as a solution to the poverty and degradation experienced, at that time, by blacks in general. Sanger wrote in a letter to Clarence Gamble, president of the American Eugenics Research Association, dated October 19, 1939, “The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” [Linda Gordon, Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, (New York, Grossman Publishers) 1976; p. 333.]
FEMA Clergy Response Teams are being trained by the federal government to “quell dissent” and pacify citizens to obey the government in the event of a declaration of martial law. The first directive was for Pastors to preach to their congregations Romans 13, the often taken out of context bible passage that was used by Hitler to hoodwink Christians into supporting him, in order to teach them to “obey the government” when martial law is declared.