What happened to holiness . . . in the Church?

There’s no way around it. The current state of the church in America is lukewarm at best, and apostate at worst. The modern visible Church bears little resemblance to the Church of the first century or even the Church of a century ago. The modern Church has blended so much and so well with the world that no one can tell the two apart.

Today, we have a brand of “Christianity” for every taste, sin and vice imaginable. Churches have thrown out the preaching of the Gospel and are are now catering to those who have one foot in the Church and the other foot in the world. People who refuse to deny themselves and take up their crosses (Mark 8:34), crucify their old self (Romans 6:6 & Galatians 2:20), sever their friendships with the world (James 4:4 & 1 John 2:15), and separate themselves (2 Corinthians 6:17), can now have their cake and eat it too. They can have their Churchianity and feed their insatiable lusts of the flesh at the same time. Welcome to the “Christian” Vanity Fair.

Whether your vice is a love for the Beatles, Elvis, The Spice Girls, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks, heavy metal rock concerts, hip hop culture, rockabilly hot rods, clowns, poker, Las Vegas, bars, all things Gothic, homosexuality, pastors with “hot wives,” jokes with sexual innuendos, Hooters waitresses, an unhealthy fascination with earth worship environmentalism, narcissistic pastors who missed their callings to be video jockeys on MTV, making light of the Savior, Marijuana consumption, television, desire to be a rock star (but can’t make it big time), bathroom humor, psychics (and their magic soap), BMX stunt shows (and the gospel of bike safety), kick-boxing, belly dancing, aerobics, wrestling, Harry Potter, scantly clad dancers at Christian concerts, feminist goddes worship, get-rich-quick schemes, winning prizes, a 30-foot inflatable sex organ as a ministry tool, apostate sermon series’ entitled God Loves Sex, and all other sermons that have little to do with God and a lot to do with sex.

Now who wouldn’t want to attend churches and events like these if their Christianity consists of checking off “Church” on their list of things to do to be in good favor with God? If they have to sit through church they might as well be entertained.

Even this church boasts that they’re “fun, exciting, powerful, and relevant.” (They also happen to display a nuclear mushroom cloud on their website for some unknown reason). So, when did Christianity become all about YOU? When did the Church begin to cater to nothing but YOU?

Well, with all the frivolity happening in the Church today, I decided to illustrate the difference between what passes as Christianity today (as seen above) with Christianity from the past. The following excerpt from the Voice of the Martyr’s book, Jesus Freaks will serve as Exhibit A. Let this example speak for itself between now and then–what Christians live for now, compared to what they died for then.

The day of their victory dawned, and the martyrs went from the prison to the amphitheater as if they were on their way to heaven. Their faces were radiant. Perpetua followed at a gentle pace, as a great lady of Christ. The power of her gaze forced the spectators to lower their eyes. She sang a hymn of triumph.

At the beginning of the show, two of the men were attacked by a leopard and then mauled by a bear. A wild boar was then let loose on Saturus, but the boar turned on the one who unleashed him, goring him in the stomach. Saturus was only dragged on the sand. Then he was tied up on the bridge in front of a bear, but the bear refused to come out of his den. So for the second time Saturus was left unhurt.

Perpetua and a young woman named Felicitas were put in the arena with a bull. Felicitas fell, seriously wounded. Perpetua was tossed in the air, and her robe was torn. As soon as she got up, she ran to Felicitas and gently raised her from the ground. When the bull refused to attack them again, they were removed from the arena.

The show was almost over; Saturus was put in the arena one last time, the leopard was let loose, and with one bite, Saturus was mortally wounded.

Finally, those who were still alive were brought back in to be killed by gladiators. First, they gave one another the kiss of peace. Then all remained still and received the sword in silence. Perpetua was assigned a young, untried gladiator, who was not used to such scenes of violence. He stabbed her weakly several times between the ribs, but did not kill her, so Perpetua guided his wavering hand to her throat. (Pages 301-302)

The official song of Reformation Nation, At The Crossroads, should be an anthem for the Church today

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One Response to “What happened to holiness . . . in the Church?”

  1. I just wanted to inform you that Reformation Nation has moved to “DefCon.” The same great news and commentary on the Church can now be found at http://www.DefendingContending.com

    – The Pilgrim

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