But I do read the Bible and I do take notice of what’s happening in church circles around the world. And in case you’ve missed it there is a battle raging with one of the devils primary goals to redefine what Christianity is, and the second who has the authority to say so.
Now there are indeed many fronts on which Christians are called to engage the battle and the devil is cunning enough to dissipate our forces by having us fight skirmishes all over the place. And many of these issues are important and worthy of attention, but the primary battle is over the nature of Christ’s church and how we define what is and isn’t of crucial concern.
Barrack Obama is a good case in point.
Recently he boldly declared that he is indeed a Christian, (despite all the evidence to the contrary) and in so doing kindly defined (redefined) what a Christian is. He believes Christianity means all paths lead to the same place, that the exterminating of unborn and recently born children is a really just Christian concern for the rights of women and that the militant and hateful and racist liberation theology of his mentor Jeremiah Wright is what Jesus taught.
He is following a developing tradition of political leaders giving new definition to the ancient faith of biblical Christianity. Bush did it with his universalistic papal pronouncements as did that great “Christian” leader and adulterer-in-chief Bill Clinton.
Here in Australia we had a similar example when the Prime Minister often referred to as the most devout Christian PM we have ever had, when on the occasion of his farewell speech, declared the feminine gender of his god and rushed off to take up a position with the decidedly anti christian organisation known as the United Nations.
But it’s not just political leaders hard at work changing the definition of Christianity, it’s religious leaders too. There is not time or space to go over all the attacks on the church from influential “Christian”leaders, but it’s widespread and deadly and being accepted by all stripes of denominational leaders.
Many, many sincere folks are rightfully concerned with the issues of our time. Poverty, crime, war etc but not many, including Christians seem to realise that the solutions lie with the Church of Jesus Christ.
In a widely misunderstood passage found in Matthew 18, Jesus speaking in the context of Church discipline notes “what is bound on earth will be bound in heaven and what is loosed on earth is loosed in heaven”. Some have thought that this is a mandate for verbal pronouncements of binding and loosing, as in “I bind such and such and loose this or that”, but basically the Lord is telling us that what the church allows in her sphere of influence will run rampant in the culture she finds herself in. So the state of the church is the reason for the state of the culture and not as popularly believed the reverse. 1 Chron 7:14 is clear that the health or otherwise of a nation is dependent on whether God’s people will pray seek His face turn from their wicked ways etc. So it follows that the primary mission field is what is called the church. And the primary battle field is also the visible church.
But even to define the church today gets tricky. Some denominations have wandered so far from the truth in Christ they are no longer viewed by the Lord as genuine churches. Their candlestick has been removed and all that’s left is an empty shell of a religious organisation with a complete absence of divine light.
The gay affirming and bible ignoring Uniting Church in Australia is one such group and is probably at the forefront of the advancing apostasy ‘down under’, but others are in close pursuit.
I know there are pockets of resistance in the Uniting Church, and in the other denominations that are rushing headlong to judgement, and my prayers are with those who are trying to hold the fort.
My prayers are with them, but my advice is to let the dead bury their dead and go preach the kingdom of God.
See, the enemy realised early that creating a multitude of gods was only moderately effective and what was needed was a counterfeit “Christianity”(following a counterfeit god) and the battle has been fought on this front now for many generations. The Catholic religion is just one of the more obvious examples of this. With its claim to temporal power, human mediators and the replacing of God’s constitution ( the Bible) with mans version,( myth and tradition )it exemplifies dead religion.
The reformers were not inventors of divine truth but re-discoverers and yet the religious groups who look to these men of faith as their spiritual forebears have abandoned the very thing that gave them such spiritual power; a fervent fidelity to the divine nature of God’s holy word and the divine power of the Holy Spirit in every believer to comprehend and apprehend this truth for themselves.
The congregation of God in the earth can not be confined to the institutions of men or the inventions of the devil. She will follow the Spirit where He leads sometimes out of organisations and in to new and fire filled expressions of her devotion the her divine King.
The sheep of God’s pasture will not remain long in the drought stricken fields of satanically devised feed but will follow the Shepherd into the green pastures where the word of God is declared and the Spirit of God is honoured.
Organizations such as the Uniting Church have discovered to their chagrin that union is not biblical unity and the hemorrhaging of the faithful has left denominational leaders scratching their heads for solutions; anything rather than crack open a Bible and bow to a “thus says the LORD”
There is a world of difference between the disputes that God’s people have with those who illegally claim Christ’ name and those who disagree on various areas of scriptural truth. God’s people may disagree but they do agree where they need to go for truth.
But today we have those who claim to be heirs of Biblical truth laying aside the Bible. Evangelical leaders regularly discount the importance of Biblical truth in their drive to fulfil unbiblical goals.
When a well known Pentecostal leader was publicly asked the “secret” of maintaining a strong family. He declared that prayer and study of the word around a family altar had no part to play. The secret was “Vision”.Excuse me!
And many thousands of his followers no doubt have just abandoned God’s divine strategy in order to “cast vision” for their families. The true church will of course move on seeking green pastures and shepherds after God’s heart.
So where lies the battle? The divinely empowered nature of the true church is what the devil wants to replace with carnally driven version of churchianity. And the divine revelation given through the word he wants to replace with business strategies, psyco- babble and the strange fire of pagan mythology.
The battle rages at these two interconnected issues. The nature of the church and from where she obtains her marching orders. And God’s warriors do indeed fight. It’s a fight of militant and aggressive love. A war for souls fought in prayer closets. It’s a battle fought with the sword of the Spirit and not the sword of violence.
I am convinced that all the major issues affecting our world today are fought over these issues; even though secular observers don’t realise it.
Consider Joseph in the time of his sojourn in Egypt. The entire episode was for the purpose of protecting and maintaining the integrity of God’s called people. All of history revolves around these issues; the enemies attack on God’s people, and God’s provision and protection of His called out ones. Jesus made it clear that even at the judgement men will be called to account for how they treated His people. And in the temporal realm nations are judged or blessed according to their response to the people of God and the prophetic message they carry.(Mt 25:31-40)
Cherubim, seraphim and archangels have not been granted the mandate to take Yahweh’s message to the nations. Only the bloodwashed church has been given this honor. The enemy will do all in his power to distract and derail the church and to redefine what Christianity is. But God will do and has already done all in His infinitely greater power to protect, preserve and empower His people to preach and to pray His will into fruition.
I have set watchman on your walls, O Jerusalem;
They shall never hold their peace day or night.
You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, And give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.