An alarm has been sounding for some time now concerning the state of the Church but very few have paid attention. There is a small fire burning in the basement and the faint smell of smoke rises to those who are asleep. Nothing to be alarmed about! It is small and faint! Should I then go back to sleep or should I investigate? Should I sound an alert and attempt to awaken everyone? I am very tired after-all and it is the middle of the night, I will leave others to be watchful; sleep tight.
Christendom is collapsing and the smell of smoke is apparent! An anomaly is taking place in the world of Christianity today; Christians are leaving the organized visible church to find an original expression of 1st Century Christianity. Of course, the buildings are still standing and the bills are still getting paid, even record numbers of attendance are being recorded in some locations, but collapse is coming and a few can sense it and they are leaving and speaking out.
If there is unorthodoxy in the Church scene today, it is that unorthodoxy or sleepiness, which has given birth to a culture-wide church comatose. It is the all-embracing church that is the heretic and not the Church that has been pronounced “heretic” by the culture-wide church. It is the popular church and not the home-Church who are heretical. Christendom looks with condescension on those who, they believe, practice an inferior form of Christianity and disown them as fearful dreamers of an imaginary fire.
This phenomenon is not new. This sifting of the flock was seen in the 1st Century and again during the Dark Ages of Catholic domination, and now again the faint smell is starting to reappear. We are not yet experiencing the great cost involved in this exodus, as we have read about in the past, and so fleeing is open and obvious and the costs are insignificant outside of the angst associated with the loss of friendship and comradery. But, as sure as I am writing these words the cost will go up and finer sifting experienced when things begin to grow hotter.
The consensus in Christendom today is one of “unity” and we see the linking of arms across what was once unpassable divides. Those who see this obvious ignorance as heretical are being pushed to the outside and labeled as divisive and schismatic. This new popular view is especially apparent within ecumenicism, the Protestant, Catholic, Kingdom Churches, and even cults, linking arms to elect a “Christian” President who is not alarmed by the smell of smoke.
Faithful Christians of old suffered much at the hands of the government/church and faithful Christians should expect no less shortly. Just as in the 1000 years of the Dark Ages, when many marginal Christians slumbered, the ruler looked on approvingly at the fallen-church, who condemned those who fled to meet privately, and even claimed divine-inspiration for his actions. The New Testament says that very few will sense the urgency to flee what seems like such a small thing and will choose the option to remain asleep and await further developments.
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of the virgins were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish ones took their lamps, they did not take extra olive oil with them. But the wise ones took flasks of olive oil with their lamps. When the bridegroom was delayed a long time, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is here! Come out to meet him.’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ ‘No,’ they replied. ‘There won’t be enough for you and for us. Go instead to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they had gone to buy it, the bridegroom arrived, and those who were ready went inside with him to the wedding banquet. Then the door was shut. Later, the other virgins came too, saying, ‘Lord, lord! Let us in!’ But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you!’ Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour.