Thursday, August 11

Counterfeit Christianity

God warns against anyone taking anything away from the scriptures, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Revelation 22:19 (NIV) This warning is given to those who might purposefully distort the message in this book. We must also handle the Bible with care and great respect so that we do not distort its message , even unintentionally. We should be quick to put its principles into practice in our lives.

God is calling His children to a place of spiritual perfection. We cannot achieve this assignment unless we apply and practice the instructions God has given us from His Word. A Christian's life must reflect Godliness and holiness in all areas. We cannot pick and choose which scriptures would be most suitable for our lifestyles.

There are churches all over the world preaching and teaching false doctrine from their pulpits weekly. Many of these pastors are preaching false doctrine to thousands of members. And worse than that, these churches are filled with Christians who are not able to discern truth from error because they don't know the Bible. Their relationship with Christ is weak and flimsy and as a result, they have placed themselves in the hands of the enemy, being led down a path of deception and destruction. The apostle Paul warned that false teachers would attempt to infiltrate the Christian church from both the outside and from within. (Acts 20:29-30)

The designer of a counterfeit dollar bill does not make the counterfeit bill to look different from the genuine. He designs the bill to look exactly the same as the genuine. The counterfeit dollar bill must be able to come alongside the genuine dollar bill and appear to be a true dollar bill. Those who are trained to work with money must be trained to know the difference between a counterfeit dollar bill and a genuine dollar bill. Spiritually speaking, we can apply these same truths when it comes to exposing false doctrines or teachings that are being propagated in the body of Christ today. We must allow the Lord to minister to us and train us according to His Holy Word and by the power of His Spirit. We must be cautious that we do not allow deception to lead us into error.

A huge problem existing in the church today is that people simply do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. Many have settled for counterfeit religion filled with false teachings, much less than what God has to offer. A lack of spending quality time at the feet of Jesus in prayer has opened unending doors of deception. Many have negated the power of God because they do not know Him in the way that they should know Him. Our society has embraced everything or anything that comes from a pulpit. We have not yet learned to embrace the Cross and the Christ who died upon it.

Many people today view the Church as a place to have their needs met. They have no desire or will to sacrifice and serve others. It is self-centered Christianity which focuses only on what do I get out of this church. What is in it for me? The reason there is such turnover in the church today is because people are constantly moving to fill their selfish needs and lack the desire to serve the Kingdom of God. By failing to preach the truth from the pulpits, we are encouraging believers to become self-serving which is a deadly killer of compassion.

The seeker-driven movement with evangelical Christianity has made church similar to shopping. And American Christians are out looking for the best deal. They will turn to emptiness for fulfillment in sports, sex, drugs, possessions, relationships, education and consistently choose these things over and above God. C.S. Lewis said, "We are half-hearted creatures like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased,"

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (Matthew 7: 21-23)

Partial scriptures taken out of context makes "greasy grace" preaching very popular. People love that warm and fuzzy feeling and often feel irritated and uncomfortable when a preacher challenges them with the truth from God's Word. There is danger in preaching only selected scriptures and partial truths. The Bible clearly states that sin does separate us from God and no sin will enter heaven. If only part of the Bible is preached and people do not have the opportunity to hear the truth, they are being deceived into believing that they are doing well spiritually and on their way to heaven, even if they are living in sin.

Churches are convincing people that anything is acceptable because Jesus loves them. These folks are in church but not in Christ. They participate in all kinds of activities in the church but have no relationship with Christ. They are experiencing a Mr. Roger's neighborhood and are being told there is no need for salvation. Authentic Christianity results in life transformation but the truth must be preached because people's lives are hanging in the balance.

Spiritual perfection comes from seeking God, reading and meditating on His Word, and spending quality time with the Lord in prayer. These must be a part of our lives on a daily basis if we are serious about pursuing and demonstrating the character of a committed Christian. Can the people who you encounter each day see that you have a genuine relationship with Christ? Are you producing good fruit or is there an unholy mixture of bad fruit in your life? Are you seeking after the latest charismatic teaching with partial truths or are you really seeking after Him?

If we truly desire to see the power of God manifested in our lives, we must focus our eyes on the things of God. We must be willing to allow ourselves to be saturated with His Word so that we will have the ability to discern between truth and counterfeit. Spiritual perfection as a whole Christian can only be obtained by applying the entire Bible to our lives.