Tuesday 30 September 2014

Worldliness does not Belong in the Church

When I hear of various stories of what happens in certain professing Christian churches, it is hard to categorise or label such churches sometimes. All manner of things happen today in the name of Christianity; ranging from alligator shows to attract non-Christians (I hope they do not get loose), to liturgical dramas, to a full rock n' roll band to perform for the masses, as they sing along. How do we respond to such things? How do we respond when we open the pages of the Bible and fail to see any of these things occurring in the New Testament churches?

In discussion with some Christians recently, it has become clear in my mind that some professing Christian churches have become very worldly. Therefore, their events may well attract the world, but these events do not produce Christians. We must ask ourselves some basic questions again and again. These questions include: "what is a Christian, how are our sins forgiven, and what is a church?".

The head of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ said this to his disciples: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:34-38).

Someone once said that the church is like a ship and this world is the sea. A ship on the sea is fine, but if the water gets into the ship, it is a disaster. How true this metaphor is. If the world gets into the ship, it is doomed to sink, it is game-over. Just like the people in Hong Kong who are rising up and rejecting anti-democracy principles enforced upon them, it is time for Christians all over the world to rise up and reject worldliness in the church. Remember that if you are in a ship and water is leaking in and you say nothing, then you face the danger of potentially perishing with ship, even though it was not your fault for the water leakage, but yet you said nothing. You refused to raise the alarm.

Listen to James 4:4 as a stark warning."You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God". Let us call "a spade a spade". Many things happening in parts of the church today, are nothing more than worldliness. The church must be salt and light instead!

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