Monday, February 22, 2021

"The Sinner Friendly Church"

"The term worldliness sounds archaic to many in the church today. They dismiss it as a concern for a gentler, less-enlightened time, back when card games and dancing were considered major threats to the sanctity and purity of the church. In fact, some believers are so enamored with their freedom in Christ that they view any discussion of worldliness as a worn-out legalistic imposition. In spite of the clear statement from heaven that “friendship with the world is enmity with God” and that “whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4), the suggestion that Christians should separate themselves from worldly values and worldly amusements is a nonstarter.

“Instead, the church today works incredibly hard to appear as much like the culture as possible. For decades, it has been popular for church leaders to make their services look, sound, and feel exactly like secular gatherings and events. Many churches today are indistinguishable from the concert venues and theaters of the world. They fastidiously imitate the latest styles in fashion and pop-culture trends, desperate to seem relevant and cool.

“Such events are built on a philosophy of pragmatism: if it produces the desired effect, they’ll do it. The result is a church that is sinner-friendly, not God-friendly, and certainly not sinner-frightening. It’s a show built in the image of the pagan world, where popular methodology and strategy dominate Scripture, doctrine, and spiritual power. And as the world grows increasingly hostile to the gospel, the sinner-friendly church must compromise more and more to maintain its attractiveness. Refusing to be an offense to anyone, they emphasize physical emotion, not spiritual worship; affirmation, not conviction; sentimentality, not theology; entertainment, not edification; and frivolity, not solemnity.

“Worse still, they’re petrified of rejection and persecution, so they will always fall in line with the world’s expectations and ever-changing social norms. Many churches today turn a blind eye to sexual immorality; others won’t talk about sin at all. They ignore the topic, occasionally focusing on troublesome issues in life, but never declaring the power, presence, and destructive damage of sin or naming it as an offense to God’s holiness requiring judgement. It’s a therapeutic church culture, designed to make sinners feel comfortable, welcome, and validated at any cost.

“But worldliness does not make the gospel look attractive, it makes it look impotent. These churches need to realize the grave disservice they are doing to the cause of Christ and the progress of the gospel. A church that’s just like the world has nothing to offer to the world—it’s merely one more disposable entertainment. And how could they think such worldliness could be offered to God as worship?”

"Christ's Call To Reform the Church" 

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