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The “churched,” the “unchurched,” and the hyper-churched

 

 
 

 

Let me fly my colours straight up. I would rather be unchurched and saved, than churched and unsaved.

This concept of targeting the unchurched has its modern manifestation beginnings with the “seeker friendly” movement, but it’s really just a rehashing of the ancient Papal heresy of, “there is no salvation outside the church.” Of course, when Catholic apologists think church, they think the institution with its headquarters in Rome. When the current crop of churchians think church, they think their personal little religious kingdoms. I suspect that many of the mega churchian leaders have a sneaking admiration for the Roman religion. After all, they have managed to sell to millions of people the idea that they must belong to their organization if they want a secured eternity.

This distinction between unchurched and churched is actually a rewriting of Jesus’ instructions to His followers. Christ called us to make disciples of Him, not to join a religious group. His focus is always on redeeming sinners, not churching unchurched.

Not only is the whole intention of churching people unbiblical, it actually works against obedience to Christ.

Now we have multitudes of religious folks who think the main goal is to get people along to the meetings, rather than to present the beauty, majesty, and necessity of Jesus and His plan for salvation.

This insidious man-powered and man-focused doctrine leads to the error of proselytism rather than evangelism.

Proselytism is focused on getting people to join OUR thing.

Evangelism is committed to seeing people align with God’s thing.

Proselytism exalts men and loves their earthly organizations.

Evangelism exalts Jesus Christ and loves His heaven-birthed family.

Proselytisers can travel over land and sea to make one convert and yet make him twice the son of hell they themselves are.

Evangelists will also travel land and sea but snatch the hell bound from the fires of destruction and set them safely under the wings of the Almighty.

Proselytism leads to syncretism and godless pragmatism. Whatever works is the motto.

Those with the heart for evangelism love Jesus more than building a reputation by adding notches to their Bible. Therefore, they are faithful and sincere and will only present their message in strict obedience to their Lord.

The sad result of the doctrine of churching the unchurched is religious organisations filled with unregenerate attendees. After all, if going to church is the goal, why bother getting saved? Why bother repenting, or studying God’s word, or fellowshipping with Christ. I go to church; what more do you want?

This of course is where the Catholic institution is today. While it is possible to come to the Lord in the Roman cult (even Luther thought there was enough light in Catholicism to get saved), the truth is very few are. I’ve never personally met a committed Catholic who I could be sure had a saving faith, and half of my extended family is Catholic.

However, there is no refuge in modern Protestantism or Evangelicalism or Pentecostalism either. When these groups embrace the same errors as the Roman Catholic Church, they will end up with the same results; hyperchurched heathen in an unsaved “church.”

Not only that, it produces the most horrible situation of false converts, men and women who think they are safe from the wrath to come because of their ecclesiastical membership rather than by the eternal blood of the Lamb of God.

I love the church of Christ. The blood-purchased believers, living stones of a holy temple, heavenly citizens of an eternal kingdom, but I despise the demonically-inspired, man-focused religious clubs that unrightfully claim the title “church.”

Precious believer, don’t fall for the satanic propaganda that you must belong to a church as defined by the churchian who is spreading this deception. Don’t ever fall for the subtle but deadly error that your goal is to “church” people. Don’t be deceived by the demonic doctrine that there is no salvation outside the church. Please don’t allow yourself to be institutionalised; rather be sanctified, set apart for the Master and ready for service to Him.

Father, I ask for Your protection over Your people in apostazing institutions. Call them out and connect them with true brothers and sisters. Bring revelation to those who have not yet been converted but think they have and grant them repentance unto life. Empower us afresh with Your Spirit to present Your truths to this dying generation, and Lord, expose those who don’t know You and yet use their religious reputations to deceive sinner and saint alike. For Jesus’ sake.

 

26 replies on “The “churched,” the “unchurched,” and the hyper-churched”

I have looked far and wide for a home church in my area without success. The only churches I haven’t tried are Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and one seemingly very legalistic church that states very clearly on their website that they do not welcome men with long hair or women who wear relax. I am all set with not attending there. I live in a rural area so there is not too much to choose from within a reasonable driving distance. The churches I have attended end up being either seeker-friendly, fans of some theologically/biblically unsound teachers or very cliquey. I guess I sound picky and I do know that there is no perfect churches here on earth but I just can’t belong to a church that is going along with false teaching. I have lived under it before and would rather others question my commitment to God than to be in that place again spiritually. After all, God is the only One who knows my heart.

Janis,
I sympathize with your problem. Many devoted Christians face similar problems as yours. I, too, have suffered for the stance I take, but I know it is the right position. It really is unavoidable; if Christians speak boldly of the things they have learned from the Holy Spirit, inside of the commercial Church, it will not be long before they will be asked to leave.

My advice is to seek and do the will of God and do not be conformed to the status-quo. Follow peace and holiness, without which no man will see the Lord. These things if done with a pure heart will bear the fruit of spiritual fellowship and communion with the One you are pursuing. These things are the goals God has for our lives, let them be the goals we have for our own lives also, regardless of the cost.

You can be sure that God is calling His people out of the apostate Church and that there are those, somewhere, close to you who have similar attitudes. Don’t be afraid to let your feelings be known and do not harbor ill feelings toward those who have not seen the light, they are watching you. Let them see by your attitude of love and forgiveness that you are walking toward the Light. That was the way of the primitive Church and it is still the way today.

Steve Blackwell

It is sad that we're having to have any discussions at all, but that surely is because of the times we live in. Much of the false doctrines could have been avoided if Christians truely followed the maxim 'sola scriptura' mentioned by the early Protestant reformers. Unfortunately the reformers and subsequent Christianity  did not go far enough. Justification by faith was extremely important and I praise God for that initial rejection of the satanic pagan Rome, but to this day MANY christians do not interpret the scriptures properly. If we interpreted the scriptures as the people in the Bible interpreted them then we wouldn't have tithing; keeping the sabbath; limited atonement; Calvinistic doctrine of election rather than biblical election; losing your salvation; amillenialism; replacement theology; cessationism; prosperity teaching; toronto "blessing" and many more. I have found it impossible to find a local church which is biblical and on fire for God. Most congregations are either ecumenical, reformed, liberal, emergent church, or hyper charismatic. For years I have declined to enter any of these but knowing that the pre tribulational rapture is very soon I have decided to 'return' to the organised church to edify and be edified, to exhort and be exhorted and hopefully make a stand in loving attitude for the truth of the word of God. Naturally speaking I am not confident in Christians leaving their traditional beliefs for the truth but I believe I should try.
God bless you all 

Igor
The Sabbath is a little off topic so won't go into this too much.
Suffice to say Genesis is not God's final word. Jesus fulfills the Sabbath. Read Hebrews 3 and 4 and Paul gives further instruction on Sabbaths and food regulations for the New Covenant believer in Romans 14.
Stay passionate for the truth Brother

Read Genisus chapter one.  You yourself said Sunday is the first day.   and it is written also  at the end of each day of creation  "there was evening,  and morning the first day" and so on.  now count it out.  each new week would start saturday at sundown.  the seventh day is the day of rest which is friday sundown to saturday sundown. also in the old testament yahweh says to observe the Sabbath as i have instructed you to do now and forever.  I'm not arguing with you,  i'm just passionate about the truth.

Hi Igor
Totally agree with your first couple of sentences, but then….
The Sabbath is as you say Friday sundown to Sat sundown but for the New Covenant Christian our Sabbath rest IS Jesus. Paul made it clear in Romans that the highlighting of a particular day is Ok but unneccesary. We New Covenant Christians worship every day and the Lords Day (Sunday or the first day of the week) was commemorated way back in Biblical times. I don't think you will find any encouragement on this site to worship Mary.

I don't know how anyone could stick with an 'apostate church' just because it is their tradition or because they feel they can do some good by staying there.
I could not get 'spiritual food' or teaching from an apostate (and abusive) leader and preacher so I chose to move out.

First of all, you need to decide if you are going to follow Yahweh's traditions or man's traditions.  In order to do that YOU need to read the whole Bible and decide for yourself who you are going to follow, man or Yahweh  Second, the sabbath is Friday sundown until Saturday sundown,  not Saturday evening or Sunday  a 13th century Pope changed the "so called Sabbath" to Sunday to try to block the pagen"s worship of the sun, Hence, SUNday.  Third, mother Mary is just that, a mother, not someone to worship.  Says that in the Bible.  Fourth, we are to worship God(Yahwey) through Jesus(Yeshua) and Yeshua died on the stake to magnafy the Torah(the Law) not eliminate it.  This is just a start.  Look it up, It's all in there.

 

It is hard for the average Christian to imagine the Church being anything other than what it is at the present time. We speak of “offices” and “institutions” as the norm, and we speak of “Church” as if it is nothing else than the building down the road, with all the same structures as any other business up and down main street.

There is no argument that the “Church” has become something else besides what is spoken of in Scripture. If we learn anything from the Bible we must see that what was once pure becomes corrupt, over and over, and we are continually admonished to go back and start over; and we see also that almost always the return to God’s original plan was not accomplished God’s way, but the return was stopped short and many artifacts of the old life left intact. The question is, “what are we to return to?” Today we are given a potpourri of paradigms, all claiming to have the answer to what it is we are supposed to be pursuing. We shouldn’t be surprised at the cleverness of men to want to build something for their God whether it is Nimrod and his tower, the Catholic church with all her abominations, Rick Warren with his purpose driven poopery, or Brian McLaren with his Emerging New Age pagan nonsense; it is men doing the building using every devise of the world, and every benefit of government, to do what God, Himself, said He would do. What we see cluttering the landscape of Christendom is all the Babylonian refuge of schemes, programs, blueprints, and ideas of men; all failures, glorifying men and not God. I had my last official “pastor” say to me, with arms spread wide toward his “church”, “look what God has done; only God could do this!” My answer to him was, “your god is too small, look at the sky line of Indianapolis with its tall buildings; men built it, all of it.” “What is your building compared to that?” Then I advised him, after dark, to gaze into space and look at what my God built, and He didn’t require me to lift one finger. Men’s fingerprints are all over the organized church, and they claim God built it, but their accountant knows the truth.

We are deluded, by past successes in certain programs, and beautiful brick and mortar buildings, that we are in God’s will; but is that true? We just can’t imagine not taking things into our own hands; it just goes against our nature to trust something like building the Church to something as nebulous as faith and trust, in an unseen entity that we have labeled “God.”

I agree with Glenn that the goal of getting the un-churched, into church, by way of promotions and programs is a delusion and a failure. Until you can see that what the organized church is a part of, and that it is not what God had in mind you will continue to despise the infantile gathering of poor saints, who in obedience to Jesus have separated themselves from the 50% to 75% of unbelieving “believers,” to allow God Himself to lead them. God will provide, as He did in the wilderness, food, substance, and water; the manna, shoes that never wore out, and refreshing out of solid rock are His signature. His true children will not despise the days of small beginnings, nor do they desire to return to Egypt, with all of its rehearsed religiosity.   

All through Christian history there have been those who stood apart from progressive churchianity, separating themselves for the sake of our Lord. They were able to see through the fog of organizations and institutions, into a world of a living breathing organism. They were not always perfect in their doctrine, but they saw a light and they moved toward it; a light that is burns away the fog and lights a path, not unlike what the first followers of Jesus experienced. Many times they did not know what they were doing until it was revealed to them in their spirit, and they obeyed. They came to know and experience, through faith and trust in God, what “Church” is, and that it is a real, functional, multifaceted, family, with a hundred mothers brothers and sisters, all intertwined in each other’s lives, devoting themselves to God and to each other. If what the institutional church claims today is a family, it is by popular definition a dysfunctional family, being modeled on the corrupted family life of all those who presently people the earth. The world was invited into the church, and they have come, and today the church is the world, in religious garb; the world has learned how to do “church.”

There is a real Church that does not flaunt its Godliness, promote itself, demand attention, march on Washington, bond itself to the world with 501C3 tax perks, pledge allegiance to a flag, bow to an ideology, attend religious buildings, listen to once a week speeches from the CEO, pride themselves with religious accolades, and who are content to be called simply Christians. Being part of a house church does not necessarily constitute “Church.” If you take an organized church and shrink it in size and meet in a house, it is still an organization, with a man at it head, not Jesus. On the other hand a man and wife, disenfranchised by First Baptist because of their voice of truth, and forced to lean on God alone, praying for mercy, provision, fellowship, and guidance, are the Church indeed; forbidding not the gathering of themselves together, entreating their Father, and forgiving those who have used them deceitfully.

The real Church can be found most anywhere, even inside the “organization,” even in spite of the organization. They are in the world, but not of it. They are in the world but, not awash in it, not fellowshipping with it, not going along to get along. They are most generally the conscience of the organization; bringing light into darkness; and when exposed they are rejected, and their light extinguished.

I have never met anyone who has left the commercial church who desires to go back. Some have confessed that they missed the “fellowship” but when once reinitiated into their group, they found it distasteful and irritating, and they left.

If a true born twice believer will live obediently within the commercial church it will not be long before they will either be asked to leave, or leave because they are perceived as trouble makers.

Thank you Glenn for this post and thank you for being obedient to the Holy Spirit,

Steve B.

 

I would rather sit under a tree with a couple of truly 'born again' believers than sit in a Church building and be part of an 'apostate' church.

Glenn, I appreciate your encouragement, wisdom, and advice.  I feel strongly that's it's wiser to go slowly and pray about which church to attend.  I don't want to hurry the process and jump into a church without feeling 100%  comfortable with their beliefs.  For now I'm content to record certain teachers that I trust and learn from them.  There are some churches in the U.S. where an extended church campus will have a time of worship, but will watch the head pastor, on satellite, from a different location.  I don't see much difference from watching a recorded teaching in my own home.  I've also hopped on my computer and listened to a favorite pastor from another state.  I was also saved at home, at the age of 9.  I grew up in church, during the Charismatic renewal time, in the 70's, during the "I Found It!" campaign on road signs, during a time of zeal for God,  for worship, and  learning.  I really miss that time!  Nowadays, some churches are about bringing your talents, joining groups, and seeing how involved you can be.  It can feel like, it's all about be busy for God, rather than to love and know God.  I just want to focus on Jesus and sitting at His feet to learn and worship Him.  God knows my heart and I have no doubt He will lead me where He wants me to be.  God Bless!

Hi Carolyn,
your comment arrived while I was typing out my former response.
You did the right thing to leave. Your faith is the most mportant thing you "possess" and it's not safe to sit under anyone who embraces unbiblical errors. You will find my views on not forakking the assembling together in a former comment. Just to reiterate, it does not mean you must attend a religious gathering on Sunday at 10 o'clock. It was written to persecuted believers tempted to return to the religious status quo rather than stand with their blood bought brethren. Incidentally ever wondered why every church goer knows this scripture and yet many are ignorant of far more important biblical truths? Because it's preached on so regularly. Many errors are not blatant lies but are sometimes truth pushed to an extreme.
Submission, not forsaking and tithing (uhoh) are all often given unbiblical emphasis.
When I was first saved (I got born again at home) it took a year to find a church which seemed to revence the word of God. And yet I wondered why tithing was preached every service when it did not seem to have the same emphasis in the scriptures. Eventually I did a study and discovered the whole tithing thing is unbiblical and pushed only for one reason. Money attracts heresies like prawns attract flies. I know tithing is off topic but the issue is how false teaching so easily spreads through unbiblical expressions of church. I know God will lead you Carolyn to other believers with whom you can fellowship and learn from (and they can learn from you) Don't forsake "unattached" brethren simply because they have no official church membership in an official church. Jesus puts His lampstand in many churches that some consider invalid because they don't have a denominational "covering" which incidentally is another of those religion powered words.
Blessings as you serve Him.

How good it would be if we could sit down together, prayerfully open our Bibles and discuss these things with the word of God before us. We are discussing issues of great importance and it's not always easy to cover such crucial areas with the restrictions imposed on a comment section in a blog.
Much of the issue comes down to definitions.
Biblical definition of Pastor, church, organising vs organization, fellowship, clergy vs laity, etc.
Much of what we do today in the church world we inherited from the Catholic church. Some of the reformers didn't reform quite far enough perhaps.
God's pattern is very flexible and incorporates all the gifts inherent in all His people. Mans method tends to be top heavy and tiered rather than the saints standing on a level playing field before God. (The nicolaitian heresy ie conquering the laity)
God supplies leaders, preachers and shepherds as He sees fit and not as denominational headquarters decide.
When God adds people to the body of Christ He fits them in as He sees appropriate. Read through Acts and you will find a destinct lack of toeing a denominational party line but you will find the Holy Spirit setting apart the likes of Paul, Barnabus etc for specific tasks. You will find the Holy Spirit directing Philip to go into the desert to preach to a single person. The Ethiopian eunuch who believed was baptised and went on his way. Which church did he join when he arrived in Ethiopia? There were no believers there. God is well able to take care of His people without all the trappings of institutional religion. Not only that many of the denominations that exist today are the result of revived believers leaving established churches to maintain biblical integrity. They did not form organisations (that came later after the fire had begun to burn low) but they joined together to pray, seek the Lord, worship and devote themselves to studying God's holy Word. Not only that but the devil finds it easy to infiltrate established religious structures. If he can deceive some of the head honchos then the whole denomination/organization tends to follow. Today in my little area there is a church affiliated with the NAR, several aligned with the apostate world council of churches, various cultic churches Jehovah's Witnesses, closed brethren etc and others neck deep in Rick Warren's teachings and others embracing various new age teachings, To which "church" should I direct a believer into? As Luther said "Tis better to be divided by truth than united in error". As Lynnylou rightfully points out hersesy spreads rapidly through human devised structures and there is no doubt that most recognised denominations will throw in their lot with the one world church that satan is constructing as we speak. It is also clear that some will not bow to the push for carnal unity, ecumenicalsm and interfaithism; but they will be persecuted as in former ages. The era of Hitler teaches us much about how denominational headquarters will respond to the anti Christ spirit. Then most professing Christian leaders in Germany supported the Nazis as that is what the denominational instructions were. There is a worse than Hitler coming and he will easily deceive many, especially those who have bought into human devised expressions instead of Gods perfect plan. Local assemblies of course are not all embracing dangerous errors, But the further we get from God's perfect Spirit led flexible biblically accurate model the easier it is to fall for the lie.
One more thing, the statistics tell us of massive numbers of pastors burning out and leaving the ministry. Why? Becuase they have bought into an unbiblical church model which puts all the weight on one or two rather than the ministry being carried by the whole body of Christ.
Joel, I'm not having a go at you personally. I can see you are concerned for the body of Christ and you desire to be faithful to the Lord. May I suggest you go back to the book of Acts again and see how God soes church, considering carefully the Biblical defintions of church, pastor or elder, calling of God to leadership etc .
One last thing many established church leaders are constantly harassing the people to come to meetings, but the truly twice born children of God don't need to be harangued to fellowship. It comes naturally (supernaturally) to those with the Spirit of God to connect with their born again brethren. The problem may well be often not enough evidence of God in the church to draw in Christ's devoted followers and so the focus shifts to "churching" people

Hi everybody!  I read your article, Glen, and agree with some parts of it.  I do believe it's good to not forsake the fellowship of the believers, but I have concerns with some beliefs being pushed in the local churches from their denomination, such as contemplative/centering prayer.  I attended my local Assembly of God church for over 10 years.  When they started studying a lot of other Christian books and highly encouraging everybody to get into a small groups to study a  particular book, rather than a lot of scripture straight out of the Bible, this bothered me.  When an elder pastor taught on a Wednesday night about contemplative and centering prayer and had them practice it, another red flag went up.  They've also had a 'spiritual formation' leader for years now, long before I knew what it meant.  I left the church a year and a half ago, and record teachings on from cable, but I don't think all churches are bad.  I'm praying that God will lead me to a church I can trust, with good scriptural teaching.  God Bless!

We have come to such a crucial point now that isn't totally out in the open. Most churches are under a denomination (even most home churches belong to an organisation that oversees them and /or they look to for guidance). Due to this fact that MOST local churches/fellowships belong to a denomination or overseeing organisation, the leadership is influenced by the recommendations and beliefs of that oversight. The congregants, in turn, will be influenced and taught accordingly. The crucial nature of things now is that there are many "superstar" leaders that are embraced by denominational leaders who in turn recommend them to the pastors under them. One example of the deplorable situation is that many once trusted international Christian leaders are now advocating contemplative practices to some degree or other. You only have to look on the net to see this alarming trend. As Lighthouse Trails has reported in their latest newsletter, theological colleges in the US are now required to have Spiritual Formation (part of contemplative practices) in their curriculums in order to receive accreditation. I know that despite all this type of influence, there are some (be they the minority) decent fellowships that are independent and therefore not so readily affected by this trend. I will add that this trend lends itself to reigning in most church attenders very nicely and could serve to prime them ready for a uniform expression of Christianity and dare I say, religion. I will allow the reader to draw their own conclusions on where things could head from there. The Book of Revelation comes to mind!

I used the term for lack of better words.  I understand who the church is and I agree with the frustration surrounding the apostacy and where tradition overrides the scriptures they are sinful but I'm not sure what traditions you speak of.  There is nothing inherantly wrong with traditions if they do not supersceed scripture.  Would you agree?  But if you are saying a church is just a gathering believers together, then a dinner party of believers would be a church? What about if the believers got together for a picnic, did the just become a local church?  Just when does a Bible study become a local assembly?     I'm not trying to be funny; what you suggest seems to be a total lack of any organization.  (Sort of like the idea, "I'm sick of organized religion so we're going to hold to disorganized religion")  you seem to be so anti local assmebly that what you advocate is ambiguous at best.  What do you do with the offices of the church for which at least on two occasions Paul left men behind to ordain.  How does this work into your idea?  By the way, I don't believe in "official" pastors, although there be many of them.  I believe the true pastor to be made an overseer by the Holy Ghost.  (Acts 20).  It may have been a slip of your pen but your statement above seemed to almost trivialize an true God ordained office.  (I Tim.3). You seem to believe loyalty to Christ makes you independent of local assemblies yet Paul spent his life planting, edifying, and strengthening them…the carnal ones, (Corinth), and the religious ones, (Galatia).
My only issue is minimizing the necessity of the local assembly and maybe criticizing anything that looks organized.  I'm with you on your concerns, I'm just afraid the pendelum may being swinging too far the other way.  
Maybe things are gravely different in your part of the world, (not that churches are healthy in the states).

Dear Pastor Joel, and Glen, I am feeling a bit confused when I read your comments back and forth, though I tend to follow Pastor Joel's line of thinking.I do agree with Glen's remark above that "The Biblical pattern is believers gathering together to pray,learn,worship,and break bread". Yet, if the institution of church was wrong,why would Paul write that God gave  the body of Christ " pastors" Ephesians 4:11?

@Gray Skelton.
Thanks Gray and that's so right and cuts to the heart of what I was trying to say.
@Lynnylou
Appreciate that lynnylou and it does indeed seem as if we are in the beginnings of the great apostacy prohesied in scripture
@Joel
Joel I too have been an "official" Pastor of a local church and have seen much unbiblical nonsense as well as sincere believers and leaders attempting to discover God's truth. You speak of the local church in the sense of an institution.
It may be just a slip of the pen)mouse) but I believe a lot of problems arise when we begin to see Christs ecclesia (church) as an institution. The church as you know if made up of all the called out ones who ahve received Christ and His work by faith. The gathering together of true believers is the local expression of the church. We have today apostate denominations and local assemblies that bask in the title church and gatherings of believers in homes or parks etc not recognised as churches. You see the problem? I have many friends attending formal "church' gatherings and yet many are frustrated as they struggle to remain faithfull to scripture in the midst of a deluge of human tradition. The biblical pattern is believers gathering together to pray, learn, worship and break bread. The simplicity of Gods pattern has been complicated by the ideas of men, I believe. I found in my time as an ordained minister that there is a subtle but deadly undermining of God's priorities  in many cases wher the goal becomes building the church where numbers, offerings, influence etc become the goal rather than leading people to Christ and strengthening the believers. There are exceptions of course but here in Australia at least the norm is for the organizationally focussed religion rather than the Spirtually birthed and Spirit led.
There are many, many examples I could give but churchianity and it's focus on churching people has created much confusion and much damage.

Once again, I would agree with your point about suffering persecution and our responsiblity to remove ourselves from apostasy but Paul is giving this admonition to a local church, (the most carnal in the New Testament), and no where gives the idea they are to disband.  The doctrinal setting is the Corinthian's eating things offered to idols and having fellowship with devils, (I Cor. 10).  It's a call for them to depart from their spiritual fornication with heathen idolitry.    I guess I'm wondering if you're applying this passage as a Biblical argument to leave A local church in the sense of a particular one or THE local church in the sense of the idea or institution.
The state of the church on earth today is a mess, and to that I agree.  We have failed to read the word of God therefore can not submitt to what we do not know.  This self imposed ignorance has brought about unscritpural practices by believers, both in a local assembly and outside the local assembly.  It has brought about unregenerated people sitting in the pews of churches without question.  (Even Jesus had an unbeliever in the midst) It has also brought about a neo-gnositism outside the local assembly where unregenerate people believe themselves saved because of what the "know" and they have "learned". ("Ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth")  To all of this I agree but if the idea of the article above is to put all local churches in one apostate "pot", we run very close to the error of Elijah who thought of himself as the last "true and faithful" when God said he had 7000 who had not bowed their knee to Baal.  Many, many are apostate…but not all.

Thanks for this post. I've put a link on my blog. Read 2 Corinthians 6 esp. v. 14-17. I think it describes what we need to do if we are to remain true to Jesus Christ as born-again believers. We live in the time of the great falling away I believe, and if we refuse to fall with them then we're going to get some flack (or should I say, persecution).

As a pastor of a local church I agree with much of what you're saying concerning professing Christianity but it almost sounds like you're teaching people that the local church is not nessesary at the best and unscriptural at the worst. Am I reading you correctly?

The woman at the well said, "Come see a man . . . "  Churchianity says, "Come see our program."  We need to see Jesus, seated . . ."  Press on.  Hold the course, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.
Gray

Hi John,
This verse is often mistranslated that you must attend some kind of official religious gathering (ie church) to be obedient. This of course is not what it is really saying.
The issue being addressed by the writer to the Hebrews is one of believers tempted to return to the official "church" of the Jewish faith rather than stand with those who were being persecuted due to their faith in the risen Jesus. The Hebrew Christians were in fact forsaking the assembling together with other believers in order to keep the religious authorties "off their back". In essence the scripture is often turned around to make it say exactly the opposite of what was originally intended. This is  an issue today where faithful Christians who leave a backslidden or disobedient church due to their devotion to the truth of scripture are forsaken and rejected by the churchians who won't take a stand for Christ.
I remember seeing on youtube a young man in a meeting where an infamous homosexual "bishop" was preaching. He stood to his feet and respectfully but firmly rebuked the apostate "preacher". The churches security detail escorted the young man out of the building while the churchians sat in their seats, shaking their heads and clucking their tongues. This is where true believers should have stood with the young man, and not forsook the assembling together with the true believer. Instead they chose to sit with the unsaved church rather than with the unchurched saved. Hope that helps.
Glenn

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.(Hebrews 10:25)
So what does this mean, then?
 

Thanks Denise.
It is, as you say, heartbreaking, maddening and frustrating. So we continue to pray that He sheds His light and we speak the truth in Christ as He provides opportunity.
It's wonderful when we see God work in them and the penny drops.
Blessings

Glenn,
Thank you for writing this. I can't tell you how many "Christians" I've encountered now that do not know the Gospel. As you've so correctly stated above, they say "I go to Church…." and think they are saved because they go to Church but yet remained unsaved. It's heartbreaking so say the least. Not to mention maddening as well.
"Unchurched" is a new term that just recently I've heard. A year ago I didn't know this term nor had ever heard of it either. Now it's all the rage to 'get the unchurched into church.' Crazy and worldly ways in doing this as well.
May the Lord bless you always.

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