Toxic Culture is Producing a Toxic Christianity
The Culture is Infiltrating Christianity
America… land of the free and home of the brave, a place where we can openly and freely practice Christianity, what an amazing act of grace from God to us, let us never take that for granted. However such freedom does open many doors that other cultures/nations do not deal with which makes our situation quite unique. Christianity and the church as seen in Acts is clearly intended to be IN culture, but you never see the church conform to said culture… Then why do we in the 21st century feel the need to allow the culture to influence the church? For some reason the church now feels as if it needs to out world the world to be attractive… Bigger buildings, more fog, louder music, larger congregation, and worst of all a political stance. News flash.. its not the churches job to out world the world… in fact that is the opposite of what the church is suppose to accomplish.
The Church as Seen in Scripture
In Acts we are given a beautiful representation of what the Church looks like, and a prime example to follow. The church in Acts had a few things that made them distinct, and unfortunately a lot of churches today have abandoned these critical virtues of a church, and it has caused our modern day churches to cripple due to, incorrect doctrine, unfocussed worship, and lack of service.
1. Devotion to Teaching
We need to recenter ourselves on the correct teaching of scripture, and not allow our emotions that have been crafted by a secular culture dictate our doctrine. For example, women as elders is CLEARLY unbiblical, we have allowed our emotions that the culture has curated to invade our theology, and mold us into people who care more about being culturally accepted than biblically sound.
a. We ought to commit to the authority of the scriptures. The church was founded on the teaching of the Bible, and so also should our lives be founded on the teachings of the Bible. The Bible is the final authority in all things for all believers.
b. We study scripture. To some of you, “study” may sound like a dirty word. It doesn’t have to be that way however. Try setting aside a special time each week (like Sunday nights) to study the Bible. As a starting point, read the scripture passage that goes with that week’s sermon notes, think about it, and then read the sermon notes over.
2. Devotion to Fellowship
We are people CREATED for fellowship, we are created for community and friendship. This is an often overlooked portion of the Christian life, especially since many of us have busy lives with demanding jobs. There is hardly anytime to hang out with other believers, or a small group.
3. Devotion to Prayer
This one is ESSENTIAL, to abandon true, intentional prayer, is to abandon God and his vision for your life and community. Prayer is essential to any life of a believer.
When we stick to TRUE biblical teaching, gathering together in fellowship, and having an intentional prayer life we will begin to see the restoration of the Church. There is a reason that many churches are losing millions of people a year, God will not bless a ministry that lacks true biblical teaching. The modern church is far to concerned with how they “look”, far to concerned with being “relevant” and “culturally accepted” than they are on teaching FIRM truths that are rooted in scripture.
A recent study showed that churches are dying, losing members, and have low giving. Except for one type of church… The theologically rooted, biblically based, doctrinal teaching churches are remaining strong and growing FAST… Why? Because those are the churches that are rooted and centered on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not concerned with how the culture views them, but concerned with seeing people coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Sure it may seem like I am being harsh, or to critical. However when it comes to doctrine and theology I will be as nit picky as I need to ensure that biblical truths are being taught, and not this wishy washy culturally accepted, that liberal theologians call doctrine.