How Can it Be?!??

In the last three decades we have seen an incredible growth of seeker-friendly churches who, above all else, strive to be relevant to their culture.  These churches will do anything (and I do mean anything) to try to blend in and compete with the secular entertainment driven world around them.  They are led by well dressed, funny, purpose driven, down-to-earth pastors that go light on doctrine and try to make every single person who comes through the door feel right at home.  With the primary focus of this wide-spread billion dollar movement, surely the number of folk attending church and claiming Christianity is on the rise, right?  Wrong.

The number of those who claim no religious affiliation is rising, while at the same time those claiming protestant Christianity are on a steady decline.  How can this be?  When the vast majority of modern churches preach only Scripture that is non-divisive, tell plenty of amusing stories, and offer terrific entertainment Sunday after Sunday, how can these statistics be true?

Perhaps it is because in seeking after the approval of the world, they have become just like the world.  The message found in most pulpits this last Sunday was probably not all that different from what you would hear on the Dr. Phil show.  In trying to make those in unrepentant sin feel comfortable, they ejected vital parts pf the Gospel message.  The primary message we are to preach is simple.  It is, “Repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus name.”  We are to tell others to turn from their sin, and to cry out to the crucified and risen Lord for forgiveness, following Him as Master, Lord and Owner for ever after.  We are to preach Christ!  Jesus Christ is the center-point of all of Scripture.  If you’re pastor is preaching Scripture as though it’s all an example for you, so that you might go mimic the biblical characters and live a life of adventure like they did, you need a new pastor!  Find someone who will preach Christ crucified to the lost and to those already saved (because we still need to hear it too!)

This message, this warning, is one I have repeated in many ways on this blog over the years.  It is my hope that maybe, just maybe, the Holy Spirit will use it to open someone’s eyes as to the vacant and shallow preaching they have allowed themselves to ingest.  Please wake up, folks!  If you are in a seeker-driven Church with man-centered, pop psychology spiritual food, get out!  You are eating junk food while your soul starves!  Go find somewhere that has a reverent, mature, expositional preacher who humbly guides his flock and feeds them the meat of the Word week after week.  Go!!  Why do you make God and His Word a mockery to your family as they sit and look at a sideshow entertainment style spirituality calling itself Christian?  When you find a solid church and sit under the guidance of a godly pastor while making friends with the kind and mature Christians around you, the only regret you will have is that you didn’t make the change sooner.

A few resources on this subject you might find useful are these:

Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church       Sermon by Paul Washer

Nine Marks of a Healthy Church                              Book by Mark Dever

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7 Comments on “How Can it Be?!??”

  1. thestreets Says:

    Perhaps the reason attendance is declining is people can read. And use the internet. When they do both those things, they will quickly discover the truths of the bible – meaning the long, long passages on rape, child abuse and infanticide, the exhortations to own slaves and how and when and to what point to beat them, and the more than 400 contradictions and more than 1000 blatant lies.

    They will discover the near 100 percent lack of historicity and they will discover many – most – of the characters never lived.

    And when people read and use the internet, they will also discover how utterly impossible any god is, particularly when they come across the immensely amazing photos from the Hubble telescope.

    And when they read, they will, sooner or later, come across the reality – yes, the fact – that “jesus” was never real but is a remake of many other similar characters; that there are zero eye-witnesses to this person; that there were more than forty historians writing at the time this person was to have lived and yet not a single one mentions such a person; that the four people most often cited as “witnesses” were not alive at the time “jesus” was alleged to have and that all the gospels are not only contradictory, they were all written many years after the time this person is alleged to have lived and so are not eye-witness accounts; in fact they are written in the third person.

    And when people read, they will understand the utter impossibility of a tribe of people wandering for forty years, never seeing another human, never leaving a trace of their existence – essentially being invisible – and somehow, despite all that, managing to eat and live and reproduce.

    And when people read, they will know it an impossibly stupid story to allege a man of 600 years and his sons and wife manage to gather all the world’s animals – even those in countries he could not have known about, let along got to, load them, all the food they would need for a year, all the necessary care tools, and medicines (because bacteria would necessarily have been there as well)and the tools and implements to keep the boat afloat – a boat only 1/3 the size of the titanic – for that year, not to mention food for themselves, including the animals the family would eat; nor could this family of five or six in any way have managed the literal shit that would have piled up daily on that boat, feed those animals and keep them alive – store all that food without it perishing, keep the animals from eating each other – or their carers and, at the end of a year, return those animals to whence they belonged – where there would be NOTHING at all for them to eat, so they would die within few days – particularly has they would have been standing still for a year the carnivores having no prey and the herbivores having not fodder but the omnivores eating those other hapless beings… it is all too ridiculous; yet it is from this family of five and those animals you presume to tell believers we all come?

    There is nothing like a long, hard look at the realities of Christianity to produce staunch atheists and THAT is why churches are dying.

    Knowledge is power.

    Reply

    • ChurchSalt Says:

      Wow! That response is…interesting. I am guessing you didn’t write all that as a response for this article alone. This appears to be something you wrote up and saved so as to post it on any religious blogs you might visit, only making slight alterations so it fits the context. I could take the time to refute your arguments, but I will not bother, as it is quite obvious you aren’t interested in discussion (I think we both know that, right?)

      Instead my reply will be in the form of a single question: How is it working out for you? You wander the web, looking for Christian articles so as to publicly post your attacks, and yet your sin and guilt still hangs in the air (and inside you). I am guessing that never once have you saved/posted lengthy responses attacking those who believe in leprechauns, unicorns, or Santa Clause, which according to your argument would be people in the same category as Christians. No, you only have anger and aggression for those who serve the Lord, don’t you? It is only the God of the Bible that receives your full wrath. Your guilt consumes you no matter how far you push it down, your life is filled with anger, and you hate the Lord not because of the “reasons” you stated above but because He is the sovereign Lord and you hate His goodness & authority. You also hate the fact that one day you will stand before Him and be judged, and the judgement will be just. You hate these facts that deep down you know to be true, and you hate God. How is that working out for you? Judgement looms closer, and while you attack the Lord remains patient, giving you time to research the truth of His Word and repent.

      The truth is this: unless you repent and cling to Christ and His work on the Cross, you will be judged by God. All the attacking in the world won’t change a thing. The message from the one who created you and owns you is this: Repent and believe, while there is still time.

      Reply

      • The Raw Streets Says:

        Actually, as I writer, I am quite capable of writing quickly and coherently, “on the fly.”

        Of course, I am never surprised by the responses of ‘christians,’ who never speak to the issues, and always, as you have done here, attack the writer.

        Here are some of your presumptions:
        YOU assume ‘god,’ therefore YOU assume there is such a thing as “sin.” I do not, so those comments reflect your values and nothing more.

        Your spelling is atrocious, so I know two things: you are undereducated and you do not pay attention to details. The second part of this is important: If you do not pay attention to details generally, you will not require details, often known as proof or evidence or verification, specifically.

        Santa Claus by the way, not “clause” which pertains to things legal or grammar….

        As you’ve mentioned these characters, all adults who think know two things: they are not real and secondly – and perhaps more to the point, there is no evidence for them, which is why adults dismiss such things.

        You point out here, several times, you’re guessing at things.

        You are assuming your specific faith and your particular choice of ‘god” is being targeted. There is absolutely no evidence for any of the 5000 or so ‘gods’ humans have conjured. I am QUITE sure you dismiss ever other ‘god’ but your own, which, my friend, makes you atheist with respect to those ‘gods.’ The rational person understands there is no further evidence for your choice of ‘god’ than for any other.

        Let’s talk about “goodness” and “authority” where it relates to your “god,” shall we?
        The entirety of Levitican laws are horrific and I will suppose you follow nearly none of them. The bible is full of exhortations to rape, murder, infanticide, pillage, theft, more murder, espionage; all of which is motivated by your invisible man, who drowns all its creation at one point and kills its own son at another – although that detail is confusing if you are of the “three people in one,” persuasion; it means ‘god’ kills itself.

        The christian ‘god’ is jealous, ridiculous, deafeatable by iron chariots (how bizarre), angry and frankly impotent. Otherwise, if it is not, why, when faithful people pray over their dying children, does your ‘god’ not act? One wonders at the malevolance of a ‘god’ that is cast as omnipotent but will not save dying children and worse, created the illnesses those children die from. What a bizarre psychopath.

        Your bible contains more than 400 contradictions, more than 1000 frank lies and endless STORIES that are demonstrably not true. For instance; the story of Noah is absolutely not in any way possible. The story of people wandering in the desert is also completely impossible. No tribe can wander anywhere for any time without being seen, without leaving evidence of their existence and, given the time frame and the location, this tribe could simply not have wandered about and never have been seen nor engaged in trade. They would simply have starved. It is ridiculous.

        There is absolutely NO evidence at all, except for the bible, which is a demonstrable mess of cobbled-together stories, that ‘christ” was real. NONE. You may be as angry as you wish about this fact but your anger and your insults change nothing: the person is a made-up character based on some 20 others occurring well prior. If you wish to explore this further, go here and watch the first 30 mintues: http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com

        Your grasp on history generally, religious history and political history is, well, you have no grasp. If you had, you would understand the motivation of Rome – and the Roman government 2000 years ago and its intention to establish itself as the law of the land. Part of that will was to co-opt the many, many tribal religions and form an over-riding “religion” in the form of laws. As people were uneducated and didn’t have access to books, or even reading, suggesting an invisible man was watching their every move and would torture them forever if they didn’t head the law was quite effective.

        In the context of 2012, however, such beliefs are frankly ridiculous. The least amount of research will turn up all manner of researched, substantiated, provable, evidenced fact that literally proves your ‘christ’ is a character.

        I will close by noting you have succumbed to the baseline threats that characterise all religions; you trade on fear and threats – and those threats characterise your “loving” invisible man. “Do what I say or I will kill you,” is hardly attractive, particularly when the supposed ‘boss’ has never made an appearance and is spoken for by uneducated charlatans.

        So, my friend, until such time as you can either produce this ‘god’ or provide any evidence at all for its existence – and I would expect that to be evidence that didn’t ALSO “prove” the existence of any other ‘god” to which you might apply it, I (and the growing percentage of people on this planet) will easily and laughingly reject the ridiculous, unfounded threats such as those you’ve posted here. For the record, in the USA, more than 18 percent of people are religion-less and that is a jump of 2 percent over just two years ago. That statistic does not include the many, many more who do not or cannot reveal they are religion-less. You might be interested in The Clergy Project and Ex-Christian.net.

        The fact is still people are leaving religions – plural – in droves because, thanks to their ability to read and their right to question and the wonderful resource that is the internet and libraries, people can, in a matter of days, understand religions to be what they are: ancient means of controlling illiterate, uneducated populations. A thorough reading of the bible will also lead all but the most willfully-blind out of the delusion.

        Finally, I wish you to be quite sure of whom you are attacking here. I am a member of the TENTH generation (generations being a reference to periods of 20 years) of Baptist ministers. Five of my family members are ministers currently and to drive this point home, there have been ministers in every generation of my family for the last 200 years. As such, my friend, I am quite confident in my knowledge of things religious generally and christian specifically.

        More to the point, as I am fortunate to live in this time, where education, books, reading, the internet, conversation, and endless other resources are available to me, I did what thinking people do: I researched the foundations of my religion, which yes, happens to be the christian form.

        I am intimately familiar with the bible and its gaps and fallacies, much more than you, I will state, and so I can quickly identify someone who knows nothing about what they believe and is content to assault and harass those who do: but this, my friend, is evidence of insecurity.

        Were you secure in your beliefs and if you had an actual foundation, proof, evidence and logic, you would never need to attack anyone with treats of “eternal damnation;’ you would need only present the concrete evidence. If it were evidence and if it were concrete, you would not need to say one further word; the evidence would speak for itself and convince anyone who heard it.

        However, you, as theists do, resort to what amounts to terrorism – threats of death that differ little from what one might encounter if taken hostage by those other terrorists who also threaten death to those who do not comply. The difference being that they are real and your invisible man is not, which renders them dangerous because they are motivated by their version of the invisible man.

      • ChurchSalt Says:

        A few notes before I end this pointless (I think we both agree on that, right?) discussion:

        1. I will not respond to the personal insults and derogatory remarks. I see no need or benefit in engaging in such foolishness.

        2. No such thing as sin, eh? So any and all actions are deemed “right” or “wrong” by the one committing the actions (or their society)? I guess the Third Reich had it right then, eh? And I suppose you have no conscience, for a conscience is a ridiculous notion for an evolved being with relativistic morality, right?

        3. Ironically, your pedigree proves my point more effectively than my article ever could. Your rants against the history and content of Scripture show a complete and incredible ignorance of its’ message. Please understand I do not use the word “ignorance” as an insult, but rather its’ actual definition. You seem to know nothing more the simplistic meaning of words taken out of context. I see this around me every single day in folks who are still attending baptist churches. For quite some time now preachers have been preaching messages aimed at self improvement and positive thinking rather than digging into Scripture and explaining it in context. I do not blame you for your ignorance, instead I blame those who taught you a man-centered system of morality, ignored the difficult passages of Scripture, and called it Christianity. This is made extremely obvious by your responses.

        4. You state I and other theists use threats to pursuade. Warning people of a real danger isn’t a threat, it is done out of concern for the individual.

        With that I will sign off. As much as you fling hate at me, I can’t but help feel bad for you. You have been lied to and deceived. First, by a so-called Christian church, and now by radical haters of God and their absolutely ridiculous propoganda. You obviously are still feeling conviction, or you wouldn’t have such passion. I truly hope you take a look at what Scripture really says and turn to Christ for forgiveness of sins, accepting that He is your Master.

        Please don’t respond. It will be waste of your time to hurl more insults and a waste of my 5 seconds when I simply hit “delete”.

        Thanks for stopping by.

      • The Raw Streets Says:

        Also, I should LOVE it if you would please address rape, slavery, infanticide, the fallacy of the Noah story and that of the Moses story; I would be, I’m sure, fascinated by your comments on those things. I do know why you avoid those subject, my friend….

        Shall we just begin with the end of the Noah story? Let’s assume that your man did managed to find two of every animal in the world (iguanas, penguins and polar bears? really?) get them onto a boat 1/3 the size of the Titanic, also bring on board enough food to feed them all for a year – and to feed his own family – deal with the literal amount of poop that would have piled up daily, keep them alive for that year and then expect them to live after somehow returning them to where they came from, where there could be no food for them and where they would have starved within days – if not from lack of food then from their inability to forage after having been incarcerated in a pen for a year.

        Please explain how this story can possibly be true – and please do so with out invoking “god” and “magic.”

  2. ingrid lindmark Says:

    The Church that I attend is still preaching the word but, some of the music I could do
    without. I am blessed with the teaching of the Word so far.

    Reply

  3. Kathy Barker Says:

    My husband and I are in the.midst of findig a new church. There are several churches around us and a few “mega ” churches. The hardest thing for.us is the music. The head banging rock and roll, LOUD music with flashing lights would put the Rolling StonDuri. shame! On Easter Sunday I sat witb mu hands over my ears to proyect mu ear drums. At another church the music was so loud my
    my ears rang for weeks. Its not only.the loudness . There is no melody and no deep meaning

    ears rang for weeks. Its not only the loudness, .its lacking melody and.zny deep meaning. We are in our 60s and realize pur time was.

    Reply

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