I can name more than three false idols in modern Christianity, but which three stand out to you? Which ones would you include?
I actually heard one pastor say that “we can’t be preaching the Bible to people in the world because it’s not relevant to them.” What!? I have to admit, I was angered by that. Isn’t the gospel the power of salvation (Rom. 1:16)? Does this pastor think he has more power than the word of God to save? Has he invented a better way than the Spirit of God mixed with the Word of God making the children of God? I think he’s the one who’s irrelevant. The Word of God never needs changing; it abides forever (1 Pet. 1:25). These churches that don’t want to offend people are more interested in filling the pews than filling people with the Word of God. Sorry, milk-toast pastor, but the Word is supposed to cut in order to heal because soft words make hard hearts, but hard words make soft hearts, and the Word of God is supposed to comfort the afflicted, but afflict the comfortable. Pragmatism is deadly as a doctrine. Feelings over faith is toxic.
This comes close to being found in every prosperity gospel I have ever heard. They want you to come to their church so that your life will be better and you’ll be happier, but I have news for them. My life got harder after I became a Christian. Many of my former friends spurned me. Much of my family thought I was brainwashed. Some sermon topics are “How to Live a Happier Life” or “How You Can Find More Fulfillment.” Excuse me, but isn’t worship all about God and His glory? What about preaching about repentance, sin, the cross, the blood of the Lamb, holiness, sanctification, and actual biblical topics? Instead of love for God being taught, it’s all about love for self. It’s not theology but “me-ology” they are preaching. Christ is not the focus; we are!
We’re All God’s Children
Pluralism has extended its deadly tentacles into the modern churches. No, not all of them, but the idea that we should embrace other religions is a false notion and one from many modern churches. The bumper sticker that reads “coexist” sounds nice, but try telling that to the extremists of Islam, who continuously murder Christians around the world. We are not all God’s children. Some are clearly children of the Devil, which is what Jesus told the religious authorities in His day (John 8:44), and John wrote that “we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are” (1 John 3:10). Once, when Paul and Barnabas were opposed by Elymas the sorcerer, who tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith (Acts 13:8), Paul told him, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery” (Acts 13:10).
Can you leave a comment about other false idols that are infiltrating many churches today? I can cover only three here, and I know that the focus is shifting toward the self, toward being pragmatic or favoring what people want to hear and a tickling of ears. In Paul’s last letter before his execution, he warned Timothy that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths” (2 Tim 4:3-4). I fear that time has come.