During the past twenty plus years I have given much thought to what it means to say you are an “evangelical”. That term use to hold a strong meaning in the minds of most that heard it, people knew what you stood for no questions asked.
The term evangelical derives from the Greek word euangelion meaning “gospel” or “good news.” Technically speaking, evangelical refers to a person, church, or organization that is committed to the Christian gospel message that Jesus Christ is the savior of humanity.Dec 7, 2015 (Google)
In the late nineteenth and twentieth century that term began to be tainted with scandals far and wide mainly on the North American continent.
I do not have the time or space in this article to go into much detail but it started within the ranks of certain itinerary evangelists, such as, Aimee Semple McPherson, A. A. Allen, Oral Roberts, Jim Bakker, and Jimmy Swaggart.
I have come to a decision that I can no longer say that I associate as an evangelical for what I see and hear coming from the camps of evangelicals I do not recognize as being from the Scriptures.
If I were to travel today I would now use the term that I am a “revivalist” for it is a revival that we need across the land of North America.
In this article I will show how the church is no longer a leader, but, instead a follower and enabler of things they should not even enjoin themselves to.
There was a time when a local congregation would throw open their windows of their sanctuary and those passing by would hear the singing and the preaching of God’s Word delivered in the power of God would run in and give their lives to Christ.
Now they live by the clock on the wall Sunday morning that they are out on time so that they may eat in their favorite restaurant before heading to the local golf club.
Yes, the church has abdicated it’s power to things of the world.
1. Popularity over Power
2 Timothy 4:1-5 MSG
1 I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule,
2 so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple.
3 You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy.
4 They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages.
5 But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.
On a Sunday morning a week or two back I was channel surfing looking for something to listen to. I came across a broadcast of an American national preacher. He started his service by asking the congregation to stand raise their Bibles in the air and follow him as he recited a self-esteem creed. I listened totally shocked, after about five to ten seconds I had had enough and turned the channel. There was not one thing that pointed the congregation or the listeners watching on the television to the Gospel of Christ. It was pure garbage of “positive thinking”.
Somewhere through the decades the message of the cross has been replaced by the gospel of “I”. This is not the message Christ spoke to his disciples when he said,
Mark 10:21 KJV
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
We are not here to be popular, to see who can have the largest congregation, or who can build the biggest santuary. We are here to preach the message of the cross, to be soldiers of Christ and fishers of men, to put it bluntly, to fill heaven.
I can now see why Christ asked the question:
Luke 18:8b KJV
8b… Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
This is one area where I can see that the “church” has abdicated its power.
In the next two articles I will explore two more areas of this epidemic. Yes, I used the word “epidemic”!
The next article will deal with “Prosperity over Power“.