–September of 2006
I’ve Had It!
I’ve had it! I’ve had it with articles and poll results in religious and secular magazines needling the Church by claiming that Christians today are watching X-rated movies, are addicted to pornography, commit immorality, and lie and steal at the same rate as non-Christians. I’ve had it with these people who blame the Church for not accepting them with open arms and unconditional love so they can continue to practice their perverted lifestyles without any sense of shame, or worst yet, ordain them as ministers of the gospel. I’ve had it with these preachers who seek to be so accepting that when they finish a sermon, they have made the Christian life so broad and inclusive that your average pagan feels right at home. I’ve had it with all of this because this is not how the Bible portrays a Christian. The New Testament teaches that the behavior listed above falls below the line of authentic Christian faith and is clearly sub-Christian. Christians aren’t slaves to any sin nor do they entertain themselves with the very things the Bible condemns as sinful. A person who has experienced a true Biblical conversion has implanted within him a desire to do right and be morally good. If that is not the case, then any pretense of conversion is just that – a pretense.
I’ve had it! I’ve had it with Christian leaders who are determined to make the unconverted so comfortable in church that they have turned Sunday-morning worship into an experience that is no different from a trip to a local entertainment club. Sanctuaries look like theaters. The attendees are encouraged to “dress casual,” bring their favorite beverage, and rock to the same rhythms you would expect to hear at a university frat party. Sermons are preached from a lawn chair or a barstool. Surprisingly, some of them are good. What is not surprising is that few take them seriously. Why should they, when everything around them is screaming “do as you please”? Church bookstores, coffee shops, and restaurants do a thriving business before and after service as they violate the sanctity of the Lord’s Day. Why have I had it? Because the fundamental principles of Biblical worship are thrown out to create an atmosphere that satisfies the creature rather than glorifies the Creator.
I’ve had it! I’ve had it with this new gospel and its false prophets who constantly reassure their flock that they can have “peace with God and a home in heaven” without making any fundamental changes to the way they live and the values they hold. This “come in Savior and stay out Lord” brand of religion that ignores the claims of the Bible and remains plugged in to this present world is a false gospel. At the very heart of what it means to be Christian is that the Christian is a unique and special kind of person. He has experienced a radical change that separates him from those who are not Christian. It is a difference that makes him like Christ and can only be explained in terms of his relationship to Christ.
I’ve had it! I’ve had it with the fact that the only alternative that too many churches are offering to the above dilemma is just criticism. Far too few are preaching a biblically balanced message and providing a real worship experience for serious saints and hungry sinners. Too few congregants have lives that are marked by the presence of God and noted for their radical abandonment to Him.
I’ve had it! And that’s good! For it is often in these times of such desperation that God is able to sow in our hearts the seeds for renewal and revival. I long for His transforming power and life-giving presence to mark the lives of His children again.