Where Is the Church Headed Now—And should we resist the trip?

By Al Benson Jr.

Earlier this week someone sent me an article from Relevant Magazine entitled: The Presbyterian Church Votes to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage. The headline is slightly misleading because all Presbyterians have not voted to endorse or accept same-sex (sodomite) marriage. No doubt the “progressive Presbyterians” have accepted it, but us Neanderthals in many Presbyterian churches have not, and will not, in accordance with God’s Word, accept this.

Actually the article is referring to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) or PCUSA as most of us call it. This denomination has been drifting leftward by degrees for decades now and so such a move was not totally unexpected. According to the Relevant article: “While the office of the General Assembly is still awaiting official tallies, it appears that a majority of the 171 presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have approved a change to the current description of marriage in the PC (USA)’s Constitution.”

Unfortunately, the liberal Presbyterians are not the only ones in the church that are pushing this perversion. In another article on http://www.relevantmagazine.com the headline reads: Rob Bell: The Church Is ‘Moments Away’ From Accepting Gay Marriage. The article went on to say: “He (Bell) went on to say the church was risking irrelevance by holding off on an embrace of gay marriage. ‘I think the culture is already there,’ he said. ‘And the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense…’.” Look at his last statement. Do you realize what he’s saying here? He’s calling into doubt what the New Testament has to say about marriage because it doesn’t seem “relevant” to him. Where does that put him in regard to the authority of Scripture? If he can dismiss the truth of Scripture that easily because it doesn’t conform to what the world believes, I would suggest that, in the long run, maybe he is irrevelant.

In another article on http://www.standupfortruth.com Rob Bell is noted as part of the Emergent Church movement, which the article describes this way: “The Emergent Church movement is a progressive Christian movement that attempts to reduce or eliminate Christian doctrine in favor of experience and feelings. Most do not believe man can know what is absolute truth, and believe God must be experienced outside of traditional biblical doctrines.” This is just another version of “if it feels good do it.” No doctrine, no absolute truth, just experience and feeling. These people are the Transcendentalists of the 21st century. Emerson and Thoreau would have loved them! The article notes some of the leaders of this movement—among whom are Rob Bell and Rick Warren (“whom many of these leaders point to as their inspiration for the Emergent Movement.”) Does this help you to understand why Warren’s name was linked with Obama’s during the 2008 presidential farce?

It would seem that the arrogance and egotism of some of these apostates (and that’s what they are) knows no ends. In a brief article on http://www.beginningandend.com the following was noted: “In a stunning sign of the growing apostasy—the rise of the false church in Christianity that no longer treats the Bible as its final authority, Reverend Oliver White of Grace Community United Church, came on the radio show of Fox News Host Sean Hannity to proclaim that Jesus Christ was ‘wrong’ on the issue of homosexuality and gay marriage. White, speaking for Jesus Christ, said, with respect to the issue of gay marriage no longer being a sin: ‘If Jesus were alive today, I think he would be more inclined to say: you know, I didn’t know it all’…” There’s a photo of Rev. White at the top of this article holding what appears to be a big Bible—but then, with Rev. White’s attitude toward Jesus, maybe it’s really an enlarged version of The Humanist Manifesto. Here’s a man who thinks he knows more than Jesus Christ. Another 21st century Transcendentalist! Who says Unitarianism, Transcendentalism, and all the other unholy “isms” died in the 19th century? Some of them may have taken a little breather, but they are back, alive and well today and their practitioners are back, fooling another generation of “useful idiots” who have never read their church history anymore than they have their American history and so they continue to make grandiose pronouncements while not knowing upside down from inside out.

You have to wonder why more preachers don’t stand up and expose this stuff. Too many have been bemused into a “all I’m called to do is to preach the gospel and I don’t want to get involved in politics” stance. This absolves them, so they think, from having to do anything about the abysmal spiritual condition of the church in our day. If they don’t know anything about any of it then they can’t deal with it, and so they continue on with a truncated version of John 3:16 and never, and I mean never, get beyond that. Nothing against John 3:16—it’s foundational, but if you never get past the foundation then the house isn’t going to get built and you’ll live in the cellar forever. That’s one problem I have with the Scofield Bible Notes. They teach Christians to stay in the cellar because that’s all they will ever be.

Another problem for the cellar dwellers is the501c3 syndrome, which says that if any church, anywhere, makes even the remotest political statement about anything, then they will lose their tax exemption. Churches today are hide-bound by this and scared stiff to say anything that might “offend” the ruling elite and cost them their exemption. An article on http://www.hushmoney.org noted that “Churches were only added to section 501c3 of the tax code in 1954. We can thank Senator Lyndon B. Johnson for that. Johnson was no ally of the church. As part of his political agenda, Johnson had it in mind to silence the church and eliminate the significant influence the church had always had on shaping ‘public policy’…For a 501c3 church to openly speak out, or organize in opposition to, anything the government declares ‘legal’ even if it is immoral (e.g. abortion, homosexuality, etc.) that church will jeopardize its tax exempt status. The 501c3 has had a ‘chilling effect’ upon the free speech rights of the church.” The article noted that LBJ was a “shrewd and cunning politician who seemed to well-appreciate how easily many of the clergy would sell out.”

Now the IRS routinely warns churches during election years not to deal with where candidates stand on any issues and so the threat is always there.

So this seems to be where the church is headed—intimadated by the IRS, scared stiff of losing their tax exemptions, inundated with false preachers who tell us that sodomy and other related sins are okay and that we wont be “relevant” unless we dump biblical teaching and embrace all the latest pervesions. Thank the Lord there are some churches that don’t buy into this bovine fertilizer, but there are too many that do. The pastors that promote this rank apostasy are leading their congregations astray and there doesn’t seem, in many cases, to be enough spiritual discernment among the congregants to grasp this.

At the risk of offending the current seekers of “relevance” I would go back and advocate what the Scripture says in 2nd Corinthians 6:14-18 to Christians in our day. If you are in a church where this kind of thing is permitted or encouraged then separate yourself from that church and find one that believes in and trusts the Holy Scriptures. Staying in apostate congregations will do nothing more than make you “two-fold more the child of hell” than you were before. I can understand wanting to help and love sinners, but accepting their perversions as normal does not help them, in fact it may well do them eternal harm.

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11 thoughts on “Where Is the Church Headed Now—And should we resist the trip?

  1. Some disjointed thoughts:

    Whenever somebody uses ‘church’ and ‘relevant’ in the same sentence, I pretty much tune them out.

    ‘…who have never read their church history…’
    Heresies never go away, do they? I don’t know who Robin Phillips is, but this is an interesting list of gnosticism in the modern church:

    http://www.salvomag.com/unpragmatic-thoughts/?p=408

    “Churches today are hide-bound by this and scared stiff to say anything that might “offend” the ruling elite ”
    I was reminded of St John Chrysostom in the 4th century who was Archbishop of Constantinople. Twice he criticised the emperor’s wife for immorality and twice he was exiled for it!

    ‘There’s a photo of Rev. White at the top of this article holding what appears to be a big Bible—but then, with Rev. White’s attitude toward Jesus, maybe it’s really an enlarged version of The Humanist Manifesto.’

    or it could be the Queen James ‘bible’ (google it)

    ‘501c3 syndrome’
    “There will come a time when not the persecutions but money and the goods of this world will take people far from God. Then many more souls will be lost than in the time of the persecutions. On the one hand, they will be putting gold on the domes and will put the crosses on them and, on the other hand, everywhere evil and falsehood will reign. The true Church will always be persecuted. They who want to be saved will be saved with illnesses and afflictions. The way in which the persecutions will occur will be very sly and it will be very difficult for one to foresee the persecutions. Dreadful will be that time; I pity those who will be living then.”

    + St. Seraphim of Viritsa

    ‘so they continue on with a truncated version of John 3:16 and never, and I mean never, get beyond that.’

    I think this is a result of Protestantism’s fear of becoming another Rome and out of fear of authority, prots have lost any authority to call each other out for heresies. Its sort of a free-for-all without the possibility of an Ecumenical Council to settle disputes.

    “If you believe what you like in the Gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.”

    — St. Augustine

    but, on the bright side, its better to be in the cellar than out in the desert!

    “Christians, have we understood the great responsibility that we have taken on before God through baptism? Have we come to know that we must conduct ourselves as children of God, that we must align our will with the will of God, that we must remain free from sin, that we must love God with all our hearts and always patiently await union with Him? Have we thought about the fact that our heart should be so filled with love that it should overflow to our neighbor? Do we have the feeling that we must become holy and perfect, children of God and heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven? We must struggle for this, so that we may not be shown unworthy and rejected. Let none of us lose our boldness, nor neglect our duties, nor be afraid of the difficulties of spiritual struggle. For we have God as a helper, who strengthens us in the difficult path of virtue.”

    + St. Nektarius of Aegina

    “God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.”

    St. Augustine of Hippo

  2. Apostasy and false teaching has been extant since God promised Adam and Eve a Savior. We live in a fallen world controlled by the devil, and just as Jesus Christ confronted and opposed the apostasy of His day by preaching the truth, so must believers today. We cannot merely shrug our shoulders and say that God will sort them out because then we are giving into their agenda. Nor must we be willing to give any false teacher the benefit of the doubt because they count on this to spread their vile heresies. Praise God He calls us to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. We must be bold in our proclamation of the truth and for our stand for the inspiration, inerrancy, infallibility and preservation of the Holy Scriptures. God bless us.

    • Agreed. The Lord does indeed call upon us to defend the faith and to contend for it. However it seems that, in our day, that’s just too much trouble for many Christians. They’d rather be “nice” to the apostates. It’s easier than dealing with their apostasy and no one gets mad at you.

      • Which dishonors our Lord and leaves these heretics promoting their false teaching, causing divisions and harm to Christ’s own. Praise God He promises to protect and deliver His children. It is for our glory and the blessing of all that we contend earnestly for the faith. God bless us.

  3. Well now I know what I am, and a proud one at that(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy). Though not the same kind as those listed above. I didn’t ‘turn away’ in the name of communism but because I recognize the modern mainstream versions(interpretations) are a dangerous threat to Human Liberty and the Bill of Rights because they lead the so-called ‘good people’ to sit on their asses and wait for the world to end when they should be fighting for their freedom and their country like their oft-mentioned ‘christian'(loosely defined) Founding Fathers did. Sigh.

    Yes, the bible, concurrently 3000-year-old tribal propaganda and 1500 year old official Catholic Church doctrine, politically determined in the name of reducing religious conflict because their savior couldn’t be bothered to write his own book or at least hire a secretary so his followers wouldn’t kill millions over whose version, sub-version or subversion is right, clearly frowns on ‘homosexuality.’

    Common sense says the ancients probably built up this dislike because of disease, the desire for reproduction among their desert tribes and simple disgust for something most of them didn’t understand. But then the monks, priests, whatever that normally write and edit such texts based on their own personal ideas of ‘right and wrong’ aren’t usually much for tolerating anyone who doesn’t want to exist outside of their version of reality, morality or normality. Always been that way an sadly probably always will.

    • You and I probably agree on Christians sitting on their backsides and doing nothing. That’s something I have griped about for years now. Some, like myself and others I know, do try to fight back, but most, sadly, do not and do not seem to realize the necessity of doing that.

      When it comes to the Bible, we probably would not agree with one another. I have a different view of it than you seem to although I will agree that some have “reinterpreted” parts of it to try to justify a “do nothing” position, which I don’t agree with.

  4. @rogerunited: “but, on the bright side, its better to be in the cellar than out in the desert!” As one who has resided in the desert for the better part of the last ten years (and I mean a spiritual desert), I must most humbly disagree. Better to be in the desert with Jesus at my side than in the cellar targeted for destruction.

    As for the rest, I have a solution to the 501-3c problem – don’t take the exemption. I don’t take an exemption on my “clergy” income and I won’t take 501-3c status. By the way, the actual meaning of “clergy” is someone who can read and write, which is pretty much anyone in the US. My proof? Merriam-Webster “cler-gy (klur’je) n., pl. -gies [ME. & OFr. clergie, office or dignity of a clergyman < LL. (Ec.) clericus: see CLERK] men ordained for religious service, as ministers, priests, rabbis, etc., collectively cleric (kler’ ik) n. [LL. (Ec.) clericus: see CLERK] a clergy- man—adj. relating to a clergyman or the clergy clerk (klurk; Brit. Klark)" See it? From the Latin "clericus" clerk.
    "Definitions:
    1. clergyman, priest, cleric, clerk
    2. scholar, student, scribe, secretary
    Source: Lewis & Short, “A Latin Dictionary”, 1879 (Lewis & Short) "
    Ah, but it's use in reference to a ministry officiant did not come into play until the 15th Century, while the word itself was in common use in the 3-5th Century. This means that it changed meaning based on usage at a much later date – kind of like the way "gay" once meant happy and now means something completely different.

    Anyway, it's no fun in the desert, but it's a safe place to go when the Pharisees are out for your blood. The approach may be different, but the desires are the same. Pharisees don't like being called out, no matter what age you live in.

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