It is a sad fact that today's church is deceiving
itself in some very crucial areas.
Below are some plain facts that may shock a few people:
1. Church buildings do not exist in the Bible. They were
invented around 200-300 AD, when the church was in
serious decline. Only a backslidden church could fall so
far away from the simplicity of the early church. Church
buildings are anti-New Testament, and bring with
them a host of problems and traditions. It was basically
when the church fell into the hands of Rome that this
concept of the "cathedral" really took over. And we are
still spending millions on these monuments today.
2. The "one pastor runs everything" model is totally
unscriptural. Far from running everything, in the book
of Acts we find the word "pastor" NOT EVEN USED
ONCE. (-The early church did have strong leaders
and elders. But it was never a "one man band" like
we see today. And never was it so "controlling" either).
3. "Tithing" is not a New Testament practice at all. And it
is being shamefully abused by today's preachers. In the
New Testament we are told to give cheerfully - whatever
we purpose in our hearts to give. Telling people that they
MUST give 10% to the church or they are "robbing God"
is totally beside the truth - and a money-grubbing way of twisting
Scripture. There is no evidence that the apostles EVER
preached 'tithing' to New Testament believers. It was
clearly regarded as an Old Testament practice.
4. The words "prosper" or 'prosperity' were NEVER used
by Jesus at all - and only exist a couple of times in the
entire New Testament. Yet greedy preachers have built
whole kingdoms upon them. The words - "sell what you
have and give to the poor" and "deceitfulness of riches"
and "you cannot serve God and mammon" and "woe
to you that are rich" were DEFINITELY used by Jesus
and the apostles. But we don't hear these things
preached too much, do we?
5. There were no Bible Colleges, Seminaries or degrees
in the New Testament. The only people who seemed to
have "Bible Schools" were the Scribes and Pharisees!
The apostles were simple fishermen and tax collectors.
It is likely that a number of them could not even read or
write. What was their "qualification" for being in the
ministry? Simply that they had SPENT A LOT OF TIME
WITH JESUS. The fact that people expect a "professional
clergy" today with degrees from Bible College has helped
to make the church sicker and more unscriptural than
ever. Simple humble people with a calling from God often
cannot get to minister because they do not have a "piece
of paper" to make them 'qualified'. -Yet another disaster
for the church.
6. There is almost no evidence whatsoever that the early
church had their "main meeting" on a Sunday. They
gathered together 'from house to house' virtually every
day! There were no church buildings. They did not
dress up and "go to church". There were no denominations.
There were no separate groups with different 'labels'. They
lived their lives together - all the Christians in the local
area. Love and fellowship and 'koinonia' were as natural
to them as breathing. And the apostles in Jerusalem
preached every day at huge open-air gatherings. -Not
"hidden away" inside four walls. This was truly a "street
church" in every way.
7. The idea that you can replace the moving of the
Holy Spirit with programs, programs and more
programs just shows how low we have sunk. Man-made
programs are everywhere today. The early church had
much more of God and much less of 'man'.
8. We preach a 'humanistic' Jesus today. -A Jesus
who exists mainly for our own "happiness". A Santa
Claus who wants to rain down continual blessings
upon us. A God of grace and mercy without judgement,
righteousness or truth. Our gross misrepresentation of
who Jesus really is, is one of the most serious offenses
of the modern church. Today's church seems to worship
a "plastic" Jesus - one that she has made in her own
image. What an offense to God.
A lot of preachers are well aware that there is something
very wrong with the church today. They know there is
little 'fear of the Lord'. They know there is no deep
repentance or deep moving of the Holy Spirit. They know
that it is just the same old "game" being played every
week. A lot of them are very aware of this. But they will
not do anything about it. They will not rock the boat.
They do not want a real "shaking".
There is too much to lose. They have their careers
and their little 'kingdoms' at stake. This is the real truth
of the matter.
There is a 'New Wineskin' coming. In fact it is upon
us. There is a new leadership arising - many of them
trained in the 'wilderness' for such a time as this. The
hour is now here. LET THE NEW LEADERS ARISE!
The sad fact is that today's church has sunk so low
that it is almost a matter of people needing to be
RESCUED OUT OF HER. I never thought I would
say something as radical as that, but I believe it is the truth.