Whatever Happened…?

I have visited several churches in the recent past and most pastors seemed to dwell on their pet beliefs. Some pastors focused on the belief that Christians have the authority of Christ and spent most of their time explaining how to use that so-called authority. In one of the churches the pastor exercised his so-called authority and released the Holy Spirit into the sanctuary (or so he claimed). Another church’s pastor repeatedly concerned himself with appealing to the emotions of his congregation trying to entice them to evangelize the town in which they lived. Another pastor begins with Scriptures and ends with cute little cliches` that have nothing to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ, etc.

I sometimes feel like a stranger in a foreign land when I enter a church. It hurts me deeply to hear some of the sermons being preached today. The devil has his foot in the door of so many churches, to the extent that Jesus has been relegated to just another means by which man can feed his ego. 

Whatever happened to revering the holiness and the sacredness of God? Why is there so little respect for Him? What kind of person does it take to stand and say, “I declare this and I decree that,” and what kind of mindset would one who was conceived in iniquity have to have to claim that he, or she, has all authority in heaven and on earth? What kind of preacher would dare preach that Christians should do these things? Oh, yes, they all say these things are biblical, but they are dead wrong. 

These people interpret the Bible with their own selfish and egotistical reasoning, and find ways to satisfy their fleshly desires. They have become pawns of Satan, sent to accomplish what he accomplished with Eve in the garden, but failed to accomplish with Jesus in the wilderness, that of getting people to exalt themselves up to the level of God. The devil’s message of raising oneself up to the level of God resonates from so many pulpits that it is almost unbearable.

Whatever happened to denying your self and taking up your cross and following Jesus? What happened to obeying the Lord and walking humbly before Him? What happened to resisting the devil? When did it become the norm to rail accusations against the devil and take authority over him? When did Christians become so daring and self-willed that they no longer tremble when they revile angelic majesties, when even angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord? What has happened to common sense and common decency and sound doctrine? 

And when, pray tell, was the Holy Spirit, who convicts men of sin before a holy God, replaced with luring people to church with promises of finances, healings, and authority to change their circumstances.

Whatever happened to Jesus Christ, and Him crucified?   

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant