Sat, Apr 17th - 8:38AM
Christian Mega-Churches: A Sign of the Times?
By Robert Randle
It seems that believers and proselytes to the Christian "faith" want something different, new, and exciting in their worship and it appears that the Mega-Church is a wonderful fantasy, a spiritual dream-come-true to some. It is an ever-growing and popular alternative to the traditional hellfire and brimstone services of the past which pronounce damnation to the sinners who don't accept the salvation offered only in the name of Jesus; amid the tears of repentance, public confessionals, and feelings of guilt and shame.
Today, this atmosphere of political-correctness has brought about a fundamental change in the faith practices and behavior of many Bible-believing Christians, serving up a smorgasbord of options for worship; including participation in "virtual churches," and cyber-congregations thanks to the Internet. The appeal of these emerging and larger-than-life edifices dedicated to the Lord's glory (??) has to be reexamined in the light of Scripture, to determine if this is the best way to convert the lost and edify the body of Jesus Christ.
Jesus says in John 15: 18-20, "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it has hated you. "If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me they will also persecute you. . .
I John 2: 15-16
Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
Romans 12: 2
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is; that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 16: 17-18
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you have learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Jesus Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
II Timothy 4: 3-4
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.
Titus 2: 1, 7, 11-12
But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.
Philippians 3: 18-19
For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, and whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.
II Corinthians 11: 3-4
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received [from us], or a different gospel which you have not accepted; you may well put up with it!
Galatians 1: 6-7, 9
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
I John 4: 1
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Proverbs 14: 12
There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
This is certainly not an indictment of any Church, whether it is Mega or mini, but rather an admonition to be careful because one can be mislead with all the dozens of programs, ministries, activities, missions, technology, and the BARNUM & BAILEY circus-under-the 'Big Tent' type atmosphere; which can be a distraction from the simplicity and genuineness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and godly reverence due to the heavenly Father. Remember the words of the Lord Jesus Christ: "The world loves its own;" therefore if something is popular and widely accepted and since the whole world is in spiritual darkness, when the gospel shines the light of truth upon it, the reaction should be a lot different; and not so accommodating and pleasing.
Lastly,let it not be said of the clergy as in Micah 3: 11a: Her priests teach for pay, and her prophets divine for money.
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