Posted by: missionventureministries | March 14, 2019

ARE YOU IN A CHURCH WHERE GOD IS TRULY BEING HONORED AND WORSHIPED? – Matthew 15:8-9

“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” Matthew 15:8-9  

There comes a time when it becomes necessary to leave a church out of duty to obey God rather than men, and for the sake of one’s own conscience. 

Please understand that just because a certain place is called a church does not mean that it justifies the name. We need to recognize that, while no church is perfect because they are all made up of imperfect people, however, churches that do not teach and lack biblical fundamentals aren’t healthy places to attend.  

We need to understand that a God honoring church should offer worship that’s centered on Christ, is a community that is marked by love, teaches the truth of Scripture, and its mission is to fulfill the Great Commission.  

So how do you know when God is calling you to go somewhere else? 

First, we need to pray for each other, for the church, the pastor and those who are leading the flock, especially when we see that the leadership is deviating from its spiritual duties. A very good prayer is found in Colossians 1:9-12. 

Second, after many months of prayer and bringing important biblical errors to your pastor’s attention and nothing changes, there comes a point where you no longer respect him or his leadership. Paul described how a true humble, honest pastor will conduct himself and how he will behave: “Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach…” (1 Timothy 3:2). He must teach the deep truths of the Bible with a clear understanding of God’s word, which means that he adheres to sound biblical doctrine. 

So, you need to be careful about a pastor who confuses Biblical truth with his personal viewpoint; because, a godly pastor “must teach in accordance with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). 

Third, the pastor’s family is out of control. Paul taught that if a man can’t lead and oversee his own family then he has no business trying to pastor a church: “He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect” (1 Timothy 3:4).

Therefore, if anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church? (1 Timothy 3:5). Any pastor or elder must prove that he can discipline his own family before he can guide and direct others. He needs to be able to resolve conflicts, build unity and maintain love both at home and in the church. If he cannot do those essential things and does not see the errors of his way, it is time to go somewhere else where fundamental biblical truths are being taught and upheld. 

Fourth, there are fights and dissension in the church which the pastor overlooks to keep “peace” or better so that he does not have to extend energy to bring the flock back to harmony and under the truth of God’s Word; when the biblical goal is always to bring the person who is wrong to the knowledge of the truth. 

Paul was deeply concerned that a pastor be able to teach the Bible well since, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). 

Fifth, the church that refuses to discipline members who are blatantly sinning; tolerates unholy living and is characterized by a willful disregard for Scripture, when the word says: But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people (Ephesians 5:3).  

If we are truly in the faith, we must be careful not to keep company with those who despise the commandments of God because God will not be mocked: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1–2). 

Sixth, the church is marked by blatant hypocrisy, giving lip service to biblical Christianity but refusing to acknowledge its true power – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people (2 Timothy 3:5). 

Seventh, the churches’ worship time is a self absorbed prideful theatrical performance when it should lead the congregation into – the Throne Room of Heaven. “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts” (Colossians 3:16).

When we look at the meaning of worship, there are numerous definitions of the word; yet, one in particular summarizes the priority we should give to worship as a spiritual discipline. True worship, in other words, is defined by the priority we place on who God is in our lives and where God is on our list of priorities. True worship is a matter of the heart expressed through a lifestyle of holiness.

Ask yourself whether or not your church honors God by living a holy life, encouraging true worship, teaching the truth of His Holy Word, is building meaningful relationships with each other and reaching out to the lost. 

If this is not happening where you are attending, than pray about it and let the Holy Spirit lead you because God might be calling you to leave and go somewhere else.  

NOTE: Lack of humility and integrity in religious leaders is a universal problem in evangelical Christian churches and has lead a very large number of true Christians to leave organized churches and to begin home-fellowships so that they can have accurate and honest Bible studies.

This “out-of-church” movement has now grown very large, and we are hearing more and more about it every day. Please do not feel like you are alone, since throughout the world, there are thousands of Christians that are in the same situation. It does not matter if you live in a large of a small town; the gospel is being watered down everywhere and the emphasis is on pleasing the crowds instead of honoring the Lord.

We have personally come into contact with many that feel this way. These are Christians that once taught Sunday school, directed choirs, and even pastors that now have left the church. They are committed Christians, insightful and devoted to the Lord, that have grown weary of the games that are being played inside the church system; they are tired of the glitzy Hollywood atmosphere and of the internal bureaucracy, and have decided that they do not want to be a part of it any longer.

These devoted Christians have been faithful to attend church; however they are tired of not getting fed and having to hear from ten to twenty minutes of jokes and stories. Where is the time allocated to those that are hurting and needing to hear about their wonderful Savior, they ask? Often times there are only fifteen minutes allotted to the sermon and the message is not even biblically accurate. The church is full of glitz but devoid of the Holy Spirit.

There are so many new trendy programs that come and go, and they do not teach the truth of God’s Word. There is no interaction in Bible studies. Many times the DVD is set up and you listen to a taped lesson just to fill the time, since those that are supposed to be teaching find it easier to sit and listen, instead of preparing a meaningful study to those that are participating. The one thing true Christians are realizing is that the church is getting farther and farther away from the teachings of the early church.

Not only are these devout Christians hungry for the word and are not being fed; but what happens to those that are babies in Christ? They need to hear the truth of God’s word and to learn how to build on a solid base; and not groundwork built on shifting sand. If the church won’t do its job, then we need to teach people how to build a foundation on the solid rock of Jesus Christ.

Many have left their church and have looked for another place to worship. However, after visiting other churches, they sadly found out that they were not “better” than the place they had left.

Several of these people have gotten together with other truth searching Christians and have started home-fellowships. Others have opted to stay home and hope to find a message through radio or television that is true to the Word.

If you have experienced this, do not feel alone, there are many thousands of people like you in the world. We welcome your comments relating to this topic, or any other question that you might have.

The Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;  

the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

*******

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: