Many years ago, I likened some critical biblical issues to "black gates." This is the idea that Satan and other devils have worked hard to undermine the Church of Jesus Christ in areas that have a huge impact on how the church and family function and how the Kingdom presses forward. The image I used was one of a giant gate, behind which many things have been taken captive. Things such as:
- The preaching of the Whole Gospel, including explaining sin in biblical terms that men might cry out for grace.
- Living a life of holiness and separation from wickedness. The very idea that Christians should live differently from the culture seems a strange one today.
- The basic biblical understanding of what a man is and what he is for, what a woman is and what she is for...shucks...the very idea that men and women are different!
- How we disciple and educate our children, questioning whether we should worship apart from them and send them into a pagan system for their education (sorry if that sounds harsh). :(
- The bondage that has resulted from our almost total immersion in how the world handles its resources. Christians are in just as much financial bondage as anyone else.
- God's very clear instructions on who should lead in the church and how our LORD is to be approached. So many of us have simply cast aside the LORD's NT commandments for worship, shouting and dancing in the process. How can this possibly result in more power and anointing?
- The worldview that informs our decisions. How often do we prayerfully consult Scripture before we take a social/cultural position?
Lest I am misunderstood, I believe our LORD loves us with a passionate intense love! He still adores His church and is still building His church! Praise His Great Name!
But I do believe the church in the western world is suffering some unnecessary consequences due to our rebellion. We've decided that some passages of Scripture no longer apply and simply do not suit us moderns. As a result, the church is losing her witness. We look, sound, act, think, and worship like the culture. We no longer stand out. Our homes are the same. Our light is dim. Instead of being "in the world" but not "of it," we are simply in the world. (Jn 15:19, 17:14-16; Jam 4:4; 1 John 2:15)
This results in a vast number of churches with very little impact. I struggle with this. Although the way to life is narrrow and few find it. Hmmm.
I could be wrong...I pray I am. But if I'm more right than wrong, we must repent and rebuild critical foundations. For if the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Ps 11:3)
May the LORD turn us again to His Word in mourning and repentance, and may our love for our LORD overcome our love for the world.