These days, “church” has become commercialized and money driven; with “tickling ears” preaching, and a soft peddling of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Instead of sitting back and being silent, I believe we need to offend some people!
Galatians 1:10: For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Psalm 127:1b: Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it:
If Paul had seen today’s “User Friendly” churches, with their use of polls, questionnaires, surveys, occult based psychological profiles, the world’s marketing consultant firms, and the many of other worldly methods designed to please “Man” so they will be comfortable, remain unoffended, and become “Christianized” (i.e. learn to look, act, walk, and talk like Christians, without really changing), and keep coming to church (and don’t forget your wallet), he would probably have written “The Epistle to the Church of Self”. He would have used similar words to what he said to the Galatians to condemn the “User Friendly”, “Market Researched”, “Customer Satisfaction”, “Man Pleasing”, “Church Growth Movement” churches built by man’s hands, not by the Lord‘s. He would have proclaimed them “accursed”.
Isaiah 8:14: Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and [let] him [be] your fear, and [let] him [be] your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Romans 9:33: As it is written, Behold I lay in Sion a stumbling stone, and a rock of offence; and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
To sinners, Jesus is offensive. The preaching of the gospel of Christ gets right in our face and confronts us with the fact that without Jesus, we are lost and are going to be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity. The song “Amazing Grace” say it perfectly….”Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a WRETCH like me”. “User Friendly” churches would never refer to any unsaved person as a “wretch” from their pulpits. Many don’t even refer to them as “sinners” anymore. Visitors might be offended and not come back. Salvation is not a long gradual transition process of moving gently and sweetly from the “World” into the “Family of God”. Jesus described it as being “born again”. Natural birth is a bloody, messy, offensive, painful event, but it results in a new life. Likewise, spiritual birth, Salvation, is a painful, offensive, often traumatic realization of your lost and sinful state, combined with the realization of God’s Righteousness, His boundless love for you, and His provision in Jesus Christ as the way to Salvation. Salvation, being “born again” results in a NEW LIFE…not a paradigm shift.
We have to stop running from “move” to “move” and the “new revelation personality ministries” and trust in the WORD God gave us.
His Word is sufficient.