“I hope you have become nauseated with the tawdry entertainment that passes for the true worship of God in many of our churches and, like the saints of the past, are longing for more of the deep truths of the inerrant Word of God.”
~ James Montgomery Boice ..
“Entertainment is the devil’s substitute for joy.”
~ Leonard Ravenhill.
A Missionary Alliance pastor named A.W. Tozer summarized the pathetic state of the church this way:
The church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshipping men. This she has done not deliberately, but little by little and without her knowledge; and her very unawareness only makes her situation all the more tragic. This low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us. A whole new philosophy of the Christian life has resulted from this one basic error in our religious thinking.
With our loss of the sense of majesty has come the further loss of religious awe and consciousness of the divine Presence. We have lost our spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inwardly to meet God in adoring silence. Modern Christianity is simply not producing the kind of Christian who can appreciate or experience the life in the Spirit. The words, ‘Be still, and know that I am God,’ mean next to nothing to the self-confident, bustling worshipper in this middle period of the twentieth century.
This loss of the concept of majesty has come just when the forces of religion are making dramatic gains and they are more prosperous than at any time within the past several hundred years. But the alarming thing is that our gains are mostly external and our losses wholly internal; and since it is the quality of our religion that is affected by internal conditions, it may be that our supposed gains are but losses spread over a wider field. (Bold emphasis added.)
Pastor Tozer recorded this observation in 1961. A generation later, in 2007, the trajectory identified in his words was confirmed in the writings of a leading pastor in the American church, John MacArthur, who observed:
I am convinced that the greatest danger facing Christians today has infiltrated the church already. Countless false teachers already have prominent platforms in the evangelical movement; evangelicals themselves are loathe to practice discernment or question or challenge anything taught within their movement; and many leading evangelicals have concluded no doctrine or point of theology is worth earnestly contending for. The evangelicalism movement as we speak of it today is already doomed. It stands roughly where the mainstream denominations were in the early part of the twentieth century when those denominations began formally excommunicating conservative voices of dissent from their midst – and sounder evangelicals began actively separating from those denominations en masse.” (Bold emphasis added.)
With every inch of biblical truth surrendered, we’ve continued our long descent into secular “progress,” and we are now very near the end of this wide and welcoming path. Our destination is in sight. Our church buildings are huge and growing. Building fund plans are always cocked and loaded. Our books sell like hot-cakes. Rob Baal’s efforts to convert Christians and Donald Miller’s tales of forest frolicking with the Manson Family are all the rage. Our marketing campaigns are brilliant. We’ve made every conceivable appeal to God-hating minds, and this purpose-driven path has paid off handsomely, enticing millions upon millions of goats to fill our pews. Our smiles are broad, our message is catchy and our relevance is way, way up. After all, who could possibly refuse the invitation to live their best life now?
The world loves us. And we love us, too.
While many professing Christians are quite pleased with this progress, Mr. Potato Jesus is ecstatic. And when Mr. Potato Jesus is that happy, you know it can’t be good. But victory has not been secured. The conquest is not complete. He knows this.
Even now, while seeming to be perched on the very precipice of ultimate victory, Mr. Potato Jesus is nervous. He’s anxious. Don’t let the extra-large, tacked on plastic smile fool you. (I mean Potato Jesus’ ; not Joel Osteen’s , though you shouldn’t let his fool you either.)
For all of the truth-destroying progressive success realized by the likes of Rob Baal, Donald Miller, and Brian McLaren; for all of the rank appeals to greed and gluttony advanced by Smiling Joel, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, and Kenneth Copeland, there still stands one opponent that, when deployed in the field of battle, will overturn every heretical vision of every counter-Christian preacher, teacher, follower, and foot soldier.
At this moment, there are very few of these open opponents to satanic “progress,” but that will soon change. And the very thought of this terrifies Team Potato Jesus.
Every Christian’s War .
He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction insounddoctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. ~ Titus 1:9 . . “We want again Luthers, Calvins, Bunyans, Whitefields, men fit to mark eras, whose names breathe terror in our [foes’] ears. We have dire need of such. Whence will they come to us? They are the gifts of Jesus Christ to the Church, and will come in due time.” ~ Charles Spurgeon
It’s an easy thing to imagine that the responsibility to overcome enemy strongholds and defend the hard truths of Scripture are duties reserved for preachers, teachers, and leaders within the church. This is a lie. And Team Potato Jesus would very much like for you to believe this lie.
So, do you?
Believe it, I mean.
I once did.
I once thought of all of those spiritual warfare and defense of Scripture obligations as, at most, a mere option for the “normal Christian.” Moreover, I assumed that typical Christians would not pursue these things, since, in doing so, they would immediately be on a path out of the “normal Christian” category. And that path just didn’t look comfortable, you know? It looked hard.
Whenever these things were spoken of from a pulpit, I automatically redirected the commands delivered into my mind’s optional folder. You know, the folder right next to the trash bin.
Pastors and church leaders do indeed have unique responsibilities. They must be held to a higher standard. Yet, while this is true, every Christian man, woman, boy, and girl is to be held to a high standard as well. This is not optional. Never has been; never will be.
While it is not optional, it is beautiful in countless ways. Gospel-driven pastors, teachers and people—Common Believers, all—are each individually called to a hard and narrow path by their Lord. The cost of taking this path is great. It is measured in lost friendships, severed family relationships, decimated social positions, lost credibility with the world and, in many cases, the loss of physical life itself. This is the path of the Common Believer.
It is the only path of the Common Believer.
These sheep led by these shepherds are the forces—the only forces—that, as Spurgeon said, will “breathe terror into our foes’ ears.”
Why? Because their everything is and will always be centered on the bold, unapologetic proclamation of the undiluted Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the one and only truth that makes people free.
When this proclamation is made, God is honored and people are saved. When this proclamation is tweaked, modified, compromised, and betrayed for the sake of comfort, marketability, and peace with a God-hating world, we mock Christ and escort vast crowds of professing Christians to the very gates of Hell. We mock the martyrs and end up with the heart of The Reformation trampled to death by much beloved “new reformers” like Rob Baal and Phyllis Tickle. We complete the shift from Sola Scriptura, which is the classical Christian concept of complete reliance on the sufficiency of Scripture in all things, to Sola Cultura. If this Scripture-based to culture-based transformation is complete, the ruler of this world will take complete ownership of the professing church.
With this death knocking at the door of contemporary Christendom in America, the next section will be spent examining several specific fronts in the culture-wide war against biblical Christianity. As we consider all of the concepts to be covered in these coming chapters, we’re well served to keep the wide chasm between the Christ of Word Faith Mythology and the Christ of biblical Christianity firmly in the forefront of our minds. The Christ of Word Faith Mythology has so very much to offer his followers in this life—everything from cars, homes, rings, coats, and exotic travel to health, popularity, and comfort in every sphere of human existence. The Christ of biblical Christianity offers only two things: A cross to die on. And eternal life with Him.
This is part two of a two part excerpt from the book Fire Breathing Christians. You can read Part 1, The Rise of Mr. Potato Jesus, by clicking here. Please feel free to share these posts and your feedback!
© 2014 Scott Alan Buss – All Rights Reserved.
 A.W. Tozer, Knowledge Of The Holy, as posted at http://www.heavendwellers.com/hdt_preface_koh.htm
 John MacArthur, The Truth War (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 2007), p. 171-172
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Stupid Elephant Tricks – The Other Progressive Party’s War on Christianity takes a painful but much needed look at how Christ-less “conservatism” has captivated Christians and co-opted them into helping march the culture ever deeper into darkness:
The Beginning of Knowledge: Christ as Truth in Apologetics is an approachable, easy to read introduction to Christ-centered apologetics:
Apathetic Christianity: The Zombie Religion of American Churchianity explores the tragic true horror story of all-American dead religion masquerading as Christianity:
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There Is No “God-Given Right” To Worship False Gods is a compilation of some of the most provocative Fire Breathing Christian articles on the subject of America’s embrace of a satanic approach to religious liberty:
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