Richard Foster once wrote, “Conforming to a sick society is to be sick”. Looking around the Church today, I have to say we are sick. Every day I read of another pastor or church caving to societal pressure. We are conforming to the world instead of conforming to the likeness of God’s Son. We are conforming to the very world the Apostle Paul told us to come out of (Romans 12:2).
Instead of renewing our minds with the truth of God’s Holy Word, we are saturating our hearts in man-made philosophies and opinions so we do not offend or risk persecution. Too many church leaders today are more concerned with the number of people attending their services than they are with the number of people being saved from an eternity apart from God. I can’t think of anything sicker than that.
When the opinions of man carry more weight in our lives than the commands of God, we are in dangerous territory. There is one standard for living our lives, and that is the person of Jesus Christ revealed to us in His Word. The Word of God is timeless because it is a gift to us from the unchanging God. Cultural winds do not render the Bible irrelevant. There is nothing God has not foreseen. Our free will decisions will never result in an occurrence for which He does not have a plan.
The slow drift away from Christ I’ve witnessed in the Church throughout my life has been ramping up to warp speed over the past few years. I suspect it has coincided with the rise of social media in our society. For fear of being castigated publicly, Christians and churches are expressing long-held convictions in a socially correct dialog that seeks to appease everyone. The result is a watering down of the Gospel to the extent that the consequences of sin are no longer being taught or recognized.
We are sick because we have a sin problem. Sin is a far more deadly problem than any virus or invading army. A sick church cannot shine the light of God into a society immersed in darkness. As a result, a great shaking is occurring in churches throughout the nation. More and more Christians are waking up to realize the American brand of Christianity has for too long been focusing on growing numbers instead of healing hearts. The message of Jesus has been co-opted so that our churches now run like businesses and our message is being pedaled for profit.
My dear brothers and sisters, we are sick. We are dying. Unless we repent, we and the Western Church at large will die a quiet death. We will drown in our compromise. How much worse will it be for us when we meet Jesus than for those who never knew the truth? Christians should be some of the most peculiar and unpopular people in our culture. There should be no desire to get along with the world or play by the rules of society. We belong to Jesus, not this world.
There is still time to repent and once again rally to the Word of God. I believe there is still time for the Church to rise and reclaim the Gospel for the good of the world. But that time is short. Jesus died to deliver us from our sins, and we choose instead to bathe in them. We are sick, and we will find healing only through repentance and strict adherence to everything He has commanded us to think and do. We must get well today.