February 22, 2019

                                  The Diminishing Church

The erosion of truth and the embracing of error is one of the ways the devil has schemed to dilute if not destroy the impact of the Church. (Remember, he is the father of lies!)  It is the corruption of convictions that leads to compromise. In a word -- we call it tolerance.
In the political arena we see many who are willing to pocket their principles so as to pilfer money or guarantee future votes. This week the fake news of Jussie Smollett and his attempt to turn fiction into political polemic has been revealed to be a provocative pronouncement that is actually a proclamation quite perverse. However, in the church we also see many who in the name of compassion or concern are willing to tolerate and compromise that which must never be capitulated -- The Truth.  

The early church, which was to be the pillar of the truth, (I Tim. 3:15) faced the problem of toleration in many ways. In Revelation 2:18ff many of the bond servants of Jesus, according to His own words, had tolerated the false, seductive and sensual teaching of a woman leader in the church of Thyatira named Jezebel. (I doubt that was her real name, but it was a good description of her actions; see the story of the original Jezebel in I Kings 16; II Kings 9)

The Church then (as now) had given into marital infidelity and materialistic idolatry. Jesus said that the church had tolerated Jezebel's false teaching. As a result, Christians, bond servants of Jesus, had engaged in sins that were perverse and prevalent in that society.

Unfortunately, the news of the day seems to remind us of the history of yesterday. Corruption and collusion as well as practices of perversion are ubiquitous, demonstrating that in our culture Christians are finding it very easy to trifle with the sacred and traffic in the secular.

As the late Warren Bennis observed in 1987, we live in a world that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. (He called this the VUCA index. Imagine how he would describe today's world.)  It is true that we are living in unstable times filled with uncertainty. But God in His grace has given to us His word that is Truth. In fact, it is as Francis Schaeffer called it, True Truth!  (John 17:17)

How shall we then live?  We are to live with holy conduct and a heavenly outlook. We should live this day in light of that final day when Jesus shall call us home either through death and resurrection or through the rapture of His church. Until that day always remember the words of Merrill Tenney speaking about the Bible; "This book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book."

Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,