One of the great travesties of today’s contemporary church philosophy is a lack of spiritual conviction.
Notice I did not say a lack of communicating spiritual conviction, for that’s not the greatest problem.
In fact, what started as an attempt to make truth more palatable by making the church more like the world, has become the church being more like the world without truth. Now, many Christians don’t even know clear Bible truths, easily understood by basic scriptural application.
A recent example of this was when self-professing Christian singer Lauren Daigle was asked in an interview what she believes about homosexuality and responded, “I can’t say one way or the other, I’m not God.”
I’m not God either, but I can pretty easily say what He clearly said in Romans 1.
I’m reminded of what Howard Hendricks said almost four decades ago, “In the midst of a generation screaming for answers, Christians are stuttering.”
The saddest part to me about the exchange in the interview mentioned above is that there are Christian young people who listen to Daigle’s music, hear her answer, and become more confused in their hearts regarding their identity.
When Bible-teaching churches embrace worldliness, there is a cost to the church. And that cost is a drift from truth.
Consider this mission statement of a well-known university:
To be plainly instructed and consider well that the main end of your life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ.
Would you ever have guessed that was from Harvard? Founded in 1636, Harvard once employed exclusively Christian professors, emphasized character formation in its students, and rooted all its policies and practices in a Christian worldview. This school served as a bastion of academic excellence and Christian distinction.
As I write, however, the homepage of the website for Harvard Divinity School explains, “HDS offers a rewarding immersion in the world’s faith traditions and theological subjects and creates a broad educational experience where all voices are welcome.” Also on the homepage are links to learning Buddhism and understanding God through Islam. On their about page is a student testimony: “When I came to HDS I worried about how I would fit in as an atheist and Humanist. I found that this is a place of incredible tolerance and interest in stepping beyond the familiar.”
Indeed, drift is possible.
And worse, it’s happening all around us. Many churches today are drifting instead of continuing.
Twenty years ago, the push that brought worldliness was the “seeker-sensitive movement.” Today, the push is an embracing of “culture.” It is true that not all culture is wrong. But it is also true that the world is no friend to the child of God or the local church.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.—1 John 2:15–16
Churches today are so concerned with relevance that the lost world can’t see the difference Christ makes in a life!
We must guard against drift. After all, keeping the faith is not guaranteed. That’s why God commands us to purposefully do it.
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.—1 Corinthians 16:13
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.—2 Thessalonians 2:15
We are seeing a falling away from truth when we should see a standing up for Christ.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;—2 Thessalonians 2:3
If we are to make a true impact for Christ—not just build a large crowd or membership, but see lives changed with the gospel—we must be steadfast in the truth.
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;—2 Timothy 3:12–14