First, my apologies for taking a hiatus from writing the past two weeks. I have priorities, and must meet them...I went fishing at Lake Erie last Monday and was picnicking and fishing this past Memorial Day, but I will do my best to 'catch' up.
Having studied church practices and church preaching, let us now turn towards church pretenders.
What I mean by 'church pretenders' are organizations that say they are a church, but fail to meet our Lord's guidelines in actually being a church. There are many (too many) religious organizations that claim to be a church, but being a church is more than steeples, stain glassed windows, and a sign. There are many places claiming to be a place that 'changes lives and sets people free,but few that hold to doctrine and the Truths of God's Word. Recently, a church member asked me "How to deal with and speak to someone from a non-denominational church." They gave me the name of the 'church' they attended and I began to pray, study, and research that organization. I would tell you to visit their website, but really don't want to promote them in any way, so 'W'hat 'W'ould 'W'e be looking at if we visited that site? We would be at a 'crossroads' that traps many people in their 'net.'
There you could read about a typical non/interdenominational pretend to be church. You can find Jesus' name if you really look hard, but will easily find 100 references to their free coffee! You will realize you can be saved if you believe 'in this stuff.' and that a church is anyone saved who has conversations about 'real stuff.' I hope I have made myself clear, I can't make this stuff up!
You can (but I seriously do not recommend you do) listen to the 'pastors' last sermon on living "Lavishly." That God created us to enjoy pleasure and the reason people have secret addictions and affairs is because they feel guilty openly enjoying pleasure. He preaches to drink (he prefers beer), buy things for your pleasure, and make yourself happy! His four 'points' to his sermon are
1. Do What Feels Good
2. Do things that allow you to lose track of time
3. Do things that renew energy
4. Pleasing yourself with pleasure reminds you how good God is.
This is blasphemy! I do not write this is a spirit of arrogance or vice, but rather of warning; this is what constitutes many 'churches' today. This is not to take us by surprise though. Peter wrote in 2 Peter 2, "But there were false prophets among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bough them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." We must mark them and avoid them! Warn of them! They have alot of 'stuff' to share and say, but that all it is-stuff.
A church is rather to be the pillar and ground of truth (1 Tim. 3:15). We will examine our Lord's true churches and do our best to expose the Devil's false ones.