There are those things that just have to be done sometimes. Even if it’s uncomfortable. Even if it provokes some blowback. Even if there are a million other things one would rather do; things more appealing; even more interesting.
So it is we at Bethel Church have experienced a brief but important sermon series entitled, “Lies the Church Believes.” Throughout much of August we have explored the lie telling us that the prosperity gospel is legitimate. We’ve come to discover, much to our dismay, that so much of the thinking behind the prosperity gospel so valiantly preached by the likes of Osteen and Copeland and Hinn is ancient gnosticism. Who would of thought?
We have also explored the lie which tells us that unity is more important than theology. “Can’t we all just get along?” we want to shout. And sure, getting along is fine–indeed, preferred. But not at the expense of doctrinal integrity. There are in fact some things worth fighting for.
And dying for.
Our attention was then turned to the deception that tells us that tradition is more important than the mission of the church. Contrary to the common law of too many congregations, wherein traditionalism rules the day and our calling before the Most High God must yield to mantras like, “Well, we’ve never done it that way before!”, we are on a mission that requires unwavering commitment. The time is short and the needs are great, and zillions of men and women are going straight to hell for lack of belief in Christ. And we want to argue about pictures on a wall.
And, of course, the final lie to which we gave our attention was the one telling us that tolerance is more important than righteousness. This, inevitably, requires some acknowledgment of the fact that too many denominations today are allowing what I call a cult of tolerance to invade their midst. So it is that homosexuals are being ordained as pastors and priests, abortion on demand continues to be encouraged, and clergy sexual abuse remains rampant. And all in the name of, well, tolerance. Surprisingly, we’ve come to understand that this reflects a template found in ancient Israel, when a queen named Jezebel brought the worship of a Canaanite god named Baal into land. The axis of evil–homosexuality, child sacrifice, and molestation of minors–defined the worship of Baal. No small wonder we hear Jesus chastising the church of Thyatira in Revelation 2 for its willingness to host “Jezebel” and all of her sexual sins. To quote Solomon: there is nothing new under the sun.
And, yes, sometimes churches just need to say these things. Some things just have to be done sometimes.
Even if it’s uncomfortable.