Ponderings on Modern American Churchianity

Warning!  Some degree of cynicism included.

Too much of modern Christianity is not Christianity at all, but is rather baptized paganism.

The real problem with this isn’t that this is the case.  The problem is when people don’t know this.

If Jesus were to appear again, here and now, as a man among us, his teachings would not be well received among most of his “followers”.

American Christianity is only slightly better than European Christianity, which is only a thin veneer of Christianity laid over Druidism and Shamanism, mixed with a congenital and cultural bent on the perpetual pursuit of dominating others.

There is no “Christian culture”, only cultures influenced to some degree by Christianity.

If Jesus were to address some of our Independent Fundamental Baptist Associations, he could use some of the same sermons he preached to the Pharisees. 

Most of the modern preachers who use the word “relevant” really mean by that term, “hip”.

The most relevant things among us today are not “hip”.  They are transcendent.

The things that society recognizes as hip are almost completely void of real value.

If something has no real importance or transcendent value it is irrelevant.

Culture worship is just another form of idolatry and is just as sinful as any other form of idolatry.

The ancient pagan belief in “magic words” is a definite factor in such issues as the “Prayer of Jabez” craze, the “Word of Faith” movement, “quickie evangelism”,  and “ other errors among Christians today.  Once you see this, it is hard to ignore it.

“1-2-3 repeat after me” evangelism has sent more souls to hell than liquor and drugs combined.

When you can see Satan work, it is only his very lowest rank of demons involved.  A high ranking demon will be more invisible and likely to pose as one of Christianity’s great champions.  

What is good for the local church is good for Christianity.

What is bad for the local church is bad for Christianity.

90% of what we do in Jesus’ name is actually man-made filler.

The ones we often deem as not being very good Christians may be the best of Christ’s followers.

The ones we often deem as being good Christians may be the worst of Christ’s followers.

Those who are the quickest to judge others are themselves ripe for judgment.

A truly spiritual man is more strict on himself than he is on others.

A truly carnal man is more strict on others than he is on himself.

The Christians who rate the highest in heaven are most likely unknown to most of us.

We have sold Christianity so cheaply for so long that many people no longer value it at all.

Holiness is not the absence of sinful appetites, but the conscious awareness of, and careful control of them.  Otherwise only those who are comatose are truly holy.

Hormonal deficiency is not to be confused with sexual morality.

Lack of ambition is not to be confused with meekness.

Poor self esteem is not to be confused with humility.

Until we are in heaven, we will struggle against something.  This is the best anyone gets.

Many subscribe to certain “convenient doctrines” not because they are derived from sound exegesis, but because they allow one to be a Christian while having it easier than other Christians.

Too many Christians are willing to reject, and even defame their brethren, over things that God doesn’t care anything about.

If it isn’t relevant to all peoples of the earth, in all generations through history, then maybe it isn’t really relevant anywhere at any time.

If there were a shop where working voodoo dolls were sold, some church members would pay any price to get one, put their pastor’s likeness on it, and spend every waking moment sticking pins in it.

The ones who claim to be the most spiritual in a church, and want others to know it, are often the most carnal and wicked people in the community.

If evil is defined by how it hurts the local church, then some faithfully attending church members are far more wicked than the neighborhood hookers, drunks, drug pushers, and thieves.

In all my experience with church work, I have never lost a single member or suffered a lying slander due to the efforts of a lost, unchurched sinner.  I have experienced both from church members.

If a veteran pastor were to reveal all he knows that is true about his detractors, he could ruin their reputations with the entire community.  Yet these same individuals will ungratefully invent anything they can to ruin this same pastor.

Pastoring a church is the most important profession in the world.  We should not be surprised that Satan’s highest ranking demons infiltrate and hinder it.  Even Jesus had his Judas.

Whenever Christ acquired large crowds he would strongly challenge them until many, if not most, left.

Whenever Jesus confronted potential converts, he placed a barrier in front of them that they had to cross.  He never downplayed the cost of conversion.

When Christ wrote His 7 letters to the churches, His primary concern was that they had too many of the wrong kind of people in the group.  He thought their numbers were too high.

Jesus appears to be less interested in the numerical success of a church as He is in the health of a church.

A healthy church will, in time, achieve true numerical success.

Many churches that show numerical “success” are, in fact, the sickest, least effectual churches in church history.  Yet, they often become the models.

As long as church associations and fellowships feature only the large, well attended churches, as models of how things should be done, we will not have true revival.

When we can attend seminars and hear a pastor tell how he thinned his previously large crowd by following Jesus’ teachings, example, and Holy Spirit leading, we may begin to see real revival.

Setting up a church to appeal to “seekers” is very close if not identical to gearing a church around career Christ rejecters. 

Seekers should turn into finders and do so very soon upon hearing the gospel.  If they are continually comfortable in their state of unbelief, then the church that made them comfortable may be doing Satan’s highest work. 

Whatever you do to get a crowd is what you will have to do to keep a crowd.

Jesus, John Baptist, Peter, Paul, James, in fact all the apostles and every faithful preacher since have made unbelievers uncomfortable until they repented and believed, or tried to kill them.

Modern American Christianity, oddly, does not evangelize like Jesus did, nor as his Apostles taught.

Modern American Christianity has become the cheaply paid prostitute of an apostate society.

For every genuine convert gotten by use of quickie evangelism, there are 10 that are effectively immunized against the saving gospel.

Equally true, failure to draw in the net is cowardice and laziness of the most damning kind.

If an airplane full of average American clergymen were to crash into the ocean, the man-eating sharks there would still have nothing to eat.

If even just the Baptists in the United States would have presented a truly masculine form of Christianity, Islam would have made very little inroads into the American community.

A Christianity that is void of demands is a Christianity void of importance.

Relevance is never as important as importance.

During the times when becoming a Christian carried the highest price, the church grew in a genuine way.

During the times when becoming a Christian was easy, the church either declined, failed to grow, or it grew larger but weaker.

Since the majority of souls saved and discipled each year are converted in churches running 200 or less, why are those churches not the models for church growth?


Cooperation is a great thing.  Many things can be achieved by one man working all alone.  Art, music, writing, craftsmanship, and a good number of other things can be done by one person who applies himself to his task and then present this work, as a blessing, to others.  There are some things, however, that require teamwork.  The talents and toil of numbers of people, working together in harmony, is necessary for a business to operate, a school to perform its charter, an army to defend a country, or a church to fulfill its commission. 

The local church, as the body of Christ, is composed of many members who are part of the whole, "For the body is not one member, but many."  'But now are they many members, yet one body." (I Cor. 12:14&20)  The analogy of a body is a fitting picture of how God would have us to view our church.  A healthy body has all its parts working, but not only working, they must work in harmony with all the other parts!  For example, if you have a perfectly good heart, but that heart does not respond to the increased needs of oxygen to the body, due to exercise, then the body is limited and weakened.  It may be capable of pumping to whatever degree required, but if communication breaks down then it will not serve the body well.  It could be said that the heart is faulty because it does not show up to the level the body requires when needed.  Also one may have a perfectly good eye, but it this eye wanders around on its own instead of working with the other eye, the focus will be off and the body cannot function properly.

All too often, a church can be just like that malfunctioning body.  The parts may be good but, without communication and coordination, the body is weakened.  The Holy Spirit dwells inside of each of us and serves to help us communicate on the same level.  This is why we must walk closely with Christ and allow his Spirit to rule in our hearts.  It is the ministry of the Spirit of God to join us together, move us to compassion, and direct our energies to a healthy sense of Christian unity. 

Worship, fellowship, and working together in Christian service connects us as the body of Christ.  Whenever we meet, whether it is an actual worship service, or a scheduled time of fellowship, we are able to practice the spirit of cooperation that is essential to achieve a healthy body life.  When we are close, we will naturally communicate and cooperate.  If we are detached and distant from fellowship, we will begin to weaken as a viable participant in the body.

How about you?  Are you connected?  Are you performing your role in the life of your church?  Perhaps God is calling you to a closer walk with him.  If you draw closer to Christ, he will lead you to draw closer to others too.  These are the people Christ wants use to bless your life and these are the people that he wants you to bless.  There is no effective Christianity unless it is practiced in the world of "one another".  How about the church services?  Are you looking forward, with enthusiasm, to each meeting with your brothers and sisters?  Are you hungry for the Word of God?  Is the church calendar the priority in your weekly schedule? 

I encourage you, dear friend, to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit which dwells inside you.  He will lead you to close communion with Christ and loving harmony with your Christian family.  We have much to do.  We need all the various "body" parts healthy and working together!


"The purpose of Christianity is not to avoid difficulty, but to produce a character adequate to meet it when it comes. It does not make life easy; rather it tries to make us great enough for life."  --  James L. Christensen

    "All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen." --  Ralph Waldo Emerson

     "Religion today is not transforming people; rather it is being transformed by the people. It is not raising the moral level of society; it is descending to society's own level, and congratulating itself that it has scored a victory because society is smilingly accepting its surrender."    A. W. Tozer

Pot Luck Dinners

Holding "Pot Luck Dinners" is a long cherished church tradition.  Churches are famous for this type of fellowship where people just show up, with whatever they have prepared, and with little or no menu coordination, end up with a pretty well rounded meal with a surprising variety of good things to eat.  We somehow develop a running idea of who does what and end up with a success.

Oh, sometimes there may be too much potato salad and not enough green vegetables.  Sometimes there may be way more fried chicken than any other kind of meat, but for the most part it works out that everyone gets plenty to eat and it isn't too hard on any one person.  We share the work load and enjoy the food we all brought.

The success of a pot luck or anything else in life depends on what we bring into it.  What we bring is what is on the table.   What we bring is what we have to work with.  Church life is like that.  The quality of our services depends on each participant bringing his or her best.  Whether it be the choir number, the scripture reading, the music or the sermon, diligent and loving preparation results in a good spiritual table spread for the benefit of all who attend.  The Holy Spirit often surprises us with his "higher planning" as some call it, and we see that the harmonious exercise of spiritual gifts resulting in real worship. 

While the services are conducted with what is brought by those on the platform, there is also a very important factor that can make or break any given service.  What did YOU bring, as an individual, in the area of personal preparedness?  What expectations did you bring?  What prayers did you make anticipating God's presence?  What attitude came in the door with you?  What plans did you make to be a blessing to someone else today?  These types of things are what we bring with us to worship. The collective contributions of all of us makes up the spiritual meal.  We feast from a common table.

If you bring love, you will get to partake of love and enjoy the love another brought!  If you bring faith, you will enjoy faith and see it increased!  If you bring optimism and enthusiasm you will also find that others brought their healthy energies as well and the feast becomes a buffet table of blessings! 

We also bring our appetites.  Our hunger for God will determine just how much we benefit from the spiritual table.  If we are weak we can take a good serving of strength.  If we are sad, we can feast on joy.  If we have need of forgiveness and restoration to fellowship, we can find God's grace and draw closer to Him. 

What do you plan to bring to the table of life today?  In the work place or in class, others will bring something too.  Maybe some of it isn't even good to eat.  But, if enough people will bring their best, the sharing will result in all true souls getting what they need.  Bring it with you.  Put your best stuff on the table.  I can’t help but believe that God will work it out that you get your own needs met.