We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spiritual AIDS

The message today, at the church we are visiting, was about getting back to the fundamentals.  The pastor gave many statistics about how many Bibles are in American homes, as well as about how few people actually read their Bibles.  Of course we can expect the lack of reading from unbelievers, but the statistics about how few Christians actually read their Bibles is quite disheartening.

But, then again, it really isn’t surprising when one considers the hundreds of thousands of “Christians” following false teachers.  They don’t read their Bibles so they don’t realize what they are being taught is unbiblical, and therefore they have no idea what real Christian doctrine is.  G. Richard Fisher, a retired pastor who is also a member of the board of directors for Personal Freedom Outreach apologetics ministry, calls this “Spiritual AIDS - Acquired Ignorance of Doctrine Syndrome.”

I couldn’t help but think to myself that one of the problems helping to cause “Spiritual AIDS” is the music brought into the Church.  Where in the past the hymns were rich with Christian doctrine, most of what we have in the Church today is pap.  Oh it leads people to be emotional about Jesus, but I’m not sure the Jesus they are emotional about is the Jesus of the Bible—especially when the songs are of the “Jesus is my boyfriend” genre.  What is really a serious problem, though, is that the songs we sing are no longer a “common language” of the Church—every assembly seems to have their own “flavor” of music, so that the person from New York who travels to Wyoming can no longer recognize the songs of worship!

I have, in many past articles, examined some of the newer songs as well as older hymns; check the articles under the label “Hymns/songs.”  You will see many with rich doctrine, but you will also see how much of the more modern stuff has no, or virtually no, doctrine. 

So even though most Christians attend assemblies on a regular basis, they don’t get into the Word at home and they sing insipid, “feel good” songs and choruses which aren’t a common language.  Most are attending seeker sinner-sensitive or market-driven assemblies where doctrine is also shallow.  Those who choose to read are reading books from popular teachers (Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, et al) who have more false teachings than any good they may have—and pastors are not warning against these teachers from the pulpit!

Is it any wonder that the vast majority of the Church suffers from Spiritual AIDS?  Is it any wonder that it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish between a believer and a non-believer?

The lesson today was an encouragement to get into the Word of God, to remember that the Bible—both Old and New Testament—is for our instruction.  It is also for our salvation.  It is also our protection against false teachings.

Read the Word; peruse it and study it.  And then live it.


Anonymous said...

I have to agree with your post, Glen. As the music became more influenced by the band atmosphere, thus creating more of a party spirit, the focus of our worship has evolved from worshiping our LORD Jesus Christ, to basically worshiping the worship leader and his family, the worship band and praising them for all of the time they have dedicated to the "show", and to worshiping man with songs that focus on "I, I, I", "me, me, me", accompanied by physical gestures that "prove" we are more spiritual that those around us.

Case in point, I had a member of the worship band once say, and I quote, "I can tell from the stage, who is more spiritual in their worship. The ones that raise their hands are more into the worship than the ones that just stand there." So the worship band now judges who is more spiritual by outward physical signs, how interesting.

Also, Glen, this may not directly apply to your post, but may offer some insight as to the state of our 501c. 3 churches in this age. In attending most churches these days, the Bible is rarely lifted up as the final authority amongst the masses. For when we began attending the last Baptist church, the women began to indoctrinate me with their favorite flavors of authors/books, speakers and conferences, cd's and tapes, magazines/publications, and pet manifestation doctrines not found in our Scriptures. Another words, in order to fit into this type of church, especially the women's groups, I had to become one of them, and the most broken aspect of the whole church experience was,

no one, no, not a one promoted God's Word as the final authority in all matters of life. Not one person said "You must read your Bible, study and meditate on it daily to grow in our faith in Jesus alone."

So while I agree that party music is leading us into apostasy, I will also confess that men and women within the 501c. 3 have become addicts and slaves to men and women, in worshiping their writings/works far above our LORD. It breaks one's heart when during the sermon message, the pastor focuses on his life stories with only one Scripture read and no expounding upon God's truths. So tired of hearing of pastor's cute little stories about themselves and their families when he could be teaching us what the parable mean, as an example.

And just because I chose not to follow the Todd Bentleys, Larry Hucks, Paula Whites, Benny Hinns, Joyce Meyers, Smith Wigglesworths, Yongi Chos, John Pipers, John MacArthurs, Francis Chans, Mike Bickles, Ron Luces, Chuck Pierces, and every Christian band out there, does mean that I am a born again Christian made in the image of God. It grieves me to no end how the evangelical subculture looks like the rest of this world.

And when you hear an elder stand up in church during praise and blessing time and say, "God spoke to me and told me to get a tattoo with this Scripture verse," then you shall know that it is time to run, run, run far away from that building, for now the spirits are leading that church, and not the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Well, like I said, music is only PART of the problem. The main problem is that the Christians themselves don't know their Bible - have forgotten the basics (or never learned them) - and so can't tell if the guy in the pulpit is a shepherd or a wolf.

And I agree that a major problem is the virtual worship of the writings of all these other people rather than going to the source - the BIBLE.

As the pastor yesterday said, sometimes we just have to hold a Bible up and say, "THIS IS A BIBLE," and start from there.