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

Friday, January 13, 2017

It is Becoming More Difficult to Find a Good Church

When the majority of church-going Christians are not taught biblical truth month after month and year after year, they become prey to false teachings.  It is only by feeding on God’s Word on a continual basis that we are protected from deception.  Interestingly, most of the mail I receive comes from the laity.  Much of the time, it is not pastors who are concerned and looking for answers—it is church members.  Disturbed by the direction of their churches, these concerned members are challenging leadership, though they are often discouraged by their pastors from saying anything.  The are told that they are overreacting.  If they persist they are made to feel like agitators or troublemakers, made to feel unwelcome and eventually asked to leave.  Many of those people write me, asking the same question: “Where do I go now?  Where is there a church that will teach the Word of God every week?”  With tens of thousands of churches adopting the new church mentality, that is becoming a hard question to answer.

Brian Flynn, Running Against the Wind, pg.211


Anonymous said...

This is sadly very common.


Anonymous said...

I personally, am sick and tired of hearing "cute little stories" about the pastor and his family, his life, his life applications regarding himself and the Bible (he calls them testimonies to witness to the congregation.) I have attended church after church, most mainline denominations, and what I hear during "praise and blessing time," is self boasting and bragging, and during "sermon time," consists of one Scripture read out of the Bible, and the remainder, "pastor story time." And the story time portion is always about himself.

I am sorry, but I do not desire or want to be like the pastor, his wife, or his family, and I do not want to hear cute little stories about worshiping the pastor, his leadership team, or clap for the 'worship band/praise band' or any type of human praising.....that seems to be all we do in the post modern church.....worship men and women.

No longer is it Jesus' Words that we are hearing, nor are most churches truly following Him, for that would surely ensue persecution of some sort.

I learned a great, horrible thing about the modern conservative church following my surgery. I learned that we are to make wonderful meals and make home visits to those who are the pastors, the leadership, or those who are deemed "important" by the religious system, when they fall prey to sickness/hardship. BUT, when one of us lower laity folks suffers the same issues of life, we are left as that wounded along side of the road with the most religious amongst us, just walking past us, offering no love, no help, or no assistance what so ever.

This is why I believe that many who have come out of the pseudo religious Christian church system, are actually following JESUS more, than those who hold 501c. 3 church membership cards. For in truth, it was a few born again Christ followers (un-501c. 3 churched members) that actually brought a few meals over to my home, visited me for a few minutes, and said they would be praying for me for a safe recovery.

And when I speak this truth, my heart aches, and yet, I can still rejoice, fully knowing that Jesus' and His Ways are so much different than what I have experienced in the corporate church. And this is also why, when sharing the Gospel with unbelievers and believers alike, it is so simple and easy to point souls to Jesus, and NEVER a denominational church system. And at the end of the day, I am thankful for this experience, for it opened my eyes up and filled my heart with love for those who are neglected and abused by the visible church system.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Glen,

I forgot to identify myself above.

Martha....."healed by the Hand of God," to Him be the glory, praise and honor.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Glenn!

Thanks for the books you've sent my wife and I. Thanks also for your stand with biblical Christianity!

A few years ago, as you may remember, we discussed this very topic. my position was that about 95% of American Churchianity was apostate, or at least far into heresies.
You felt the number was closer to 50%. Question? What % are they today? (Not that either of us was right or wrong, but perhaps the falling away has increased?)

My position is based upon the bible's clear teaching of the fact that all genuine believers are clergy and that there is no laity clergy divide as practiced in the jesus Inc. franchises. Thus to me the system isn't broken but rather is another's system. Jesus called it, "The deeds of the Nicolaitans, which deeds He hates." Nico being where Nike comes from and this to conquer. Laitans = laity, thus to conquer the laity.

If Rome's system is the "mother of harlots," which many scholars believe, then who are her daughters, but that which has come out of her, and the Jesuits seek to bring back in. (Now I am not talking about the genuine movement of the Reformation but rather what has sought to overtake that movement.) 55,000 denominations and growing, with most heading back to Rome as we live!

Christ's Ekklesia of lively stones never was, isn't now nor ever will be prevailed against by hell's gates!

we hope to one day soon meet you and your bride, perhaps as we travel through Iowa later this year on our way to see family in Nebraska. Would you be open to lunch on us in the Des Moines area if we can get schedules to mesh?

Again, thank you for all you have done and are doing, brother!

Mickey Merrie

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


I think you are over-generalizing just a bit, and apparently because you've suffered under leadership such as you described. The assembly we attend has great concern for the laity, and in the two years we've attended I've not seen anything close to what you describe, but have seen many, many incidents where requests are made for meals, etc for members of the congregation who have suffered illness or loss.

Even in the assembly we left due to their drift into market-driven/seeker-sensitive mentality, the laity was always the focus of care.

I think there is too much assault by people nowadays on the "501c" issue. The tax-exemption of churches has a long history because of the ability of the government to control the church with taxes. The only problem arose when a few decades back a law was made that stated tax-exempt status meant the church couldn't promote any particular political issue or candidate. I see a lot of move in congress to revoke that law.

The abuse of the tax exempt status is by those who are enriching themselves off of the congregations, such as the Joel Osteens and Creflo Dollars.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Mickey,

I think the percentage of the church falling into apostasy or heresy is increasing year by year, and perhaps even month by month, but I wouldn't want to quantify it, because we really don't hear much about those who are standing firm.

As for laity vs clergy, it's really just a convenient way to speak about the shepherds vs the flock. I tend to use those terms only when discussing issues with people who use those terms. I tend to speak of the "laity" as members or congregants.

The N.T. Church did have a separation of shepherds and flock, as they were led by elders. Elder-led assemblies are biblical as far as that leadership style is properly followed.

As for meeting you, I'm fine with that. Use my email for contact in that regard, of course :oD

Bro. Nick Nicholas said...

It is my understanding that Martha and Mickey both have valid points - for in most cases there is a non-Biblical emphasis about the difference between the 'clergy' and the 'laity'.

Personally - I am most fortunate to have found a congregation to worship with - but I will not join their denomination because I do not believe that they are Biblically valid.

My Biblical understanding - and personal experience is that there is indeed an ever-increasingly rapid 'falling away' from "the faith" - just as was Biblically Prophesied long ago:
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land,
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the LORD:
And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east,
they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.
They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth;
and, The manner of Beer–sheba liveth;
even they shall fall, and never rise up again."
(Amos 8:11-14 ~ AV)

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


I think there can be too much quibbling over semantics with "clergy" vs "laity," or whatever the leaders are called vs the non-leadership. It is biblical to have a leadership over the assembly.

I don't understand why you would worship with a congregation which is part of a denomination which you feel is not biblically valid; if the denomination isn't valid, then what is that assembly doing remaining with it?!?!

There will indeed be more and more apostasy as we get nearer and nearer to our Lord's return, as the Bible consistently states.

Bro. Nick Nicholas said...


I worship with a Pentecostal congregation in which one of the denomination doctrines is that to 'speaking in tongues' is a manifestation that you are saved. I have never 'spoken in tongues' - but neither the Pastor nor the congregation has ever made an issue of it - and they are very caring group of brothers and sister "in Christ Jesus our Lord".
The Pastor is an older man who teaches very soundly from the Holy Bible [AV].
It is my personal understanding that 'the speaking in tongues' is not a damning doctrine - that is the reason that I understand that I have been led to worship with them since shortly after the 'going home to Glory' of my wife - Nick

Bro. Nick Nicholas said...


I apologize for the very poorly worded portion of my first comment - 'Personally - I am most fortunate to have found a congregation to worship with - but I will not join their denomination because I do not believe that they are Biblically valid.'
- I should have said that there are denominational doctrines that I do not agree with - but are not 'salvation issues'.
Bro. Nick

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Yeah, those types forget that Paul said that not everyone speaks in tongues.