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

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Quit Starving the Sheep

I like reading articles by Matt Walsh because from a conservative Christian viewpoint he not only nails the topics about our culture, but also about false teachings in the church (sadly, he doesn’t recognize the false teachings of his own church, the Roman Catholic Church).  Today’s article needs to be shared.  Here is a quote from it to whet your appetite: 

[T]he primary goal of the modern church is to avoid offense, at whatever cost. And this is precisely why they’re dying. The problem is not merely that they’re boring people. After all, there are those who are bored watching anything that doesn’t involve explosions and car chases. The problem more specifically is that they’re starving people. There is no substance, no meat, in the message being preached. The congregants sit there and slowly starve to death.  Your flocks are starving, churches. You are starving them.

John 21 tells us of a conversation between Our Lord and St. Peter. Three times Our Lord tells the apostle to “tend” or “feed” His sheep. You are not feeding us when you serve up a bunch cliches, platitudes, and vapid pop culture references. The sheep need something real. We need to be guided. We need to be taught. We need to be empowered. We need to be called to repentance. We need to hear about sin and redemption and Heaven and Hell. We are confused. We need explanation. We need to be told how to navigate the spiritual minefield of modern culture. We need something to hold onto. Something to think about as we return to our daily lives. Something real. Something true. Something unsettling. Something dangerous. Something incredible. Something religious.


Martha said...

Walk into a church these days, and the congregation will assume you are unsaved and tell you too:

1) Watch Trinity Broadcasting Network
2) Read the books from their church libraries (Joyce Meyer and Kenneth Copeland anyone?)
3) Join a small group (Where the leadership can extract information from you and run to the pastor so he can have some fresh new material for his next sermon that he extracts from the Internet)
4) Join a Bible Study (Where you never crack open your Bibles, just sit and gossip about everyone in the church and in the community, plus overdosing on junk food and coffee. I always left "knowing more insider information" about people than I did the Scriptures....so much for coming together and confessing one another's sins as the God commands us to do....and why would a person desire to do that when you are surrounded by gossips!)
5) Make a pilgrimage down to the International House of Prayer so you can come back and boast and brag about how spiritual Mike Bickle is and how much more you are in love with a jesus figure during testimony time.
6) Make sure you compliment the pastor on every sermon to "encourage" him and applaud the "Praise Team" and church leadership for we are all "blessed (?)" to have their superior spirituality amongst us and to show your appreciation.
7) Make sure you tithe because it's God's money and His wrath will come upon you if you don't.
8) Make sure your children are attending Awana for the sweet games and all of the rewards they receive from learning Scriptures....then they can "buy" all kinds of toys in the "reward room" from all of the holy tickets they have "earned." WOW!
9) Make sure you entrust them to the Youth Group leader for they were put there by god....and secretly behind scenes, they are taking the youth to planned parenthood to get birth control pills....parents unaware....and yes, this happened!
10) Make sure you go up to the deacons during the "prayer time" of the service with your prayer concerns, so they can "speak in tongues" over you (and you are standing there listening to jibberish knowing fully when these aren't tongues), as well as hearing from another congregant about your prayer concern due to the flapping tongues of the deacons and deaconesses.....confidentiality isn't one the virtues of today's church folk.
11) And last but not least, if you don't really care for any of the above; church folks, you know, the ones who thought you were unsaved when you arrived and still think this because you didn't oooh and ahhh over their higher plain of spirituality, will quit love bombing you and make your life miserable because all you wanted was to read, study, and meditate upon the Holy Scriptures and believe and follow Jesus, the Christ.

But Jesus was no where to be found amongst that visible church in the first place.

And the funny thing is....I personally believe that if Jesus were to walk amongst us today, it would be the visible church that would rise up and crucify Him all over again because there's a famine in our land....we no longer recognize our own sins, thus repentance rarely occurs because we have been led to believe that we are our own gods. And the unchurched person is more likely to way "I'm truly sorry" than a church member who believes "I don't do anything wrong because I'm the king's kid!" Yes, I have heard that said many times from churched folk.

Sorry Glen for the diatribe...I ran away from an abusive church as described above and it still hurts tremendously. It was more of a cult than a church where the pastor, church board, and others in leadership rule with heavy hands and mouths, and there is no outward appearance of humility, only gross pride.

And you can delete this if it offends you or others, for I don't desire to trigger anxiety in my co-heirs in Christ Jesus.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Sadly, there are way too many assemblies as you describe. I've never been to one that bad (the sort you describe are mostly of the charismatic bent, but if you dropped the charismania parts it would describe so many legalistic assemblies), but we've been to those who were once solid but began importing the modern market-driven/seeker-sensitive ideologies and forgot their first love.

I'm not deleting your comment, because it is good first-hand witness to the sort of rot that Walsh is talking about.

I'm not offended or "triggered" and if there are readers who are affected that way, then I'd wonder where there beliefs are. My whole blog has often offended and "triggered" people -- but the truth does that sometimes.

Anonymous said...


Ok, we've never been in an assembly with that kind of charismatic bent, but we've absolutely seen the same problems. It's usually been that, instead of hearing the unvarnished written word, and having genuine community (including prayer and sincere fellowship), you're subjected to an endless parade of celebrity teachers of various stripes, with no regard for any of their doctrinal errors, or in some cases (best example here, Driscoll) their grossly disqualifying behavior (in Driscoll's case, never qualified from the get-go, no matter which big names propped him up).

Many times the leadership will not accept if you question them, and I could go into the varied reactions one gets from doing this, none pleasant suffice to say. And this authoritarian attitude (that you ran from; as have we) that can permeate leadership... we've seen that in many different types of churches, not it's not restricted to one "camp".

Then there's entertainment-centered sermons. Empty praise music. Ridiculous children's programs (and we also share concern with the way awana is structured). Oh - and women's ministry. Forgot that gem. Glenn has repeatedly addressed the endless problems with the usual suspects that are often used to "feed" us women and our sisters (hence why I NEVER go to women's anything!!!). Never mind the church cliques and the gossip mill. Point these things out, and you'll only get trite remarks like "well, there's no perfect church".

Like you said, "And the unchurched person is more likely to way "I'm truly sorry" than a church member who believes "I don't do anything wrong because I'm the king's kid!"" UNFORTUNATELY THIS IS OFTEN TRUE.

The name of the Lord is blasphemed among Jews and Gentiles due to this kind of behavior by those in the church. The world can see the hypocrisy of a church that, for example, takes strong stands (including declarations, statements, and manifestos) on moral issues in our country while we do things like conceal s*xual abuse of minors in our assemblies, or reinstate adulterous pastors to ministry. We are not going to see repentance in this country until we clean our own house out. Period. Judgment begins where???

Please note, in some cases, I do believe that there are churches that mean well. I do not think all churches intentionally bring harmful things into the fold. I also believe good churches can slide in the wrong direction due to a variety of reasons. However, the absolute dearth of discernment in most assemblies is a massive culprit to this problem. Even in good churches, it's amazing what doctrinal errors float around in the congregation.

Couple the lack of discernment with the unbiblical "let's fill this church with unsaved, unconverted people" mentality (church is what? and for whom?), and other problems like a heavy handed view of leadership (as you described so accurately), a law/performance based system of relating to God, and the sheep suffer.

I agree with Glenn, your comment should stand. It may give anxiety to some, but for many, who have witnessed the same things as you, your words will be a comfort and encouragement.


Anonymous said...

PS: the part about churches that conceal gross sin against children, while that does unfortunately happen in individual, "unknown" assemblies, what I'm specifically referring to are the more high-profile, publicly known situations, such as the Sovereign Grace scandal, Bob Jones, Gothard, and recently, that Christian school in Tennessee (I think TN) with the horrific assault on a middle school aged boy. Nonetheless, all of it - all of it - whether these vile things are happening at the little church on the corner, or in a major Christian institution - is a stench to the heavens. The world sees these things and rightly can call us hypocrites.


Martha said...

Thank-you Glen. And Carolyn too.

You brought up an important point, Carolyn, concerning questioning the leadership and doctrines. Even asking a question "offends" tyrannical types of church leadership, especially the ones who should NEVER be placed in such a position for they do not know how to lead with a humble servant heart.

I, personally, had a "drunk in a spirit" experience in an Assembly of God church where Tom Stamman from Impact International Ministries was the visiting "pastor." He persuaded us to come to the front where he proceeded to give us the "anointing" one at a time and by then, my brain was in an alpha state from all of the serene, repetitive chanting and singing, and it was entirely possible that we were hypnotized to a certain extent. When this happens in a church service, the pew sitters' brains shut down and the power of suggestion from a pastor or leader becomes extremely powerful. As Stamman touched my forehead with his hand, I fell to the floor gently for the catchers behind me prevented any injury that would occur. And to describe my bizarre experience was anything but godly, it became demonic because no where in the Bible, does it begin to describe this as being from God, the Holy Spirit.

And when I shared this experience with those in that Baptist church years later, stating "drunk in the spirit experiences are demonic," I was quickly chastised and corrected by a deaconess (she grew up Mennonite) telling me that she was a Christian longer than me so I didn't know any better, plus you can find being drunk in the spirit in the Book of Acts.

This is only one of a myriad of examples in which many of us were talked down too and led to believe we didn't have God, the Holy Spirit, living inside of us because we didn't subscribe to the lying signs and wonders movement. And as far as I'm concerned, when you don't accept all of this fake religion, church people who say they have a "heart" for jesus, can be pretty wicked and evil and make your life miserable in small communities, when you choose to follow the Jesus of the Scriptures instead of their jesus. Guess they'll have to continue to believe that jesus came to make us healthy, wealthy, and prosperous.....but I will continue to choose to believe that He came to save me from my sins so that I may dwell with Him eternally forever.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Yeah, those charismaniacs always abuse that Acts passage to say they were drunk in the spirit, but no such thing is even hinted at. They hate it when you hit them with the truth. We've also left churches in the past when we were told that our concerns were wrong and they knew better than us about Scripture. Yeah, PHOOEY on them. If they go against the Word, I'm gone.

Anonymous said...


You are welcome. May the Lord refresh your spirit after enduring such awful things, things wrongly done in Jesus's name.

"I will continue to choose to believe that He came to save me from my sins so that I may dwell with Him eternally forever." AMEN!