Sunday, October 28, 2012
The Mutant Church
Temple Baptist Church - 10-28-2012
Matthew 7:15-20; 2 Timothy 3:1-5
A. Our text for this morning is a familiar one because of its relevance to these last days before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Religion (religion is manmade while salvation is God made) has been changing drastically over the past 50-60 years.
1. In the sixties and seventies, the Bible became the subject of attack as wicked men began to cast doubt upon its inerrancy. That attack has remained until this day. I have the Word of God in my hand this morning and anyone who says otherwise is against the clear teaching of Scripture.
2. In the eighties and nineties, the sufficiency of Scripture was targeted. The charismatic movement (with its need for additional revelation from God) and Christian psychology (with its emphasis on neo-Freudian counseling techniques) attempted to undermine the fact that God "has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him," as revealed in Scripture. (2 Peter 1:3).
3. As 20th century drew to a close and we entered into the 21st millennium, the attack on God's revealed truth came in a new way. This time the relevance of Scripture was the point of attack.
4. Today, the attack is upon the clarity of the Scripture. Many of today’s preachers are questioning whether the Bible is clear enough on certain subjects to justify certainty on points of doctrine.
5. The attack upon the clarity of the Scripture has led to an attack upon the purity of the church.
B. Lately, we have seen the rise of several liberal “churches” in our community as well as a drastic change is some of the older ones. It is a phenomenon that needs to be understood because of its affect upon biblical Christianity and the structural relevance of the local church. We now hear terms such as:
1. The “Seeker Sensitive Church Movement” – These try to adapt the local church to the desires of the seekers in an effort to make the sinner feel right at home or comfortable in God’s house. Thus making the sinful seeker comfortable while feeling religious and good about themselves.
2. The “Emerging Church Movement” – These churches question the orthodoxy of the local church. They question the Bible as well as the doctrines, teachings, and traditions of old school or orthodox churches.
3. Movements like these along with the casual, worldly development within traditional churches is a blatant attack upon the holiness and purpose of the local church. We are to contrast the world while standing immovable upon the tenets of the faith found in the King James Bible.
C. The description of the members of the last day church is completely foreign to the biblical picture of the saved saint. These are worldly, arrogant, proud, self-serving, and lost—yet—calling themselves Christian while the biblical believer has experienced a change of life and desires while becoming a new creature in Christ!
D. Since the conception of the local church, it has always remained the same! For almost 2,000 years, the local church has been a “carbon copy” of the church described in Acts 2:41-47. God’s church has and is to remain true to its biblical beginnings in both faith and practice.
E. The word “church” or “ekklesia” means, by definition, a called out assembly. There are three uses of the word “church” in the New Testament:
1. “Church” refers to Israel.
2. “Church” refers to the local church – most references are used in this manner.
3. “Church” refers to the body of Christ.
F. In every reference to the word “church,” the meaning is that of “calling out of” and “separation from.”
1. Israel was called out of and separated from Egypt, a type of the world. Exodus 19:4-5 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. (5) Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
2. The local church is called out of the world and separated from the world. 2 Corinthians 6:14, 17 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? … (17) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
3. The child of God is called out of the world and is to live holy and unblamable in this present evil world. John 17:14-16 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (15) I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. (16) They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
4. The body of Christ will be called out of the world and will be separated from it. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
G. Thus the “mutant church!”
1. Instead of speaking evil of the Bible, they have quietly discarded it by teaching by saying that its relevance is not to be a major priority or it is not clear enough to cause the believer to be dogmatic.
2. As a result of supposed irrelevance and ambiguity, the church that has endured from the days of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles has become outdated and its proponents old fashioned and narrow-minded. Yes, that is this pastor!
H. The “mutant church” of our day is a mutation of the church of God’s making. The “mutant church” is constantly evolving or developing: i.e., changing. Mutation is a term normally used in Biology in relation to species but I think it is a term that is descriptive of what is going on in today’s “churches.”
MUTATION - a sudden departure from the parent type in one or more heritable characteristics, caused by a change in a gene or a chromosome. Malformed or distorted; abnormal!
Concerning the local church, this mutation is caused by a change in the genetic structure: that is, a change from within that causes an outward change or mutation.
1. The “mutant church” appeals to the youth. As the “pied piper of Hamelin,” these modern day preachers have taken aim upon our youth and are whisking them away from our churches. They are proselyting these young people away from the will of God!
a) Because of biblically ignorant pastors who allow both “traditional” and “contemporary” services.
b) Because of biblically ignorant parents who do not see the evils of such teachings and behavior.
c) Because of worldly young people who have cultivated a desire for worldly pleasure and entertainment instead of having a thirst for holiness.
2. The “mutant church” is worldly in its approach to God.
a) It is worldly in its approach to Christ and practices conformity to the world instead of holiness, thus bringing God down to man instead of elevating man to God.
b) It is worldly in its music. Their music is the music of the world with religious lyrics and accompaniment.
c) It is worldly in its praise. Praise leaders are used to “work” the audience and instead of the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of God’s people.
3. The “mutant church” is worldly in its authority of the Scriptures.
a) It places its authority in people instead of the Bible.
b) It replaces the Word of God with modern translations.
c) It tries to conform the Bible to its practices instead of its practices to the Bible.
4. The “mutant church” is worldly in its associations.
a) Their churches are made up of people of all denominations and beliefs who come together to worship.
b) Their churches work hand-in-hand with other non-bible believing churches.
I. The local church, in God’s mind, has never changed in:
1. Its headship - Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
2. Its authority - 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
3. Its structure - 1 Peter 5:2-3 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; (3) Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
4. Its separation - 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
5. Its holiness - 1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
6. Its fellowship - 1 John 1:3-7 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (4) And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. (5) This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (6) If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: (7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
7. Its mission - Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.