We’ve all heard comments about the wolf in sheep’s clothing. We all relegate that in the spectrum of Christianity to the liberals and false teachers under the umbrella of “Christianity.” I would like to suggest that today we have little ways in which it is really the devil creeping under that umbrella — slowly but surely sneaking into the church and its activities.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 states, “For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
We normally relate this to the false teaching that is made to look like truth. We do have a serious problem with this today. The churches divorce rate is currently about the same as the worlds. We have accepted the world philosophy of, try it you’ll like it. If you don’t, divorce it.
We are also seeing more and more unsaved people as church members. Some are even on the boards of previously sound churches. Indeed, I have been told of unsaved sitting on the boards of fundamental churches.
The Devil has been copying the Lord’s ways, means and ideas since the beginning.
I trust that you will take this section as with a grain of salt until you do some thinking about it on your own in future days, but I have been tossing it around a lot over a long period of time, and feel that there is a bunch of truth in it.
In this study I would like to just think of the devil’s influence on the church. He doesn’t have to copy the church or the Lord’s doings, He now just has to wait a few months until the church copies the world’s ways and he has his stuff into the church at the church’s invitation.
Just what are some of these items that we, the church, copy?
What I’m about to say may not be bad, but consider it — beware of it — act on it.
1. When I was growing up the rock and roll stations introduced us to the top 40. Today we have top forties of Western, Blue Grass, Popular, Rock, Heavy Metal And now Christian Music. We have Christian rock, Christian rap and I recently heard music that was an attempt to copy the New Age music recently.
2. We have had toy action figures with us for a number of years, at least since Star Wars, and in the late 80’s we were introduced to Bible Action Figures.
3. We have for years had Sunday School songs and choruses, but now we have Christian words put to everyday tunes of the world. (Brother John, I’ve Been Worken on The Railroad etc.)
4. The world gave us heavy metal and the church now has Christian Heavy Metal.
5. Historical novels have been with us for years and years but the Christians of our time just have to have their Christian Historical Novels based on the lives of Biblical characters.
6. How about Bible Trivia? The terms in the title of that game ought to say enough to help us understand our subject in this study — Bible — Trivia. Really.
7. I walked into a Christian’s home in the late 80’s and noticed several Jr. Hi. age young people playing Bible Pictionary. One of the young people was exploding with excitement because she had the answer first, and she hollered at the top of her lungs, “The Blood of Christ……” I really think that the blood of Christ should have a little more dignity than that.
8. The rock groups had their guitars, bass guitars, keyboards and now so do the churches.
9. We need to have a good evangelism program so we are out there using memorized programs that have been set up by people that are near commercial quality. Why do we need a spit and polish program when we don’t need it. If we needed it, we would have first and second evangelism not Romans.
Others use questionnaires to get the people to talk to them. The use of questionnaires is not wrong, unless it is a tool to get in the door. If you are really interested in the answers to the questions, and plan on using that information, then surveys are okay. If you use it for a door opener, consider a study of ethics.
10. The world has given their employees packages of benefits and pay and termed it many things, but today we have many pastors that judge a prospective church on the pay package that they offer. Within the pay package are items such as:
salary, parsonage allowance, travel, conference expenses, vacation pay, clothing allowance, medical insurance, social security, retirement package, moving expenses, relocation expenses and anything else the pastor can suggest.
By the way, what is living by faith? I fear for many it is:
F inancially secure
I ncome rising
T ax sheltered
H ome paid for
11. Christians have condemned the costly cathedrals of the Roman church yet we are building bigger, and better, and snazzier churches than ever.
12. We have known for centuries that the Lord holds each and every one of us as very valuable. We know that we all have great value in God’s eyes, yet we have invited the “self-image” and “self-worth” philosophy into our churches, and many of our youth are thriving on it.
13. We despise bigotry yet we have educational bigotry in many of our fellowships and groups. We have some looking down their noses at minimally educated people, and they in turn condemn the higher education people as over educated.
For that matter how many of the churches that you have been in have black people as members, unless the whole church is black?
14. The Roman Church had their problems with not allowing the lay people to have the Bible to read for centuries. Never will fundamentalists do that, we have said for many moons, yet we have many seminaries teaching their students, Our Pastors, that you cannot properly understand the Bible unless you know the original languages. Not to many steps down the road and we may have the Romanists telling us off about that one.
15. How about the teaching and preaching of the church today?
How accurate is it? I have seen men declare boldly something that is in the Old Testament that was for an age past as fact for our living, yet ignore other teaching in the Old Testament or the New Testament that declares that the principle has been set aside.
I heard a man declare boldly that the sin of the father will be visited upon the children and he gave an illustration of a father that went into adultery in June and in July his Godly teenage daughter started sleeping with her boyfriend. Now the story may be true, yet it does not prove that the
principle is for today. Indeed, the Book of Ezekiel chapter 18 seems to say that God has changed that principle.
I sat in a Sunday School class in a Baptist church and listened for half an hour about the bills that the church had. The pastor told us that we had to take offerings to pay those bills before the Lord returned, so that we wouldn’t have to take offerings when the Lord was here. Proof? Yes, of course he had a proof text. 1 Corinthians 16:2,
“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
That Was Paul Speaking By The Way.
How Biblical is it? I have heard many many sermons that the speaker used a bit of a verse as a spring board to go off into some topic that he wanted to cover, and never again return to the Word for direction or proof.
How honest is it? We say that we reject the principles of modern day counseling and the psychiatrists of days gone by, yet we still hear “Christian counselors” that are rerunning the old, “why do you hate your mother” (or father), Fruedian principles.
We say in some circles that we reject the accreditation as teaching institutions, yet we accept the accreditation of the organizational part of the institutions. Seems a bit illogical to most.
16. How about missions today?
Are we following Biblical principles? Or are we out there trying man’s concoctions? I have been told of men that are attempting to start a churches by telemarketing. The same principles that insurance salesmen use to sell insurance.
We are seeing more and more Christians feel that we should use the world’s principles.
When I was on deputation and the support wasn’t coming in a Christian sat me down and told me what I was doing wrong. He mentioned that I wasn’t being a good Public Relations man. He thought that the church was all wrong in sending people out on deputation. His thought was that we should introduce advertising campaigns into the church and raise money as a secular Ad Campaign might raise money.
Are we totally committed to reaching the lost? Again, when I was on deputation I sat across the table from a man that was questioning the “Cost Effectiveness” of missions. If the missionary can’t produce certain results then he is not being cost effective and should be brought home or sent elsewhere.
The telemarketing that I mentioned earlier is based on the same principle.
If you can’t raise enough interest by making so many phone calls in an area then it is not cost effective to go ahead and start a church in that area.
What Happened To “Saving The Lost At Any Cost.”?
What Happened To “Sold Out For God.”?
What Happened To “Giving All For God’s Glory.”?
One more question. “What Happened?”
17. The world has had radio for many years and believers have used secular stations to propagate the Gospel. In recent years we have “Christian Radio” that is for the purpose of , you tell me, cuz I don’t know.
If it is for the propagation of the Gospel, why do I hear so little Gospel on it. If it is for the edification of the saints, why do I hear so much false doctrine on it?
I have people constantly telling me how great the listening is on Christian radio, yet every time I tune in on Sunday morning, I hear I’m going to hell because I sinned last Tuesday.
The real crime is that we have Christians supporting those stations. God’s money is going to help propagate false doctrine and play Christian rock.
Sure I can be selective to what I listen to, but how about that lost person that tunes in looking for help and finds some false teaching to follow.
I’m not against giving to Christian programs, but do it directly to the ministry and encourage them to change to secular stations where the lost people listen. At least on secular radio the lost know selectivity is necessary.
18. I promised myself that I would not mention dress when I was finishing up these comments. I would not want to talk about dress. Yes I would want to talk about dress. In fact just a comment or two, (or three or four).
As I try to live a Godly life why would I want to use the same sort of language the world does?
As I try to live a Godly life why would I want to frequent the places that the world frequents?
As I try to live a Godly life why would I want to live by the same standard that the world lives by?
As I try to live a Godly life why would I want to educate myself as the world educates itself?
As I try to live a Godly life why would I want to look and dress like the world looks and dresses?
19. How about Christian performers that cost $8000 per show?
20. Maybe the Christian Publishers — you know those that really want to reach the world. Reach the world with the Bible at $34.95 a copy.
21. Might we suggest that we are not only copying the world, but in some cases we are working with the world — with the lost.
We have mission translators that turn their work over to the Roman Catholic Church. We have evangelists that turn their converts back into lost, state churches as well as to the Roman Catholic Church. We have people that work within the Roman Church.
These are all groups that evangelical and fundamental people support with God’s money.
22. How do we treat the names of God? I was in a Sunday School class recently called the God squad. Cute? Yes. Honoring to God? I doubt it, on the whole.
23. We don’t teach about the devil, demons, and hell today. We are helping eliminate those things from a new generations thinking. Add to that the fact that many of these same kids watch the occult etc. on television and assume that it is good viewing.
24. In the early 90’s I was listening to “Christian radio” and heard a news flash. It was from Jerusalem and it was “on the spot coverage” of Christ’s triumphal entry. Actually it was stated that they were covering a parade.
The commentator mentioned that the parade was planned by the religious leaders, and that it had great political overtones. The blurb sounded innocent enough, however it was teaching falsehood. Christ was not political, the religious leaders did not plan it and it was not a parade. Aside from that it lowered the Lord’s declaration of Himself as KING to the level of a newscast that was false coverage.
25. It wasn’t bad enough to have a bunny that lays colored decorated eggs, but now we have shrink wrap, religious plastic coverings for eggs.
26. We saw a sign advertising Easter goodies in Wyoming. Chocolate bunnies, marshmallow eggs, crosses and suckers.
Do you feel that the church is making the “Holy” things common and every day? It seems that the church has taken many things spiritual and placed them on a plain that is so common that the children of our day are going to have a hard time understanding why church, the Bible, and Christianity are of any importance at all.
Do we really know what evil is anymore? Do we really recognize the devil’s ways when we are looking at them? Do we really understand the ramifications of what we are doing in the church today?
God Forbid That You As A Student Of God’s Word Go Out And Perpetuate What Is Going On In Many Of Our Churches. If All You Are Going To Do Is Further What The Devil Is Doing In The Church Then Don’t Get Involved In The Ministry. God Does Not Need You.
How Dare You Use God’s Money, Your Time To Assist The Adversary. If on the other hand you are going out into the world to use the Bible as your handbook for Christian living, for church planting, for church organization, for family building, then Go For It And May God Bless The Day Lights Out Of You.
Bold? Heavy? Opinionated? I Certainly Hope So. If It Isn’t Then I Have Failed In What I Wanted To Do In This Section.
If you are not awake to the Devil’s work in the church in this country now, then I suspect that you are a bit on the blind side.
A related study is the study of humanism and its effect on the church. If you just read through the Humanist manifestos, you will see that the humanist thinking is having serious effects on the church.
I would like to close with a passage of Scripture:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Keep the order on that right. It’s submit to God and resist the Devil NOT submit to the Devil and resist God.
 Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A. (n.d.). DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.