I have been in the ministry since 1968, that is a total of 50 years. In those 50 years, I have come to realize that not everything taught in the church is Bibicial truth. There are many personal preferences found in church doctrine that have no scriptural background. There are isolated passages of scripture that have been taken out of context to control the membership of various denominations. Then there are those who have a personal agenda and use the Bible to justify their actions.
In my 50 years in the ministry, the message of the Church has changed. There was a time when holiness and righteousness was preached from the pulpits. Today, we excuse sin, tolerate it, condone it and practices it without remorse. The result is there is crisis of sin and immorality in America’s churches. Across our land, many professing Christians are practicing sinful lifestyles that are little different than those of unbelievers. Sins of adultery, fornication, drunkenness, drug abuse are rampant among those to claim to be followers of Jesus.
I ran across this blog that was shocking. Forty percent of pastors surveyed admitted to having an extra marital affair after entering the ministry! 40%! How does that happen? Of course, it is common knowledge that there have been pastors that have had moral failures, like Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, and John Hagee but to have 40% admit to an affair? Is anyone else shocked or am I just closed-minded? Is it any wonder that there is a lack of spiritual power in the church today? What is disturbing is the number of pastors that are still in the ministry after having affiars. Bakker, Swaggart, and Hagee are all pastoring churches again making millions of dollars off the deceived. I guess what is hard for me to understand is the number of people who overlook this sin.
When I read about the sins committed by the ministry, it is not surprising why there is little preaching against sin in the American pulpits. Rarely are ministers being held accountable for their sinful behavior.
There is a judgment day coming and those individuals who profess to be Christians, yet practice a sinful lifestyle of immorality, are not Christians. Yes, I am judging them by the fruits they exhibit in their daily lives. The Bible makes it clear that people who practice “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries,” and so forth, will NOT inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-21)
The Church can exist in a world of sin, but it cannot prosper when a world of sin is brought into the Church. A ship in the water is fine, but water in the ship can be disastrous. One of the problems within the Church is the attitude toward sin. I am sure at this point there will be many who will vehemently disagree with me. It is hard to understand how a thinking person can read the Bible and still believe in living in the bondage of sin. In most of the Churches, today sin is excused because we are “only human.” The Bible commands men to depart from all sin, to keep God's commandments, to be holy because God is holy, and to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. The Bible teaches that all men ought to live without sin and that they can live without sin by God's grace and the power of his indwelling Holy Spirit. The Bible also teaches that Christians do live without sin and overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. This is not what I say; this is what the Word of God says.
The Bible teaches that the believer can live without sin. Its pages are filled with promises to the believer that he can live a holy life and have victory over sin, temptation, the world, the flesh, and the devil: Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (not in their sins) Matt. 1:21
Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin...If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:34, 36
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world. I John 5:4
Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. I John 3:6.
And we know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not, but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. I John 5:18
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. I John 3:9
Sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law but under grace. Rom. 6:14
Now unto him, that is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 24, 25
Now, who are we going to believe? Will we accept the uncertain declarations of mere men or will we receive the sure Word of God? If, after all, what God has said and promised in his Holy Book, it is still impossible to live without sin, then God is a liar, deceitful, and insincere. Surely, if it is impossible to live without sin, God knows it! Yet he promises victory over sin. He commands holiness and Christian perfection. "Be ye holy, for I am holy." I Peter 1:15. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as you father which is in heaven is perfect." Matt. 5:48. Would God command us to walk in Christian holiness and Christian perfection if he knew it was impossible for us? I cannot believe it! Do those who propagate the evil doctrine of sin understand its implications on the character of God? If God knows that we can't obey him, if he knows that after He has redeemed us and filled us with His Holy Spirit, we still have a corrupt, sinful nature which makes obedience impossible, then He is insincere and deceitful in commanding us to do what He knows is impossible. And if God knows that we are to live out our life with a sinful nature that makes sin necessary, then all His promises of grace and power to keep us from sin are lies.
God cannot lie. It is the doctrine of constant sinning while in this life that is a lie! For the Word of God reveals that God has always had his saints. He has always had a people that feared him, loved him, and kept his commandments. He has always had a people that did not break his commandments daily in thought, word, and deed: There was Job, of whom God said, "A perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil." There was Enoch who "walked with God" and "was not, for God took him." There was Zacharias and Elizabeth who "were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." There was John the Baptist who was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb. The Bible clearly teaches that God's people can and do live without sin. So, the doctrine of a sinning religion, which teaches otherwise, is a myth and a lie.
Is this reason that the Church is weak and without power? It is because Christians spend all their efforts on repentance and justification and not on holiness. The Hebrew writer puts it this way,
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
Here is why the Church needs to return to the message of holiness and righteous living and stop excusing sin. It dishonors God. It makes Him arbitrary, cruel, and unjust. It causes the Church to wink at and justify sin. It produces complacency and a low standard of religion among Christians. It is a stumbling-block to the unsaved. It contradicts the Bible. It creates false doctrines and false interpretations of the Scriptures.
There is crisis of sin and immorality in America’s churches. Across our land, many professing Christians are practicing sinful lifestyles that are little different than those of unbelievers. Sins of adultery, fornication, drunkenness, drug abuse are rampant among those to claim to be followers of Jesus. It is time to return to the message of a holy life and stop excusing sin as we are only human. The transformational power of the blood of Jesus Christ can free us from the bondage of sin. Accept God’s remedy for sin and be filled with the Holy Spirit.