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PROGRESS VS PROGRESSIVISM
Ever wonder why the Church of today is going through this recent change in ministerial accord that all seems to be just to try and render more converts than ever before? It’s kind of like there is this competition among the churches and ministries to be the latest trend producer or next overnight mega church, and to do it better than any predecessor ever did. Along with this are the places where we see that all praise and worship has to now be in a Hillsong style, and all preaching in an Joel Osteen manner of pulpit ministry. Now don’t go off and get righteously ballistic on me here, I greatly appreciate the ministries of these organizations and feel they are having an impact on the populace internationally and in their local areas. But why does every other church or ministry now believe they have to conform to what these ministries are “called to do” by God in order to succeed?
What is progressivism? It is a movement to bring about and enforce a manner of social reform that is only according to the ideology of those who actively promote it. (my definition) So, why do we need to reform the work of the word of God and the Holy Spirit, since clearly the things being done are to that end? I believe it is because today there is an acceptance of this progressive ideology being promoted in the Church purposed to render the past cultural mannerisms as non effective in any continuance of growing the body of Christ. And that these new ways of ministry are justifiable as an conformance to the Holy Spirits capitalizing on the cultural attentiveness of today’s masses. For the Church corporate to allow all of this conformity to occur I say we have clearly gone spiritually stupid, Proverbs 12:1 (HCSB) 1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but one who hates correction is stupid.
The first thing we need to recognize is that progressivism isn’t being done to better our cultural integrity, it is being done to degrade it to such a degree that all immoral mannerisms are totally acceptable and even seen as necessary. Look at what has happened in this country over the past 30-40 years regarding liberals or those who have an opposing view to conservative values. They have now accepted this progressive far left social reform as the thing to do because they see how it devoid’s one of responsibility for any errors that might occur. A similar situation is happening in the churches where within the workings of this new manner of ministry there is a sense of non aligning to responsibility of leadership. Seen in the fact that many pastors no longer want to be called pastor, but co-pastors or co-lead pastors or subordinate pastors or associate organizers. All of these terms are right out of the progressive playbook and used solely to defer any accountability to a degree that if issues arise no one person can be seen as the blame. Proverbs 12:2 2 The good person obtains favor from the LORD, but He condemns a man who schemes.
There are scriptures in the word of God that warn us about any conformity to the ways of the world, and none reveal that all of these cultural labels are part and partial to any work of ministry. As a matter of fact a definition of ministerial ordinances is clearly called out aligning everyone to a work of ministry perceived as a Pastor, Evangelist, Prophet, Teacher, and Apostles. The reason why many ministries are aligning themselves to such immoral mannerisms is that those in our younger generation are trained to see themselves as part of a global image of progressive ideas that states everyone is the same. What used to be a definition of ministerial purpose is now being clouded by the use of such terms as spiritual orientation groups and non traditional services and new contemporary social elements. If the work of ministry as formatted in scripture has for over two thousand years been effective in bringing in the masses, how come it no longer is? Why do we now need to conform to the elements of the world to entice someone to come in and be welcomed? Proverbs 12:3 3 Man cannot be made secure by wickedness, but the root of the righteous is immovable.
Many churches have now turned out the lights in order to offer an atmosphere that is more like a Miley Cyrus concert than an event where the power of God is to be present. And back-lite the performers to the same degree so that an expression through social media dynamics is proportionally occurring. Somehow I don’t believe this is being seen as progress in ministry by God, but more as a conformity to a progressive social indulgences. We can also gauge this by using another factor that is occurring in the churches, and that is there has never in the history of the church been more of an exodus as there is today. People who have a relationship with God know something isn’t right about all of this, and the uncomfortable aspects is causing many to just leave. So, is progress really being made or is progressivism purposely being advanced by a guise of Christ simply to satisfy the egos of those who think they through ministry have a right to conform Christ’s Church?
There is a “VOID” that I talk about in my latest book that reveals there is a disconnect between pulpits and congregants in the Church today. It exists partly because many leaders only see their members as a resource for the ministry, and no longer as a living part of the Church. And partly because many congregants now view the pulpit as no longer being relevant to the work of the Spirit of God. This presents a serious spiritual problem that will not simply go away or rectify itself over time within the body of Christ. Since the issue now becomes how is Christ going to fix the damage the enemy has done to His spiritual bridge used to maintain the unity of pulpits and congregants while still on the earth.
The following excerpt is from a recent book out of a chapter called “Cultural Caveats” where I bring to the forefront issues regarding the latest trends in the Church. So in looking at this issue I hope you see that the enemy the devil is having a field day in many churches doing what comes naturally to him. Clearly seen in how our acceptance of peer influence has now gone beyond ourselves and is steadily trending toward his evil mannerisms. Like it or not we are all part of a greater vision than that of ourselves or any local church or ministry. And the very fact that we are all a part of a requiem of believers that are to reveal a spiritual culture representative of the kingdom of God in this earth bolds that it must be done.
The word of God will always be contrary to the world’s ways and never be conformed to secular social status. Meaning all of this cultural pandering that is occurring is not a result of any doctrine that God has ever rendered for transforming His spiritual offspring. Just one look at what is happening in these churches and we see changes in the culture of the church to be as that of the culture of the community or social groups around them. The thing that becomes clear is that the past spiritual forces that were at work in bringing salvation to the masses no longer holds premise with those who have been raised up in a societal atmosphere where peering is an authority greater than the council of Almighty God.
In 2 Chron 10:1-11 is a story about Rehoboam the son of Solomon who became king after his death. Tells us how he rejected a plea from Jeroboam who was the king of Israel. This plea was focused around the past treatment of Israel by Judah and how Israel would come and serve them if he would treat them rightly. But Rehoboam rejected the counsel of the elders and all of Israel and listened only to the voices of the peers he socialized with. They were of a culture that was unlearned in God’s purpose of Israel and Judah. The fact is these young men were of a generation of Turks that had no consciousness of the Judaic heritage of Israel. So out of ignorance, they provoked Rehoboam to engage in evil activity towards Israel, an activity that would further separate the two kingdoms under his leadership. 10:16 Now when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying: “What share have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Every man to your tents, O Israel! Now see to your own house, O David!” So all Israel departed to their tents.
Historically evident facts that cultural issues such as socialism, feminism, liberalism, and environmentalism, etc., are all the results of beliefs, customs, arts, etc. exhorted by those who see things in a way that is not common to the nature of the whole of creation. A similar thing is happening within the churches where the cultural premise is now the norm, and no longer the traditions and culture of those who preceded them. When social exegeses are greater in purpose in the Church than the culture of God’s kingdom the environment is too diverse for a flow of the Spirit of God. And as congregations become more divisive in character you have those who still want to believe and act on the past foundations, and those who now want to believe in the present-day culture of social acceptance. No wonder an exodus is occurring in the Church, one that may be on a scale much larger than we know. Clearly, pulpits and congregations cannot both be vying for the flow of the Spirit of God from two entirely different cultural perspectives.
As I’ve said He will only operate where a presence of the character of God is revealed by a culture that is common to the kingdom He represents. It does not take much spiritual sense to know that if one bases ministerial efforts on the secular activity within a community or grouping of people it must be applicable to or accepting of every ill-mannerism present. Meaning that the efforts of the ministry must present every aspect of it in a way that is culturally appealing to those whom they are focused upon. The error in this is that many of these cultural mannerisms are out of character to the Spirit of God. Leaving us to question just how will He fulfill any work of revealing the truth that must occur?
Paul the Apostle ministered to people having various cultures in his missionary works throughout Asia minor and other areas. And nowhere in the scriptures does it reveal that he did it by aligning to some manner of social peering. What is clearly seen is that He often suffered because of his continued willingness to present, by the Spirit of God, the culture that only reveals righteousness. Acts 17:22-30 (AMP) So Paul, standing in the center of the Areopagus [Mars Hill meeting place], said: Men of Athens, I perceive in every way [on every hand and with every turn I make] that you are most religious or very reverent to demons. 23 For as I passed along and carefully observed your objects of worship, I came also upon an altar with this inscription, To the unknown god. Now what you are already worshiping as unknown, this I set forth to you. 23 The God Who produced and formed the world and all things in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in handmade shrines. 25 Neither is He served by human hands, as though He lacked anything, for it is He Himself Who gives life and breath and all things to all [people]. 26 And He made from one [common origin, one source, one blood] all nations of men to settle on the face of the earth, having definitely determined [their] allotted periods of time and the fixed boundaries of their habitation (their settlements, lands, and abodes), 27 So that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after Him and find Him, although He is not far from each one of us.
No matter where Paul went the message and the presentation of it was always the same, Christ and Him crucified. He did not conform himself or his ministry to pander or appease any specific group, especially any that had been socially labeled solely to promote generational diversity by any social activists. 28 For in Him we live and move and have our being; as even some of your [own] poets have said, For we are also His offspring. 29 Since then we are God’s offspring, we ought not to suppose that Deity (the Godhead) is like gold or silver or stone, [of the nature of] a representation by human art and imagination, or anything constructed or invented. 30 Such [former] ages of ignorance God, it is true, ignored and allowed to pass unnoticed; but now He charges all people everywhere to repent (to change their minds for the better and heartily to amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins),
The only cultural representation that brings anyone to Christ is a true presentation of the kingdom of God that is forever. And any peering that must occur does so because there is an alignment to Him and His character of love by the Spirit of God revealed in each sibling. This present aspect of some anomaly being revealed as a schism in the social culture of the Church is a clear work of our enemy the devil. He is by secular expressionism attempting to socially disfigure the real body of Christ. And the fact that there are pulpits that are eager to align themselves with this façade of secular indulgence disguised as some needed spiritual change in the cultural presentation of the Church reveals it is being done so that they appear as normal in the eyes of their ministerial justices.
Look at the previous verse 30 again, it says that in the past there was an age of ignorance that God clearly allowed to occur, but now He is holding charges against everyone everywhere to repent and make amends for past sinful ways. Has God somehow today thrown out this truth from His word for the sake of this pandering to secular conformity. Don’t bother to answer that you know He has not done such a thing. So why are the churches and ministries of today doing a makeover to what Christ has historically ordained? It is because they are more fearful of their reputation among their peers than any fear of the God who created them. And they seek honor not from the one they praise, but from those who praise them.
I know all of this cuts right to the core of any right for one being born again. But there is no way we can ignore the very actions of those who are accepting of this diversity of ministry culture revealed in such things as church auditoriums that were once brightly lit are now so dimly illuminated you need ushers with flashlights to get to a seat. Just as I illustrated in a previous blog you know exactly where this stuff comes from, you only need to go to the local night club or secular concert to see the same flashing lights, strobes, smoke, and media hype. Now I’m not knocking secular concerts they do very well in their performance arenas. But it is just that; they are secular performances designed to arouse the soul and flesh in order to obtain an attraction from the audience solely purposed to maintain an increase of paying fans.
In summary: Is this the new culture of Christ Church? Where we now attract people through popular cultural secular activities in order to bind them to Christ by a love of soul. John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. The God of the pulpits who no longer fear Him will have the final say about what is going on within Christ Church.