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CONTEND or CONSUMERIZE?
General James Green
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3).
Earnestly: Gk. ἐπαγωνίζομαι / epagonizomai = “to struggle for…”
Contend: Gk. (same as above)
BEFORE I get started in today’s topic, contend or consumerize, we need the definitions of what these two words “earnestly contend” mean. Biblically speaking, they describe the (spiritual) battle that the faithful believer must fight in the defense of his/her faith. It literally means, “to struggle,” “suffer,” “be under great stress,” or “fight a fight.” It seems totally out of place for me to even write about “fight the good fight of faith” (see 2 Tim. 4:7; 2 Tim. 1:13; 2 Tim. 2:3-5; 1 Tim. 1:18, 19, all of which I have written on beforehand), seeing that the church, for most part, eats and retreats!
This, of course, brings me to today’s inquiry of WHY has the church retreated from off the battlefields of this world, seeing that NO Scripture commands us to do so!
The background for Jude’s letter was the peril which confronted him, and his fellow Christian soldiers, e.g., the growing power within the Ekklesia of “ungodly persons” (vv. 4-5) who were making salvation by grace an occasion for licentiousness; and were thereby denying the only Lord God. The religious “snakes and flakes” had slithered in, but later, were exposed.
Jude was an aggressive defender of the Christian faith, WILLING TO CONTEND FOR IT, not standing by while the snakes and flakes denied the Lord and perverted the Gospel. We have these same demons in the church today. Oh, the most popular/prosperous preachers are some of them.
These “ungodly” men were full of licentiousness, which connotes LUST and its unbridled expression in sexual intercourse. Well, today’s church is far worse, for it has not only heterosexual fornicators, adulterers, people who commit incest, but also, homosexuals (male/female), bisexuals, transgenders, and queers in abundance…even some who practice bestiality, not to mention pedophiles etc. YET, TODAY’S CHURCHES ARE PROUD OF SUCH ABOMINATIONS.
Licentiousness denotes outbreaks of sin and outrageous indecency—not merely impurity of heart, but of body also. These ungodly persons were there to undermine, and disease, the Christian body of believers (see also the adjective used in Rom. 4:5; 5:6; 1 Tim. 1:9; 1 Pet. 4:18; 2 Pet. 2:5, 6. The corresponding noun is used in Rom. 1:18 and 11:26.)
Jude says that they, “Walk after their own lusts…” (v. 16), and repeats it again in v. 18.
Now, do we have this same perversion among us today? Silly question! Not only do we have “snakes and flakes” walking after their own lusts (which can be, and are, other “lusts” besides sexual ones), we have a multitude of them involved in many and various vices. The progressive “secularization” (e.g., “demonization!”) of both major and minor “Christian” institutions knows no bounds in today’s consumer world—buy/sell.
Inter-“Christian” pluralism, together with the increasing availability of non-Christian religious options, has placed the churches in the position of “sellers” in a competitive market. American mainline Protestant churches are, slowly-but-surely, becoming glorified whorehouses, selling themselves to the world for $$ gain. They have, long ago, become, not spiritual boot camps, but secular boot camps with BUREAUCRATIC STRUCTURES FOR BUYING AND SELLING…adapting their “products” for the lusts of the “consumers”. Joel Osteen is one of the biggest to reduce the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the gospel of Joel Osteen—Joel is Joel’s god. His popular-psychological message of “positive thinking,” “family counseling,” “Jesus loves all” is sweeping the world. His apostatizing is so comprehensive that one feels obligated to WORSHIP him! He smiles a lot, signs his own books (for dupes), and rakes in the $$ by the truck loads.
It has been pointed out that the standardized consumer product, marginally differentiated by “brand” (denomination), characterizes the churches “packages”; just as it does mass produced consumer goods. Hence, we have “shopping malls”, (e.g., “mega churches”) where shoppers can find their favorite “brand” of religion; Joel’s is called, “I love me!” The shoppers seek out what they feel good about; buy what seems attractive. All this “self-fulfillment” is nothing but: repackaged lasciviousness, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, the (hubris) pride of life (1 Jn. 2:15, 16).
This dichotomy, I love Jesus/I love myself, has given birth to a whole new BASTARDIZED/CONSUMERIZED Church that is “liberal” in every respect. Now there is the “straight”/”gay” dichotomy, a new polarization in theology. Although this “pink” movement has gained gradual acceptance among many churches (and in politics), it has incurred the WRATH of GOD !
Putting the stamp of approval on such abominations does not make it approved of God. Even Joel boy Osteen claims to have “many” homosexual friends, along with mega-church pastor Rick Warren. Pity these guys!
So, dear ones, we have the relentless attacks upon Biblical Christianity. Better “soldier up” my friends, it’s going to get WORSE.
Jesus and the Bible have come under fire over the last several decades or so, BIG TIME. But, this is not new, the seeds of rebellion were being sown in Jude’s day, Paul’s day, Peter’s day (see 2 Cor. 11:2-4). The seeds of “another Jesus” have now grown into a huge global fruit-bearing tree.
Although evil men/women have worked at DESTROYING Christianity’s foundation, it will NEVER be destroyed, for it is built upon the Rock (Christ, see Ps. 11:3-7). Psalms tells us that, “The Lord tests the righteous, but the WICKED and the one who loves violence His soul HATES, upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup…”
The wicked churchites, along with the unrighteous pagans, are destined for the WRATH of the Almighty.
The detachment and freedom from, “being conformed to this world” (see Rom. 12:1, 2) that characterized the pre-Constantinian church of the martyrs, has become almost non-existent. What we have is a tiny cognitive minority who contend for the faith, who refuse and rebuke consumerized churchianity. There is a real movement that seeks to withdraw from church altogether, not backsliding, but the getting OUT of those corrupt meat-markets. Sadly, they retreat too far; we still need to be ACTIVE in this WAR. This has happened before. We should never discount the perennial nobility of the historical faith—it will once again come forth. It is our duty to KEEP ALIVE AND EXPAND THE VISION OF BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY beyond the limits of mere churchianity. If this “vision” is not ours personally, we cannot spread it to others successfully.
The Christian faith is a historical (and personal) faith, in the sense that it is more than the mere intellectual acceptance of a certain kind of theistic philosophy; it is bound up in the birth, life, death, resurrection, and glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The words “history”/”historical” are ambiguous. They may be used to refer to events that happened in the past, or they may mean the narrative, account, or record of the past. That is, history can refer to that which is studied (past), or to the study itself. The “historian” is not content to tell us merely what happened; he, or she, wishes to make us see WHY it happened, too.
MOST OF ALL, SEEK GOD DAILY; MAKE TIME FOR PRAYER, BIBLE READING, AND IF POSSIBLE, WITNESSING. These four things will keep our swords sharp, our fire burning. NO doubt, the lack of these has caused the believers to become dull, and fireless, spiritually speaking.
People ask, “To what extent should Christianity be brought into harmony with contemporary civilization, and to what extent is tension between them a healthy and natural manifestation of the proper tension between Christianity and my ‘Present Age’?” All I know is that Matt. 28:19 commands us to, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…” We took this literally; we, my wife and I, did just that. We went into dozens of nations, some as many as 6 times each, TEACHING, DISCIPLING, PREACHING, INSTRUCTING, REBUKING, and PROPHESYING to both the church and the pagans. There were times when there was “harmony,” other times, “disharmony”…but we did it. And we’re still doing it. Not so much physically, but we’re still sending lots of ACMTC materials to all nations (over 200 to date). By our feeble efforts, God has raised up those who are doing what we had done.
I might add, we did not do any of this so as to build up ACMTC, or build churches, or to water down the Biblical message, so as to be palatable. NO! We took the “Sword that Cuts, the Fire that Burns!” To Hell with consumerized/commercialized CHURCHIANITY!! To Hell with progressive secularization of God’s Word; let it REMAIN PURE! We’re not into building up “numbers,” fancying up God’s Word—for shopping consumers who will not pay the full price of discipleship/soldiership. Let the Babylon Ballroom Boys do that. These liars and deceivers will have their rewards.
I see nowhere where we are to change God’s Word/standards to fit into generations whereby seekers are too cheap to pay the full price for their faith. Jesus paid the FULL PRICE on the cruel cross—we’re commanded to carry our cross DAILY, not change this requirement. All this aggiornamental (Italian word meaning “bringing up to date”) game-playing must STOP!! All this sensual (and often sexual) aggiornamentoing, i.e., “modernism,” has become synonymous with “rebellion.” All this “openness,” “tolerance,” and “ecumenicalism” is of the devil. It is totally contrary to Scripture; yet, it is in harmony with sinful, carnal man; hence, churchianity.
“Updating” God’s Word, standards, ethics etc. has given birth to ONE BEAUTIFUL BASTARD church; a church where any and all can be saved (without heart repentance), live as they damn well please (no requirements), put on a good (outward) show, and be promised Heaven no matter how in the Hell they live.
Let me tell it straight here: God’s “unchanging” eternal Word is ESSENTIAL and NON-NEGOTIABLE, highly valuable for righteousness (right living) and worth contending for, and defending. Anything short of this is simply false.
The modern/progressive (and reprobate!) church thrives on their “uncritical,” “non-judgmental” stance, all part of the CONSUMERIZED/COMMERCIALIZED/DEMONIZED trend-setting (ad hoc) that is sweeping the land. Ad nauseam (I have myxophobia—“fear of religious slime”!).
According to research, Providence, R.I. (which was named for God’s Divine providence), now ranks as the LEAST Bible-minded city in the U.S. Great! Also, according to a new study, 91 out of 96 U.S. cities are NOT Biblically-minded! Great! Has God disappeared? NO! People’s faith has. Barna Group’s prez states, “The least sanguine way to analyze the results would be to emphasize the lack of Bible-mindedness in America. In 91 out of 96 markets, a majority of the residents are not Bible-minded.” Great!
But not all is bad. There are still plenty of Bible-minded folks in the US, far beyond the non-Bible-minded ones. But, I must inject, do all these folks live according to what they supposedly believe in? Not so! This nation is literally full of UNBELIEVING BELIEVERS who do not practice what they preach or believe.
Not all are fooled about all this “I believe in the Bible” stuff (Churches are packed with such “professors!”). Others (as well as myself) see a difference between the term “Bible-minded” as opposed to “Christian.” It is pointed out (as I have done for over 3 decades now) that “Bible-minded” folks (and locations) have more assault rifles, ready to kill for “God and Country” (keep America free so she can continue on in her pride, rebellion, sexing, abortion, etc., etc.). So, being “Bible-minded” does not = ”Christian” (in the true sense).
It really scares me just HOW BIBLICALLY ILLITERATE BIBLE-BELIEVERS ARE! Such shallow affinity with little, or no, life-changing experience (like being born-again). IF ANYTHING, AMERICA IS GODLESS IN THE TRUE SENSE OF THE WORD. Now, we have glorified “Bible-minded” babysitters called “pastors;” and “Bible-minded” evangelists called cheerleaders.
Just where are the soldiers for Christ? Replaced, dear ones, by liberal soldiers against Christ.
I believe that 90+% of those claiming to be “Christian” are nowhere near being Spirit soldiers. This is not an exaggeration; it is arguable that churchianity holds the most souls, not Christianity. I’m speaking in terms of impoverishment—today’s churches are no better than starvation camps! And we’re going to see a more sectarian/secular church in the future. True Christianity, militant/aggressive Christianity, (fighting for the souls of men!) has, over the centuries, given up gained territory (in the Spirit) for a “Social Gospel”—a Gospel of self-love, self-esteem, seeker-friendly. I warn you now, this, in turn, will turn into a “Socialist Gospel” (with your Prez, Obama, at the head), a state church, a “Politically Correct” Church whereby all Biblical ethics are forbidden. It is all too evident that today’s church is marching towards more progressivism and socialism—a godless kind of church whereby all godly prohibitions will be banned. This menace looms over fallen USA!
America has, in times gone by, worked at “Americanizing” new immigrants (and Native Americans already here) by DESTROYING their linguistic and cultural heritage; so is the State NOW working to do the same to Biblical Christianity. All this anti-Christian (some covert) political maneuvering has been pushed into high gear.
State-izing the church (with the church’s permission, of course — under the 501(c)3 BAIT) is well under way. The State intends to breach all sacred walls that separate Biblical Christianity from Political Pluralism (many gods). But, since MOST churchites are already “conditioned”, e.g., “brain-washed,” there is considerable enthusiasm for this BASTARDIZATION. Non-theological motivations are involved in this movement’s popularity (Emergent Church); it is called, “The New Way Forward.” HA! It is doctrinal irresponsibility/ecumenical heresy. All the old fossilized Bible ways MUST GO! The extent and effectiveness of this New Way Forward can’t be overlooked; it must be exposed for the DEMON it is.
THE BATTLE CRY IS SOUNDING—IT’S TIME FOR WAR…WAR AGAINST THE BIG WHORE WHO FEEDS HER CHILDREN SACCHARINE SENTIMENTALITIES, E.G., “SWEET DECEITS.”
And don’t be fooled by all this apocalyptic fervor: a rapture about to take place, great tribulation, the Beast etc. (write for our many anti-pre-trib. rapture teachings). What is coming is GOD’S WRATH upon both sinning churchites and pagans.
There is a Great Move of God going on right now. Individuals,
groups of peoples, nations, will come under God’s judgment.
is not time to “fly away in the sky,” but time to
fall on your knees and REPENT, America,
Church! Will you say, “Yes!” or will you say,
It is not time to “fly away in the sky,” but time to fall on your knees and REPENT, America, Church! Will you say, “Yes!” or will you say, “Why?”