At this time a couple of years ago the visible church was in the throes of chaos. Well-known leaders were beginning to compromise, and celebrity pastors began silencing anyone who would compare some of new and groundbreaking teachings to the timeless Word of God. We saw church dynasties and their emperors fall, only to reappear in new clothing and new steeples elsewhere.
As we head into 2016, things haven't changed much. We're still in chaos, only it seems to have increased in spite of the encouraging thought that more people are beginning to open their eyes to what has been happening to churchianity around the world.
I penned this plea in 2013 to anyone who might need a little encouragement to keep pressing on against the rising tide of pushback our modern-day Bereans are getting as they contend for the faith:
It takes a lot of guts to question lawlessness in the visible church, especially when such vile activity wields the power of persona and the dignity of deep pockets doing the talking.
In recent days we have seen just how influential and pervasive this yeast is, evident in what many know to be the “christian machine” (lower-case c).
The world knows well that machines like these are like the Cray supercomputers of old; now the microchips of force. With continual upgrades and your money, these powerhouses control what you see, hear, purchase and believe. All for the collective good.
But what of the christian machine?
Many of us who’ve been called to publicly defend the attacks on God’s Word can attest that this machine is real. It is a well-oiled mechanism fueled by money and a hunger for fame, rather than a hunger to reach the lost with the Gospel of Christ. It has the influence of the high and mighty rather than the One Most High. And anyone who tries to stand firm against lawlessness or compromise will be forced to shut down or even unplug. All for the collective good.
Blog posts will be yanked. Interviews will be erased. All evidence of lawlessness will be expunged from the public record. And those who raise their fists against the machine will be forced to apologize for daring to challenge and expose.
Why? Because fame, money and human celebrity still wield the kind of authority that makes truth cower and men and women tremble. It’s the kind of power we can only lust for. And when someone has it, we follow it willingly, hoping to slurp down the droppings that fall from the machine’s pristine and twisted table.
Pervasive Power of Personality
You’ll find this machine operating at top capacity among advertisers, Christian book publishers and high-profile church personalities. You’ll experience it taking over the sermons you hear, the conferences you attend, the ministries you join, the online Christian libraries you subscribe to and even the music you sing to in your car or on your device.
Its algorithms continually scour humanity and adapt to the trends, the public demands and the experiences we think we need, in order to manipulate our feelings and convince us that this might is right.
Our job is not to win, but to expose the evil and lawlessness that threatens to fool the sheep, so that they may not be fleeced away from truth and into the flames of Hell.
We must do more than whisper about the christian machine or sheepishly allude to possible challenges. The time has come to kick some hard drives and name names. We must rise up against it every day, even when we don’t want to. Even when our pastors or our friends tell us that we must acquiesce. If you have a platform, do it. If you don’t, stand with those who do.
We must rise up against the christian machine, and we must do it now.