“American Churchianity” may be our biggest obstacle to authentic Kingdom Christianity. For some time now the church has become more spiritually proud and in doing so, succumbed to a state of delusion about its effectiveness and fruitfulness. The word delusion means: To hold to a false belief; a deception that has been disseminated in spite of invalidating evidence; To be delusional means: to hold to that false belief no matter what evidence is brought to the contrary.
“For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie …” (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)
While America has heard the truth of the saving power of Jesus, the Gospel of the Kingdom is rarely preached in American churches. Just a random look at the church’s failure to affect our culture or reflect the Kingdom should humble any honest American Christian. Certainly, the gospel has been preached, but it has been incomplete and a Christian’s citizenship in the Kingdom has been neglected. Most preaching is directed at getting people to respond, “be saved”, “come to the altar” or “join church”. While important, they were a part of the lifestyle of the church in the Acts era. The gospel is NOT an invitation, but a declaration of a Kingdom that is NOT coming someday, but today!
Most American preaching & teaching focuses on the church rather than Kingdom. Because of this, Christians have little real understanding of an alternate way of living and being, a higher realm of living! While the word “church” is found 76 times in the New Testament the Kingdom of God is mentioned 160 times! The Kingdom is the rule and reign of God and not a meeting, program or activity. Still,the church is preaching an Americanized version that doesn’t call to commitment, is void of power and which is right now careens towards being seeker AND irrelevant at the same time!
The rapid compromise of truth in the American pulpits is staggering. A key seeker leader in ATL recently condemned Christians or churches who won’t “welcome” gays into their congregations. All sinners, including gays who repent should be welcome in every church, but the delusion of caving in to mixture without a clear standard causing believers to stand out is appalling. Leaders foolishly think they can influence sinners by bringing them to hear a message where corners have been cut and commitment is always delayed.
The church was never supposed to be a “come one, come all” place for “everything God” but a community of believers who have each had an authentic encounter with God. Initiation into the Kingdom is through a supernatural encounter with a holy God, not a faux conversion into a compromised church community. How can leaders preach such grand delusion and call it truth? The church was never supposed to compromise or cut corners to win the lost. After the fear of God hit the church when Ananias and Saphira were struck down by the Holy Spirit, the bible says,”None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.” (Acts 5:13)
We can’t have it both ways. We either cave in or we stand out!