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The Wrong Appeal of Modern Christianity

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    The Wrong Appeal of Modern Christianity

    I was noticing a huge difference between what I read in the Bible and what most preachers I've heard promise in church. Most pastors seem to appeal to people's desire to attain stability and comfort through Christ. We pray to find a good job, have a house, financial security, and other basic comforts. In this way modern Christianity is very comfortable in it's faith in a way that it never was in the Bible. Jesus died for our sins, countless people have been brutally murdered for their faith, and Jesus openly told people to abandon the physical to walk with him. I don't remember where it was but there was this guy who wanted to follow Jesus but he kept on coming up with excuses about needing to take care of his aging parents and other things before he could follow. Following Jesus isn't supposed to be comfortable yet, modern Christianity has gotten very cushy in the last couple decades. Do you think this is problematic or just a difference in culture?

    #2
    I believe God when he says you have not because you ask not.
    Comment>

      #3
      Originally posted by LeapOfFaith89 View Post
      I was noticing a huge difference between what I read in the Bible and what most preachers I've heard promise in church. Most pastors seem to appeal to people's desire to attain stability and comfort through Christ. We pray to find a good job, have a house, financial security, and other basic comforts. In this way modern Christianity is very comfortable in it's faith in a way that it never was in the Bible. Jesus died for our sins, countless people have been brutally murdered for their faith, and Jesus openly told people to abandon the physical to walk with him. I don't remember where it was but there was this guy who wanted to follow Jesus but he kept on coming up with excuses about needing to take care of his aging parents and other things before he could follow. Following Jesus isn't supposed to be comfortable yet, modern Christianity has gotten very cushy in the last couple decades. Do you think this is problematic or just a difference in culture?
      Hi LoF, St. Paul told us this:

      All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. ~2 Timothy 3:12
      So you're certainly right in one sense, if life has become cushy for a Christian to the point that (for instance) every non-Christian they know is always happy to see them coming, that should be a sure sign to them that there is something wrong with their walk (esp since even "desiring" to lead a godly life in Christ results in persecution).

      You are also correct about a number of preachers today and their, "health/wealth/prosperity", messages that go so far as to say that if you are not healthy/wealthy/prosperous, then that, not the lack of persecution, is the sign that something is wrong with your walk :confused:

      However, the Lord said:


      28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
      29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
      30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ~Matthew 11:28-30

      So in another way, our life in Christ is 'meant' to be comfortable/restful/easy (at least in the sense of having our burdens lifted as we walk together with Him in this life and, of course, as we look forward with joy to our life with Him in the age to come :)).

      Yours in Christ,
      David



      "We know that God causes all things to work together for
      good to those who love God, to those who are
      the called according to His purpose"

      Romans 8:28
      Last edited by David Lee; 07-30-2017, 09:45 PM.
      Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

      "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

      "Instead of a river, God often gives us a brook, which may be running today and dried up tomorrow. Why? To teach us not to rest in our blessings, but in the Blesser Himself." ~A. W. Pink

      "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

      "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
      Comment>

        #4
        While I do not think there is anything wrong with working hard and having creature comforts, I do think it is wrong to make life all about them. This is a temporary world we live in. When we focus on earthly rewards, then those are the rewards we will have.
        Comment>

          #5
          It is the pastors who preach prosperity and comfortable Christian living who ultimately cause new converts to "abandon their faith." God will always test us, in varying degrees to strengthen our faith. If we are living easy then our faith is not being tested, which would then cause one to pause and seriously consider their walk with our Lord. It is a guarantee that we will suffer for Christ, so anything short of that is just setting people up for failure, and a false sense of faith.
          Comment>

            #6
            Originally posted by Knotical View Post
            It is the pastors who preach prosperity and comfortable Christian living who ultimately cause new converts to "abandon their faith." God will always test us, in varying degrees to strengthen our faith. If we are living easy then our faith is not being tested, which would then cause one to pause and seriously consider their walk with our Lord. It is a guarantee that we will suffer for Christ, so anything short of that is just setting people up for failure, and a false sense of faith.
            I agree. Even on this board I find a steady but gentle opposition to challenge our beliefs beneficial.

            God bless,
            William
            Comment>

              #7
              Originally posted by Serpardum View Post
              I believe God when he says you have not because you ask not.
              So do I ...


              James 4:1-4

              "1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

              4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God."




              Isn't is amazing when you read it in context!
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                #8
                A person who is highly in touch with spiritual things will not care about material things. Most of his money and time will go toward the ministry. I find it difficult to believe someone can live a cigar smoking playboy life and also be a Christian. Also, I think it's highly possible a decent suburban existence is the sign of a weaker Christian, but not necessarily a spiritually dead one.
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                  #9
                  I honestly don't see why having a comfortable suburban life would be a sign of a weaker Christian. Working hard and living quietly are good things, and people who do those things are a gift to society. The problem comes in when the churches make it sound like suburban success is the main evidence of Salvation, and many churches do that...

                  What seems lacking in American Christianity is love. There, of course, is plenty of friendliness, but genuine concern for the wellbeing of each other, and anything resembling commitment to a person with complex needs (especially when this person is a new Christian who repented as an adult) is almost nonexistent.

                  The church has also retreated from a stance against sin, having been accused of legalism. People are very good at identifying what we should or should not do, but they completely miss why. They completely miss the point that sin causes harm to ourselves and each other until the whole struggle against sin is reduced to something that closely resembles Isaiah 28:9-10

                  9“Who is it he is trying to teach?
                  To whom is he explaining his message?
                  To children weaned from their milk,
                  to those just taken from the breast?
                  10For it is:
                  Do this, do that,
                  a rule for this, a rule for that ;
                  a little here, a little there.”

                  Without the best benefit for everyone together, the ways of the Lord and the commands of Scripture become little more than a set of burdensome rules. But when we really desire for everyone to be safe, happy and well, everything the Bible is trying to teach begins to make a lot of sense.
                  Comment>

                    #10
                    Many people believe that faith in God and praying to the Lord will help them live a comfortable life. In my opinion, this is a wrong opinion. You want a job, go the the Church and offer prayings. What if you don't get this job. YOu will stop believing in God? Jim Morrison (the Doors) has said in one of his songs, "You cannot petition the lord with prayers."
                    Comment>

                      #11
                      Originally posted by LeapOfFaith89 View Post
                      I was noticing a huge difference between what I read in the Bible and what most preachers I've heard promise in church. Most pastors seem to appeal to people's desire to attain stability and comfort through Christ. We pray to find a good job, have a house, financial security, and other basic comforts. In this way modern Christianity is very comfortable in it's faith in a way that it never was in the Bible. Jesus died for our sins, countless people have been brutally murdered for their faith, and Jesus openly told people to abandon the physical to walk with him. I don't remember where it was but there was this guy who wanted to follow Jesus but he kept on coming up with excuses about needing to take care of his aging parents and other things before he could follow. Following Jesus isn't supposed to be comfortable yet, modern Christianity has gotten very cushy in the last couple decades. Do you think this is problematic or just a difference in culture?

                      I've seen it. I've even practiced it, but it's not Christianity. It's paganism. It's Idolatry.

                      Comment>

                        #12
                        The Bible tells us in Mathew 6:38 that don't worry about anything on this world for it's already provided. Seek God's kingdom and everything else will be yours. It also says that Jesus was made poor so that by his poverty we will become rich. There are many verses but the point is that Christianity is not exactly cushion, it gives us confidence. If you trust in God you have confidence and you know that even though you suffer it's just temporary.
                        Comment>

                          #13
                          Originally posted by thatbrian View Post
                          I've seen it. I've even practiced it, but it's not Christianity. It's paganism. It's Idolatry.
                          I think when certain modern churches want proof of income before they let people join as a member, it certainly appears they are focusing more on this world than the next. I don't believe "Come to Christ but only if you earn over 50K" is part of the Bible's message, or at least not in the one I read. With that kind of requirement, is it a surprise their message may be focused more on the temporal than the spiritual? If the flock is viewed as income, the church won't want to make them uncomfortable or challenge their faith.
                          Comment>

                            #14
                            Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
                            I think when certain modern churches want proof of income before they let people join as a member, it certainly appears they are focusing more on this world than the next. I don't believe "Come to Christ but only if you earn over 50K" is part of the Bible's message, or at least not in the one I read. With that kind of requirement, is it a surprise their message may be focused more on the temporal than the spiritual? If the flock is viewed as income, the church won't want to make them uncomfortable or challenge their faith.
                            Wow Chatterbox, so it's come to that in some churches! That is really bad... I know churches back in the Southeast where I used to live used the tax deduction records to keep track of who gave how much, and my husband has seen worse. Scripture tells us to not your right hand know what your left hand is giving, so often I'd give cash, and they'd think I wasn't giving anything... Income requirement though, that's kind of frightening!
                            Comment>

                              #15
                              Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
                              I think when certain modern churches want proof of income before they let people join as a member, it certainly appears they are focusing more on this world than the next. I don't believe "Come to Christ but only if you earn over 50K" is part of the Bible's message, or at least not in the one I read. With that kind of requirement, is it a surprise their message may be focused more on the temporal than the spiritual? If the flock is viewed as income, the church won't want to make them uncomfortable or challenge their faith.
                              I would run, not walk, away from a church like that. Any church that puts that kind of emphasis on what you earn instead of how they are leading according the bible is not a church at all, but a scam. More than likely they are heavily into the prosperity gospel and is a blight on modern Christianity.
                              Comment>
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