The greatest threat to the Church is the Church pointing to the wrong things.
That’s right. The greatest threat to the Church is the Church.
When the Church begins to point people in the wrong direction of what Jesus’ purpose was for dying, the Church begins to die. And just for clarity sake, when I say “Church” I mean the global community of Jesus followers.
Here are 4 things Jesus absolutely didn’t die for.
Over 100 years ago, J.C. Ryle shared the following eight symptoms of false teaching that still has tremendous relevance for the church today. (He shares them in his book Warnings to the Churches.)
Keep in mind that a ‘symptom’ is different than a ‘description.’ The list below shares the bad fruit of false teachers and are not necessarily signs of a false teacher—i.e. someone may be an earnest teacher (see #1 below) and not be a false one, but false teachers are often incredible zeal with their erroneous teaching.
A lot of times people flatter themselves and think that they can contain sin, pride in particular. They think that rather than sin mastering them they can master it. This type of thinking demonstrates a disaster waiting to happen.
Pride is not something to be handled. It is not for you. It opposes and destroys.
On occasion I’ll encounter a superhero, whom I call Bible-Only Man. This superhero can quote Scripture like a champ. His knowledge of Old Testament stories could rival any OT scholar. You don’t dare play this guy at Bible trivia.
I’m always a bit concerned when I meet a Bible-Only Man. In part because his life is usually falling apart.
You’d think the two wouldn’t be together.
But surely this is harder to say with integrity in the bloated attractional church . . . If the church is people, then the organizational machine in a local congregation should be considered expendable. The organization may dissolve but the church will remain, so long as the Spirit indwells his people.
Yet many of those doing the attractional model are very fearful of the organization dissolving. There are personal visions and aspirations at stake; there is money at stake; there are buildings involved; there are lots of programs that are considered successful. The enterprise is predicated upon the longevity, the bigness, the success of the enterprise.