Starting and building a Christ honoring church is not easy. There is always the temptation to seek an easier way. But there is no easy way, it always requires the intervention of God and hard work on our part. Prayer, soul-winning, preaching, and teaching are all necessary ingredients to build a church. Unfortunately, there are many good men that have followed a path of compromise that endangers the effectiveness of the church.
Compromise comes in small steps that are almost undetectable. The first steps downward is changing the style of music and lowering the standards of separation. When the church web site states casual wear for church I know where they are headed. They are trying to make lost people feel comfortable and welcome by being more like them. At first it is almost unnoticeable but it is the first step and other steps will follow.
At first these initial steps of compromise seem unimportant but they are the result of a philosophical change that will lead to more changes. Another noticeable trait is the elimination of the choir and the addition of several people singing on the platform. The songs often are choruses that you can’t find in your hymnbook. They usually are very shallow with little doctrine or deep spiritual truth. The leaders on the platform dress down to give the impression of acceptance to come as you are.
Another step downward is the elimination of the Sunday night service. People come Sunday morning only. This is another effort to accommodate people rather than to change their lives. Another noticeable change that comes along the way is to change the Wednesday night service. Wednesday night is no longer emphasized. It first begins as a children game night and the adults meets in a small group and informal Bible study.
Evangelism becomes seeking people from other churches rather than reaching the lost. The Sunday morning service becomes a fellowship with refreshments but lacks fiery preaching. All this leads to a false impression of spirituality and a less holy life. If the pastor is a good organizer the church may grow in numbers but become less effective to change anyone’s life. This change does not work for most men and it eventually lessons the impact of the church. Eventually it leads to the death of the church.
The path downward results in an unclear gospel message and young people will not see the importance of the church since it appears to be the same as the world. Liberal churches all started out strong, vibrant, and growing. What happened to them? They followed a path of compromise that over time led to a failed ministry.
The steps of the Prodigal son all led him downward. The path back from compromise is seldom followed and when it is it is more difficult. Beware of that first step downward!