The world is upside down in moral degradation and the church to turn it right side up is an authentic Pentecostal church, according to the head of the Assemblies of God.
Thomas E. Trask is retiring from his post as general superintendent of the largest Pentecostal denomination in the nation. But before he steps down this year, he made an emotional plea to tens of thousands of "brothers and sisters" not to let a "spineless" Christianity enter the Assemblies of God.
"Many churches in America today [are] offering ... new religion that guarantees no hell, requires no holiness," Trask said Wednesday night in his farewell sermon at the Assemblies of God's 52nd General Council in Indianapolis. "It is a limp, spineless Christianity that does not confront sin for fear of being judgmental. It is an impotent gospel that tells people everything is okay."
"May it never ... invade this church!" the retiring leader urged the Pentecostals.
Trask unexpectedly announced last month that he will step down from office, two years earlier than his term ends. Attendants of the General Council meeting were scheduled to vote Thursday afternoon for a new head.
Often praised for his passion for the lost, Trask believes the world has fallen into moral collapse and that the Assemblies of God has the responsibility to impact the billions of people who do not yet know Jesus Christ.
"We're not in the business of window-dressing sinners ... of making sinners comfortable," said Trask, reminding the Pentecostals that Jesus was confrontational and yet his followers grew in multitudes. Unless pulpits become a steady voice against evil, the church will be anemic and powerless, he said.
According to the Pentecostal leader, five things are causing the nation's moral collapse. The first Trask listed is situational ethics in which biblical absolutes are rejected even by some churches. Second, Trask warned against cultural seduction in which America is witnessing a blurring of sexual roles, same-sex "marriage," homosexuality and co-habiting outside institutional marriage.
"For these sins, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed," noted Trask, who was referring to the biblical cities that were destroyed by God for their sins, including sexual deviation.
Third is cultural accommodation. Scriptures are being viewed as irrelevant and outdated on such issues as abortion, social drinking and divorce, said Trask. Fourth is inclusive salvation, in which everyone goes to heaven.
"Let me remind us again, this theology [of] making everybody happy and trying to placate the sinner while they're on their way to a lost eternity – God will hold us accountable and responsible," Trask stressed.
Lastly, "we must never allow the Assemblies of God to become a passionate people with passionless pulpits," said Trask as he called for an authentic gospel, authentic messengers and an authentic Pentecostal church that is spirit-filled.
"Let us be people of conviction, not convention," he said. "Let us be people of revival, not regression. Let us be a people of passion, not passiveness."
A reception in honor of Trask that was to be held Wednesday night was cancelled due to Trask's desire not to cut the altar time short after the sermon. A Trask Appreciation Reception is scheduled for Friday evening.