The blurring of the lines between good and evil has become commonplace among "self-identified" Christians, especially among millennials and Gen Z. In an extensive study with Barna Group, Dr. Tracy Munsil, Executive Director at The Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, concluded her research by stating, "Belief in absolute moral truth rooted in God's word is rapidly eroding among all American adults. This includes those who are both churched and unchurched, those belonging to every political segment, and from every age group. Even among those who do identify God as the source of truth, there is substantial rejection of any absolute standard of morality in American culture."
For this reason, I want to expose three areas in the church that are in moral decline due to the erosion of God's truth and how you can combat each one.
The first area to combat is the weakening of theology in the church. With the rise of secularization and progressivism in the church, there are many talking heads who preach against the Bible as God's Word. One progressive pastor, in recent weeks, vocalized his view of the Bible to his inclusive congregation by asserting, "The Bible, isn't: the Word of God, self-interpreting, a science book, an answer/rule book, inerrant or infallible." Rather, it is: "a product of community, a library of texts, multi-vocal, a human response to God, living and dynamic."
The most effective way to combat weak theology is to stay grounded in the Bible (see 2 Tim. 3:16-17) as the infallible Word of God (see 2 Tim. 3:16-17). The more you are in the Word of God, the greater your boldness and discernment will be to combat false teachings that run contrary to the Bible. Paul exhorts every Christian, "See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ" (Col. 2:8). Therefore, teach the Bible with more frequency to others.
The second area to combat is the worshiping of self in the church. The great English Puritan, Stephen Charnock, preached against self-aggrandizing in the church, "When we believe that we should be satisfied rather than God glorified in our worship, then we put God below ourselves as though He had been made for us rather than that we had been made for Him." Given this, seek to follow the three biblical mandates to counteract and squelch idolatry in the church.
- Humble yourself before God. James 4:7, "Submit yourselves therefore to God." The word "submit" means to surrender to God's will.
- Serve others above yourself. Philippians 2:3 reads, "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves."
- Use your spiritual gifts to build up the church. Romans 12:5-6, "So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them."
The third area to combat is the notion that sin is subjective. There is a rising number of untrained evangelicals filling the pews who justify sin in their own lives, as well as in the lives of others. Even pastors are caving to culture's pressures and crafting eloquent sermons that justify moral sins like same-sex marriage, abortion, and transgenderism.
So, you might be wondering, what can I do to combat such sin? First, make sure you are living a life worthy of the Gospel (Eph. 4:1-2). Second, call out sin as Paul did in Galatians 5:19-21: "Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." Third, don't just tell people to renounce their sin but to repent of it. The beloved apostle, John, wrote, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
It's time, dear Christian, to stand for the truth of God's Word without compromise and allow the Holy Spirit to empower you to bring restoration to the body of Christ.