I would like to get your advice about a certain situation.My brother is attending a church where they give him pretty good and decent (even Biblical) teachings, give him a good environment to raise his children, and just a good all-around wholesome group of people. The sad situation is, holiness of heart is not preached and taught as an obligation from the Bible. Don't get me wrong, they are not Antionomian either... they even teach that you "ought" to live right. But one can attend this church for years easily without having a true conversion experience and without ever being convicted of sin. I know it because I have met some of them. I'm talking about sins like lust, pornography, addictions of many kinds... the type of stuff you do in the closet. And there is nobody to preach hard against this at this church.My question is: should I advise him and his family to leave the church? If there is sin in the camp, and the pastor is not addressing it... if you can go there and not be pricked in your heart for having lust or whatever it be... Bottom line is this: is a church a true "church" as far as the Lord goes if a sinner can go there and not be confronted with his sin and be told to repent? Is a church a "church" in the Lord's eyes if someone in sin can sit there comfortably for years?It seems to me that if good fellowship and nice family teaching (and even Biblical teaching that does not address sin in the camp when there is sin...) are not going to cut in the day of Judgment. How is this different from a Country Club? Are we going to church for the Lord and His truth, or are we going for fun and fellowship?This is affecting his spiritual life, even though he does not realize it yet. Now that he has made deep friendship with these people, he thinks they are great Christians. He has come to accept this as the norm. He used to stand strong in his convictions and things used to be black / white, so clear for him. Now... well, it's all shades of grey. In my opinion, he has come to have "friendship with the world" and should "come out from among them and be separate." Now his discernment is cloudy. I would appreciate your input.df
Dairyfarmer,I would point you in the way of the sermon by Paris Reidhead "10 shekels and a Shirt"Download this and pay close attention:[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=282]10 Shekels and a Shirt[/url]
I'm going through a very similar situation in my own life. I'm going to two different churches. One church is very comfortable but there is no conviction of sin, no direct word of the Lord. It's comfortable for me.The other church is a very small church, compared to the first one. The power of the Holy Spirit is so strong is that I'm often convicted of sin during the praise. The word is spoken with conviction and authority. It's a "direct" word from the Lord and it smites my heart to varying degrees, depending on what the Holy Spirit wants to say that day.There's no question in my mind where I should be and this thread really helped me to think through this. Thank you.As far as your brother goes, I would ask him if he is regularly convicted of sin at his church. If not, then there's a significant problem either in that church or in his own heart. I pray this will help you with this difficult situation.
THis is truly a sad thing these days.Many of us, when thinking of the church, think of a building or a certain denomination or a group of people coming together in the form of a church. The Bible teaches us that we as the born again children of God is the church. Therefore, if there be people amongst us with sin in their lives, they would be convicted, if we are right with God, for God's church cant be piluted and just go on with it. Read again in Revelations what the Spirit told the churches and see if God will just leave sin in His children or His church untouched!!This is one of the biggest lies the devil gives the world and even the children of God - that we are free to do as we want. As Paul said to use our freedom in Christ to sin!! This is not true. Jesus told His disiples and the farrisees and all those around Him of their sin and they were convicted of it - even though not all left their sin. But He came to save us from our sin and wont just leave us living and going on in sin, being able to sit in a churc meating and hear the word of God and not be convicted. Then there is something wrong. Pray for your brother. I believe that is the best and most powerfull thing you can do.Love in ChristJanus
Thanks everybody for giving me some input on this.In my opinion, not only is it damaging to his own soul to be in a church where there is no conviction, but to others as well: 1. The children who will grow up not being pricked in their hearts and possibly having a false conversion.2. Those around him who attend church there because he attends. They will also not know what it is like to sit in a service where God can speak through and prepare them to be spotless and without wrinkle. 3. His finances that will enable them to continue propagating this "nice" religion but that will not bring people to a true conversion experience.4. His presence at meetings. If nobody showed up to a meeting, there would be no meeting.Who knows how many people say in their hearts, "Don supports this meeting by his presence - it must be all right." Especially young people.As to Gideons question, No, he is not convicted of anything at this church. They teach wonderful things about the Veracity of the Scriptures, the Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, Creation, etc. But the problem is with what they DON'T teach. They are not getting down to where people are living and you have people there who have never been born again - and don't ever get convicted of sin either, though they are very knowledgeable about the Bible.People attend this church to know more ABOUT God, but not to know God. There are many Bible School and Seminary students who attend because of location. Plus, they have a great children's program. (I don't have anything against education, but think it's a problem when you can have it all in your head but not in your heart).Gideons, I am glad that your decision is clearer now - we all need to attend a church where there is a "direct Word from God" like you said. I believe that what I need to do is clearer also.I would still like to hear what anyone else would have to say about this.Thanks everybody.df.