The EVANGELICAL ESTABLISHMENT
-extracts by Patrick McIntyre.
During the last 100 years, when Evangelical Christianity was waging war for converts, certain questionable practices were overlooked. But we're no longer the "kook fringe." We ARE the establishment. The frenzy of wartime mentality, characterized by wild claims of battle successes that never were, must be replaced with reasonable, honest results. And it's time to take thought for the wounded. For every truly saved American, (the Holy Spirit lives in them) there are at least 6 more that have said a "salvation prayer" and think they're saved as the result.
Many of these gave up on God and are now the cynical, "I tried that before" sinners that call people who go to church hypocrites.
These are the most vocal haters of true Christianity. Their hatred is fueled by a dream that proved to be in their case, only a nightmare...
Tares In The Churches
If less than 10% of Americans are saved, (the Holy Spirit lives in
them) then over half the people who go to church on Sunday are horribly deceived. Every poll, every statistical analysis, every internal and external church study shows what every evangelist and pastor knows: The majority of people who go to church in America are the moral equivalent of heathen.
Bill Bright, who should know (...see Blinded By The Bright) said, "...many who call themselves Christians are not really Biblical Christians at all. Although they may be religious people who attend church regularly, they have never experienced the new birth and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."
Dr. Rod Bell, president of the Fundamentalist Baptist Fellowship of America, believes 50% of people that go to church are lost.
Evangelist Luis Palau said of the 80% of Americans who claim to be Christian, "few live any differently from pagans or atheists, as though God has no claim on their lives."
Dr. James Dobson admitted that, "The majority of Americans are dabbling in religious expression that has no substance."
A.W. Tozer said "probably less than one out of ten evangelicals knows anything experientially about the new birth."
While church leaders all acknowledge the problem, most think evangelical Christians live like heathen because of a "lack of sanctification." Instead of trying to get them saved so they'll be changed by the Holy Spirit , we try to get them to act like Christians. After 100 years, winds of doctrine have effectively buried the Bible teaching of holistic salvation. Forensic or legal salvation has been exalted above experiential salvation to the point where the landmarks of power over sin and the workings of the Holy Spirit are buried like treasure, waiting to be exposed.
The Evangelical church is at the same point the Catholic church was when Luther brought reformation. Like that reformation, this reformation will require a return to a Biblical understanding of holistic salvation. We need to stop putting a "salvation prayer"
Band-Aid on cancer and telling people they're healed. Like Luther, we have to return to a Biblical understanding of saving faith. Like Luther, we need to acknowledge that, "he who has been made righteous does works of righteousness."
Just as Luther unmasked the deceptive practice of indulgences, we must unmask the deceptive practice of leading people in a formula "salvation prayer." "When the penny drops, a soul is released from Purgatory" was almost as harmful as, "when you sincerely repeat this prayer, your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life." The first practice gave sinners the confidence that their friends and relatives could buy their way out of Purgatory. The second statement offers the sinner no-fault insurance from Hell.
Most people who attend Evangelical churches ignore the "small print" and go right to the bottom line: Because they said a salvation prayer, God doesn't see their sin...they're covered by the blood of Christ. So they can go on sinning without the fear of God.
In fact, most are taught there's nothing they can do that will disqualify their free ticket to heaven. "What shall we say then?
Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" Rom 6:1 Yes, says modern evangelism. "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" James 2:20 No, says modern evangelism. Faith without works is normal for most American Evangelical Christians.
There is no longer a need for showing forth the fruits of repentance, (Mattew 7:18) or making your election sure. (1 Peter 1:10) A youth pastor I know told a group of mostly lost teens, if they committed suicide, they'd still go to heaven. What kind of distorted theology would cause a minister to say such a thing to a group of teens most of which had no evidence of being saved? This is the result of the scandal of modern evangelism. We have become arrogant with the Scriptures,."... in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."
-2 Peter 3:16. "God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?"
No Evangelical evangelist or pastor before 1900 would have looked at the condition of people who go to church today and concluded their carnality was the result of "lack of sanctification." They would accurately conclude that the vast majority were never saved. The next question they would ask is, "why do they think they're saved?"
The answer is the scandal of modern evangelism.
Revival Or Irrelevance
The Evangelical establishment has a choice to make. Either recognize that churches are full of heathen, and try to make them into saints, or become as irrelevant as most European churches.
Either return to God's way - complete transformation of the individual by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, or continue throwing precious resources into worldly social reforms, becoming just another welfare program...
-SOURCE - 'The Evangelical Establishment' by Patrick McIntyre- http://www.christianebooks.com/