Devil Seeds Now Sprouting
For the last fifty years or so the devil has been cleverly sowing his seeds in the secular world for the sole purpose of reaping a harvest of widespread deception and open rebellion in the church.
The fifties in America and England introduced seeds of a harmless generational gap, manifested best in Rock-n-Roll music and James Dean. They called it rebellion. Rebels without a cause. Looking back, today's kids laugh at it as innocent and corny. Back then being a rebel was daring and risky. Today some form of rebellion and self expression is mandatory by the time you're 13 or you're a nerd. Today rebellion is noble.
The sixties pushed the boundaries even more. Distrust in institutionalized forms of authorities led to what we today call post-modernism. The Government and churches was the problem, not the rebellious ones' rejection of authority. Back then it was free sexual expression, drugs and distrust. Did church leaders who panicked over the "devil's rhythm" in the rock-n-roll music maybe see something bubbling under the surface? They couldn't put their finger on it but they recognized rebellion when flaunted right in front of them.
A modern day example of a seed once sown and recently sprouting occurred a decade ago when we applauded and re-elected a president who lied to us and polluted the White House with the stench of his sorted affairs. America then give him a high five and admired him for being honest enough to obey his sexual urges. He was a product of the sixties. But the good thing is that he didn't inhale. Shame on us. A seed once sown now sprouting.
In the seventies, churches became more open to new methods of outreach by bringing the world into the church. Everybody decided to become "born again". Movie stars, presidents and Terry Bradshaw. Wow! Even Larry Flynt and the anti-Anita Bryant crowd! Back then you could be in the world and "of the world" and yes, you could still be a "christian"! Separation from the world? What's that? You're a weirdo.
Now that the seventies ushered in the idea that anybody who made a profession of faith should now be trusted and taken at their word. The church got into the same boat as the world. The eighties told the church to be open to anything and gave us permission to be selfish without guilt. It was called the decade of greed, self and having it all. Pop-psychology and "I'm okay, you're okay" was the way. The worst people in society were the TV evangelists. Let's not forget, Michael Jackson was our model for the real man, to be a lover and not a fighter, remember? The evangelical church became more tolerant of everything from sissified preachers to women leaders.
Then came the nineties, the decade of political correctness and male sensitivity. The worst thing you could do is to offend someone with harshness of words. Preachers silenced themselves on topics of abortion and homosexuality.
The seventies, eighties and nineties found the devil more subtle in his sowing methods. The western secular world was already in the devil's camp. Don Henly described it well in "The End of the Innocence". The church, the devil's real prey, was even more in the cross hairs.
Finally in the new millennium, the church is so lost in the jungle of worldliness that we have disappeared into the secular landscape. So much so that we can't even see the devil's army rushing towards us with weapons of deception. The seeds once sown have now sprouted into weapons.
Weapons like rebellion against doctrine, rejection of male authority in the church, acceptance of anyone who makes a profession without evaluation, the substitution of psycho-babble for biblical doctrine, infatuation with preachers missing a backbone, church leaders who relinquish their position to eager women, confusion of roles in the christian family and let us not overlook, the evangelical church's love affair with Holy Spirit-avoiding, family-neglecting methods of church growth. And last but not least, at this present time all forms of ancient, Reformation-denying, eastern, mystical, contemplative-prayer, Catholic meditation techniques.
So here we are today. When we see a teacher or pastor, like Dan Kimball or Shane Claiborne who is outside the norm, appears extreme or non-conformist we must entertain his teachings and not expect him to be like us. Seeds of the fifties and sixties taught us that.
We must assume that any teacher or preacher is a legitimate teacher of God's Word, no matter what they teach just because they said they are. Tony Campolo comes to mind. We must embrace anything they teach because we must consider all sides of the story. Even the acceptance of sodomy if necessary. Seeds sown in the seventies.
When we see teachings that are all about the self, full of psychotherapy and pop-psychology it must be biblical and acceptable. Robert Schuller and the eighties taught us that. When jolted with anything goes styles of worship or women pastors, we dare not say a word for fear of offending someone. We must be politically correct. A real man would never offend anyone with his words, thanks to the seeds sown in the eighties and nineties.
We must be open minded and never take a rigid stand on doctrine. There can be more than one way of looking at scripture, so said the nineties and so said Brian McLaren, Rob Bell and the ever elusive Emergent Church. After all, there's more than one way of doing church too, if you don't believe me, go ask Rick Warren. He said it, I believe it and that settles it for me. And of course, there are many ways to pray. Richard Foster showed us that. The ancient monks were those we should learn from says Richard. Even if they were into panentheism and transcendental meditation. Thanks Richard.
Let's wake up!
We as the church must see today's deceptions for what they are, deep levels of worldly pollution that have been developing at a record pace over the last fifty years. The church needs to come clean, be clean and stay clean. We need to clean up our act and go back to corporate prayer and the teaching of the uncompromising hard Gospel and plain Truth of God's Word in this corrupt world. The church needs to sow seeds of the Gospel into the world and not allow the devil to sow seeds of the world into the church. Let's turn the table. We need to get the world out of the church and the Gospel into the world. The workers, you and I all who believe, need to get busy in our churches training each other, praying with each other. The corporate gathering of the church exists not for the world, but for the believer, as the Body of Christ, not the body of the world. Teach the Word, preach the Word (2 Tim. 4:2) that is our duty. Test all things, hold on to what is good and avoid all forms of evil (1 Thess.5: 21, 22).