Defying Western "Christianity"

Lately I have really encountered a number of challenges, both spiritually and mentally. I have no desire to go into them all specifically, but one of them has really stood out to me. 

It seems the more I study, observe, and ponder Christianity in today’s culture, the more repulsing it becomes. It seems that Western civilization has mutilated and fundamentalized the very core of Christianity, turning it into nothing short of a freak show and joke for the world to sit back and mock. That may sound harsh, but the more I read the Bible and talk to those who have already fought through this process, the more I am quickly running away from Americanized Christianity. I truly believe that the majority of denominations out there are really nothing short of borderline cults and sensationalist groups.
Some may be thinking that I’m obserd to accuse “Christian denominations” of being cults, but I would like to share this definition and explanation of cult that I found on http://www.choicesforliving.com:

In popular usage, “cults” are religious groups predicted by the Bible (2 Peter 2:1) that deviate from the central, historic truths of biblical Christianity and God’s revelation in Christ. Some cults are offshoots of ancient pagan religions, have no similarity to Christianity, and are easy to identify. Others falsely try to imitate Christianity, often using the Bible and Christian terminology, and are more difficult to distinguish. These latter cults typically exhibit one or more of the following traits:
1. They may consider Jesus Christ as not equal to God the Father, but something less. But Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), and Paul said that Christ is the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15) The Bible is repeatedly clear that Jesus is deity, and when on the earth, He was God in human form. We can be redeemed from our sins only because God’s own perfect blood (in Christ) was shed for our perfect cleansing.
2. They may typically reject the clear biblical revelation of a triune God, sometimes called the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit — one God, not three, but manifest in three Persons. The Bible refers to all three as Persons, yet One. A mystery, but truth.
3. They may have their own “sacred” book in addition to the Bible. And although they usually deny it, these books conflict with and are given precedence over the Bible.
4. They typically reject the wonderful biblical truth that salvation is a “free gift” from God by grace through faith alone (this truth glorifies God and not man). Instead, cults and all other “religions” falsely say that people must “earn” their salvation by certain works and deeds, often works that will perpetuate the cult (this glorifies man rather than God).
5. Cults are often exclusive, centering around a strong leader (or late founder) who has the only “true” interpretation of Scripture. Whereas Christ came to give us freedom, (Galatians 5:1), cult members are in bondage to that cult or leader, with the threat that leaving the cult will cause a loss of salvation.

There are a few books I have come across or have been given to me that I am going to take a serious approach to: Christianity Unshackled by Harold R. Eberle and Exposing Christianity by Brian E. Payne are two of them I will begin reading in this next week.  It has really become a concern of mine that so many churches out there are NOT teaching what the Bible says, but twisting it to their own beliefs. There are topics like the gifts of the Spirit (prophesy, tongues, healing, etc), freedom in Christ, not praying a prayer for salvation, and a few others that are clear facts of faith in the Bible that staunchly defy the teachings of so many churches I have attended. 
Jesus told us to test spirits and be discerning of impure teachings. That is exactly what I intend to pursue, and encourage others’ to join me in this quest. Do we take the teachings of the church as truth? Or do we keep the church accountable with the truths of the Bible?
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s