“Instead, we have renounced secret and shameful things, not acting deceitfully or distorting the word of God, but commending ourselves before God to everyone’s conscience by an open display of the truth.”2 Corinthians 4:2, CSB
Listening to this verse, I thought about recent years when church leaders had decided that being “seeker sensitive” meant that the events on a Sunday morning would be kept light and breezy and nothing would take place that would make anyone feel uncomfortable.
Paul talked about being all things to all people, but that did not mean that he was unable to present the truth of the gospel to those who might find it offensive. The way he was treated by his hearers gives evidence that he didn’t hold anything back. Later in the letter of 2 Corinthians, Paul tells us, “Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning . . .”
Other churches intentionally distort the meaning of Scripture to not give an offense, or to adapt the teaching of their church to current cultural demands. Again, Paul did not do this. He presented “Jesus Christ and him crucified.” He did not add to, or take away from, the Gospel.
My last few posts have been dealing with the issue of fear, and my (perhaps our) need to refuse to allow fear to keep me (us) from becoming what God intends me (us) to be. Fear is our Enemy’s tactic to keep us frozen and not advance in spiritual growth.
Why do churches resort to what Paul calls “acting deceitfully” in their teaching and practice? I believe one reason is fear of rejection by the culture around them. We all want to be accepted and liked. But we cannot allow this desire to corrupt who we are and the message we have to proclaim.
Perhaps another motivation is the fear of failure. When church leaders lose sight of whose responsibility it is to build the church, they feel pressure to tweak the teaching and practice of the church to fill the seats (and fill the offering plates).
But, Jesus is the one who promised to build his church, and if we move away from the message he has given us to proclaim, then we have usurped his authority and gone rogue.
If you are encouraged by this post or would like to join in a conversation, please use the comment form below to offer your feedback. If you are reading this in an email and would like to comment, you can reply to the email or click on the “Read in browser” link below to go to the web page where you can enter a comment. I enjoy hearing from you.