Several years ago we started Hope Biblical Counseling Center because we were greatly burdened about the number of Christian homes that were blowing apart, children not growing up to serve the Lord, and making a disaster out of their lives and others lives. By some estimates up to 80 percent of all children who grow up in an Independent Baptist church-home (other churches the same of worse) do not go on to live for God. After several years of counseling people about their homes, preaching in numerous churches, Bible colleges, and speaking to and counseling many pastors, missionaries, evangelists and their families, I have found that the answer lies in three areas. Number one is parental responsibility, number two is church responsibility and number three is personal responsibility. Probably some of the things I am going to say here are not going to make some people happy. They will probably sound pretty harsh and I find that I generally make friends or enemies, but God knows my heart I want to help people and to present truth to help. I would ask that as you read this article read it with an open heart. If we are failing, then we do not need to keep failing, but we need to be open to Biblical change and instruction so we do not have to fail. The good news is many have not failed today and they have reared their children to grow up and walk with God. We praise God for that!
“Quite frankly, I am just amazed when I talk to Christian leaders and pastors. Some time ago I conversed with a man who talked about a Christian college where he is the leader. He told me about wanting to turn things around. He talked about right music, right dress, and right stand on the Bible, which are very admirable things. Yet the leaders and teachers in this school do all the things that he privately admitted to be wrong.
I ask you, how can a man take a stand for dress standards when he has none? How can a man take a stand against Southern Gospel music when he allows it right in his church or allows those to come to speak that promote it? How can a man take a stand for the Bible when he believes all texts are okay? The answer is that he cannot, and he allows these things in his church because it appeals to the flesh. Romans 6:12 says, ‘Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.’
Revival can never come to a church or a nation as long as the leaders’ lives are dictated by the ‘lusts of the flesh.’ …
Folks, the real need today is not for more programs, but real Christian holy living. WE HAVE A MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY OF COMPROMISE TODAY. Our church takes a stand against the things mentioned above and will not compromise them. This does not mean that people need to be enemies, yet there are things I cannot and should not participate in and just call it a difference of opinion.
If a person has a real desire to change and asks for help, we help them and provide information, but the idea that I should have compromisers preach in my church to try to help them or to be a political person is utter nonsense. Many do this under the guise that the people they invite do not understand the issues yet. No, my friend, they are Biblical compromisers, and if you invite them to speak or associate with them in the ministry you are participating in their ‘living for the lusts of the flesh’ lifestyle and mentality. It is a serious flaw that is killing the spiritual fervor of our churches, church people, Bible colleges, and children.
We are teaching them it is okay to live for the lusts of the flesh and to live a compromising life. It is shameful and a direct violation of the Scripture and is willful sinful disobedience. We need to remember that someday, maybe today, we will stand before God and give an account for how we have lived our lives. Titus 2:11-12 says, ‘For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”
I find that most parents and children are confused about what it really means to live for God. The one avenue that can and should help them is the local church. However the failure of the local church in this area today is a major reason for the failure of the home.
I have traveled around the country and more than ever, I am greatly disappointed in the local church and the leaders of local churches. The compromise of many is appalling. I receive e-mails from around the country from people starving spiritually wanting a good church and unable to find one.
My wife and I after many years of ministry moved to North Little Rock, Arkansas to start a church. Why? Because God said to and because there was a great need for a church to be established in this major metro area that stood for:
- The correct text of the Bible and the King James Bible.
- Proper Biblical dress standards.
- A church that sings and proclaims godly worshipful music.
- A church that is interested in winning the lost and disciplining people.
- A church that is interested in teaching young people to live for the Lord, have a servant’s heart, and to handle life spiritually and wisely.
- A church that teaches why we believe what we believe with expository preaching and verse by verse Bible teaching. A church that teaches and preaches practical application to the life rather than loyalty to carnal programs.
- A church that believes in helping people grow and learn rather than building more and more carnal programs.
- A church that practically teaches people how to deal with sin in their life and to have a real, personal, intimate, and passionate relationship with God.
- A church that is interested in the lives of the people growing spiritually rather than loyalty to churches that are failing in the above tasks.
Let me be very clear, there is a time for people to leave a sinful, carnal, and ungodly church. God does not want His people to live in chaos but to have an atmosphere that seeks to grow spiritually and have a desire for Him. Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
Many local churches today are a “mad” house rather than God’s house, a place of “nurturing and instruction”. The leaders and the people are living carnal angry lives rather than living for and serving God. Ephesians 4: 29-32. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
I want you to understand an atmosphere like the “mad” house is Satanically inspired, Ephesians 4:25-27. It is a place of lying, wrath, anger, clamour (public quarrelling) malice (intent to hurt) and, evil speaking. Does that describe your church?
I Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints”.
Quite frankly, many churches grieve the Holy Spirit by their actions, reactions, carnal backbiting, and angry spirit. Galatians 5:15, “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” Leaders and people who are not controlled by the Holy Spirit make the local church a place of contention and ungodly activity and then expect the children to grow up and serve God? It is the wrong spirit and it is an ungodly spirit. It leads to all the sins of Galatians 5:19-21 being prevalent in the local church and in the lives of people. It also leads to dishonesty by leaders and the church people.
I recently read in our local paper where a pastor had stolen thousands of dollars from his church. The church was in serious trouble because of this problem. This type of thing is happening in many places today.
Folks, the local church is the place for teaching people to walk with God and across the country we find it to be more and more a worldly, carnal, entertainment center and “mad” house.
I want to be very clear. As a pastor it is my responsibility to encourage, teach, nurture, and care for the flock. It does not mean that I compromise with sin. It is always amazing to me that many of the publications I read say “we stand for this and this”. Then I look at an advertisement in the publication and I know that person does not stand for these things. It is utter confusion and it is the type of confusion that is compromise and is leading the local church, and the lives of the people to utter destruction. Some time ago I wrote to the publisher of one of the publications asking why he was promoting an individual in his publication that obviously did not stand for the things he said he stood for. No answer. His no answer meant he did not want to answer the question because of his compromise and loyalty to the wrong things.
We are more interested today in “the politics of the fellowship” than the God of the Bible and the lives of people. We are more interested in loyalty to the program than the Word of God.
Dear pastor friend who is reading this article, if you understand that it is not about building a carnal worldly church, it is about building God’s church, it will help you immensely when the carnal Christian heads to the worldly church down the street. It will also help you when the person who leaves your church slanders you and the worldy pastor down the street helps them in their ungodly living. Also, let me tell you, you cannot live a person’s life for them. We can only teach those who want to be taught. Turn them over to God, go on, and teach those who want to be taught.
Ladies and gentlemen, the failure of the church has lead to the failure of the parents and therefore the failure of the individual to grow up and walk with God. It has therefore lead us to the mess we are in today. As a pastor we need to evaluate the need of our lives and the lives of our people. The pragmatism of the day which says, “It is not about what is right, but what works” has lead us down the wrong path.
Galatians 6:7-8, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
I want to encourage you and give you hope today. There are still some churches out there where you can grow and learn. Keep looking and praying for them. Do not give in and just go to the “best of the rest” which is not the right church. It will only lead to confusion and destruction on your life. Finally, I want you to know God’s Word tells us we should meet together with the believers, Hebrews 10:25. Don’t think for a moment you do not need a godly, sound, loving, caring, and proper local church. When you find one, be a help to the pastor and encourage him by praying for him and be an encouragement to others. Each day ask God who you can encourage in your local church.
I write a lot of material and in another life I was the publisher of a local daily newspaper. I wrote a weekly column that had 250,000 readers. I understand journalism. For the Love of The Family has thousands of subscribers. I get all kinds of e-mails and letters from people who like and dislike what I write. By the way I get more who say they like it than those who say they don’t! So, I am glad for that. Kim and I make the decisions of our life by our walk with God, not by what others want us to do or think we should do.
If you have a question about what I write or I am doing for that matter, feel free to contact me. By the way that is the proper way to do it. I sometimes find that people send out e-mails or letters about our ministry because they have an agenda. Many times people just believe what they hear or read for that matter and never check out the facts. They just do not know all the facts and have never contacted me. By the way it is sin to forward something on if you do not know the facts. I was recently contacted by a friend who had heard something about our ministry. I was glad he let me know because I was then able to contact the person who was the author about their sin. They were able to get their life right with God in the process. The Bible is plain folks, Proverbs 18:13, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” I find there is a lot of folly and shame going on today.
Someone recently asked about how we handle quoting others. By being a former publisher of a newspaper I understand the need to give credit where credit is due. It is always our policy to mention the name or ministry we quote from. Several years ago, I wrote an article and quoted a list of things from a web site. I failed to mention that ministry. The reason was their web site said, “Use this material any way you like”. However, it is always proper to give credit even if their material says you do not have to and we strive to do so. Unfortunately, people try to use things to hurt you when they just don’t care to know the facts.
I encourage the readers of Hope Biblical Counseling Center and friends of our ministry to always contact me if you have a concern about anything I write or concerns about our ministry. Also, I will not argue with you, but seek to answer your questions Biblically with the kindness you should show me as well.
May the Lord bless you as you serve Him is our prayer. We want to encourage you to have a wonderful day in the Lord.