Recession-proof Christian Life
1/20/14 at 09:03 AM 0 Comments

The State of the Global Church

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If Jesus Christ had to give an address on the state of what we know as Church, I wonder what He will say in 2014. I begin by admitting that this article is neither prophetic nor as revelatory as it should … rather, I have penned very plain observations that could easily be challenged by a different lens or any searching with deeper discernment. Still, as the Apostle John who gave us the Revelation of Christ – the last book in which he wrote of divine letters to the Churches, I can depict five principal types of the assembly in the present times… each one robust and well upheld to thrive and be sustained in its own unique pattern. None of these classifications are meant to identify any existing denominations or religious institutions - but are more like spiritual entities (for want of better expression) bound and upheld by commonalities evident in practically every Church gathering of mortals. The five depictions are as follows.

  1. The Persecuted Church
  2. The Church Sorely Distressed
  3. The Powerless Church
  4. The New Generation Church
  5. The Church of the People

The Persecuted Church refers to assemblies seen more often in scattered pockets and sometimes but more rarely in much larger numbers also more often in less affluent cultures. The Church mostly isolated and compelled to thrive only under extremely hostile social and political factors. This Church has had no alternative but to rely on God and be led by His Spirit. It has no other supports and nothing else explains its continued relevance and existence where she will be found. Needless to say, the saints are too buffeted and exhausted to discover and refine creeds or theology and for which the simple truths given to the disciples must still suffice. The Persecuted Church has not the luxury of sophistication – but is meek and simple, united in a quiet anguish, forced to be unstructured and fluid because this is the only form the Holy Spirit will permit its survival. Yet I sense this is the triumphant Church of our Lord Jesus Christ. The unadorned Church that has overcome overwhelming odds, survived major assaults and onslaughts … this is the mocked Church that has fought for and kept the faith - awaiting the return of her first husband, Christ. One will recognize her by the evident outpouring and overflowing love of Christ and a divine oneness. The Persecuted Church is also the most elaborately faked of churches as she is the most precious, like a priceless diamond.

The Church Sorely Distressed has somehow misread the indicators or, more accurately, rewritten the basics of the faith. This Church is confident, enabled and empowered and highly intelligent. Her message is compelling to the 21st century – in a partial error, firmly convinced the Kingdom of this world has already become the Kingdom of God and of His Christ, hence she is a primarily earth-focused assembly …with little interest in the eternal past or future. She will not admit that the god she worships sits on a rickety throne supported by the evil tripod of earthly gain, political influence and vain ambition. This Church boosts of a positive relevance and dynamic modernism that demeans the travail and waiting of the Persecuted Church. The Holy Bible, for which many were burnt on the stake for, has been severally and extensively revised for her and its message recontextualised and abridged where necessary to charm a very delicate new target market that insists on its own measures of correctness.

The Powerless Church is the Church that talks too much, argues and engages in ceaseless debates … always raising strife - as though this were her unique forte. Her creed is the self- professed purity of corrupted theology … and her excellence parades the inventions of the human mind shaming the simplicity of gospel truths. Ananias and Sapphira are unlikely to be openly supernaturally judged in her meetings. Miracles are rare and when they occur highly scrutinized and quickly suspected as frauds. This Church fears and kills faith and shuns the supernatural because she needs to be in control. With the Holy Spirit long grieved and departed, the human spirit reigns in diverse artful expressions that only bring new limitations to divine knowledge thus denying a great power that would have enabled far greater exploits. At her best, this Church manifests an elegant and stately lukewarmness. Demons have been specially alerted that this Church - that has impressed many - is best left undisturbed and must be helped to remain in her comatose state … hence she thrives.

The New Generation Church is the invention of the market paradigm that puts the customer first – and has found the new generation, said to be a strong majority in the living population, less disposed to the old paths. So, new pathways have been provided and patiently marketed. Few elders have the courage or energy to question the cancerous hypergrowth of this monster that uses brilliant human innovation and creativity to build towers that she foolishly imagines must soon reach the heavens. Only that every generation has been in exactly the same state, claiming they have found the elusive elixir of life and leveraging technology, talents, enervating music and whatever works to force a spiritual ascent that denies basic tenets of true grace, holiness and Godliness. Time soon forces the realization, as another new generation emerges wanting something different, that what was forced up comes down when muscles wither and become weary. Like God did with the brilliant architects and builders of the impressive Tower of Babel, He must intervene to pull down a vain edifice even though many decades have been allowed for her many strange constructions. The best time to pull down her towers is when they have long progressed in their grand mischief and workers must be mercifully weakened, frustrated and scattered not to begin again.

The Church of the People is the Church the seduced people want – the Church of the Mob. This is another formation of the present age. This Church is the tool and embodiment of Jezebel that refuses to mourn… the seducer of governments, trade, economics, races, genders, tribes and populations. The Church that has done its research and has packaged the winning offering to come up with its unassailable manipulations, claiming to have endured enough humiliation - coming up on top of the mountain of the filth she has cleverly originated and propagated. Jezebel heads and directs this assembly that will not repent but insists on living out a destiny to enjoy a lavish and prophetic space given by God Himself… until her cup is full or the Lord returns.

Rev 2:21 And I gave her (Jezebel) space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

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