One of the thoughts I’ve long had is – how long does it take for a church begin to slide into apostasy, and how do they do it? Between three and fifty years.
There’s really no way to say. Lee Robertson’s Church, for example, had one small deviation, from what I’ve read. Pastor Robertson wanted to stay away from controversy. He refused to criticize publicly any Pastor, Bishop, Reverend, etc.
He played the safe road. However, when aiming a gun at a target, if you’re only a fraction of an inch off at the front sight… over 25 yards you miss the target. The issues of his church going apostate was inevitable. By not warning about teachers who denied fundamentals, he left his church unable to tell who was a wolf, and whom a pastor. They were defenseless.
It took years, but from his decision to never criticize, he made it inevitable. In fact, men came in while he was there who made decisions and changes that led to the church’s sorry state.
Marc Monte is a good, fundamental, Narrow is The Way (NITW) King James Only (KJO) Pastor. He warns his congregations about false teachings, but rarely names names. It will take his church much longer than Lee Robertson, but unless he begins to openly say names, it is inevitable. His congregation is aware of bad teachers, but unable to identify them So, as a result, they’ll listen to any Bible teacher with strong teachings and strong convictions. Rick Warren has strong convictions, almost all of which are wrong. R. C. Sproul has strong teachings and strong convictions, and they too are completely wrong. Paul Washer, the same thing. How will his church know who to avoid? All Pastor Monte has to do to avoid this is – go ahead and let them know who he’s talking about!
On the other hand, lets look at a different example. The average Southern Baptist church boasts a membership whose age is averaging in the 50’s-60’s. There are pastors who have the very real fear of performing the funeral of the very last member of their church, and then going and locking the doors forever.
So when Wolves come along, like Rick Warren, who have a guaranteed plan of boosting attendance, many of these Pastors grab on to it desperately. They have no idea there is another way. Start moving your church to a Fundamental, Narrow is the Way, King James Only church.
You do admittedly lose a LOT of people this way. Being a Christian is like swimming upstream. Most Christians sadly are not educated as to the evils of wrong Bible translations, worldly living, worldly dress, worldly churches. Instead, they think, “why, this is just like the World I just left!” and they’re happy. Few are reading their Bibles enough to notice a pattern of “come out of the world and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing.”
But the Fundamental NITW KJO Baptist church has a specific group that attends. They are hungry for the word of God, ready and willing to do what God says is acceptable, ready to accept any mission you ask of them. You know, saved people/alas, so many of them are open to cultism, because so many cults are wrapping their deceptive poison teachings in the shiny wrapper that is KJO or NITW.
So, you have to educate. I sometimes think of the Christian walk as being more trying to maintain footing as you cross a rushing stream. the water tries to tug you off step. The devil will do anything in his power to get you offstep. If you’re off balance, you’re easier to fight. The devil dislikes trying a head on, touch gloves ring the bell fight. He’d rather weaken you first.
If you can educate a FKJO congregation to beware of cults, errors and traps, you’ve got a rewarding church. Now the issue remains is you’ve got a small congregation, and oddly enough, mostly young people. I think the younger generation sees the hypocrisy of the Purpose Driven movement.
that’s pretty much the rule, not the exception. There are some Fundamental KJO churches with large congregations. A lot of that comes from the “rotating of the saints”, stealing church members from other congregations. There’s good and bad in that. Good, if you’re getting people from apostate churches, and churches that are sliding into apostasy.
Bad, if you’re getting them from other Fundamental KJO churches – that’s bad. I recommend you not allow that. Someone can visit from another Fundamental church as a friendly “welcome to the neighborhood” approach. If they come back, some experts recommend you call that church and let the pastor know. This lets him know you’re not trying to poach off members.
The pastor willing to take this route has the comfort of knowing he’s doing the Lord’s will. As more and more people walk willingly into the “falling away” of Thessalonians, you’ll see Bible Believing churches get smaller and smaller before they disappear. The Pastor who tries to set up a salary with his church may possibly see the church unable to meet it.
Pastors may have to change their focus from “living from the Gospel” to sadly, “augmenting your living from the Gospel”.
Before we slide too much further past that, the Lord will most undoubtedly have Raptured the Church.