Western Christian Culture and Lines in the Sand

For the last several months I have written quite a few articles and addressed Western Christian Culture. To some degree or another what I have written has been quite critical of what passes for modern western Christianity. I make no apologies about for this. I am convinced that the visible church in the west is quite deserving of bold critique.

Furthermore, as I draw this line in the sand, I want to emphasize that I am not interested in going into detail by naming a lot of names. I have spent some time in recent articles naming a few “big names”. Most of those names have been ostensibly Reformed/Calvinistic “superstars”. However, as I lay out my argument for my constant diatribe against Western Christian Culture I will make mention of a few others.

I am convinced that it is beyond time for the Church Invisible to draw hard lines in the sand. We are past the time where sound Christians in the Visible Church can remain complacent about what is becoming of Western Christian Culture. What we are seeing as time goes on is that the culture of the Visible Church is becoming more and more corrupt. It is vitally important that we not lay down in bed with the rottenness that has overtaken us. If we do not move quickly the stench of the grave will be on us.

The “Big Names” in Western Christian Culture

Here is my quick shot at the big names that are indicative of problems with Western Christian Culture. Some of this will make a few folks upset. Well, if anyone besides my friends read my articles they would be upset.

Some of the people will be obvious and still others not as much:

Andy Stanley (not Christian)

Charles Stanley (Andy is a direct result of his dad’s spinelessness, Charles let Andy fill his pulpit)

Rick Warren (not Christian)

Joel Osteen (not Christian)

Liberty University (they have wedded the church with politics so firmly that they are inseparable)

Jory Micah (not Christian; a popular and somewhat prominent pastrix with a huge following on social media)

Ravi Zacharias (as of late he has begun to partner with or share the stage with questionable folks like Joyce Meyers)

Francis Chan (has repeatedly been exposed holding hands with the NAR and other heretics and charlatans)

David Jeremiah (has demonstrated a willingness to compromise with the Charismatic movement and partners often with TBN types)

Beth Moore

Joshua Feuerstein (not Christian)

Steven Furtick (not Christian)

Tullian Tchividjian

Greg Laurie (has become a mega-star for the multisite campus model of seeker sensitivity)

John Piper (this one is hard for me as I cut my teeth on Piper’s works. I still love some of his books.)

Michael Brown (refuses to renounce the NAR movement and the Brownsville Revival)

Matt Walsh

This list may seem short and broadly inclusive. It may also seem that I did not name any overly obvious names while listing a few obscure names. The issues with the names I have listed are emblematic of the problems with Western Christian Culture.

Many of these people have vast public followings and in some cases their videos and/or articles spread like wildfire because they resonate with broader Christianity today.

Western Christian Culture and Politics

In Western Christian Culture the bible and politics have become wed like peanut butter and jelly. The Leftist side of WCC use Jesus to promote communistic thought. The Rightist side use Jesus to promote gun-toting flag waving patriotism. The Centrists of Western Christian Culture use Jesus to justify their mealy-mouthed inability to take a stand for anything.

This is the exact the problem with Western Christian Culture; especially in the USA, it sees Jesus and Holy Writ as a tool to accomplish their political ends. Did Jesus take any genuine political positions in the Scriptures? Not particularly no. He took biblical positions that often stood in stark opposition to the political views of the people who opposed him.

The Pharisees, the equivalent of modern conservatives hated Christ for many reasons. Not-the-least-of which was the reality that he did not oppose Rome the way they wanted. The Zealots of Israel also turned on him for the same reasons. The religious liberals, the Sadducees, opposed Him because He disrupted their comfortable lifestyle with the Romans. Not only did they gladly embrace the governmental power of Rome and the Greeks before Rome, they denied the Scriptures on many levels.

Today, the compromise of Western Christian Culture uses Jesus and His Word for their own ends. If I had a dime for every time a politically conservative Christian quoted “If my people who are called by my name…” in relation to the USA I would be rich. Furthermore, it really doesn’t matter which end of the political spectrum a person is on, they are convinced that Christ backs them up.

Consequently, the political animals of the day vie to use Jesus for their own ends. Just recently a piece I was reading insisted that Jesus would have walked abortive mothers into Planned Parenthood.

Western Christian Culture and Apathy

Sadly, the visible church today is wholly apathetic. By apathetic I mean they approach their religion without even a sense of duty. They aren’t even going through the motions. The Sunday morning gathering has become a social time. Group bible study has turned into a time of stroking the individual egos of the groups. Worship settings are predominantly geared towards entertaining the audience instead of humbling the worshipper.

Pastors are now far less examples of loving shepherds and more examples of CEOs and managers. Moreover, this has become so much the norm that the largest congregations have started to treat their “senior pastors” like corporate presidents.

One personal experience, I watched a “pastor” bring in two other paid pastors and then hire a personal assistant. The congregation was not overly large. However, those two pastors were expected run interference for him. Also, this personal assistant was to screen out the congregants and their needs by scheduling meetings for the senior pastor.

This may seem like a great set-up on the face. However, it was all orchestrated to allow time for him to work on his book project. He was dead-set that he was supposed to write a book. Understand this, a man serving as an under-shepherd of Christ, to a flock of less than 150 people, went to great lengths to screen out the sheep. Having walked away from the congregation, I can now look back with clarity. Consequently, I see that he had only left room for only his inner circle of friends. He now pastors a different congregation.

This anecdotal experience may not prove the hypothesis, but it gives credence to it. How can we expect the sheep to take the faith seriously if the pastors don’t cherish the sheep?

In Conclusion

I could go on to list all the problems that I perceive in Western Christian Culture. That won’t really accomplish much honestly. The fact is that almost 100% of the people who are consistent readers of my articles already agree with me on these matters. Some of you may have your own examples. Even more of you may disagree with some of my examples and statements.

I am fine with that. However, we cannot close our eyes to the steady continental drift of the Visible Church. There is a spiritual plate-tectonic phenomenon taking place. Doctrinally sound Christians cannot sit idly by with their eyes clamped shut waiting for the problem to go away. We must confront any drift we see head on. It is imperative that we face any error or laziness with firmness and with love. Certainly, we know that Christ will build His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. That does not give us license to sit by and wait.

Finally, my dear beloved readers, please, I implore you, speak the truth in love to other Christians. It is the greatest act of loving kindness you can show other Believers, nominal though they may be. I love you all.

Soli Deo Gloria!

-Todd