We live in days of great confusion and the Christian environment is certainly no exception! Every Christian is exposed to a huge range of views and opinions which can lead to a sense of feeling lost. In the midst of this, it really is vital for every believer to be able to sift out anything that not Scriptural and in order to achieve this, it’s more important than ever to be firmly versed in Scripture. Which is why we ask if you go to a confessing or a compromising church?
Deception always comes in a subtle form and this can be a particularly strong pull in the UK’s liberal society. One example of this can be found in Genesis 3 where Eve was initially deceived through half-truths, suggestion and her own exaggeration:
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (Genesis 3:1-3, emphasis added)
The serpent does not directly lie to Eve initially – he probes the boundaries of God’s instruction and suggests God is being unreasonable or that the command should not be taken at face value. Eve is then guilty of exaggerating God’s instruction by claiming that she was just forbidden to eat of the fruit, but not even to touch it! This provides the perfect opportunity for the serpent to accuse God of telling an outright lie:
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:4-5, emphasis added)
This approach is absolutely rampant in our culture at present. Very often, our own church leaders often try to compromise Biblical values in precisely the same manner but using virtually an identical question – “Does God really…” The most obvious recent example is with the re-definition of marriage – it is no surprise when pressure comes from politicians and the non-Christian community, but on the whole, the church has so quickly capitulated, trying to justify it by suggesting that maybe God didn’t really say or mean things that are very clear in the Bible.
Unfortunately, this is how deception continues to enter the church and the Bible plainly states that deception will be rife in churches in the end times. Congregations are often not enough well enough versed in the Bible to identify a questionable doctrine or idea – they usually defer authority to the church leader. This is incredibly dangerous particularly as the NT warns that Satan will infiltrate the church through its leadership. Not only does the Bible warn us about this, but it also makes perfect sense. The devil will not enter our churches wearing horns and a pitchfork – deception will be subtle and alluring which means believers need to be alert.
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:24)
The question remains of how we are to identify whether or not we are at a church that is either teaching false doctrine or is at least on dangerous ground by compromising the straight forward teachings of Jesus Christ. We could not be warned more clearly – even the elect will be deceived by these false teachers and it will get worse and the Jesus’ return approaches.
We would suggest this article provides some useful tests/trends that differentiate between either a sound Christ-like church or a compromising church that is a very dangerous place for the believer – 8 differences between and confessing church and a compromising church. It is based on American churches but is very relevant here in the UK.
One more point – we want to stress that we have no intention of pulling people away from good churches. However, there is surely no more important issue than where we stand in our relationship before God. If your church is being led by a false teacher it will NOT be obvious! Most of what is taught will probably be truthful – half truths will be subtle and deception will be well hidden. But if you do not believe the correct gospel message, this could cause you to end up in hell – nothing is more serious than this so please don’t dismiss it! If you have concerns or questions please either contact us, or use one of the ministries in our links page.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21)