Just a few decades ago, it seemed that the worse sins in the churches were people leaving because they didn’t like the worship music or the way others would dress. When I was a kid and Catholic, we often attended Mass on Saturday evening. Some of us wore blue jeans. After all, it wasn’t the Lord’s Day (Sunday) and many had a casual attitude. Except for the older folks who were upset by this and thought it was disrespectful. Yet, I can’t help but wonder why these same folks didn’t complain that no one ever brought a Bible with them.
I remember attending a conservative Baptist church where the women were expected to wear dresses or skirts. If she wore pants, it would mean an unannounced home visit from the pastor and his wife for a friendly chat before the wife would finally get around to mentioning they have a dress code.
I knew one young mother who went through a dozen churches because they all had a choir. She was anointed with the gift of singing and felt she was robbed of using her gift if she couldn’t sing solo.
Then there was the problem with people leaving when their pastor stepped down, got fired or moved away. Sometimes nearly half the congregation (if it was a small church) would leave and followed him or join another church. Where was their loyalty? Was it to God and His word or to the pastor?
There was always a lot of church-hopping. Ask any new family that walks into your church about where they last attended and what happened. The percentage is good that they left because their pastor did.
Yet, all of these things are really so trivial compared to the state of many churches today. Thirty years ago I didn’t hear much about apostasy in Protestant denominations. Women pastors was unheard of. Even some non denominational churches have spiraled downward. They are supposed to be bible believing, bible teaching churches, and yet they aren’t rightly dividing the word of God. With all these new bible flavors of the month, each one different from all the previous ones and more diluted, it is no wonder that sermons and teachings have been watered down. A simple change such as leaving the word, “Lord” out of a verse can be very serious. It can demote Christ. It can cause a new Christian to question His deity.
Thirty years or so ago, most churches were using the King James Bible, especially the Baptist churches. It was THE Bible that was meant to be read in the churches. It even says so on the first page. Today you can be almost assured that the Bible you bring with you on Sunday morning, will not be the same translation that the pastor reads from or the person sitting next to you is holding. If you can’t follow word for word, you will get confused.
My wife attends a bi-weekly women’s Bible study. She always brings her KJV. The teacher insists that everyone get a NKJV. She claims it’s easier to read since they have taken out all the thee and thous. But, in reality, they have done more than that. The NKJV follows the same problematic and yes, corrupted, Greek texts as do all the other modern versions. They have had to make X amount of changes in order to qualify for a copyright. This means adding and deleting words. Sometimes an entire verse is missing.
Sadly, or I should say, alarmingly, the days are gone when all we had to worry about were parishioners arguing over carpet and wall colors or who they wanted to be the new pastor. Now one must be able to discern if what is being taught behind the pulpit is truly the word of God. And if it isn’t, which church do we join?