I have heard so many people state that they have never lived through such a time of deep deception and lofty lies.
They permeate everywhere: they contradict all norms, any ability to be a critical thinker, promote group thinking, and are completely bankrupt of old-fashioned common sense.
As a pastor, I can’t help but put my finger on this problem directly at where it belongs - the failure of the church.
The culture is failing because the pulpits are. The lies of various false gospels many churches propagate have created a spiritually deceptive haze that has many who think they are Jesus' followers falling for everything they are seeing and hearing in the dark.
That is because today’s church is filled with the lie of the prosperity gospel.
Any ministry or minister errs greatly when they propagate the "prosperity gospel" as God's promise that He will make us healthy, wealthy and happy. Not sure how they reconcile these times with those buzz words.
The biblical gospel's truth is that God is not concerned about making us happy; He is focused on making us holy, which is why the true prosperity gospel is not that you prosper because of the gospel, but that the gospel prospers inside you. "I will run the course of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart" (Psalm 119:32).
The lie of the psychology gospel is that any ministry or minister fails to present the whole counsel of God’s word when they say all the time that you are “David defeating Goliath with a stone.” However, they never mention in any messages that you are “David being rebuked by Nathan because of sin.” This lie focuses on “self-being esteemed,” as opposed to “self-being denied.”
The truth of the biblical gospel is that it’s not about us, period. It’s about Jesus.
Since Christ defeated death on the cross, we are victorious because of who He is and what He did, not who we are and what we do. “Then, Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.’” (Matthew 16:24-25)
The lie of the progressive gospel skews the view of justice and equality and is the latest internal threat to the true Church of Jesus Christ. The progressive gospel bends to sinful man as it offends a holy God. This false gospel hangs the banner of “human rights” on its movements, but human rights are always wrong when they contradict what God say’s is right for humans.
The biblical gospel's truth is that the true gospel doesn’t bend for sinful men; it mends them. It heals the unjust heart, which is when true justice can start.
The true gospel takes what’s crooked and makes it straight. The true gospel gives us a heart of love and removes a heart of hate. Biblical love never lacks truth. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
If ever there was a “wake up” call to the church, it is now. We will reach the un-churched and the de-churched when the church is re-churched. It's time to scratch hearts, not tickle ears.
ED. NOTE: Maher is the teaching pastor at Coastal Christian Ocean City and president of Soldiers For Faith Ministries. Social media and website: @TruthOverTrend