Failure of Churches, Whose Fault

Loutzenhiser's picture

This question has been circulating in my head for the last few days and seems to be a subject of prime interest among several members here, so I thought to start this thread to try to answer the question.

First let me be clear in that I do not believe that all churches or pastors are failing in thier resposibility to God. But I do see many churches and pastors failing or struggling in the winds of adversity that blow through the religious community today. WHY?

Let me set up our situation here. We live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, west of Seattle on the Kitsap Peninsula. We are home to some of the richest and most technical businesses in the world, ie., Microsoft, Real Player, etc.. In this region the fastest growing religion is Wican. That is New Age witchcraft. In our area the highly praised kids are the Crystal and Indigo children. For more information on crystal children link here. Church attending christianity is some %6.5 of the population. The large churches here (average membership 600 to 5000) either teach christianity/hinduism or prosperity message. For example Casey Treat. On the small end we have several congergations that use sheperding such as the Apostolic Lighthouse. (I feel for the women in that church. TJ and I have "rescued" 3 of them from thier controlling/abusive husbands.) The fastest growing christian community in the area is the storefront pentecostal movment. Small churces of between 5 to 50 members. The problem here is the lack of umbrella or oversite allows for some "intersting" beliefs to flurish. The Church of God of Prophecy is the largest number of this group. Here one can find everything from Mary, Jesus' mother as the literial wife of God to "It is not your fault you are failing in life. You must remove the Demons that are controlling your circumstance". A little something for everyone. We even have large congeration with an excellent pastor who teaches that water baptism died out with the Apostles (extreme dispensationalism), Grace Bible Church.

Can one wonder that I am seeking for the tenets of the original church?

The highest category of failure among the mainstream pastors in this area is "the other woman" and the second is (and this shocked me) pastors who come to believe that they are Jesus or are a direct messenger of God (in other words their words have precedence over the bible). Latest victim to that one, one of our local Nazarene churches.

Now the question is what do we do about it and how can we go about purifying God's church. Or do we just start over again with a new movment? How about the Spiritual Cleanliness Movment? What basic tenets should God's church embrace? How do we keep the pastors and congergation pure and inline with God's word?

BillChapman's picture

what do we do about it and how can we purify God's church


I wrote in this thread earlier without paying attention to your topic and introduction. Today, I read, "Now the question is what do we do about it and how can we go about purifying God's church."

This hydra needs to be attacked at all its heads at once.

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 28:19-20

In the first place, we've got to tighten the entrance requirements into the church to include what the great commission says, not just baptism, but baptism and teaching. People need to be instructed in what it means to be a Christian.

Some examples may be helpful. There are some who have said they are Christians, but say they are not a member of any particular church, or they don't attend the church they are members of. Some claim they will always be a babe in Christ, as if that is a good thing, even though Scripture clearly teaches otherwise. This inconsistency between what scripture requires and their lifestyles should be addressed, according to Matthew 18:15-17.

So I would suggest that we have membership classes to instruct those who want to join in our particular physical expression of the Body of Christ.

People need to be taught about the holiness of God and the sinfulness of mankind. We are naturally people who agree with Satan's lie that we are "like God, knowing good and evil," when, in fact, our thoughts are "only evil continuously." And what we think is good worship is idolatry and self-serving. The only worship that God accepts is that which comes from His holy mind, and not what comes from a sin-tainted mind.

We need to submit ourselves to the authorities that God has placed over us (Romans 13:1-5), both in government and in the church. "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." - Hebrews 13:17

In the middle, there should be teaching, i.e., the end goal of the great commission, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." We need to learn the commandments of Christ, how to obey them, and the necessity of obedience to them.

At the other end, we've got to be true to the scriptures in removing people who are not living like Christians from the church (e.g., Matthew 18:17).

Of course, we need to do all these things in humility, since we can also fall (Galatians 6:1-2).

Do we need to start a new new church, or can we do this in the one we are in? The author of Hebrews indicates we may be able to provoke one another to make some changes.

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." Hebrews 10:24-27

So I suggest we start by some humble provoking of those who are supposed to be looking over our souls, i.e., the officers of our current churches.


Bill Chapman

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6