But I'd like to contribute my 2 cents.
I'm sick and tired of being associated with a "Christianity" that does not seem to care one whit about holiness or obedience to God's Word. Let me say this as perfectly clear as I can: I believe that "Christianity" in America is nearly totally apostate. Why? We have abandoned the vision of the Holiness and Fear of God.
We've built a false god that will cater to our flesh and meet our "felt needs". Our real need? Repentance. But we don't want to go there. We live in Laodicea. No apologies. Cut and dried. Stuff like this can only happen because contemporary Christianity is rotten to the core.
Don't believe me? How about churches that ignore God's standards for leadership in Titus and 1 Timothy:
"5The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint[a] elders in every town, as I directed you. 6An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7Since an overseer[b] is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
10For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. 11They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12Even one of their own prophets has said, "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons." 13This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth. 15To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good."
"Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer,[a] he desires a noble task. 2Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) 6He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.
8Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons."Long ago, in effect, we cut those pages out of our Bibles and threw them out. You can even be head of the NAE and apparently have no accountability and live any way you wish (as long as you get results!).
Interpersonal accountabilty? Descipling one another? Nah. That's intrusive. Might touch my bubble! So we cut out Galatians 6, where Paul told his readers to "bear one another's burdens" which, in context, means accountability for our areas of failure. Nah. We need to just keep those "happy masks" on.
Forget that God says "Without holiness no one will see the Lord". You and I know that Scofield has said that's merely referring to postional truth, not practical. Live any way you want and call yourself a Christian. That nasty little passage in Matthew 7:21? We can't know who that is -- must be Mormons, or some other cult, huh?
Well I'd agree with it being some other cult. That would be the new cult of contemporary politically correct Christianity. The "I'm ok, you're ok and ain't God good all the time" nonsene that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has nothing to do with. Nor the God who took on human flesh and said "If any man wants to be my disciple, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me".
It's not just Ted Haggard. It's contemporary Christian philosophy that promotes this by turning the head at sin while hypocritically being concerned about "seekers". Beloved, we have nothing to offer an unsaved world (notice I didn't say "unchurched"...it's not about going to church, remember?) if we can't even keep holiness in the Body of Christ.
The cult of American "Chrstianity" is nothing more or less than an insult and a blasphemy to God. We worship a God of our own making. And behind any false "god" is a demonic entity.
We flaunt God's standards through the week in our daily lives, ignore God's standards as revealed in His Word, then hypocritically gather on Sunday morning to tell God we are there to "worship". How dare us try to separate obedience from worship like that! Beloved, let me say this as clearly and succinctly as I can: There Is No Worship Apart From Obedience!
At least once in the past, I've been compelled to tell a person who professes Christ to make a choice. "Either live like a pagan and shut up about Jesus, or repent and start living like a Christian." And I'm saying it all over again.
And why not? Joshua said the same thing long ago:
24:14 "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
Let us summarily cut the theological manure about the "fear of the Lord" meaning something smarmy like "respect". Let us do as Paul said in Philippians and "...work out our salvation with fear and trembling". And yes, that is the how to relate to the "New Testament God". Or was Paul a liar?
If you love the Lord, you will obey His commandments. If you believe this isn't true at face value, then come out of the closet and admit you believe Jesus to be a liar, because that's precisely what He said. No more games. If you want to fill your church with tares, go ahead. But please leave the God of the Bible out of it. And don't count on me to help you.
God's Word is clear. It is sufficient. God didn't mumble, stutter or stammer but spoke with clarity. And it's not inherently prideful to be a steward of God's Word and present it as He gave it.
It is time to renew our commitment to words like "Sin", "Obedience", "Repentance" and "Accountabilty" -- and quit calling sin an "indiscretion".
Don't think that's loving? I don't give a rip. You tell me how "loving" it is to allow a soul to "...miss the grace of God." (Hebrews 12:14). In context that is salvation. If you disagree, Prove it! Give me your exegesis! We are bound by God's Word to hold each other accountable so that those who merely profess come to truly possess. And when we fail here, souls end up in hell. Do they lose their salvation? No. I'm saying that many don't have it to begin with. We call them "backsliders". But they most likely never slid forward to begin with.
This is no game, people. This is for God's Glory. And beloved, if we don't repent, we will continue to dishonor God and cause those who don't know Him to blaspheme His holy name.