Designer Chruches

The term “Mainline Protestant” has outlived its usefulness.   In the mid-20th Century the mainline denominations represented a majority of all churchgoers in this country.  They were considered “mainstream.” Today, these mainline Protestant denominations could more accurately be called “designer” churches.

Mainline denominations were known for their involvement in their community and the world at large.  As citizens in a democratic republic, they took seriously their responsibility to live out their faith and see that God’s moral values were reflected in our laws.

Not anymore!  Since the 1960’s, the moral values that are unequivocal in the Bible began clashing with the world’s values.  Slowly, issues like abortion, fornication, adultery and homosexuality became subjects of debate within these denominations.

As a result, these mainline churches began drifting away from God’s standards and began designing their own rules of conduct.  That’s when their numbers began shrinking.  Today, these designer churches are not only a minority among all Christian denominations, but a minority among Protestant churches as a whole.

Last week’s decision by the Presbyterian Chruch USA to approve homosexual marriage was no surprise.  In 2011, the denomination voted to allow the ordination of gay men and women in same-sex relationships.  It was only a matter of time until the PCUSA went the way of many other mainline churches and adopted the entire homosexual agenda.

Mark Tooley, the president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a conservative faith-based alliance that keeps track of these developments, says, ”Only declining denominations reject historic Christian standards and in nearly every case that rejection reinforces the decline.”

As recently as 2010, the PCUSA had 2.1 million members.  Today it is down to 1.76 million.  One wonders why it has any members at at all

If you can decide which of God’s moral laws to obey, how important can God really be?   Why not just go to the beach?  Many are.  Others are joining evangelical and fundamentalist congregations.

Last week, some speakers at the Presbyterian assembly in Detroit said they were afraid this decision would cause more conservative people to leave the church.  They should be more concerned about God leaving the church!

Some argue that the biblical pronouncements against homosexuality are outdated.  One rightfully can make a distinction between ritual and moral law.  Christ sacrifice did away with the need for observing the Old Testament rituals, which were meant to show us God’s holiness and our need for a savior.  However, God’s moral law remains unchanged.

In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus made that abundantly clear:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law . . .  For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

The biblical pronouncements against homosexuality are unambiguous:  Leviticus 18 is an expansion of the Seventh Commandment.  It is not an exhaustive sexual code but it is consistent with God’s purpose for human sexuality as presented in Genesis.  It lists homosexuality among certain gross offenses that were common at that time.

This pronouncement against homosexual acts is repeated and expanded in the New Testament in Romans 1, I Corinthians 6:9, and I Timothy 1:10.

The Bible says, “All sin and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Christ paid the price for our sins.  He will forgive any sin we confess.  However, that forgiveness is conditional.  It is based on repentance and our willingness to turn from what the Bible refers to as our “wicked ways.”

Jesus said, “If You love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15

None of us are perfect. That’s why we need a savior.  We all fail from time to time, but this is different than making a decision to deliberately live in a condition of sin.

In Matthew 7:22-23 Jesus also gave us this warning:

Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?”  And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”

Everyone struggles with sin. Most struggle with sexual sin of one kind or another.  However, these are the very sins the designer churches wish to excuse.

We can be thankful that we still live in a country where we are free to believe in God or not.  We can choose to follow His ways or not.

Some think there is a third way.  That’s why they attend designer churches.

4 thoughts on “Designer Chruches

  1. Although I believe in God, I am not a Christian, so I am very reluctant to criticize Christians, who are increasingly persecuted and marginalized. But Ms. Chastain, Paul McGuire, Chuck Baldwin and others have all pointed out that something has gone terribly wrong with major Christian churches, none of which seem willing to stand up to our increasingly tyrannical government or to insist on true Judeo-Christian morality.
    The Catholic Church has homosexual pervert priests who molest children, and they are enabled by corrupt bishops and archbishops. The Vatican in the last few decades has been hit by the Vatican Bank/P-2 Masonic Lodge scandal, and by the mysterious death of at least two Popes, almost certainly murdered by Vatican insiders. At least two priests who served in the Vatican have claimed that homosexuality is rampant in the Church, and that Satanic rituals are carried out in the Vatican. Recently, the bodies of hundreds of children and infants were found in an old septic tank at a Catholic home for unwed mothers; the children appear to have died of hunger…this in a Church possessing vast wealth. The current Pope advocates redistribution of income (except his own) and world government, and sides with the “Palestinians” against Israel.
    And the Anglican/Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Church of Christ churches all have homosexual and lesbian priests. Together with the mega churches, these account for most Christians.
    Christianity is in danger of ceasing to be a force for good and becoming part of the evil empire.

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  2. Excellent article! It needs to be said more often.
    I had a very similar experience… raised in the Presbyterian church, switched to the Methodist church after being saved and eventually left the Methodist church to attend a non-denominational church because of a lack of a commitment to biblical principles. That was in the late ’70’s.
    In my case, My wife and I were discipled (Wow there’s a concept) and sent out with the laying on of hands to start a church… in our living room.
    We became very involved with starting a pregnancy care center and standing up for unwed mothers and the unborn. I encountered church after church who would not support the pregnancy care center because of some doctrinal issue or other pathetic excuse that let them off the hook. I was told by the pastor of a large “bible believing” church that had a 4 million dollar mission budget that the subject of abortion was too controversial and they could not help… not even diapers. Shameful, just shameful.
    We sponsored Francis Shaeffer’s video series “How shall we then live” with most every church in the area not participating because it was too controversial. This was the early ’80’s
    We walked the sidewalks outside of abortion clinics. We often knelt praying for those going in. No shouting, no confrontations, just loving and interceding for these poor lost folks deceived by societal norms.
    Interestingly enough, the “bible believing” stalwarts were still nowhere to be found. However, rain, hail, sleet, or snow, the Catholics were there way before us kneeling on the sidewalk and praying for hours. I gained a new respect for that crew. They were the real deal…. believers that I would have in my foxhole anytime. Believers willing to go to the mat for what they believe. I know that because we all went to the mat and served a few days in the Delaware County prison for “trespassing” on an abortion mill property because we refused to pay the fine.
    So I’m with you dear lady! “My sheep hear my voice. I know them and they follow me”. It’s not complicated. It is a simple choice. Choose as you wish. But being “christianly” is not the same as being a Christian. If you choose not to embrace the authority of the scriptures, fine. At least be bold enough to plainly say what you believe, but leave Christ out of it since He IS the Word and its authority.

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  3. My husband and I search for the church that preaches from the Bible and God’s Word whenever we have moved . Now at one of Americas fastest growing churches: Gateway in Texas they teach God’s word filled with love, involved in not only the local community but spreading boarders far and wide with love.
    It is sad that America at one time a light to the world is failing in values, kicking God out of school, home and government.Our youth is suffering because we failed the moral fiber to speak up and stand strong.
    I pray it is not too late to turn back America.

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