Churches or Theaters?

A look at churches today makes one wonder whether they are places of worship or something else. From false prophets to fake miracles to gay bishops to price-tagged blessings to factions to seductive dancing to wealth-glorification to seductive dressing to "adorable" corpses (click here, here  and here for more on this) …the list is endless. It is as though atheists are now going to church because how could a person who recognizes the holy, sin-intolerant God of the Bible do the things that we have been witnessing? Take for example the recent saga of a Kenyan “apostle” who hired a prostitute to fake a healing miracle at his “church”. What a scandal! Despite the fact that such an incident is not the first one of its kind, it must have made many jaws drop in a manner similar to that of Ms. Esther Mwende, the actress in “Apostle” Michael Njoroge’s script.
"Apostle" Michael Njoroge and Ms. Mwende in action
How is it that such things can take place in a congregation of born-again, Holy-Spirit-filled, Bible-studying followers of Jesus Christ? Have we become so blind that we cannot differentiate between what is real and what is fake? Do we just embrace anything that comes our way as long as the person bringing it carries the title of a servant of God? What happened to the spirit of discernment that Jesus Christ gave to the church? Are we just in church for the show?

Well, for sure, such things could not have taken place in the church that Jesus Christ left. No, they didn’t even happen in the days of Moses. The fact that they are happening is a clear sign that the presence of God is not in those churches. If it was, then we would be seeing a repeat of what happened to jokers like Ananias, Sapphira, Nadab, Abihu, Achan, Saul, and so on. (See Acts 5: 1-11, Leviticus 10:1-3, Joshua 7 and 1 Samuel 15 for more details). The Holy Spirit would also reveal such ploys to the believers if indeed He was moving in their midst. However, as denoted in the Bible, sin causes the presence of God to depart from a church.
In the Old Testament, God made it clear that He does not take any matter that has to do with Him lightly. He stressed this by giving clear guidelines about how He is to be approached, served and worshiped. One of the key aspects that emerged from these instructions is the fact that He expects to be approached in holiness, with reverence and honor. He does not accept shoddy, imperfect or defiled sacrifices and cannot be pleased with anything done contrary to His will.
Nadab and Abihu
The Bible, both in the Old and New Testament, is full of accounts of people who fell under God’s judgment because they saw it fit to do things their own way instead of following God’s prescribed way. They provoked Him to anger and were overtaken by disaster for sins such as lying, disobedience, mishandling the items used in worshiping Him, and so on.
Now, to bring matters closer home, is this God not the same one whose name we are abusing today? Isn’t He the God whom the Bible describes as a never-changing God who is the same yesterday, today and forever? (1 Samuel 15:29 and Hebrews 13:8).  Have His standards gone down? Does the new covenant of Jesus’ blood command less honor and respect than the old covenant of animals’ blood? Does salvation by grace mean compromise and tolerance to sin?
Many people seem to think that Jesus Christ came to introduce lower standards. The things that are being done by so-called “Christians”, including those professing to be born-again, are a clear indication of this. People sleep around, lie, cheat, bribe, steal, curse, hate, abort, consult witches, condone homosexuality, corrupt the gospel, etc., and then go to church on Sunday to present their defiled hands, mouths, eyes and bodies to God. They shout, sing, jump, clap and work themselves into a sweat, expecting Him to turn a blind eye to the sin in their lives and instead be very pleased with them. However, the Bible makes it clear that sacrificing to God with sin is equivalent to lighting useless fires before Him and only succeeds in provoking Him to anger (Malachi 1: 6-14).
When Jesus Christ found corrupt business going on at the temple in Jerusalem, He reminded the worshipers of the words of Jeremiah 7 which says:
“‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things? Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the Lord. - (Jeremiah 7:9-16)
Contrary to popular belief, the new covenant of Jesus’ blood demands even greater honor, reverence and respect than that accorded to the old. Hebrews 10:26-31 and Romans 6:1-4 show that abusing Jesus’ blood invites even more severe punishment than that meted out in Moses’ days.
Jesus Himself outlined the rise in standards when He said:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. – (Matthew 5:27-28).
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. – (Matthew 5: 21-22).
So, the question now arises: what should a wise Christian do if they find themselves in a church full of defilement and compromise? The first thing, of course, should be to highlight the issue in whatever way they can, since it is the duty of every Christian to point out sin. However, if those involved refuse to listen and are unwilling to change, the true Christian must separate himself from them for the following reasons:
  1. “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Sin has a way of spreading from one person to another. Like two famous proverbs say, “Fish Rots From the Head” and “One Rotten Apple Spoils the Whole Barrel”. A sinful pastor will inevitably transmit his vices to the rest of the church.
  2. The sin of one or more members of a congregation can prevent the other members from getting a breakthrough.  In Joshua 7, the sin of one man called Achan caused the entire Israelite army to experience defeat. What’s more, God requires priests to be in the right standing with Him before He can accept any sacrifices from a congregation and visit it. Aaron and his sons had to have their sins dealt with first before any other offerings could be made (Leviticus 9). This means that a corrupt priesthood acts as a hindrance to the other members of the congregation.
  3. When God judges the sins of a particular group of people, that judgment befalls everyone who is involved in that group (See Revelation 18:4, Jeremiah 51:45 and Hosea 4). That is why whenever He is about to send judgment, He commands His followers to distance themselves from the group.
"Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues” - Revelation 18:4.
Rather than go to a fallen church to be deceived and led astray, it is better for a person to study the Word of God by themselves and receive its interpretation from The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is available to guide and counsel any faithful follower of Jesus Christ in all the matters that pertain to life. Even so, it is a good thing that not all churches have been corrupted by the false doctrines and trends of the day. In case you need to move camp and find a place where the Word of God is correctly taught and practiced, pray and ask God for guidance and He will surely lead you to the right place. If need be, you may also ask for recommendations from yours truly (nurunyambura@gmail.com).
That said, it is important to note that what is happening worldwide is simply the fulfillment of prophecy. It should therefore not take anyone by surprise or cause any alarm. Many more things are scheduled to take place, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. As the world courses through its final dark chapter, the true disciples of Christ should remain steadfast in their faith and remember the many comforting words of the Bible, some of which are:
“When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” - Luke 21:28
“You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” - 2 Peter 3: 11 – 12
“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” - Hebrews 10:25
“Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.” - Revelation 22:11.

…more on this will come in subsequent posts. Be abundantly blessed.
Additional References:
  • The rise of false prophets: Matthew 24:11; Matthew 24:24; Matthew 7:15-20.
  • The increase of wickedness: Matthew 24:12; 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13.
  • The judgment of false prophets and apostles: Matthew 7:22-23; Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15; Revelation 19:20.