The best way to describe the modern churches here in the U.S. would be to say it is a combination of the church of Galatia and the church at Corinth. The reason is, the U.S. churches have become thoroughly infiltrated by the Jewish religion and worship of Israel as in ancient Galatia. They have also become infatuated with spiritual and secular flamboyancy as in ancient Corinth. The parallels are uncanny. Be sure though the sins of both these churches were totally refuted and rebuked by the Apostle Paul in his epistles to these two churches. In fact in all of scripture none of the churches were so thoroughly rebuked than these two churches, they standout in all of scripture as the only time he chastised a group of Christians for their overt false doctrines. We need to take a hard look as to what Paul said about the way these churches worshiped, what was wrong, and why it was so problematic for the Apostle Paul and Christianity in general.
To think that the modern church is best represented as a hybrid of these two churches is very disconcerting from a neo-reformational standpoint. We badly need a reformation in the churches in this country, but there have become some disturbing doctrinal trends that have taken root that need to be addressed before this happens. The reason scripture is so acutely attuned towards the addressing of today’s problems is because there really is nothing new under the sun. The first century Apostles strongly rebuked these doctrinal errors and so should we in our time, especially so considering how absolutely given over to these doctrinal errors our churches have become.
The Galatia Connection
The church of Galatia had been targeted by the Judizers, a group of false converts and Jews that infiltrated the church there on behalf of the Pharisees (Acts 15). The Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians decimates this church for teaching that newly converted gentiles must become Jews and live by the Jewish law if they are to be saved. Paul speaking about the inferiority of the Law of Moses to that of Christ said this in his epistle to the Galatians,
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:24-29
We see here that he places the Law of Moses under the submission of Christ, and Christ makes no distinction between Jews and Gentiles. It is not the trappings and traditions of the Jewish faith that saved, it was Christ and Him alone. If you are Christ’s then you are no longer under the Law, Christ being the fulfillment of the promises to Abraham. To teach that we must submit ourselves to Jewish traditions and teachings nullifies the work of Christ on the cross. To Paul this was an egregious error!
Paul goes on to ask who hindered them in their doctrine, who bewitched them with their words and led them back to the Law of Moses and Jewish tradition having been already won to Christ. This question was put out there because he wanted those reading his epistle in that church to identify the source of this doctrinal teaching within in their church. For him these people that where leading people astray by causing them to convert to Judaism and even to circumcise themselves where liars, teaching a false Gospel, a Gospel that has no power to save. He wrote,
Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. Galatians 5:7-10
In the same way we need to call out those who are putting emphasis on Israel, and Zionism as a prerequisite to our Christian faith. So many televangelist and teachers grovel at the feet of Israel. It truly has become a menace with in our church as people give themselves over to a Judaized form of Christian worship. Celebrating feast days, Sabbath worship, obsession with prophecy, etc are all hallmarks of a Judaized Christian. Paul asked us to identify these people, mark them as deceivers and rebuke them for their false doctrines. People like Pat Robertson, Hal Lindsey, John Hagee and others that obsess over the Jewish religion and Israel having been overtaken with false doctrine in much the same way that the church in Galatia had been overtaken. As a result of these peoples incessant worship of Israel they have changed the doctrinal landscape and norms within our churches to the point where it is acceptable to send our children to die in wars abroad on behalf of Israel.
Israel has been judged and are still in judgement, they are still in a state of denial concerning Jesus and the Messiah, to cozy up and even pervert doctrine on behalf of Israel is a grave sin. These people that are instructing their congregations in the traditions and teachings of the Jewish religion will face God’s judgment. If you read again the above verse Paul states that plainly in Galatians 5:10, that those “people that trouble you shall bear his judgment, whosover he be.” These televangelist, Zionist Christians will bear the judgment of God for their Judaizing ways. Purge yourself of their sins, this judgment is not something you want to be partied with. They nullify Christ’s work on the cross and you can bet that nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing infuriates God more, and kindles His wrath like the nullification of Christ’s death on the Cross. Put your faith in Christ nothing more and nothing less.
The Corinth Connection
Meanwhile the church at Corinth had been overrun by worldly carnality, and spiritual flamboyancy. Simply read the book of 1 Corinthians and you will get a sense of the righteous indignation and animosity Paul exhibited towards anyone who was pushing the spiritual plague of carnality into the churches he helped establish. The Church of Corinth was called out in a most embarrassing way by the Apostle. Reading through the book of 1 Corinthians you actually feel bad for that church considering the strongly worded letter Paul wrote them. Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:11 states that he heard a report from the house of Chloe regarding the contentions within the church at Corinth. That report must have been extremely damning and thorough as to some of the issues that had arisen in the church. The list of sins Paul addresses are eye opening to say the least. He mentions this list in 1 Corinthians 6:9,
- abusers of themselves with mankind
He spoke of people there within that church having committed incest, that they were abusing the gift of tongues as a false show of spirituality, he talked of taking communion while being drunk, it truly was a disaster. The church had become so worldly and carnal, services seemed more like a 5 ring circus than a place of worship.
Some of the sins listed that the Corinthian church were guilty of are exactly the things that our modern church are guilty of as well. Our modern church, is full of divisions and competing personalities and doctrines, back-biting and gossip runs amok in our congregations, there is no submission to the authority and leaders of the church, people over spiritualize everything in attempt to make themselves look like a prophet, they puff themselves up as being hugely important and teachers of all sorts of false doctrines, the culture has totally infiltrated our worship services with loud obnoxious music, the pastors preach nothing of substance, the youth department is a place of games and playgrounds, and sins of the flesh and carnality are allowed to run rampant within the church body. In a word the modern church like that of Corinth has become a zoo.
In 1 Corinthians 3:1 Paul says he literally has to chastise this church and to speak to them as if they were unruly toddlers. Which was exactly right, they had the understanding, discipline, and spiritual wisdom of a 2 year old.
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 1 Corinthians 3:1
The devil having successfully infiltrated the ancient churches of Galatia and Corinth with these false forms of worship is doing so again in our modern era. If we truly desire to see revival in our country and in our churches then these two sins must be address post-haste. There is no room in the church for carnality and Judaized religion. These are two things that we are to conquer if we are to be sons and daughters of a holy and righteous God. Remember we are to be like Christ, and nowhere in scripture do we see Christ acting the fool and entertaining the Jewish forms of worship. Please like our Facebook Page, and subscribe to our weekly newsletter for these columns.
To see our modern churches overrun with these types of doctrinal errors should grieve you in the same way it grieved the Apostle Paul. There is no room for the blessing of Heaven as long as we wallow in the shallowness of worldly Christianity and Judaized forms of worship. Paul warned these churches, Christ warned these churches in the opening chapter of Revelations, it is best we take heed now lest we end up on the wrong side of God’s wrath and justice.
Article posted with permission from Wake the Church