Tuesday, September 28, 2021


I have been reading through Jeremiah. God’s people had been ignoring God’s requirements for them. Their disobedience allowed the spiritual powers of evil to attack them and bring powerful nations against them. The thing that struck me in reading Jeremiah’s challenge was that the leaders of the people understood God’s requirements and knew that they were being ignored by the people, but they assumed that it didn’t matter that much. Without coming out directly and say it, their behaviour suggested that some of God’s requirements could be ignored without harmful consequences.

These leaders were wrong, of course, and their corrupt behaviour opened the door to the spiritual powers of evil and invading nations eventually pushed them out of their land and into exile.

In some ways, the situation is similar today. Numerous things that are the heart of the way the modern church functions cannot be supported from the scriptures. Some are contrary to the teaching of the New Testament. Yet the leaders of the church (without saying it directly) seem to assume that this failure to comply with God’s requirements does not matter. This failure to comply with God’s requirement is far more serious than they realise.

Here are four fairly straightforward examples.

  • Most modern churches are led by a professional senior pastor. Yet the role of the senior pastor is never mentioned in the New Testament. In the numerous churches that Paul planted, he appointed elders. He never appointed a senior pastor.

  • Jesus prayed that the church would have the same unity as he and the Father (John 17:11). Paul wrote that there is “one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord (Eph 4:4). Yet church leaders are quite happy to split the body up into denominations, as if what Jesus requires is not important.

  • Modern churches usually buy a church building to meet in on Sundays. Yet there is no instruction in the New Testament to buy buildings. No church in the New Testament owned a building to meet in. The New Testament teaches that followers of Jesus are the temple of the Holy Spirit, so God does not need a temple to dwell in, yet these buildings are described as the house of God.

  • Jesus said that his followers would be known for their love for each other. However, the modern church supports a lifestyle where Christians live in isolation and drive to a meeting place, so the world usually does not see their love.

These four modern practices do not fit with the requirements of the gospel. Yet, most Christian leaders are not even uneasy about them, but they are far more serious failings than they realise.

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