By Ronald L. Brown
Webster’s dictionary describes drifting as, “being carried by a current; moving or living aimlessly or passively.” David Brooks, of the New York Times recently argued that Americans no longer take religious doctrines seriously. We assume religions differences are temporary, that denominational distinctions will fade away, and we will all be united in God’s embrace.”
How long has it been since you heard a message preached about Gaius? Have you ever heard one? Possibly not, but that does not diminish his biblical importance. The light falls on him for only a moment, but that moment speaks much about this ancient man. He appears in III John verse 1. Apparently there had been an attack made upon truth, and Gaius had stood up for what was right. John was the writer, and the apostle that lived up until the close of that first century. This was John’s commendation to Gaius;
“For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (III John 3, 4).
John’s greatest joy was not in miracles, baptisms, new churches or any other blessings, but in the knowledge and assurance that his converts would continue on in truth. It helps us to know that the first century church fought the same battles of apostasy and compromise that the 21st century church faces today.
Brooks writes (and he is a secular columnist) that modern religion is easygoing and experiential rather than rigorous and intellectual. To fill their pews, Brooks writes, pastors “emphasize the upbeat and the encouraging and play down the business of God’s wrath. In modern seeker sensitive churches, the technology is cutting edge, the music is modern, the language is therapeutic, and the dress is casual.”
Someone has labeled this present attitude as “holy homogenization.” Homogenization means of uniform composition or content. We have seen this very syndrome developed before our very eyes as churches have tried to embrace the wonderful Holy Ghost experience while at the same time deemphasizing doctrine and strong biblical injunctions. Truth no longer becomes an absolute, but as ever changing entity adapting to the culture and the times that we live in. In other words, “let’s just be mainstream so that we are not marked with negative distinction.”
But we as Apostolics are who we are. The beautiful truths of One God, baptism in Jesus’ name, receiving the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues, and a separated and Godly lifestyle are truths that cannot be denied or compromised upon. We face a danger of the true church drifting away from truth, and toward ‘holy homogenization.’ The church stands opposed to much of today’s culture and their rebellion to God’s Word. You may say that we cannot change this present culture, but if we stop preaching our distinction and adherence to God’s Word, then the culture will have already changed us!
God has been good to us! I marvel at the great work that God is doing through apostolic churches, both here in Tennessee, and around the world. Now is not the time to back up! There is no “peaceful coexistence” with our culture, society, and those who refuse to walk in truth.
We are not drifters, but those who are built upon the Rock Christ Jesus!
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