Eight Steps Towards Evangelical Church Compromise

The evangelical Church plays a crucial role in society, influencing individuals and communities with its teachings and values. However, sure signs indicate a potential compromise within the church. By recognizing and addressing these signs, church members and leaders can take proactive steps to preserve the integrity and mission of the Church. Let’s explore eight key areas where attention and improvement are needed:

  1. Raising the standards for those who serve.

There is an emerging trend among evangelical churches to allow individuals “seeking” to serve during church services, regardless of their sexual identity, lifestyle, or belief system. While proponents argue that this engagement fosters commitment, it is essential to exercise proper vetting. Allowing individuals who are yet to be followers of Christ to serve in supportive roles, such as background musicians or bookkeepers, after careful evaluation, may be acceptable. However, assigning someone in a prominent public role representing the church, irrespective of their overt lifestyle, crosses a line. If this trend continues, it may promote individuals with contrary views to influential positions, causing division and compromising the Church’s mission.

  1. Addressing controversial issues from the pulpit

Pastors who avoid preaching on controversial topics like human sexuality, abortion, and racism, neglect their duty to teach the congregation how to apply scripture to contemporary culture. By avoiding these important discussions, church leaders inadvertently allow unbiblical values and practices to take root among their members. To equip the Church with a biblical worldview and ethics, pastors should courageously address these subjects, providing guidance and clarity based on God’s Word.

  1. Emphasizing Christian worldview training

Churches, whether through small groups or formal institutions, should prioritize offering Christian worldview training to their congregation. Investing in training young people before they reach high school and college is especially crucial. The current world system often conflicts with Christian values, and with comprehensive training in biblical principles, young individuals can defend their faith when faced with opposing ideologies. Organizations like Summit Ministries are an excellent resource for training young people.

  1. Balancing numbers and discipleship

While it is essential to reach out to the lost, seeker-friendly churches must not neglect their existing members’ spiritual growth and discipleship. Overemphasizing attracting new individuals, without providing robust discipleship programs, can result in a congregation filled with compromised and spiritually immature Christians lacking discernment. Striking a balance between evangelism and discipleship ensures that the church remains firmly rooted in biblical truth.

  1. Prioritizing expository preaching over mere motivation

Many evangelical churches experience significant growth due to the exceptional rhetorical skills of their pastors. However, congregants may need a proper understanding of biblical ethics, especially if their sermons primarily focus on motivation without sound doctrinal content. Pastors must engage in expository preaching, carefully unpacking and explaining the Scriptures so members can grow in their knowledge and application of God’s Word.

  1. Strengthening the Church through protective bylaws

Gospel-preaching churches must protect themselves legally by incorporating specific positions on key issues within their bylaws. Addressing matters such as binary gender, traditional marriage, and human sexuality, safeguards the church’s ability to maintain biblical standards (Genesis 1:27, Matthew 19:4-6, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). By including these positions in their constitution and bylaws, churches reduce vulnerability to potential lawsuits aimed at forcing the acceptance of individuals who violate biblical morality. Organizations like Alliance Defending Freedom are an excellent resource to aid churches in this matter.

7. Cultivating a focus on seeking God and holiness

Churches must prioritize seeking God’s presence and cultivating personal holiness among their members. It is crucial to emphasize corporate and individual prayer, worship, scripture reading, personal holiness, and spiritual formation, regardless of the outward metrics of church attendance and finances. The Scripture is clear that believers are called to be holy as the Lord is holy (1 Peter 1:15). By fostering an environment that encourages spiritual growth and transformation, churches can ensure that their members are equipped to live out their faith in a world that often challenges biblical values.

  1. Examining compromising financial partnerships 

Churches and pastors should carefully evaluate the sources of funding they receive, especially from far-left progressive organizations or those with moral views that contradict historic Christianity. Maintaining discernment and ensuring that financial partnerships align with the Church’s beliefs and values are essential. Proximity to power, politicians, and money can potentially compromise the Church’s integrity and mission. By diligently assessing financial associations, churches can maintain their commitment to the biblical principles they profess.

In conclusion, compromising steps within the Church often occurs gradually, like the frog in the kettle unaware of the rising temperature. By recognizing these eight telltale signs of compromise, church members and leaders can sound the alarm before the congregation loses its saltiness (Matthew 5:13). It is through intentional effort, steadfast adherence to biblical truth, and a focus on spiritual growth that churches can navigate the challenges of contemporary culture while remaining faithful to their calling.

Remember, refining and strengthening the Church is an ongoing process. By addressing these areas, the Church can be a beacon of light, truth, and transformation in a world that needs it more than ever.

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