One of the main problems in many churches is that they are at an extremely low point in terms of their knowledge of doctrine and teaching of the Word of God. I have heard it said time and time again, (even from pastors) that doctrine is a tool of Satan. The sad fact is that ignorance is the real tool of Satan, and men who say such things should not be pastors, because the minute they say, “Jesus died for your sins” they are teaching doctrine. There is true doctrine and there is false doctrine. True doctrine sets people free and false doctrine is Satan’s tool to make captives. Hence, we are to “gird our loins with truth”
We live in a time where we have the writings of some of the greatest men and women of God available at our fingertips, and the Word of God is available in almost every language and yet we still do not dive deep into it’s teachings because we are concerned it might cause division (something Christ told us to expect). We’ve started to turn churches into businesses where we must keep our customers happy, we trade evangelism for marketing plans, and in an effort draw people in, we replace objective truth with eastern mysticism. We try to give people an emotional experience, without telling them the truth about who God is and what we are. This is clearly seen in much of the new music in the church. Many of new songs focus on how we feel. Note to songwriters, if you want to write a song that is going to last longer than a few months before it becomes passé, you are going to need to start writing songs that speak of the eternal truths of God, like “A mighty Fortress is our God” or “Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy.” Don’t get me wrong not all new music is like this, and style is not the issue; it’s content. And emotional worship is not the problem either, but when we write songs and sermons merely to try to get emotional for emotions sake we’ve missed the point. Not to mention the fact that because many churches are not equipped to teach deep doctrine, or simply do not do so in hopes of not causing division, they leave many in their flocks vulnerable to the enticements of many of the same vain philosophies that have trapped church members since it’s beginning, for there is really “nothing new under the sun”.
In doctrines absence, we fill our sermons with pop psychology that leads to sermon titles like, “Five ways to safety proof your marriage”, “Finding the Champion in You”, or “How to Guard Yourself From Hurt”. It’s not what these sermons say, that is wrong, it’s what they leave out, such as a deep understanding of the sinfulness of man, the atonement, the incarnation, vicarious sacrifice, and the exclusivity of Christ.
If this trend is not reversed we should expect to see a steady decline in the state of many American churches and American culture as a whole. The church’s light will be dim, and the city on the hill will begin slide down into the valley. There is no greater chastisement from God than when through His providence he brings a famine of his word to any nation. May we who are His children desire to know, live, and speak more of the truth.