As the world evolves, it is no surprise that the church is also changing. However, with the influx of modern ungodly practices in the church, some practices have found their way in, which may not align with biblical teachings. These practices are dangerous and are infiltrating the church at an alarming rate. The church should be a sanctuary for God’s worship and believers’ edification. Instead, it has slowly become a social club and an entertainment arena.
Here, we will expose the seven popular but ungodly practices infiltrating the church.
#1. Misinterpreting the subject ‘Prosperity’
Prosperity Gospel, also known as the “health and wealth gospel,” is one of the most dangerous ungodly practices infiltrating the church today. It is a belief that God blesses those financially wealthy and worldly, and those who aren’t are deemed unworthy of God’s blessings. This practice is misleading and takes advantage of people searching for hope and spiritual guidance. The Bible teaches that wealth does not equate to godliness, and Jesus lived a life of modesty and humility. This teaching is not only unbiblical but also promotes greed and materialism. It undermines the gospel message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, not material prosperity. Contrary to this popular belief, the Scripture clarifies that true wealth is found in a relationship with God, not earthly riches Matthew 6:19-21.
#2. Compromising the True Gospel Message
Many preachers and pastors have watered down the Gospel’s message today, aiming to please their congregation. However, the gospel message is not one of comfort but of repentance and salvation. Remember that the gospel message is not about making people feel good; it’s about helping them realize the gravity of their sins and the need for a savior.
Some preacher compromise on the message to preach to be in the congregation’s good book, hence avoiding certain biblical truths. This is not only ungodly but also goes against the mandate of the church to preach the whole counsel of God. The gospel message is supposed to be offensive to those who are perishing, and watering it down is a disservice to believers and non-believers.
#3. Confusing Wordlines for Church Values
Church values have undoubtedly been replaced with ‘entertainment,’ another ungodly practice infiltrating the church. The church has become a place for people to be entertained rather than for spiritual growth and worship. This practice is damaging because it emphasizes entertainment more than the Word of God.
However, many churches have embraced worldliness and are promoting it to reach the unchurched. This includes dressing inappropriately, listening to secular music, and promoting worldly values such as individualism and materialism. This is ungodly, dilutes the gospel message, and makes it less attractive to those seeking spiritual nourishment. Christians must remember that the primary purpose of church gatherings is to worship God and grow spiritually.
#4. Shallow Worship
Another ungodly practice in the church is shallow worship. Many churches have turned worship into a performance or a concert rather than a time of heartfelt adoration and reverence for God. In John 4:24, Jesus says true worshipers must worship in spirit and truth.
#5. Church Cliques
The church should be a welcoming and inclusive community, but all too often, cliques and exclusive groups form within congregations. The people of a perceived social class find it demeaning to associate with others of a different caliber.
The church is a community of love and should be void of such discrimination. But rather foster an environment of unity and inclusivity. This goes against the teachings of Jesus, who taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves Matthew 22:39. There is a belief that society should be equal and just for all, and the church should take the lead in achieving this.
#6. False Prophets
False prophets and teachers have been present in the church since its inception. These individuals claim to have special insights or connections to God, but their teachings often go against the word of God. They often twist the Bible to suit their purposes and deceive their followers. In Matthew 7:15-16, Jesus warns us to beware of false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing but are wolves. Believers must be vigilant and discerning regarding false prophets and test every message against the Word of God.
#7. Exhibiting Hypocrisy
Finally, hypocrisy is an ungodly practice that is unfortunately common in the church. Hypocrites claim to be followers of Jesus, but their actions do not match their words. In Matthew 23, Jesus denounces the religious leaders of his time for their hypocrisy, saying that they do not practice what they preach.
How to curb these practices?
- Teach sound biblical doctrine: Churches should prioritize teaching sound biblical doctrine to their members. This will help to counteract any false teachings or practices that may infiltrate the church.
- Encourage personal Bible study: Christians should be encouraged to read and study the Bible independently. This will help them to discern truth from error and to avoid being swayed by false teachings.
- Promote accountability: Churches should foster an environment of accountability where members can hold each other accountable for their actions and beliefs.
- Address the issue directly: If a particular ungodly practice is prevalent in the church, it should be addressed directly from the pulpit. The pastor should preach on the biblical perspective on the issue and guide how to avoid it.
- Disciple new believers: Churches should prioritize disciplining new believers to help them grow in their faith and to equip them to discern truth from error.
By implementing these practices, churches can help to curb the infiltration of ungodly methods and teachings. In conclusion, the church is facing an infiltration of ungodly practices that are detrimental to the growth and development of the body of Christ. These practices are dangerous and misleading, and they must be addressed. Christians must hold fast to the teachings of the Bible and reject any approach that contradicts the Word of God. As the Apostle Paul said, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2, NKJV).