People and not the building makes up a church. Hence different churches come with various doctrinal teachings and beliefs. In Revelation 2-3, the Bible vividly describes a church deviating from the scriptural standard. Likewise, the Bible also mentions all the positive things these churches did. However, to stay away from heresies, here are seven reasons you might need to avoid certain churches. It is also important to note that no church is hundred percent perfect. After all, they are coordinated by humans, and humans are bound to make mistakes.
Hence it is expedient to be aware before leaving or starting memberships with any church. Having a personal inclination to avoid something might be valid, but sometimes it can be due to high expectations or pride. Check and understand the motives for going to service every worship day; only then will it be easy to identify these reasons.
1. A Church That Has Forgotten Its First Love
God expresses a good opinion about the church of Ephesus in Revelations 2:1-7 about its good deeds and how much it hates evil. Despite all these, the church lost its first love in the person of Jesus Christ. Rather than propagating God’s love, they worry over trivial things like allowing politics to run in the church. Amassing crowds to gain numbers in money became a top priority for them. However, it is soothing to the soul to understand that the love of Christ is pleasing to all seeking in spirit and truth. The gospel should never be tweaked or fine-tuned to please anyone. Instead, Christ’s love should be the ultimate motivation.
A Church That Teaches Wrong Doctrine
It is okay to receive and digest the messages you hear in church with openness. Also, it is vital to do some personal scriptural examination to verify if what was preached has its roots in the Bible Act 17:11. A Christ-like church should focus on pointing people to see that repentance is the only way to gain freedom from our sins.
A Church That is Lukewarm or Inactive
Every good building probably has a solid or firm foundation. However, faith without work is vanity. The church has to teach and encourage its members to carry on with the good work of faith. The purpose of the biblical knowledge we have is to share with the world around us. Showing compassion and love alongside sharing testimonies of God’s faithfulness, especially to those who are yet to receive the gospel.
A Church That Doesn’t Preach the Cross
Jesus came to earth as a holy sacrifice to pay for our sins and restore us unto salvation. This means that the cross is the heart of the gospel. He did not come just as a friend or teacher, although He was all of these things. For unbelievers, the death of Christ on the cross is unreal. Churches can sometimes tiptoe around just to make it more appealing to win people, which makes the power in the death of Christ on the cross seem insignificant. The truth is, until we fully harness the gospel as a church and as an individual, it might be challenging to get through the trials of life.
A Church With Leaders Who are Living in Unrepentant Sin
Nobody expects leaders to be sinless; well, they are human. But the problem lies in them living a full-fledged sinful lifestyle. As pastors and leaders are alike, they are representative of Christ here on earth. So it is their call to live a life worthy of emulating and avoid reproach. Leadership is an intense responsibility. Hence, all leaders should sober by these prescribed attributes in 1 Timothy 3:1-7; self-control, faithfulness in marriage, hospitable, and not giving in to violence or drunkenness.
A Church That is Self-righteous And Never Convicts You of Sin
We all are guilt one way or another. So when the word of God is sent forth, it is not so that we can cheer the preacher on but to feel remorseful and examine ourselves. Only then can we understand that self-righteousness is not enough but we should keep repenting and asking for forgiveness. Prophet Nathan convicts King David of sin in 2 Samuel 12. Just like David, we all need a Nathan in our lives to point us to the evil that we don’t see or have probably overlooked.
A Church That Emphasis On “Thou Shalt Not”
The phrase “thou shall not” is not enough to stop people from sinning. For instance, the law tells you that you’re involved in activities that are against God’s gracious plan. Yes, but it can’t get you to stop; it can only help you realize what needs to be changed. It is natural for humans to do what we don’t want to do and not do what we want to do Roman 7:15. We know when we are doing wrong, this is why we desperately need God’s help and grace for a remarkable turnaround.
Christ’s death on the cross is very pivotal to our Christian faith. If there was no death and resurrection, we might not have a reason to preach or accept the gospel. Likewise, we might as well bulldoze all churches because preaching faith would be pointless. However, it is essential to get familiar with your church or place of worship so as know if these reasons exist and avoid these churches altogether.