In Ezekiel 37:4, 5, 7, and 10, God told Ezekiel to prophesy upon dry bones that were scattered throughout a valley to hear the word of the Lord. In fact, God told Ezekiel that he would cause breath to enter into the dry bones so that they would live again. Therefore, as Ezekiel prophesied, there was a loud noise that preceded the shaking of the dry bones that caused them to come together once again. Also, as a result of the shaking of these bones, they received the breath of God which caused them to come alive and become a mighty army of men.
Now, approximately twenty-six hundred years later, there is another valley of dry bones that deeply concerns God, the Creator of the Universe. This current valley lies within the boundaries of the United States. The dry bones in this valley are symbolic of the America’s Postmodern Christian Church. As a result, many of America’s Christian churches today need a spiritual shaking or Great Awakening, such as the Great Awakening that took place during colonial times in the 1730s and the 1740s. This, of course is desperately needed so that God can once again breathe spiritual life into the dry bones of religious mediocrity that occupy most churches in America today. But, why was a spiritual revival desperately needed in the United States during colonial times? A spiritual revival was needed in the colonial churches because worship became cold and formalistic, just like it is in many of America’s churches today. According to Benjamin Trumbull (1735-1820), a Connecticut historian,
The forms of religion were kept up, but there appeared but little of the power of it. Both the wise and foolish virgins seemed to slumber. Professors appeared too generally to become worldly and lukewarm. The young people became loose and vicious, family prayer and religion were greatly neglected, the Sabbath was lamentably profaned; the intermissions were spent in worldly conversation. The young people made the evenings after the Lord’s Day, and after lectures, the times for their mirth and company keeping. Taverns were haunted; intemperance and other vices increased; and the Spirit of God appeared to be awfully withdrawn. It seems also to appear that many of the clergy, instead of clearly and powerfully preaching the doctrines of original sin, or regeneration, justification by faith alone, and the other peculiar doctrines of the gospel, contented themselves with preaching a cold, unprincipled and lifeless morality; for when these great doctrines were perspicuously and powerfully preached, and distinctions were made between the morality of Christians, originating in evangelical principles, faith and love, and the morality of heathen, they were offended, and became violent opposers (Trumbull, History of Connecticut, II.).
Therefore, many churchgoers and ministers of the colonial period began to fulfill the prophesy made by the Apostle Paul as recorded in II Timothy 4:3-4 when he said, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” Needless to say, this is the spiritual predicament that many Christian churches are encountering in America today. As a result, there is a direct correlation between the godliness in the Christian Church and the godliness in the society as a whole. The lack of true spirituality in the Christian Church has caused Christians to sit idly by and permit their religious and political freedoms to slowly but surely be eliminated by the federal government. This is the price that must be paid for religious mediocrity and lukewarmness that exists in many of America’s Christian churches today. However, what are the signs that many of the ministers and church members of American Christian churches are not enduring sound doctrine, but instead they are listening to and living by fables, that is, untruths that contradict the Word of God? In other words, many of America’s Postmodern Christian Churches are actually “Christian Churches in Disguise.”
Now, let’s look at some of the nonspecific signs that prove that many of America’s Christian churches today are “Christian Churches in Disguise?” According to Andy and Berit Kjos of Kjos Ministries, there are many nonspecific signs that prove that a Cultural Christianity, not a Biblical Christianity, exists today in America. Some of these nonspecific signs that show how a person would view Christianity from a postmodern cultural view are as follows:
*It is a religion based on humanist logic, “feel good” experiences, and popular interpretations of Scriptures.
*A person comes to God through faith that your own good works and intentions are good enough.
*A person views the Bible as a collection of guidelines, allegories, myths, and stories useful for good living. Offensive verses must be ignored.
*A person’s goal is people’s approval. To please, not offend, the world and its communities. Fun, feel-good fellowship.
*A person’s source of strength comes from human abilities -- plus God’s help when “needed.”
*A person sees himself as strong and capable if he or she has confidence in himself or herself.
*A person sees sin as a normal part of life. Ignore it, or you might offend someone. Or enjoy it, for “God understands” a person’s needs and inclinations.
*A person deals with sin by trying to do better next time, or just tolerate it. Don't offend anyone by making them feel guilty.
*A person cares for people by bringing them to the church or group. Don’t tolerate uncompromising Christians who might offend people. Do to others as you would have others do to you.
*A person’s response to suffering is to pray, endure, and trust that God will help. It’s okay to challenge God’s love, power, and purpose -- and to seek quick relief through whatever means available -- no matter how it conflicts with His Word.
*A person’s commitment is to trust and follow feelings and human logic. Compromise essential to avoid offending the world.
*A person should expect to get along and influence the world.
*A person’s outreach should adapt the church to the “community” so that everyone will feel at home.
*A person’s daily hope is to be successful, accept all people as they are, and have fun and fellowship in this life. (http://www.crossroad.to/charts/cultural-Christianity.html)
Therefore, if postmodern Christian church members view Christianity from a cultural point of view, their Christianity would have a form of godliness, but it would be a form of Christianity that would deny the power of God. Ultimately, anyone who claims to be a Christian but denies the power of God and salvation through Jesus Christ is a Christian in Name Only. This is the type Christian that sits regularly on the pews in many of the churches in the United States. In actuality, their Christian lifestyle is a form of blasphemy, which is a profane or irreverent act toward a Holy God.
However, there are many specific signs that prove that a Cultural Christianity exits in America today, too. Some of these specific signs that show how a person would view Christianity from a postmodern cultural view are as follows:
*Too many Christian churches and their members condone the murderous act of abortion. This act would be viewed by God, the Creator of All Mankind, as murder and a violation of the Ten Commandments. Of course, it is extremely difficult to accept that people who profess the name of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior would condone such a barbaric, inhumane act, since these same people would call for the death penalty for anyone who killed a dog or a cat. Remember Michael Vick!
*Too many Christian churches and their members condone all types of immorality, such as fornication, adultery, and homosexuality. This would be viewed by God the Father as an abomination and blasphemous. Men and women should not have sex until they are married and there is only one form of marriage ordained by God Himself, which is between a man and women. Unfortunately, twelve states have enacted legislation that has made same-sex marriages legal. Of course, God might have something different to say about that in the weeks, days, months, and years to come. But, just imagine so-called Christians supporting such legislation!
*Too many Christian churches and their members condone immodest dress, especially by the women. Why should men have to close their eyes an entire church service in order to keep from lusting after women who dresses immodestly? In fact, on some occasions, a man could very well see as much in church as he would see in a less than G-rated television program or movie. Now, that’s disgusting, especially since it would give no glory to the Lord God Jehovah. But, there are very few, if any, religious leaders who would preach what used to be called “clothesline sermons” that addressed the manner in which people should dress when they come to the Lord’s House. However, if women dress immodestly and sensually when they come to church, it should be addressed.
*Too many Christian churches and their members condone the integration of worldly music into their services. They have accepted the lie of satan that loud, Christian alternative music and loud, Christian rock music should replace the sacred hymns of yesteryear. The ideology behind using this type of music is that it would appeal to postmodern congregations. However, most of this music would not lead people to actually worship and praise God and the Lord Jesus Christ. It would only soothe the carnal nature of those who listen to it. Therefore, members of these congregations would leave their church services without spiritual food to sustain them until the next service, since loud, worldly types of music do not get the attention of the Holy Spirit. As a result, since men and women must be drawn by the Holy Spirit in order to be saved, it would be even more difficult to get lost sinners to ask forgiveness and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
*Too many Christian churches and their members condone the preaching and teaching of a Social Gospel. Basically, the main tenet of the Social Gospel is to take care of people’s temporal needs first and then attempt to get them to accept Christ. They stress the redistribution of wealth in order to take from those who have and give it to those who do not have. Of course, this is totally wrong, since the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior should always trump temporal needs, such as food, clothes, shelter, and medical care, even though they are very important to a person’s existence. Also, the concept of redistributing wealth is one of the main provisions in Karl Marx’s Communist ideology. Therefore, the main goal that God has ordained for Christian churches in America is to be more concerned about the spiritual needs of unsaved people that attend their churches. Then, they can provide the temporal needs. If not, what would happen if a person died immediately after eating a delicious meal provided by a church congregation or an individual before accepting God’s Divine Plan of Salvation paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ.
*Too many Christian churches and their members condone the actions of politicians who promote a blasphemous, anti-Christian agenda. Of course, one such politician is President Obama. He says that he is a Christian, but yet all his rhetoric, actions, and deeds promote a godless, anti-Christian society. In fact, recently, he asked God to bless Planned Parenthood, which is an ungodly organization that is responsible for millions of abortions being performed in America today. Therefore, anyone who supports such a person will have the blood of millions of dead babies on their hands. Also, President Obama openly supports homosexuality. In fact, he sent his administrative lawyers to the Supreme Court to argue in favor of same-sex marriage. Also, recently, he called Jason Collins, a professional basketball player, and congratulated him for coming out as a homosexual. As a result of his actions, President Obama is not the type leader that America needs and he is definitely not the type leader that the Postmodern Christian Churches should support with their vote, even though they are clearly responsible for putting him in office for both terms. Unfortunately, this is something that God will hold America’s Christian Churches accountable for at some point in time, possibly sooner than they could ever imagine.
*Too many Christian churches and their members condone the teaching that the Bible is not inspired and inerrant. “The Bible is the word of God (2 Tim. 3:16) and is the measure of truth and righteousness. To claim that it is not inspired is to reduce it to the level of the Quran, or the Bhagavad-Gita, or the Book of Mormon which are mere man-made writings posing as inspired words from God. When the authority of God's word is lost, then man-made doctrines creep in. The authority and inspiration of scripture is the anchor that keeps the church from drifting into error.” (Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry)
*Too many Christian churches and their members condone using books instead of the Bible in Bible study. “It is okay to use books that assist in Bible study, but the Bible should be the central source of spiritual truth, not books about the Bible. If Bible studies are using guidebooks more than the Bible itself, then the Bible has been moved to a secondary position. If Christians are having trouble understanding God's word, then the pastor (or Bible study leader) needs to teach them how to find its truths so they can check all things in scripture by themselves (Acts 17:11).” (Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry)
*Too many Christian churches and their members condone the addition to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ by combining their faith with the faiths of other religions. This is the one size fits all gospel, which is a false gospel that is contrary to what is written in the Holy Scriptures. In fact, according to Revelation 22:18, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.” Also, in Proverbs 30:6, it reads, “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Therefore, as is indicative of the Word of God, these people or churches who add or take away from the Holy Scriptures should expect some consequences from God for their actions.
*Too many Christian churches and their members condone the belief in their churches that there is no sin nature. According to this belief, everyone is essentially a good human being. They can’t help being the way that they were born, which is the ideology of those who choose to live a homosexual lifestyle. This is the reason that some churches refuse to call sin a sin. As a result, pastors and teachers of some churches preach heretical lies that will damn the soul of those who accept the lies of satan to an eternal Hell. As stated in II Thessalonians 2:11-12, “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
*Too many Christian churches and their members condone the belief that people can commit sins habitually without asking forgiveness and still have true fellowship with God the Father. This is what is called “antinomianism.” The word itself comes from the Book of Deuteronomy and it means “anti-law.” Therefore, the false belief of “antinomianism” would give people the license to violate all the Ten Commandments and any other directives of God and still go to Heaven when they die. However, since no sin will be permitted in Heaven, habitual sinners will not be permitted in Heaven either. According to S. Michael Houdmann, CEO of Got Questions.org., there is no possibility that any sin will enter Heaven. According to Mr. Houdmann,
The Bible describes heaven in great detail in Revelation chapters 21-22. Nowhere in those chapters is the possibility of sin mentioned. There will be no more death, sorrow, crying, or pain (Revelation 21:4). The sinful are not in heaven, but in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). Nothing impure will ever enter heaven (Revelation 21:27). Outside of heaven are those who sin (Revelation 22:15). So, the answer is no, there will be no sin in heaven.
Ultimately, as a result of the many things that America’s Postmodern Christian Churches condone today, a new type of Christian Church has evolved. This new Christian Church promotes a social and political gospel over a spiritual gospel. This new Christian Church promotes the will of man over the dictates of God as written in the Holy Bible. This new Christian Church promotes man’s abilities over faith in God. This new Christian Church promotes salvation through works over salvation through the grace of God. This new Christian Church promotes dry, intellectually written sermons handed down from the church hierarchy to local pastors over spiritually anointed sermons that pastors created under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. This new Christian Church promotes denominational, ritualistic dogma over a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Finally, this new Christian Church promotes the false belief that there are many ways to get to Heaven over the true belief that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to get to Heaven, as stated in John 14:6. Also, as Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Therefore, America’s “Christian Church in Disguise” might very well be responsible for leading its members through a wide gate onto a broad road of religious suicide.