I hear some Christians, perhaps well intended, claim some heathens are repulsed by a “muscular, masculine” Church. Yet I also personally know of others who are repulsed by “effeminate, apologising” pulpits.
It’s shortsighted to criticise the Church based on anecdotes of some people’s discomfort. Instead, we should measure her against Scripture and long-established tradition.
I think it’s fair to say excesses are possible at both extremes. If we are unaware of them both, we may become susceptible to that we do not guard against.
I also think it’s fair to say, with ample evidence, the modern Church has more often shirked its prophetic anointing than it has neglected the gentle aspects of grace & mercy in God’s Kingdom.
Any pulpit or parishioner that is not preaching the loving fullness of God’s Kingdom — grace & mercy with full measures of justice & Truth — will become obsessive about the Church’s reputation instead of faithfulness, aesthetics over substance, & attempt to sanitise the offensiveness of the Gospel from their preaching & prophecy.
There must be zero tolerance for unrepentant sin in the Bride of Christ. Instead, limp-wristed pretenders are often caught affirming & celebrating the deadly sin of pride, & returning like dogs to the vomit of pagan liturgy, syncretistic slogans & carnal agendas.
My fellow believers, in the face of such a departing from The Way, a muscular leadership of Christendom to judge & cast out unrepentant, proud sinners from both the pulpit and the pew is not optional, but imperative.
The Church is not a social club with an atrophied will, but a gathering of disciples, followers, believers in & servants submitted to the absolute Lordship of Jesus of Nazareth. Repentance & humility opens the door wide, & pride closes it shut fast.
If you have no authority to discipline, don’t assume it. Count those who do, the Shepherds, as allies until such point as they embrace compromise. Then leave in peace.
There are many fearless, loving, uncompromising pastors and priests who remain faithful to the Lordship of Jesus Christ & the teaching of the Apostles. Find them, and fellowship there.
Broad is the way that leads to destruction, & trying to redraw the boundaries of the narrow way to Life is a wicked, foolish errand. Jesus is the friend of sinners, but never did He affirm their sin and confusion or celebrate their pride. Indeed, He encouraged their unconditional and unreserved repentance, and told them to “sin no more”.
The Church (each & every believer) has the same anointing as was on John the Baptiser: to preach Truth & justice, grace & mercy together without flinching, to welcome and water baptise sinners unto repentance, to make straight paths in the moral wilderness to Christ the Messiah, to proclaim the present & coming Kingdom of God, to count the potentially terrible cost & preach Truth to power anyway.
Offence is not intended, but it is inevitable. The most hateful thing a Christian could do is dilute or water down the Gospel to make it more “winsome” or popular, condemning the eternal spirit of unrepentant sinners to hell; for “How will they hear without a preacher?”
Faithfulness is all you and I are responsible for. Results are God’s responsibility alone.
Grace is amazing, but the confession of faith in Jesus as Lord is profound and life-changing. Pray for a revived Church & a repentant city & nation.
Guard diligently against excess, but labour for the genuine approval of Christ alone.