The Futility of Church Growth Amidst So Much Biblical Illiteracy

Everyone does what is right in his own eyes, when it comes to ministry in the American Church. There is a cavalier individualism, coupled with an entrepreneurial spirit of, “God told me to do this.” No one really cares what anyone else is doing, so long as it is financially self-sustaining.

Those who preach another gospel (Jehovah’s Witnesses; Mormons; Adventists; Arminians; etc.) are left unchecked. Some groups are declining, while other are thriving. Often, the more heretical the teaching is, the more “successful” the ministry (ie. money, adherents, etc.).

Over the past few years, groups gathering data on Christians have exposed major flaws, in varied beliefs, among Evangelicals. About one half of Evangelicals believe Jesus was created by God, while the majority maintain Trinitarian orthodoxy (Ligonier, State of Theology, 2018).

In the same study, a great majority rejected the idea that even the smallest sin warranted God’s judgment and wrath. Sins, like homosexuality (1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10), are not considered sin by half of Evangelicals. What is the common denominator in all of these erroneous views? Answer: biblical illiteracy.

Biblical illiteracy is the root of doctrinal error. Doctrinal error is what denies a person, the right to be called “Christian.” Arius was an Egyptian priest in the church, but he was a heretic false teacher. Pelagius was a Roman Catholic monk, but he was a heretic false teacher. Arminius was a professor at a Dutch Reformed University, but he was a heretic false teacher. Today, if you are a television preacher, it is almost a guarantee…you are a heretic false teacher.

One can walk into the best-selling “Christian living” section of a typical American Christian bookstore, and every author in the bestseller category is a heretic false teacher. To suggest this challenge, draws the ire of most Christians in America because those are their favorite authors and television preacher personalities. In other words, the blind lead the blind into the pit (Mt 15:14), and the blind rejoice in their being deceived.

God has sent a deluding influence upon the American church to believe and follow innumerable, popular false teachers, who will even go so far, as to call themselves “prophet” or “apostle,” which only makes them false prophets and false apostles (Mt 24:6, 11).

The delusion of the American church has caused a great apostasy, which is evident by the gross doctrinal errors and false beliefs of so many claiming to be Christian. America has a long history of easy-believism (just decide for yourself to be a Christian), leading to moralistic religion. More recently, under the hypnotic drug of psychology, the church has become a mental hospital for people needing therapies of every kind.

Meanwhile, the church growth gurus are still wanting to multiply the numbers of people subjecting themselves to all of these perversions of Christianity. They are motivated by glory, but it is not God’s glory, for they have suppressed the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18).

Everyone charges money for all of this nonsense. The psychologist gets big money, on staff at the big church. The big church leader hosts his own conference, charging conference fees and selling books. The television guru is hawking prosperity indulgences that would make Johann Tetzel blush.

What can possibly deliver and protect God’s people from American Christianity? It is the Bible. God’s Word is the sole instrument that can help sinners know the truth, for justification before God. It is the only instrument under the active agency of the Holy Spirit, to sanctify the born again believer (Jn 3:1–8; 17:17).

“Growing in grace” means biblical literacy is a work of God’s indwelling Spirit in the regenerated soul (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11; 2 Pet 3:18). Growing in the knowledge of the truth, the knowledge of God in Christ, is the outcome. American Christians are swimming in an ocean of deceit and false doctrine (Mt 15:9; Eph 4:14; 1 Tim 1:3; 4:1; 2 Tim 4:3). Our only hope is the truth of God’s Word (1 Tim 4:6; 6:1, 3; Titus 1:9; 2:1, 7, 10).

The ramifications are clear for you, Christian. You must forsake all that is not the study of the Scriptures because you, too, are most susceptible to the delusion. The pursuit of biblical literacy should be what identifies the Christian. Everything else will come as a work of the Holy Spirit, when He has inspired you to seek first the kingdom of God (Mt 6:33), meaning the King (Mt 11:28), who is Christ, who is only known to us on the pages of Scripture (2 Tim 3:6; Heb 4:12).

Pursue the knowledge of Him, and He will add the wisdom for right living. In fact, He will work it in you (Ps 57:2; 138:8; Phil 2:13). Diligently seek Him in one place…the Bible. He Himself will be your reward (Heb 11:6), and there is no disappointment with Him (Rom 5:5).

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

January 8, 2022

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher