Sunday, March 3, 2024

The Way, Issue 17 (Spiritual Preparedness for Believers)

By Tim Gamble
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." -- John 14:6

How To Tell If A Church is "Woke"

The following is from an article I wrote in June of 2023:

Back in Resistance Article 17, I urged folks to get out of modern liberal / progressive / "woke" churches. Instead, I urged folks to find a small Bible-believing, Bible-teaching congregation to join. Or find a home church or private Bible-study group to meet with on a weekly basis. Or start one of your own with family and friends who also believe in the Bible.

This does beg a question: How to tell if a church is "woke" or not? 

I gave one big clue in R-17 (read that article if you haven't yet). Does the church talk a lot about being "relevant" and "authentic" - two buzz words of the Far Left that reveal a desire to "fit in" with the modern world, rather than staying true to God's Word.  

Worrying about being relevant implies that somehow God's Word has become irrelevant to modern society, and that it is the Church that must move away from the Word and towards the World in order to be relevant. Thus you see lots of modern churches moving towards acceptance of homosexual lifestyles, gay marriage, sex before marriage, sex outside of marriage, multiple sex partners, gender confusion... Hmmm... Its interesting how much being "relevant" actually means accepting and even wallowing in sexual sin. Something to think about. 

Being authentic sounds nice, but what is it people want to be authentic towards? The Bible? No. That's the last thing most folks want. What is too often meant by being authentic is being authentic to one's self, whatever that might be. To many modern folks, an authentic church is one that accepts their Worldly beliefs without imposing God's out-of-date, old-fashioned, standards on them. 

Other Far Left Buzz Words In Modern Churches

"Social Justice" - Social Justice is not Biblical Justice. These are two different concepts, yet many people confuse them (some intentionally so - there are wolves in leadership positions of many modern churches). Biblical Justice is rooted in God's Law. Social Justice is rooted in postmodernism and neo-Marxist critical theory, and redefines justice away from long-held Biblical standards to the current and ever-changing Worldly standards. 

"Environmental Justice" - This is also often called "Creation Stewardship" to hide its actual meaning. It is simply modern environmentalism dressed up in "Christian" clothes. What's wrong with modern environmentalism? There's nothing wrong with wanting clean air and clean water, but modern environmentalism is much more about Leftist political and social ideology than it is about clean air and clean water.

"Economic Justice" - Sounds nice, but Economic Justice is just another name for Leftist ideologies, such as socialism and Marxism. Economic Justice isn't about helping the needy and poor, which is a good thing and used to be called charity, but encompasses a wide range of Leftist thought, much of it unbiblical. 

These, and other far left buzz words, are signs that a particular church is focusing more on political and social ideology (in other words, is "woke"), rather than focusing on worshipping God and teaching His Word. 

The Bottom Line 

Here is the bottom line: A Church should be unapologetically Bible-believing and Bible-teaching - and that means ALL of the Bible, from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21

No cherry-picking the "acceptable" passages. No avoiding the uncomfortable ones. No trying to "fit in" with the modern world. No denying the existence of Evil. No redefining sin to appease certain special interest groups. No trying to be a "safe space" for modern folks who get offended at every little thing they don't like. 

Link to the original article: How To Tell If A Church is "Woke"

Scripture Readings For This Week

Exodus 35:1 - 38:20
2 Kings 11:17 - 12:17
Matthew 17:22-27 
Proverbs and Psalms

Try to read one chapter a day from both Proverbs and Psalms. 

Scripture Memorization For This Week*

Continuing the memorization series on the Ten Commandments, from Exodus chapter 20. This week features the Tenth Commandment:

Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbors house; you shall not covet your neighbors wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbors.”

* The above is from the NKJV, but feel free to memorize using whatever version you are comfortable with. 

Remember: You Only Fail When You Give Up

Missed a day (or several) reading your Bible? Got busy with life and forgot to pray yesterday? Having a hard time with the memorization? Don't sweat it! Just keep trying. Remember, you only fail when you give up. 
Two of my favorite and most often used Bibles: 

The NKJV, American Patriot's Bible, The Word of God and the Shaping of America - One of my favorites, the New King James Version is literal, accurate, and easy-to-read for most modern folks. The American Patriot's Bible "shows how the history of the United States connects the people and events of the Bible to our lives in a modern world. The story of the United States is wonderfully woven into the teachings of the Bible." Lot's of articles and study notes showing the importance of God and the Bible to our nation's founding and subsequent history. Available on Amazon

The Scriptures - This new English translation includes Genesis through Revelation, and restores the Name of our Creator to the text in each place it occurs. This new version in English is a literal translation by Institute for Scripture Research, overseen by Dr. Chris Koster. New in this 2009 edition: Improvements to the text - seeking a yet closer equivalent to the literal meaning of the original language. Quotations / Allusions from the Old Testament are in bold type in the New Testament, and are accompanied by the text references - aiding your understanding of the original contexts, and how they influence the writers drawing upon them.  Available on Amazon

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