THE MODERN CHURCH

Christless Christianity
The Modern Church, with its “Christless Christianity,” is nothing much more than a sanctified country club. Its membership consists of like-minded individuals who want—although they desire to commune with God and be religious—to be free to exercise themselves as the completely autonomous individuals they view themselves to be. Of course, such independence facilitates a multitude of sins which, in turn, answers the question as to why those who make up the Modern Church live and act no differently than the world.

What does the Modern Church member think about the church? Does he think it just some accouterment to validate his individual autonomy and feel good about it? If so, a church made up of like-minded members could not be “of Christ”—“of Belial,” yes (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:15), but certainly not “of Christ”!

On the other hand, genuine New-Testament Christianity can be true to itself only when its adherents are actively engaged in breaking to pieces the world’s idols. This is accomplished by “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

So, just as it’s clear that one of the functions of Christ’s church in any age is to be iconoclastic (i.e., to unmask the idols and expose them for what they really are, which is nothing more than “sham gods),” it’s just as clear that there’s no other basis for this than the truths taught in God’s word. It was the great apostle Paul who said it was the “House of God, which is the church of the living God,” that serves as “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). This means, among other things, that the pathologies that were present in the pre-Christian world, vis-a-vis the economic, social, familial, sexual, and legal aspects of life, are very much alive in our present post-Christian world. (By “post-Christian world.” I mean a culture that has been almost totally secularized, as ours was during the last third of the previous century).

The truths taught in the Bible, particularly those found in the New Testament, are especially meaningful to a post-Christian culture. This is not just because they are God’s truths, but because they are God’s truths written in the midst of a culture much like our own. And although it’s true our present culture is not pagan per se, it is, at best, neo-pagan in its outlook. As such, the invitation addressed to those of the first century to “Be saved from this perverse generation” is still most apropos (cf. Acts 2:40).

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