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Featured Is Our Modern Take on the Gospel Designed For Itching Ears?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Gideons300, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Gideons300

    Gideons300 Our awakening is beginning. Prepare to be amazed.

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    We all know the scripture about those in the last days. They will have itching ears, and satisfied only when their ears are scratched by what is preached. And we all assume that means those spoken of do not include me, lol.

    What comes to mind are those in it for what Christianity does for them. The prosperity gospel is a good example. Oh, the adherants of this gospel say that they are in it for the Lord and are looking for the hundred fold increase only so that they can bless others, but the truth is plain to see in the way they interact with the world.

    Itching ears. Right? And that is not us, right? Or is it? I content that our modern takr on the gospel, although it does not go into the excesses of the properity, confess it-possess it crowd, is in fact still an itching ears gospel. Let me explain.

    The Bible is full of both encouragements and warnings. We are to behold both the goodness AND the severity of God. And yet is this what we hear from our pulpits? No, very rarely do we see preachers taking their oversight of the sheep seriously. Their job is to grow us up in the Lord in all things, through encouragements AND through warnings, rebukes, and instructions in righteousness.

    But today there is a clear goal in most churches to grow the size of the church, regardless of the quality of the saints themselves. Thus churches are competing for saints and what most view as negative preaching..... ceasing from sin, overcoming the world, the flesh and the devil,
    loving not the world, avoiding being double minded, seeking holiness and purity of heart..... these things do not go over well with congregations, do they?

    If pastors share as they ought, saints will simply mpve on to other pastures. Why? Itching ears. We have made corrective actions in our walks with God a 'personsl' thing, so we preach with no unction, no warnings, and put forth a no-cost gospel where you do not have to hate your old life at all. You do not have to seek holiness, because it makes us 'sin conscious' and robs us of our joy. You do not have to endure to the end. You do not have to reaist the devil, becasue even if you slip, you are forgiven, even if you do not repent! Why worry? Our fate is sealed. We are heaven bound, so all those warnings, corrections, rebukes, instructions in righteousness really are just downers.

    Brothers and sisters, itching ears are on the path to becoming deceived ears. When we can finally admit that our walk with God is missing the other half of the gospel, where Jesus promises to change us into His image through His correction and instruction found throughout the new testament, a new era will begin. The church is destined to awaken to the truth of who we are, but not all will receive it. What each one of us needs to decide is, do we continue to coddle our ears and our hearts with unbalanced assurances, or do we finally lay ourselves bare before the master potter, and seek Him to actually change us into His likeness?

    That decision, dear friends, will determine our everything.

    blessings,

    Gideon
     
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  2. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    But that would lead us away from the traditional ways and ideals of man. How would a religion that rejoined the world of man and abandoned the Kingdom of God to team up with State be able to teach that which convicts itself for it's adversarial move back to the world of man?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  3. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    We are working towards a remnant remaining that are true believers in Christ, reborn of the Spirit ( born again) believers. We need to know what we are and who God is to be saved out of it, to be saved out of ourselves. That said, I don't think any church or teacher/preacher is always 100% correct.

    I like most of John McCarther's teaching, it's mostly sound and he has a lot of knowledge. Kind of dry but a lot of content.

    I like some of Charles Lawson's teachings, He has a true heart for Christ. Though he gets a bit caught up in current affairs it doesn't make him wrong and he always has documentation backing him up.

    And I like most of what Greater Grace World Outreach has to say, who is where I'm affiliated with/from.

    Most main line denominations ran off the rails decades ago but not all and not all individual churches from any particular denomination have.. Both of these guys I mentioned will tell you outright that most of the churches today are deceived to include some of their own affiliations or denominations.
     
  4. Sound Doctrine

    Sound Doctrine Endure Sound Doctrine Supporter

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    From my experience with different churches, we are in the age of "feel good churchianity." That is to say that denominations I have experienced have been more interested in preaching about what they teach rather than preaching the word to reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. They also do not preach 1 John 2:26-27, nor do the congregation read it for themselves. From the old KJV: "26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."

    We are to let the Holy Spirit be our teacher. This would cause us saints to be of one mind, believing in the same things, as we are commanded to do. Otherwise, it is too easy for evil people to come and seduce us with teachings, some of which are to scratch itching ears, other teachings to puff us up, and so forth. Anything we read or hear, we must check with the Scriptures by the Holy Spirit to make sure that the Scriptures concur with those things. Then are we truly edified. The good news must first be proclaimed to the hearer, and when they hear and believe, a well-rounded discipleship can be developed based on 1 John 2:26-27 as they study the Scriptures.
     
  5. Sound Doctrine

    Sound Doctrine Endure Sound Doctrine Supporter

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    I like the teachers you speak of, mainly because it appears that you believe in election, as I also do. Remember though, that even the best teachers can make mistakes, so we must remember 1 John 2:26-27 -
     
  6. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps in order to return to the teachings of Jesus over theology designed to attract the masses, there needs to be a makeover in what church means so that it is no longer necessary to operate as a business. That would mean turning away from a traditional system of man and perhaps operate in the ways of pre-corporate takeover.
     
  7. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic

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    To the OP, YES! It's definitely a problem

    1) I've noticed Charismatics often tend to equate "anointed" with what is exciting and sensationalist. Personally I think that is big, big problem because many things are spiritually edifying may not be super exciting but they are good and constructive. Not to mention God often can use things that are boring etc. where nothing seems to being going on. For instance the 40 years the Children of Israel spent wandering around in the Wilderness could be seen as a kind of spiritual retreat (since the people didn't actually have to work to support themselves other than just gather the food that God provided them). That's a positive spin on it, but it shows a great example of God deliberately clearing someone' schedule to give them lots of time reflect on their lives with little going on to distract them.



    2) The Church Growth Movement has many examples of this. I think some of the best examples came from articles how the Willow Creek Church movement failed to make disciples. Worth reading but will quote the best sound bite.

    "We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become "self feeders.' We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their Bible between services, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own."

    Willow Creek model, its leaders say, fails at discipleship


    I will note the other famous model church, "Saddle Back", the one that spawned "the Purpose Driven" had a similar discovery. In the "Purpose Driven Church" model people theoretically were suppose to be attracted to the church, hear the sermons and eventually make a commitment to develop as Christians. However after operating with this model Rick Warren had a rude awakening. The church leaders noticed many people had a tendency just to camp out and basically be permanent members of the audience without taking the next step of wanting to go deeper into the Faith.


    Incidentally, this movement has been parodied pretty well by Christian comics, I did a thread on that a few weeks back.
    Sunday Morning (Hipster Church parody)
     
  8. grasping the after wind

    grasping the after wind That's grasping after the wind

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    John the Baptist had no problem drawing crowds while preaching repentance. I do not think that preaching Grace increases the size of the crowd. People want to believe they are in charge so they want to feel they can justify themselves and make themselves righteous rather than understanding that what they do in an effort to make themselves holy means nothing in terms of their salvation or their sanctification. Many work overtime rationalizing how their sins are not sins, trying hard to justify their actions rather than ask forgiveness for them. The evangelist John reminds us of the truth.
    1 John 1:8-9 King James Version (KJV)
    8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

    9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    Notice we have only one task here. i.e. confess our sins. Jesus does the rest.
     
  9. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Anyone who follows the Gospel of the Kingdom knows that that means reject the ways of mankind for they are opposite to the will of God. But most will focus on individual sins rather than address the root.
     
  10. grasping the after wind

    grasping the after wind That's grasping after the wind

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    The root is pride or the desire to be like god which is how Eve was tempted to disobey. Rejecting that means admitting one's helplessness.
     
  11. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    The whole world is built upon the self serving ideals of man. God called us backwards.
     
  12. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    John the baptist wore animal skins and ate bugs. He wasnt rich. People today want rich preachers who will promise them prosperity.
     
  13. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

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    I don't think I agree with much of this. In my experience, an average community has about 10% of devout believers. In the various Southern Baptist communities I attended in the old days, the 10% number was a reliable element everywhere I went. Same with subsequent communities.

    The only outliers I ever found were places which demanded a higher level of devotion from the jump. So those shouldn't really count.

    My experience hardly seems unique. Friends I have in other parts of the country report similar 1-in-10 figures wherever they attend.

    In case I'm not being clear, I'm saying that there are tons of people who attend a given community who aren't really devoted to (or even very knowledgeable about) their religion. They vastly outnumber the more devoted members of that community.

    In a great many cases, these communities endorse statements of faith which aren't drastically at odds with their wider tradition's history. Their leaders are generally compliant with the core values and philosophies of that tradition. They're teaching broadly good doctrine in relation to their tradition's promises and principles.

    The people receiving those doctrines, however, are generally have something less than a heartfelt commitment to the religion they profess. "Itching ears" isn't the crisis it's made out to be. Rather, a ton of people are simply immature in their faith.

    I'm not saying that's a positive thing. But your post seems to imply that these people are a threat of some kind and, honestly, I don't believe that to be the case at all.
     
  14. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The "selfish" or "all about me" doctrines give their followers exactly what they deserve, a reprobate mind.

    The Charismatic expect super powers, and what they get is nothing, but whats worse, they don't even know they don't have the super powers they think they have, keeping them locked in to something that might cost them dearly.

    Same with the Prosperity people, they don't even realize, the only one prospering is the preacher. They go back time and time again, throwing more of their hard earned money at it.

    Then there is the easy way, have your cake and eat it too, doctrine. They've been listening to it for so long now they actually believe something so obviously untrue. They are completely oblivious to the fact ongoing sin can end them up in a bad way, very bad.

    Even the Homosexuals, as clear as God is on the subject, have found a way to justify it, and there are churches that help them do just that.. Also, we can forget about trying to change the minds of any of the mentioned groups...it's just not going to happen.

    And that's just to name a few of the worst offenders.

    Selfishness is huge to God as a sin, and it just seems to work out that those who are more interested in self then Gods word, will likely die in their beliefs.
     
  15. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Maybe I'm not understanding you, but seems to me that's pretty much what the OP is saying, there are way too many that don't get it. Was it not?
     
  16. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

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    He's blaming "itching ears", suggesting it leads to shaky doctrine. I'm blaming low commitment among the average parishioner, and claiming that it doesn't lead to questionable doctrine (at least not by itself).
     
  17. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    I take the itching ears scripture to be as it reads, that there will come a time where people come to not endure sound doctrine and in this condition "they" will seek out teachers who speak what it is they want to hear. The false teachers will be in place for them to seek out.

    What do they want to hear ? Anything but the harder line brought out in scripture. For instance they will want to hear that gay is fine, gay preachers and female preachers are fine, drinking strong drink is fine, abbreviated gospel messages are fine. Not speaking on hell preferred, in fact if hell is thought to be abolished that's all the better. And then we come to see a false church in place and a real church as offensive. They will seek the friendly church, that doctrine found in scripture truncated and maybe even their own printed books more relevant to their lifestyle than bibles. All the above is of course, for instance.
     
  18. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Good point, in that there is at least a little more to it.
     
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  19. _Dave_

    _Dave_ Member

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    I think a good gauge of where a church (denomination) is at is for members to examine themselves in light of what Jesus says about the seven churches in Revelation 2 & 3. The interesting thing is that some of the churches thought they were doing better than they were, and some of them thought they looked worse in Christ's eyes than they actually did.

    In my view, the church began its downhill slide when they moved into buildings and hired professional leaders. You know that all of the Acts churches actually met in homes. Where you'll find members of the body of Christ with the strongest, most-biblical faith right now are the congregations in China who must, because of the persecutions there, meet in homes. I seriously doubt the preaching there is to tickle their congregant's itching ears.

    Awhile back, just to satisfy my curiosity, I Googled some of the major denominations to read their doctrinal statements. To say I was absolutely shocked would be a huge understatement. But, it also explains why there is so much misinterpretation of Scripture being bandied about. The members are simply not getting good expositional teaching, and are being steeped in false doctrines.
     
  20. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    The bluer the hair and the higher it is back-combed, the closer to God they are.
     
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