The 4 C's of Church Failure
Complacency, Cowardice, Compromise, ...three words that have echoed in my soul and resonated in my spirit for the last 26 years.
In 1994, as I was reading the Bible, I came upon the scripture found in Mark 16:17,18, which declares, "these signs shall accompany those who believe: In my name, they will drive out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands, and when they drink deadly poison; it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." As I pondered these verses, I said to the Lord, "There's something wrong with this picture!" "Where are the signs, miracles, and wonders?" I said to the Lord that the only thing that I had witnessed thus far was the "speaking in tongues". I asked the Lord, "Why is this so?" His immediate response was these three aforementioned words. The Holy Spirit then spoke and said, "Everything that is wrong with the Church falls under these three categories!" I was totally taken aback at the quickness of His response and the matter-of-fact tone in His voice. Twenty-six years later these same words have never been more relevant, befitting, and true, being made evident in the unmasking of the true condition of the Church in the midst of this pandemic.
Complacency by definition is self-satisfaction, especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies. A feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; smugness. According to what was spoken to me by the Holy Spirit, the Lord has been warning the church to come back to its first love for the last forty years. Far too many came to church out of habit/obligation or to get their quick feel-good "fix" for the week. The majority of the churches in America from God's perspective had become like the Laodicean church described in Revelation 3:15-18. Lukewarm churches, acting as if they had need of nothing, yet wretched, miserable, spiritually poor, blind, and naked (no armor). Having to operate in "smoke and mirrors" because the authentic move of the Holy Spirit was not present to save, heal, and deliver. We had become a Church that had this sense of spiritual entitlement; to be pampered and appeased. God forbid we should have to suffer for the sake of the gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ has been taken for granted in America and now we have been placed in a position as to whether or not we will contend for and protect the "faith", which has been entrusted to us.
Cowardice is a trait wherein excessive fear prevents an individual from taking a risk or facing danger. It indicates a failure of character in the face of a challenge, difficulty, or opposition, pain, etc. This one is quite obvious! When this virus made its appearance, the fear that arose and is still abiding in the hearts and minds of so many 'believers' revealed the level of unbelief within the body of Christ. The worst part for me was seeing and hearing the fear and unbelief being displayed by those in leadership. However, Jesus did say, "The hired hand will run when he sees the wolf (virus) coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don't belong to him and he isn't their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock (John 10:12)". It's the self-preservation for me!!! Seriously though, in January 2016, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that the word Ichabod which means "the glory of God has departed", was written over many of the churches in America. Please for your own soul's sake, be careful, and discern the covering you come under from now on!
Compromise is 1) an agreement or settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions 2) the acceptance of standards that are then desirable and 3) a concession to something derogatory or prejudicial. How has the Church been in compromise you may ask? Let me count the ways!! How many churches have yielded their constitutional right to remain open over these last 10 months? Can we stop pretending now that a virus is the reason behind this? I submit to you that of course, the fear of this virus was a pervasive factor, but could it be the fear of losing their 501(c) 3 was just as pervasive! God forbid if they should heed to the law of God above the demands of ungodly governors and possibly lose their tax exemptions! How many church leaders have compromised their gifts and anointing in lieu of titles, positions, "power", and fame? I don't even want to hazard a guess. How many church leaders have taught a watered-down gospel, trying to appease the flesh of those in attendance, lest they should become offended and leave the church. Not teaching what is morally correct and acceptable behavior in the sight of God (righteousness, purity, holiness, honesty, integrity, etc.), thereby, causing there to be little distinction between the Church and the world. Compromise...Yes, all over the place! God help us!
Captivity is the word that the Holy Spirit threw in the mix about a month ago. Captivity is the state or period of being held, imprisoned, enslaved, or confined. The Holy Spirit said that complacency leads to cowardice, which leads to compromise which eventually leads you into captivity. Who or what you yield to becomes your master. Compromise will never maintain a lasting peace but will only make the ultimate conflict that much greater. Compromise in one generation will always lead to captivity in the next. The Holy Spirit told me that "compromise is on the table". This is what the Lord is observing concerning the Church. Ultimately, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, but while you are in the earth, to whom or what will you bow? Who will become your master? I choose to bow only to the Master whose name is Jesus!! Be blessed in Jesus' name!