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Unfortunately, one thing that unites many Christians around the world, regardless of denomination, is the quality of preaching and the Sunday service.

Recently, Pastor McCain of Cyberbrethren featured a post, the main text of which was drawn from The Gospel-Driven Church blog.  ‘Your Church May Not Be a Church If’ listed various tell-tale warning signs that the church you attend may not be a church in the true biblical sense of the word.

First, let’s look at some of the points from the post itself.  Your church may not be a church if:

You rarely, if ever, hear the word “sin” there. 

When you do hear the word “sin,” it is only only briefly mentioned, or redefined as “mistakes.”

You can’t remember when you last heard the name of Jesus in a message.

The Easter message isn’t about the resurrection but “new opportunities” in your life or turning over a new leaf.

There are more videos than prayers.

The majority of the small groups are oriented around sports or leisure, not study or service.

You always feel comfortable there.

Pastor McCain then invited readers to add to the list.  These are some of the warning signs they came up with:

You want to study deeper into God’s Word and that holy desire is publically mocked by members of the leadership as being selfish or the intellectual equivalent of gluttony.

Your church is so inclusive and accepting that there are no belief boundaries that make it distinct from the general public of the greater community.

The pastor constantly urges you to write Congress about this-or-that political issue.

There is a vast array of “social concerns” activities in the church but little Bible study.

The motto is “Come as you are.” What they sometimes mean is, “Come as you are and leave unchanged.”

In the name of “diversity” non-Christians are called upon to preach and proselytize from the pulpit.

The Christianity preached there is primarily about what you can do for God and not what God has done for you

Chilling stuff.  I recognise several of these from my own experience, particularly some of the readers’ warnings above.

I know our priests and pastors can’t do everything, but many of them do need a sharpish return to teaching and preaching the Gospel.  No, these will not be easy sermons to prepare, but clergy are, after all, trained and called (we hope) to do that very thing.  Yet, so few do.  We receive messages about ‘cohesion’, ‘community’ and ‘climate change’ but next to nothing about repentance, salvation and grace. 

Meanwhile, it is incumbent upon us to spend more time at home on independent study of Scripture as well as our confessions of faith or catechism, whatever they may be.

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