MODERATOR: Some people thought that my approach in my article on "Body & Leaders" last week was unbalanced. I can see why they might think that. So hopefully my statements below about the state of today's church will restore the balance somewhat. These are some of the strongest statements I have ever made: ******************************************************* The NINE LIES of Today's church. -by Andrew Strom. It is a sad fact that today's church is deceiving itself in some very crucial areas. Below are some plain facts (-absolutely true) that may shock a few people: 1. "Ask Jesus into our heart" is not in the Bible. Neither is "Give your heart to the Lord", or repeating a "sinner's prayer". These practices do not exist in Scripture at all. The subject of salvation is the most important subject in the Bible and we are being lied to about it. These doctrines are a total fabrication. They were invented to make salvation "quick and convenient". Many church members today who are relying on these things are clearly not 'saved' at all. 2. Church buildings do not exist in the Bible. They were invented around 200-300 AD, when the church was in serious decline. Only a backslidden church could fall so far away from the simplicity of the early church. Church buildings are anti-New Testament, and bring with them a host of problems and traditions. It was basically when the church fell into the hands of Rome that this concept of the "cathedral" really took over. And we are still spending millions on these monuments today. 3. The "one pastor runs everything" model is totally unscriptural. Far from running everything, in the book of Acts we find the word "pastor" NOT EVEN USED ONCE. (-The early church did have strong leaders and elders. But it was never a "one man band" like we see today. And never was it so "controlling" either). 4. "Tithing" is not a New Testament practice at all. And it is being shamefully abused by today's preachers. In the New Testament we are told to give cheerfully - whatever we purpose in our hearts to give. Telling people that they MUST give 10% to the church or they are "robbing God" is totally sick - and a money-grubbing way of twisting Scripture. There is no evidence that the apostles EVER preached 'tithing' to New Testament believers. It was clearly regarded as an Old Testament practice. 5. The words "prosper" or 'prosperity' were NEVER used by Jesus at all - and only exist a couple of times in the entire New Testament. Yet greedy preachers have built whole kingdoms upon them. The words - "sell what you have and give to the poor" and "deceitfulness of riches" and "you cannot serve God and mammon" and "woe to you that are rich" were DEFINITELY used by Jesus and the apostles. But we don't hear these things preached too much, do we? 6. There were no Bible Colleges, Seminaries or degrees in the New Testament. The only people who seemed to have "Bible Schools" were the Scribes and Pharisees! The apostles were simple fishermen and tax collectors. It is likely that a number of them could not even read or write. What was their "qualification" for being in the ministry? Simply that they had SPENT A LOT OF TIME WITH JESUS. The fact that people expect a "professional clergy" today with degrees from Bible College has helped to make the church sicker and more unscriptural than ever. Simple humble people with a calling from God often cannot get to minister because they do not have a "piece of paper" to make them 'qualified'. -Yet another disaster for the church. 7. There is almost no evidence whatsoever that the early church had their "main meeting" on a Sunday. They gathered together 'from house to house' virtually every day! There were no church buildings. They did not dress up and "go to church". There were no denominations. There were no separate groups with different 'labels'. They lived their lives together - all the Christians in the local area. Love and fellowship and 'koinonia' were as natural to them as breathing. And the apostles in Jerusalem preached every day at huge open-air gatherings. -Not "hidden away" inside four walls. This was truly a "street church" in every way. 8. The idea that you can replace the moving of the Holy Spirit with programs, programs and more programs just shows how low we have sunk. Man-made programs are everywhere today. The early church had much more of God and much less of 'man'. 9. We preach a 'humanistic' Jesus today. -A Jesus who exists mainly for our own "happiness". A Santa Claus who wants to rain down continual blessings upon us. A God of grace and mercy without judgement, righteousness or truth. Our gross misrepresentation of who Jesus really is, is one of the most serious offenses of the modern church. Today's church seems to worship a "plastic" Jesus - one that she has made in her own image. What an offense to God. A lot of preachers are well aware that there is something very wrong with the church today. They know there is little 'fear of the Lord'. They know there is no deep repentance or deep moving of the Holy Spirit. They know that it is just the same old "game" being played every week. A lot of them are very aware of this. But they will not do anything about it. They will not rock the boat. And they will "squash" anyone who comes along trying to do something. They do not want a real "shaking". There is too much to lose. They have their careers and their little 'kingdoms' at stake. This is the real truth of the matter. This is where the rubber truly meets the road. That is why God is about to bring "Great Reformation". He will not put up with these 'hirelings' any longer. He will not have them as leaders over His people. A lot of them are about to "lose their heads". They will never lead God's people again. This is what true 'Reformation' is all about. It is the process of replacing the old leadership and the old lies. -It is David taking over from 'Saul'. There is a 'New Wineskin' coming. In fact it is upon us. There is a new leadership arising - many of them trained in the 'wilderness' for such a time as this. The hour is now here. LET THE NEW LEADERS ARISE! The sad fact is that today's church has sunk so low that it is almost a matter of people needing to be RESCUED OUT OF HER. I never thought I would say something as radical as that, but it is the truth. The entire church is living a lie. Many inside her are told continuously that they are "OK" - that they are saved and headed for heaven. Nothing could be further from the truth. Multitudes of them are headed directly for hell. The systemized LYING that is going on has deceived the leaders and the people alike. It is the blind leading the blind. We need to contend for these people - desperately. Much of the church is "lost". They are mired in deception - an entire system of deception. PLEASE send me your thoughts and comments and responses to this email, my friends. If other people have responses then please send those in also. We want to make these things a serious topic of discussion. Our email address here is: prophetic@... God bless you all! Kindest regards in Christ, Andrew Strom.