(OPINION) Charisma – The Bible teaches that the church is supposed to influence the world as salt and light (Matt. 5:13-16), but instead the church has often been influenced by the world. The book of Ezekiel 22:26 sends a stern rebuke to believers who make no distinction between that which is common and that which is holy (by “common” I mean worldly things and values).
In this article, “secular” refers to worldly rather than holy and set apart for God’s purposes. Truly any congregation that has no distinction from the world is close to extinction. The reason so many evangelical churches have grown so rapidly is not necessarily because of a true spiritual revival but because of cultural accommodation. The following are 10 signs your church has been secularized:
- They preach only what is popular and avoid what is culturally controversial. Often secularized pastors stay away from preaching on the standards of biblical morality so as to stay in the societal mainstream and avoid offending visitors. The result is a membership that only hears a partial gospel without the power to renew minds, which leaves them as secular saints.
- There is no standard for membership or those serving in ministry. I have heard reports of many churches that allow anyone to become a member and/or serve in ministry positions without being vetted. The result is people serving on worship teams or as small group leaders who are engaged in premarital sex, cohabitation or living a morally subpar Christian life.
- Premarital sex and cohabitation between unmarried couples are normalized in the congregation. When folks in the congregation have the same view as the world when it comes to sexual ethics, that is a secularized congregation.
- Most young people have normalized alternate forms of family and marriage. When the youth of a church, by and large, adopt and/or celebrate unbiblical views regarding family and marriage, then that congregation is secularized.
- Secular music is played at church events. I have heard of churches that incorporate secular music as a normal part of their church services and/or church-related events. Although this is primarily done to attract more visitors by being more relevant, it waters down the distinction between the world and the church and makes them spiritually irrelevant. READ MORE