I had been praying to the Lord to give me wisdom and discernment for many months. At the time I was attending a Calvary Chapel in a mountain community where I live. The Lord kept revealing things to me little by little.
At first it was the books they were selling in their small bookstore. When I looked into some of the authors, I was alarmed. Books by Rick Warren and other questionable people. Books I knew they wouldn’t have carried years back.
I couldn’t get it out of my head that they were more interested in profit than edifying the flock. Especially, all those books buy Greg Laurie and his sermons promoting his books. In fact, so many of these pastors are selling books and copies of their sermons, in addition to other merchandise. Does a shirt with the church name on it make me more devout?
2 Peter 2:1-3, and Matthew 21:12 kept running through my head. It just seemed like the Lord wouldn’t approve of all this merchandising in His house. They even promoted and sold books at the women’s conference by Stormy O’Martian, Joyce Meyers, Beth Moore, etc.
Then there was the Bethel Music, Hillsong, Jesus Culture, Cory Ashbury, etc music. And to think, I used to like some of their songs! But as the Lord opened my eyes, I realized that we were contributing to these performers by paying a fee for the use of the music. Most people don’t know this! Churches actually pay a fee to use these songs in worship.
When I confronted some church elders about all of this, they acted like I was being extreme. They suggested that I don’t have to sing the songs, just go along with it. Everyone acted like it was totally fine, I was going overboard. Heck, before all this, I would have thought it was fine too.
I kept praying for the Lord to show me if I was misinterpreting all this, but it just kept snowballing. There were further issues, especially with the overall leadership in Calvary Chapel. Many events where they partnered with people like Steven Furtick, and Louie Giglio, who spread falsehoods through eisegesis, to the deception of many. Also, this growing trend towards ecumenism. I feel the church in general is far from what it once was.
Ultimately, I didn’t even try to talk with the Pastor at my church because of the unfair way he treated another woman I knew who went there. He is the pastor though, and he was fully aware of what they are selling and singing. So now I am without a physical church. But I have pastors whose sermons I follow on YouTube, even for communion and have another person that we both share sermons, daily proclamations, and Bible studies. I do my own worship for the Lord. I think that compromise is not what the Lord is looking for, but is looking for true devotion true allegiance to Him. I feel we are all independently responsible to know His word and grow in it daily. We should all be keenly aware of the end time church, the harlot and the wave to try to take us there now. We need to stand up and say no, I won’t compromise, even it I stand alone.
Taking those first steps to share concerns with church leadership can be daunting. One helpful resource: How to talk to your church leaders about false teachers.
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