Throughout church history, there has been a steady trend of a sliding away from the base line of Christianity that has still been constantly continuing on. Many churches have gone corrupt because they give in to their own selfish reasoning, and pride, and also because they choose not to heed God’s Word. This resulted in two major results that Satan has used: a pendulum that swings from either an infiltration or persecution to destroy the church.
But, how do churches fall away and end up in such a deplorable state? Some churches have definitely started out well; yet, when I look at them now, I always wondered, “How dare you call yourselves a Christian, and how did you end up like this?”
Pride, because mankind has always been prideful. We want to do things our way and in our own timing. This trait was even present in the beginning of the world, when Eve thought herself above God that she could break His command of not eating of the forbidden fruit. And, when Adam though that it was not his fault that he had sinned.
Prideful actions always breed bad consequences and are caused when we fail to heed what God Word says. Throwing God’s Word out of the window always, always causes dire consequences. I cannot emphasize how important it is to listen to what God’s Word says! Abortion, evolution, homosexuality, wars, etc… all this happened because man decided that God’s Word is just a bunch of fairy tales, and therefore, man should let Pride take over.
I am sure that is why pride is on the top of God’s “Hate List” as stated in Proverbs 6:17, “A proud look…” Certainly, a lesson can be learnt here. Pride, caused when we refuse to listen to God, always comes before a fall.
As a result of this, Satan has the opportunity to launch an offensive against a weakening church. He does this by using infiltration. He also tries using persecution – but, not often against a weakening church. Of the two, infiltration is by far, the worse.
Infiltration usually starts slowly and stealthily. First, it whispers something into the leaders of the church. It makes it sound enticing and as if it were part of God’s plan. Then, when the leaders agree to it, Infiltration makes another slightly, bolder suggestion. And, gradually, it builds until the church – because of its pride and failure to approach and listen to God- slowly begins to drift away from the baseline.
We can see this happening everywhere. Churches that have started out well – or not at all – now want to appeal to the masses instead of trying to please God. So, they bring in the drums, the rock and roll group, and they preach sermons that are basically just made-up stories. “Church” has now become nothing more than an entertainment hub.
Persecution is almost the opposite of infiltration. Where infiltration attempts to work and please the church people, persecution attempts to tear and rip apart the church.
It can come in the form of relatives opposing your relationship with God. It could be friends that jeer at you because you need to take a stand for your faith. It can come in the form of the government trying to hunt you down and kill you. It can come in many different ways.
But, unlike infiltration, persecution happens when we stop being prideful and allow God to take over! It is during these persecutions that you can really test your faith. Will you succumb and give in? Or will you take a stand for God?
Definitely, persecution has caused some churches to be completely destroyed, spiritually and physically. But, it is up to an individual to make the right choice according to God.
Church history has taught me many things besides historical facts. It has shown me that by not heeding God and letting Pride rule my life, it causes my downfall. And, when I choose to make a stand, Satan will be there to persecute.
Yet, I pray continually that I would follow what Hebrews 12:1 says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”