Why the mainstream "churches" have been
found lacking

Fellow-Christians, if you want to get an eye-opening insight into the emotional damage inflicted upon people by Christian churches, spend an hour at ex-christian dot net (if you can ignore the blasphemous words and images the site also is full of).

That site is not just the angry rants of a bunch of backsliders and incorrigibles. Yes, some give evidence of having turned from righteousness to sin, and prefer the pleasures of sin. But when we read between the lines, and exercise the spirit of patience that Christ calls us to, we also can discern that many of the testimonies there come from earnest people who many of us can identify with -- people who are discouraged by hypocrisy, by "great swelling words of vanity", by large promises and small performance, and by teachings that, if true, are very ugly indeed -- doctrines that the mainstream churches still teach about a future of misery for most people, and a God who is too weak to conquer sin and death, or too remote to care about the injustice in the world.

In fact, some of the best Christians in the churches burn themselves out on an altar that turns out to be human and not divine, and fall into despair and religious coldness. This is exactly what Jesus predicted in his great prophecy about the Christian era, Matthew 24. "Because iniquity (in the church) shall abound, the love of many will wax cold."

Here are some Bible reasons why these sorry facts have come to pass:

  1. The Christian church was immediately invaded, starting in the apostles' day, by ambitious, selfish, dominating men. Some started out as Christians but "fell away", having "loved this present age", etc. "They went out from us, but they are not of us." 1 John 2:19, 2 John 7,8
  2. Others, especially in later years when there was money and power available in the church, came to the church for the money and the power. The terms used to describe these folks are:
    TARES - Matthew 13:24ff "The enemy" sows this seed. It is false from the beginning, and is never in heart a truly regenerate, "born-again" Christian.
    ANTICHRIST - 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7 -- Understanding that the Greek prefix "anti" does not always mean "against" -- it also menas "instead of", helps us see that the worst antichrists have not been outright enemies or opponents of Christianity, but people who were out of harmony with the spirit of Christ but who were able to convince the church and the world that they were the representatives of Christ. Once they had control of the levers of power, they carried the Christian banner but were completely opposing the truth and spirit of Christ. In time, they also became the murderers of true Christians, burning them at the stake, hunting them and killing them by the thousands. One such martyr is spoken of symbolically as "Antipas" -- Anti- Pappa -- which refers to those who stood up against Papacy during the dark ages. Their blood cries out to God for vengeance. See Revelation 2:13, Rev. 6:9
    UNGODLY MEN - Jude 4 - 19 -- Read this carefully, and you'll see it is referring to people in the church -- "spots in your love-feasts". They participate in something like the rebellion of Corah, whose claim was that he was just as qualified as Moses to be a leader. They are spoken of as "twice dead, plucked up by the roots" -- an indication they are the worst kind of Christians -- those who have been enlightened, having tasted the heavenly gift and the powers of the age to come, and yet have fallen away, without repentance. (Hebrews 6:4-6)
    NICOLAITANS - Revelation 2:15 -- A reference to those who "lord it over" God's true flock
    THE MAN OF SIN - Another reference to the Antichrist, described in Revelation as the Harlot, Babylon, Jezebel, etc. This is a political power that gains control of the church, teaching error and "wearing out the saints of the most high", "changing times and laws", and speaking himself actually as "God on earth", "the vicegerent of Christ", etc. In the epistle dedicatory of the King James Bible, the translators applied this term to the Papacy. Link the prophecies of Daniel 7 thru 12 with Revelation, and you'll be on the right track.
    THE APOSTATES - Paul warned of a "falling away", or apostasy, in 2 Thess 2:3ff. He also described some of their characteristic teachings in 1 Timothy 4:1-4.
  3. Besides the just plain bad men who have been allowed by God to get control of the church, the true people of God have fallen into various sins at various times. Each age has its own sins, though the 19th century church was not rebuked at all, and seems to have had very few communal sins. (Revelation 3:7-13)
    The "last days church", called in Revelation "Laodicea", is the one we all live in. It has a number of prominent sins: lukewarmness, a false sense of pride, thinking we are rich spiritually but not seeing how wretched and miserable we are, etc. The Bible calls the time we are living in "the Hour of Temptation" (Rev. 3:10), and no doubt the material prosperity, ease of life, and greater-than-ever opportunities to gain Biblical knowledge all lead to this puffed-up attitude that afflicts all of us. The remedy of these communal sins is described in Rev. 3:18 -- purchase (through study, prayer, and humble obedience to God's guidance in our lives) "gold tried in the fire" -- a reference to the heavenly character that God can create in us when we are submissive to His direction; "white raiment" -- the justification by faith in Christ that is necessary for our clothing, but which must be cleansed often in the blood to keep the spots of personal sin and worldliness from staining our robes; and "anoint your eyes with eyesalve." -- This seems to mean we need to find the teachings in God's word that open our eyes to what is really happening in the world, in our lives, and in the church. We need to be humble enough and realistic enough to see what is really going on, so that we can follow the Light wherever it leads. We hope that some of the insights contained in this website are the kinds of things that can help God's people open their eyes to the real state of affairs among God's scattered people, and to take appropriate action.

What sins have the mainstream churches committed?

  1. Committed spiritual fornication -- joining themselves with the kingdoms of this world. A "mother" institution started the process, and a number of "daughter" institutions continued the practice. The idea is not sexual, but spiritual compromise with the world system. It is what even today some elements of the religious Right are trying to do, wanting to gain power so that they can "save America". God's people are commanded to submit to the laws of the world system, not become the world system and change the laws. (Romans 13:1)
  2. Mixed the things of God with the things of men. (The etymology of the word "Babylon" is "confusion".
  3. Persecuted the true followers of God - Rev. 18:24. Read about the Waldenses, the Spanish Inquisition, the Peasants Revolution, the burning of Michael Servetus by Calvin, etc. if you want to learn the sorry story of mayhem in the name of Christ.
  4. Made merchandise of spiritual things. This is called the sin of Balaam, who prophesied for money. Rev. 2:14, Jude 11
  5. Hated their brethren - Jude 11, 1 John 2:11 It is human nature to oppose those who are different, and to assume that because God seems to answer OUR prayers that He is working with us, not them. Even Jesus' disciples wanted to call down fire from heaven on those who would not receive their message. Jesus rebuked them, saying, "You know not what spirit you are of." -- The spirit of Christ always leads to peaceable fruits of righteousness and patience.
  6. Preached lies in hypocrisy, regulating foods and marriage in a way that was called a "teaching of devils" by the Apostle Paul - 1 Timothy 4:1-4
  7. Sought money and power through spiritual influence: the litany of evils including African and Asian slavery and the merchandise of "souls" -- selling indulgences -- is described in Revelation 18:9-13.
  8. Brought dishonor on Christ and God by the above practices.
  9. Persecuted the Jewish people, who were held captive in "Babylon" - Christendom (See Isaiah 47)
  10. Taught the "precepts of men" as though it was the word of God, used various "lies" as a refuge, especially an agreement with non-Biblical interpretations of what "death" and "hell" really mean. (See Isaiah 28:14-22, 29:13; we believe the "drunkards of Ephraim" in verse 28:1 refers to the Protestant "confederacy" with special force.)

What will happen to the mainstream church?

Revelation 18 describes what God expects of his people at the present time. He wants us to leave the institutional churches that have been "weighed in the balances and found lacking". Those words were spoken by Daniel about the ancient nation of Babylon. (Daniel 5:27) Revelation was written hundreds of years later, and it spoke of a future Babylon that would also be weighed and measured, and come up short. We think these statements of scripture are talking about the modern institutional church ... and that it is headed toward a sudden and violent destruction. But no true Christian will take up a violent action against the church. Just as Jezebel was cast down by her own eunuchs, the false church will be destroyed by internal strife and the unbelieving peoples who are angry with her oppression and hypocrisy.

The reason why 200,000+ people have left institutional churches to form "house churches", and tens of thousands more have left the cold or lukewarm denominations to join fervent Bible-believing fellowships, is because Christians everywhere are catching the spirit of the Lord's words in Revelation 18: "Come out of her, my people."

Those who leave will avoid her sins, and the plagues of trouble and difficulty which are visible in our news today. (Revelation 18:1-4) True servants of God don't allow themselves to be called "Father" (Matthew 23:9); don't officiate over ceremonies that claim to make them "alter-christo" -- "in the place of Christ"; don't presume to be the confessors of the Lord's people; don't hypocritically hinder marriage (1 Timothy 4:1-4); and don't prey upon children, marring them for life by forcing them into terrible sexual acts.

The condemned church, (and all groups who align with it through ecumenism) like a great millstone, will be thrown down into the sea (Revelation 18:21-24)-- a simple reference to being swallowed up in an uprising of the masses of people. (Psalm 65:7)

But don't worry. 25% of the population of the world is not going to be lost, just because the apostate church they were born into was condemned by God. Each and every person who has not known Christ and been obedient to his commandments will have a full oppportunity to enjoy eternal life on earth during Messiah's kingdom. Jesus died for all. Hallelujah!