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6 Signs That Show A Church Is Becoming Secular

What does a secular church look like? 

Would it be easy to find one?

If we find something in the church that is contrary to Scripture but is taught in the secular world, then that church has become--in part--secularized. The more we find from the world in the church, the more that church is secularized.

Following is a list of things that, in my opinion, are examples of secularization in the church. Of course, this list is not exhaustive nor is it authoritative. It is my opinion. Nevertheless, it is offered as food for thought.

1. Teaching that the Bible is not inspired and inerrant.

The Bible is the Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16) and is the measure of truth and righteousness. To claim that it is not inspired is to reduce it to the level of the Quran, or the Bhagavad-Gita, or the Book of Mormon which are mere man-made writings posing as inspired words from God.

When the authority of God's Word is lost, then man-made doctrines creep in. The authority and inspiration of Scripture is the anchor that keeps the church from drifting into error.

2. Using books instead of the Bible in Bible study.

It is okay to use books that assist in Bible study, but the Bible should be the central source of spiritual truth, not books about the Bible. If Bible studies are using guidebooks more than the Bible itself, then the Bible has been moved to a secondary position. If Christians are having trouble understanding God's Word, then the pastor (or Bible study leader) needs to teach them how to find its truths, so they can check all things in Scripture by themselves (Acts 17:11).

3. Teaching that there is more than one way to God besides Jesus.

In this world of relativism, it is not popular to claim that Jesus is the only way to be saved. But this is what the Bible says. John 14:6, "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me." Also, Acts 4:12, "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved." There is no other way to be saved. The Muslims, the Buddhists, the Taoists, etc., cannot be saved without Jesus.

4. Being embarrassed to say that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

Like the issue above, Jesus is the only way (John 14:6). Christians should never be ashamed (Rom. 1:16) to speak the truth of God's saving work in Christ. For some, to be timid and embarrassed means that one's eyes are off of God and on people.

5. Teaching that there is no absolute right and wrong.

As mentioned above, moral relativism is the norm of society. We often hear, "It is true if it is true for you." The Bible tells us that there are moral absolutes independent of what we think is right. Exodus 20:1-17 is a list of the ten commandments which are moral absolutes. The Bible teaches us there is absolute right and wrong. Without moral absolutes, no one can say anything is right or wrong.

6. Being careful to not offend anyone at the expense of Biblical truth.

Whether or not someone likes what the Bible says does not change the truth of the Bible. We should not be offensive just to be offensive, but we should not be afraid to speak the truth of God when the need arises. The gospel that offends no one is not the gospel of the Bible.

Is your church becoming secular? Are you? If either, start praying, repent of anything you believe or do that is contrary to Scripture. Start praying for your church and study God's Word. Let it be your guide.

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