3 Things That Have Made the Church Powerless In This Culture

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The church today is facing a level of persecution that we couldn’t have imagined a few years ago.

When states and countries began shutting down in March of 2020, we were told that it was to flatten the curve.

The curve was flattened, and many churches didn’t open.

Some by choice, out of fear of a second wave, some were mandated by their mayors and governors to remain closed.

There were a small handful of churches who have chosen to defy those mandates, basing their decision on God’s Word (Hebrews 10:25), and on our First Amendment rights:

 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …[emphasis mine]

Some of those churches standing firm on Biblical and constitutional grounds for remaining open, despite the mandates by their state leaders, faced a lot heat at the time.

But sadly, we saw many churches not only allowing government to run roughshod over them, some are voluntarily closing their doors.

Over the past couple of years I have asked myself how the early church would have responded in a situation like this….

  • When governmental leaders are forbidding churches to open
  • When governmental leaders are threatening those that remain open anyway
  • When Christians are calling out those who feel it is right to stay open for being uncaring and unChrist-like

I think we see the answer to this question all over the book of Acts.

The church would have stood strong on faith, praying for the sick and seeing them recover while choosing to obey God rather than man.

But the 21st Century church is powerless in this culture.

3 Things That Have Made the Church Powerless In This Culture

Whenever you see a powerless Christian or church, there is one thing you can know for certain and that is that it didn’t happen overnight.

There were many decisions made and actions taken over a period of time that led to a weakened state.

These 3 things have weakened the church over a period of decades, and they have brought the church to this moment in history when she is caving to the cancel culture, while chanting “it is for our own good”.

What is interesting is that we see these things mirrored in the letters the Spirit wrote to the churches in Revelation 2-3.

1. Tolerating Jezebel in the church – The Church in Thyatira and Pergamos

“Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.” Revelation 2:20-21

Several decades ago, the church began to tolerate feminism, and with time they began entertaining and even celebrating it.

The tragedy is, they didn’t recognize that the root of feminism is a Jezebel spirit.

In his sermon on August 9, 2020, Pastor Dean Hackett talks about what marks a Jezebel culture:

  • Child sacrifice (abortion)
  • Violence and crime
  • A sexualized culture
  • Same-sex relationships
  • Killing the prophets

We have not only witnessed a flood of influential women promote the idea that women should be able to be credentialed as senior pastors, but also speak out against the history of patriarchy in the church and even misuse Scripture to back up their unbiblical teaching.

Together with the rise of feminism in the church, we see the rise of sexual immorality and tolerance of homosexuality and other sexually deviant behavior in the church.

You cannot separate a Jezebel spirit and sexual immorality and deviance.

The rise of immorality in the church is so rampant that even in the early 2,000s youth pastors stated that they were helpless to fight against it in their youth groups.

“But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.” Revelation 2:14-15

It is common for those in the church – even leaders and pastors – to have extra-marital affairs.

We are seeing leading men and women in the church fall morally, waffle on the topic of LGBTQ+, and attempt to cancel those in the church who are remaining strong and vocal about the principles of God’s Word.

Killing the prophets with their Instagrams and Tweets.

those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie…” Revelation 3:9

2. Preaching sermons of psychology, self-help, and social justice in the church – The Church at Sardis

“These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: ‘I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.'” Revelation 3:1

Over the past couple of decades, as the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches began to distance themselves from the teaching of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues, they had to replace that fire with other things.

So, they began to approach church with a business model, began talking about “church growth” and “seeker sensitivity”.

This required that they steer away from talking about those things that the world might reject, like the cross, Jesus’ blood, sexual immorality, LGBTQ+, alcohol, divorce, and other controversial subjects.

So, once you begin ripping out portions of the Bible, you will eventually end up with just the cover and no pages.

This has led to where we are now; pastors preaching about

…peppering their sermons with verses yanked out of context to help support their sermons that otherwise have nothing at all to do with God’s Word.

Because these churches were now devoid of the power of Holy Spirit, they began to use programs and other methods to draw people in.

3. Turning worship into concerts and pastors into celebrities – The Church Ephesus and Laodicea

“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Revelation 2:4

With the emphasis on church growth, worship has begun to look more and more like a concert.

Worship is no longer what the Bible refers to as worship – declaring who God is and his amazing acts; elevating God above everything else in life.

Worship is a style of music – a genre.

And many musicians, song writers, and singers have become famous in this genre.

The question is: “Who are we really worshiping?”

Because when we make celebrities of those who bring God’s Word to us in sermon and in song, we have left our first love and have begun engaging in idolatry.

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—” Revelation 3:16-17

Without a doubt, many churches have become very successful. Some fill stadiums and their pastors have become the brand and face of the church.

We have had an era of celebrity pastors and teachers who have become grossly wealthy in ministry.

They have risen to heights of popularity that God never intended.

Christians, and XINOs stopped seeing the face of God and saw only the face of the celebrity Christian – Bible teacher, pastor, and worship leader – they most admired.

These celebrities became untouchable as they rose to high pedestals…

where one by one, in recent years, they have fallen.

This move of the church was made possible only by our removal of the Holy Spirit, resulting in a cold, dead church who has forgotten her first love.

What is the solution?


The first thing the church must do is repent for her wretched, miserable, poor, blind, cold, condition that has led her to leave her first love and chase after the idols of

  • Christian celebrities
  • Science
  • Popularity and acceptance by the world
  • Sensual pleasures and wealth

Seek for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

In my recent post 3 Powerful Reasons We Need the Baptism of the Holy Spirit Now More Than Ever, I write about why it is crucial for the church to seek for this very important gift at this time and in this culture.

We need the fire of God in our church, and we don’t have fire without the Holy Spirit.

We need the power of God in our church, and we don’t have power without the Holy Spirit.

We need boldness and conviction, and this comes from the Holy Spirit.

If we don’t have the fire of God with boldness and conviction, we will continue to be a powerless, weak, irrelevant, canceled, pandering, virtue-signaling church with nothing to offer a world in need!

It is time for the church of God to seek a place at the altar of repentance, and then cry out to God for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire promised to her in God’s Word.

Other posts in this series

Covid-19 and the Canceling of the Church

3 Things the World Needs From the Church Right Now

3 Powerful Reasons We Need the Baptism of the Holy Spirit Now More Than Ever

3 Things That Have Made the Church Powerless In This Culture

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