- 1 The Impact of the World on the Church
- 2 The Enmity Between the World and Jesus Christ
- 3 Greater Is He That Is In You
- 4 An Abiding Walk
- 5 The Dumbing Down of the Church
- 6 Tolerance, The Highest Virtue of Society
- 7 Abuse of Scripture Regarding Judgment
- 8 Worldview and the Redefining of Truth
- 9 The Church Today
- 10 Pervasive Postmodern World View
- 11 Postmodern Worldview and Beliefs of the Young
- 12 Lack of Biblical Worldview in the Church
- 13 Church Solutions to Postmodernism
The Impact of the World on the Church
The world is rapidly descending into chaos. How did we get here? How is Satan able to deceive almost everyone, including the church and many of the elect? What is the plan of the Angel of Light for his domination of the world and the church?
The Enmity Between the World and Jesus Christ
Regardless of the seeming success of Satan’s plan worldwide, this battle has already been won. The war between the serpent and the seed of the woman has been ongoing since Genesis 3:15. This Scripture describes the victory of our Redeemer Jesus Christ over the serpent, representing Satan, his fallen demons and all those who join his kingdom of darkness. This victory was won at the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago (1Pet 3:18; Heb 2:14-15; 1 John 3:8). His victory, His Word, His truth, and His life can be appropriated by faith by all believers living in a kingdom dedicated to the ways of Satan (John 17:13-14). Believers must be alert to the dangers of our time, growing into spiritual maturity, so that we can discern the difference between good and evil (Heb 5:14). Our age has been described in the Bible as evil (2 Tim 3:13; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 6:12; Tit 2:12).  “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron (1 Tim 4:1-2).”
Jesus describes the enmity (war) between the world and His bride, the church, in John 17:13-14.
“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
The world denies God (2 Tim 3:4-5), Christ (1 John 4:3), and faith (1 Tim 4:1-2; Jud 1:3).  Because of the world’s influence and the proliferation of false teachers, the church will progressively deny sound doctrine (2 Tim 4:3-4). The turning away from Scriptural truth and teaching, will make it easier for those who fall away from the faith to make friends with the world. This is seen in the Jewish Christians in the book of Hebrews. They were falling away from the apostles’ teaching, and to escape the persecution of the Jews, going back into the synagogue and offering temple sacrifices. The Father allows persecution of His people, so that the faithful and true can be approved.
Greater Is He That Is In You
The solution to this ongoing battle between believers and the world is the revealed truth of God in the Scriptures. “Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life (Prov 4:13) .”
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:15-17
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:4-6
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world —our faith. 1 John 5:4
An Abiding Walk
An abiding walk is described in Scripture in John’s gospel (John 15:1-6) as well as below:
The one who says, “ I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. 1 John 2:4-6
Believers must progressively come to know Christ and walk as He walked. We walk by faith in the light, in His truth, and in the power of His Spirit. The foundation of Christian life rests upon the facts of the gospel and our position and identification in Him. The wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of God’s word lived out in our character, deeds, and relationships shines His light to a dead and dying world. This is our call to obedience. How do we, and the assemblies we call home, measure up?
The Dumbing Down of the Church
Today, many practices and behavioral attitudes that the Christian church condones and promotes have no Biblical basis. By examining Scripture closely, you can find legitimate and spiritual applications for all of the following attitudes: fear/anger, judgment/ discernment, and even hate. If a church member expresses strong views, he/she is often ridiculed, branded as extreme, or the worst of all accusations – unloving. One can quickly determine that many of the teachings of today’s church and practices exhibited in the modern Christian walk, reflect culture and society more than Jesus. (We will do future studies in all these areas so that believers will understand the Father’s guidance regarding a walk that abides in Jesus.)
Spiritual people today are expected to be loving, while never showing fear or hate; to be placid, while never expressing anger or judgment. The effect of these worldly pressures upon the church is to produce an unhealthy, unbalanced, timid, and spiritually lukewarm body that is sorely equipped to fulfill the call He places upon us.
The enemy’s desire is to deceive by promoting a false Christianity within the church.
By following cultural ideals of “righteous” behavior, the church moves away from sound or healthy doctrine (which the Spirit reveals through Scripture) into spiritual blindness. This weakens the church body through the invasive influence of the world, and its constantly changing morals, from bad to worse.
Tolerance, The Highest Virtue of Society
The highest virtue in society today is tolerance. The new paradigm moves beyond the Christian ideal of respect and agape love of man, because of the value of his eternal soul for which our Savior shed His blood. This brand of tolerance is not merely a lack of direct opposition to others’ views and their freedom to express it, but includes a mandate that we should fight for the rights of others’ beliefs, even when they are opposed to our own. 
“Tolerance is a virtue of a man without convictions.” G.K. Chesterton
Abuse of Scripture Regarding Judgment
Since tolerance is the highest virtue of society, it has been said that the most used scripture of the modern church is not John 3:16, but Matt 7:1: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” End of story.
Let’s take the entire passage in context. Jesus’ teaching was not that we should not judge, but that we should not do so hypocritically. He chastised the Pharisees for judging hypocritically according to men, tradition, or appearance. He commands them to do the opposite of today’s teaching on Matt 7:1 (do not judge), by telling them to judge righteously in John 7:24. In the New Testament we are told to judge everything, including ourselves (1 Thess 5:21-22). In Matthew 7:1-6, Jesus emphasizes that we must first judge ourselves and see our own sin before we can minister to others. Secondly, we must also judge those to whom we minister, for we are not to cast pearls before the pigs or give what is holy to the dogs.
“But examine (dokimazo, test, approve, judge) everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thess 5:21-22
Even love, which all teachers and religions promote, is to operate within the limits of knowledge (epignosis or true experiential knowing of God resulting from an abiding walk) and discernment for the purpose of approving the things of God (and rejecting the things that are not). Love does not ignore the truth. Love without truth is mere sensibility; truth without love is arrogant. The world and the church, in most cases, know little of Biblical, agape love.
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ … Phil 1:9
Worldview and the Redefining of Truth
On an individual level, a person’s spiritual worldview tells you everything you need to know about him/her. There is one acceptable standard for the Christian, and that is the divine viewpoint of the Bible expressed as the mind of Christ. A critical examination of modern and postmodern worldviews shows the tragedy of a world lost in deception and delusion, and enslaved to the lies of the enemy. Modernism (1300’s -1900’s) replaced Biblical truth from a Creator God with science and reason. Modernism rejected the Scriptures as being an infallible revelation from God. This includes the rejection of right and wrong as absolutes determined by God and God alone. Once Bible truth had been dethroned by modernism, postmodernism (1960’s -1990’s) now states that each culture (multiculturalism) has its own truth, none of which are superior to any other. Those who make claims, like Christianity, to possess the Truth (John 14:6; 17:17) are to be fought against.  The world has moved from Faith (ethical theism) and Reason (science of modernism) to the Pluralism of a subjective truth (postmodernism) based upon culture and religions of the world.
In postmodern society truth is whatever you believe it to be. The philosophy is entailed in “live and let live,” with no moral absolutes. Operating on all levels in society, these lies of alternate worldview that pass for truth, will destroy churches, families, marriages, lives, and ultimately souls.
The Church Today
The church, founded on revealed truth from God inscribed in the Scriptures, is rapidly moving away from Biblical Christianity towards a popular and successful business model of giving the people what they want. The model is Laodecia: the lukewarm church in the seven letters to seven churches in Rev 2 & 3. Jesus warned of today’s age as an evil time permeated by tares and leaven ( Matthew 13). He warned the faithful to be alert, watchful, and to be “shrewd as serpents but innocent as doves (Matt 10:16).” It is foretold in scripture that in the time in which we live, the standards of the church and the world will become much worse (2 Tim 3:13).
Pervasive Postmodern World View
Today, politically correct spin is a method of persuasion used to shape public opinion. It can be arbitrarily applied to controversial issues attacking the standards and stability of society, bringing true discussion and dialogue to a halt. No one is allowed to question the veracity of even the most outrageous statements. It has been aptly said that a lie told enough times will eventually be accepted as the truth. This form of brainwashing is commonly practiced today in the media.
These methods promote a postmodern worldview, which is the expressed opinion of science, government, the arts, and all forms of academia. Along with an activist judiciary, these tactics have been used to push onto historically Christian societies an agenda that is antagonistic to the truth of the Bible. This agenda includes acceptance and public financing of abortion, destruction of the Biblical design of marriage and family, and promoting flawed science such as evolution and global warming as fact. Additionally there is a punitive silencing of Christianity in public life (especially in schools), promotion of the erroneous idea that everything is a right (“as long as no one is hurt”), and the myth of multiculturalism.
Truth today is relative. Each culture and religion has its own truth, none of which is superior to the other. The statement of Jesus “I am the way the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” is arrogant and narrow-minded according to today’s accepted thought, because absolute truth cannot exist.
Postmodern Worldview and Beliefs of the Young
How effective is the post-modern society conforming its global citizens to their views?
The results of this satanically inspired attack, with its postmodern, politically correct thinking, upon the beliefs of the youth has been researched by George Barna. He found the majority of all young people in the US believe:
- The devil (as an entity) does not exist, and that Satan is a symbol of evil
- Entrance into heaven is by doing good works
- The sacred books of different religions are different expressions of the same truth
- Spiritual truth can only be discovered through logic, reason and personal experience
The foundations for decision-making in our youth make them susceptible to the ever-changing winds of “cultural” and subjective truth. Young people base their decisions on the following findings, showing the lack of significance of faith in their life today.
- 37% Feelings
- 26% What others (peers) thought of them
- 8% Word of God 
Lack of Biblical Worldview in the Church
Barna, in his book Revolution, also did studies of the beliefs of professing adult Christians in the US. What he found is disturbing.
Only 9% of all born again adult believers have a Biblical worldview.
A Biblical world view is defined in this study as the belief that absolute truth exists and that truth is found in the Bible, the Bible is accurate, Jesus lived a sinless life, Satan is real, believers are responsible to share their faith, the only means of salvation is grace, and God is the all-knowing and all-powerful creator of the universe who still exists today.
The other 91% of born again adults possess a patchwork of theological views based upon the cultural views promoted by the media, political correctness, their own viewpoints, and a combination of different religious teachings. Interestingly, professing Christians rarely rely on these perspectives to inform their daily decisions. 
(We suspect that most base their decisions upon the same foundation as their children, feelings and what others think.)
Church Solutions to Postmodernism
There seems to be two solutions to the postmodern dilemma that attacks the church today: One, is to bend the historical beliefs and Biblical foundations of the church to better fit the societal norms (similar to the Jewish Christians in the book of Hebrews); second, some advocate the defending Christian beliefs through political action and support of government candidates. The first, a present day solution of conformity to the world so that their church can survive corporately intact and without losing market share, can be a guiding light for those who may be willing to deny their Lord. In the second solution, many desire to stand firm politically for what has been lost culturally to postmodernism in our society. Although there may be some benefit to society by a political solution, both ideas miss the mark.
The godly solution is the return of believers and their assemblies to the truth of the divinely revealed, infallible Word of God. The only true measure, revealer, instructor, and corrector of the hearts of men is through the word illuminated by the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit ( 2 Tim 3:16). We must turn from worldly doctrine (2 Tim 4:3) and false teachers (Matt 7:15; 2 Pet 2:1). This requires discernment (Heb 5:4) followed by an abiding walk in His works.
 What Lies Ahead, A Biblical Overview of the End Times, J.B. Hixson and Mark Fontecchio, Lucid Books, 2013, Loc 3201-3221, electronic media.
 The New Tolerance, Josh McDowell and Bo Hostetler, Tyndale University Publishers, 1998, 33-38.
 Revolution, George Barna, Tyndale University Publishers, 2005, 32-33.