The No Cross Church !

#3 and final article in 3- part series on The Present Day Church.

#1 The Old Cross Church; #2 The New Cross Church; and… #3 The No Cross Church…
Here is what brings agony to my spirit and soul; the fact that The Church itself can even be described in these terms should cause great grief in our spirits!! When was the last time you attended an intercessory prayer time, called by your Pastor, to pray that “your Church” return to being an OLD CROSS CHURCH? A Church focused on the personal and corporate humility, brokenness, sacrifice, intercession, and a passion for God and His ways ONLY, that will transform “ your Church” into the image of Jesus, sharing the “glory of God” with NO ONE but HIM!! The hymn writer fervently sang the prayer of his heart in these words:

“Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth, through every heartbeat move!
Stoop to my weakness, Mighty as YOU are;
And make me Love YOU, as I want to Love.”

Some additional words from this writer, my pull your longing heart more and more into Him, above all else; “…take the dullness of my heart away,” and…”I see YOUR CROSS, there, teach my heart to cling, , Oh, let me seek YOU, and…Oh, let me find…

Teach me to Love YOU, as YOUR angels love;
ONE HOLY PASSION, filling all my frame;
The baptism of the Heavenly descended dove,
My heart an altar, and YOUR LOVE, my FLAME!”

So, what does all of that have to do with THE NO CROSS CHURCH? My crying heart says that possibly, just maybe, our world-bound friends without Jesus, would be unavoidably attracted to the burning fire of God that so consumes our lives. That, our passion for His Word and Ways has so drastically us, they see how ineffective, unfulfilling, and…most of all, how unredemptive THE NO CROSS way really is. Merely wasted and temporary do-good action, at best!

By comparison, living life with the attitude of entitlement, and pursuit of “high level” recognition, along with working so hard at obtaining the reputation of fitting into the cool culture of “caring for all those world-wide who have unfortunate circumstances and no one in the world really cares.” Add to all of that confusion, the difficult problems of navigating through all those “life issues” like Abortion, the Gay lifestyle, getting married, or other choices?…” all the other unfairness in the world.” For the most part, the people left with the choice of no choice, end up in the dilemma of either THE OLD CROSS life-change, or…the life of substituting tolerance of all people, in all kinds of situations, and…selective morality, and “being good,” at least better than most, and all the other culturally required and marginalized convictions!

There are actual physical “churches” that endeavor to disciple folks through this dilemma. The most popular place is the bar! Probably more fun to.

At least it doesn’t pretend to be an actual “religion.” As always, it all ends up in God’s lap! And He has appointed you and me to carry the responsibility of “Christ in US, His hope of receiving Glory here on earth.” (Colossians 2:27 Bersche Translation)

The New Cross Church !

More than two decades ago, a new way of thinking about Church came silently, and almost unnoticed into the Church. As with any “new” thing, especially in the Church, this new idea was viewed with a lot of skepticism and suspicion. Denominations and independent Bible scholars studied it closely. Some confidently declared it to be Biblically sound and worthy of serious adoption as a much more effective way to spread the gospel in a culture that was beginning to turn against God! Other scholars spoke worrisome warnings of this watering down of the truth, and it’s affect on the quality of Christians it would produce in “The Old Cross” Church.
Soon, those who embraced the new idea, were being featured as celebrated cover stories in the Christian magazines, TV and Radio programs. Quickly growing a large “footprint,” or testimony in the community, as it then was called, became the goal of every Pastor/Leader who had visions of his own legendary greatness dancing in his heart and mind. To be clear, there is no sin in leading a large Church. Large is not the point. Why, and…How we become large is the issue. So, for various reasons, many are caught in the getting bigger syndrome. Therefore, well developed discernment is a now a vital tool to assist every pursuer of a new Church home.

First, let’s put a face on the “New Cross Church” ! Initially, you cannot sense any difference. It sounds the same, and scripture is employed, but…the content seems to be missing something. The emphasis has changed. This message minimizes the Cross. Jesus did pay the price on the Cross for each of us! P.T.L.! However, any references to my personal death to my fleshly self-centeredness, seem to rare, if at all. In appears His death and resurrection are very necessary for my salvation, but mine doesn’t appeal to my desires for fame and fortune, without recognition to God for, or about anything. However, it is important that it be known I am a religious man.

This New Cross way doesn’t require killing my sinful nature. It does require I remain diligent, at all times, of my surroundings so my image is not sullied, either in my world or Church environments. It appears the real message is; you can be a good, and acceptable Christian, and still enjoy, with more credibility, a Christian walk that is much fun, with more potential for living to please yourself, than what the “Old Cross Church” offers.

“…To the self-assertive it says, Come assert yourself for Christ. To the egoist, it says, Come and do your boasting in the Lord. To the thrill seeker, it says, Come, have more fun in Christian fellowship. The Christian message is slanted in the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the general public. The philosophy behind this kind of thing may be sincere but it’s sincerity does not save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses completely the whole meaning of the Cross.”

“We who preach the gospel, must not see ourselves as public relations agents to establish good will between Christ and the world, and business, the press, and sports, or education. We are not diplomats. We are prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.” (A.W. Tozer – Man –The Dwelling Place of God)
To those who may be thinking that in my older age, I have become more than a little rigid, and a bit overly serious, narrow, and unreasonable, let me say, I only wish I had been this bold and even more brave in my younger years. The ways of man that are, or have been added to, or…adjusted from, the truth of the Word of God, causes the whole of the scripture to be compromised and therefore no longer God’s Truth! And the thing that deeply pains my heart is those who have been “saved” under this New Cross doctrine, are NOT SAVED AT ALL!!

NEXT…”THE NO CROSS CHURCH”