The reading of the Books of the New Testament uncovers an undeniable truth: the modern day Church is far different from the Church that once was in the time of the Apostles.
Indeed, the Book of Acts recounts the beginnings of the Church in Jerusalem. It describes a faithful and zealous Church, filled with the Holy Spirit, preaching the Gospel of salvation of the Lord, and increasing daily, as the Lord was adding more to it (Acts 2:40-47).
Two thousand years later, it seems like everything has changed… For the worse.
What is the Church Establishment?
The establishment is by definition an elite group that holds power, influence, and authority in a nation or organization. It is a network of prominent personalities very powerful and well-connected to political and financial spheres.
The establishment does not have an open enrollment. Like in secret societies, can only join those endorsed by its most influential members.
The establishment serves only two purposes: (1) gain and maintain social, political, and economical privileges for its adherents and (2) control the masses.
The “Church establishment” is a “modernized” Church adapted to today’s trends, standing on both sides of any issue, and blending perfectly in today’s landscape.
Just like the “Church of Rome” (the Vatican), the “Church establishment” has redefined christianity, rewritten the Gospel of truth, and established a corrupt religious system in lieu of the Church of the Book of Acts. It has occupied God’s Church, dispossessed it of the power of the Holy Spirit, and turned it into a very profitable business.
Composition of the “Church establishment”
The “Church establishment” is composed of the following:
– Self-proclaimed Bishops, pastors, prophets, and ministers who have exalted themselves as the voice of the Church.
They are the ‘megachurch pastors’ who crave the attention of the media, enjoy the gathering of masses at their sermons, preach a Gospel of inclusion — that spreads the belief that all mankind, regardless of religious affiliation, will be saved with no need for repentance — and financial prosperity.
The success of their ministries is determined not so much by the number of people who got saved from a lifestyle of sin and the actual presence of spiritual gifts and fruits, but more by the size of their congregations and their personal business achievements. Indeed, beside the pulpit, these ‘pastors’ are also successful businessmen, entrepreneurs, bestseller authors, and event speakers whose fee per speech tops the average worker’s annual salary.
Outwardly, they are pious pastors, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves who prey on the flock of God to sustain a lifestyle of the rich and famous (Matthew 7:15).
– Christian broadcasters, filmmakers, actors, and comedians who produce carnal shows and movies fully inspired by the world and labelled as “Christian”. These “christian productions” compete very well with Hollywood in every area. Though said to be ‘faith-based’, they strongly promote immoral behaviors, use barely veiled profanity, mock christianity, and spread unbiblical teachings.
– Gospel’s singers, songwriters, musicians, and choreographers who have traded their seats in the Church for worldly fame, embraced all musical genres in order to appeal to the masses, and shamelessly shared the stage with lascivious performers for the sake of making a name for themselves.
Friends with the world, worse role-models for youngsters in the Church, and living a questionable life for most of them, they have sold their souls in exchange for a lifetime membership to “the establishment”.
– Finally, some easy-gain-seeking ‘christians’, who will sell anything from Christian fitness DVDs, to so-called God-given miracle medicines.
Wait! This is not new…
In Mark 11:15-18, Jesus went into the temple in Jerusalem and found all kinds of commercial activities taking place inside.
Thus, He began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple.
Then He taught, saying to them, ‘Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations”? But you have made it a “den of thieves.” ‘
Today is no different.
The true Church and disciples of Christ
The true Church of God is not “the establishment” we see today.
While the mainstream Church is preoccupied with worldly gains, the true Church is holding fast to the teachings of the Lord Jesus.
In fact true christians are not being lifted up, instead they are (willingly) misunderstood by their audience, persecuted by false prophets, and lynched by the media and interest groups who cannot stand the truth.
After Jesus disrupted the ‘temple business’, the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching (Mark 11:18).
In other words, they were angry because Jesus had exposed their money-making system; Furthermore, Jesus – who was neither part of “the establishment”, nor a scribe, priest, or doctor of the law – was teaching the Word of God truthfully and with authority (Mark 1:21-22), thus, bringing to light their ignorance before the people and this was a very big deal.
Therefore, they wanted Him dead, for ‘the establishment’ does not tolerate competition and rebukes.
True disciples of Christ are not in the business of making money off of the things of God and seeking glory from men.
In Matthew 10:7-10, Jesus, sending out His disciples said: “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food”.
No christian should ever take a “cash advance” for the labor he does for the Lord.
As workers of the Lord, we have to seek the (immaterial) things of His kingdom (Matthew 6:19-21) and wait for the reward He promised; Keeping in mind that those who want the attention of men have already received their reward on earth and have no reward from the Father in Heaven (Matthew 6).
1 Peter 5:2-4 reads: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
Let’s notice in Mark 11:15 that Jesus drove both sellers and buyers out of the temple of God; Meaning that whether people were from “the establishment” or partaking in “the establishment”, they were doing something reprehensible before the Lord.