DISCERNING THE “FEEL GOOD” CHURCH


William Andrew Dillard

Most of “Christianity” including many Baptist churches have abandoned anything considered to be negative under the guise that people like to go to church where they are made to feel good. To be sure, true Christianity is essentially a positive religion, but it can be positive only because the negatives exist. Furthermore, if the negatives and positives are not kept in proper order eternal disaster will occur.
First there is a problem. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23. Sin is filthy, abominable, and condemned by the righteous, Creator God. If one is rocked to sleep in a positive evaluation of life while in sin, hell will be his eventual home. Oh, I forgot, that is also negative. Still, if all men are condemned by sin as the Bible affirms, then something must be done to correct that state. It is for this purpose that the Son of God both came into the world, was crucified, and arose from the dead. Romans 6:23, 5:8. It is the shed blood of Christ Jesus alone that is purgatory of sin. The crying need of the human family is to recognize this, and thus be saved (not from hell, but from their sins that will send them there). But no one is ever saved who does not first realize he is lost. Realizing one is lost is not a good feeling, but it is that realization that brings one to the foot of the cross in repentance and faith, and that is a very good feeling.
Once saved, one has the blessed privilege of following the Lord in the watery grave of baptism, and subsequent fellowship in one of His local churches. Then, and only then will one’s viewpoint of the church be changed from negative and condemnatory to positive and happy, understanding righteous things of time and eternity. It is then that it becomes the bona fide “feel good” church that is pleasing in God’s sight. So, it is really not the church. The church is only the messenger. The message must be God’s message. The effects of that message will bring conviction or elation according to one’s personal relationship with the Lord. God forbid that the message should ever change to please sinful men in their sinful state. When that happens, the church is good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot as savorless salt.

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