Articles by Bob Martin, Senior Pastor

The Antichrist, Christ And The Future

Eternal Life, Life Everlasting, Eternal Security - Which?

Have You Ever Wondered Why No One Had To Teach You
How To Lie?

The Slipping, Shifting, Side Stepping Church or
The Church in Her Relative Position to the World



The church of yesterday was a church of power. She was a church anointed, empowered and enabled by the Holy Spirit to advance the Kingdom of God in a sin cursed, sin darkened world dominated initially by a heathen government – Rome. Successive governments were likewise immoral, idolatrous governments oppressing for the most part the Church, and yet, she continued to penetrate the world around her. Emperors, Kings, Queens, Princes, Dictators, Parliaments, Judicial systems, Republics and Democracies all in their turn to a greater or lesser degree tried to stifle her voice and her advance.

However, the greater the opposition, the stronger she grew. As the world and all of its systems continued to drift further and further into darkness, the church kept her relative distance, and by doing so has drifted further towards the darkness that envelopes the world. Thus, we have entire protestant denominations being hi-jacked by enemies of the cross.

Nothing highlights that truth more than the division in some mainline denominations over the issue of homosexuality in the church, and worse yet, in the pulpit. Under the guise of tolerance, the church has in some instances seen major denominations bend under the pressure of special interests groups, thus, some denominations have folded their tents and crept away into the semi-darkness of a world of religious lacking spirituality. In many instances these churches and denominations are dominated by denominational leaders who themselves are more tolerant than God Himself towards the offenders of all that is morally and biblically right. The added pressure of the feminists movement has moved the church more and more into the grayness that precedes the dark. Again, as the secular world moved further and further away from scriptural mandates, the church, often with a view towards accommodation and tolerance move with the world, yet, retaining relative distance, but, nonetheless, deserting her previously held scriptural position.

In her desire to be “seeker friendly” she became less sought after, by those who were seriously seeking spiritual churches led, anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Many of those seeking to find stability in a people supposedly situated on the Word of God, found that the very foundation they were seeking was suffering many fissures and cracks as the church continued to keep her relative distance from the world, yet continued to slip and slide in the same direction as the world and the world systems.

In her desire not to offend, much of the church has lost its distinctiveness as representative of a Holy God that does not countenance sin in any expression or form. Holiness of lifestyle, separation from the world, and abstaining from even the appearance of evil has become in the eyes and voices of many, legalism, when in fact it is not legalism at all, but rather, an adherence to the principles and precepts of the Bible.

In her efforts to attract the multitudes, many churches have embraced a variety of forms and expressions of entertainment that would do Hollywood justice. Much of what is supposed to be Christian Contemporary music could be played or performed in any secular worldly medium and no-one would know the difference.

Many of the young Christian “performers” and “artists” of today have adopted the style and appearance of secular, worldly performers to such an extent that at first glance one would not know if they were looking at a Christian group, or a secular group.

Many of the platform performers of today, would fit in nicely in any night club. Too often the gospel message of the love of Holy God for sinful man is lost in the laughter of the lighthearted and at times comical presentation of Gospel truth. This in order to assure that the offerings are up.

Some church foyers look like a bazaar with everything from books, Cds, T-shirts, bumper stickers, trinkets, plaques and coffee mugs for sale. How often does the atmosphere in the church resemble a block party rather than an occasion to “draw nigh unto God.”

The church has learned much about praise, and so little about worship. She has lost for the most part both her desire and her ability to draw night unto God in such a way as to enter into His presence.

Prayer is a burden except to name and claim the latest whim or wish. Intercession has for the most part given way to a spiritual and material shopping list to be presented in a “do this because you are bound by your word God” approach to Holy God as though He is some celestial grandfather who is only useful so far as He fulfills the wish list presented in the name of His crucified and resurrected Son.

Marketing and merchandising of the people of God has become commonplace by many who systematically fleece Gods people with spurious promises of affluence and prosperity, good health, promotions and other grand and glorious promises based on a perverted use of Gods word, and a wrong use of the name of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! And, it would appear that many of Gods people, love it to be so.

Sin in the camp, in the congregation is often simply overlooked or ignored by many in leadership, and in many instances, in the lives of those in leadership within the congregation. Children and youth are exposed to immodest dress and worldly attitudes in the church, and then become church “drop outs” when the opportunity presents itself. Having seen the cracks and crevices in the walk of not only those in leadership positions in the church, but, often times in the lack of consistency and commitment of their own parents, they despair of the Holy and gravitate to the unholy.

While many para-church organizations do a commendable job in confronting issues at the national legislative level, and sometimes at the judicial level, they would not have to do so if the church, instead of maintaining her relative distance from the world, had maintained without compromise her position of Holiness before God, and separation from the World.

If the church had not become a spiritually apathetic and lethargic, prayer-less, condescending and compromising organization and had retained her spirituality as a spiritual organism, that is, as the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, there would be no need for para-church organizations to be fighting battles that could have been won in the prayer closets, and corporate prayer meetings of the church.

Because the Bride of Christ is laying in the arms of godless lovers, with her head resting on the chest of godless lovers, she has lost much of her anointing, enabling and empowerment. She thus, lacking the power and ministry of the Holy Spirit has to try to fake a move and ministry of the Holy Spirit, trying to make it appear as though God is doing something that He in fact is not doing. It is nothing more no less than emotional manipulation, coupled at times with downright deceit. The Church of today, has in many instances, like Israel of old, traded her shields of gold, for shields of brass.

It is for that reason that neither state nor federal officials have any deep respect for the church. Nor does the Congress, the Senate nor Federal or State Judges. Boards of education hold her in contempt. She is a matter of contempt to the entire entertainment community as revealed by their treatment of her in both movies and television sitcoms. She has in many quarters of the world become a laughing stock.

Her only hope is to leave her place of relative distance from the world and the world systems and return to her rightful God given, God appointed position of Holiness unto God, rejecting the systems of the world and standing firmly on the foundation of the church, Jesus Christ and His Word. In so doing she will distance herself from a God hating world with its God hating systems.

She must recover herself from the “Snares of the Fowler” through repentance, broken-ness of heart, and contriteness of spirit and a full and complete return to submission to the Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ and obedience to His Word.

And provided they will not repent, she must identify and cast out those in positions of denominational influence who lead her astray with their God defying, scripture denying decisions and actions. She must require of the under-shepherds that their first love be to Christ and to His Church, not to political or denominational influence.

Then, and only then, as she once again draws nigh to the heart and will of God, and regains her prior position of Holiness and separation from the world will she regain the anointing, enabling, empowering ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The alternative is to maintain a relative position to the world, and keep moving in the same direction as the world and its systems, and in so doing to incur the judgement of God, which may be nearer now than ever before.

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Peter 4:17-18)


Christian, pray for revival!

Bob Martin


Challenge Ministries International © 2010