Jeremiah 5:30,31 “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority,and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?”

     There is a story that illustrates how slow change can bring about radical unexpected transformation in a system and not always for the good.  In this story a mild mannered frog finds himself in a pan of cool water.  Being a frog he doesn’t realize that the pan of water is sitting on a stove.  The frog is comfortable – he likes water.  He is unaware that someone has turned up the heat and the water temperature is slowly rising.  The poor frog is not capable of sensing the incremental change in the water temperature – he’s just comfortable sitting in his water.  Eventually the water boils and the frog dies, never the wiser about his dangerous predicament.  Had the frog just been tossed into the  boiling water he would have immediately jumped out but the slow changes lulled him as he was boiled alive.  Something the poor frog never expected.

     In Jeremiah’s day ‘the water was boiling’ and people didn’t notice.  They liked things the way they were; “. . . the basic lie was religious. It was Baalism, to use a general term. It began when the priesthood deceived itself into allowing a bit of falseness to creep into their preaching, and they convinced themselves that a little bit would not hurt at all. It would be all right. What they did over time was to gradually severe their mooring to God’s law and the restraints contained in it.” (Forerunner Commentary)  The commentary goes on to explain why the people didn’t notice; “When a society gets this corrupt, they have no idea what truth is anymore, and God says they had come to the point that people loved to be lied to.”

     Today so called Christian priests of all kinds rule and speak by their own authority.  Shocking things are said by clerics and accepted by their flock and tolerated by the wider Christian fellowship as a matter of course.  This has been going on for a long time now.  Around the turn of  this century the Archbishop of Canterbury was quoted as saying; “‘While we can be absolutely sure that Jesus lived and that he was certainly crucified on the cross, we cannot with the same certainty say that we know he was raised by God from the dead.’ The Mail newspaper 1999-AUG-04.”  (Religious Tolerance)  Bishop Spong has pronounced; “Jesus … was … placed into a common grave, and covered over…in a very short time only some unmarked bones remained. Even the bones were gone before too long. Nature rather efficiently reclaims its own resources.” and “A deceased man did not walk out of his grave physically alive three days after his execution by crucifixion.” (quoted in Religious Tolerance)

     Paul tells us that without belief in the resurrection our faith is useless; “But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-17)

 ‘If Christ has not been raised, our faith is futile’ – this is what the Bible says and a false futile faith is being pushed on us every day by many false clerics dressed up in pretty vestments as they self-importantly prance across the stage provided for them with their flock’s tithes and offerings.  Yet we still feel good in our churches, there is no discomfort.  Like the frog we don’t notice (or care) that the water is boiling and we are dying still in our sins.   Popular churches and preaching avoid the hard steps of faith.  It feels so good to be scientific, modern and up-to-date in your beliefs even if they are completely futile.  Sadly, some honest clergy are silent and walk hand in hand with impostors lending legitimacy to the fakes and inadvertently heating the ‘water’ by yet another increment.

     Today, fakes usurp the legitimate authority of God’s Word; “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” (Hebrews 1:1,2)  The Bible tells us that this has been slowly going on for a long time; “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.  Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” (2 Peter 2:1-3)  Why can we not notice the water is boiling?

     Post-modern Christianity is killing us; “Post-modern Christianity falls into line with basic post-modernist thinking. It is about experience over reason, subjectivity over objectivity, spirituality over religion, images over words, outward over inward. Are these things good? Sure. Are these things bad? Sure. It all depends on how far from biblical truth each reaction against modernity takes one’s faith. This, of course, is up to each believer. However, when groups form under such thinking, theology and doctrine tend to lean more towards liberalism.” (gotQuestions?org)  Who reads the Bible anymore and who would take the Bible’s word over a well educated professional cleric’s? These are important questions for us – our salvation depends upon it.

     But what will you do in the end?

     Save us, Lord Jesus!