Sunday, September 13, 2015

When Google Supersedes God's Word

In 2012 I was released from prison on parole. For six years prior to that I had been shuffled from one facility to another, totalling 13 in all. However, there was one constant among all of them. That constant was my dream. I had the dream that one day I would be able to worship God side by side with my fellow brothers and sisters.

The day came when I was released and I was finally able to go to church as I had longed for year after year. There I was, singing, praying, and worshipping God, but it wasn't long before I noticed something missing, something very important. See, in prison, there was a sense of Christian unity among those that I had worshipped with. We had common foes, common struggles, common dreams, and comon victories. It was the same no matter what prison I went to. Those of us who were true Christians knew and trusted one anoher in spite of having never met because, at the end of the day, we knew "we" was all we had.There was a sense of brotherhood among us. Yet, once in the church that I longed for, the church of my dreams, I realized that in the midst of "the faithful", the one thing that was missing, was "brothehood." The brotherhood that comes when Christ is in your midst.

It didn't take long before I was able to see that the church that I had dreamed of was just that, a dream. The church of today is filled with individuals who have an intelectual religious life, but rarely anything else. In place of brotherhood was back stabbing and gossip. The wheat and tares are certainly growing together. It was only in the light of modern Christianity that I began appreciating my previous experience. In spite of the bloodshed, incarceration certainly had it's benefits. In prison I had the advantage of having to explain my faith to those who believed differently. Very quickly I learned that if you claim to stand for Christ, someone was going to test you. Fortunately, I had grounded my faith in that solid Rock. I had studied God's Word every chance that I had and grounded my beliefs in Truth. The tests came, and the test went. Day after day my faith grew stronger.

I can honestly say that I am saddened by the condition of today's churches. Many are weak in faith and lack an experiential understanding of even the most fundamental facets of God's Word. I speak not only of the laity, but of the leadership as well. In retrospect, I look back at my time in prison and thank God for every test that I received. I thank Him for the questions asked by the Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Atheists. I thank Him for the threats to my life and for the opportunities to experience victory over temptation. I thank Him for the struggles and for the spiritual forsight to know that only through exercising faith in those moments would my relationship with Him grow stronger and my Love for Him grow deeper.

The church of today is a truly a pitiful sight. On Saturdays and Sundays I travel to churches hoping to see what I dreamed of. However, what I find most often are pastors who, with voices trembling, are conveying messages filled with hesitancy and doubt. They speak as though they are not convinced by God's Word and even worse, not convicted by it.  Never would I have imagined seeing so many biblically illiterate leaders. Entire sermons being prepared using Google instead of God's Word. More often than not, that which is socially acceptable superseding that which is Scriptural.

And once again, to the leaders of today God cries,

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
because you have rejected knowledge,
I reject you from being a priest to me.
And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children. Hosea 4:6 ESV

It would be easy to continue criticizing the modern day church, but instead I have decided to do what I can to meet the challenge.


Currently, Conviction Ministries is preparing a revolutionary set of Bible studies designed to help those searching for answers. The studies will educate the sincere student, not only about the Christian faith, but about how to defend it biblically, intelligently, and in a relevant format. It is our prayer that through them, one can develop a firm foundation in the Word of God. Stay tuned in the weeks to come. 

If you can relate to what I wrote or if you would like to contact me, free to email me through our website at www.convictionministries.com
-Greg Emelander