1. It teaches that people go to heaven or hell when they die. Christ said that no one has ascended to heaven (John 3:13) and Paul explained that the dead saints will be resurrected from death at Christ’s return (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Further, Romans 6:23 reveals that the wages of sin is death – not to be tormented forever in hellfire. For the biblical truth on this topic, please watch our Tomorrow’s World telecast: “Heaven, Hell and the Resurrection.”
2. It does not observe the seventh-day Sabbath. Jesus and the Apostles always worshipped on the Sabbath (Saturday). Notice Luke 4:16 and Acts 17:2. Isaiah 66:23 even shows that the Sabbath will be observed by all people in the millennium.
3. It observes pagan holidays. Christ, the Apostles and the New Testament church observed biblical Holy Days (Acts 12:3-4; 18:21, NKJV), and these Holy Days will be observed during Christ’s millennial rule (Zechariah 14:16). Furthermore, Jeremiah 10:2-4 warns us to “not learn the way of the heathen” and even rebukes ancient Israel for learning pagan customs such as decorating a tree with silver and gold.
4. It does not have the proper name. The church that Jesus founded is called the “church of God” twelve times in scripture. Notice Acts 20:28 (“to feed the church of God”), 2 Corinthians 1:1 (“the church of God which is at Corinth”), and 1 Timothy 3:15 (“the church of the living God”).
5. Its primary mission is something other than to preach the Gospel of the return of Christ and the coming Kingdom of God (Revelation 11:15) as a witness to the entire world. This is what Christ commanded His faithful flock to have as their primary focus (Matthew 10:5-8; Matthew 24:14, Mark 16:15) up to His return.
6. It does not practice godly government. Exodus 18:17-27, Luke 10:1, Acts 1:23-26, Acts 6:3 and many other passages show that God appoints leaders, and those leaders appoint people under them. Nowhere in the Bible does God approve of balloting or voting to elect our church leadership.
7. Its priests wear ornate costumes, such as mitres (fish-shaped hats). Christ and the Apostles did not wear ornate costumes. However, ancient pagan priests did. History records the Philistines (Judges 16:21-31) and ancient Babylonians worshipping a pagan fish-god, Dagon. These pagan priests wore fish-shaped hats (mitres) to honor him (Layard, Babylon and Nineveh; Woodrow, Babylon Mystery Religion).
8. It charges for literature or sells DVDs, books or religious memorabilia. Christ said, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).
9. It attempts to do away with God’s laws or the instructions of Jesus or the Apostles by claiming “progressive revelation, or any other excuse.” Matthew 28:20 and Jude 1:3 tell us to observe and practice what Christ delivered to us.
10. Its ministry does not practice and teach love, kindness, joy, peace and the other fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-26). Anger, rebellion, pride, jealousy, hatred, self-promotion and arrogance are not fruits of the Spirit. Jesus’ true disciples will not compromise the truth, but they will be known by their love for their spiritual brothers and sisters (John 13:35).Many people should rethink church. Many people are sincere in their beliefs, but fail to understand that our opinions are not important. God’s word is truth (John 17:17). It does not change. It endures forever (Luke 21:33; Hebrews 13:8).
Please study Where Is God’s True Church Today?, and Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity. If your place of worship does not align with scripture, then don’t just rethink church – do something about it personally (Luke 6:46). Be willing to follow Christ (Luke 9:23).
Rethink Church is archived at http://www.lcg.org/cgi-bin/tw/commentary/tw-comm.cgi?category=Commentary1&item=1258138384