When the church begins to conform to society, it has become just another social club!
As an institution, the purpose of the Church was to transform Society! Reading the History of the Institutional Church, one can see that to varying degrees this was a successful mission, but of late ( 500-1,000 years ) one may wonder, into whose image was Society transformed? Did the Church ( IC ) really fulfill its true Mission, or failing in its mission to transform Society into its image, has it begun to conform to the image of a rebellious and God-less Society?
Many churches today are run more like businesses, with corporate CEOs rather than than spiritual leaders! This is only one of the many ways in which the church has conformed to 'the way of the world'! Many pastors today are worried more about the financial health of their congregations ( numbering in the thousands to tens of thousands ), more concerned with 'the bottom line' than in leading their congregation to search out the truth of the matter.
Another area is the matter of accepting the homosexual, lesbian, and transgender lifestyle as 'only natural'. Whether you believe that God created an LGBT 'gene' or not, the Scriptures are pretty clear how God instituted certain things ( marriage, for instance ). Marriage was not instituted between a man and a man, a woman and a women, men were not created to be compatible, physically or otherwise, with any but the opposite sex! Now, can a man love another man, a woman love another woman, and so on and so forth? Of course they can, and this is only naturally; God created us to love each other! Did He make a mistake and place a man in a woman's body, or vice-versa? To claim to be transgender is to say that God made a mistake!
Not to get too far off track, many churches ( and more everyday ) have excepted this perversion as natural, and not only that, have begun to 'marry' such individuals, and even ordain them to positions of leadership! It is now just as acceptable in many evangelical churches today to say 'it's the just way God made them', as it is in society at large. In fact in some areas, society at large has adopted a better position on some of these issues than the church ( IC ) has!
One area in which the Institutional Church succeeded in its mission ( to mold Society in its own image ) is in the use ( or misuse ) of the biblical injunction, 'judge not, lest ye be judged' ( Matthew 7:1 ). Society ( to a large extent), concerning the LGBT community especially, freely uses this injunction to condemn those who are not open-minded enough to accept these perverts for what they are. In this area as well, the IC has conformed, yet again, to the image that it presented itself in, to society! Talk about kicking your own ass!
What the church ( IC ) taught society has come full circle, biting its own head off, and devouring itself!
Beginning I don't know when, the church taught that we should not judge those who are outside, based on a misreading of Jesus' injunction. Somehow, this teaching filtered into a thirsty Society, and opened the gates for all kinds of biblical perversion to become acceptable and even encouraged. Now the Church has begun to conform to this false image which itself sought to transform Society by in the first place!
What irony, what lamentable irony!
Charles Haddon Shank