Some Thoughts on Broadway, the Narrow Way, and Abuse.
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
I thought I would share the first portion of the sermon (titled God’s Blessing for Those Walking on the Narrow Way on sermonaudio) I will deliver tomorrow morning at Christ Reformation Church in Tillamook as an encouragement to our readers:
The Large Majority of Professing Christians Travel on Broadway, and thus are not Christians at all
Matthew 7:12-16 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Now here is a point that I am trying to emphasize more and more lately. These kinds of warnings in Scripture are primarily addressed to people who claim to be followers of Christ. Christ is speaking primarily to the Jews here. “He came to His own…I have come to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Go back through the Old Testament and you will find that the prophets were sent to Israel with few exceptions. The same is true in the New Testament Scriptures which primarily address people who profess to be Christians.
And so it is here in Matthew 7. Christ is telling us about two ways: the narrow gate, and the way that leads to destruction. He compares and contrasts the two:
Narrow Way Broadway
|Narrow (difficult)||Wide and easy|
|Leads to life||Leads to destruction|
|Few travelers||Packed with traffic|
|True Prophets||False Prophets|
These two ways, I suggest to you, are pictures of the true church versus the apostate church. Not so much the church vs the world, but rather two churches, one true and the other false. From Christ’s words here we can confidently conclude then:
1) Most people who profess to be Christians do not belong to Christ at all. We must, therefore, stop assuming that most everyone who claims the name of Christ really belongs to Him.
2) Most people who claim to be Christians are going to end in hell (destruction).
3) Most of what claims to be the church of Jesus Christ, is not. That is to say, most visible churches, “christian” denominations, etc are on Broadway, packed with false believers, taught and led by false prophets.
How can we tell the difference? By their fruits. Not so much by what they say (though that needs to be examined as one “fruit” as well) but by their practice.
Matthew 7:20-23 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
See it again? I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important this is for us to all get hold of. ALL the people the Lord is speaking of judging on that Day here call Him Lord and spent their lives claiming to serve Him. Yet MANY are not known by Him at all.
If you have at all bought into the notion that infects the visible church today that assumes most all who say they are Christians surely are, that most everyone is surely going to end in heaven, then you need to seriously re-examine your thoughts in light of Scripture. It seems that in so many local churches and “Christian” organizations today, the only thing regarded as heresy is to doubt someone’s salvation!
The fact that oppressed people like domestic violence victims and sexual abuse victims are being dealt rank injustice in what claims to be the Christian church today, and that the wicked like domestic violence abusers and sexual predators are being enabled and allowed to remain in the pews, is strong evidence of a widespread denial of the faith once and for all delivered to the saints.