Many Christians today believe wholeheartedly that material growth is a sure sign of godliness and proof of God’s approval. They incorrectly reason that bigger means better, that bigger buildings and bigger budgets, more attendance, etc., all prove that God is working and doing something very special in their midst or in the midst of the “Joneses” that they often compare themselves to.
But those who believe this fail to come to grips with the simple fact that all kinds of cults and ungodly groups are growing. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are growing. The Mormons are growing and have bigger and bigger budgets and more people attending all the time. As a matter of fact, the false Mormon Church spends about half a BILLION dollars a year advertising their “peaceful” “compassionate” sounding messages on TV and offering their cult literature such as the Book of Mormon free of charge. In order to justify what they are doing (their agendas, etc.), countless professing Christian pastors cry, “Look how many people are hooked up, plugged in and involved at our church.” I can’t tell you how many times I have heard things like, “We have gone from 70 to 800 members, from meeting in a rented room to owning our own building, from $100,000 a year budget to $1,000,000 and growing. Surely this is proof positive that we are teaching correctly, living godly and on-track with God.”
When did Jesus ever say that you shall know them by their growth? Didn’t He say that you shall know them by their fruit? (See Matt 7: 16-20, Luke 6: 43-44.) There is a big difference between fruit and growth.
Pornographers and drug dealers “grow” and make money, all kinds of money. Why is it that most Christians easily recognize these kinds of things outside the Church yet cannot see with the same clarity inside the churches?
It gets worse.
The Bible says:
Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1Tim 6:5-6
Other translations renders this as “supposing that godliness is a means to get gain”. Either rendering is fine as both basically say the same thing in one way or another. That’s because those who think that godliness is a means to get financial gain will naturally think that gain is a sign of godliness. The two go together hand in hand.
But here’s the kicker: We are commanded to stay away from professing Christians who believe this nonsense. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why. This “gain is godliness” teaching is one of the most dangerous life-changing errors of the false church system. This is an incredibly fast working leaven. It quickly infects and puffs up those that it touches. Many have been caught and corrupted by this lie and corruption is sometimes almost instantaneous.An even scarier thing is the fact that a large number of professing Christians are caught in this mess. Do you think that most of the other professing Christians who are not caught in this problem obey even this simple command to stay away from those who are? Unfortunately the vast majority do not. The false ecumenical spirit drives many to wallow in error. Misery truly seems to love company.
If most Christians would just obey this one simple Bible verse, it would clear out and close the doors of a huge number of false churches. This is because this false belief is often one of the main hallmarks of the average false church.
Allow me to leave you with this picture (from my short article - "It Wants You", formerly titled, "Beware of the Blob"):
The blob is growing. It is oozing under doorways and slithering around corners. It is coming up through drainpipes and creeping in through cracks and crevices. It is on a mission determined to assimilate all who it touches. It feeds on and has absorbed millions upon millions of professing Christians and is growing to enormous size. This isn’t the fictional fairytale blob of the movies, the Hollywood horror film monster that inflicts immediate discernable suffering upon all who it touches. This blob actually feels good to its victims and offers all kinds of seeming benefits. Those caught in its drug-like hold actually want to be there. The thing is: the blob wants you and wants you really bad. Each soul that the blob absorbs increases its size, wealth and motive power to assimilate more unwary souls. But you can remain free of its grip by studying and obeying the Bible.
Simple commons sense proves that just because something grows doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good. Weeds grow. Cancers grow. Viruses, diseases and epidemics grow. The blob grows. Did you know that some “churches” have actually titled certain men Assimilation Pastors? Pretty scary wouldn’t you say? Real life is truly stranger than fiction.