Controversial Topics in Church Today

The drama that we find in our churches today remind me of soap operas or telenovelas.

Controversial Topics in Church Today
Controversial Topics in Church Today

The drama that we find in our churches today remind me of soap operas or telenovelas. We are one Church and have one Bible, and yet we act as though we are on opposites sides of the ring, just waiting for the referee to give us the go-ahead before we bash each other with our opinions about what GOD’S Word really means.

It is a puzzling thing to behold when churches of different denominations have such differing views and beliefs of what a Christian is, what we should believe and how we should portray ourselves to the world, and here I’m thinking that GOD’S Word is very clear on the matter! Based on news around the world and arguments that I have come across, these are the eight most controversial topics that we have subjected ourselves to:

Alcohol

Why are we so obsessed with this fermented beverage? The Bible forbids drunkenness, full stop. What else is there to know? We shouldn’t be asking ‘Can I have that glass of wine?’ but rather ‘Will that glass of wine make me tipsy?’. I have found that there are three types of Christians when it comes to alcohol: 1. “Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana, surely it’s okay to enjoy alcohol?”, 2. “Alcohol is the devil! It has destroyed the lives of many people- we will not touch it!” and 3. “I know that GOD forbids drunkenness, therefore I will not drink to excess, but if I have a conviction within me to refrain from drinking alcohol, then I will do so without judgement for those that continue to do so.”

In high school, when we still had a period for Christian teaching (the school has since removed it), a pastor told me that wine in the New Testament was not a fermented drink, but grape juice. I was surprised, to say the least, but I wasn’t sure if I believed him. I know that there are some churches that have collectively decided to refrain from any alcohol, I once attended such a church a few years ago. Each member would eventually make a covenant with GOD concerning this, as the Holy Spirit moved them. I do believe that GOD calls certain people to keep themselves from fermented drink (not entirely sure if this includes vinegar?) just as he did John the Baptist. I grew up in an Anglican church and they always used Old Brown Sherry for holy communion- as a child, I used to wonder what on earth I was drinking! Currently, I attend a Methodist church and they use grape juice for holy communion, but I do know that the members enjoy an ice cold beer on a hot day or a good glass of wine during dinner time. I personally do not like the taste of alcohol when drinking it, but it does wonders for a meaty dish or a creamy white sauce.  

In all truth, should this really be a controversial topic? If you’re drinking to get drunk, then there is a problem. 

Baptism

Oh, but church members love to argue about this. Some can be near self-righteous concerning the act of baptism. Before I had taken the time to study GOD’S Word, I believed that because I had been baptized as a child, then it was not necessary to be baptized as an adult. My resistance to being baptized was also linked to my embarrassment at the thought of being dunked under water in front of other people. Questions such as ‘Will I still remain modest when my clothes are wet on my body? What can I wear to cover up my form so that no one looks at me? Will I even do it the right way? What if people laugh?’ I was worried about the physical aspects of it instead of the spiritual. When I took it upon myself to study GOD’S Word, I began to see the importance of being fully immersed during baptism, not just the sprinkling of water I received on my forehead as a three-year-old in the Anglican church. 

Some churches baptize babies and children, other churches have parents dedicate their children to the LORD, and others hold by a baptism that only takes place when you have personally accepted Jesus as your Saviour. This baptism takes place in a pool, a river, lake or anything that has enough water to thoroughly immerse the person.  

I think of it this way: Jesus was baptized, Paul was baptized, and anyone else who professed Jesus as their LORD (in the Bible, such as the Ethiopian Eunuch) was baptized in a body of water. I rest my case.

Spiritual Gifts

Let’s be honest, this topic is more of a case of faith. Do we have the faith that the Holy Spirit can and will bestow spiritual gifts upon us? You see, I’m finding that the faith of the Church is failing them, not GOD Himself, therefore people are making all sorts of excuses as to why those gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12: 1-11 are not what Paul states them to be. Crazy, huh? To cover up our own shortcomings, we distort the Word of GOD. Perhaps a pastor has fallen short because his faith is not true. We expect the pastor to have some spiritual gift, right? Maybe the gift of healing, speaking in tongues (not different languages in this case) or discernment of spirits. However, he doesn’t, so is he really Spirit-led? In order to avoid embarrassment, the pastor will create a lie and somehow back it up with Scripture, influencing the members of the church to believe his lie. I’m not saying that all pastors have to have the ‘big’ spiritual gifts, some have the gift of wisdom and knowledge etc, but it is true that many leaders in churches are twisting the Word of GOD and discrediting the Scripture that I mentioned above. Just because you cannot speak in tongues, does not mean that you won’t! GOD sees your heart. Do you want those gifts for His work, or do you want it for your own pride?

If you do not know what your spiritual gift/s is/are, then I would urge you to communicate with the Holy Spirit, to inquire of the LORD and ask Him about your gift/s. Quite a bit of fasting and prayer will be needed. Make sure that you do everything without doubting, because if you have some doubt, then you’re biting off your own nose to spite your face. Now, I do know that some people will receive their gifts at the very moment they accept Jesus, but that is how the LORD wills it for some. There’s no point in asking him about that. But be careful that the gifts are of the Holy Spirit and are not counterfeit gifts- this, Family, happens a lot in churches.

 Type of Worship Music

Do we stick to the hymns, or do we mix it up with more modern worship music? Is it really a problem which one we use when we are worshiping GOD? There is a time and a place for different types of worship music. There is a time when a hymn such as ‘How Great Thou Art’ and ‘Amazing Grace’ are the only songs that can describe what we are feeling for our LORD, and there are also times when songs like ‘My Future Decided’ and ‘Do It Again’ can communicate the words that we wish to express in song form. I will say that I am not so keen when Christian music artists take a secular song and just change the words to fit our faith music. With so much suspicion and many conspiracies involving how songs and their tunes are created in the world of secular music, why would we take songs and tunes like ‘Single Ladies’ and ‘Havana’ and turn them into Christian songs?

 There is a line that you should not cross when it comes to worship music. Every word, tune, tempo etc must be offered to GOD as praise, and only Him. The creation process must always have Him in mind. If the LORD Himself moves you to write a certain song and gives you the melody in your heart, then no amount of critics can take away that joy from you. We cannot take what is of the world, change up the words, and expect it to be okay.  

If you only enjoy hymns, then you go ahead and enjoy those hymns. If you identify with more recent worship music, okay then. Our ages seem to dictate our taste in music. I’m caught in between; I find myself howling (crying) in utter abandonment when worshiping the LORD singing hymns, and jump around dancing like no one is watching when praising GOD with a more recent song.

Women in Leadership

I don’t have much to say about this, but other people sure do. Paul the Apostle said that women should remain quiet in the church and cover their heads. I don’t really know what was going on in the church at that time that he needed to write that. Were women interrupting services? Was this said in an effort to maintain the roles of men and women in marriage? If I think about Christ and His Church (aka husband and wife), the Church should remain silent when Jesus speaks, but I am sure that He would not expect them to not take part in their relationship. Women also have a part to play in the Church, that fact is undeniable, and it’s not just in the supporting role to men. GOD sees us as equals; men are not better than women and women are not better than men. GOD bestows spiritual gifts upon all of us, and we are all to use them according to His will. He has a plan for each and every one of us. Think of Deborah from the Book of Judges, or even Rahab. These women had vital roles to play in GOD’S plan for His people.

 I agree, GOD made us differently, and we should rejoice in our femininity as women and masculinity as men. That’s not to say that women cannot be strong and men cannot show weakness, that’s quite stereotypical, isn’t it? I have probably ventured off the topic a bit, but it all boils down to the same thing. You do not need to have a woman in the pulpit in order to exercise equality in the church, but neither should you keep women from the pulpit. If the LORD has called a woman to preach, then don’t hinder her! Likewise, be mindful of the busybodies of the church that talk too much and cause dissension.

When it comes to hair covering, I do cover my hair when in church, when I’m praying and when I’m fasting. It was more of a personal decision, something between GOD and I. Women should pray about it, rather than start arguments about it.

Politics from the Pulpit

Talking about the political issues of your country in church so that the members may pray about it is one thing, but when you’re trying to get opinions swayed, trying to get support for a political party or causing division in the church because of politics, then it’s better left out. After all, people come to hear about GOD, not the latest news about the government or who is running for office for whatever agenda. If members of the church wish to know more about what is happening in their country concerning politics, then they need only watch the news. Let your time in the church be spent fellowshipping together, growing in wisdom, faith, and knowledge, strengthening love and praising GOD.

Abortion

Really? What part of ‘thou shalt not kill’ do people not get? If Jesus considers being angry with someone the same as committing murder, then why would we kill a defenseless baby? And that argument about the baby just being a fetus and therefore not human is absolute rubbish.

I covered a study some time back about Christians in Europe, and how there is growing support for legal abortion. What hope do these unborn children have if GOD’S people start to accept their murder? If GOD knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb, then there is a plan for our lives. Each of those aborted babies had lives to live, but society decided that it was legal to kill them. It’s mass murder, really.

 That After Pill is an abomination as far as I’m concerned. Once life has been formed, it is a life and is acknowledged by GOD. No amount of science and lies will cover up the sin of murdering a defenseless unborn baby.

These are perilous times indeed if the Church chooses to argue about such a heinous crime. We are here to protect life before birth and after birth. I am not advocating that we cause a raucous or judge people who have had abortions, but neither can we ignore the loss of life.

 Gay Marriage

The Prince of the Air really is pushing this, isn’t he? Anything to defile the sanctity of marriage and GOD’S perfect plan for mankind. How can we, as the Church, water down GOD’S Word concerning this? Did GOD say that a man would leave his parents and be joined to his husband/partner? Nope. Did he create Greg as Adams helper? Nope. Was Eve created out of Samantha’s rib? Nope. We cannot use the excuse of love to turn a blind eye to this. Yes, GOD loves each and every person on this earth, but He certainly does not accept the sin in our lives. We should not confuse the two. We as Christians are called to love people, but that doesn’t mean that we agree with sin in their lives. If a gay/lesbian person calls themselves Christian, and yet they refuse to obey GOD concerning their sin, then we are told by Paul the Apostle to remove ourselves from them. But this concerns a Believer, not those who are not Christian. We have to understand that GOD hates sin! And it’s not just the sin of homosexuality, it’s also about lies, gossiping, slander etc.

Allowing a gay marriage in church is almost like flipping a bird at GOD, it’s unacceptable.

The early Church also had issues of their own. Paul talks about those who were teaching something other than what they had first heard and believed. Some were abusing the power that they had and were leading people astray- it’s all in the New Testament, I encourage you to go and read it. Those of us who have chosen to follow and obey GOD fully, who take the time to spend time with Him and study His Word, who take care in not grieving the Spirit and who discipline their flesh and make it subject unto Jesus, we are the ones that must remain immovable and the pillars of strength for those who are faltering. Speak the truth, no matter the cost.

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Written by Stephanie Jafta

I am a Freelance Writer living in a small coastal town in sunny South Africa. If I'm not working then you will probably find me with my nose buried in a book , taking walks to the beach or cooking and baking up a storm in the kitchen. I enjoy learning new languages and can speak 3.5 out of the 11 official languages of South Africa. I'm currently learning Spanish and French as I hope to travel to Spain, Latin America and Francophone countries in the future. Most importantly, I have been a born-again Christian for nearly 10 years and my walk with Jesus has been the most central aspect of my life.

20 Comments

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  1. I’m a domestic violence victim who advocates for other domestic violence victims. I have a Facebook domestic violence victims support group called OMG! Supercharged Support for Domestic Violence Victims! It’s a closed group for the safety of members. I really like your blog a lot! I also have my own blog too on WordPress. So come check out my blog and follow and like too as I have followed and limed your blog! Your blog is awesome! Good luck with your blog and may God bless you!

    • Thank you for the follow:) I will be sure to check out your blog and show my support. I’m not on Facebook (or most forms of social media), but nevertheless you’ll find me going through your blog. It’s wonderful that you’re using something that the devil wished for your detriment and turned it into something positive- it is my hope that many other women who have experienced domestic violence will have the courage and support to speak out and take charge. May GOD bless you continually

  2. A hit and miss article at best, the Lord is the one who decides to do a work in a person – and that personal walk is not a one size fits all people and sexes issue. Men were created as spiritual heads, not the women, so what the Lord says is what is important before the angels and men, is it not? If you are dismissive of such issue, it show you really do not care what the Lord has to say about it. But on the flip side, the scripture plainly says what it says for a reason, but adhering to its principles or not adhering is not the issue. The issue is are you with Christ or not, in spirit – yet most “have never seen him nor known him”, so what the Bible says to these people is irrelevant even when using proper doctrine.

    • Hi there. This article was not written to discredit the LORD’S work in each individual or to appear dismissive about it all. It was of my experience of watching people being led astray by people who claim to serve GOD and yet play around with Scripture to suit their own purposes or who give in to the pressures of society. More than anything, I would hope that a person would read this article and consult their Bible, as they should do in all things. GOD’S Word does not change and Scripture gives us His words on how to live our lives as His people. I had Hebrews 5:12 in mind when I wrote this, as well as thinking about the futile arguments among church members when we should be taking our places in GOD’S army with only His will in mind. I do not profess to know everything and it is by the Holy Spirit that I grow in knowledge every day. However, thank you for your comment- it gave me a different viewpoint of how my words could have been understood or misunderstood. Remain blessed.

      • That’s fair enough, thank for responding. It is strange however that someone has hacked into my wordpress account, after using it for this site. If a person is not truly born again, then they remain a child of the devil, and you cannot instruct them in the things of God. This is a big problem, and posting my comments online seemed to spark an attack from the enemy by one of his people… Not sure if I will be leaving anymore comments in the future, but thanks for taking the time to explain your position.

  3. He sure does, Heidi. As long as he’s got us arguing, living in disagreement, and confused, he’s happy because it takes many Believers off the battlefield. GOD needs prayer warriors who will enter their prayer closets frequently and do His will, but if we’re arguing over His Word instead of delving deeper into it ourselves, then we’re wasting valuable time. I’m with you with the need to understand the Bible by looking into Jewish customs. I believe that we should put all things into perspective by delving into the past. Many people say that the Bible is inconsistent, but putting words, translations, and history into perspective will dispel all of that. The Book of Romans happens to be one of my favourite Epistles. Paul lays out the truth clearly for us- you’re right, we all do stand to learn a lot by reading it. Thank you for your comment and remain Blessed

  4. Well, satan still likes to stir up discord in the body; no different than what he did in the Garden! To really understand the Bible, we need a bit of background in Jewish customs. The whole Bible was written by Jewish people; Jewish Believers in the New Testament. We all stand to learn a LOT if we just read the book of Romans! Thanks for sharing Sister Stephanie!

  5. Awesome post! I really hate the fact that denominations argue about these subjects. Another subject that denominations vary in belief is Healing in the church today. There are some Christians who believe miracles and miraculous healing were “just for biblical ones”. Personally, I believe it’s for today too. However, I also believe that God heals in different ways. He can use modern medicine, science and doctors. God uses all the resources available to help us in every area of our lives so why not use them for healing as well? I think the thinking that God only heals miraculously too is wrong as well. Jesus died for our healing on the cross. It’s already been done and it’s God’s will we be healed , not sick. After all, why would Jesus die for it on the cross in Isaiah 53 if Healing was only for biblical times? Everything else he died for on the cross Christians accept as being for today as well. Why not healing?

    I understand people ask why does God let children suffer with cancer, etc? I can’t answer all those questions but I do believe this: when Eve and Adam ate from the tree it gave Satan access to the perfect world God had created. We live in a fallen world. Sometimes there are no explanations and I believe people have a hard time accepting that fact.

    Sometimes we hurt ourselves by smoking for years then getting cancer. Then we want to blame God that we got cancer. That isn’t Gods fault or will. It was our mistake with every puff of every cigarette ( I’m not picking on smokers. Really. It was an example).

    We can eat too much and get overweight which causes other health problems and eat the wrong things which clog our arteries.

    What is your perspective on this?

    As far as all the other subjects I agree wholeheartedly with everything you wrote. They have been my beliefs as well.

    I love gay people but I will not condone their lifestyle. It’s against Gods word. At the same time I detest those Christians that picket holding up signs declaring God Hates Gays here in America. I hate that. No he doesn’t. How can they call themselves Christians? Doing that I believe sets a bad example of Christianity to the world of unbelievers out there.

    Christ is coming back for 1 church not “denominations”, he’s coming back for his bride, not brides.

    I believe it’s harder to reach the lost, which should be our number one concern as believers, when we are all fighting amongst ourselves.

    • Thanks Tammee! I agree with you on the healing part. I believe that the one thing that people forget is that GOD works differently with each and every one of us. Healing is freely available to us through Jesus, but only in faith. All things only become possible if we believe. We seem to forget that we live by faith, and not by sight. Yes, we also have medical services available to us and we should use them, as long as we do not become dependent on them and forget our True Healer.
      We all have our vices, whether it is smoking, drinking, eating too much, addiction to pornography, etc. All of these vices have their consequences for sure, but we have to be careful to not start pointing fingers when we have no understanding of their circumstances. Neither should we blame GOD when our addictions afflict us with diseases like kidney failure, cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart failure etc. An overeater could be suffering from emotional abuse, an alcoholic from PTSD, etc, but GOD loves us enough to bring us out of our problems and into His glorious light.

      Yes, we do live in a fallen world because of Adam and Eve, therefore sickness is a part of our lives, and I believe that it’s only about to get worse. It is painful to watch a child suffer and many cannot help but question GOD about it. It’s as if they believe that He gets some sick pleasure from watching the innocent suffer, which is wrong and an abominable thing to believe. At the end the day, Satan does have the right to afflict the world (Prince of the Air and all that), but as soon as we become Believers, we get a hedge placed around us and he cannot touch us, unless we have active sin in our lives. This is another controversial topic, but I do believe that curses can be passed down generations, I do believe that children suffer because of the sins of their parents, grandparents etc. If we as Believers would just open our eyes to what is happening around us, we would realise that the spiritual world is as real as the physical world. I come from a background of people who dabbled in the occult and have many stories that most would not believe in, simply because their eyes on focused on the flesh. But Scripture informs us that we are a spiritual being and that we do not wage war against the flesh, and neither are our weapons of the flesh. How else do you explain 3 women flying naked in the air and landing on a person’s roof 11pm at night (personal true story)?

      I agree with you about Christians showing hatred toward homosexuals. Nowhere did Jesus tell us to hate people, rather we are to love them but hate sin with the equal measure that GOD hates sin. It saddens me when I witness such hatred from people that call themselves Christians but lack the love of GOD in their lives.

      Yes, Jesus is coming back for His saints, those who have remained faithful despite persecution. Each person will account for their own deeds, not those of their denomination.

      I believe that it is only through complete obedience to GOD that will allow us Believers to effectively reach the Lost. We definitely have to make sure that we do not get involved in ridiculous fights among ourselves.

      Thank you for your comments- I love it when another Believer disusses the things of GOD with me😃

      • You’re welcome. And yes I wholeheartedly agree with you about the people and their vices. I just didn’t go into all that. I just meant, as you said, there are consequences for our many different vices regardless of the reasons why we succumb to those vices. The consequences of such could be sickness. I certainly didn’t mean to come across as unfeeling if I did. After all I too have vices past and present.

        Yes,we have a hedge, but it constantly becomes compromised by sin, whether it’s sinful actions and/or words we actually speak aloud that contradicts what the word says. The enemy quietly and quickly slips in the tiny crack in the door we leave open.

        I agree with you about the Spirit realm. People just don’t realize how imperative the Spirit world is. It’s in the battle in the Spirit realm where Christians are victorious.

        You know what I really want to see? I want to see the Christians stop “playing Church” and actually live the life God has purposed for them.

        Christians of all denominations are focused on the fact they believe Christ is coming soon and anxiously await his return. I’m looking forward to that as well but, at the same time, I don’t want to leave without my unsaved husband, my unsaved neighbor next door, all the unsaved souls in this world. Keep me here as long as possible to bring as many unsaved souls as I can with me. I don’t want to leave this earth until I’ve fulfilled my purpose for god.

        I really hate the fact Christians sit in the pews every Sunday comfortable and lazy. Yes I have felt and feel that security each week, but….

        I want to see prostitutes walk in off the streets unclean and trashy dressed and come to the alter to accept Christ, the homeless, all the lost etc.

        However, most of the churches of today aren’t welcoming to people like that. Not all of course but most. The congregation would have a heart attack if a scantily clad prostitute walked in during Sunday worship. Ushers would try to “escort” her out into the foyer so as to not ruffle the feathers of the prominent members of the church. At least this is how it appears to be to me.

        God is about souls. That should be the primary purpose of each church and each individual Christian. We’ve all lost site of that fact.

        We are the church wherever we are each and every moment. I think we Christians need to start bringing the church to the world not expecting the world to come to church because that’s not going to happen with the majority of unbelievers.

        😊

        • You know, I have a habit of not explaining myself well enough at times- *sigh*. From your comment, I had an idea that you were aware of vices and the drama that goes with it, I was just thinking ‘out loud’. Also, if any other Believer was to come across our comments, especially those that have a habit of pointing fingers (we’ve all been there at some stage!), I would hope that they would take something of value away.

          I feel you on the ‘playing Church’. It seems as though we fight hard to keep our images squeaky clean in church, and in the process, we forget about those who need to sometimes see the more vulnerable side of us to realize that it is not by our power that we remain victorious in the face of adversity, but by the grace of GOD.

          Yes, certainly we are to await his return, but it is active waiting and not passive waiting. Active waiting in that we go out and share the Gospel, actively show the love of Christ to others, and understand that living an active Christian life is going to come with a whole lot of persecution, but also a peace that transcends all understanding.

          With the amount of bad publicity that we get due to self-righteous Christians, I doubt that many people, be they prostitutes, criminals, drug users, alcoholics etc, would want to step foot in a church, which is sad really. Jesus was known to spend time with prostitutes, tax collectors, and other ‘unsavory’ people of society, and He was judged for it. But He did set the standard for us, and we’re falling short of it every day. I too would love to see the Lost walk into a church to hear the saving message of GOD and be changed by it. To realize that our Father loves them and calls them as they are, and through His mercy, will change them to be who He always intended them to be.

          I find that I have to examine my intentions every day and ask for an extra measure of GOD’S grace and mercy just to get through the day. Am I speaking to a person out of love? Do I have any pride in me? Am I being a worthy ambassador of Christ to the Lost? Am I listening to GOD when He tells me to speak to someone? Am I living in faith? I’m sure that you ask yourself these questions too!

          I also have unsaved family members that I pray for daily and stand in the gap for them. I too keep on asking Jesus to speak to their hearts and accept Him before it’s too late- I would hate to not see them in Heaven with me or living on the new earth that will come once the devil has been put in his place. I just keep on trusting in GOD- He knows my heart and understands the lengths that I would go for them to be saved. As it is, I have suffered just by standing in the gap for them and it is very easy to become resentful of it, but I just reject those thoughts in Jesus name.

          I may not know you, but Jesus does. So I’ll be including you, your husband and unsaved loved ones in my prayers:) He’ll know exactly who I mean.

          • Oh! You explained very well about vices. I was just saying I didn’t mean to not take that into consideration. I meant merely we do things to ourselves, no matter what the reasons, that cause harm to our bodies. It’s sad but true.

            I am Tammee Greer and I have a blog of my own called Inside Tammee’s Closet. I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been battling some medical issues but plan on returning to my blogging very soon. Again, I have no new posts but many archived posts. If you feel led, take a look at it. Here is the address:

            insidetammeescloset.wordpress.com

            Thank you for your prayers and I will add you and yours to my prayers as well.

            • I’ll definitely be taking a look into your blog:) It was great having a discussion with you, Tammee. I also have a sister with the same pronunciation of your name, but she spells it Tammy (short for Tamlin)- totally random fact but it was the first thing that I thought of when I saw your comments. Have a great week further and remain blessed.

    • People believe the preachers and christians on TV too much. Dare to challenge them. Read your New Testament. There is more to Christianity than over-applying Grace to everything.

      Being obedient isn’t automatically “Legalism”.

      Read the last half of Romans, chapter One. Homosexuality is strongly condemned! You can’t just ignore it or write it off because YOU feel that one size doesn’t fit all. Too bad. It says what it says.

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