Monday, October 15, 2007

The Church of Nickels & Noses

The resemblance of today's church landscape to the church of Laodicea is unmistakable. Pastor Jamey Day of Grace Fellowship continues in the Book of Revelation, and what Christ has to say to the church of Laodicea. Pastor Day's opening remarks refer to excerpts from Nickels and Noses by Pastor Milburn Cockrell:

God does not care as much about nickels and noses as men do. Carnal men glory in such things as nickels and noses. We live in a time of big meetings, big churches, big church buildings, big preachers, and big church budgets. The failure or success of a church and its pastor is judged by the number of nickels and noses that they have. In all too many cases, there is seen in this more Satanic pride than spiritual piety...

As a pastor for over thirty years I have many times been asked this question, and, no doubt, I will be asked it many more times if I live. Never has anyone ever asked me such questions as the following: "Are your services spiritual?" "Is Christ real to your people?" "Are your members hearing the whole counsel of God?" "Are your people growing in grace and in the knowledge of Christ?" "Is there a spirit of unity and love in your church?" Evidently. these things are not important to modern-day religionists, who judge religious success by worldly standards--nickels and noses. I just wish one single time that a person would ask about something other than nickels and noses!


The philosophy of nickels and noses has drastically changed our churches for the worse. In the craze for nickels and noses churches have replaced preachers and pastors with puppeteers and pranksters. The gospel of Christ has been superseded by gimmicks, gum, gadgets, and games. Psychology has taken the place of Holy Spirit conviction. The faith has been displaced for finance, fun, and foolishness.

This syndrome has filled our churches with unconverted persons. We have far more churchianity than Christianity. The only change some church members made since joining the church was from wet to dry clothes following their baptism. Many church members are white-washed, but they are not blood washed.

It has produced icy services and cold, callous, complacent church members. Look at the average church! They have their robed choir, their cut and dried program, and their intellectual preaching. They have a beautiful edifice. They have all the organization and rituals one could ask for, but in most cases it is Spiritless! We have never faced such in our generation. We have form without reality; we have organization without power; profession without possession. We have a form of godliness without the power of it. We have religion without life.

It has caused pastors to spend more time worrying with goats than feeding the sheep. The pastor nowadays must provide a spiritual diet for people who have no spiritual appetite. Like Ezekiel of old (Ezek. 37:1-10), he must preach to dead, dry bones, but without the blessings which Ezekiel experienced. These dry, dead bones can't hear, yet the pastor must keep preaching and pretend someone is listening. These dry, dead bones do not grow in grace, for the dead do not grow.

This idea has given us the gimmick gospel. Most church members want to be entertained instead of instructed in the Word of God. They have far more delight in the gospel of amusement than the gospel of the atonement.

It has made people look down on small churches. Preachers politic for the large churches which have a lot of nickels and noses. They will compromise their principles and preach almost any heresy to get a big church.

Church members like big churches so they can hide out in the crowd and have no responsibilities. They like the upper class in society. Such churches have skilled politicians as pastors who do not offend their many nickels and noses.

While there are some exceptions, most big churches are worldly churches. They have high carnality and low spirituality. Truth is very scarce in such fashionable churches because the Word of God has been compromised to keep nickels and noses. These churches are more like social clubs than spiritual centers. Christ has departed from these Laodicean churches (Rev. 3:14-22). All that keeps the people in such liberal organizations is their love for social prestige.

Listen to the rest of Pastor Day's message The Church at Laodicea

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