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Take a moment to look at what train-wreck statement the study in our previous article makes about what we believe as the people of God: Theologically speaking, the denial of Christ’s divinity is a return to Arianism, the belief that Jesus was “created by God,” which naturally denies that He “is” God. This heresy mostly died out in the fourth century after the Council of Constantinople in 381 when the Cappadocian Fathers—Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianus, and Gregory of Nyssa—brilliantly silenced Arius’ otherwise baseless “theology.” According to this survey, Arianism is now the position of 65 percent of all evangelicals! Meanwhile, the number of people who accept within their heart that Christ’s work on the cross was for “entertaining” worship or “material blessings” makes these authors gag. Even the age-old “they mean well” retort cannot be offered here. There is simply no excuse to mix any part of our Savior’s salvation mission with pop culture. On the other hand, almost half of us believe that people are generally good by nature—so, meh…who needs saving, anyway? We can just save ourselves (forgive our sarcasm…). Or maybe that Holy Spirit—who apparently tells us to carry out acts that contradict His own Word according to the statistics mentioned—can lead us to that other world religion He also accepts. Maybe that religion will have a messiah in it that can help us out—since a third of us don’t even believe Jesus is God at all! Do you see what a slippery slope modern religion is on? The further we drift from  biblical truth, the more erratic and inexcusable the ensuing theological speculations become.

This is the summation of our modern “Christianity,” guys. It’s what one journalist calls “self-constructed, Build-A-Bear, buffet-style belief…[that] the Westernized, New-Agey offsprings of Eastern pantheisms” can feel comfortable with.[1] And maybe this is why, when Christians experience doubt crises in their faith in God, a “pastor or spiritual leader” is only the person they would think to seek help from a mere 18 percent of the time.[2]

Without true fruit, the Church is just a social club. What were once corporate goals of holiness, godliness, sanctification, and seeking the presence of God have been replaced with greatly rehearsed entertainment and production spectacles. Some of these places of “worship” have gone so far that (in our opinion), if Jesus were to appear in these buildings, He would overturn tables and clear them out: “And [He] said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:13). These authors wonder what Jesus would think of some of the churches that—after paying inflated salaries to ministers and staff, covering administrative expenses, installing flashy facility upgrades and amenities (such as espresso stands and gift shops), and establishing ostentatious “worship concert” services—delegate less than 5 percent of their massive, megachurch budget to the kind of charitable endeavors Jesus championed (feeding the poor, caring for widows and orphans, etc.).[3]

Astonishingly, the respected, check-before-you-donate organization, Charity Navigator, in their “Financial Efficiency Performance Metrics” analysis, states that seven of every ten charities they appraise (the majority of which are secular) give three quarters at least” of all their accumulating monies on those they set out to benefit. In a slightly less impressive statistic, every nine out of ten will redirect “at least 65%” of all income to helping the needy in the area of their conviction.

You with us so far? This means that only one out of ten listed charities in this country outside the Church would perform abysmally enough to donate less than 65 percent of their budget on the programs they designed to provide others some form of relief.

Charity Navigator goes on to say: “We believe that those spending less than a third of their budget [that’s 33.3 percent in total] on program expenses are simply not living up to their missions. Charities demonstrating such gross inefficiency receive 0 points and a 0-star rating.”[4]

Let’s revisit this breakdown:

  1. The foundation of today’s North American Church claims—by the nature of the commands of our Chief, Jesus Christ—that charity is at the center of all we do. We exist to “be more like Jesus,” who advocated relief work and humanitarian goals more than any other religious figure in world history, and to do this very work He would want us to do in His name. Therefore, both verbally and because of our affiliation, we promise the world to prioritize charity over any other entity or organization.
  2. Only one out of every ten non-church-affiliated charities in our country would dare spend less than 65 percent of their budget to achieve their relief, assistance, or humanitarian goals. Anything less than that would place them in the minority of embarrassingly unsuccessful organizations and would utterly destroy any chance they had at a reputation of reliably handling any donor’s money. But the real dagger in this picture are the charities that have the audacity to give less than 33.3 percent of their budget to their beneficiaries. Tsk-tsk. They get a zero-star Their promises to the world are basically worthless.
  3. North American churches are frequently guilty of giving around, even less than, 5 percent.

Do a little math. That’s more than just mortifying. It’s flat-out disgraceful that some of our wealthiest churches (what the world expects to be “Jesus Christ’s Relief Organizations”) can’t be counted on for much, if anything, when it comes to helping the poor. We show how much we care about the destitute and the sick by rigging confetti cannons and fire-retardant curtains to our stages for the weekly worship-service productions. These authors honestly believe that the Lord will someday require an answer about who would have used that same money to put food on tables overseas.

Yet not only are churches failing miserably in their compassion for the needy, like Christ commissioned. Theologically, there also seems to be a lack of conviction, as ministers everywhere now preach self-help and self-improvement rather than the fundamental (yet world-changing) doctrines of the apostles. Churches are more concerned with branding and advertisement than teaching Scripture and making disciples. The corporate attitude rings: “As long as our attendance is up and our offerings are good, that must mean God approves of this ministry, our feel-good sermons, and our fog-machine worship productions. Teaching a profound, theologically sound message is nice, but it would go over the heads of our congregation, so let’s leave that to the seminaries. Sin is complicated. Our job here is only to let the people know that Jesus came so that we can experience love and joy more fully and life more abundantly.”

Initially, this approach to ministry doesn’t sound too offensive, but when it becomes a nationwide pattern for all Western churches (and it’s our opinion that it has), the study of salvation and of Christ is polluted with the underlying—yet far-reaching and culturally influential—concept that Jesus came to fluff our pillows and bolster our bank accounts when we behave ourselves. It’s another era of the prosperity gospel all over again, just waiting to be given its own label when “Progressive Christianity” gets old.

And what happens when theologically sound biblical teaching evaporates from the Church?

We land at a day when only 17 percent of Christians have a “biblical worldview.”

And what happens then?

Stuff like this happens: In September of 2019, the United Presbyterian Church of Binghamton in Binghamton, New York, moved its communion table aside and erected the idol of the Slavic god, Svetovid, in its place during the celebrated Luma Festival. Known for being the pagan god of the four cardinal directions—as well as the god of fertility, war, and, of all things, divination (a form of witchcraft directly prohibited multiple times in the Bible)—Svetovid had no business being allowed in a Christian church to begin with, but to boot Christ’s “do this in remembrance of me” sacrament tools out of the way to make the god a focus in the house of the Lord Jesus is blasphemous beyond comprehension. The leadership of this congregation knew very well that some of the people drawn in from the streets merely to see the colorful light display wouldn’t have sufficient education or background to know just how anti-Christian it is to bring a pagan idol into God’s holy place. Many likely assumed that Svetovid was part of some “Christian pantheon,” or that this spectacle was just “how Christians do church,” which is an outrageously disgraceful misrepresentation of and assault against our core doctrines and creeds.

Later, when a bold journalist had the leadership of the church cornered with a theologically sound argument for why God would forbid such a thing to occur in His house,[5] their retort was profoundly progressive and laden with New Ageism. The response was lengthy, wordy, and wove unbiblical rhetoric around an argument based on (at best) human reasoning and logic; but, to boil it down, their conclusion was that either: a) Svetovid isn’t sacred or related to God’s grace in any way, which makes the idol only a secular and artistic (as opposed to spiritual) concern; or b) Svetovid is sacred, in which case he is so as under the grace of God, who bestows upon mankind the capability of creating such works of beauty in the first place.[6] At no point was the journalist’s scriptural challenge countered by the church leadership’s scriptural rebuttal. Much to the contrary, the people in charge of raising that idol in God’s house didn’t quote one verse—not one!—to justify the act. (The only verse they did quote was entirely unrelated to idolatry.)

Guess who all reacted to this? Other than the journalist, a few people posted on their social media. Within two or three days from the initial story outbreak, nobody cared. We are “used to” this kind of “Christianity.”

So used to it, in fact, that nobody cared a few years back when that whole “pole-dancing for Jesus” trend gained ground for a spell. Because nobody explains context of Scripture in Church anymore, we have women using Psalm 149:3—“Let them praise his name in the dance…[and] with the timbrel and harp”—as “biblical approval” for “our temples [bodies]” to “spin without sin” using “moves once meant for strippers.” When ABC News covered the story in an article called “Hallelujah! Christians Pole Dance for Jesus in Texas,” it was reported that the strip-tease-for-Jesus routine is an “opportunity” for dancers “to worship God and practice their faith. The students dance to contemporary Christian music.” A portion of the discussion introduced the idea that married couples within the Church could be brought closer together with this kind of excitement, though nobody pointed out the obvious side effect—that a group of people from the same church getting together to pole dance could lead to countless marital problems as well. Consulting a pastoral leader near a Christian pole-dancing studio as to whether he thought it was a good idea, he responded in the negative (thank the Lord, a church leader with brains!), saying that, regardless of whether clothes came off, the dance, itself, was associated with scandalous things. He suggested the women do yoga instead (ughhhh, so close, then he blew it…). On the other hand, this pastor saw a positive: If people could be drawn into Christianity by seeing these women dance on poles, that would be good. (Because, ya know, “pole-dance-ianity” is kinda what Jesus wants us to pull the lost into, right? [By the way, the answer to that is a hearty no, just so we’re clear, though it’s pathetic that has to be clarified.]) This particular article listed other mainstream churches throughout the US where Christ’s followers could experience similar praise and worship through “sexy workout classes,” including belly dancing at a Presbyterian church in Virginia.[7]

Weirdly, once the craze (translation: “crazy”) took root with women, as one story reports, men began to trickle in: “What was once seen as sleazy practice is now gaining steam as a way for some women—and men, too—to get closer to God.” Videos of both men and women being sexy for their Savior were uploaded online where anyone can access them. One proud male dancer, who later became an instructor of the art, boasts: “I am a very deeply spiritual follower of Christ.”[8]

When gathering a bunch of women to simulate a stripping event as a form of praise and worship isn’t enough, bringing in the men to join them is the natural next step. These authors hope some Christian marriage out there was inadvertently and fortuitously blessed, because this foolhardy drivel is more a recipe for a scourge of overnight infidelities to sweep through congregations. (As a byproduct of this activity, newly single, financially strapped women are then equipped with vocational training for a career in exotic dance, courtesy of their local church!) That is, of course, apart from how blasphemous this “exercise” is to begin with.

UP NEXT: Overt Paganism in our Modern Churches

If you would like more information on the topics covered in this article series, see the book Dark Covenant by Donna Howell and Allie Anderson, available below:



[1] Stonestreet, John and Shane Morris, “Self-Constructed, Build-a-Bear, Buffet-Style Christianity Is No Christianity At All,” September 14, 2020, Breakpoint, last accessed October 29, 2020,

[2] “Two-Thirds of Christians Face Doubt,” July 25, 2017, Barna, last accessed October 29, 2020,

[3] “2013 Church Budget Allocations, Learning Priorities, and Quarterly Financial Trends,” Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU),; preserved by The Wayback Machine Internet Archive, last accessed September 27, 2019,

[4] “Financial Score Conversions and Tables,” Charity Navigator, last accessed September 27, 2019,; emphasis added.

[5] Aden, Josiah, “New York Presbyterian Church Hosts Pagan Deity,” September 12, 2019, Juicy Ecumenism, last accessed January 10, 2020,

[6] Kimberly Chastain, in an untitled, public response to Josiah Aden’s article over the United Presbyterian Church of Binghamton Facebook account on September 13, 2019, at 5:38 in the evening. Last accessed October 10, 2019,

[7] Sherisse Pham, “Hallelujah! Christians Pole Dance for Jesus in Texas,” March 22, 2011, ABC News, last accessed October 30, 2020,

[8] “‘Pole Dancing for Jesus’ Taking Off Among Churchgoing Women—and Men” September 15, 2011, Daily Mail, last accessed October 30, 2020,–MEN.html.

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