- By Dr Joshua Raj
- Published 08/25/2008
Dr Joshua Raj
Dr Joshua Raj is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon and an ordained minister. He became a Christian in medical school when the complexity of the human body revealed God’s beautiful design. His Christian journey has included opportunities to minister in Indian churches of different denominations in many countries. Dr Raj is a graduate of Seminary Theology Malaysia and has a postgraduate degree in practical theology. He has a wife and three children.
Many churches today produce wild grapes. “Wild grapevines are often considered a nuisance weed, as they cover other plants with their usually rather aggressive growth” (Wikipedia)*
Is this not a picure of today’s mainline churches that have gone off focus? They have had agressive but untidy growth. Masquerading as Christians at the top, they have diluted the pure doctrines and introduced all kinds of errors into church life. Pluralism and syncretism are the order of the day. In the name of “tolerance”, many mainline churches have strayed from the path that produces good fruit.
In both the areas that matter, the church has emasculated itself of God’s power.
Discipleship has become subservient to social activities. While fellowship activities are good, they cannot replace good discipleship and teaching programs.
Evangelism becomes moot when the church subscribes to pluralism. That leads to grave consequences for the lost souls who need to hear the pure gospel.
How does God’s power diminish and disappear in such churches? God removes the hedge of protection:
And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down
This is a warning to those of us who are in spiritual leadership in our homes (the smallest church group) or the local church. Are we producing good fruit or wild fruit?
God is love, but He is also just. He will give us all the opportunity to turn from ways that disappoint Him and back to the true paths. But we have to respond. At some point, He will take away the protection, and allow all manner of difficulty and destruction to come.
And this happening in all the mainline churches - which were built on the blood and sweat of godly men centuries ago. And it appears that He has removed the protective hedge in the traditional Christian lands. Churches are losing membership and property at alarming rates. Hindu temples and mosques are springing up in former church property. Crime rates are soaring. Fear is gripping the hearts of men. Depression and psychosomatic sickness has become an epidemic.
The hearts of men needs to be addressed. This can only be by preaching the true gospel. This is the responsibilty of a good vineyard.
It is a warning to us all. It is a warning to me.
Gal 1: 8 if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
+Dr. Joshua Raj