Two Different Conversions
When I became a follower of Jesus Christ I underwent two different conversions, although I didn't realize it at the time. First, I was converted from my old life into the Body of Christ by reconciliation with God through Jesus. Hallelujah! At about the same time I bought into the Evangelical Subculture under the false impression that it WAS the Body of Christ. It took me years to realize the difference between the two.
I had been aware of "Christendom": that worldly religious structure consisting of political and economic empires and bureaucracies, both Protestant and Catholic, that had fought religious wars and undertaken crusades to retake the "Holy Land", that had burned people at the stake, that continued to preach false Christs and false gospels of works, and that continues to talk about the counterfeit unity called Ecumenicalism.
But I had not understood the nature of the Evangelical Subculture, that is a part of the worldly structure of "Christendom". This subculture has its own organizations and institutions, denominations, parachurch organizations; its own magazines and radio stations and TV networks; its own schools and colleges and universities; its own celebrities; its own music industry and book stores; its own marketing and advertising worlds.
Like Joining a Club
The tragedy of the Evangelical Subculture is that people who have a sincere desire to follow Jesus get side tracked into a zeal for being a part of this worldly system. It is like joining a club. The club member begins to wear the clothes and trinkets bought at the "Christian" book stores; watch "Christian" TV and listen to "Christian" radio; buy the latest fad books that sweep the "Christian media"; subscribe to the "Christian" magazines; worship the "Christian" celebrities; use all the latest jargon promoted in the latest books by the celebrity authors.
A cult-like mentality develops among people who see this Evangelical system as identical to the Body of Christ. Their zeal is for the trappings of the subculture. It is its own religion. If someone tries to point out the unbiblical nature of some aspect of this subculture people will take offense because you are criticizing their religion. The subculture becomes the message. The "gospel" that people preach is for conversion to the system, not really to Jesus Christ.
The Subculture, Institutionalism, and Deception
The pop culture of Evangelicalism feeds on institutionalism, denominationalism, "non-denominational" institutional church organizations, and the professional clergy system. The professional clergy and their church organizations, in turn, find an indoctrinated constituency to fill their pews and programs. Both the subculture and the institutional churches turn a relationship with Jesus and his people into a participation in a religion and a lifestyle.
This Evangelical Subculture has played a major role in setting professing Christians up for deception. It seduces people to think and act like the subculture instead of reading the Bible for themselves and deriving their understanding from the Bible. It has been this subculture that has infected the Evangelicals with psychology, self-esteem, political action and social activism, unity at the expense of sound doctrine, mysticism, and cult attachments to gurus, movements, and organizations. Ultimately, the end of this deception is a merging of the Evangelical Subculture with the global counterfeit religious vision.
We ought to be content with the simplicity of following Jesus and being the Body of Christ together with those the Lord provides for fellowship, according to the teachings of the Apostles in the New Testament.
Proclamation, Invitation, and Warning http://procinwarn.com/