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A Whirlwind of Complacency in the Church

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In the midst of a whirlwind, it is easy to lose sight of what is truly important.

Churches in recent decades have been caught up in a whirlwind of complacency; failing to teach Biblical morals, repentance, and holiness. The Church, as the body of Christ, is called to be a beacon of light in a world of spiritual darkness. It is the responsibility of the Church to teach and uphold Biblical morals, to lead people to a life of righteousness, and to be salt and light in a decaying and dark world.

A whirlwind with a downward spiral seen from the side.

Unfortunately, the Church has lost its saltiness and dimmed its light in recent times. This whirlwind of complacency has swept through churches, intensifying a downward spiral of morality in our culture. As the Church goes, so goes the culture.

The Church is supposed to be a light shining in the darkness, a city on a hill that cannot be hidden; entrusted with the task of bringing the message of repentance, mercy, forgiveness, and holiness to the world. Their failure has led to a downward spiral of morality in our culture, where sin is celebrated, and righteousness is mocked.

The Bible is clear about the importance of living holy lives. In 1 Peter 1:15-16, we read, “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.'” In Romans 12:1-2, we are urged to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.

Churches are meant to be a place where people come to learn about God, to be transformed by His Word, and to be equipped to go out and make disciples of all nations. Instead of preaching the whole counsel of God, many pastors have opted for a watered-down, feel-good message that is more concerned with making people feel comfortable than with challenging them to live holy lives. This has led to generations of Christians who are more concerned with their own happiness than with pleasing God.

We live in a world where immorality is the norm and sin is celebrated. Churches, which are supposed to be the moral compass of society, have been sucked into this whirlwind of complacency, failing to teach Biblical morals, repentance, and holiness.

This continuing trend is alarming, as it signals a stark departure from the Biblical principles that have guided the Church for centuries. Instead, churches have focused on pleasing the masses and catering to the desires of the world. This has not only led to a watering down of the Gospel message, but also a decline in the moral standards of our society as a whole.

The downward spiral of morality in our culture can be seen in a variety of areas, including the breakdown of the family unit, the rise of pornography, and a greater acceptance of immoral behavior. Lacking moral guidance, churches have contributed to a culture that is increasingly devoid of values.

Sadly, churches are failing in what God has called them to do. Instead of being a reflection of the light of Christ, they have become a reflection of the culture around them. As a result, the culture has sped up its downward spiral of immorality, and the Church has lost its saltiness.

The prophet Hosea warned Israel of the consequences of their disobedience, saying, “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind” (Hosea 8:7). This is a warning to the people of Israel that their actions have consequences, and they will face the judgment of God. Similarly, when churches fail to teach Biblical morals to its members, it is sowing the wind, which will ultimately lead to reaping a whirlwind of moral decay in our culture. We cannot sow seeds of complacency, compromise, and worldliness and expect to reap a harvest of righteousness, purity, and holiness.

Whirlwind of Complacency
The steadfast Bible in a whirlwind with a downward spiral.

Holiness is a crucial aspect of the Christian life. 1 Thessalonians 4:7 says, “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” However, many churches continue to downplay the importance of holiness. They have adopted a “cheap grace” mentality, where sin is not taken seriously, and repentance is not required.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” When churches fail to teach the importance of Biblical morals to its members, it is contributing to the moral decay of our culture. We see this in the rise of abortion, homosexuality, and pornography, and the decline of Biblical family values.

The Bible is clear. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” This verse emphasizes the importance of instilling Biblical morals in children from a young age. If the Church fails to provide this guidance, it is setting the stage for future generations that lack a moral compass.

The apostle Paul warned the Corinthians, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). A sobering reminder that sin has consequences, both in this life and in the next.

The Apostle Paul warned the Church in Rome not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:2). He knew that the world would try to influence the Church, but it is the Church’s responsibility to hold fast to the truth of God’s Word and not be swayed by the culture around them.

The apostle Paul warned the Ephesians, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). We must not be content to live in a culture that celebrates sin and immorality. We must be willing to speak out against it, to expose it for what it is, and to call people to repentance and holiness.

The Apostle Paul exhorted the Church in Ephesians 5:15-16, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.” We are living in evil days, and the Church needs to be wise and make the most of every opportunity to preach the Gospel and live out Biblical morals.

The Bible teaches that repentance is necessary for salvation. In Acts 2:38, Peter said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” Repentance involves turning away from sin and turning towards God. Repentance is not just a one-time event but a continual process. However, many churches today have neglected to teach the importance of repentance. As a result, many people that call themselves “Christians” are living in sin and are not seeking the forgiveness of God.

The Bible warns us about the consequences complacency. In Hosea 4:6, God says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” This lack of knowledge refers to the failure of God’s people to understand and apply His Word to their lives. Similarly, in Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus warns the Church in Laodicea, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

In 1 Peter 1:15-16, it says, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.'” In 1 Thessalonians 4:7, it says, “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” Despite these clear teachings, churches are failing to instill these values in its members. Instead, many have become focused on worldly pursuits and have neglected the importance of holiness and repentance. Holiness is a fundamental aspect of the Christian life. We are called to live a life that reflects the holiness of God.

The Church must return to its roots and teach the Biblical standards that have been passed down through the ages. We must remember the words of Jesus, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” (Matthew 5:13). Christians are called to be holy, set apart from the world and its immorality.

The apostle Peter warned, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter5:8). We should not be complacent or lazy in our spiritual lives. We must be vigilant, watchful, and ready to resist the devil and his schemes.

People Firmly Rooted in Biblical Truth and Doctrinal Focus

The Church Fathers recognized the importance of morality in the life of a Christian. Augustine of Hippo said, “Morality is the indispensable foundation of a society.” Jerome said, “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” Simply put, If we do not know the Scriptures and the teachings of Christ, we cannot live a life of righteousness.

The Church Fathers also recognized the dangers of complacency. Augustine wrote, “God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.” John Calvin warned that the Church must “strive for purity, not only in outward appearance but also in the innermost recesses of the heart.” John Chrysostom said, “Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.” The Church has a responsibility to guide its members in the ways of righteousness. In failing to do so, it not only puts the souls of its members in peril but also contributes to the moral decline of society as a whole.

Augustine said, “Let us never assume that if we live good lives we will be without sin; our lives should be praised only when we continue to beg for pardon”. Augustine also wrote, “Morality is the very sinew of society.” This statement could not be more true. The Church is called to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. The salt preserves and the light illuminates. Without these two elements, society will inevitably spiral out of control.

The Church Fathers understood the importance of teaching sound doctrine and living holy lives. As John Chrysostom said, “If you want to be a Christian, you must live like a Christian.”

In addition to the Church Fathers, prominent Reformed pastors have also spoken out on this issue. In his book, “The Holiness of God,” R.C. Sproul writes, “The deterioration of morality in our culture is largely due to the decline of the Church’s influence in society.” Sproul’s words echo the sentiment that the Church has a responsibility to shape the moral character of society. Similarly, R.C. Sproul has said, “The holiness of God is the foundation of Christian ethics.”

John Piper, emphasizes the importance of holiness in his book, “Desiring God.” He writes, “The pursuit of holiness is the pursuit of God. It is the pursuit of His glory, His beauty, His excellence, His love, His grace, His power, and His wisdom. It is the pursuit of all that God is.”
John Piper also has said, “The greatest problem in the church today is that we have forgotten the necessity of holiness.”

Churches that fail to teach Biblical morals, repentance, and holiness have had a devastating effect on our culture. We see it in the breakdown of the family, the rise of pornography and sexual immorality, the acceptance of abortion and euthanasia, and the decline of respect for human life. As John MacArthur has said, “The Church is responsible for the state of our culture. We have failed to be salt and light.”

The solution to this problem is simple, yet difficult. The Church should be a place where sin is confronted, where repentance is encouraged, and where holiness is pursued. The Church needs to recognize its responsibility to teach Biblical morals to its members, standing firm on the Word of God and not be swayed by cultural trends. The Church is to be a beacon of light in a world of darkness, leading people to a life of righteousness. As Christians, we must sow the seeds of righteousness, so that we may reap a harvest of righteousness. Let us heed the warning of Hosea 8:7 and not sow the wind, but instead, sow the seeds of righteousness, so that we may reap a harvest of righteousness.

As Proverbs 29:18 says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." Churches must provide a vision of Biblical morality, repentance, and personal holiness to slow the rapid downward spiral of the moral decay of our culture. 
Whirlwind of Complacency
The Bible in whirlwind with a downward spiral seen from the side.

Churches need to wake up from their complacency and fulfill its calling to teach and live out Biblical morals and values. Being lights in the darkness, a reflection of Christ in a world that desperately needs Him. The Church must hold fast to our identity as the Bride of Christ, faithful to our calling to nurture and teach our children in the ways of the Lord. Only then can we hope to see a glimpse of revival Godly values in our culture.

Churches need to be a moral compass for society and show the world what it means to live a life that is pleasing to God. We need to be salt and light in a world that is decaying and dark. Let us heed the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” May God help us to be faithful to His Word and to live out Biblical morals in our daily lives.

Churches must take responsibility for the downward spiral of morality in our culture. Repenting of their complacency and start preaching the whole counsel of God. Teaching and challenging church members to live holy lives, to repent of their sins, and to seek God’s face. Only then can we hope to be a beacon of light in a dark and fallen world

Churches wake up from your slumber and take seriously your responsibility to teach Biblical morals, repentance, and holiness to your members! We cannot afford to be complacent or lazy. Be vigilant, watchful, and ready to resist the devil and his schemes. Willing to speak truth to power, to expose sin and immorality, and to call people to repentance and holiness. If we do not, we will sow the wind and reap the whirlwind, and our culture will continue its downward spiral of immorality and sin.

May we pray that the Church will once again become the moral force that it was meant to be. That we live our lives in such a way that we point others to Christ and His standards of morality and holiness.

2 Timothy 4:2, " Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine."


  • Scott Richey

    Owner/Editor of, purveyor of antiquarian Bibles & theology books and other Bible related items. Host of the BIBLES * Bulldogs * & Beards podcast. My main objective is to share the Word of God, pointing people to the Lord Jesus Christ.

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