It was in May of 2005 when I first heard the phrase “harlot church” peached in a sermon. I had evangelist, David Owens at my church for several days of revival meetings. He preached about the harlot church of our day in one of his messages and my youngest son Aaron was so enlightened by the word that he experienced a true heaven sent revival. Today, Aaron serves as an evangelist and labors with me as we travel our state encouraging and uniting the remnant believers.
This topic of the harlot church, which this article is about, is a hard message, and it may anger you to hear me say the things that I am going to say. But it is worth the risk, because it is a message every believer must hear.
The harlot church is revealed to us in Proverbs chapters 2:16-19, 5:3-6 and 7:5-27. Since I have to keep this article somewhat brief I will write it in two parts. My intention is to give you an overall view of who and what this harlot church is of our generation so you can see her and run from her, just as Joseph ran from Potiphar’s wife.
Let’s start with Proverbs 2:16-19; “To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; 17Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. 18For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. 19None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life [all emphasis mine].”
Verse 16 starts by telling us about the “strange woman,” even the “stranger.” Who is this strange woman? Who is this stranger? The Hebrew for this woman described here, has a few meanings such as, she is foreign, profane, a non relative, adulterous, different and even wonderful. This strange woman is what I am referring to as the harlot church. The harlot church is a church system that commits spiritual adultery against the Lord and has seductive power just as a prostitute does to the sex crazed man. The easy believism and the mega church mentality of our day, is the harlot church of our day. The book of Proverbs says she has turned away from the right direction; she has forgotten about her God. She is sensual and flattering. She allures sinners and saints alike into her sensual ways. Those fallen prey can’t help but look at her and call her wonderful. But her ways are foreign to the true bride of Christ. There is no real relationship between her and Christ.
The harlot church desires and promotes something different because she no longer is, if she ever was, satisfied with the love of Christ. Her way is death, do not go unto her. But many have. If you wonder why some Christians you know remain in that harlot church system, then verse nineteen reveals why: They have gone unto her and there is no returning. They have grown so comfortable with her because she never challenges and she never judges. She is an adulteress and willingly receives and accommodates all those that come unto her. She has a seducing power that deceives those influenced by her. Brethren, if you know of saints that are in this harlot church system and have been captivated by her, do not give up on them. Pray that God will open their eyes and bring them out from amongst her. Maybe you cannot talk them out of her arms but nothing is impossible for God. Pray fervently that God will yet rescue those remnant believers out of the embrace of that strange woman.
Proverbs 5:3-4; continues to emphasize how smooth and alluring the harlot church is, but also warns that if you go that way, your end will be bitter as wormwood. “For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.”
Moving on to chapter seven of Proverbs, we encounter this strange woman, the harlot church again. “That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words [emphasis mine].” Proverbs 5:7. This is the second of three times that we learn that one of the main techniques the harlot church uses is flattery. The harlot church will mail out surveys to learn what best will attract people to their church. She creates programs suited to appease the interest of those who attend. She flatters the crowds with enticing words. The preachers of these churches work hard at finding the right words to say as not to offend or challenge anyone. The preachers are motivational speakers who lack a baptism of Spirit and fire. I heard of one church telling a visiting evangelist not to use the word “sin” because it makes the people too uncomfortable. In the harlot church, the message that “God loves you,” which no doubt is a true message, is taken to the extreme level. They make everything about fulfilling your good pleasure. Many of you know of a popular pastor that wrote a book, Seven Steps to a Better You. The problem with that book is that the “YOU” must die, not get better. The harlot church promotes you, but the true church promotes Christ.
“And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, 8Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, 9In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night [emphasis mine]:” Proverbs 7:7-9. The words “simple ones” means silly (that is seducible). These simple ones can be Christians who don’t take their walk with the Lord serious. They don’t maintain a life of prayer and meditation upon the word of God. They don’t stay in fellowship with mature believers. They go about their walk with the Lord in a careless manner and thus are void of understanding. These kinds of believers are easy prey for the strange woman whose intention is to seduce them to go to her house.
“And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. 11(She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: 12Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)” Proverbs 7:10-12. The harlot church presents herself very seductively. She dims the lights and turns on the smoke machines. Song leaders and musicians are more concerned about putting on a professional show for the crowd than they are pleasing the audience, who they forgot is God. One sister in Christ told me that years ago she went to a seminar for those involved in a worship team. She was told by the teacher that when you are on the platform singing, you should not be getting caught up in worship, but instead you should be looking at the people and making eye contact with them. Evidently, the people are not getting caught up in the worship either that they would be watching the singers.