by Caleb Hutton
Proverbs 7:6-10, “For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.”
Proverbs is one of my favorite books to read and to study. There is so much truth packed into every single verse of this book. Proverbs is a great book for the young, single, middle-aged, and elderly. Proverbs has something in it for every person at every stage of life. I have been studying through Proverbs 7 quite a bit lately. I have heard many lessons in Bible classes and sermons in church on this passage. I have heard the warnings that have been given about going the way of the harlot and the destruction that follows. I have heard illustrations about this chapter and have even seen it play out in the lives of people I know.
I want to take a look at this chapter in a different way. When I see the word harlot here, I believe it in the literal sense of a woman that is out to destroy a man, but I also believe that the term harlot could mean sin—any sin. It depicts a sin that distracts us from serving the Lord and gets us off the track of living righteously for the Lord.
Satan knows what sin easily besets us. He will dress it up in a way that will seduce. He will do whatever he can to get us to fall into that sin and destroy our lives.
Let us look at this term harlot and compare it to contemporary Christianity. No, I am not going to get into the prophecy of the Great Whore found in the Book of Revelation. In this day and age, we are seeing a falling away from the old-fashioned, Biblical way of church and Christianity to a way of contemporary church and living for God (a term used loosely in this sentence). I looked up the definition of contemporary and it means, marked by characteristics of the present period. This tells us that contemporary Christians are always changing with the times. Let us notice the synonyms: current, designer, hot, mod, modern, new, new-fashioned, newfangled, present-day, ultramodern, up-to-date, up-to-the-minute. Then there are the antonyms: antiquated, archaic, dated, fusty, musty, old-fangled, old-fashioned, old-time, out-of-date. We can each look at the church to which we belong and see where it lines up. I want to preface this sermon by saying that I DO NOT think that everyone in a contemporary church is bad. I do think that the message and the way of life that is preached is somewhat contrary to the Word of God and we have to be on guard against this issue. Before I get into the meat of the message, I want to make some comparisons between the harlot and contemporary Christianity:
Verse 11 says, “(She is loud and stubborn;…”
Loud music, bands, and a concert-type feel can be found in contemporary churches.
Verse 12 says, “Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)”
Contemporary, non-denominational churches are popping up everywhere.
Verses 13 through 18 say, “So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.”
When I read these verses, I think of how contemporary, non-denominational churches have no boundaries of separation when adding new church members.
Verses 19 and 20 say, “For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.”
When I read this, I think of the goodman as Jesus Christ. Jesus is nowhere near the contemporary church and, one day, He is coming back!
Verse 21 says, “With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.”
Contemporary, non-denominational churches will tell you what you want to hear. They will have fair and flattering speech that makes you feel good.
Verse 27 says, “Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.”
The gospel that is preached in these churches is that of “give your life to Christ.” We know that we cannot give or do anything to be saved; rather, we must receive what He has done for us. This gospel is deceiving people. Because of it, people will end up in Hell because their salvation was based on their acts and works, not on Christ alone. I have seen many people serving the Lord and attending a good, old-fashioned, KJV-only, independent, Baptist church who leave and go to some non-denominational, feel-good church. They were enticed by the lack of standards and the feel-good preaching. We are seeing this happen more and more as the return of Christ approaches.
Paul states in II Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” People do not like sound doctrine because it points out their failures in their relationship with God. They want someone who will just tell them that God loves them no matter what—which is true; but, they also want someone to NEVER tell them that sin is wrong and living a worldly lifestyle all week is wrong!
Solomon was warning his son about the harlot in Proverbs 7 and the destruction that would follow if he went her way. Verse 10 says, “And, behold, there met him a woman with attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.” Let us look at the attire of the harlot of contemporary Christianity as the main subject of this message. The word attire means clothes. The harlot has a certain dress that makes her stand out and classifies her as a harlot. Without going into all of the details, we can all probably give a good description of what a harlot wears or does not wear. A lady should be careful and modest in what she wears so that no one can ever mistake her for someone that can be classified as a harlot. Men have it a little bit easier in what we wear and in following the dress standards God has given us, but we, too, should dress in a way that pleases God and brings honor and glory to Him. This truth is especially true in this day and age, when society is attacking the male and female genders. When I think of the attire of contemporary Christianity and what seduces people away from God and attracts them to this so-called Christianity, I think of a couple of things:
The Attire of Casual Christianity
Casual (adjective) means relaxed and unconcerned, not regular or permanent. Causal (noun) means a person who does something irregularly. Too many Christians just want to be casual Christians. This means that they are being Christians only when they WANT to be Christians or when it fits their lifestyles or needs at that moment.
This type of Christianity is filling the non-denominational and contemporary churches and is even starting to creep into the independent Baptist churches! The people that fill the seats of the contemporary churches are unconcerned whether they are living for God or not; these people are just “checking the box” so that they can think that they are good people. Casual Christians are the ones who are easily blown away. They are not permanent and are not in this fight for the long haul. I found it interesting that when I was looking at the definition for casual, the dictionary stated that it is a person who does something irregularly. Church attendance is irregular. Bible reading is irregular. Prayer is irregular. Witnessing is irregular. Living for God is irregular. These are all signs of a casual Christian. We can find many people like this in the contemporary church because this type of Christianity is accepted and welcomed in those churches. Many people are being seduced and enticed by this way of Christianity. We must not go that way! Some may think that being casual Christians is easy now, but how will it affect their children? Parents wonder why their kids do not turn out for the Lord, and sometimes (not all the time) it could be that the parents decided to be casual Christians, only making church and the things of God a priority when it fit their schedules or benefitted them. We must not go the way of casual Christianity! We will miss out on the blessings of God for our lives.
The Attire of Compromising Christianity
Compromise means to accept standards that are lower than is desirable. Readers probably already know where I am going with this point, but the lack of standards in these “churches” amazes me. There is no separation between the godly and the ungodly. This type of Christianity is running rampant today, not only in these new-age churches but also in the old-fashioned, independent Baptist churches. People everywhere are compromising their standards! Why? To bring more people to church and to avoid offending anyone. Let me say this—I am offended! I am offended that we, as Bible-believing Christians, are more worried about what people think of us than what God thinks of us. I am offended that we, as Christians, have no backbone to stand for what the Bible says and for what we should believe! I am offended when I see people drop their dress standards and music standards. What happened to being different and standing out? The Bible says we are peculiar people; so, why are we trying to fit in?
In these non-denominational churches, people can compromise everything they have been taught and everything in which they once believed so that they can fit in. They do it so that they can stop standing for what is right and stop fighting for the truth. They do not have to do anything that makes them different from the world because this church wants “you to be you.” Compromising is okay there, as long as people are comfortable.
We must not be swayed by the world as they tell us to compromise!
All that the devil needs is just an inch. Before we know it, we will not look like, talk like, or even act like Christians anymore. All of this is because at one point, we decided to compromise a standard here or there to fit in with some worldly crowd. We have to be careful and be on guard. The devil would love nothing more than to seduce us with contemporary Christianity. He would love to get us to leave the old paths of serving God. Satan would love to get us to be casual in our service to Christ because he knows that over time, our service will become less and less until it is non-existent. Satan wants to get us to compromise our beliefs because when we do, we are turning our backs on what God has commanded us to do. We are telling God that we know how to control our lives better than He does. Just like Solomon warned his son about the harlot and told him of the dangers that waited at the end of her path, we need to be warned about contemporary Christianity. We should not be enticed by it. If we choose to go the way of the harlot of contemporary Christianity, we must not be surprised when we look at our kids and our grandkids and see no resemblance of God or any type of Christianity. We cannot go the way of the harlot and expect not to have any destruction in our lives. Sin will always get us in some way and somehow when we compromise; it will destroy our lives.