Let us be clear about what the work of God is. There is only one thing that can be at the heart of God’s plan, work, and will, and that has to be the salvation of men’s souls. Why? Defend this from the Bible, David. Okay.
First of all, God is not limited or under constraint, but God makes and imposes “the rules of the game.” If God was to have wanted salvation to come by means of killing an animal, by works, by baptism, or by any of a thousand ways false religions say you get saved, God could have done it any of those ways. But God chose what He chose.
Whereas a good church is a pretty focused thing, a bad or unbiblical church can take many different forms. Because of this we need to divide our study into areas. First of all, we need to separate what would be a “church” from a sects, cult, or false religion. Although really there is not much difference between them, I would consider a “church” that would identify itself with solid biblical doctrine something different from a cult. Some “Fundamental” or “Baptist” churches would officially hold to correct or biblical doctrine, but actually practice or secretly believe in unbiblical things. There may also be some groups that would do things as a biblical church would do them, but they hold tightly to some doctrine that is not biblical. Usually these groups always have some defective concept concerning salvation. So these characteristics are a composite of a whole bunch of bad and erroneous churches, sects, abusive churches, groups, etc.
The list of marks of a bad church (Marks of an Unbiblical Church) on this page therefore should be understand as a bad church can have this or that characteristic or mark, but it is defined as bad by any one, and not necessarily by all. Also let me add that some good churches are good on most things, and they may fall into one or more of these marks of a bad church. I do not pretend to know all churches, all situations, and how a person should act or the decision a person should take in such cases. I think soul searching your own heart in order to find what God wants you to do is most important in any situation, and it is essential in these cases. See my thoughts on Getting out of a Bad Church.
I would like to examine the typical bus ministry in a local church. My desire is to get a “biblical” philosophy on how to use a bus in a local church and to attack some unbiblical things that I see greatly abusing God’s work in relationship to this. What we want to do is to develop a general ministry philosophy on how to do a bus ministry. In my defense, I will say that I have never had my own bus ministry, but I was placed in charge of one that had about 200 children coming in, and I oversaw what was already set up.
Clarification: I do not believe it is a sin to use a bus, van, or individual cars to pick up people and bring them to church. This is not the issue here. Many churches have buses that run to pick up whole families, and individual adults (elderly, or poor) and in these, children are brought in with these adults. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that kind of thing. I think it is the healthy, wholesome kind of ministry that any church that can do it, and needs to do it, should do it. That ministry is not what I am directing this article against. I think that kind of bus use is tremendous, and I would encourage churches to take that option if they feel lead of the Lord to do so.