"So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone."
- Ezekiel 37:7 NKJV
3. The ACTIVE DECAY Stage
This stage is primarily characterized by the period of greatest mass loss. This is the moment when all of our man made efforts to grow the church fail. Generally, the truth about what is really happening at the church is revealed by some catastrophic moral failure by someone in leadership at the church. At this point there is nothing that we can do in and of ourselves that will keep people from leaving the church body in droves. The saddest part about this is that many of those who have held on to this point will walk away from church completely. The "church hurt" will be too great for them to overcome. Unforgiveness makes a home in their hearts, and they are gone for good.
The toxic fluids that have been building up inside the body begin to purge out and create what is called a Cadaver Decomposition Island. The body in a sense is isolated. If there were any plant life near the body before it will start to wither and die along with the body. Those that are left behind in a church body at this stage will begin to isolate themselves from the rest of the Body of Christ. The focus of the church body becomes completely "inward looking" rather than "outward going".
The end of active decay is signaled by the migration of maggots away from the body to pupate. At this point the demonic forces that have been feeding upon a church body have become so full that they will leave in order to reproduce and feed elsewhere. Those people that left the church to go elsewhere take their spiritual issues with them, like anger and frustration, and the seeds of division get planted at the new church.
This has proven over time to be the best tactic the devil has used against the Body of Christ. To infiltrate and take down congregations from within. As the Bible teaches us, a
Phillip Reed is the Associate Pastor of Faith Chapel Ministries. His passion is to reconcile the lost to their Heavenly Father.