Among the seven churches of Asia Minor in Revelation, these two—Ephesus and Pergamum—have opposite issues.
Ephesus was death on false teachers. They remind me of hyper-reformed churches that insist on certain details of baptism and the Lord’s supper, and that discipline folks for holding ideas that are not approved.
Like those churches, the Ephesian church had lost its witness in the community. They held the church together in a strict dogmatic way, but they lost their first love and had become ineffective.
Pergamum was a witnessing church, even to the point of death. They remind me of a conservative evangelical church that is fervent in reaching out to the community and getting people saved.
Like many of those churches, the Pergamene church had begun accommodating itself to the culture. It allowed some to teach that dabbling in the cultural part of polytheism was a necessary part of daily life.
If this trend continued, the church at Pergamum was have it’s witness watered down to the point of ineffectiveness.
The church today has both problems at the same time. We are so individualistic these days that we do not realize that Jesus will come and judge the whole congregation. If our church loses its first love, or if our church compromises with the culture, we are all responsible.