Saturday, June 11, 2011

Issues Facing the Church in America

This post stems from a question posed at Attempts at Honesty.
What issues do you see facing the church as western society moves further away from a Biblical mindset?

Here was my answer:

Speak the Truth, Leave the results to God

As Western society moves away from "Cultural Christianity" and Biblical literacy, the church must have the courage to speak the Gospel in truth and with clarity.

Increasingly, the belief in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ will be resigned to the stuff of mythology and fairy-tale by the "enlightened" masses. The church will be tempted to market the Gospel in more relevant and practical expressions, seeking to avoid offending the sensibilities of the hearers. The church would then be trusting in their ability to market the Gospel, rather than in the power of the Holy Spirit to change the heart of one who has heard of the forgiveness of sin in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, we are already seeing this reaction in the church and can only assume that unless the Lord brings revival, the trend will continue.

I would like to add a few more thoughts.

Declare Sin's Sinfulness, Do so with Love

Christians who hold to a biblical view of sin and man's depravity, will increasingly be accused of bigotry and hate. There will be pressure from society and most likely government as well to "re-evaluate" the Christian stance on these issues. During these times, we must proclaim the the Word of God and our commitment, our obligation, to uphold and obey it. There can be no wavering on these points. The very authority of our faith, the Bible, is what is being called into question. 

Now having stated the necessity of taking a stand, we can not neglect to do so in love. God judges sinners, not us. We are to love and exhort, calling them to repentance. We are not called to hate and condemn. Our goal is to reach them, not fight them.  Calling them to repent of their sin while showing them the love of Christ is never easy, but we must do the one without neglecting the other. This will only be possible as it springs forth from hearts filled with love, surrendered to Jesus, and committed to the Great Commission. 

This list certainly isn't exhaustive. The problems are many, the challenges great, but we know that "he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
"Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5:5)
We are not without hope.

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