Destroying the Church
I was re-reading Erwin W.
Lutzer's book "Exploring the Myths That Could Destroy America" and came across a
chapter on the church. The church is described as a boat in the water [the
world]. Lutzer suggests that the church is in trouble because the water [world]
is seeping into the church.
Lutzer gives the following reasons for the ineffectiveness of the church and what I believe is its it's ultimate demise. First let me add my own comment. All of the problems of the church today stem from its failure to obey God's Word as recorded in 1 John 2:15 - 17: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." With these words of scripture in mind, here are the reason given by Lutzer for the effectiveness of the church and what I see as its future demise.
1. We have accepted divorce as an option to resolve the difficulties in our marriages.
2. We have accepted the world's philosophy that mothers should have a career outside the home.
3. We have accepted the world's entertainment, leisure and values. [I may be old fashion but when I grew up Christians didn't go to movies because they were promoting worldly standards. Today, its not just Christian that go to movies but our young Pastors don't see them as a problem. Question: Is there less or more sex, violence, and the promoting of drugs, cigarettes, gay rights, abortions, etc in today's movies? If they were bad 40 years ago, how can we justify them today?]
4. We have treated the unconverted with benign neglect. [When we reach out to the unconverted we show respect of person and focus upon the 18 - 40 age group]
5. We have become too narrow in our vision. God does use that do not agree with us but we must maintain our fundamental doctrines. God is building one church not many churches.
The key for survival is not religious preferences but Biblical convictions. The difference the former we belief but willing to die for and the latter is what we both believe and will die for. Too many Christians in America have preferences instead of convictions.
Suggested Reading Material 3 books by Gary E. Gilley
1. This Little Church Went to Market
2. This Little Church Stayed Home
3. This Little Church Had None