Wednesday, June 16, 2010
CRISIS OF FAITH IN AMERICA
CRISIS OF FAITH
©2010 Narrowgate Publishing
there is a huge crisis among those who call themselves ‘Christians’. America
This crisis is worse than all the earthquakes, oil spills, and volcano ash crises put together. This crisis is one of the soul, and the heart. It is a crisis of faith.
How did this crisis occur? Because the American evangelical churches departed from teaching and preaching the gospel of faith decades ago, and have continued to move further and further away from Jesus Christ’s good news of the Kingdom. This is not some recent move from the Truth, but a slide away that started perhaps as far back as the 19th century, and has gotten progressively worse.
Look at our churches. Is there one thing done in our churches today, tomorrow, next week, next month, that requires faith? Does it take faith to go to church today? Does it take faith to gather for Bible Study? Does it take faith to play your Christian music in your car, or faith to read your devotional in the morning? Does it take faith to do choir practice, or faith to put your children in their Sunday School classes? Does it take faith to do anything you do today?
In other words, are we doing only the things within our grasp to do, within our daily power to do, our own abilities?
The problem runs deep. In fact, so deep, that we don’t even acknowledge it. If I stood up today in any one of hundreds of evangelical churches today and said these things, all but a small minority would shake their heads in disagreement, and deny that what I’m saying is true.
They would say, “We center around faith in Christ. We talk about it, we preach it, how dare you say we have a crisis of faith!”
But where is the obedience? Where are the fruits of God’s Spirit? Where are the good works created for us to do in Christ Jesus?
I have read three teachings by prominent Christian authors and speakers in the last week referring to the terrible grip which sin has gotten on our Christian leaders. These sins include greed, corruption, and especially sexual disobedience. The problem with these sins extends to the people who just sit in the pews of our so-called ‘Christian’ churches. Empirical studies have proven that between 40% and 70% of men in our evangelical churches, whether in leadership or just sitting in the pews, are in the grip of sexual sin, such as pornography, adultery, homosexuality, and other perversions.
We know the Bible teaches us that sexual sin is a sin against ourselves and God. That the Lord will not tolerate it, and He will “punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure but to live a holy life. Therefore he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you His Holy Spirit.” --1 Thess. 4:3-8
Yet we ignore this and many other passages of Scripture that repeat the Truth about these sins. Some men who are actually wrapped up in these sins stand in the pulpit and preach against them! What hypocrisy! What lies! And we expect our righteous and holy Father to bless us.
You think I speak from holy ground? I, too, was caught up for many years in these sins. Greed, the love of money, position and recognition. Sexual pleasure outside my marriage. And still I was in the churches, and even tried to confess and get rid of these sins, without success. Everyone wanted to sweep them under the rug, and quickly deal with me quietly, and now I know why! Because many of the men involved in leading with me in the churches were sinning in the same way.
But we must prayerfully consider the causes of these sins. We must get to the root of the tree. Where do we have our minds and hearts that cause us to sin? How do we pluck out the eye, cut off the foot, that causes us to sin?
I personally see that the path of evangelical Christianity in the 20th century has been one of increasing acceptance of worldly ways, and less and less adherence to the full Truth of Scripture. We have lost Jesus in our religious trappings, and don’t even understand the basics of a true, fully committed walk with Him. We don’t understand the love of God, the evil of sin, and what is required of those who would become believers in Christ. We have created an easy, smooth “Christian life” concept that has nothing to do with our Lord and His Word.
We say we are Christians, yet don’t have the power and authority of Christ in anything we do. We do nothing from faith. We have created a church superstructure that denies God’s involvement. We do not operate by the Spirit, but by programs, and curriculum, the calendar and the clock. And from experience I state this: it’s just as true in the tiny, small town churches as it is in the large megachurches.
We no longer have confession of sin as a central requirement of daily living in Christ. We no longer gather as a Body for Christ to exercise the spiritual gifts, and to encourage and lift one another up, or to share our lives with one another. We no longer feel the need to weep and mourn over one another’s sins, and to pray for one another so that we may be healed. We no longer believe, thinking we are too sophisticated, that spontaneity has a part in God’s intentions for the churches, so we program every minute, every miniscule detail, so human leadership can better control believers’ meetings.
We no longer believe we must give to one another individually and without judging, but believe it’s the government’s job. We no longer share our property and possessions with our brothers because we believe that stands against free enterprise, as if free enterprise is something that Jesus taught. We stand firmer on our American rugged individualism than we do on the gospel of God which He called us to. We act as if our spokesmen for Christians in
are on the television, as if men like O’Reilly and Limbaugh and Hannity are the pulpit-masters of conservative Christianity, when they speak from their own worldly viewpoints, and are paid by godless networks to get ratings. America
This is not a fruitless crying in the wind. This is a direct call to repentance. We, individually and together with those who will listen to the Spirit of God, must seek the Lord for His Word and His will. We must root out the causes of this spiritual rot. We must call others to repent with us, as Nehemiah did, as Ezra did, as all the prophets from Moses to the John the Baptist did, and since then, as all the prophets in the Body of Christ have done in times of great apostasy.
For this is a great falling away. This is particularly distressing to the Lord, as He gave Americans more wealth, and more freedom to pursue His Kingdom than any people in history. And we American Christians have blown it. We have compromised and sinned greatly. We are in danger of being disciplined severely. Read Hebrews. We fit the description of those who’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is good, yet have fallen away anyway.
Brothers who love God, let’s forsake everything that hinders us, and run the real race with Christ. Let’s leave this churchy life of compromise behind!
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