Sunday, October 16, 2011

OUR GREAT SINS: A CONFESSION FOR THE MODERN AFFLUENT CHRISTIAN CHURCHES

CHRISTIANITY DEFILED:
WHICH PASTORS WILL PRAY 
THIS PRAYER OF CONFESSION
WITH THEIR CONGREGATIONS?
A. Brother

          With the same defiance Jeremiah was given by God, I stand in the "marketplace" of modern Christianity and pray the following prayer.  

Oh, Lord God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth;
I am overwhelmed with grief and sadness over my sins,
and the sins of all those who claim the Name of Christ.

We have departed from Your Word. 
We have not listened to Your prophets.
We have ignored the simple commands of Scripture.

We have left the Narrow Road that our Lord Jesus
asks us to walk with Him, and have built superhighways,
freeways, and high-speed trains with our own hands.

We have left the simple, steep, footpath of Christ that
winds its way through the mountains and valleys,
preferring instead to bulldoze our own wide trails,
flat, smooth and free of obstacles.

We have built enormous, comfortable lodgings for ourselves,
while Your House lies in ruins.
We have designed beautiful, gracious religious buildings,
and built them at great expense
to satisfy our own cravings for recognition,
while our brothers in need go unrecognized and
the poor among us go unfed.

We have taught a gospel that is not a gospel,
which allows us to come to church and participate
without true repentance and renewal in our lives.
We have accepted and embraced the world’s ways,
marketing You like a commodity,
presenting Christ as a product,
selling our way of life like a better mousetrap.

We have given up on You.
We have left the Way, and planned our own trip.

We are captive to the kings and princes of this world,
yet claim we are free.
We are slaves to our own affluence,
rich in land and homes, cars and businesses,
electronic gadgets and leisure time,
yet are grindingly poor in Your eyes.

We have ignored You, and so You ignore us.
Our meetings, our festivals, our celebrations, our banquets,
our concerts, our shouting and loud worship, our solemn
assemblies, our processions, our programs, our curricula, our
advanced degrees, our fine educational institutions, our vast
entertainment industries, our constant activities—all are
an offense to You, and a bore.

Please forgive me, and forgive the sins of Your people.
Have mercy, Oh, Lord, and don’t sweep us away
with the lost on the Day of Christ.

May Your people return to You,
in true repentance,
in true saving faith,
in love for You and one another.
May we leave all other ways behind,
and follow Jesus, the Way.
May we sell all we have to obtain
the pearl of great price,
the Kingdom of God.

May we be willing to lose our own lives
so that we may gain Christ.
May we decrease and become nothing,
so Christ Jesus may become everything in us.

May the churches abandon their own plans
and schemes in favor of your revealed Word.
May our leaders repent of their sins,
leading us to You instead of away.

May you forgive us, and Your great
mercy be upon the modern, affluent,
self-satisfied ‘Christian’ churches.

When you discipline us, remember
to keep a remnant for Yourself, as
Your Word promises.  Have mercy on
us, Lord, and save us.


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