I recently ran a poll in which participants rated the church; primarily American, when asked to complete this statement: I would say the church is _________
Doing a good job. (0%)
Doing an OK job. (33%)
Not doing a good job. (46%)
I realize it isn't very scientific poll, however; it certainly gets right to the point. More than half think that the church is doing a poor or pathetic job. Wow! Now consider that this, Christians are supposed to have the answers to life. Our answers are to be better than the government, better than business, and better than any other philosophy or religion. Jesus is the Rolls Royce of spiritual entities, the Ruler of All and the Lover of our souls. And our portrayal of Him-- our report card if you will-- to the readers of this blog anyway -- which for the most part consider themselves Christians, is a little above pathetic! We have a "C", a couple of "D" and some "F". Wow squared! Think about what you would say to your kid, or what your parents would have said to you, if you brought home a report card like this? Now consider this, these are Christians that are probably giving us grace. Imagine what the unbelievers think?
Is it possible that this is the best we can expect when yielding ourselves unto God? Romans 6:13 Is this the excellence Paul spoke about? Philippians 4:8
If you don't think this is really a problem, why don't you do the same poll on your blog, or print out some cards, and hand them out at church and the shopping mall? Maybe its just my readers-- but I doubt it. Better yet, circulate this link ask your friends to post a comment. The first part of solving any problem, is recognizing that there is one.
Unlike a jury, the church spends a lot of time "hung" while believers vie for position, run after fragmented vision, debate scripture that has been debated, listen to non-biblical teaching, read horoscopes, watch Harry Potter, ban or abandon the spiritual gifts, and consequently stand for pretty much nothing. That's how you get a"pathetic" rating. Without a vision which encompasses the entire gospel-- one that includes a body with many parts; each functioning together to create a healthy church-- which is the essence of Jesus, we'll continue to attract a very limited number of near pathetic believers that will probably never grow into a useful disciples. Sad.
Or, we can do something different! There are a host of scriptures pertaining to doing something different. I am sure you can think of at least a few. Here are some thoughts on what we might try taking a good look at. The Bible says that we are to train believers in the laying on of hands, an elementary teaching according to Paul. Yet in seminaries around the world, we train people in homiletics, public speaking and "proper" exegesis. Why? So that we can conjure up convincing words? In Acts 2, Peter spoke powerfully by revelation and it was effective. He had no training, just 120 folks praying and running around drunk in the Spirit. Maybe it would be good to send our pastors away on a prayer retreat and get 120 folks praying for them so that they too, could be effective.
Most seminaries also teach counseling yet, 23% of Americans have taken, or considered taking, anti-depressants. You get the idea. Personally, I think we need a working model of Ephesians 4. Until that happens we'll probably keep doing the same thing.
I was pondering this passage this morning. 2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
I have come to believe that if a person does this, they will be in revival, and if a church does this, they will be in revival, and if a country does this, they will also be in revival. No matter what the church global does, their action is the result of the individual decisions made by individuals in that group.
We need revival, are you willing to do something different?
Please leave a comment and circulate this link. I would really like to see what you, and those you know, believe needs to be done here. And better yet, let me know what your part in the body is, and how that is going... even if you are a nose hair or an armpit.