Sunday, September 15, 2013

What churches are missing…

Can we get too much of a “good thing?”

As essential as water is, too much will drown us or make us weak and gaunt.

As essential as bread is, an exclusive diet of bread will make us fat and have vitamin deficiencies.

Is it possible to have too much “good news?"  Or too many reminders of how sinful we are?  Or even too much of how great God is?  Conventional churchy wisdom says these are all impossible, but I believe these are all possible.  Too much of any good thing leaves little room for other essentials.

Some church sermons preach Sunday after Sunday, month after month the “good news” at the exclusion of anything else.  We need to hear the “bad news” too.

Other churches will preach, Sunday after Sunday, different self improvement nuggets as if church was a perpetual Dale Carnegie course.   How to be happy one week; how not to be grumpy another week, and how to be a good friend another.  That strikes me as the orchestra playing on a sinking Titanic.  Yikes!

Still others recite the Bible as a sterile history class, with endless detail of the topography, language, eating habits, and bad habits of its ancient population without making any connection with the world today.  Yuck!  A pastor wanting to let everyone know how well versed he is in ancient Biblical history.

Amidst that amalgamation of mindless repetition of good news, endless guilt tripping, self improvement lectures or ancient history lies a huge void of missing ecclesiastical content.

Just as there is a time for war and a time for peace, there is a time to lighten up on the repetitious preaching diet and get occasional doses of other essentials.

So, what is missing from our churches preaching, especially in today’s world?

Discussion of cultural and political challenges to our faith, that’s what’s missing.  Yes, that is relevant.  No, not the kind of “relevance” that mentions Islam or homosexuality only to tell us how we should not judge others.  That is not preaching the Bible but preaching from the pits of hell.

Most pastors appear to live in a bubble.   Most appear to know or care very little about what is going on in the world around them.  Most seem to be oblivious to the challenges and threats to Christianity around the world.  Not only around the world, but even in our own nation, from our own government, and even from the evils being promoted by churches right next door such as those that preach Chrislam and embrace homosexuality.

How about the rampant persecutions of Christians and church burnings by Muslims in the Middle East, North Africa, and Indonesia?  How about the Islamic ideology itself declaring its disdain of the Christian “infidel”, promoting anti-Semitism, mal-treatment of women, using their doctrine of lying to promote themselves, and doing all in its power to impose its version of dark ages culture and law called “Sharia”  on the rest of us?   How about the apostasy rampant in virtually all of the churches of mainline denominations of Christianity that reinvent the moral pronouncements of the Bible as if they never existed?  How about the churches that don’t care if the beliefs of their church leaders and fellow so-called “believers” are so dismissive of Biblical truths, events, miracles, and morals that they are allowed to spread within the congregation like a cancer?

There is a place for bad news.  Not for the sake of mindless fear-mongering to motivate new converts, but for informing and reminding us how fragile our Christian freedoms really are.

Is there a secret prohibition against churches speaking the truth about the errors, dangers, and even the evils of other religions?  The recent ridiculous pronouncements of the Pope come to mind.  Does the Church have an agreement with the devil to remain quiet?   Is this the church’s version of political correctness?  Is “do not offend evil” the new highest moral value?  Some could use offending.  Since when has the church been called to “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil?”  The church has become too “nice” for its own good.

These topics, from my experience visiting dozens of churches in the area over the past several years, are totally missing from sermon content.  And shame on pastors for ignoring these assaults on their professed faith that they are charged with defending.  It is obvious that things have not gotten quite bad enough within their bubble that motivates them out of their one-note comfort zones.  But the way things are going, it won’t be long before they do.

Where I do hear hear a significantly greater amount of relevant preaching is from radio shows like those from the Moody Bible Institute and from web sites of Hal Lindsey, Truth in Action, Avi Lipkin, and Atlas Shrugs among many others.  That reminds me.   Even WorldNet Daily has more relevant Christian preaching than many churches.  Here is their latest on No Joke:  Is the Pope Catholic?

What’s going on with local pastors?  I don’t get it.  Can someone explain this to me?  I feel like I’m on a death watch of the local church.  No, I’m not talking about numbers.  Some very apostatizing and useless churches boast large and growing numbers.  I’m talking about faithful, orthodox, Bible-based churches that have the kahoonas to defend themselves against this corrupt and threatening, Christian-hating culture.  Not many exist.  It appears to be bubble business as usual until persecution is at their door.  I guess it has to get much worse – and personal. 

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