I want to follow up on a tweet I sent out, something like, "the church that can do what it is doing if Jesus never existed will not survive the current American cultural landscape."
That is a twist on something George Hunter has cautioned against, churches that can do evrything they are doing whether there ever was a Jesus.
There may have been a time when a church could just have service and people came bc that's just what you did.
But no more. It's not just that for 50 years Christians did not win their children to faith; we did not win anyone else either. This creates a dangerous illusion: the church still has lots of people we know in it, so there is a false sense of security. Give it 10 more years tho. Those two generations we failed to win-- their absence will be keenly felt.
Here's the issue: church was an entertaining social function. Not to say there was no power or spiritual vitality. But here is how churches do what can be done if Jesus never existed:
You can go anywhere and hear good music.
You can go anywhere and sing songs we all know-- a baseball game is a great example.
We can go to YouTube and see and listen to interesting speeches about being a better "you."
We can give money to any number of charitable concerns.
We can gather in groups to study books.
We can join lots of groups that will have civic service projects.
There is no need to go to church to do or find or experience these things.
So why go to church for such things? Clearly next to no one is going to. The future is bleak for church in America.
We commit-- and beware! What the church will become in the future will be committed to doing nothing except what can only be done in Jesus' name under the discipline of the Holy Spirit.
It cannot be about the style of music.
It cannot be about the preacher.
It cannot be about the people who are there.
It must be about praising God.
It must be about preaching the pure Word of God.
It must be about being a disciple of Jesus and obeying His great commission.
The church must have a desperate desire for souls. Our hearts must be broken so that we will pour our time and money and effort into seeking those who do not know Jesus, and offering forgiveness of sins and newness of life in His name.
The crucial question, issue: will we do this before we have to? Will we do it before it is such a drastic change that many will perish and return to slavery rather go where the Spirit leads?
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