7/9/2014 8:41:25 AM
The Crisis of the American Church
The word “crisis” can be defined as a time of great danger or trouble in which decisions must be made to avoid tragic consequences. We are definitely in the midst of a crisis in the professing church. What hope does our nation have if its moral compass - the church - refuses to be the holy nation that God has called it out of the world to be. Peter called the church “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that we may proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). Tragically, the church has lost its divine purpose to equip the saints to go out into the world to be salt and light and to evangelize the lost. Instead the church has invited the world into its sanctuary and pastors spend more time entertaining the goats than feeding the sheep.
Unrepented sin has created a moral and spiritual crisis in churches throughout America. Consider the United Church of Christ - a mainline Protestant denomination that claims over 1 million members and over 5,000 congregations. It proudly announced that it will serve as a major sponsor of the homosexual Olympics. The Presbyterian Church (USA) recently voted to allow its ministers to perform gay weddings. A church in Florida has banned children from attending services so their pastor, a registered sex offender, can continue in the pulpit. A near majority of evangelicals under age 35 now support same-sex marriage and homosexual student organizations have formed at Christian colleges across the country, including Wheaton College and Baylor.
I believe the five primary causes for the crisis in American churches are 1) Lack of Reverence for God and His Word, 2) Man-centered Evangelism, 3) Rejecting God's Call to Repentance, 4) Compromised Gospels, and 5) Tolerance and Unity with False Religions. As we look at these causes, we all need to make sure we are part of the solution and not part of the problem. Peter said it this way… “it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Pet. 4:17).
What can we do? Pray for discernment and spiritual protection for church leaders. Abide in the Word faithfully and study it systematically (John 8:31-32). Become rooted and established in the faith (Col. 2:6-7). Develop a love for the truth and hate what is false (2 Thess. 2:10). Seek to become more like Christ before He appears (Col. 3:4). May God help us all to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. To do nothing is to aid the adversary. We need to make our voices heard in our discussions among friends, neighbors and coworkers. We must be the salt and light of the earth, jsut as our Lord called us to be.