I recently heard this song and I fell in love. That, paired with some startling facts that I’ve recently learned regarding the “death of the church” as some would call it, inspired a few thoughts…
Jay Thomas, a Sirius Radio Host was on CNN the other day stating that “1 in 5 young people have no religion”. He went on to say that 13 Million Americans are atheist or agnostic. He had my attention. I have children and I am not alright with those statistics. His opinion was like many, who believe that if you tell anyone that what they’re doing is wrong, it just doesn’t go over well, especially with today’s young people. Then, he said what probably sums up the beliefs of much of America which is, “The God I believe in is more inclusive than I am.” In other words, I don’t like everyone or everything you’re doing, so you just believe what you want to believe and I will too. It’s sad really. That leads us to no source of truth, no meaningful mission, and no real unity over anything. It does, however, give us a false sense of peace and perhaps some friendly conversation. Is that really all we care about?
What do we do with the fact that 6,000 churches are closing their doors each year in America? This stat was given to us by James McDonald during a Vertical Church message last month. But why? Leadership who can’t unite under one mission? Music disputes? Please! Can’t we have bigger vision than this? Isn’t it time to forgo some of our personal preferences for the sake of the gospel? Getting behind our Bible-preaching pastors and leaders and encouraging the ones who are trying to bring the truth of Jesus, instead of nit-picking and distracting them.
My heart aches for the church.
Our friends, Chad and Amy Dean lived in France for a couple of years and have recently moved to London. They work for the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board. Chad recently told us about the state of the church in Europe. Bible teaching, Jesus loving, gospel centered churches are very rare. Beautiful Cathedrals no longer house worshipers, but instead, tourists who pay money to see what used to be. Or was there anything really there in the first place? Some of these Cathedrals have even had the crosses taken down by Muslim groups that have turned them into mosques!
My heart aches for the church.
Many members, one body, spanning countries around the world. We are the church and we’re the only organization with the promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18
We are God’s “plan A” for reaching this world. When he left his disciples, the great mission they were to follow was to make disciples of all the nations, baptize them and “teach them EVERYTHING I’ve commanded you.” He even uses us to bring a hurting world His love.
God’s heart aches for the church.
So the question has to be asked. Is this the mission I’m living on? Or have we become so involved in our own lives, our own dreams and our own relationships that we’ve been slowly lulled to sleep? The cross we could proudly bear has been removed and replaced with entertainment, idols, and all kinds of selfishness. How do you tell the world about Jesus when you won’t even be kind to a co-worker when she wrongs you? And can you really make disciples if you’re too annoyed by your own children to spend time talking with them about the truth? Teach them all that Christ taught the disciples? It’s time to pick up our Bibles and study to show ourselves approved as workmen who aren’t ashamed. 2 Timothy 2:15
What Jesus promises us: “I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.”
We aren’t alone! There are warriors who love the church. We will rise up. Will you?