Each morning I awake it seems that one of the first thoughts is whether I have anything to say on my blog. My second is what the people and few pastors who read my blog must be thinking? My calling seems to be quite counter to the culture of the American church.
I am always prayerful about what I write and even search the scriptures at times to avoid the sense that these challenging comments might be my own thoughts and if so injurious to the work of Christ. Yet, the tendency to say nothing diminishes quickly each morning after being affirmed in that search of the scriptures.
You see there have been others like me in the past, some of them even recorded in scriptures, such as Jeremiah and John the Baptist to name a couple. Though I might sound harsh in my challenge of the American churches, I am no where near the use of the tactics or words of such men as my city seeking friend, Nehemiah. Apparently near the end of his days, he found himself plucking out the hair of some of those believers he found himself so frustrated by! “So I confronted them and called down curses on them. I beat them and pulled out their hair.” (Nehemiah 13:25 NLT). Don’t worry, I have no plans for such and in fact I have never called down a curse on anyone!
It’s amazing how we parcel out scriptures to accommodate our own needs. Maybe I am guilty of the same, yet I struggle with the comfort and complacency that seems to be in our churches given the direction of our country. The best evangelicals can produce, seem to be a few conservative Tea Parties, advocating for lower taxes, possibly motivated by the avoidance of any redistribution of wealth?
Little has been said of our own need for repentance given the widening gap between haves and have-nots. The prosperity doctrine continues in many pulpits while those listening are losing their homes. I am humored by televangelists who now sale jewelry and vitamins or five gallon containers of cheap supplies for those awaiting Armageddon! Give me a break!
On the other side of the church aisle we find those who have all but bought into pantheism where anything goes!
Raised under the residual grace of a once Christian nation, we have run the course of greed and capitalism and now offer the generation behind us little more than a deluge of debt. Hundreds of obsolete buildings set on our street corners, though the numbers in their pews continue to diminish. I know, generalities are killing me…and I do think God for those churches that offer at least a vibrant worship experience. Yes, some are even growing, but if church transfer is all that is happening in our country, even the numbers in our largest churches are no indication of revival in our land.
Ironically, we awake again this morning to new reports of radicals (this time Christian) who have left any sense of love, turning to terrorism over servant leadership while the church of America sleeps!
But God is not asleep and there are those coming behind us who are awakening, young at heart and open to something new, even if it requires the wasting of assets previously invested in by their parents, many now misguided and isolated from the real world.
In fact, I spoke to a group of teens just yesterday who represent a collective group of four churches, soon to join four more…not to grow their churches but to serve their city!