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What happened to God and the Church? | Pastors Columns



In 2001 Donald Bloesch raised the issue in an article on Christianity Today and put the looming issue on the table before all of us. Professor Bloesch has competently dealt with some necessary and very worrying areas. To this I would also like to touch on similar topics, which remind us of Satan’s ubiquitous plans and his relentless pursuit of distraction and disorder in the Church.

Preaching is of course a primary concern. A tickle of the ears will always find an audience in the comfortable bench, but a silliness-free, clear and convincing and convincing preaching is rare today in many pulpits.

Very early on, I learned that you can preach the Bible and not the Word of God! Much of the preaching today is impersonal information about God, often about a more human personality mixed with interesting stories of how to build a good image rather than a good character.

Theologian John Stott has said in one stroke that the present state of preaching is “miserable, abysmal.”

Preaching is not everything in a church. But that this affects everything, that’s the problem. If the Word is not heard and there is no Christ-centered clarity that brings soul-satisfying power, then Sunday after Sunday, “corporate worship languishes, evangelism shrinks, discipleship weakens and the mission becomes timid, ”said evangelist David Turner.

True preaching speaks first to the mind, then to the heart. From there it goes to the will. True preaching in simple terms is the truth of God in Christ through the human personality. It is, like reading the scriptures, a signpost that directs you to Christ, never an end in itself. He has to finally point you to Him, bring you to Him.

Consumer oriented, program dependent, health / wealth / fun focused, and therapy dependent, this is often what we have achieved. We are running away from reality. Our Christianity is reduced to window shopping based on likes and dislikes. We are no longer discernible, definable or deliberate. We do not know who we are and therefore what we are, divided in our loyalties as to what is good, better or better. We are in an identity crisis pretending to help others find themselves. Marked by a moral conspiracy that says, “I won’t tell you that something is wrong with you, if you don’t tell me that something is wrong with me.”

The lowest common denominator has become our highest standard. Respectability is our highest goal, which can be just a step below scandal to be accepted. Respectability is a very low standard. The respectable man does not need to be a saint, but he cannot be a notorious bad liver, as the old book of common prayer said. A respectable man can go to hell, and in fact, can go to hell in part because he relied on his respectability.

Joe, a former classmate of mine, and I attended the funeral of a man he and I knew well. My friend, John, was smart but lacked a sense of seeing the world. Joe and I were sitting on the back bench and listening as the preacher spoke of old John’s goodness in the coffin. The John we knew was not the John the preacher knew, that’s for sure. Joe, in his naivety, looked at me as if to say, “Where are we?” Are we in the right place? ” It looked like he wanted to go upstairs and check out who was in that coffin.

One of the main problems the church in America faces today is the lack of credibility. Are you credible? Are your life and words believable? We are often seen as nice but not New.

To continue, I would say that God has disappeared because the Church is unbalanced and has lost its bearings.

God placed the Church at the center of the world, to keep the world centered. We aspire to be a people who are everything for Jesus because he is the Lord of all and has given everything for us. And yet, we have become ourselves. We have lost our focus and therefore our balance. We cannot think directly.

As Dr D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Minister and Doctor of Medicine, says: “The terrible and tragic mistake of the last hundred years has been to think that all of man’s problems are due to his environment, and that for to change the man you have nothing else to do but to change his environment. It is a tragic mistake. He neglects the fact that it is in Heaven that man fell.

Two things almost always precede failure in a church:

1. Refuse to face our problems – This is a lack of honesty.

2. Refuse to prioritize – Jesus demands it, “Seek first,” he said.

In Luke 14, he calls us to face the problems of eternity decisively, and they primarily concern allegiance to him. The alternative is a messy life and the rejection of being a follower. In short, said Jesus, gather it or forget it!

The Church is not a religious playground.

Reverend Chuck Cooper is a longtime pastor, developer of Daybreak Ministries and founder / director of Men Made New. He and his wife, Linda, live in Walla Walla. Contact him at [email protected] or 509-540-6104. Pastors in the UB traffic area are encouraged to write columns of 500-700 words. Send them to [email protected]