Thursday, June 18, 2009

Change

I am still reeling from the messages preached by our guest speaker on Sunday. Since our pastor resigned, we are stuck with "pot-luck preacher" for a time. This guy spoke both Sunday morning and evening on the subject of "Change." (Where have I heard that before?????) Since he didn't even open The Word on Sunday morning, I can't give him credit for preaching a sermon. Let's just say he "addressed the congregation."


His message came across loud and clear. He thinks the church needs to change its message and delivery style to keep up with the times. He would like to see the good old hymns of the faith, which are rich with history and sound doctrine, replaced by the new songs, where the doctrine is dumbed down and the beat revved up. He thinks the gospel message needs to be presented more attractively and needs to be more palatable in order to reach this new generation.


Funny thing is, I've been reading through the book of Mark, and I don't find any examples of Jesus trying to make his message palatable to his listeners. In fact, His words were pretty hard to swallow, and many of His followers fell away with time. Consider this passage from the gospel of John:

"Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, 'This is an hard saying: who can hear it?' . . . From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." -- John 6:60, 66.


The real problem with the church today is stated clearly in 2 Timothy 3:1-4: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God."


This is further articulated in 1 Timothy 4:3-4: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (1 Timothy 4:3-4.)


People today don't want to hear the truth of the gospel. They don't want to have their freedom of expression or "freedom of choice" limited. Watering down the gospel to make it more palatable is not the answer. That just gives people a false sense of security, which is pretty scary when you consider this verse: "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." -- Matthew 7:23.


I'm not saying I don't think the church needs an overhaul. But, I think we are looking the wrong direction. Jeremiah 6:16, says, "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where [is] the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls . . ." Sadly, the last words of that verse reveal the hearts of the people both in Old Testament days and in ultra-modern times -- "But they said, We will not walk [therein]."


What the church needs today is not more politically-correct preachers, but real men of God, who are willing to not only preach, but live out, and stand alone on the truths of the old-fashioned gospel. Add to that, congregations of real Christians, who want to hear and obey and live out the Words of the Lord in our now pagan society, and not just "play church" to ease their consciences.

Unfortunately, this is not a change I foresee happening.

3 comments:

Jules said...

"I'm not saying I don't think the church needs an overhaul. But, I think we are looking the wrong direction. ... What the church needs today is not more politically-correct preachers, but real men of God, who are willing to not only preach, but live out, and stand alone on the truths of the old-fashioned gospel. Add to that, congregations of real Christians, who want to hear and obey and live out the Words of the Lord in our now pagan society, and not just "play church" to ease their consciences. Unfortunately, this is not a change I foresee happening." Sadly I have to agree with you. Blessings, Jules

Davene said...

I can relate all too well to much of what you wrote. Ugh.

Our church, too, is going through a transition; and although the issues are different, I feel the same hunger that you expressed so well.

Thanks for sharing from your heart.

Lainie said...

AMEN! And again AMEN! We're struggling with our church and their desire to be "relevant."

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