The State of the Evangelical Church

I am very pleased to have my good friend Ken Fletcher, director of development Southeast region for the Alliance Defense Fund, to be guest writing a post this week.  Here is Ken’s take on The State of the Evangelical Church:

As we look at the culture of today and of past generations, we can see a huge change in the worldview that shapes the actions and attitudes of the masses.  One of the most disturbing results of this shift is how those sitting in our church’s pews have a worldview that mirrors that of the world more closely than that of the Scriptures.  A Barna Survey reported that only 7% of those who sit in church with you this Sunday make the cut of having a biblical worldview as the foundation of their lives.  It seems that if this is the case with the church in America , we should stop worrying about “How to evangelize more” and ask “what is church is evangelizing TO?”  Is the goal just to get as many people as possible to recite the “sinner’s prayer”, like Constantine marching his soldiers into the sea for mass baptism?    Before we point our finger at others, we must critically evaluate if we have “conformed to this world or are in the process of renewing our mind” (Romans 12:2). 

A large problem with this discussion is similar to a citizen’s opinion of Congress- “everyone hates the Congress, but everyone likes their representative.”  This is probably the worst case of “everyone else’s poop stinks syndrome” in modern history. Honestly ask, “How Scriptural is your church’s teaching and worship?”  Is it more in tune with the trends of the world or the truths of the scripture?  Does the teaching from your church dismiss everything as “Cultural” that requires change in the lives of the masses it is drawing?  Is being “under grace” used as a trump card over any thought of correction to those that have turned the “grace of God into licenses to sin.” (Jude 1:4)?

The modern trend of losing the word “church” from a fellowship’s title may be more appropriate than one may think.  Too often the gathering every Sunday morning at the local assembly is not for true Biblical worship and teaching, but for evangelism at “any cost.”  All too often what is happening on Sunday is a large group of Christians gathering for the purpose of evangelism at the expense of being a part of a true church.  Yes, evangelism of the lost is a noble goal, but this should not be the focus of every single service.  Glorifying God should be the focus of our worship and as Christ is lifted up, “He will draw all men to Him.” (John 12:32)  In an effort to evangelize at “any cost” we have focused, with pure intentions (hopefully), to make everyone feel comfortable and to make the church more attractive to the lost.   As Christ’s bride we should only be seeking the affections of the Groom.  Are we seeking the approval of God or the approval of men?? (Gal 1:10)   Before you shut your ears, ask the question again.  How concerned is the modern church movement and your “Sunday Gathering” in having biblical worship and teaching?  In an effort not to SCARE people away, are portions of God’s revelation, i.e. scripture or the BIBLE (for those that are involved in evangelism only churches) is not being proclaimed from the pulpits (oh yeah, those are gone too)?  

Remember Martin Luther, and his stand against the abuses of the Church?  They included the unbiblical concepts of indulgences, salvation through works, worship of idols and relics, the mediation of Mary and saints, and the authority of the Pope over Scripture.  The worst offense of the church was its refusal to give the masses the Scriptures.  Now the split from the Catholic Church has come full circle.  The Protestant church, in the name of evangelism, has withheld the full Word of God from those attending our services.  Just as Martin Luther started the reformation against the unbiblical practices of the Catholic Church, now many of our protestant churches have cycled back to the very abuses that fueled the Reformation.

In response to this troubling trend, John MacArthur has made available an interview discussing the “Dangers of the Emerging Church” and a book titled The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception.  Focus on the Family has also produced a 12 hour DVD small group study called The Truth Project under the direction of Dr. Dale Tackett to help reestablish biblical worldview in the Church.

 

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