Church Where Art Thou?

Patricia L. Dickson 

    According to a study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute, there were 1.06 million abortions performed in the U.S. in 2011. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Vital Statistics is reporting that in 2012, there were more black babies killed by abortion (31,328) in New York City than were born there (24,758), and the black children killed comprised 42.4% of the total number of abortions in New York City.  Approximately 50% of all American marriages end in divorce resulting in kids being shuttled between two households. The Homosexual community has made major inroads into every institution (including some so-called churches) in America.   Only 70% of U.S. students graduate from High School. The Public School system has dumbed down our kids by replacing Reading, Writing and Arithmetic with graphic sex education classes with an emphasis on the Homosexual, Bisexual and Transgender lifestyle. In the meantime, the state of Colorado has passed laws legalizing marijuana and other states are threatening to follow suit. All of these things are taking place despite there being a church on every corner in America.

Many Americans fill our churches on Sunday mornings where they sing songs of Praise and listen to sweet sermons. However, once these same individuals and families leave the four walls of their church, they seem to resume the same behavior as though they have no power to break free. Many parishioners feel as though their problems (and sins) are insurmountable. Many pastors stand in their perspective pulpits Sunday after Sunday giving pep talks, talking about prosperity and telling touching stories, refusing to mention the word sin out of fear of offending someone. They teach about the love and mercy of God, daring to mention God’s judgment. I remember traveling through a city in my car and hearing a local pastor advertise his church on the radio. He said that everyone was welcome to attend his Sunday morning service and that he promised not to beat up on anyone. In other words, he would not remind you of your sin. Pastors are delivering a cafeteria style gospel where they pick and choose parts of the Bible.  Pastors are called to preach and teach the whole truth of God’s word just as the Apostle Paul wrote in Acts.

Acts 20:27 27      

For I never shrank or kept back or fell short from declaring to you      the whole purpose and plan and counsel of God.

How can the church grow and be equipped to obey the Lord’s commandment to spread the Gospel throughout the four corners of the earth if we ourselves are weak and burdened down with sin? The word of God proclaims that we (Christians) are the salt of the earth, but if we have lost our saltiness, what good are we to the earth (world)?

  Matthew      5:13

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its      strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good      for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.

What is the church? The Bible teaches us that the church is the bride of Christ and that Jesus will return for His bride, a church without spot or wrinkle. If Jesus were to return today, would the church be hiding in shame just like Adam? Will Jesus have to call out to us “Church, where art thou?”  How did the church end up in this condition? When the church stopped preaching the word of God and substituted it with man’s words, it became powerless! The Bible proclaims that there is power in the word of God. If we read the book of Acts, we will find that AFTER the preaching of the word, salvations and miracles happened. People’s lives were transformed! All throughout the Bible we see transformations and miracles taking place after the preaching of God’s word. Look what happened in the city of Nineveh after Jonah proclaimed the word of God. The king and all the people repented of their sins.

Jonah 3:4-8

4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s      journey, and he cried, Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown!

5 So the people of Nineveh believed in God and      proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth [in penitent mourning], from the      greatest of them even to the least of them.

6 For word came to the king of Nineveh [of all      that had happened to Jonah, and his terrifying message from God], and he      arose from his throne and he laid his robe aside, covered himself with      sackcloth, and sat in ashes

7 And he made proclamation and published through      Nineveh, By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor      beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed nor drink water.

8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth      and let them cry mightily to God. Yes, let everyone turn from his evil way      and from the violence that is in his hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The church has become passive to sin (claiming not wanting to judge) instead of aggressively preaching God’s word unapologetically with authority. According to Hebrews 4:12, the word of God judges the thoughts and purposes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

12 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full      of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is      sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the      [g]breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and      marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and      analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

 

The world has a kindred spirit with the church because it feels so comfortable amongst the so called people of God. Sinners should instantly feel convicted when they come into God’s house because the presence of the Holy Spirit should be there. Instead, celebrities who openly display their hatred for God through their music and movies, can walk into our churches and sit on the front row or be invited in our pulpits and not feel any convictions. Many of the pastors are more concerned about money than souls, therefore they will not preach about sin because it might offend someone and cause them to leave the church and take their tithe with them. The Bible says that anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. The Bible also teaches us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. What joy it is to know that my sins can be washed away!

I John 1:9-10

9 If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and      confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and      promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and      [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity      to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

10 If we say (claim) we have not sinned, we      contradict His Word and make Him out to be false and a liar, and His Word      is not in us [the divine message of the Gospel is not in our hearts].

Romans 10:13-15

13 For everyone who calls upon the name of the      Lord [invoking Him as Lord] will be saved.

14 But how are people to call upon Him Whom they      have not believed [in Whom they have no faith, on Whom they have no      reliance]? And how are they to believe in Him [adhere to, trust in, and      rely upon Him] of Whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear      without a preacher?

15 And how can men [be expected to] preach unless      they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who      bring glad tidings! [How welcome is the coming of those who preach the      good news of His good things!]

 

My question to pastors is what else is more beneficial for your congregations than the teachings of the bible? There is no issue in our lives that the bible does not have an answer.

By not preaching God’s word, we deny God’s power to manifest.  The preaching of the word brings the repentance of sin

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His      inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of      sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for      training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in      thought, purpose, and action),

17 So that the man of God may be complete and      proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.

. God has commanded us to preach His word, He is responsible for proving it. The bible teaches us that God’s word will accomplish what it was sent to do and want return void.

Isiah 55:11

11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my      mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that      which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

When I witness the constant moral decaying of the world, I can only place the blame where it belongs, at the feet of the church. Church, where art thou?

4 Comments on “Church Where Art Thou?

  1. I agree with you. Most churches don’t preach the gospel anymore. I was going to this one church and they didn’t even have any invitation at the end of the service. They would just say if you got saved today come and be baptised today. There may have been someone out there that didn’t know what they had to to to be saved. I quit going to that church and am now in a wonderful First Christian Church that preaches the bible and has an invitation at the end of the service. I also noticed in the other church they never talked about Revelations and what is to come when Jesus comes back. The church I am going to just got through going through a series on Revelations. The time is getting short till our Jesus comes back and it won’t be long so every paster out there should be talking and preaching about the return of our Jesus and how to be saved. I know you are a Christian or you wouldn’t have posted this blog…God bless you Patricia and your my sister in Jesus and I will see you in heaven one day!! God bless and Hugs.

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  2. Sister

    Powerful piece. You are not alone in asking these questions. I wish I had answers.
    Please keep writing.

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  3. We in the Catholic Church have this same problem since Vatican 2. Our churches and leaders have let us down – it is up to us, I guess, to do what we can. Beware false prophets.

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  4. As an avid observer of American culture since the 1980’s, I believe there are some key concepts we can distill from the chaos around us. And you are right to continually refer back to Scripture as a touchstone, a reliable point of reality.

    I think there is a common point in understanding why churches have abandoned the Bible and church participants attend services but are not affected by the teachings. You have already accounted for people who don’t attend churches and people who attend churches where no recognizably biblical message is given. But the enigma rests with those who do hear a message that should be transforming, but they instead go the way of the culture. Two forces comprise this: a) rejection of absolutes, and b) utilitarian thinking.

    As a former agnostic, I experienced the the rejection of absolutes. Who wouldn’t want to cast off principles that interfere with pleasure or getting my own way? As for proof, there are endless questions one may ask about specific examples of an absolute. Add them together and it seems the very idea of an absolute is suspect at best.

    The utilitarian thinking is simply asking “Which thinking results in the most favorable outcome?” Facts seem to carry little weight.

    Keep writing for the remnant who believe in absolutes and seek Truth wherever we may find it.

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