Saturday, March 10, 2012

Just An Observation...

A survey of the contemporary evangelical scene reveals some startling facts: church attendance is up, way up, while Bible knowledge is down, way down! More people now say they believe in God than ever before according to a recent Gallup survey, while an equally high number of respondents said they did not believe that truth is absolute. 

You are left to wonder just what kind of God these people worship!? These paradoxes shouldn't surprise us; never before in the history of the church has doctrine been so universally disparaged and held in contempt. And this attitude threatens the very gospel message Christ commissioned His Bride to proclaim (Matt. 28:18-20Luke 24:46-47). The title of a MacArthur best-seller sums it up well, the church has become Ashamed of the Gospel!

    The church too often today is more concerned with "relevance" than truth. It marches to the drum beat of popularity and trendiness. It gets its agenda from the world and has succumbed to worldliness. 

For example, tolerance is the great virtue of our age, and anyone who would dare "call a spade a spade" and refer to someone's activities or lifestyle as "sinful" is stigmatized as the real enemy of society and progress. More than ever it seems churches are full of people with "itching ears." There seems to be no shortage of men who will "scratch" or "tickle" those ears.

Tolerance has also invaded the church in the form of a growing acceptance of heresy (the openness of God theology, for example) and a corresponding reluctance to confront sin within the Body as the Bible specifically instructs (Matt. 18:15-201 Cor. 5:1-13). It seems "live and let live" is the motto or mantra of the day. Churches tolerate both sin and sinners rather than confront the people of God with the Word of God.


pilgrimscottage said...

The false gospel of today, especially in the "churches" gives attenders no prick to their conscience. Therefore, it feels "good" to them to be able to attend "church" and "believe" in a God who is only love and without justice. No sin conviction, no discomfort. You are so right in your post, Gregg; it's all about tolerance. Very sad.

Leslie Wolf said...

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not an inerrantist about the whole Bible, but I am an inerrantist about nearly all of it, including all the gospels, most of the NT letters, most of the OT prophets, etc.

At any rate, I share your concerns about Biblical knowledge. I have taught the Old Testament to college students and at a PCA church, and I am constantly surprised by how many Christians don't know the fundamentals of Scripture. Many don't even know the difference between Israel and Judah. Many don't know don't know anything about the exile, Assyria, Babylon, or Edom. How can you understand Jeremiah or Habakkuk if you don't understand anything about Babylon? The same goes for Isaiah, Micah, and Nahum in the case of Assyria, and Obadiah in the case of Edom. Many Christians don't understand the basic theology of Exodus and Deuteronomy. How then can they understand Romans or Galatians? Or Daniel or Zechariah? And, if you don't understand Leviticus, then much of Ezekiel, Malachi, 1-2 Chronicles, and Hebrews isn't going to make much sense.

I think that a large amount of the blame here falls on preachers, many of whom seem uninterested in providing classes on Scripture and who do not encourage Biblical education among their congregations.

I also think that a major problem is the lack of good Bible study plans. In my opinion, many of these plans are poorly designed and actually discourage study of the Bible. Telling people to start on page one of Genesis and read through to the end of Revelation is particularly unhelpful, in my opinion.

I really don't like being so negative here. I certainly don't mean to claim that those who don't study Scripture are bad Christians. But Bible education is in a seriously bad state in the church, and this needs to change.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I totally agree with you Gregg. An excellent write and something to think over before I go to bed (it's 11pm) here.


Petra said...

The enemy seems to have made 'church' his easiest battle ground. But then there is His church...

"Though with a scornful wonder
we see her sore oppressed,
by schisms rent asunder,
by heresies distressed,
yet saints their watch are keeping;
their cry goes up, "How long?"
And soon the night of weeping
shall be the morn of song."

~ The Church's One Foundation
Text: Samuel J. Stone, 1839-1900
Music: Samuel Sebastian Wesley, 1810-1876