The State of the Union Address is an annual speech given by the president of the United States to the United States Congress depicting the condition of our nation. This report is required by the United States Constitution, (Article II, Section 3) The address includes reports on the country’s budget, the current economy, pertinent news, national achievements and things like the president’s priorities, proposals, and plans. This report was given in writing to Congress, but in 1913 President Woodrow Wilson gave the report in person to congress in hopes of winning support for his agenda.
The Evangelical Church has a similar practice – it is called the Annual Meeting. The church gathers at a duly called meeting in order to receive reports on the condition of the church. Usually the pastor, the elders, the deacons, the superintendents, the department heads, and the trustees give reports on the budget, the building, the blue-prints for the coming year.
Kenny Rogers once recorded a song titled, Just dropped in (to see what condition my condition was in.) His song contained the famous and catch line, I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in. Apparently from the rest of the lyrics his condition was in pretty bad condition.
I am deeply grieved that if the church today would “drop in to see what condition their condition was in, rather than being appalled, most would congratulate themselves. American evangelicals are “deeply confused” about some core doctrines of the Christian faith. Ligonier Ministries examined the State of Theology in the United States by commissioning LifeWay Research to conduct a survey based on interviews with 3,000 Americans who considered themselves to be Evangelical Christians.
The survey revealed that the majority rejected such doctrines of the bible as the gravity of man’s sin, the importance of the church’s gathering together for worship, and the Holy Spirit.”
· 69% of Americans disagreed that the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation
· 58% strongly disagree.
· 58% said that worshiping alone or with one’s family is a valid replacement for regularly attending church. (Only 30 % disagreed)
· 59% stated that the Holy Spirit is a force, not a personal being.
· 52% stated that most people are basically good
· 51% believed that God accepts the worship of all religions
· 78% stated that they believed Jesus was the first and greatest being created by God the Father
Ligonier Ministries concluded that, “These results show the pressing need for Christians to be
taught Christology, especially as the outcome has gotten worse since 2016,”
stated Ligonier. “There is a general lack of teaching today on the person of
Christ, a doctrine for which the early church fought so hard.”
One might wonder just how did the American Evangelical Church get to this point. Although Ligonier Ministries are probably correct – that Christians need to be taught biblical Christology – the problem centers on the biblical doctrine of conversion.
It is not surprising that the overwhelming majority of evangelical Christians are prone to hold such devilish doctrines. When churches do not understand, teach, and maintain a clear view of biblical conversion, churches fill up with morally good people who are not converted. The prevailing doctrine of salvation believed by the average church member and practiced by the majority of local churches lends itself to giving a false hope without an experience of conversion by God through the Holy Spirit.