Sun. May 31st, 2020

What Happened to the American Church?

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By Rev. Christopher B. Cain

This article was originally written in March of 2019 for the Wisconsin Christian News, yet it contains a timely message for us today and so I would like to share it with you, I hope that you enjoy it.

The fact is that somewhere along the way the American Church has been largely transformed from a body of individual believers who met corporately to worship and praise God, to a self-centered culture of “seekers”. The seeker sensitive churches preach a watered down Gospel, one that looks very different from New Testament Christianity as we see it in the Bible.

Too many in the American Church seek to find what the Lord Jesus Christ can do for them rather than what they can do for God. Just as Satan attacked the biblical hierarchy of God in the garden of Eden (which begins with God, then man, then woman) by approaching Eve in the garden, so he seeks now to attack us from within. Satan will never gain authority over God, he cannot. However, the adversary can gain power over us when we surrender it to him willingly.

The Church is attacked both from without and from within, but the most successful attacks appear to come from those who claim to be Christians. Modern churchgoers desire to have prosperity and wealth over humility and servitude. Modern churchgoers worship all too often at the altar of self rather than bowing down on their knees in prayer and awe-inspiring reverent worship to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The American Church is seeking what God can do for them, rather than what they can do for God. Many believers seem to be tricked into thinking they can have their best life now. If the way things currently are in America represent the best life we can aspire to have, what kind of a dismal picture does that paint for Heaven? Our best life will be the life that we live in eternity with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, not this life that we have now.

The reality is, we work our whole lives to live in the abundance of things, and our pleasure is far too often rooted in the things of this world rather than working and striving toward that which is eternal and grounded in the promises of the Word of God.

We have forsaken our first love like the Church at Ephesus. We have failed to daily suit up in the armor of God. We have forsaken what is our sacred duty and honor, which Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (KJV)

We no longer study the Bible in the Church as we should. We cherry pick verses which appeal to those who have itching ears and desire the smooth things as the prophet Isaiah said to the children of Israel. “For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord; who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions.” (Isaiah 30:9‭-‬10)

In my opinion, the systemic failure in the American Church is apathy in the pulpits as well as the pews. We no longer preach against sin, as that would possibly offend someone. Maybe the real truth is that we have become to comfortable with the world we are to be the salt and light to. We have forsaken the commission given to us by Jesus because of fear of how we will be perceived by those who are unbelieving should we take a bold stand against sin and for Jesus Christ. Our desire to be loved by others at the expense of loving  our neighbors enough to tell them the truth, along with our willingness to give in to the demands of the politically correct society that we live in, has cost us the message of repentance and turning from sin which was once loudly proclaimed from the pulpits across this great nation.

Jesus Christ is still very much in the business of salvation, redemption,  deliverance, and the transformation of lives by the precious atoning blood which He poured out for the remission of sins at the cross at Calvary. Each one of us, each local body of believers, must decide if we are in the business of preaching the Gospel of Christ and making disciples of Jesus, or the business of filling pews and offering plates while preaching the cheap and unbiblical prosperity gospel.

The good news is that there is a faithful remnant. There are faithful believers and local churches all across this land that faithfully preach the Gospel. If we want to see a revival, which I believe we can see, we simply need to begin with a revival of our own hearts.

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