Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Stop complaining about problems and do something about them

There is a lot of hang-wringing going on in many churches today.  We are worried about the lack of young people in our congregations.  We are concerned about the declining attendance and finances we see in many churches. We complain about how we are losing the culture wars today and the little impact Christian values and teaching has on today's society.  We rightly point out how society is attempting to make faith a private affair that has no place in the public square.  Christians are being forced to set aside their personal beliefs to accommodate the wishes of people who hold to different world views.  At a recent pastor's meeting I attended one of the pastors asked what I saw as the future of the church.  I cited these issues and others and responded that the church in America is facing difficult days ahead.  The reason for these difficult days is because most churches are willing to wring their hands, remember the "good old days," and do nothing else.

If you want a better future for your nation, your church, your family, your business, or for yourself then you have to become proactive and create that future.  It does no good to complain about the problems if we are not engaged in correcting them.  If you're concerned about the lack of young people in your church, then do something about it.  Make whatever changes need to be made in your church to make it more attractive to the people you want to reach.  My guess is few churches will do that because to make those kinds of changes often make the older members of the congregation uncomfortable.  Too often, these folks prefer to stay comfortable and complain.

I have read that a minimum of 50 percent of the population in every county in the United States is unchurched, and in some areas it is as high as 80 percent or higher.What is your church doing to intentionally reach out to these individuals to share the gospel with them?   Denominations report a continual decline in the number of baptisms in their churches which suggests that we are not doing a very effective job of evangelism.  Is your church wringing its hands about this problem, or are you doing something about it?

Likewise, what are you doing about addressing the social issues you are concerned about?  Is your church taking a biblical stand on these issues?  Too many churches are silent on these issues.  While they may spend a lot of time in the safety of their Sunday school classes complaining about what is happening in society, many of them are unwilling to go public with their concerns.  At the same time, some go too far and demonstrate an ugly spirit towards those with whom they disagree.  That is never necessary.

Christians who do not vote have no right to complain about social issues or a decline in morality.  Proverbs 29:2 tells us, "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn."  How do many bureaucrats and judges get their positions?  They are placed there by the persons elected to office.  These people would not be chosen for those positions if their worldviews did not match that of the one selecting them.  It's not hard to grasp that if we want people of high moral character in decision making positions we need to elect righteous, godly people to office who will then appoint similar persons to their positions.  When conservative Christians stay at home on election day, they forfeit their opportunity to vote into office persons who would best reflect their positions on the moral and social issues of the day.

However, I also need to say that I do not believe that our salvation will come in on Air Force One.  The Bible is clear that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the powers and principalities of the air.  In other words, our primary battle is a spiritual one.  Therefore, I believe that we must be actively seeking to elect godly men and women into office AND we need to be actively engaged in prayer to defeat the spiritual forces that oppose the work of God and the church.  Many churches have done away with prayer meetings, and many that still exist are rather anemic and weak.  The church needs to repent of its complacency and lack of spiritual fervor and pray that revival would first sweep through the church and then out into our nation.

As bad as things appear to be at the present, they are nothing compared to what the first century church faced.  Yet, within a few years after the resurrection of Jesus Christ they became known as the people who turned the world upside-down.  Filled with the Holy Spirit those Christians boldly proclaimed the gospel everywhere they went.  Threats and prison could not stop them.  They were determined to tell the world about Jesus Christ.  We can follow the example of these first-century Christians or we can sit around and wring our hands.  Which will you choose?

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