A Re-post of a blog with some editing:
Why the Church has Lost it’s Impact/Authority
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:1-7 NASB)
This may not be pleasing to a lot of pastors and professing Christian believers. It is however, a conviction I affirm that has merit, howbeit, unpleasant.
Ι’ve made a lot of admonitions in my fourteen years in the pastorate.
I have warned Christians about their speech and behavior. I thought it was too easy for a Christian to stop cursing, drinking beer, wine, and liquor.
I have pleaded for Christians to stop the fornication and adultery. I didn’t think I was not asking too much. After all, when it boiled now to it, all I was doing was repeating the biblical admonition for Christians to ‘walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.’
Is it so unreasonable to expect a Christian to be disciplined in their walk with The Lord? I mean ‘Come On’ let’s be honest about your relationship with Jesus.
I. A Relevant Truth
Either God or the Devil is managing your life.
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Ephesians 2:1-2
My Christian Brethren, stop lying!
For years I stood proclaiming the glorious gospel of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Then, it happens.
I’m no longer preaching behind the sacred desk [pulpit].
I’m working the third shift as a stock boy for Ingles grocery store.
I’m without a home. My family, for all I can tell, is gone. I have ‘Christian friends’ to thank for most of that.
I’m ‘kept at a distance’ from my fellow pastors. Nothing more than a token attitude of piousness is received from them. Guilt, shame, and the general, ‘I want nothing to do with him’ was the prevailing attitude I got from my fellow pastors and Christians.
About now is when you begin thinking ‘he’s angry, bitter and just spewing sour grapes.’You are partially correct. However I am also spewing truth. Let me tell you another truth.
II. A Revealing Truth
Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Ephesians 2:3 [living like You want to]
I did not realize how de-sensitized I was from the way people truly behaved. The profanity, openly sexual perversions, abundant alcohol consumption and alternate lifestyles were every where!
I do not believe pastors realize the epidemic of sin among the lives of ‘christians. Pastors are so de-sensitized to the wickedness in our world that they think christians want to live godly lives. No, they don’t. Not really. Besides that, it isn’t easy enough for them to live godly lives. It takes effort. There is no such thing as a casual christian. [People living and doing what comes naturally]
Pastors think christians care about versions of the bible. No they don’t. They could care less about your 1611 KJV or your NIV or even your Living Bible. Most cannot tell you the major leaders in the Bible much less within their own denomination.
Now let the leaders feud and they will give an ear. Let the holy pastors, religious leaders be revealed for their own sinfulness and they will flock to catch the latest news report outlining their ‘fall from grace.
Christians don’t care about hell, only about heaven. And they will claw at any thing other than God’s way of salvation to try and merit their entrance.
Now, let me ask, should we be surprised? Evangelists caught in sinful lifestyles. Pastor moving away from God’s Word and embracing sin. Churches accepting what God rejects.
I am reminded from reading God’s Word that this world is predicted to move away from God. It tells us ‘as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when Jesus returns.’
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. (Matthew 24:36-39 NASB)
James 3:10 tells us ‘blessings and cursing should not come from the same lips. These things ought not to be.’ But it does. Where I work at, we are admonished in our monthly leaders meeting to be professional. I can sadly tell you with great certainty that does not include our speech!
Christians curse as much as non-christians. Christian are just as filthy in their vocabulary as the wicked lost infidels. Christians whore around just like the hell-bound. That’s why the pastor and the church has lost it’s integrity.!
The church cannot tell the world to live righteously when they themselves do not. The pastor has lost his senses on how wicked the world is and how little authority and respect he has in this world.
Churches are doing all they can to get people to come to their place of service including letting them stay at home and worship in their pajamas via the internet. Perhaps reducing the sacrifices made by the people will get them to the word. Romans 10:17 does say, ‘faith comes from hearing the word.’ Trouble is most of the Word they hear is to ‘tickle their ears.’ If the Word gets too troublesome they can always ‘log-off.’
Pastors, y’all keep harping about the right translation of the bible to use. Keep bringing in the entertainers to ‘please the folk,’ and preach feel good sermons and enlarge the numbers on your roll. Maybe you’ll get a sense of accomplishment, Imagine how I felt at one of my churches when several of our members on our roll were buried out back in the churches’ cemetery!
I tell you a truth from these previous words. I too was once de-sensitized to the way christians lived. I actually thought they wanted to live godly lives. I thought they would truly let the Holy Spirit change them.
For example, I receive word recently where an acquaintance and her boyfriend were baptized on Sunday. The next day, they moved in together. Not married, but Christian?
The people in the church-house, including the pastors, have brought the world into the church rather than impacting the world. You don’t believe me? At the time of this writing, generally speaking, churches are getting ready to make their people feel good by honoring the graduating students and recognizing Mother’s Day. Both of these activities are sternly encouraged in the bible. [No, not really].
God bless those graduates and godly moms but I’d like to hear the testimony of the believers. How did they/you get saved? I’d like to hear some ole time preaching, Biblical, anointed, empowered by the presence of God.
The world believes they can live without you and your church.That’s why they don’t come. You will see them when you have something they need; like a show of love when they need help paying their light bill or tragedy hits home. Like ticks on a hound dog, they suck the life’s blood out of a church and give nothing back. Don’t get me wrong. We should help in God’s name and in God’s way. But face reality.
Pastors/Christians are de-sensitized to how wicked the world and the professing Christians, sitting in the pew, really are.
III. A Refreshing Truth
We don’t have to live in defeat.
We don’t have to live in sin.
We don’t have to live in unrighteousness.
Now God is making a change!
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 2:4-6
Why? So God might… show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:7
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3 NASB)
Until next time