I just read blog post by Dr. Jim Dennison of www.denisonforum.org, excellent by the way. He states that Muslims attend mosque at a rate four times greater than Christians attend church on Sunday. In other words, mosques have four times the number of attendees than churches have on Sunday. Do we wonder why Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. In Europe the church is all gone and has become irrelevant to the popular culture.
Are we headed for the same here in the US? I fear we are unless we wake up and understand the need for solid foundational teaching and preaching. How many churches have become nothing more than a club while they try to make themselves more “accessible” to the popular culture. This is a slippery slope to be sure. How much do we adapt to the cultural norms? Do we allow the use of technology? Do we allow our standards to mirror popular culture as we “evolve”?
I am a believer that we should use the tools necessary to preach the gospel. For example, computers, video, audio, cell phones and the like. I do not believe by allowing technology usage we are succumbing to popular culture. I do believe if we allow popular culture to invade our sanctuary’s with their ideas of right and wrong we have gone too far. The truth cannot be relative, it either is or it isn’t. C.S. Lewis was correct when he told us it can’t be right for you and wrong for me, it either is right or wrong for all of us. You can say it is light outside at 2:00 am, but that doesn’t make it so.
Many folks bristle at this and become defensive and understandably so in some cases. I am not talking about legalism where you are required to do this and not do the other. My understanding of Islam tells me that it is a legalistic religion. I have read my Bible several times and see we are to live to a certain standard, but recognize we can never achieve that this side of heaven. However, we are to love our fellow man, but also to correct when that man strays.
The way we live says a great deal about what we believe. Why is Islam growing and Christianity seems to be waning here in America? I think it has to do with ambivalence and the lack of truth being taught in our churches today. No matter what you think of Islam, there is little room for debate as to the “rules” of behavior in the mainstream religion. I think people feel they can count on this, it gives comfort to know you are to behave this way and then are held to account.
Compare that Christianity and our many “flavors” or denominations. While we agree on a huge amount of doctrine, some say 95 percent, it seems we focus on the smaller fish. Can you have a beer? Can you dance? Can you play cards? Should you take communion every week or monthly or at all? We have little agreement amongst our groups on these issues and some groups even vilify others for not agreeing with them on these issues. However, these same groups often look the other way on bigger issues in order to “gain a following”. Look at same-sex relationships, cohabitation, lying, adultery, cheating and not “loving our neighbor as ourselves” for starters. The Bible is clear on these issues, but these seem to be “minor” issues with some.
What if we preached the Gospel with truth and love and called each other to account? I wonder if we, Christians, might not be the largest growing religion. Christians have their feet planted firmly in mid air and we wonder why our young folks have doubts? Preach the truth with the tools provided. After all, does it matter if we read our Bible on paper on our phones? I want truth, do you? If we don’t seek that truth with vigor I fear we may look like the church at the top of this blog post.
Leave a comment, especially if you disagree, debate is good for us all. Peace.