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Here’s why churches in America are in decline

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 Tim Keller in his great book, “Jesus the King,” writes the following: “In the Twentieth Century, Christianity receded in Europe and now in North America. 

Meanwhile in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, it has been growing at up to 10 times the population growth rate. More than 50 percent of all Christians now live in the Southern hemisphere. The center of Christianity is predicted to completely shift away from the U.S.”

Why is that? How can that be? Do we not print “In God We Trust” on all our currency? Was this nation not built completely on Judeo Christian values, morality, including our laws?

The heart of the gospel is the cross. The cross is about giving up power, pouring out resources and serving. It is not, and never was about, your best life now. 

When Christianity exists in a place of power and wealth for a long time, the message of sin and grace, and the cross of Calvary and our very need for a savior are diminished.

Christianity is relegated to a nice, safe, religion that is for respectable people trying to be good. I have experienced that very condition in my own life.

Unfortunately, many churches and Christians have disengaged from the “culture war.” We have decided to remain silent, so our religious beliefs do not offend anyone.

We have gone from the greatest nation on earth to an “entitlement” society. What used to be wrong by historical and biblical standards is now considered right. We have been so bullied by the humanists that we fear to stand for what is right in fear of being labeled racist, homophobic, intolerant, the list goes on.

Never mind about our political correctness diminishing or dishonoring the very God that we serve. It has been said that “If George Washington was serving in Obama’s military, he would have been court marshaled and hauled off to jail.”

Deserter Bo Bergdahl gets a slap on the wrist and is applying for military benefits. Pastors in many churches will not confront cultural issues for fear it will offend their congregations.

Where is Hebrews chapter 4:12: “The word is sharper than any two edged sword and piercing as far as the division of the soul and spirit, with joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

How politically correct was Jesus when he called the Pharisees and Scribes “whited tombs, full of dead men’s bones, or a generation of snakes and scorpions?” Does it bother us that sinners may perish and experience eternity in hell because we in the church are too nice to tell them about Christ.

America as a nation has been blessed beyond measure. We have survived many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in wealth, power and numbers. We are the greatest nation to have ever existed, yet we have in our own pride and self-righteousness forgotten the very God that has blessed us.

We want to imagine that all this blessing has come from some virtue or wisdom of our own. We have become so blessed and self sufficient, we have become too proud to feel the necessity of the redeeming grace that sustains us and too proud to call out to God. Romans 1:21-23. 25: “For all though they knew

God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to become wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man, and birds, and four footed animals and crawling creatures. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator who is blessed forever.”

Amen.

 

Gary Thompson is a faith columnist for The Anderson News.