Wake Up, Pastor!!

The Barna research group recently came out with an article stating that their research has found six Mega-themes that have emerged in American Christianity (read article HERE).  Let me quickly share with you the six problems their studies concluded were rampant in the American church:

1. The Christian Church is becoming less theologically literate.

2. Christians are becoming more ingrown and less outreach-oriented.

3. Growing numbers of people are less interested in spiritual principles and more desirous of learning pragmatic solutions for life.

4. Among Christians, interest in participating in community action is escalating.

5. The postmodern insistence on tolerance is winning over the Christian Church.

6. The influence of Christianity on culture and individual lives is largely invisible.

We Christians are often quick to point fingers at others in our culture over their evil deeds, so let me clear about something right up front.  These problems weren’t brought about by Barrack Obama or a political party.  They weren’t brought into being by Mtv, rap music, drugs, or the Hell’s Angels.  Folks, 5 of the 6 issues listed are problems that occur when a group of people are focused on themselves rather than their “Lord”.  I put the word Lord in quotes because, if He was truly their Lord, they would be focused on Him not themselves.  Groups, as a whole, go where their leader leads them.  These problems exist because the vast majority of American Pastors are preaching man-centered sermons designed to keep people comfortable.  Pastors are now more concerned with getting people into church and keeping them there, rather than whether or not the people coming in have ever heard of God’s Law and the atoning death of Jesus Christ, or even if they are actually saved.

Law and Gospel preaching makes people feel uncomfortable, and in today’s church culture, uncomfortable = bad.  Pastors, wake up!  You are not doing your job!  You are building your own kingdom rather than the kingdom of God.  Whether or not pastors realize it or not, there really is a Living God.  The Lord of Hosts is His name, Creator, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies… and the Pastor will be held accountable to Him for every man-centered, legalistic sermon delivered.  This is a fearful thing!   All these sermons on cleaning up messy areas of one’s life, perfecting different aspects of day-to-day living and improving marriage and finances all have one thing in common, they all tell the listeners what to go DO.  When was the last time the glorious truth of what was done for us on the Cross was preached?  The Pastor is supposed to be feeding the Church from the Word of God, not from a self-help manual with a Scripture verse glued on the front!

Studies like this are simply showing today’s pastor the truth that he should already know; that he is preaching to group of goats who pretend to be sheep.  Is that too bold of a statement?  Look at the divorce rate, look at the lifestyle of the congregants (the real lifestyle, not the Sunday morning lifestyle), and the methods of entertainment enjoyed by the people.  Most Pastors (if they are honest) will admit that problems are rampant.  Scripture teaches us that true salvation changes these things, that by looking at fruit the nature of the tree can be determined, and yet still most pastors have no interest in preaching Law and Gospel so that men might be saved.  The majority of Pastors scoff at the idea of teaching line-upon-line, exegetical doctrine for fear of being boring or irrelevant.  Nothing, and I do mean nothing, can be more relevant than what the Word of our Creator has to say, but our culture has convinced the majority of Pastors exactly the opposite.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the obvious passage found in Scripture regarding these findings:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.  A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:15-20

If we are to believe Scripture (and I do), doesn’t a report exposing an incredible amount of bad fruit in American Christianity mean that an incredible amount of American Pastors are ravenous wolves?  Remember, a ravenous wolf doesn’t always look, act, or even feel like one!

We need to pray that American pastors wake up…and come with repentance to Christ for the forgiveness of sins!

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One Comment on “Wake Up, Pastor!!”

  1. ingrid Says:

    I am in agreement with you. There are so many that want their ears tickled. We need the true message from Gods Word.


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