Let’s be clear: The much-heralded “decline of Christianity in America” isn’t about God losing faith in humankind. It isn’t about losing our moral compass thanks to whatever you happen to loathe. It isn’t about fickle millennials. It isn’t about zigging trendy or zagging traditional. In fact, I would argue that Christianity isn’t in trouble at all.
Churches are in trouble. Denominations are in trouble. Religious institutions like seminaries are in trouble. Professional church leaders are in trouble and our Pastors lack the gumption to speak out.
But churches can’t hold God hostage. God will do what God will do. Whether our churches stay open for business, God will keep on loving all that God has made. Loss of an institution won’t deter God.
So let’s relax about Christianity — the faith — is not going down the tubes. This isn’t an existential crisis for God or for faith in God. Even if every church in America went dark, God would lead us to find another way.
The tragedy — in the classic sense of self-inflicted wounds and fatal flaws — is that we did this to ourselves, and we hurt many people along the way. Here is what we did:
1. We stopped trying. For a time, religious institutions in America were bold risk-takers. Along with the cardinal sins, we fought abortion, pornography, drugs, premarital sex, Communism, gratuitous sex in the movies, infidelity, rapacious greed, Homosexuality, same sex marriage and adultery.
2. We spoke out against a tyrannical government, whether State, Federal or local………………..
3. Then however we settled into a politically correct maintenance mode, because it felt lt safe and comfortable. We fought over churchy things that didn’t matter because the things that did matter — Issues like racism, inequality, demagoguery, corporate thievery, obsession with money and sex — cut too close to home.
4. We stopped giving. Over the past 50 years, our giving has dropped by more than half as a percentage of family income. We have starved our churches of resources. When tough budget choices had to be made, the facilities that we wanted usually defeated the mission that God wanted.
5. We turned inward. Just as American houses went from porches in front to patios out back, we stopped connecting with our neighbors. We stopped looking outward, except for the occasional noblesse oblige charity. We stopped opening our doors on Sunday and welcomed each other.
6. We fixated on Sunday morning. Long after Sunday changed character in American life, we kept expecting Sunday worship to do all our work. Rather than transform lives through mission work, circles of growth and personal spirituality, we had people sit in pews for a crammed hour of singing, praying, announcing, chatting, communing and learning. Then we sent people out to their cars and figured we had done our work for the week. It takes more than attending Sunday Church services to be a Christian. We must be bold enough, brave enough, resolute enough to correct the wrongs of our society…..
We must stand up for and defend our faith, our principals our love of God… even in spite of vicious adversity….. At one time we were willing to accept death rather than deny our faith..And now we have become a nation of sheeple too afraid to make waves, too timid to speak out, too pusillanimous to be heard… ….
We forgot that Jesus Himself espoused civil disobedience to correct a societal wrong…
7. We trashed our reputation. We became known as judgmental, angry, self-serving, smug, boring pompous and old. As far as people outside can tell, we live to fight, we think too highly of ourselves, and we are moral scolds. Who needs that? What, then, is the future? The future for God is as bright and glorious as ever. Our ever-changing, ever-dynamic, ever-loving and ever-transformational God will be just fine.
We can say our prayers with confidence. Churches, on the other hand, are in trouble. Many will run out of money. Many will lose heart. And yet some, perhaps many, will rise to the challenge. They will give up the old certainties and do what Jesus did. Those challenge-meeters will look outward, proclaim good news, welcome strangers, serve “the least of these,” give their lives and resources away, work for justice and mercy, be faith communities seven days a week and put love ahead of right opinion and kindness ahead of victory. And God will be in the midst of us.
ISIS – the Islamic State – is crucifying Christians. The Pope has called it a “third world war.”
Christians are being exterminated from the cradle of Christianity.
As the jihadist army grows, it commits genocide against Christians and plots to terrorize America. Yet, the Obama Administration says there is “no military solution” to ISIS, only a diplomatic one. That’s absurd. And deadly.
Christians are dying every day. We must act. We must aggressively advocate across the globe for persecuted Christians. We’ve exposed the evil that is ISIS. We must work to defend Christians. We’re directly engaging at the United Nations and fighting in Congress to protect the persecuted Church. Now we need Congress and the Obama Administration to hear directly from you. Demand action to defeat ISIS and defend Christians. You may be these Christians’ only voice. Defend the faith. Push back, stop this Muslim slaughter.
Stop being the pusillanimous sheeple you have become hiding behind political correctness…………stand up and be counted…….fight for JESUS……defend the faith…….BE OLD TIME CHRISTIANS……….STAND FOR YOUR FAITH………
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