Monday, September 19, 2016

Dead Churches, Visions of Glory, and Apologetics Blogs

The older generation, oi vey, they just don't get it do they?  They act like we're on some sort of pleasure cruise to heaven.  I really can't understand it myself.  These churches will be dead in ten, twenty, thirty, or fourty years.  Many are dead today.  Why?  There is no effort to reach out.  There is little effort to reach the young, millennials.  It's really quite concerning to me.  It's of the gravest concern.

There was a dream that William Booth had.  He was standing on a platform with many others.  And the platform stood atop a raging sea.  The people on the platform were working out, holding potlucks, playing music instruments, conducting business transactions, and other activities.  In the water were hundreds of people floating in the murky waters, on the raging sea, dying.  Only a few on the edges were tossing out life preservers to those in the water.  And he was astonished, desperately concerned for those in the waters, and disturbed by the indifference of those on the platform who seemed to pay no concern to the ones in the water.

Ellen White the founder of the SDA church had a dream of working with others picking berries from ripe bushes.  And she saw that only a few were gathering from the ripe bushes.  While the rest did many other things, stood around talking, ate fine meals with one another, and paid no attention.  She rushed to the bushes picking from them, noticing many fell over-ripe from the branches.  And she was astonished. 

K.P. Yohannan, before his fall from grace, had a vision of a great harvest.  And there were no workers in the great wheat fields.  He tried to cross into the field, but a river was blocking his path.  Then a bridge appeared before him and he crossed it.  And he was astonished.  

Does anyone care?  Are we concerned for those around us dying everyday?  Are we fighting to reach the lost with the gospel?  It's important to look to the future.  And it ain't looking good.  Yet there is reason for great hope as well.  

The church is divided.  There seem to be great variations regarding level of engagement.  Sold out on one end, barely interested on the other.  Many at various points in between.  One could say much the same for political engagement.  It's the true believers that change the world.  It's the genuine Christians who change the world.

I think many churches have missed young people, especially those between 18 and 35.

When someone feels that something has been missed, by the media, by the church, or by the political world, the natural response is to try and raise awareness. Through the internet we have that ability. 

There are hundreds of Christian apologetics blogs that cropped up over the past 10 years, because the church simply doesn't talk about apologetics enough. And young people are enthusiastic about it. 

In politics, anti-establishment movements, socialist Bernie Sanders, conservative Ted Cruz gained grassroots support through social media, everyday people trying to close the gap of the mainstream media and news. I try to do the same through social media, to compensate the lack of coverage of key issues in popular media.

In this life, good people are often treated as though they were wicked, and wicked people are often treated as though they were good. -Ecclesiastes 8:14b

 I was wondering to myself.. why do I feel so upset in this world? Well, I figured it out. God put a scripture before me about Lot in Sodom & Gomorrah. From 2nd Peter 2:7-8 "that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard." 

 It is downright tormenting to witness those around us, dressed the way they are, living the way they are, alcohol, drugs, selfishness, pornography, pre-marital sex, Christianity openly mocked in the media, the television, the rated R movies full of violence and sex, it's a constant bombardment everyday, and everyday more news comes in of shooting, corruption, and hostility toward religious freedom. It's a difficult thing to be a Christian in a nation that has turned from God. It really is tough.

Yet I continue to believe we have great reasons to be hopeful.  People are beginning to wake up.  The internet has provided a solid foundation for grassroots to Christianity to take off.  We get to bypass the megachurches, the money takers on television, and talk straight with one another, from small churches all over the country.  It's a great opportunity.  It's creating a movement, an awakening of knowledge and wisdom within evangelicalism.  We're connecting with one another, and reconnecting with our theological past.  We're sharing quotes, books, ideas, and theology all over the place on social media.  It's really awesome.  

Bottom line is, if we see division, corruption, false converts, and true believers mixed together in the church, then we're seeing exactly what the Bible tells us.  Jesus taught in his parables that God the Father is allowing the wheat and the weeds to grow together.  The wheat are the true believers, the weeds the false converts.  We shouldn't be surprised by these divisions.  We shouldn't be surprised when it seems like half the congregation is disengaged and the other half is on fire.  That is normal.  In fact in Paul's letters in the NT we see time and again that the churches then dealt with the most severe problems.  Many of those churches dealt with issues like sexual immorality, false doctrine, divisions, and lack of oneness.  In addition, in Revelation when Jesus Christ speaks to the seven ancient churches he points out serious concerns within all of them.  So we shouldn't be surprised.  

We shouldn't be surprised.  But we should be active.  We have to be careful to not drift away from the truth.  We have to be grounded in the truth, over the long term.  Are we part of Spirit filled churches?  Are we carrying the message into our community?  

I've learned that if I'm the only one carrying the message into the community, so be it.  Then I'll do it alone!  If I'm one of many, then all the better.  Either way, keep carrying the message.  And fight the sins that entangle us.  We aren't on a pleasure cruise to heaven, we're on a battleship fighting to keep the souls of man out of hell.

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  3. The Divine Mysteries of Jesus Christ
  4. Sermon: Fighting the Good Fight of the Faith
  5. The Great Pillars of Society: Morality & Religion
  6. The War on Principles & the Hope in our Worldview
  7. Take a Stand on Key Issues: Addiction, Abortion
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  9. Comprehending the Truth about America
  10. Be a Powerhouse Christian Battleship