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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How Does the Church Recover?

This noon a group of us gathered to share over a meal how we are doing in pursuing God consistent with the way He has designed us.  Toward the end of the conversation one of the men shared his concern about the direction of the country and the American Church’s seeming inability to deal with the rapid advance of evil in our culture.  He wondered aloud what was preventing the Church from making a difference.
As believers what can we do to help the Church become more effective in this generation?
A couple of us responded.  The PhD in our group felt it is because Christians are not simply obeying God.  Instead we are parsing his commandments to understand them fully and not simply doing what He said to do.  He used an illustration he got from Francis Chan.  Chan related that he asked his daughter to clean up her room.  She called a group of her friends over and they examined the request in detail, parsing the verbs, diagramming the sentence, and looking at the root Greek and Hebrew underneath the request.  When she shared the result with her father, he remarked he just wanted her to clean up the room.  My friend has a point.

I shared that in my experience there is a lack of depth and desire to dig into the Word and an unwillingness or inability of pastors to equip those in their churches to do so.  We have created a generation of consumers of what a diminishing number of men have gleaned from their study of the Word and rather than engage with the Lord on our own in His book we are content to let others do the heavy lifting and survive on the remnant of their study.  It reminds me of Hebrews 5:11 – 14.  We all need to be teachers, meaning we all have to engage in study and application.

I try hard not to repeat myself here.  But both the PhD’s and my response to our friend’s question echoes what I wrote a couple of days ago on 2 Corinthians 4:2.  We have to reject the evil of this generation and manifest the truth of the Gospel which will commend us to the conscience of those in the world.

We need to hurry.