Yesterday the “news” reported what we in the line of church work already knew: Americans are more and more difficult to reach with the Gospel. It is very easy for those who care about and love the church and people to despair, including myself at times! (So please pray for me!)
There definitely is a poison in the air that is stirring up against “organized” religion. And certainly even members of our congregations, I know, although perhaps not being “antagonistic” toward the church, simply have no “use” for it anymore. They don’t see it as something that is elemental to their lives. Sure it is nice to go to church once in a while because it might make them somehow feel a bit better, but if it wasn’t there it certainly wouldn’t make a big impact on their lives.
This of course, is nothing new. The people of the Old Testament continually fell away from the Lord. The one time it got so bad that the people hadn’t read the Torah and the commandments for generations and they were actually lost. Then one day someone found the Torah in the back corner of the temple and brought them to the king (King Josiah, if I remember correctly) and he, reading them for the first time, was astounded! He gathered the whole kingdom together to read the Word of God and repent!
It truly is a pagan world out there, and I do despair over the fact that it is becoming more and more difficult to find anyone anymore (except here at Peace, of course!) who has any concept of “holiness”; anyone who knows the scripture; anyone with a fervent devotion to the Lord. And our young people? If they knew how to dance to the tune of God’s Grace half as well as they dance and prance about the sports arenas and malls, I would be happy! The fact is that everyone is so busy and/or burdened with the expectations and cares of the world, that they can’t even see past their nose, much less heaven and the riches of Christ. Our priorities are completely out of line and we will suffer for our unfaithfulness. Lord have mercy on us!
Anyway, I am puzzled over one aspect of the study. It indicates that people are not especially enthralled with “organized” religion. If that is the case, I would think that churches should be full to overflowing! I haven’t heard of too many churches that are very organized! If they are looking for a disorganized church, they don’t have to look any further than Peace Lutheran with is fantastically disorganized pastor! “Hey, everyone! Just visit us on Sunday morning! Experience disorganization at its best!”
Long live disorganized churches!
Long live churches which proclaim Christ crucified for sinners!