Monday, November 26, 2012

The Christian Right and Evangelism

Opinions are everywhere as to what has happened or is occurring to the Christian Right in America.  A group once viewed by many as strong and needed is now seeing a direct opposite description being given.  Are Evangelicals out of touch?  One newspaper in Tennessee seems to think this last election seals the deal on the current state of the Christian Right.  The Tennessean presents an interesting perspective in an article hear

What keeps missing in the discussion is the fact that America has NOT been a Christian nation for some time.  And even in the areas of high concentration of Christians, the daily living out of values varies dramatically.  No one denomination can even pretend to present all of their affiliates as believing in a similar fashion.  Whether one is Catholic, Baptists, or other, the variance of how one believes and applies those beliefs are no longer singular in approach. 

History reveals that though in pockets maybe similarities did at one time exist, they were the exceptions.  I have known from since I can first remember that even good ol' Southern Baptist were seldom on the same page.  One person questioned this recently and challenged me to prove it.  It was a simple request - just show up at a business meeting in a Southern Baptist Church!  See my point?

Today we see more families with multiple religious backgrounds being the norm; or do we?  Maybe what we are seeing today is that for years America has been a mixed bag, a gumbo of beliefs and practices.   In my own family is a Methodist and Baptist blend from my mothers side.  And it is just one aspect of it.  But something far more important is being missed in all of this discussion!

We are seeing today the effects of not reaching people with the Gospel over the past many years. 

And what will it take to change this?  The world will continue to spin.  People will continue to die without Christ and thus go to Hell.  Churches will keep appeasing the loudest.  Many words will be spoken about the evil of society.  Fingers will be pointed at everything. Politics will not solve the moral decline.  America will continue the change implemented after World War II (yes America has been changing for years). 

And even more...

A new type of Christian social agenda will continue to increase.  Those who love to poke fun at the Christian right and drive from the rear view mirror will increase their nonsense of how wrong many were over the past 30 years and how right they are today.  Social issues will be elevated as this main focus.  Instead of condemning them, we will be told to accept.  Efforts and priorities will continue to guide us towards social missions.

And yet...

The one thing needed today, that has been the one thing needed for years, will seldom be taught or practiced.

Christians must start sharing Jesus and His story while ceasing from sharing their story and their ideas of Jesus.

Only one approach is commanded and backed with a promise and guarantee.  Only one plan for salvation is offered for all who will accept it.

For God so loved the world that He sent Jesus to die for the sins man, you and me!  He was buried.  he was placed in a grave.  He did NOT stay in the grave!  He ascended alive and well and is now seated next to the Father! 

Jesus did this for each of us!  It is the only message that will help us all! 

Will you share it?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Speaking the TRUTH in todays America (Series)

Part 1

Over the past week I have made clear my perception of today's America - it is not pretty.  In noting this, the simple fact that the change we are seeing did not occur overnight was also front and center.  So now we must ask the question as Christians trying to reach people in this new era of "neo-anything can be truth" culture, HOW?

American Christians have perfected the speech approach to teaching.  Even in our social media use can be found the clear and often blunt ugly use of this method in telling people what is wrong with their ideology and where they will go because of it.  We make our points well yet we are failing to impress or influence even a few.  It is time we seek to understand the needed approach required if we are to really make a difference today.

And for many Christians, this is going to be a tough road to travel!

Our learning begins with some simple facts.  People without Jesus, do not have a foundation that we can build upon.  People without Jesus, need Jesus first!  Never should we compromise the truth with anyone.  But understanding that only in a relationship with Jesus is the foundation upon which truth is built can we expect any glimmer of accomplishing lasting life change.  This is Biblical truth.  Hard to realize that we Christians must first accept a truth before we expect others to do the same.  But this is a must.  The journey begins with this hurdle at the starting line.

Many American churches are facilitating this hurdle by abandoning Evangelistic outreach endeavors.  We talk much about reaching the nations.  Preaching to the nations is the new modern day battle cry!  A simple analysis of our current trends in methods and thoughts on evangelism reveal that we are doing little to reach individual people regardless of the intent of the battle cry.  The popular growth of Reformed Theology and the New Calvinism of our day are not helping either.  The more this spreads the fewer people that will be reached.  Sharing Jesus is the beginning.  It is more than preaching/teaching.  Sharing Jesus is more than telling someone to turn or burn.  Sharing Jesus is sharing Jesus story and what He did for all of us.  It is making it clear that Jesus offers a free gift called salvation to all who will receive.  The gift is offered, but we each must chose to accept or reject. 

Rom 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rom 5:8
8    But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Sharing truth requires each of us who know Christ to begin sharing His truth.  It is not turn or burn.  It is begging and pleading with people to see what God did for them in His Son Jesus.  It is sharing the love of God for all people regardless of where they have been or what they have done!  It is leaving the judging to God while living as one changed so as not to cause anyone to stumble so that the message of Gods love in Christ, can be seen and thus received.
This is the starting point!  No moral or political change is possible of lasting value without Jesus first!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nothing has changed - only more clear!

Tuesday night did not show any kind of a change.  I am sorry for those who have wasted energy and emotions thinking that something changed.  I truly am.  The problem is now more clear than ever - America has been changing for years and we tried to deny it.  In fact, we neglected it!  Tuesdays results are the by product of the already changed America.  And it is NOT a political change that has occurred. 

Now what will we do about it?

Christians must realize quickly that elections ARE NOT our hope.  Never have been and never will be!  My sixteen year old has now seen more anti-God Government in his life time than somewhat pro God Government.  Think about that for a moment.  This is not a new situation - it has been brewing for some time - since the 1940's.  The change has been occurring.  It is now just clearly being seen!

The problem?

American Christianity has been the keeper and builder of the club rather than be on mission doing what God called us here to do.  I looked at the political maps last night and today and I realized something - they mirror the American churches.  We do not reach and have not reached the other people groups that God has sent to us.  And our society is showing this in a clear way!  Angry conservatives who tell people how to live will NOT change lives.  Angry Christians will not open doors for sharing Jesus with self righteous talk and name calling.  Our speech by the way is suppose to draw people to Jesus, NOT "push" them away.  Our cries from fear and frustration are only more signs that we are NOT sold out to the mission that God placed us here for.  We should be salt and light living lives showing agape love to all!  This we have NOT done!

The people of this generation ARE NOT being discipled nor reached!  We as Christians have not sought to love them and to make a difference in their lives.  Even the Bible belt of America is seeing the gap narrow. 

This coming Sunday I will be dealing with this subject in a straight forward way!  The message will be available here for anyone who cares to see what we as American Christians MUST change.

I just pray we do!


Our current generation is living, and thus will die, without Jesus!  Hell will be their eternal place!

And that is breaking my heart!