Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Great American Christian Question

The history of America is without honest question.  This nation was founded on Biblical principles.  From those principles God blessed and America grew beyond anyone's dreams.  The power of such growth resulted in an incredible world protector for liberty and religious freedom.  That was then!

What about now!

Christians in America need to answer this question quickly.  We must also pray and be determined to get the right answer.  For the right answer is our path from now forward.  We will find the right answer by looking at our past failures.  Yes, our past failures highlight the answer needed today.

We begin by admitting that we as American Christians have failed to understand that our primary purpose was and is to lead people to Jesus Christ.  Without Jesus, people are simply sinful people with NO hope for changing.  We have fought hard the culture war.  We have lost.  We lost because we were not focused on leading people to the one true God who could and will save them through Jesus Christ.  Our biggest failure as American Christians is found in that we did not reach the multitudes of people that God allowed to come to America.  We had it all set up to reach world!  We failed.  Without a changed heart, people will not adopt an ideology that is Christian based.  Our worldview will not make sense to them at all!  We tried via many methods while avoiding the one and only method that works - leading people to Jesus!  We begin to find our answer when we admit to this failure!

The absence of the power of the Holy Spirit evidenced in our lives is also a big failure!  American Christians learned to play at church.  We learned that real well.  We developed many of our systems and programs in our churches by copying the world.  The greatest one being Sunday School.  We copied the American education system.  We set up directors, had roll books, and some churches even use to ring the bell!  We established programs, and I do mean many programs.  We built our church schedules around the work culture of the 50's and 60's and we grew children's ministries/missions ministries for children right out of boy/girl scouts.  The club mentality anchored our approach.  For adults the same was true.  In all of this, the programs became the focus in place of the power of the Holy Spirit living in and working through our lives.  We taught for education sake.  We learned many facts but we failed to experience the power God via the Holy Spirit in our lives.  We were so focused on knowing about that we never realized we were not living in.  Again, we failed.

This led to neglect of some key Biblical disciplines.  In particular, fasting!  There are those few types of churches that practice this and have for years.  But many American Christians in our older age groups never were taught or led to develop fasting in their lives.  Without fasting there can be no power of the Holy Spirit.  Our lives were simply being lived through a mental ideology.  An ideology that requires the power of the Holy Spirit.

So caught up in our programs and structure we embraced a salesman approach to sharing the gospel.  We tweaked our services in some cases and in others demanded that we NOT change a thing.  Time was always our focus and comfort and familiarity followed in our priorities.  We began trying to attract people instead of sharing Jesus by living in Him.  It worked for a while - maybe, maybe not.  But soon we could not do enough to up what had already been done.  People caught on to our sales pitch and began tuning us out.  Again we failed.

People without Jesus began to see that those who professed to have him were not that much different.  In fact, often times Christians were worse.  We were mean, lacked compassion, ugly, holier than thou, and were more focused on we wanted and bragging about what we claimed to have, that people failed to see in us a compassion for them.  We were anything but passionate for people.  Love was not found for anyone, just for those we liked.  And the slide continued.  Only now, other religions and ideologies were being embraced.  And we could go on and on...!

So what is the answer?

1.  Know our purpose is to live obedient to the command of our Lord to lead people to Jesus!

2.  Know that we must fucus on living in the power of the Holy Spirit daily!  Without this power lives will not be changed.

3.  Know that following Biblical disciplines must become a priority.  Seek to learn these and apply them daily.  The power of the Holy Spirit depends upon it.

4.  Know that we love and thus show this love of people daily!  People come in all shapes and backgrounds.  We are to love them!  Period!

We begin with these four!  Until these four are evident, nothing else will matter!  It is only through these four that Revival will come!  And our greatest need right now is not political nor ideological. 

Our greatest need is REVIVAL!

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