By Coach Dave Daubenmire
America is in a world of hurt because of the condition of the church. I use that term, church, lightly, because it is hard to know what to expect when you walk into one.
It’s not like Wendy’s, or McDonalds where consistency is what makes them popular. A “Big Mac” in Columbus, Ohio is just as fattening as one that you would find in San Francisco. You don’t even have to look at the menu when you walk in the door because experience tells you what you can expect.
But churches aren’t like that. They are more like a salad-bar…or smorgasbord…where you can pick and choose what you would like to ingest, and be assured that you don’t have to eat what your palate can’t handle.
If you look around long enough you are sure to come across a church with a menu that you can feel comfortable eating and, in most cases, leave the building without the least bit of indigestion from the “bread” that the chef served up that day.
Church has become safe…comfortable might be a better description…because you know that the food-tester has already removed most of the salty stuff.
Maybe it is just that I like my food a little spicier than the average Joe. I often tell my friends that if you leave church feeling better than when you went in then you must have “spiritual diabetes.” I want to feel worse when I leave…with my stomach growling over the opportunities I missed to stand up for Jesus the previous week.
So, I decided that I needed to do something.
Instead of constantly railing against the shortcomings of the church I thought it might be best if I carried a little bit of the Gospel back to the lost. Surprisingly, over the years, I have come to the realization that there are flocks of lost sheep bleating in the pews.
It is not so much that they are goats…purposefully unsaved opponents to the Gospel…but more like chameleons…able to change stripes to blend in with their surroundings. Chameleons are funny animals, you know. It is almost like they don’t know what they are really supposed to look like.
They are a lot like Christians…able to change appearances to match their environment. They’re not bad people…they are just lost people. Jesus told us that we would be able to find them hiding in our churches…disguised as sheep…but a leopard cannot change his spots.
So, some of my friends and I have decided to start going to church on Sunday morning. What’s so unusual about that, you might be thinking. Well, it is not “our” church that we are visiting.
Let me explain.
Let me explain.
A few months ago Michele and I were returning home from a week of on-the-street ministry when I was smacked with an epiphany. I couldn’t figure out how such a “Christian” nation could re-elect such an obvious non-Christian President. (If you think he is a Christian then maybe we need to come to your church.)
The reason, once my eyes were opened, was something I learned on the playground as a young ruffian. “It takes one to know one” was a response we all used when we were called names on the playground. “It takes one to know one” applies to Christianity. The reason so many “Christians” voted for such a non-Christian President is because they aren’t one…Christian. “It takes one to know one.”
Riding in the car on the way home I came to understand that I was wasting my time taking the Gospel to the streets when the Gospel wasn’t even in our churches. “Judgment begins in the house of God”…and it was obvious from surveying the culture that those sitting in the pews were not very good judges, or witnesses, of Truth.
If we can’t get it right in our churches how can we possibly get it right in the world? If Truth has been exorcised from the God’s house how can we expect it to reside in the White House? If God’s people don’t honor God’s laws how can we expect the Supreme Court to? If our Pastors don’t believe in the inerrancy of Scripture how can we expect the social engineers to believe and follow the Truth? If your church elder’s are willing to ignore God’s law, how can we expect our political leaders to follow it?
Pretty simple stuff, eh?
That’s why we must take the Bible back to the church.
So, I am going to take the Bible back to church as well. It is time that we called the church to repentance. As goes the church, so goes America.
Can I give you some Truth? Jesus’ earthly ministry was a little more than three years. He and His disciples travelled throughout the land preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. The Apostle Paul, a Torah scholar, turned the known world upside down with his preaching.
But there was no New Testament that they were preaching from…their lives would become the New Testament. They all taught from the front end of the Bible…for “the law is the school master that drives one to Christ” we are told in the New Testament. Most Christians today apologize for the law as judgmental and hateful… they reject it…or change it.
The law is harsh. Violation of the law leads to punishment. The price for breaking the law is death. Jesus died in our place. That is the Gospel. He didn’t die for you to embrace your sin. He died to give you victory over it. The church today teaches the people to love sin and those who are trapped in it. I wonder when was the last time “Repent” was preached from most of our pulpits.
2 Timothy 2:19 "Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." How can you depart from sin if no one tells you what sin is? Loving them all the way to destruction is not love…it is indifference. Indifference is worse than hate. Indifference is lukewarm.
The people reject the Truth. They don’t hate street preachers, they hate when he speaks the Word.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God."
It is time to take the Bible back to church.