WHY CHURCHES HAVE NO INFLUENCEBy Chuck BaldwinMarch 12, 2002NewsWithViews.com
One of the saddest stories in the Bible is the story of Lot. He lost his family to the judgment of God because he had first lost his testimony as a righteous man. His spiritual impotence ultimately doomed his own family. The legacy of Lot is the legacy of many (if not most) churches in America today.
One would think that with hundreds of thousands of churches gracing the landscape of America, our country would not be spiraling toward a moral and spiritual abyss, but we are. The problem is not that we have no churches, the problem is those churches have little or no influence upon America's culture. Like Lot, today's churches are spiritually and morally impotent; they have lost a righteous testimony. Here are some reasons why:
* Most churches today have rejected God's standard of leadership.
God's Word plainly establishes the pastor as God's leader in the church. He is God's under-shepherd. He is supposed to be a man called and equipped by God, a man who has God's authority to "set the church in order" under the guidance of the Holy Scriptures. He is a man charged with the responsibility to preach God's eternal truth without fear or favor.
However, in most of our churches today, the pastor is nothing more than an errand boy for the power elite within the church. He cannot preach an uncompromising sermon without risking the wrath and ire of the board or committee that really runs the church. He is not God's man; he is the deacons' man. As a result, the pastor has become little more than a religious politician. His sermons are designed to please, not convict. Such men are not shepherds; they are hirelings. This type of spiritually blind leadership has taken the church into the ditch of social irrelevance.
* There is an overemphasis on music.
To be sure, music plays an important role in worship. This has been true since the days of the Old Testament. However, the primary purpose of the church is to teach and preach God's Word. In fact, until just recently, churchgoing people referred to their trip to church as "going to preachin'." Not today.
Today, an average church service will be comprised of forty-five minutes of music and fifteen minutes of a milquetoast sermonette. Confronting people with the truth of God's Word is out. Entertainment evangelism is in. The highlight of many services is that moment when the orchestra is playing the fastest and people are shouting the loudest.
People crying out for mercy and grace due to the reality of their sin and iniquity resulting from powerfully proclaimed sermons has been replaced with wild-eyed emotionalism and "laughing revivals." Repentance has been replaced with performing arts.
* There is a preoccupation with recreation.
Look at the programs of most churches today. What do you see? Softball leagues. Aerobic exercise classes. Basketball leagues. Volleyball games. Karate classes. Gymnastic classes. Even dance classes. Today's churches have become little more than glorified amusement parks.
Is it any wonder that, just as Lot had lost influence over his own family, today's churches have lost influence over their own communities and nation? When the grave of America is finally dug, put the tombstone on the doorstep of the church.
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Chuck Baldwin is Founder-Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. In 1985 the church was recognized by President Ronald Reagan for its unusual growth and influence.
Dr. Baldwin is the host of a lively, hard-hitting syndicated radio talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called, "Chuck Baldwin Live" This is a daily, one hour long call-in show in which Dr. Baldwin addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Pastor Baldwin writes weekly articles on the internet http://www.ChuckBaldwinLive.com and newspapers.
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