The house is burning and we are dangerously aloof. The western world in its thinking and in its values is moving away from God at the speed of light. And we are to blame. The church in the west by and large is not moved by the condition of our world. We see not beyond our proverbial noses, and/or personal needs. The gospel of Christ, rather than being a message of good news to be preached to the entire world by every believer, to be revealed to all men so they may come into relationship with God and be saved, has become only the message of good news for Christians to make life on the earth as pleasant as possible for themselves. But to change them and turn them into fishers of men? God forbid!
This generation of Western Christians is demanding that church and leaders entertain them and make them happy, rather than transform them and make them holy. They are requiring provision of services to satisfy them rather than offering their services to to satisfy the desire of God for souls. They are demanding that the church fulfil their deepest needs rather than direct them to Jesus who fulfils their deepest needs. They are shunning the cross and repentance for self help tips to make them feel good about themselves while they continue to sin with alacrity. They are despising prayer while seeking counselling that will reassure them that it is all someone else’s fault, God loves them and does not mind how they live, afterall they are only human.
They are subtly blackmailing pastors to say what they want to hear or they will withdraw their persons and their purses from that particular ecclesiastical enterprise. They are requiring full time attention to their ideas while refusing to give even part time attention to God’s word. They are insisting that church be all about them rather than all about God or, God forbid all about the lost. And when you challenge them to share the gospel with the lost they wonder that you can be so mean as to not recognise how timid they are, how busy they are, how gentle they are, how sensitive they are, how oppressed they are, how penniless they are, how rich they are, how their reputation may be marred, how ….
When Pastors go along with this charade they are demonstrating that they are weak willed servants of men rather than servants of God, that they are self serving and care more about bodies in the seat and money in the coffers than about hearts aflame for God, and a world reconciled to God. When pastors submit to such foolishness and pander to the whims of a pampered, self absorbed generation, they are trampling underfoot the great truths of the gospel and testifying that God is powerless to change lives. When pastors do not challenge their people to look beyond themselves and preach the gospel, despite their many objections, they are breeding a narrow, inward looking group totally insensitive to the needs of a world that is in pain and separated from the Master.
They are violating the command of Jesus to go and make disciples of all nations, to preach the gospel to the unconverted (not to pamper to the whims of the converted), they are leaving the society to rot and sending multitudes to hell while they mollycoddle the small bunch that pays their salary, and they are colluding in the murder of the faith. If we labour more at maintaining our popularity among our band of believers by following rather than leading them, or worse, among those non-believers who applaud ‘non-proselytizing believers’, even as the popularity of Jesus wanes in the world for which He died, we are wretched individuals unworthy of the sacred call. And future generations will take us to task for the dechristianisation of the Western world, for a conflagration that might have been arrested had today’s Church picked up its bucket of sand rather than gaze at its navel.