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Sunday
Dec312017

As We Look To 2018

I found the following article insightful. (I abbreviated much of it)

1. Pastors are increasingly hired for their management skills or rhetorical ability over and above their biblical wisdom or their meeting of the biblical qualifications for eldership.

Our shepherds are increasingly hired for their dynamic speaking or catalytic leadership rather than their commitment to and exposition of the Scriptures, and for their laboring in the increase in attendance rather than the increase of gospel proclamation.

2. The equating of “worship” with just one creative portion of the weekly worship service.

The dilution of the understanding of worship is a direct result of the dilution of theology in the church. The applicational, topical approach to Bible understanding has the consequence of making us think (and live) in segmented ways. The music leader takes the stage to say, “We’re gonna start with a time of worship.” Is the whole service not a time of worship? Isn’t the sermon an act of worship?

Isn’t all of life meant to be an act of worship?

3. The prevalent eisegesis in Bible study classes and small groups.

“Eisegesis” basically means “reading into the Bible.” It is the opposite of “exegesis,” the process of examining the text and “drawing out” its true meaning. Many leaders today either don’t have the spiritual gift of teaching or haven’t received adequate training, and the unfortunate result is that most of our Bible studies are rife with phrases like, “What does this text mean to you?” as opposed to, “What does this text mean?”

4. The vast gulf between the work of theology and the life of the church.

We have this notion that theology is something that takes place somewhere “out there” in the seminaries or libraries while we here at home are doing the real work of the Christian faith with our church programs. In many churches, theology is seen as purely academic, the lifeless intellectual work for the nerds in the church or, worse, the Pharisees.

5. Biblical illiteracy.

Our people don’t know their Bible very well, and this is in large part the fault of a generation of wispy preaching and teaching (in the church and in the home). Connected to this factor is the church’s accommodation and assimilation of the culture’s rapid shifting from text-based knowledge to image-based knowledge.

6. A theologically lazy and methodologically consumeristic/sensationalistic approach to the sacraments.

The rise of the “scoreboard” approach to attendance reporting, some of the extreme examples of spontaneous baptism services, the neglect of the Lord’s Supper or the abuse of it through fancifulness with the elements or lack of clear directives in presenting it—these are all the result of evangelicalism’s theological bankruptcy. We don’t think biblically about these matters, because we’re thinking largely along the lines of “what works?” and consequently we might make a big splash with our productions but not produce much faith.

I would say amen to Jared C. Wilson’s thoughts taken from a book he has written called, “The prodigal Church: A Gentle Manifesto Against The Status Quo. “

 

I believe the problems we face in the church today is a part of a curse placed upon anyone or any group who replaces God’s commandments with their own ideas. Denominational groups who have acquiesced to accepting homosexuality and abortion, have all been in decline for years. Churches who practice and preach replacement theology, where they say God is done with the Jews, are also less likely to be blessed by God. Churches that ignore the prophetic scriptures and ignore the teaching of the return of Jesus Christ, will also suffer from the lack of anointing to communicate the whole counsel of God. Most Christians in the Western Hemisphere suffer from the Rich Young Ruler Syndrome. They know a lot about scripture and are blessed with resources of time and money, but they still lack in fulfilling their obedience to a Holy God. We say we give God His portion, whatever we feel that portion is, and then we live our lives as if He doesn’t exist. You cannot replace your personal theology for the truth of the scriptures. In the event you just don’t know enough about a mystery of God, you blindly trust Him, without question and without doubt. No one knows the hour or the day of His return, we just know He will return. The questions should never be when, but the question always is about are you ready? Are the churches where we attend getting us ready for His return?  If not, why not?

The two greatest signs that God is preparing the land for his return was the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 and the recent emphasis of the United States  acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Have you heard messages from your pulpit about these two monster signs of our times?

In 2018 we will continue to see signs that our world is being prepared by God to receive the Savior of the world coming back as ruling King. This is what is missing in our thinking and in our emphasis as Christians. If we deny God’s Word free access to people, we will suffer as a society and as a church.

Here is the curse we will suffer if we don’t repent from our religious ways and come back to the living God of the Bible.

Amos 8:11 "The time is surely coming," says the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine on the land--not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the LORD.”

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

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