Weakness of the Church in America

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Deacon, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. Deacon

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    At our missionary conference this year we had the unique pleasure of having 6 or 7 different missionary families visiting at the same time.

    During one service we had a question/answer session and this question was posed:

    "What is the ONE weakness you would say that the church is America has?"

    Their answers were wide ranged: lack of precision in doctrine, lack of authenticity, lack of missionary vision, moral decline and absorption into the world.

    How would you answer the question?

    AND how would YOU go about correcting the weakness?

    Rob
     
  2. gekko

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    God as a whole is not displayed biblically these days.

    they dont see His righteousness and therefore dont desire for it.

    they think they're all going to heaven when they die because God is a forgiving and loving God.
    ---

    what would i do about it? warn them of the wrath to come. when they are humble - share the gospel. when they are proud - till the land by using the moral law.
    ---

    the weakness is that there are far more goats then sheep in our churches today.
     
  3. gb93433

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    The church in America has the same problems mankins has had throughout history. Just read Rev. 2 and 3
     
  4. Helen

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    Barry and I talked about this question. The answer is like a plant that has several main stems and one main root. Barry's reply is that people are trying to do things in their own flesh, by their own ideas, and not relying on the Holy Spirit -- i.e. not really following Christ. My reply, off of his root idea, is that most Christians and many pastors don't even know the Bible very well (although they do seem to know what they have been told to think about various parts of it), rarely believe fully the parts that they do know, and seem to consider Christianity a very broad term which is often more social than anything else.

    In short, people are not taking Christ seriously.
     
  5. drfuss

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    ""What is the ONE weakness you would say that the church is America has?"

    Their answers were wide ranged: lack of precision in doctrine, lack of authenticity, lack of missionary vision, moral decline and absorption into the world."

    I agree with the last three above.
    I would say the big weakness In the church in America is the lack of joy and rejoicing in serving the Lord. Phil. 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice". Also the joy of the Lord is my strength.

    If the church has the joy of the Lord and rejoices in the Lord, people well see it and be drawn to Christ.
     
  6. 2BHizown

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    The primary problem is a low view of God and a focus on seeker needs rather than God.
    There is a famine of the word as there is great general ignorance today of the bible, even though many attend they know little of scripture!

    To correct: A return to exegetical preaching, a strong verse by verse, book by book teaching of God's word, plus......
    Church services twice on Sunday and one mid-week with great encouragement for families to attend together!
     
  7. TomMann

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    I'd have to say that Churches in general have no concept of the true nature of God or His sovereign rule over His creation. Most operate as if God is a loving father whose sole purpose is to serve the desires of His wonderful, loveable creation.
     
  8. DeadMan

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    A lot of preachers are afraid to preach about hell and a variety of other "controvercial" topics. And I think it spills over into the daily lives of our congregations. The answers the missionaries gave can all be linked to what we're not getting out of our Sunday services.
     
  9. DeadMan

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    Yes, I completely agree on this point, as well. And I'm afraid most of these people don't want to know, either.
     
  10. DeadMan

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    Yes, I love a good expository preacher! We need many more of them out there in our churches!
     
  11. 2BHizown

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    I agree! I think the reason is likely that it is harder, takes much more time and preparation plus more knowledge to do than the popular motivational talk with only a verse or two to support your chosen topic!
    The difference over time is amazing in how much you learn about the bible and how your view of God is altered with your humility taking you to your knees!
     
  12. Jack Matthews

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    I guess the term "verse by verse" is bothersome to me, since verses do not represent isolated thoughts or ideas, but are only reference points inserted into the text after the printing press was invented. Theologically, a "verse by verse" study of the Bible, separating each verse from the text as a whole, leads to major misinterpretations.

    I think effective Bible study which produces an understanding of God that leads to a relationship with Him through Christ must be expository, but "verse by verse" or even "book by book" is not a good expository approach. Rather, taking the gospel accounts of Christ's teachings, as a whole, and understanding the context of the concepts there, should be the starting point, since everything else in the Bible points there. Other books, then, taken as a whole, can be studied in their proper context. I don't believe you can properly interpret the things that Paul, or John, or Peter, or any other Biblical writer, wrote without making them subject to the teachings of Christ in the gospels.

    What constitutes "weakness" in the church in America today? I'm not sure I would use that term to describe it. I am sensing, in some of the direction of this thread, a criticism of churches which take a more contemporary approach to the presentation of the gospel through being "seeker sensitive". The implication is that many churches aren't "preaching the gospel." I think that is a false impression. Christ didn't come to condemn the world, because it was already condemned. He came to save it. That should be the focus of the message of the church. Pounding pulpits and screeching about pure doctrine and taking stands against sin doesn't produce effective disciples of Jesus who can carry out the great commission. We all know John 3:16 by heart, but we forget that it is followed by John 3:17 and 18.

    The days of spectator congregations sitting in rows of pews singing hymns written two generations ago out of a book, passively listening to choir specials, soloists and a preacher who can master the art of speaking in a cadence and calling that "worship" are over. Look around. Within a mile radius of my house there are a dozen Baptist congregations of various stripes, along with at least that many of other denominations, and the vast majority of them are emptying out fairly rapidly as their aging membership passes on out of this life. There are, however at least two or three churches that are thriving, whose baptistries are filled with a continuous stream of people coming to know Christ and who are then being motivated to serve in His body by ministries that take place out in the community, not penned in by church walls, and designed around the spiritual gifts of the participants. Worship is focused upward, on praise toward God and receiving something from God, not just sitting and listening to a preacher and a choir. It is an active experience where all the senses are involved, and where all the members are active, not passive. It may be hard for some people bound by tradition to accept, but I think God is raising up churches who are effectively planting the seeds of the Gospel in the hearts of the younger generation.

    The idea that this is some kind of "weakness" may simply be someone's resentment of the fact that others are using different methods to reach people for Christ, and appear to be successful at it. Jesus' own disciples once tried to stop some people from preaching Christ because they weren't part of the group.
     
    #12 Jack Matthews, Jul 30, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2006
  13. blackbird

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    #1 Weakness??

    Lack of pure, unadulterated preaching of the doctrine of Jesus and in turn the absence of the Apostles' Doctrine---which is really a continuation of the doctrine of Jesus!!

    Give me "verse by verse" expository over some sloppy topical seeker theme any day!!
     
  14. preacher

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    Too much world in the church....not enough Church in the world.
     
  15. drfuss

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    Jack wirtes:
    "The days of spectator congregations sitting in rows of pews singing hymns written two generations ago out of a book, passively listening to choir specials, soloists and a preacher who can master the art of speaking in a cadence and calling that "worship" are over. Look around. Within a mile radius of my house there are a dozen Baptist congregations of various stripes, along with at least that many of other denominations, and the vast majority of them are emptying out fairly rapidly as their aging membership passes on out of this life. There are, however at least two or three churches that are thriving, whose baptistries are filled with a continuous stream of people coming to know Christ and who are then being motivated to serve in His body by ministries that take place out in the community, not penned in by church walls, and designed around the spiritual gifts of the participants. Worship is focused upward, on praise toward God and receiving something from God, not just sitting and listening to a preacher and a choir. It is an active experience where all the senses are involved, and where all the members are active, not passive. It may be hard for some people bound by tradition to accept, but I think God is raising up churches who are effectively planting the seeds of the Gospel in the hearts of the younger generation."

    Very good post. In order to reach people, our services (in addition to the Word) should include rejoicing in the Lord during worship rather than just the old routine corporate worship.

    God wants us to rejoice and celebrate when we gather to worship Him. When the Hebrews brought sacrifices to the Lord, they were to rejoice and celebrate, not just go through the motions (Duet. 12:12, 14:26). IMO, allowing the sacrifices to become routine was their first step on a slippery slope that lead to the Hebrews turning from God.
     
  16. christianyouth

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    Considering the church is the body of believers, I am convinced it is lack of surrender to God, along with the decline of the local church. You know, I am completley astounded at how many churchs now-a-days are in no way, missions oriented. I think it is a shame when I live 3 doors down from a church and not once has anyone witnessed to me!

    Obviously, the local church has lost much power, I agree with what Mrs. Helen said, churchs think the reason why they are not growing is because their building needs to be upgraded!

    God Bless,
    Andy
     
  17. Deacon

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    What is unique about America?
    I think it’s our take charge attitude; like the military motto, we are “An Army of One”.

    Unfortunately in the church, it’s a problem: Too many chiefs, too few Indians.

    We’ve become a nation of grumblers.

    Expository preaching is fine and dandy but it takes a whole lot of time and energy to give them every week.
    An instead of spending time in prayer and the study of the Word, I’ve seen my pastor running around putting out fires caused by a multitude of grumblers.

    “The church should give more to missions”
    “The church should have better child care”
    “The church should have more Sunday school classes for the kids”


    We expect “the church” to do something rather than understanding that WE are the church.

    Some of the most successful outreaches I've seen were ones that were started by a few people that asked the church leaders if they thought it would be a good idea.
    Rather than grumbling, they went out and performed.

    Now that should be the American church’s way of doing things!

    Rob
     
  18. DeadMan

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    Amen! I've been a member of both types of churches and one of the most obvious differences is in the expository-preaching church, of which I am a member of today, the congregation's understanding and dedication to God's Word. And that rolls over to an individual's daily life.
     
  19. kjv1611

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    A Lack of BIBLE BELIEVING CHRISTIANS.
    They are a rarity in this day and age. Even SO come LORD JESUS
     
  20. J.D.

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    When I compare today's Anglo-American society with the Anglo-American society of bygone years, I would have to say that things are getting worse, not better. The modern church's role in the downgrade has been to set up grand entertainment centers to keep the numbers rolling in.

    The average church member today, whether young or old, is an ungodly rebel. Harsh words but yes, I meant that. I could give you so many examples. Here's one: A young man goes to a Christian university, where he is told that he cannot listen to rap music while on campus. School administrator is told to "get bent" (his words). This young man considers himself a godly Christian. What kind of church produces this kind of Christian? Another example: During a private counseling, a pastor is explaining to the grand matriarch of the church why God gave the leadership to men in the office of elder and not to her. After a while, she abruptly stands up and cries "I don't give a ____ what the bible says, this is MY church and what I say goes!" Rebels, young and old alike.

    Of course, there are many blessed exceptions to this, but real, sincere believers, too often get crushed in the political fights.

    The solution? Sound doctrine. Fellowship must be based on doctrine in order for it to last.

    Today's church is obsessed with the idea that God is all-loving. The bible does not present that kind of picture of God. When we present God as a weepy-eyed hand-wringing worry wart that will do anything to save sinners, we have a hard time back tracking to make him the wrathful judge of every idle word of man.

    We're afraid to tell people the truth about God. They might not say the prayer, they might not come to church, they might not get baptized, the SBC might not baptize a million people, and we might suffer the embarrassment of being proven false prophets, or having the status of our favorite Baptist icon lowered because he failed to deliver on his boastings.

    We're afraid to tell people that God might not save them. We are afraid to tell people that He has no obligation to them. We are afraid to preach the words that Jonathan Edwards preached, that sinners are in the hands of an angry God, that there life hangs by a thread so small that they can be dropped into hell at the slightest provoking of almighty God. We are afraid to tell them that the only reason they are not immediately rushed into the fire is the pity and mercy of God. We are afraid to tell them that unless they cry out in repentance they will surely stand before a righteous and holy God to give an account!
     

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