Christianpost.com reports that
As more and more people publicly walk away from the Christian faith, pastors must urge their congregations to have deep, personal encounters with God and bring “sacredness” and “reverence” back into worship, according to pastor and author Francis Chan.
“I am seeing so many people, friends of mine who were in ministry, who are just saying they don’t believe, or they’re walking away; ‘I don’t know if I believe that anymore,’” Chan said during Exponential’s Reset Summit this week. “And I just think that’s crazy. We’re seeing people that we look up to, leaders fall. We’re seeing the world look at evangelical Christianity as an absolute joke right now … it’s every day you can just jump on Instagram … and someone is saying, ‘I’m not a Christian anymore.’”
The “Until Unity” author lamented that there’s a “lot of Isaiah 29:13” going on in churches and denominations across the country today. The verse reads, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”
“In other words, it wasn’t an encounter [with God],” he said, explaining that true, lasting faith doesn’t come from simply hearing a message, but spending intentional, one-on-one time with God.
“Don’t get away from your own encounter with God,” he said. “We have to make sure we get people to encounter Him, and that their fear of God is not just a commandment that was taught to them by us.”
“This is a new season. And all of this, people walking away and fighting and angry about everything and so opinionated, is because they’ve spent too much time in our presence, and in our evangelical talk, talk, talk, talk presence and not enough time before a Holy God and sacred and reverent, silence and awe and just recognizing their oneness with Him.”
To have more unified horizontal relationships in the church, there must be a deeper, vertical relationship with the Father, Chan stressed.
“The world is going to get worse; persecution is going to get worse. And when they’re alone with Him, is there enough of this awe and enjoyment of Him, and a fear of Him that they can survive anything?” he asked.
“I think this pandemic showed us that there’s just way too much of this horizontal going on. And now we’re trying to keep these people with us, and it’s more like we have to direct people to Him. We have to do a better job of bringing sacredness back into our worship.”.
A recent study found that 43% of millennials stated they either don’t know, don’t care or don’t believe God exists, and 16% of millennials believe that when they die, they will go to Heaven only because they confessed their sins and accepted Jesus as their savior. Yet, 57% of millennials still call themselves Christian.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Michael Youssef, pastor of the 3,000-member Church of The Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia, warned that more and more pastors are “falling into the trap” of woke culture because it’s “popular and appeals to the flesh.”
“Bowing to woke culture allows you to avoid rejection by culture and society,” he said. “It’s a very, very popular message that is now being preached from many evangelical pulpits; traditionally Bible-believing, Gospel-preaching churches. We have gone so far that it just grieves me to the point that I literally sometimes just weep tears.”
“I’ve always believed, as goes the pulpit, so goes the pew. As goes the pew, so goes the culture,” he continued. “As a pastor, I put the full blame on us, right in our laps, because we want to be liked, loved, and followed on social media by millions of people. Pastors are the culprits. We need to be about Jesus, not about being liked, because that is deadly as far as the Gospel of Jesus Christ is concerned.”
Youssef urged those who love Jesus to be “encouraged and motivated to stand up and not to be afraid,” and compel those “teetering” to find the strength and courage to stand for the truth of the Gospel.
“We must take charge,” he said. “Christians have abandoned so many areas of society, from media and the classroom. Instead of withdrawing, we need to go and invade these areas and take them for Christ and not be afraid. We are on the right side. We have read the last chapter, and it says we will win.”
A Christian “Church” who believes that the Bible is NOT the Word of God is not a CHRISTIAN Church,
It can call itself a Social Justice Center.
It can call itself a Tabernacle of Wokeness.
However, if you devalue the Bible, the Holy Scriptures which are a “two-edged sword” and the key to learning about the foundation of the Christian Faith, then you are studying modern culture and not the history of the Hebrew people and the House of David, from whose lineage came Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
The rise of “Wokeness” within Christian Churches is something that is literally tearing apart the fabric of our country.
The only conclusion that I, as a Christian American can reach, is the fact that our Sovereign Nation is in the midst of SPIRITUAL WARFARE for its very soul.
Make no mistake about it, boys and girls, EVIL EXISTS.
My friends, I believe that we are fighting a war against “princes and principalities”. Evil is still alive and well and flourishing in a world in which relative morality and situational ethics are increasingly being accepted as normal behavior.
We see it everyday around us.
It inundates the cable news channels, 24 hours a day. Heck, you can even see it on Facebook.
Since Cain slew Able with a rock, mankind, because we are all fallen creatures, has had to deal with the presence of evil in our lives.
From the legendary massacres, perpetrated by Vlad the Impaler, to the horrific scenes of Hitler’s Concentration Camps, to the killing fields of Pol Pot, to the massacre of innocent Middle Eastern Christians by Islamic State, to the murders by Chicago Street Gangs every night, the Forces of Evil continue to flourish across the globe.
Who we as a nation are struggling with are those forces who want to turn our country into not just an immoral society, but, an amoral one, whose concept of right and wrong is “Whatever Gets You Through the Night (It’s Alright. It’s Alright.)”, and whose ultimate authority is not the God of Abraham, but a Godless All-Powerful Central Government, whose credo is
From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs. (Karl Marx)
Just as Marxism has failed wherever it has been tried before, if the Far Left Democrats have their way, so it would lead to America’s downfall.
The galling thing is the fact that, even though American Christians remain 75% of the population, we are propagandized and suppressed by the Liberals in both the Old and New Media, to make it seem as if WE are the Minority, when, in fact, WE are the overwhelming Majority.
It is this New Generation of Amoral Marxists, who have taken over the Democratic Party, who are in fact, just a tiny, albeit vocal, Minority of America’s population.
So, what can an average Christian American, like you and me, do about this “Tyranny of the Minority”?
Christians have to make a choice in these tough times whether to allow those who are attempting to “radically change” our Sovereign Nation, given to us by God into a Democratic Socialist Paradise or…
As the Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians, we can STAND.
However, you cannot stand without “the full armor of God”. I have found, as have my family and friends, that the better that you are doing, in terms of your Christian Walk, the harder that you will be attacked.
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.…- Ephesians 6:10-12
Our Christianity as Americans does not and can not end at Noon on Sunday, as we shake the Preacher’s hand and walk out of the sanctuary (those of us who still get to g and are not “quarantined” at home).
“Onward, Christian Soldiers, marching as to war.”
Because believe me, Americans…we are in one.
Read your Bible…for it is the Word of God.
Pray for our country.
Pray for our Houses of Worship.
And, ask God for Revival in our Sovereign Nation.
Until He Comes,
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