Monday, June 08, 2015

The Church in Ruins

The walls of Jerusalem are in ruins.  Who will be strong and with me rebuild?

The state of the Church in America is quickly crumbling.  It is true that it has been morally declining for generations, but today I feel that its very foundations have been shaken because many of  those who are called to shepherd the sheep have themselves become as lost sheep.  In the church today, we are statistically no different from those outside the fold.  We are living as practical atheists, naming the name of Christ and yet serving our base desires.  We have taken on a form of godliness but denied its power.  It is truly a disheartening, frightening, and lonely time for the Christian who desires to serve God, particularly if our eyes are not on Him.  I realize these statements seem vague, but that is intentional as I believe this to a nearly universal situation.  I believe some of the solutions to be somewhat universal as well.

The first thing we need is compassion.  See past your fellow parishioner or pastor's sin and see the pain they must certainly be feeling.  I can tell you honestly, that if a person is a child of God and sinning, they are at war with themselves and with God and are in spiritual and perhaps emotional pain, sometimes to the point of physical pain no matter how hard they try to conceal it.  We must realize as well that it is ONLY the grace of God that keeps us from that self inflicted pain; apart from Christ we are dead.  We must be very careful to not sit in judgment; instead, we need to seek to rebuild.

We must also have courage.  If you  are seeing the state of the Church in America as crumbling, no doubt you feel isolated and have self doubts that plague you.  It is during these times that we need to take our eyes off our situation or fellow Christians and fix them on Christ, listening to His voice.  We are called to follow Christ, not other Christians. These feelings are not new to this age; many prophets and men/women of God felt completely alone in their pursuit of God.  That is one reason I love the Old Testament narratives, because I am encouraged by how God worked through those situations and saw the faithful safely through to the other side.  Know you are not alone; stand with me and rebuild.

We need continuity.  We must remain faithful in a faithless generation.  There must be someone who will stand and point the way so that others might live as well.  It will not be easy though.  Realize you will fall at various times and fall often.  If you find that you have fallen or strayed, no matter how far, fix your eyes on Jesus and run home, run hard.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us our sins.  We must, however, press on in our faith. The only way we can do this is to take our eyes off of ourselves and our circumstances and fix them on the author and finisher of our faith.  He is always faithful.  He never changes.  He is able to do all things.  It is time to rebuild.  Who will stand with me?

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