The world is shaping the views of the evangelical church more than the church shaping the views of the world.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
1 Corinthians 1:22-23 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
Oh boy…where do I start here?
Ok. Here we go! Most evangelical churches consists mostly of those who have not accepted Christ. (and this will come up often as we continue to go through these). If you study the New Testament, you will not find examples of ‘churches’ with a solid mixture of Christians and those who do not believe. Yet, you find it all over, today. And, because of the way we structure church, one who acts polite and “Christiany” can easily integrate into these churches despite never really coming to the cross and laying everything down.
These congregants (another term not found in the Bible, I believe), without regeneration, do not hunger for the things of God. 2 Timothy 3 warns us about those with a form of godliness who deny its power. Because of this, they have views, practices, etc., which do not really line up with God’s Word, but rather fall into line with the beliefs of this world.
So, in my opinion, the challenge with the evangelical church is two-fold. First, the structure allows for those who have not really committed to Christ to become part of the ‘body of believers’ and integrate as part of the whole. Second, in order to appease this ‘body of Christ’, leaders compromises and make poor decisions…going so far as to interpret scriptures in a way that supports their current model.
On the surface level, I can agree with Brother Greg. We see major dominations continually changing their view on Scripture based on what the world believes today. However, I believe that the core reason lies with the fact that we deny Jesus in the very way we ‘conduct church.’ When you start off with a poor foundation, the building will never stand.
The evangelical church spends more money on dog food then missions.
2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Luke 21:2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.
Acts 4:34-35 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
Hmmm… I do not have access to church financial records. If I take this literally, I’m not sure how they spend more on dog food. I have not seen a church that took care of dogs. However, if I think of “dog food” as those things which really do not contribute to the cause of Christ and His calling on our lives, I can completely agree.
Things like building costs, salary overheads, etc., run very high. The disciples spend the money collected taking care of the poor, the widows, and supporting missionaries. Again, this goes back to how we organize church. We have it in our heads that bigger is better. Yet, that would oppose what the Bible teaches. The larger something gets, the more overhead costs required. A small group can meet in a home for free. A large group requires a large building with costs. A small group pastor can generally maintain a full time job. A large group pastor works full time and requires a salary and support staff. I could go on, but I believe you see that a small group has much more freedom with funds to do what the Bible commands us to do (support the poor, widows, missionaries) versus the large set up. Yet, we insist that the bible is wrong, and that bigger is better. Amazing.