It’s almost Six Degrees of Separation to source this riveting article, but I’ll give it a shot before I get rolling:
Thanks to Another Brick on the Wall “Spiritual Pathway Ministries“, by way of the whole article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and discusses a Bob Pearle book entitled The Vanishing Church: Searching for Significance in the 21st Century.
All clear? OK, and away we go…
And now this article about Pearle’s Vanishing Church stands in my shadow threatening to whoop up on anyone who talks smack in my direction.
He doesn’t hold that churches are literally “vanishing,” since there are all kinds of churches, often filled to overflowing, in our neck of the woods [North Texas]. “What I’m saying is that the biblical New Testament church is vanishing from society today,” he said. “Anything and everything is acceptable as long as it builds a crowd. Jesus wasn’t as interested in building a crowd as he was in telling the truth.”
Amen! And why all this brouhaha over exponentially growing houses of worship? It’s simple math:
On one hand, we have church overflowing of concert-quality worship, hypersensationalism, a disconnected waltz through the scriptures and a sermon that is more Tony Robbins and less Tony Campolo.
And on the other, we have a warehouse full of crushed velvet, ornate furnishings and lots of bling… and that’s just the “Frozen Chosen” sitting in the pews… er, chairs.
Add the two together and you still get a bunch of folk en route lights and sirens to Luby’s Cafeteria who still can’t tell you what scripture was shared in the pulpit.
From seeker sensitive to televised tabernacle, the missing part of the equation seem to be allegiance to God’s Word. Well, better yet, just God’s Word.
Pearle — who rejects the label of fundamentalist — says declining membership in many mainline Protestant groups results from watering down core biblical teachings. He believes that evangelicals who do that will suffer the same fate. “You have to hear the bad news that we are sinners, before your receive the good news of salvation,” Pearle says.
People, we need a Savior, which is why we should celebrate Jesus Christ daily. We are “saved” and set free to worship God. However, most of us would rather go check out some dude crush expletives in the pulpit for shock value or hear the “Aw shucks the big guy upstairs sure loves you” show.
Now, THIS is the stuff worth shouting about in the sanctuary, regardless what size it is! Anyone?