I once heard a pastor, whom I greatly admire, say something that made the “Great Commission” make all the sense in the world:
“The number one reason for Atheism in this country is the actions of most people who call themselves Christians.”
Amen! And evidently, a recent survey noted by USA Today suggests that to not only be prolific, but also prognostication.
A new survey of U.S. adults who don’t go to church, even on holidays, finds 72% say “God, a higher or supreme being, actually exists.” But just as many (72%) also say the church is “full of hypocrites.” Indeed, 44% agree with the statement “Christians get on my nerves.”
You know, I should write this in ALL CAPS (and in bold) so you could hear my voice reverberating on these walls as I shout and yawp about the need for the whole Church to wake up, stand up and man (or woman) up!
And for the rest of us, we just need to pray like life depended on it! And it does.
There is no greater pool of humanity where the rotten apples spoil the proverbial bunch than Christianity, which is why the zealots, the realists, the devoted and the public need to be the best witnesses possible…
…and the televised, the cults, the sects, the fake, the rich and famous and the uh, “prosperous” need to realize the error of their ways.
Why? This is all your fault!
What does it say that “more than one in five” Americans would rather not go to church and humanistically believe in God than act like some of the fools and charlatans seen on a religious TV broadcast near you?! Don’t get me wrong, I thank God for Christian television – its premise, not what it’s become.
What it needs to be is a beacon of hope, the salt of the earth, a light in the darkness, a city set on a hill. It’s not.
Why? Consider the string of stories seen on TV that best represent God to the common person, the average believer:
Jim Jones, Robert Tilton, Warren Jeffs, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Pat Robertson, Earl Paulk, Paula White, Todd Bentley, Carlton Pearson, David Koresh, Oral & Richard Roberts, Michael Guglielmucci, Mike Murdoch, Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, and on… and on… and on… and on… and on.
There’s a lot of faith in that dank room, a lot of influence and notoriety, and a lot of serious issues! However, these are some of the collective misfits folk call to memory when asked, “Who represents the Body of Christ?”
Right, wrong or indifferent: it’s always the vocal minority, the swarthy tail that wags the dog all day long. And they are it. To that end, it’s the mission of the real Christians, the living epistles to change those unfortunate and misguided perceptions.
It’s a dubious task, but if you’re up to it, our work could pay big dividends for the persecuted, the passionate and the pronounced in a world of people who really can’t stand us. Sure, we are nice people and folk in the workplace like us, they really like us.
But they watch us like hawks waiting for us to plummet in a whirlwind of sin that would take out a small village in Indonesia. And they would applaud all the while chalking up our names to the growing list of noteworthy evangelists and “other prominent folk who call themselves religious” all in the name to say, “I told you so.”
In other words, their actions aren’t doing us any favors. God is faithful but some of those who pass themselves off as “his people” are not so much.
God blesses us with money and sustenance, but those folk are chock full of greed. God gives us grace, but those nitwits with false humility ball that gift up and hurl it back into our faces. And what we have been attempting to tell the throngs quoted in this pathetic survey: God’s son is the way, the truth and the life but regretfully no one is coming to the Father because of “them.”
Most of the unchurched (86%) say they believe they can have a “good relationship with God without belonging to a church.” And 79% say “Christianity today is more about organized religion than loving God and loving people.”
Pastors and parishioners alike, if you don’t read a forsaken, plotted word I type, please read this: there is a distinct and incontrovertible reason why churches tend to be emptier these days… it’s the nasty church folk running all the good, unsaved folk out the door in the name of “being spiritual.”
Ever hear the adage, “You can be so spiritually minded that you are no earthly good”?
Yeah, neither have the people who have caused the 72 percent exodus of potential believers. Get real, Church. We have a job to do. You up to it? If so, see you in the trenches. Trust me, there will be plenty of room!