If you are not familiar with the movie “Groundhog Day”, then let me give you the central plot. Bill Murray, the lead actor, wakes up and lives the same day over and over. For the past 60 years it has been Christian Groundhog Day among God’s people. We have arisen every day and repeated all of the past mistakes, programs, and traditions of the last sixty years…yes the programs and traditions do now have some new names, but when it is decided that the old program was not working, Christian leaders in Churches great and small put their heads together and a new program is started but in name only.
Take for example this quote from an article by [Kevin P. Emmert/ June 10, 2014].
“For the seventh year in a row, the Southern Baptist Convention, America's largest Protestant denomination, has seen a "heartbreaking slide" in baptisms. Last year saw the second-worst total of baptisms in 60 years, and this year the denomination lost more than 105,000 members and 188,000 Sunday worshipers, according to its Annual Church Profile. SBC leaders were so grieved over its dwindling evangelistic effectiveness that they appointed a Pastors' Task Force last year to address the stark decline in evangelism and baptism.”
Can you imagine a task force after years of decline? I do not want to be hard on any particular denomination for if the Presbyterians continue their slide they will not exist in twenty years.
In an age when the Church has more informational resources than ever, they are not prepared to articulate the whole council of God or defend the faith against false claims of science and humanism. As the founder of For the Fathers Ministry, I concentrate on fathers and children and the loss of our children breaks my heart. When 6 out of 10 children walk away from their faith after the age of 15, they are saying to the Church what little you told me made no sense and therefore was not worth keeping, and I have exchanged it for the world.
Is anyone weeping yet?
I recently spoke to a men’s group in which most did not know the statistic for Church teens. I recently heard that one of the men from that day said that he checked back with his pastor and that the pastor knew of this statistic and not to worry there were some new programs being put into place. How many times have I heard this proclamation? I thought to myself it’s Christian Groundhog Day.
Can you imagine that after decades, most Christians still have no idea of the magnitude of the problem…evidently someone is keeping it quiet. It is hard to be a leader and announce failure. It takes courage to be a Christian and that is evident in the Bible.
God told Joshua and Joshua believed:
Dt 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
God tells Christians today and they melt and are at their wits’ end:
Ps 107:26 They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; Ps 107:27 they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end.
Churches and Christians are certainly at their wits’ end. Sixty years of programs and every meaningful statistic is eroding; attendance, baptism, membership and the failure to keep our children...Psalm 107.27 describes practically every denomination and non-denomination.
The question for today is “will God find courage”, for without courage among His people, God will not find faith.
Lk 18:8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Published on Monday, June 23, 2014 @ 4:03 AM CDT