Warning: Do not read this article if you are not strong enough for the truth.
Ac 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ac 2:39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” Ac 2:40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” Ac 2:41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
There is a saying that God puts them in Church and Satan takes them out. Satan does not have to try too hard. I recently spoke to a men’s group on science and faith. Some were Church leaders and the responses were shocking. Here are just two and these two are enough to empty any Church.
Spoken by leader #1in response to a teaching of creationism versus evolution:
If I were an unbeliever and you just told me I could not believe in evolution, I would not want to be a believer.
Spoken by leader #2 in response to 6 out of 10 children are leaving the Church:
Everybody should home school their children and besides the Bible says that the way is wide and the gate is narrow.
6 out of 10 after the age of 15 leave Church: So, what do the kids have to say?
A research study conducted over a five-year period and released a few years ago by the Barna Group, points to six different reasons why young people leave church. Interviews with teenagers, young adults, youth pastors, senior pastors and parents were compiled to produce the following results. Some kids may have chosen more than one reason below; hence the percentages do not add up to 100%.
1) Churches are overprotective, demonizing the outside world (approx. 25%)
2) Christianity is “shallow”; God is missing from the experience (approx. 20%)
3) The church is too confident in its doctrine; has an anti-science approach (approx. 25%)
[Let me add that the Church is only seen as anti-science because it cannot defend the faith. Many men and women of science have become believers because scientist cannot defend today’s anti-God science.]
4) The church is judgmental about young people’s sexual experiences; they feel guilty and judged, even if they know some of their behaviors were a mistake. (approx. 17%)
5) Exclusivity of the Christian faith; young people believe the church is “afraid” of other faiths (approx. 29%)
[Let me add again that it is not fear; it is the unwillingness to prepare and the inability to follow Peter’s command to be able to defend the faith.]
6) The church is unfriendly to those who doubt; young people feel they can’t ask life’s most important questions in church (approx. 30%)
[And again, who is prepared to answer the questions; who can answer the hard questions. Are there those in your Church that can articulate the apologetic on evil and truth?]
Not only are we losing the young, we are losing everyone.
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. [Kevin P. Emmert/ June 10, 2014]
Instead of one more task force, it might be better to seek to fulfill these two verses.
2 Ti 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
1 Pe 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…
And avoid the results of this verse:
2 Ti 4:3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions…
Published on Saturday, June 21, 2014 @ 4:51 AM CDT