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Jun
10

What’s Wrong With the Church?

What’s Wrong With the Church? Recently I asked my Facebook friends what they thought were some of the greatest threats facing the American church. Predictably the feedback swung from the polar ends of the theological spectrum. Some thought the Church was too worldly and some too legalistic. Some felt the church is too focused on outreach and not on discipleship. Others believe the Church isn’t culturally relevant enough and wasn’t committed to evangelism. Some think the church is too Calvinistic, and others too Arminian. Some said bad Eschatology was too blame for the Church’s woes. Some blamed the youth pastors for undermining the parents, others blamed the worship pastors for dumbing down the songs and making church services seem like rock concerts. Some were for institutional or traditional models, and others preferred an Organic or house church approach. Many were concerned about bad theology, false doctrine, Postmodernism and Humanism, heresy, Universalism, feel-good-cheap-grace messages, lack of holiness, prosperity gospel, lack of accountability of and hypocrisy among leaders, lack of church discipline, Biblical illiteracy, bad Bible translations, low of view of the inerrancy of Scripture, too much political involvement, not enough political involvement, lack of the fear of the Lord and much more. However, there was one problem that was stated overwhelmingly above all the rest. The most common answer was Apathy. Lukewarmness and a lack of real zeal and fervor for the things of the Lord was what most of my friends said is wrong with the Church today. Isn’t that surprising? The greatest (at least perceived) threat isn’t something “out there somewhere,” but rather something that encroaches upon every human heart. To the church in Laodicea, Jesus said: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens...
May
3

Slouchianity? — D.A. Carson

I appreciated this perspective on Sanctification: “People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith or delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; toward disobedience and call it freedom; toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the non-discipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.” — Dr.  D. A....
Apr
28

A Call to Anguish — by David Wilkerson

This is a powerful message by David Wilkerson, a minister of the gospel, who passed away on April 27, 2011: May we recover a willingness to grieve over the things that break God’s...
Apr
25

Why Revival Tarries — Review of Leonard Ravenhill’s Classic

Why Revival Tarries By Leonard Ravenhill Copyright 1959 Bethany House Publishers ISBN#0-87123-607-9 “The book that shaped me probably more dramatically than any other book that I have read…” — Ravi Zacharias There are a number of similes that come to mind when I think about this book. It is like being doused with ice water to awake from a deep sleep in a nice cozy bed. Or perhaps it is like being knocked in the head by a steel beam that you didn’t happen to notice. Whatever the comparison, it hurts. The good news is that after you stop cringing from the pain, and get over being insulted, you realize that you really needed the rebuke. At least that’s how I felt when I read Why Revival Tarries. I remember hearing tapes of Leonard Ravenhill when I was a young lad. His works have impacted many Christians. I must say, however, that there is a whole new generation of young adults who have never been exposed to his teachings. We need to rediscover this man’s insights. It is surprising to think that Bro. Ravenhill spoke so strongly to the lazy and self-absorbed church in the late 1950s. While I’m sure he was right in his assessment of the church’s spiritual atrophy, I can only imagine how he would feel if he could see us now. Bro. Ravenhill cries loud and spares not, in the style of the Biblical prophet, as he challenges those who “are at ease in Zion.” Far from leaving us hopeless without a remedy, the author calls us back to holiness, consecration to the Lord, separation from the world and a life of devoted, powerful and effective prayer. One reassuring aspect of the book is that you get the distinct impression that you aren’t being called to a standard that the author himself refuses to abide by. You are led to strongly believe that Bro. Ravenhill was speaking straight from his heart. The book is noticeably absent of the self-promotion and demographic-study-give-the-public-what-they-want-to-hear-syndrome that has invaded much of the Christian publishing world. It is so politically incorrect that it really is refreshing in that sense. It is hard to live on a steady diet of writings that are so devoid of conviction that they couldn’t offend someone if they tried. The fact is, the cross of Christ has always been an offense to our flesh, and it always will be. If we truly want revival, if we...

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© Israel Wayne.