Monday, March 16, 2009

Unwitting Accomplices To The Demise Of The Church - Part 1

This big old ship, Bill. She creaks, she rocks, she rolls, and at times she makes you want to throw up. But she gets where she's going. Always has, always will, until the end of time. with or without you. - J. F. Powers, Wheat That Springeth Green

I have been an adult for the last thirty years, and a pastor for half that long. Those three decades have been a time of tremendous change in the church. The first, the late seventies and early 80's was the decade of the Charismatics. While the movment had been around for some time, its fervor was at its peak. People of all Christian denominations were dissatisfied with what they perceived as a lack of spirituality.

The second decade, the late 80's into the mid 90's were characterized by revivalism. Many who had sought exprience were now dissatisfied, and they sought more. The mantra of this age could very well be the song, More Love, More Power, More, More More. Our own church and community experienced a movement of God in which hundreds were born again and hundreds changed. However, the fires have now cooled.

The last decade is hard for me to define. It has been filled with the reformed reaction against the revivalists, the emergent reaction against the traditional church, and the missional reaction against perceived complacency. Barna gave up on reformation and espoused revolution. Eldridge decried the local church as the great emasculator. MacLaren tore down the Bible and enshrined the culture, and here we all sit in the middle of a declining and diminishing Christian community.


SelahV said...

If not for the love of Jesus and men like you who write with such desire for Christ's spirit to be manifested in the church, one might sadly settle into a hole of complacency and apathy for what would be the use? But God raises up those in His Body to encourage one another. And He shows Himself real to some who see Him bring one more child into the kingdom and one more person who comes to the church hungry for the Word of God. And you deliver. No matter what. selahV