Saturday, July 5, 2008
OH CHURCH, ARISE!
The latest Pew Research Poll of Religion was released during the last days of June 2008. The results were shocking, to say the least! The most amazing statistic to come out of their research of Christians (of all ages) across the United States, was the one which showed that over 57% of EVANGELICAL 'christians' indicated their belief that CHRIST is NOT the only way to Heaven!!!
This is a finding about EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS! Now, Ed Stetzer, well-respected missiologist of the Southern Baptist Convention, was just as disturbed as we are and looked at HOW the questions were asked. There may have been some misleading or misunderstanding of the question about whether Pew mean "religion" while the "Christian" was thinking "denomination".
What this thinking means, is if the pollsters asked me, for example, if I think my religion is the only way to heaven and I say no, but what I really think is while I am a Baptist, therefore Assemblies can go to heaven or conservative Bible churches can go to heaven..IF THEY BELIEVE IN CHRIST! What the pollster really meant was do you think muslims, liberal protestants and hindus are other ways to get to heaven! Stetzer thinks here was the disconnect!
I do as well - to a certain extent! When we think of heaven...you and I only think of Christ. In other words, muslims etc are not in the equation. The average Joe and Jeannette in the pew thinks denomination. However, this poll has serious problems with this line of thinking!
When you have 57%of the last remaining Christian people in the civilized world, giving an answer like that, it shows a lack of TRUE Biblical teaching, my friends! For over a decade, the seeker sensitive movement, led by Bill Hybels and Rick Warren have deemphasized the Cross, the Blood of the Lamb, sin, death and hell and preached kumbayah. Multiple paraphrases of the Bible are now the rage, led by the Message - the most questionable of all.
Add to that, pastors leaving their bibles at home, putting laptops on the lectern and overusing powerpoint and drama to get a message across...well, how do you expect the people in the pews to bring their Bibles, far less read them at home!!! When your Sunday school class is all videos by Rob Bell or other emerging church 'gurus' etc...well, then you see the problem we have - Biblical Illiteracy.
This is the purpose of the evil one. The old enemy of Christ - Satan, has found willing (albeit unknowing, at times) accomplices in the church. Without proper knowledge and teaching and learning from the pure Word of God, no Christian can develop a Biblical world view and see things the way Christ did.
There is more that can be said about this. However,suffice it to say for now, a church which diminishes the pure Word of God, because it is too "old-fashioned" and seeks to find new ways to "do church", will soon go the way of all flesh. Such a church has morphed itself into the culture so much that you can distinguish it, you get these awful poll results.
The answer? Repent, turn from our wicked ways and seek His Holy Face. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (HCSB) says "and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land"
Oh, Church Arise! Wake up from your sleep! Rise up, oh men and women of God, and take a stand for Christ now!! Don't wait, don't linger....soon will be our redemption!