We begin a new decade this month. I believe one filled with serious spiritual and existential challenges for the church. My message Sunday has two parts: A Warning for the Present, and A Vision for the Future.
THE WARNING arises from a growing cultural contagion infecting churches in America. In 1984, just before his death, Francis Shaffer alerted us to the looming danger in his book, THE GREAT EVANGELICAL DISASTER, “The world spirit of our age rolls on and on claiming to be autonomous and crushing all that we cherish in its path. Sixty years ago could we have imagined that unborn children would be killed by the millions here in our own country? Or that we would have no freedom of speech when it comes to speaking of God and biblical truth in our public schools? Or that every form of sexual perversion would be promoted by the entertainment media? Or that marriage, raising children, and family life would be objects of attack?”
This virus, which I will name Sunday, rapidly spread infecting believers and churches in the eighties. But like a viral infection, the host is infected long before becoming symptomatic. Symptoms begin showing up in the nineties, with postmodernism, the emergent church, an insatiable drive to be relevant, and what I call uber individualism driven by social media.
My Vision suggests five things a church must commit too regularly, corporately and individually. If not this caustic, corrosive cauldron spilling out a toxic virus will overcome the church at large in America.
If you think this is alarmist, take a look at the church in Europe. Beginning in Germany, after the war Liberal Protestantism sought to adapt Christianity to a modern intellectual context. They wanted to be relevant to the times. This same determination, drives much of the church today. The virus is spreading.
Join me this Sunday to find out how we as a church can protect ourselves and proclaim our Christ.