Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Modern Church

This morning I was listening to "Wretched" radio program on my MP3 player. They played a clip from Matt Chandler preaching to his congregation at The Village church in Texas about the modern evangelical church in America. I transcribed the soundbite for this blog post. It is as follows:

"Here's what you're going to get at church 99% of the time, all over the place. You're going to get pragmatism. You're going to get "4 ways for better biblical sex", "9 ways to your best life now", "15 ways to be a better man", "7 ways to....." And do you know what you're not going to get? [You're not going to get] the nature and character of God. Here's what ends up happening. Because the world is broken and God has not restored it to its fullness yet, somebody is going to get sick, somebody is going to dies in a car wreck, somebody is not going to get in the school they wanted to get into, somebody is not going to get the job that they wanted to get, somebody's wife is going to leave them, somebody's husband is going to leave them, some 3 year old is going to get cancer, some of you are going to get sick. And at that moment, when that happens because you do not know the nature and character and beauty of the transcendent God of the universe (you simply know here are the behavioral modifications that I am supposed to do), you find yourself standing in half melted marshmallow, unable to move, feeling betrayed and you bolt. That's what happens over and over and over and over again., while the church continues to figure out how to get you back by getting creative, using smoke and lasers and helicopters and explosions....etc. Through it all, what you are not getting is the one thing you know, which is the picture of the transcendent, all-knowing, all-powerful God of the universe. So, most of us have a faith that is built on "I'll behave so God gives me what I want. And when He stops giving me what I want, I'm going to be furious and feel betrayed by Him because I did this, I did this, I did this, and He did not give me what I want." And that is in my experience [Matt Chandler] a bulk of what evangelicals believe."

There might be a bit of overstatement in the first sentence or two of this quote, but there is certainly a fair amount of truth as well. I have held this viewpoint myself in the past and I know people who live this worldview every day. I also know that without daily searching the Scriptures for myself and without attending a church that holds a high view of God and His Word these thoughts can sneak back in. It is prevalent in our culture today.

These words resonated with me today so I wanted to share them with you in this post.

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