10 reasons why the church is broken. I'm sure many reasons exist that hinder God's people, but believe that three main reasons are wreaking havoc upon the Church of the West.
Liberalism can be viewed in many ways. In fact, Christians are to be liberal in the giving of their time and means. So, taking this definition of liberalism is a good thing, but how are we to see liberalism as a Church killer? The liberalism that seems to be killing the Church today deals with individuals who don't hold God's word as inspired truth. The postmodern push has crept into the Church today and many are questioning the truthfulness of God's word. Renewed attacks are coming from within the Church upon orthodox beliefs. Many, in fact, are claiming that God's word can not be seen as universal truth or an all-encompassing narrative. What this means is that individuals or communities are deciding what is true for them and what is not. The problem with this approach is the individuals or communities are the ones responsible for making universal ground rules, therefore contradicting that truth is not universal.
Liberalism is being twisted in the Western culture for the promotion of values that don't ring true with the message of the Bible. One of the most glaring examples of this deals with many churches of the West acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle. This is an extremely sensitive subject, because as soon as one points out the contradictions of the homosexual lifestyle compared to God's Word they are almost immediately branded as intolerant. The question that needs to be asked, that no one really does is, "Who is intolerant when the subject comes up?" Many times the Church is guilty of being intolerant, but when the homosexual community demands that acceptance takes place over God's Word then it is the homosexual community that is intolerant. Other cultural liberal issues that have been accepted by many in the Western Church includes: sex before marriage, acceptance of abortion, and many other issues that cut across biblical teachings.
Legalism has existed before the time Jesus appearance on earth. Plain and simple, legalism is a man-made set of rules that one uses to justify themselves from. It is law-keeping that misses the heart of God's message. Many in the church fall prey to the web of legalism. Jesus was constantly dealing with the Pharisees legalism (see Matthew 23) and little has changed today. Too many legalist are driving people off, because in their mind they have it all figured out. In other words, you must go to the legalist for answers, and not God's Word. One of the major reasons why young people are leaving churches or not even considering meeting with the church deals with the heavy load that legalists put on the backs of individuals. The sad consequence of legalism is that the love of Jesus is suppressed for individual hoop jumping laws. Legalists are interested in works as opposed to the heart of Christ's message. For the legalist, Christ's sacrifice is disparaged simply for the sake of personal control.
Too many Christians are too comfortable on their spiritual lazy-boy chair. For the lazy Christian, Christianity means nothing more than filling a pew on Sunday morning, if that. Lazy Christians feel entitled, as if God owes them something simply because they mouthed the words, "I believe." It's no wonder that the Church is exploding in non-Western countries while the Western Church relies too much on the comforts they have been blessed with. If the Western Church would realize that location makes no difference in God's movement, it could recapture the culture that now sadly influences the Church more that the Church influences culture. The Western Church seems content to mouth certain "special" words and show up at a building for a 2 hour stint and call itself Christian. Maybe, the Western Church should read what Jesus has to say (Matt. 7:21-13, Rev. 3:16) before trying to justify their fat and lazy lifestyle.
The purpose of the blog is not to be negative toward the Church, but to point out real problems that hinder the Church in the West. On many occasions I feel like Paul who said, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst (1 Tim. 1:15)." No one has lived a perfect life, except Jesus, but the three L's defiantly are killers of the Church.