Then & Now – Circus & Football

December 10, 2016 by  
Filed under A Monday AM BLOG

“Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: Bread and Circuses.” – Juvenal – Satire (100 A.D.)

Juvenal’s satire indicted the Roman citizenry for a total corruption of cultural and civil priorities. They wanted ‘Bread & Circuses’ over sustainable civil order. Today in Alabama we need only replace ‘Bread & Circus’ with ‘Football’. There is far greater concern for the outcome of the National Championship and who wins the ‘Iron Bowl’ than for an accurate honest assessment of the moral fiber of our community. A prime example is the condition and direction of the local church.

What is the general condition of the church in America? Thom Rainer with Life Way Research in Nashville states that 94% of American churches are declining. Other denominational leaders confirm this trend.

“The SBC is rapidly dying, and resistance to change could kill over half of the denomination’s churches by 2030. Unless something is done to reverse the downward trend, SBC churches could number only 20,000 – – down from the current total of more than 44,000 – – in fewer than 22 years.” (Frank Page as quoted in the Assoc. Baptist Press, May 6, 2008).

The CFO of the United Methodist stated at their National Conference in June of 2015 that unless they implement immediate changes in the way they conduct ministry, by the year 2030 the United Methodist Denomination will be bankrupt, and, by 2050 they will no longer exist as a denomination.

What is the response of those that occupy a leadership role in these churches? DENIAL! It is no longer possible to deny the reality of decline. However, when presented with irrefutable data that validates this precipitous decline there is an overwhelming refusal to implement any ministry modifications that lead to effectiveness. The stadium in Tuscaloosa will be filled to capacity on Saturday but there is little or no interest in spiritual formation among the same people that fill church services each Sunday.

When Martin Luther led what resulted in The Reformation that changed not only Germany, Europe and ultimately the world, the German people became a driving force in that movement. The people in the American Church must do the same today. Decline is not only persistent, it is accelerating – rapidly.

Where are your priorities? Are you more concerned with Football, or, the stability and nobility of America as a ‘City on A Hill’, the beacon of Truth and Righteousness? The people in our churches must demand the modifications that evidence true spirituality as measured by Special Revelation. What are your priorities?

 

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