The Future of Evangelicalism

March 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Leadership

Michael Spencer (he calls himself the “internet monk”) recently (March 24) put a match to dry tinder. He wrote a BLOG in which he predicted the collapse of Evangelicalism in the next ten years.  Given the current climate in Evangelicalism, it is tempting to agree with Spencer. Here are the primary issues he cites as causal factors. The Evangelical church in America will:

1. Continue to confuse the true gospel with the culture war.
2. Lose the ability to pass on the importance of the faith and “a vital evangelical confidence” in the Bible to our children.
3. Lose financial strength.
4. Falter in aggressive evangelism.

 Spencer has identified some salient and substantive issues. However, he also assumes that there is no remedial process to stem the tide. Has the church to this juncture been ready and willing to address these factors? Absolutely not! Does this therefore mean that she will not? Absolutely not! The church is the Bride of Christ and our God will preserve those who persevere (1Tim. 4:16; Heb. 10:36).  The faithful remnant will show fidelity to their LORD regardless of the difficulties they encoutner. Church history is populated with such stalwarts of  the faith.

Since we do not labor under the umbrella of Deut. 18:14-22, such bold predicitons abound. If the prophet still faced stoning for his erroneous prognostication, there would be far fewer prophecies issued.

Harry Jackson responded with a much different perspective (posted on Church Report Daily, March 30). His perspective, while not classified as a view through the proverbial ‘rose colored glasses’ is much different and probably much closer to reality. Consider his summary.

“Evangelical church attendance is dropping at a very slow rate. Evangelicals have to do some major house cleaning in order to remain a thriving force in the world today. Currently, however, the evangelical brand remains strong. . . .

In conclusion, let me remind every evangelical that there is a need for the 21st century church to preach the word. The apostle Paul said it this way in 2 Timothy 4:2-3 “…be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (NIV).

If we are faithful to the Word of God, God will be faithful to the nation! Let’s take on the mental posture of spiritual marines. Let’s shout we our loudest voice, “Semper Fi!” – “Always Faithful!”

Like the Marines looking for a “Few Good Men”, our ministry exists to enlist Leaders like those who responded to Earnest Shackleford’s appeal for explorers in the 1914 Antarctic expedition.  His ad read as follows:

“MEN WANTED for Hazordous Journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.”

He only needed 27 men. 5,000 applied. Why? Because they wanted to do something with their lives that could make a difference.

YOU can make a difference Pastor. Engage the Transformation process IgniteUS provides and be one of those who make a difference. The wages here are indeed small. There will be times of bitter darkness. There is no doubt about a safe return. And finally, the reward is a new heaven and a new earth dwelling with the people God used you to Transform. Sound like a difference YOU want to make? Join those God will use to shout with Harry Jackson – “Semper Fi!” – “Always Faithful!”

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