Last night, over a plate of Italian food, Sam and I found ourselves reflecting on an article he’d read earlier that day on AOL (or some other “news” source) regarding the discouraging number of clergy that lose their faith in God once they begin graduate school. Since I do not read the news I can’t point you to the exact article he’s referring to, but the fact that an article was written on it is surprising to me. However, what was even more shocking disappointing was the fact that most of these people don’t leave the ministry, despite their waning lack of faith in God. How does that work?! It seems that these ‘ministers’ felt it was important to stay in their chosen profession (yes, at this point, it is just a profession for them) because the ‘idea of God is so important for people’, and they felt they were still able to help people understand that principle. As if God needs us to help Him with anything!
As the days grow long it is becoming increasingly difficult for Christians to share the Gospel message with people. Not that the difficulties are coming at the hands of the Government, which I’m sure will happen at some point. And the difficulty isn’t even in the message itself, as it hasn’t changed in 2,000 years. No, the difficulty comes now with the hearer.
In this era of relativism how does one define sin? How does a person accept that they have indeed sinned? There’s a fix, patch, compromise, exception, and finger to point for everything. It is rare to find a person who truly understands the concept of taking responsibility for one’s own actions. Sure, we still understand cause and effect at a base level – if I touch a hot stove, I’m likely to be burned. However, that logic has been expanded much further today – instead of being a plain and simple fact, the argument seems to go like this – if I touch a hot stove, I’m likely to be burned, but I felt compelled to touch the stove because my parents sheltered me too much as a child and I needed to express my inner rage….blah, blah, blah….or some equally as ‘convincing’ argument. And these ‘arguments’ and ‘logic’ are falsely propped up by paid professionals who’ll tell their clients whatever they want to hear. Yes, gone are the days of morons and idiots – well, they’re not gone – just look around you, but now you cannot actually speak truth to them and call them morons and idiots. They’re just ‘challenged’ or in need of professional help, and we must willingly tolerate their idiocy.
At any rate, the Gospel message is losing its impact because we are a hard-hearted and stiff-necked people, who are continually striving for more of the world’s things – even Christians. I know some folks would argue against that statement, and I’m not likely to change their minds. Sure, churches are filled on Sunday mornings with people singing and praising and worshiping God, but for every one person that comes in the front door, one is leaving through the back, or falling through the cracks. We (as a society) are pushing God further and further from us, and eventually, he’s going to have enough and we will be utterly rejected, as He rejected his own people Israel – sending them into exile as slaves.
For the longest time I used to wonder how in the world a time would come when everyone who could hear the Good News would. I mean, we’re talking about billions of people – not hundreds or thousands or even millions, but BILLIONS of people throughout history. How could they all have the chance to ‘hear’. But as time passes, I realize that time is not too far away. You see, I thought that every single person would have to physically hear the Good News in order for the end of the world to be ushered forth. But in reality, it’s not about hearing, it’s about the condition of the heart. If people live in a world where the condition of the heart is relative or based on emotional experiences or on assigning blame for everything, then they won’t ever be able to ‘hear’ the Gospel message with an open heart and mind. That’s scary to me, my friends. If our church leaders can stand in the pulpits on Sunday mornings and ‘preach’ at us without even believing in the message themselves, then how can we expect for anyone else to accept and understand it?