Warning: are we veering off course?

cravenCulture and Christ has posted a very interesting read by author/teacher S. Micheal Craven giving his perspective on a highly publicized article which claimed  Christian evangelicalism will inevitably “collapse”.

Its interesting in the context of the many end time events, personalities and spiritual trending away from God that we have discussed on GCM Watch at one point or another. Its important to note, from my understanding there is a distinction to be noted here. Although the claim is that evangelicalism will fall,  the [true] church will stand until such time the Lord himself returns to catch us away (1 Thessalonians 4).  The church of Christ isn’t immune from threat, but is indestructible (Matt 16:18) because it’s founded and rooted in Christ himself. The church cannot fail or collapse unless Christ does.

Evangelicalism is defined by David Bebbington (per Wikipedia) as a confluence of four distinct aspects namely conversionism, activism, biblicism, and crucicentrism.  If this is true and applicable about evangelicalism, then what Michael Spencer is predicting with in a decade essentially that these perspectives and methodologies will fracture to such a degree, it will drastically alter religion –and culture– in the West.

In the article, Craven argues that given some of the astonishing events we’ ve witnessed in the last  six months to a year, it certainly adds a level of credence to Spencer’s claims.

I don’t think anyone could have imagined the dramatic social, political, and economic changes that have unfolded in the last six months, changes that have shaken many of our most basic assumptions. The defeat of same-sex marriage (SSM) in California, followed by the legalization of SSM in conservative midwestern Iowa, reminds us that the battle to redefine marriage is far from over. The rapid and massive extension of government power suddenly threatens our most basic individual liberties. Growing segments of the American populace are being seduced by Marxist-socialistic ideas and schemes. Emboldened hostility toward religion—as in the case of Connecticut, in which lawmakers put forth legislation to “reorganize” the Catholic church—and an unprecedented economic disaster have all combined, making proclamations of collapse credible, giving credence to Spencer’s opening statement.

Craven also acknowledges that some Christians sense something is off the mark. We may not have all the answers, but there are signs all around us that say warning, warning, the church is veering off course.

Perhaps on center stage in the realization that something is wrong, is the growing cancer of biblical illiteracy among average Christians. It seems another “dark age” is creeping upon us as more and more people either reject the authority of scripture or simply fail to study to show themselves approved. Others limit their primary knowledge of Christ and scripture to a Sunday morning sermon by a pastor they hardly know.

Craven cited that same thing as a clear sign that we are veering off course.

In 2001, researcher George Barna warned, “The Christian body in America is immersed in a crisis of biblical illiteracy.” According to Barna’s research, the most widely known “Bible verse” among adult and teen believers is “God helps those who help themselves.” Seriously!

Less than one out of every ten believers possess a biblical worldview, meaning practically that 90 percent of professing Christians neither comprehend or know how to apply the most basic Christian theological understanding to their lives. (Among young adults ages 18-23, it’s less than one percent.)

We talked about several of Barna’s highly publicized surveys on GCM Watch. One, where Barna almost praised gay christians and their alleged relationship with Christ. That was disturbing.  Another where Barna claimed 54% of African American Christian believe Jesus sinned while on earth. Equally disturbing.

But what is the answer? If we are veering off course, where will we end up and what do you believe are solid solutions to getting us back to where we belong.

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6 thoughts on “Warning: are we veering off course?

  1. Pastor Foster I don’t know if you have been made aware of this but the American Lutheran Church is now recognizing and accepting homosexual clergy just like the gay anti-Christ Episcopalian Church.

  2. This is indeed disturbing. I am about to step outside of the box and began evangelising. Please pray for me for strength, humility, and telling biblically sound doctrine.

  3. Does just accepting gay people like the episcopal really make a church anti-christ like? if so why? just because it is in the bible? how many churches, people ect. can honestly say they follow EVERYTHING that’s in the bible exaclty how it is written? that is the problem with a literal reading on his word. I’m just curious

  4. i see that a really BIG problem with a lot of people in the church is that they dont have a true personal relationship with GOD. i used to be one those people who felt like everthing that goes on in the church is right just because i grew up in that setting and have been used to it for soooo long. once i started to ask god to really help me and to give me revelations on what i should and shouldnt do it raised my level of discernment and i just dont see a lot of things the same way pertaining to church.i personally do feel like it is veering off track because people are so far in their comfort zone that they cant recognize when they are being stagnant. i think if everyone got a closer relationship with GOD and actually considered that some things they are so used to are not the way things should be then maybe a lot of people can be rescued from this ever continuing trend. those religous mindsets are going to really shock a lot of people when jesus returns, just because you been goin to church all your life, giving offering, shoutin, and whatever else people feel like they HAVE to do…..doesnt mean you’re on the strait and narrow

  5. Sarah if youre referring to the comment by Robert, I believe he meant anti Christ as in against the word of the Lord, thus “against” Christ. The two are inseparable. John 1:1-3

    If a church officially sanctions any behavior which is clearly condemned in God’s word, then it is against Christ. Either youre for him or youre against him.

    You say “just because it is in the bible” as if something being in the bible can be accepted or rejected like food at a cheap buffet.
    Even Jesus said, “man shall live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”.

    Secondly, your criteria that following EVERYTHING (literally) in the bible must be the standard for justifying condemnation of homosexuality is carnal understanding. The problem with your criteria is not everything in the bible is literal. Somethings are. The prohibition against homosexuality is.

  6. Literally? its funny how nobody has a problem with the literal understanding of not committing murder or adultery.

    If we try to find loopholes in the scriptures we will get into trouble.

    Carnal thinking is the the problem.

    It is true that the church has veered and for me the problem is the type of teaching. Most of our teaching is based on life on earth which is a total contradiction to “set your affections on things above”, “lay up treasure’s in heaven”. Quite simply we are cheapening our salvation by being taught and attempting to “live our best life now”! Why would I long for heaven if earth is so cozy?. Paul said his desire was to know Christ and Him crucified but today’s focus is on “gettin blessed” and “money coming” and “I’m coming out” and even the positive “self esteem” messages, we need to focus on Christ!

    CS Lewis said something to like this in Mere Christianity – if you focus on heaven you get earth thrown in but if you focus on earth you get neither.

    This scripture spoke to me this morning
    “II Tim 2:15
    Study to show thyself approved to God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

    Each and every word is so powerful, its starts with studying then ends with to rightly divide the word of truth, in doing this we will be approved by God and never be ashamed.

    Powerful!

    Help us Jesus, help me!

    God bless!!

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