11 June 2005

Growing Churches and False Religious Leaders

The media loves churches, but only certain churches. They love churches who are make pronoucements. The media loves churches make statements and who lead causes. But only certain causes and only certain statements. They better not be conservative statements and causes. If a conservative makes a statement then the conservative is trying to impose their point of view on others, which is something the much loved liberal churches never do -- and then they don't tell us the truth.

Liberal mainline churches are losing members in droves and yet the media doesn't tell you the truth about them. To be blunt, the mainstream media is lying to you about the leaders of these churches. They call them "religious leaders," but they are leaders whose members are leaving them in droves. To be honest about it all, I have to call them false religious leaders. They are false because they do not teach the Word of God. They are false because they want to adapt the Word of God to what some power groups ask for. (Did you hear about the falsified "New" Testament where Jesus is made into a woman? ) This is media dishonesty because the same types that hold out these "religious leaders" don't tell you that their members are leaving in droves. Could you imagine what the media would say about Jerry Falwell or James Kennedy if their ministries were losing members by the thousands. But that is what has happened to the self-appointed "religious leaders."

David Shiflett quotes a Glenmary Research Center study from 2000, the Presbyterian Church USA lost nearly 12% of its members over a decade, the United Church of Christ lost 14% of its members over the same period of time. Some conservative churches such as the Christian and Missionary Alliance grew by 21% and the Presbyterian Church in America grew 42%. This is not to mention the conservative non-denominational churches such as Saddleback. This is not to mention the movement of many conservatives from non-denominational churches to Eastern Orthodoxy, a faith which has sought to proclaim a eternal message for the last 2000 years. This is a trend that has been going on since the 1970s.

The so-called religious leaders of the media represent no one but themselves. They don't even represent their own members. Their churches are stagnating and dying. But their own members reject their leadership by leaving the denominations they lead. Why are people leaving? It is because these "religious leaders" do not give anything but a Christ-less left wing morality.

Yes, my own beloved Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod has stagnated over this same period of time. There are various reasons, some are demographic and some are cultural. But the media doesn't like us anyway. The "religious leaders" seem to make themselves the moral and ethical masters of the elite.

David Schiflett makes the point in a new book that conservative churches are giving people what they want and what they need. He says that people are rejecting the left leaning morality and people want Jesus Christ. And that is what we have to give people: teach people what the Word of God says about morality, about the family. Give people the truth about the human condition and who we are. Our task is to make others know about Jesus Christ and what He did for us. Our task is to teach God's Word.

And so we must give that same message. But not for the reasons you might think. It is vital that we proclaim this message, not because it's what the crowd wants, but because we are called to share the one message that our God has give us. It is His message that we are to make known. We can not alter His message, we can not adapt His message to what the crowd wants, we can not change the Word of God. And that message we must take into our hearts every day. The Word of God is God's message to us, a message to be believed, loved and taken seriously.

As defined by the "religious leaders," I am a fundamentalist. That title does not scare me because anyone who believes the Bible to be the errorless Word of God is called a fundamentalist by them.

Take time to get to know the religious situation in North America because it effects every Christian and every congregation. Understand that the elite is pushing legislation that could make it illegal to teach what the Bible teaches about sexual morality and family life. Get to know the situation that Canadian churches had to be told by their former Prime Minister that they would not be required to do same-sex marriages. Some Canadian churches wondered that if they did not do same-sex marriages that they would be charged under "hate crime" laws.

Yes, share God's Word with everyone around you. Reject the opinions of false "religious leaders" you hear about in the media and listen to Christian Pastors who teach the Word of God. Judge the "religious leaders" and even your Pastor on the basis of the Word of God and not on what the elite tells you that should believe and do.

Dave Schiflett's book, which is I encourage everyone to read, is entitled Exodus: Why Americans are Fleeing Liberal Churches for Conservative Christianity.

Doc Steve

4 Comments:

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Preachrboy said...

Check out the Lutheran Blog Directory: http://lutheranblogs.blogspot.com

You can list your site with us for free!

Blessings,

Rev. Tom Chryst

 
At 6:22 AM, Blogger ConradGempf said...

You know what I'm finding even worse? In the UK anyway, the stats about church decline are poorly understood, and lots of otherwise same folks are writing that us Conservatives need to change the way that we "do church" to make it more modern -- more in touch with people today -- the very feature that date the liberal churches that really are dying.

 
At 9:54 PM, Anonymous bellmarked said...

You seem to bristle at the qualifier "religious" as it is used by the media to refer to people in charge of a church. I bristle at the key noun: "leader". I was always taught that the way to determine if you are a leader or not is to look behind you. If no one is behind you, you are not leading any one, no matter what kind of exalted title you may wear. As was pointed out, if you are losing 20% of your members, you are not leading, you are losing. Perhaps a more accurate title would be "religious losers"!

 
At 11:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you please provide a link to you so called claims?

 

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