The Church is in Trouble!

Evidence Continues to Grow that the Institutional Church Model Which We Have All Tended to Fall Into, is in Big Trouble!

I have lifted the following comments from bloggers to a Christian page called '10 Million Born-Again Christians Don't Go To Church Unless There is a Pageant.' Frankly, I am not sure that I even understand that comment, however, this page (and similar ones) are appearing everywhere on the internet and showing us that disenchantment within evangelical Christian congregations has probably never been so widespread. Of course, a few will never be satisfied, however, this fairly new rejection of evangelical patterns of behaviour by genuine believers should be carefully observed and listened to in our opinion.

In posting some of these comments I do not seek to attack the Church of Jesus Christ (which, of course, is a spiritual body, not a building or a denomination), but simply to question the typical congregational roles which we have all fallen into, roles and patterns of behaviour which are so similar to clubs and associations of various kinds within the non-Christian world. Let me ask this question: if our local church is so similar to our local political party club/office, or even to a stamp-collecting society, or a book-reading club, with regular treasurer's reports, pot-luck evenings, including a once-a-week lecture on our own particular topic of interest, sometimes taken by guest speakers, should that not start to alert us to the fact that our whole western concept of "church" may need urgent re-evaluation because it is overly culturally-orientated?

Before finally leaving our website, please ensure that you read the highly challenging article, The Crisis in the Local Church - this highly praised article pulls no punches in a consideration of the problems.

The following comments genuinely appeared on a Christian 'blog' page, we have simply tidied up the punctuation; it would be completely wrong to assume that UK Apologetics necessarily agrees with any particular single comment given below, however, if one takes the overall thrust, some real truth is being spoken.

Blogger 1.

"I'm sick and tired of other Christians questioning my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ because I don't attend church. Lord knows I want to be in church. I've been to I can't tell you how many churches. And what do I hear and see? Lines of people giving jewelry, money "for the kingdom" and not being taught about the Kingdom. An emphasis on Old Testament sermons and nothing being taught about the New Covenant or the new Dispensation of Grace. Sermons filled with messages on tithing when the Lord is looking for cheerful givers. People constantly asking me what my ministry is and what I am doing for the church when I don't want to say I went without being sent by the Lord. Sermons about President Bush and not much about the Lord Jesus Christ. NO. I'm disgusted and tired of the cultural Christianity that exists in the church today. It is not the Truth. I don't want to be entertained - great choirs - well that's wonderful. I'm looking more to be edified. The so-called Christian right is NOT RIGHT. The arrogance and the 'us four and no more' mentality that I see is sickening. I've seen 2 Christians in the last several days get blasted by non-Christians because of their inauthenticity, lies and unethical behavior. It's an embarrassment to Jesus Christ. Yet they go around telling everyone how much they love God. It's an awful witness.

Don't judge me. You have no idea what I've been through. I'm a wounded Christian. Been on the front lines of spiritual battle. And all I get are 'Job's friends' making all kinds of stupid comments. I love the Lord Jesus Christ very much. Thank God for His healing power. But I'm sick of the political undertones of the American Christian Church. I say no thank you...."

Blogger 2.

"Some of the 10 million unchurched aren't lazy, marginalized, or hypocritical. Some of us are actually being obedient to what the Lord is calling us to do.

"The Church" is not a building or a particular church fellowship; The Church is the worldwide body of Christ. Church is not somewhere you GO, it's something you ARE.

The Bible does NOT say "Go to church!" Hebrews 10:25 says do not forsake ASSEMBLING or MEETING together. Today there is an assumption that means showing up Sunday mornings to an institutional building, but it didn't take on that meaning until Constantine. The New Testament Church met mostly in homes as do many believers around the world. So was the New Testament church not legitimately born-again? Or is it about people, not location?

Almost three years ago the Lord very specifically took my family out of the institutional church. We were not wounded, lazy or hypocritical, in fact we were in leadership for many years but searching for more God in the church. Although desperately hungry for more, we did not leave until He released us. When He finally told us it was time to come out, we thought that He was going to place us into another traditional church family. In fact, we searched and searched only for Him to continually say 'not here.' Each time we thought He meant that particular church family. What He really meant was, not the setting of institutional church.

During this wilderness time we have continued to get together with other believers, iron is sharpening iron and our roots are growing deeper instead of shriveling. Instead of being impaired, our faith is maturing and we are growing by leaps and bounds, which is more than was happening while we were going to church. Now that our time and energy are no longer taken by church programs, we are actually having more fruit spreading the gospel in our neighborhood. In fact, now we're praying starting a regular church meeting at our house...."

Blogger 3.

"Considering what most people get out of an average church, their time would be better spent just sitting down and reading a Bible. If you are in a good church, then yes, it is important to keep going there, because every time you go you will get something out of it that you never would have learned spending twice as long reading scripture. If not, you definitely need to get out of that church. If you can, find a good one, but otherwise, have private meetings with other Christians. In fact, have private meetings with other Christians, in groups wherever you can, regardless of whether or not you are in a good church."

Blogger 4.

"I have spent many years feeling like a failure as a Christian because of my disappointment with church, until I realised it is 'church' itself that has got all out of whack. Thousands of committed Christians who dearly love the Lord, the world over, are no longer attending a church and searching for something else. That something is what we hear being spoke to us within our hearts by the Holy Spirit, that the Christian churches are failing God and His people, especially unsaved people. Christianity has become like a moral cultural club to "join" with a lot of similar values to the world, ie, exessive focus on money, fashion, an acceptance of being completly worldly and being a Christian on the side. And what's with this recent involvement in politics? Are some pastors so egotistical that some politican just has to give them a call claiming to be a Christian that they go all ga-ga and lead many gullible Christians in their church into supporting a politician fishing for votes under the guise of being a Christian? Can't people see this for the scam it is? No, church long ago ceased to be about God, it has become like a safe culture in this immoral world that people find a sense of safety and belonging in, but it is run by man, not led by God. Other Christians that are quietly and confidently following the Lord in their own hearts must pray to be led to other such believers who have given up on our modern day version of church, and meet together the way God intended, in our homes, not funding extensive renovations on our church bulidings year after year, instead focusing on Him and helping the poor and needy, supporting each other in our walks, and not "running" a church, tithing money from church members, coming up with new and flashy ways to get people to come and stay at 'our' church. Don't pastors realise that the lights and special effects and all the other initiatives to make church more acceptable to non-Christians really just turn them off.... if Jesus is as great as they say he is, then why do they have to go to such lengths to 'sell' Him? God should be evident to others in our daily walks. Anyway, these are my thoughts. I do believe God is magnificently, and in His marvelously amazing way, still calling his true followers to Him in these end times. Something really special is happening. Don't give up."

Blogger 5.

"My husband and I have been attending a church that we were baptized in, and met each at, before we got married. It seems as though the church that I loved so much has become dry bones, and I can't take it any more, I have not found in the scriptures where it says you have to go to church, and you have to be a part of a ministry or pay tithes, I just know you love God first and seek his kingdom, nothing more (besides the ten commandments) but I think I am done with the church, all I want is God now! There is no meat there, just dry bones, now we can suck on these dry bones hoping meat will come out of them or just listen to God and do what he tells us to do and go, so that we can get the real meat. I am not against church, some people grow in the church like I did but there comes a time when you do have to hear God for yourself and tell the difference from man-made doctrine and God's word because it can be confusing (if you don't know the word or have not studied, like we are told to do). All Paul (or the person who wrote Hebrews) tells us to do is continue to meet with one another, and continue to edify each other as a body (Heb 13). I believe you can do this outside the church, not always within its 4 walls, God is everywhere and where two or more gather in Jesus name he will be there in the midst of them. Out of Love, listen to God not Man!"

For a theological description and explanation of what might be the cause of the above problems it is essential to read: