of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed...” (Luke 9: 26). 4. The fear of offense. If America has a new religion, surely it must be the religion of tolerance. Tolerance says that all religions deserve equal respect. No problem there, but post-modernism essentially says that all religions are equally valid and true since life and history had no central story, no central script by which all other stories are measured. This can very confusing, very guilt inducing to any Christian who was grown up in this pluralist soup that we have been living in over the last several decades. Jesus said, “I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14: 6). Nowadays, we have become fearful of offending any who might not agree with us. If a preacher is afraid to say what the Bible says about heaven and hell for fear of offending some wealthy donors, or if the Christian politician is afraid to identify himself with the truth of the Bible for fear of losing votes, those people have agreed with our culture that the Bible is offensive and should be moved to the edge of the discussion. But the Bible is offensive only to those who are offended by its message. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1: 18). 5. The fear of competition. The main concern is that the entertainment culture, with its emphasis on talk show hosts, attention spans, the latest in high tech wizardry and gimmickry can leave precious little time on a Sunday morning for the teaching and preaching of the Word of God. In Acts 2: 42, the very first item on the list that characterized the assembly of the first churches in Jerusalem was the steadfastness in the Apostles’ doctrine. Nowadays, it is up to us to make the Word of God a priority in the life of the church, from children’s Sunday school to adult classes and every home group. There is no reason for not duplicating what appear to have been the pattern of the early church: the careful reading and explaining of the Apostles’ letters as they circulated through the new churches in the first century. Today we call it expository preaching, but it is nothing more than taking followers of Jesus through the same Apostles’ doctrine that the early church learned and watching believers grow in that environment. The Bible is being marginalized in our culture and our churches. From a cultural perspective, simple observation proves it. We see it in the halls of government, education, business. There are exceptions, of course l
The Bible is being marginalized in our culture and our churches. From a cultural perspective, simple observation proves it. We see it in the halls of government, education, business. There are exceptions, of course.
October 2016 / Impacto evangelístico
Magazine Evangelistic Impact Edition October 2016 English language