Brush Fires of Spiritual Freedom
By Mike Foil
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
The Christian church in America, for too long, has been anemic. We have taken Sunday services and turned them into social gatherings where the congregation goes home no better informed than when they came. There is no message of urgency to walk close to God. Any mention of sin or disobedience, by a pastor, is weakly expressed and produces no shame or change.
Church discipline is almost non-existent. The pews are full of people living in open sin with no fear of confrontation from “spiritual” leaders. The church members, to a great degree, are very uneducated in the things of the Bible. Many do not even bring a Bible with them to church and even if they did, would not know where to find the references.
(Heb 5:11-14 KJV) Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Where are the preachers who will proclaim the Word with convicting power? Where are the Bible teachers who not only know the Word but are skilled in passing on that knowledge to the next generation? How many “Christians” can adequately explain to a non-believer the message of the Bible and the plan of God?
We attend churches where “milk” is preached and taught week after week. It seems the sermons are geared to the weakest link, which always will prohibit the eating of “meat”. There needs to be a revamping of the mission of the church service. Evangelism is for the Christians to do on a regular basis; on the street, in the homes, at the park, etc. When the Sunday morning sermon is a message to the “lost”, much of the time, the “found” sit there and starve.
Jesus instructed Peter to “feed my sheep”. Let the preachers proclaim the message of Christ from the rooftops, from the sidewalks, even from the pulpit as a part of the message of offering meat for food; but let the pastors feed the sheep. What is a pastor? “Pastor” means shepherd, one who is responsible for the sheep under his care. It is no wonder that anemia is the norm and “going to church” has become irrelevant. Why would someone want to give up sleeping in and the early football game on Sunday morning, just so they can say that they attended a church service that was utterly boring?
It does not have to be that way! Church services do not have to be something that we dread having to attend, but feel obligated to make a showing. There are many regular people who are hungry for the pure meat of the Word. Transform the gathering of Christians from a social, milkfest, to a training center for building up the Body of Christ to do the work of the ministry.
Is it any wonder that many preachers reach a phase of burnout? No, they feel all the pressure and weight on their own shoulders and see limited growth in their congregations. Why? Because the people are not growing. Why? Because they are not being properly fed.
There is a hunger in Christianity for meat! If you are a church leader and are not prepared to feed meat to your sheep, step aside until you are ready. If you are still drinking milk, you have no business being in a position of leadership. If you are ready, create the opportunities and give it all you have. When word gets out that the pure Word is being taught, it will attract those who are hungry. It is these who will grow and become the next tools of transformation. If your messages offend no one, they are anemic and worthless. An unrepentant sinner should take offense to the pure Word.
Sure, there are those in the field who are doing all they can to feed the sheep. There are congregations that are eating multiple times each week and are growing. These exceptions are doing what they can to restore a vital sense of life to the Christian church in America.
To those pastors and teachers – you are the voices of church leadership who should be determined to set the brush fires of spiritual freedom in the hearts of men. A few who will be bold, speak the truth without watering it down, demonstrate the unconditional love of God, reveal to the lost Jesus’ extended hand of mercy; but, at the same time provide intensive teaching, which will help those who participate as learners, to grow into additional voices of truth.
Start the fire and let it spread! This nation is in desperate need of a revival!
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