This week’s news plus an explanation for our powerless churches
IT’S NEWS TO ME
Whats on Palestinian TV (MUST WATCH Brief Video)
SETTING OUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE
Not by Might
Today I’d like to focus on the article regarding Christians in Venezuela. If you’ve been following things down there, you know that the people of that nation have been enduring unimaginable conditions for some time now. The effects of socialism have taken a huge toll, and now the politics of this ideology are heading in a logical direction-a dictatorship.
This was to be expected because socialism always benefits those at the top despite claims of leveling the playing field for everyone. When the incentive to work hard is gone, laziness and apathy set in, as do the leeches at the top. The socialist President Maduro epitomizes what is wrong with socialism, and it looks like his strong-arm tactics will continue.
In the midst of all the chaos, the evangelical church is rising up, speaking out, and taking action. What they have to offer is exactly what the nation needs, and they are providing hope for a desperate nation. This is a great story, because it illustrates the power of the Church, the power of prayer, and the power of unity.
This causes me to wonder if something similar is possible here in the U.S. We seem to have a crisis mentality. We tolerate a lot, and will not be moved to action until a crisis occurs. Sadly, the action that is taken soon fades as we quickly fall back into life as usual. The increase in church attendance after 9/11 lasted for only a few months until apathy set in and the nation returned to “normal.”
We in America have been blessed. We regularly enjoy what most of the world only dreams of. We live in a beautiful country with great people and a multitude of opportunities. We are free to worship as we please and to speak our minds. For the most part, America is a fantastic place to live and raise a family.
At the same time, many people have taken advantage of our freedoms in order to impose their own ideology on us. Some do it out of a sincere belief that they are doing the right thing. Others do it simply to promote their own agenda. Others do it out of ignorance. This, of course, is old news. Those with spiritual discernment recognize the danger.
Our problem is our lack of response. I don’t expect to see a response here as in Venezuela. Evangelical Christianity here has infinitely more resources and more manpower. That’s probably the problem. I can’t imagine the situation in Venezuela getting worse than it is, but I can imagine things here getting worse…a lot worse. As long as our churches are still functioning and the machine is still chugging along, nothing will change. I wonder how bad things have to get before the church in America wakes up.
Compared to the rest of the world, we’ve got unlimited resources. We’ve got access to nearly anything we want. We’re only a few clicks away from any information we desire. Yet, the church in America has failed to make a difference in our culture. Perhaps the answer lies in this well-known verse:
“Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord of Hosts (Zech. 4:6).
We have become used to accepting the results of doing things in our might and power. We have accepted our mediocre results as the norm. We have bought into the idea that church is done “like this.” The pattern has been set. Conform to it and accept what you get as “normal,” no matter how pathetic the results. When the outcome is disappointing, we simply try harder.
What about repenting of our powerless ways, and allowing God to do things His way, in His time, for His purposes? His idea of church may not look anything like ours. His plan (assignment) for each congregation may be vastly different from what we have decided.
He brings people to a local body because they have been prepared or uniquely gifted to assist the local body carry out God’s unique plan. Instead of building on what God has started, new members are usually pigeonholed into pre-determined slots (usher, parking, hospitality etc.) to fulfill the church self-determined function.
How about letting the Spirit of God determine the direction of our churches? Maybe then, they can make a difference in our nation like the evangelical church in Venezuela.
ONE THE LIGHTER SIDE
Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool. I gave him a glass of water.
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