What’s wrong with the church today?

What’s wrong with the church today? Throughout church history there have been things that Christians believed then that we now recognize as horribly wrong. An example provided by one of my teachers being the firm belief in slavery found in the south of America less than 100 years ago. So in the future, what will the Christians say that we, today, had completely wrong?

I think that one of the first things that future Christians will see as wrong is our ‘religion.’ I’m defining religion as legalistic and almost Pharisee-like. This is meaning when “Christians” feel that they are Christians because they go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays, always pray before meals and bed, complete their ‘read the bible in one year’ challenge and can sing most worship songs without looking at the projected lyrics (among other things, but these are the most prevalent in my church). What I think future Christians will see in this is a bunch of lukewarm Christians slowly falling into patterns and rarely “fired up” by anything other than a great drum solo by the guy in the worship band. Most Christians are starting to feel that if they fulfill all the requirements, praying the sinners’ prayer and hanging out with their youth group buddies, then they’re going to heaven. Less and less people are having a legitimate heart change, and many of the people who are, are the ones who don’t fulfill all of the ‘requirements’ and go out and go on missions trips and find the true passion, grace and miraculous power of God. Most often those people who don’t fulfill all of the Christian ‘requirements’ are the ones with the most significant ‘heart change’ because they’re the ones who aren’t concerned with following the rules and are more concerned with following God. I have a great video of a young man’s opinion on this subject. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1IAhDGYlpqY However, his opinions are largely good and true and so is his message, but also read this article (http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2012/01/13/does-jesus-hate-religion-kinda-sorta-not-really/) that really dissects the merits and faults of the video. I personally think that future Christians are going to look at us and our lukewarm, legalistic behaviors and severely disagree. I think they’ll have had the kind of reformation that it takes to promote a heart change over rules and unspoken requirements. (For more opinions on this subject read http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/januaryweb-only/religion-vs-jesus.html?start=2)

The second issue that I think future Christians will not agree with us on is our tendency toward “Antinomianism—long word, simple meaning. The word literally means “against law.” It’s a short jump from an overemphasis on the grace message to complete antinomianism. In practice, it means that “anything goes,” since Jesus has set us free. The problem is, Jesus didn’t set us free to sin; He set us free from sin.”(http://www.charismamag.com/spirit/spiritual-growth/17093-the-7-great-lies-in-the-church-today) This quote pretty much sums it all up. Along with our lukewarm Christianity is this antinomianism. We are told that as long as we “accept Jesus into our hearts” we’re free and our sins are forgiven…so anything goes, right? No. I think future Christians will be horrified to see our “anything goes” policies. We use Jesus as our safety blanket and say we can do whatever we want because He’ll forgive us. this simply isn’t true, this, again is a heart issue. He forgives us, sure. But are we really Christians until our heart changes enough that we sincerely don’t want to give Him another thing to forgive us for? I thing future Christians will have put much more thought into the “anything goes” policy and maybe have come up with a decision. Is it anything goes? Is it anything goes, but you won’t take advantage of that because you’ve changed in your heart? Etc, etc. Maybe they’ll be more set on the heart changes and a relationship with God than our constant, “I don’t want to go to Hell but I want to do whatever I want,” view of forgiveness.

Lastly, I don’t think that the future church will have it all figured out, I think they’ll have struggles of their own. I can’t say for sure what they’ll struggle with 50 years from now. Maybe they’ll struggle with easy crime and sneaking out due to their new instant teleportation wrist watches… or something. I don’t know. but based on recent trends I can make a few guesses. First, I think they’ll struggle with the concept of marriage. Many are viewing marriage as unnecessary unless you want tax benefits. A boyfriend and girlfriend can move in together and live a married life…without the marriage part. I mean, didn’t Isaac marry Rebekah just by sleeping with her? (Disclaimer: this is not my personal belief because I know I don’t really understand Old Testament marriages. Here’s a link to their marriage http://www.makingchristknown.com/daily-verse/genesis/marriage-of-isaac-and-rebekah.htm) so who needs traditional marriage? Secondly I think that they’ll struggle with distractions. Already we struggle with distractions from computers, TV’s, food, billboards, smartphones even watches now apparently work as phones. So I can’t imagine how bombarded people will be in the future. I believe that technology and distraction will be a huge issue for the future Christians. Such as in wall-e, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1BQPV-iCkUso it begins

Christians and Politics

Christians and politics. Even among people of the same religion, there will be disagreement over political issues. There aren’t always “blatantly Christian” answers or opinions to be had over political issues. Sometimes there are very clear instructions in the Bible for issues, but more often than not it’s vague and Christians have to go off of what they believe to be right by their faith. The following are my top five political issues of the moment, I am a Christian and I take my faith into great consideration when forming my opinion on these political debates, but I am just one person and my opinion could be very different from the next.

1)      Abortion

Pro life? Or Pro Choice? One of the most hotly debated topics among Christian circles is abortion. Most agree that life begins at conception, even scientists who aren’t specifically Christian will agree with this fact. (This blog has some interesting information on the subject http://fallibleblogma.com/index.php/when-does-science-say-human-life-begins/) so logically, abortion is the murder of a child. The Bible and the morals of the majority of people are in agreement that murder is wrong. So abortion should be as well. As for rape? Yes, it’s a despicable crime, but so is murder. Don’t punish a child for the crime of its parent. I am firmly of the opinion that abortion is murder and thus firmly against abortion.

2)      Sex education

Sometimes in the heat of the debates over abortion, the economy, illegal immigrants etc, the topic of Sex education is lost. Now, there are many different opinions on sex education, particularly on the concept of abstinence only education (for a forum of people discussing varying opinions go to http://www.democratichub.com/posts/3509/we-need-to-stop-abstinence-only-education.aspx) I believe in abstinence, totally and completely. The need for abstinence is clearly laid out in the Bible.  However, just because people are taught abstinence does in no way mean people will adhere to that principle. I think just the subject of sex education in general is very important, many schools teach abstinence only and leave parents to teach students what exactly they are abstaining from. However I think that sex education should be offered to students because many parents don’t properly inform their children on the subject. In these cases the students are left to teach themselves through google, experience or whatever else they find.  So I think it should be taught in school, along with the pros to abstinence and how to be safe. That’s the part many Christians have problems with, the safety part. We should try to implement a system for teaching abstinence as well as teaching safe sex, not because we want kids to know how to be safe in case they decide to ignore the abstinence part (well, yes because of that, but not just that) but because, what if they’re poorly educated and don’t want to get pregnant until a few years after they are married? Someone should teach them how to do that.

3)      Gay Marriage

Another heavily debated topic is Gay marriage. Should it be legal? I personally think that yes, it should. Whether or not it is right or a choice or in agreement with Christianity is a whole other discussion that isn’t relevant at the moment. The simple question being should it be legal should be answered as a yes. many Christians say that it is a sin and should be illegal. Even if it is a sin, it would be wrong to make it illegal. As long as it is not hurting anyone and is between consensual adults, it should be legal. Christians can’t regulate things like that. If it is a sin let people make the choice to sin. If it’s not a sin, great! Legalize it! If it is, still legalize it! We can’t make people be Christians and we can’t make people conform to our ideas of right and wrong, because that wouldn’t be true agreement, it would be forced.

4)      Gun Control

The topic of gun control is difficult to approach. (Interesting opinions http://www.democratichub.com/posts/8932/gun-control.aspx)  In light of tragedies recently it’s become an extremely hot topic. I don’t know much about guns, I don’t know much about crime rates. I do know that there have been a lot of crimes recently involving guns. I also know that many have been thwarted by citizens with conceal and carry, in one case that I specifically remember an off duty cop prevented a gun tragedy with the assistance of their personal weapon. I think that the “bad guys” will always find weapons and so why should we be stripped of ours? The Bible tells us to defend ourselves and our families (check this out http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+22%3A2-3&version=ESV). I think that we should have gun control meaning we’re more careful about who we give guns to and the selling/purchasing/ permits process. But I don’t think we should limit law abiding citizens from protecting themselves.

5)      War on Drugs

The war on drugs. This one I don’t have much to say on. The Bible says that our bodies are temples and that we should take care of them, drugs do not do so. Either because drugs cause people to do stupid things or because they are harmful to a person they are still damaging and go against taking care of the temple that is our body. Therefore I’m all for the war on drugs. I want drugs to be gone from availability for recreational use.

A political leader that fits the bill for my current view of political issues is difficult to think of. I fully admit that I haven’t been very observant when it comes to politics. I don’t know who is out there and what they stand for. I know that especially after writing this, I’ll be paying much more careful attention to these things. I do remember that Tim Pawlenty had many things that I agree with, especially his policies on sexual offenders. So I’d have to say that if I had to pick a political leader to stand with it would be him.T paw