Friday, September 06, 2019

America's Microwave Christianity

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Pastor Shane Idleman, a California pastor, wrote an article recently titled, "America's Microwave Christianity." It caught my attention---I read it, and I agree with him.

He says people are bored and in a hurry, so the church continues its attempt to change and become more "appealing" and relating to the culture, with 5-minute devotions and prayers.

A study published this week has found that life has become "Hurry Up. Modern Patience Thresholds Are Lower Than Ever Before-Technology to Blame."

Be informed.

The church.

I encourage Christians to read the pastor's complete article. It will only take about 4 minutes. I say that to entice you to read it. I know---we're all busy.

Shane Idleman is the pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Leona Valley California.

Awhile back he debated a so-called progressive Christian pastor on the subject of biblical marriage on Fox News.

He said he couldn't believe two Christian pastors were even having that conversation.

He says there are wonderful churches, but on the whole, "we have drifted significantly off course." "People are bored," they say, "so our services need to be more appealing."

"Church is boring," he says, "because the power of God is missing."

The pastor says, "Like Sampson, they don't realize that the Spirit of the Lord has departed."

He says there's hope, we can regain our influence, but only by calling on the Lord."

"Pastors and Christian leaders, we must again seek God as if our nation and the future of our children depend on it---because it does," he says.

He says:
"While five minute devotions and prayers have their place, we will starve in these days. We need powerful times of prayer, devotion and worship. Without the heartbeat of prayer, the body of Christ will resemble a corpse."
"We must remember," he continues, "remember when the church sought God in an upper room for days until fire fell? Remember when we were not in a hurry, and extended worship services drove us to our knees? Remember when seeking God drove the church? Methods, marketing programs, and surveys now lead the way. Remember when prayer and seeking God were assets, not liabilities to church growth?"

He also notes that we can humble ourselves, pray and seek His face, but all this will fall on deaf ears if we do not turn from our wicked ways.

"We must turn from our rebellion," he says, "including idols that have diverted our passion for Christ," noting that social media is filled with jealousy and envy; and a competitive spirit---many churches add gimmicks and dumb down the gospel in an attempt reach the culture. But the pulpit is to be sacred, not secular.

He says, "The truth is 'we have perverted the words of the living God'," referencing Jeremiah 23:36.

The pastor says we wonder why the American church has drifted off course. It's because "most churches resemble a social gathering rather than a powerful worship service."

I don't know this pastor, but I know he's right.

The culture.

A new survey from London found that most people still believe patience is a virtue, but most don't practice it.

The conclusion of the survey of 2,000 people was that technology was to blame.

Some of the findings:

  • People become frustrated after just 16 seconds if a page on the computer or iPhone doesn't load.
  • They become frustrated if a traffic light doesn't change after 25 seconds.
  • They become frustrated if water for a cup of tea doesn't boil in 28 seconds.
  • They become frustrated if they can't find a writing pen in 18 seconds or less. "Who stole my pen?"
  • Frustrated if a server takes more than 14 minutes to bring food to the table after its ordered.
  • Frustrated in emails are not answered within 90 minutes.

The list goes on, but you get the point. I thought these tech devices were supposed to simplify our lives, not complicate them.

However, the conclusion was that 95% of people admit they still believe in "patience as a virtue," even if they don't practice it.

Pastor Shane says, "We must stop confusing God's patience with His approval and preach with conviction from pulpits again."

Well said. It's always encouraging to hear passion in the voice of pastors. Especially younger ones.

Too busy? Consider this:

Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Be Blessed. Be Prayerful.