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None of us would want to put just a band-aid on a broken arm. Yet some recent reports have reinforced my belief that much of the church is doing just that!
I want to share two recent newspaper articles with you about the state of the church. They report on very different aspects of the church, but there is an underlying problem, common to both aspects, that the church has largely missed.
In a church struggling to survive in today’s increasingly secular world, the real reason for the problems that are “driving the trends” is not explored in the reports. The reason the church isn’t seen as relevant—not touching the culture—is missed.
1) Australia’s Sunday Mail said: “Christianity, the main religion of Australia since colonization, is no longer the force it once was … people are inherently spiritual but they want a religion that is relevant … [and] want some reason for believing.”
Noting that churches use “rock music, singing, clapping,” etc., to attract young people, the reporter stated: “However, despite attracting the numbers, the gloss seems to wear off, with a trend for young people to leave in numbers as large as they came.”
In other words, this report sees the church in Australia as dying—an institution which is no longer influencing society as it used to. As a result, many in the church are desperately trying to do innovative things to attract people, particularly teens.
It’s interesting to note that before the last world war, around 40% in Britain attended church; this Australian news report states that Britain today has similar rates of church attendance to Australia—around 7.5%.
Let me state here that around 70 years ago, Britain was where the US is today in church attendance. But where Britain is today, the US may be “tomorrow.” And this will occur for the same underlying reason. But before I get to that reason …
2) From the Cincinnati Enquirer, a different sort of article about the church declared, in a headline: “Modern technology spreads old message.” And a pastor was quoted: “Churches that want to grow do everything they can to open up their doors to people who are not part of the church, and technology is a way of doing that … .”
The report also said: “Within the last decade … churches locally and nationally have been fusing elaborate electronic systems with faith, dabbling in pop culture and using it to attract larger and younger congregations.”
Now, before you might misunderstand, I’m certainly not saying churches shouldn’t use modern technology, special music and so on. At AiG, we very much believe in being on the cutting edge of modern technology (our speakers use digital presentations, and our Creation Museum will feature technological advancements).
What am I getting at? In most instances, I believe churches are using modern technology, music, worship teams, etc., as a band-aid. They don’t deal with the underlying, fundamental reason that the church has lost its influence on the culture:
Most of the church has compromised with millions of years/evolutionary ideas, which over generations have undermined the authority of the Word of God.
For all the worship teams, technology and innovative ideas in the church, the culture is becoming less (even more “anti”) Christian. The church has told the world that millions of years/evolution can be believed, and the Bible can be reinterpreted.
After generations of such compromise, society has increasingly rejected the Bible as authoritative—and its morality (e.g. marriage) is even no longer accepted.
But God has given AiG a phenomenally powerful message for the church and world—the Bible is true from the beginning, and its history can be trusted in every area, and so the morality and salvation message of the Bible are also true!
This vital message, combined with the right technology, can reach this culture and offer more than a band-aid solution, and provide the right remedy for the nation.
Here’s a church that has witnessed a new effectiveness through AiG materials: “[Our] church prays that our great God would … further the critical ministries of AiG. I appreciate the high quality of the AiG products which give greater impact to the gospel of Christ. [They] are all resources I use often.”—Pastor Rick S., Indiana
I thank God that He has used AiG—with the help of its supporters—to equip churches like this one to be more effective—to bring about change, one church and one community at a time. With your practical support and prayers, AiG’s outreaches can impact more lives and churches as God blesses.