Filling Up the Pews for all the Wrong Reasons
Nena Arias | May 7, 2018
It is accurate to say that the Christian churches in America are in trouble. For several decades, a decline of church attendance in most of the fundamental Christian denominations has been reported. Most of the statistics tell us that nearly 50% of Americans have no church home. Many of the mainline churches have seen this drastic decline in their membership and attendance for varied reasons, which is why one particular reason cannot be signaled out as being the reason.
On the other hand, there are some churches that are experiencing a numerical growth spurt, but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. A misinterpretation of what the love, compassion and righteousness of God are all about is drawing those who have made up their minds that God is more liberal than holy. They have decided to interpret the Bible in a more humanistic and liberal manner than as God’s word. These people have found churches who are catering to them in the name of God. They have taken a positon that is more convenient for their needs in preference to the unadulterated full counsel of God’s Word that makes no concessions with sin.
In some churches that are accommodating to less than strict interpretations of God’s Word, people are being told a partial truth about God’s Word that all can be brushed under the rug of forgiveness without a life transformation because God is love and he accepts you as you are. He knows you are a sinner and you will sin. This will always draw people who are looking for a way to justify sinful living yet still say they are with God. Paul pointed out to the Corinthians that sin will not inherit the kingdom of God when he warned them by saying the following: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Many people will flock to churches where sin is not called by its name. The churches have found the weak points in people and issues and make concessions to cause people to want to come to their church. These are places where they only preach “make me feel good” sermons or cater to people’s needs. These churches have also taken up issues like illegal immigration, which is enabling illegal law-breakers to not only break the law by entering illegally but also by remaining in this country illegally; they do so with the churches’ aid and full approval. When the word gets around of where a safe haven is, people will flock to that place, whether they want spirituality or not. The numerical growth may increase but not where it really counts. It comes from churches offering sanctuary to undocumented immigrants. Another issue that gets used is strict gun control and the acceptance of the LGBT agenda.
Pastors pushing their congregations toward activism with a twist on Scripture acknowledge their efforts could hasten the demise of a mainstay of American life if they don’t give Scripture the correct emphasize, but they do it anyway. They contend it is the best way to follow Jesus’ example—and maybe the only way to save churches whose membership and influence have been in decline for half a century, liberal churches are really drawing the millennial crowd but not with God’s undiluted Word.
Some pastors are afraid for their livelihood with kids still in school. So, they continue to cultivate what has often been a glorified country club to draw increased attendance. They prefer to be people pleasers that will fill their pockets and fill the pews for wrong reasons.
Let us all pray and work for America to have a true biblical reformation. It is her only hope for survival.