“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues,and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death,and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. Matthew 10:16-22
I have lost track now of how many conversations I have had over the last couple of weeks and certainly of how many social media posts I have seen lamenting the future of the church in America in the wake of the Obergefell decision on same-sex marriage. I get it. I share some of the concerns myself. I do agree we seem to be entering into a very different chapter here in the U.S. in terms of the church and its relationship to the world around us. To put it mildly, church popularity is on the decline. The fears and concerns I have seen and heard cover a broad range of “sky is falling” iterations…
“They’re going to take our tax exemptions away.”
“The church is losing its relevance to an entire generation.”
” We no longer have the protection to teach God’s Word.”
Tuesday Re-mix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and resubmitted for your consideration and comments.
“Some claim that it was on June 17, 1963, that the end began. That was the day prayer was removed from public schools. Christians argued about this date as if everything was fine on Tuesday and then fell apart on Wednesday. I am certainly not saying that this was not a sad day for followers of Christ; but this assessment is not only naive, it is indicative of our disconnection to the real crisis. The crisis did not begin when prayer was removed from public schools but when we stopped praying.“Erwin McManus, An Unstoppable Force
Some years ago, the United State Supreme Court was considering a school prayer case arising out of my home state of Texas. It involved a prayer given over the intercom at a football game one Friday night. I happened to be consulting with a church which had become very politically active in the media “campaign” to keep our “rights” to pray over the intercom at football games. This was a church where a few hundred people would attend worship services on Sunday morning. I went to their regularly scheduled Wednesday night prayer meeting one week, expecting to get a taste of their fervor for prayer. I was surprised to find only a couple dozen people there…a crowd I was assured was pretty standard for their weekly prayer meeting.
What is wrong with that picture?
Here is the truth. Here in America, the church has demonstrated a great deal more passion about its rights to pray at football games and schools than its belief in the power of prayer in the first place. Let’s face it, if we the church really believed …