It might be a good time to repent of the way American individualism has infected the church. For all of our wonderful books, cd's, conferences, mega churches, tv programs, and Christian radio, people don't pay much attention to us. We're losing ground. However, there are places in the world, and even in America, where the church has a credible corporate testimony and people are listening and coming to Christ. It would be a good time to hear the cry of Jesus' heart in John 17:21-23 and to learn from those who are advancing the kingdom of God through unity and prayer evangelism.
Perhaps this article and Dr. Mohler's comments will mark the beginning of an awakening to the "evangelical" church writ-large. In his response, Dr. Mohler states, "My main concern is evangelism, not cultural influence." I believe that we are in this decline in Christian influence precisely because for too long the church has been extremely concerned with cultural influence. As I study Ephesians I become more and more convinced that evangelism is wholly separate from cultural influence. Paul ministered for years in one of the most pagan regions of the world and yet Acts tells us that he did so without offending the pagan beliefs of that culture (ch. 19). For most of my formative Christian years the American church has been focused on the exact opposite - taking aim at every cultural "sin" and seeking to correct it, argue it, quash it, etc. . .Let Christ reign in me.
I once saw a documentary about some missionaries working in an extremely primitive culture (I wish I could remember the geographical region, or the names of the missionaries, but I can recall neither). Anyway, one of the first things the missionaries did was to dress the little savages like good, proper Americans. I remember simultaneously being dazzled by the missionaries' commitment to reaching these people and being utterly perplexed that they would have prioritized t-shirts and normal pants so highly.That said, ditto toothdoc.--Dave
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