Back porch preacher preaching at me
Acting like he wrote the golden rules
Shaking his fist and speeching at me
Shouting from his soap box like a fool
Come Sunday morning he’s lying in bed
With his eye all red, with the wine in his head
Wishing he was dead when he oughta be
Heading for Sunday school.
“Clean Up Your Own Back Yard”, Elvis Presley.
The American church is dying, and its wounds are largely self inflicted. Millenials have largely already abandoned the church. Generation Y and Z will soon follow them. They see the flood of scandals plaguing a church that continues to call the pew to repentance, while the pulpit falls to one sexual, greed, or financial scandal after another. We can blame the Media for publicizing these scandals, but the Media has always been with us in one form or another. These scandals are plaguing the church today because the pulpit is more tone deaf than ever to its own need for repentance.
Pastors and Bishops are people of course, and it is inevitable that they will fall. The Lord makes allowances for our human frailties. He restores those who sincerely repent, confess their sins, make appropriate corrections, and move on. What is different today is that we no longer regard Pastors and Bishops as people. We treat them as Rock Stars. And they increasingly view themselves that way as well. Like Saul, their egos won’t allow them to earnestly repent. So when they do fall, they fall publicly, and they take many sincere Saints’ faith down with them.
Unfortunately, the leadership of the Christian Church in America has had many opportunities to bring correction to this situation, and like the Congress in America, is allowing political considerations, greed, and a knowledge of their own hidden issues to keep them from the necessary confrontations. So, it is up to the pew. However, those of us who have kept our faith in Jesus are not willing to vote with our feet like the Millenials. We must vote with our hearts, our zeal, and the Internet where necessary.
#1: We Must Stop Treating Pastors, Bishops, and Apostles As Rock Stars
Jesus Christ died for our sins, and no man or woman did this. Therefore, He alone is worthy of our praise and adoration. Until we make the decision to worship Jesus, while giving due honor where it is due to FAITHFUL men and women who serve Him in the church, we will continue to see people fall because their egos simply got to big for the job they were carrying.
#2: We Must Hold The Church Accountable
Pastors all over America have no fear to beat the drum of tithes and offerings Sunday after Sunday, saying that we should trust God with our money. The truth is, we don’t give our money to God. We give our money to the church. And too many churches are the ones that are REALLY guilty of mishandling God’s money!
I have been in the church forty years, but have heard only one sermon on Widows and Orphans. But the New Testament church was OBLIGATED to provide for the Widows and Orphans in their communities. While the obligation of the tithe will continue to be debated within the church (since Jesus, Peter, Paul, and none of the Disciples tithed), the obligation to provide for the Widows and Orphans are beyond dispute. However, the church consists on pressing those positions that there is WEAK support for in the scriptures, while IGNORING those scriptural REQUIREMENTS on the churches for which the scriptures speak PLAINLY AND CLEARLY.