I was surfing my television channels the other day when I came upon a program featuring a sermon by the great Baptist preacher, Dr. Charles Stanley, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Stanley is a no-nonsense preacher who sticks to scripture in his sermons and relates that scripture to today's world. I like that very much.
Part of his sermon dealt with how one should handle the all too common problem of their church becoming liberal---moving away from scripture and the tenets of Christianity in favor of the popular views of today's world.
Jesus said we must all build "on Rock". He said the wind will blow and the rain will fall, and if we are built on sand---or anything other than solid Rock, our structure will fall. That is just as true of the church as it is in our own personal lives.
He likened the liberal-leaning church to a country club, where it has become primarily a social organization. Wow---did that ever hit home!
Cindy and I moved from a church recently where our large Sunday school class had become mostly a group of clubbers. The lessons, which at one time were usually scriptural in nature, had devolved into a joke---"Religious Beliefs of the American Indian", "Yoga" (bring your own mat), "Muslim Beliefs", "Going Green", "Snake Handling", "The Joys of Grandparenting", and the beat goes on...and on. Not much is said these days about Jesus or scripture.
Then there are the parties. Oh, the parties. Nothing wrong with a party, of course, but when you dedicate about five Sundays a year to socializing at the expense of building faith, you have further diluted the faith.
Keep in mind that most mainline Protestant churches in the United States have lost membership steadily over the past 40 years. Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, etc have all lost membership---even as the population of the nation grows steadily.
There are reasons for this. A church that tries to satisfy the trends of the day is not built on Rock. And it will fall.