Friday, August 5, 2011

What time is this?

"Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions
which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle."  
2 Thessalonians 2:15

      Every so often I ask this question, "What time is it?" I ask it because this blog is titled "For Such A Time As This." So, what time is this? I look around for clues and see some disturbing things...signs if you will, that tell me this is a time of change. Now change can be good...if it is good change, but much of the change I see isn't so good. On the Christian radio recently I heard that Campus Crusade for Christ (a well known college campus ministry) is changing its name; they will be removing the words "crusade" and "Christ." Hmm...taking Christ from their name? What does that mean?

      I see the "change" happening in my own church. First the name was changed to take out the word Baptist. I guess that word isn't cool anymore. Now we are a community church...Hmm, what does that mean? Even the youth building was changed from "Faith Hall" to "Worship Cafe." It now looks like a coffee shop. Other changes are taking place, like moving the chairs around in the sanctuary, eliminating the rows; setting up tables instead. Trying to make it feel more like an informal get-together instead of a church service, even making it interactive. Much effort is put into marketing ourselves and finding new ways to look more appealing to the unchurched; to look less like a church. I watch this happening, and my heart hurts.

      So much has changed over the years since the days I attended church as a youth; no more alter calls (we wouldn't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable). Not much, if any, talk of hell  (too condemning), yet that could end up being a shocker later on.

      I walked down the isle of a little church and gave my heart to Jesus when I was nine years old. My father and mother followed behind me. We were baptized the next week. There is something precious and life changing about coming to the alter and publicly professing your faith in Jesus Christ - even at nine. It takes a step of faith to put your foot out in the isle and say yes to the nudging of the Holy Spirit. I don't believe those things can be reproduced by checking a box on a comment card and putting it in the offering plate as it passes.

      I see other churches changing. Whole denominations dropping names, changing their values and re-wording their mission and belief statements. Changing to fit into our society...the society Christ asked us to be separate from. Some are even trading their Bible truth in exchange for tolerance...a tolerance of sin. It is a fact that we all sin, you do, I do, but we are to turn from it...confess it, and not embrace it.

      It seems to me like we are taking our light and putting it under a basket, which Jesus warned against. He said we are the salt of the earth. Are we allowing the church to be diluted to the point that we are no longer preserving the gospel of Jesus Christ for the next generation. I know there are still churches and Christians who are standing firm...unmovable for their faith, but the winds of change are blowing hard on this country in a direction that seeks to bend and destroy the Christian church.

      So I ask the question again, "What time is it?" If we (Christians) are put here "For Such A Time As This," then what time is this, and what are we here to do? If this is our time, our watch, what are we to be doing?

I think the answers to these questions are clearly found in the Bible (for those who still believe it is truth). Reading through the first few chapters of the book of Revelations where Christ is speaking to the seven churches, I see over and over again these words, "repent, be faithful, overcome, hold fast, be watchful, persevere, and strengthen the things which remain."

      None of these words are passive, they are all action words. They refer to things we have been given and are to keep (hold fast, be faithful), things we are to turn from (repent), and things we have to stand strong through (overcome, persevere). How can we do this? By being watchful and strengthening those things which remain. The things we were taught by Christ and His letters to the churches.

These are the seven churches He was speaking to: Revelations 1:1-3
  • The Loveless Church
  • The Persecuted Church
  • The Compromising Church
  • The Corrupt Church
  • The Dead Church
  • The Faithful Church
  • The Lukewarm Church
      Which of these churches do we want to be? Without doing much at all, we can comfortably find ourselves in five of the seven, but I think if we want to be found as a member of the Faithful Church, it will not be so comfortable, and require us to be actively pursuing those things mentioned above. I'm pretty sure the persecuted church is not persecuted because it tries to fit into the world, but because it does not.

      Making Christianity acceptable to sinners is the work of the Holy Spirit  when the gospel is faithfully preached and is not reliant on a name change or a cleaver marketing plan.
I'll end with the same verse I quoted above -

"Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions
which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle."
2 Thessalonians 2:15



  1. Hi Charlotte....your post is amazing to me b/c just the other older friend of mine was telling me the very same thing you wrote here. I don't ever want to water down the message of life. It's something that will never change.

  2. AMEN!!! on all your points! I just finished reading a book by Francis Chan "Erasing Hell". It is about how nobody speaks about it and flat out denies that it even exists!
    It's a shame! I know I don't want to be found as anything but the Faithful church!
    Thank you for bringing this all the the front of our minds this morning!

  3. Hi Charlotte:

    These days everyone, even many churches, want to be "politically correct". While, I attend a non-denominational community church, I would not be a member or go there if the word of God wasn't preached. It is sad that many churches are taking Christ out of the church.


  4. so true! how many try to accommodate instead sticking to the truth!

  5. Thank you for this thought provoking post. We must seek to only please God. The fear of man is a trap. God bless you for speaking out about this!

  6. This is so sad, it's hard to see changes that were not happy with or comfortable with. I would be curious though if it will bring more people into your church. I will pray for your church.
    God Bless,

  7. I believe it is not so much in a name as many bible colleges are changing names to get more students or get federal aid. It all depends on what is taught. As long as the teaching is the same we are find. I do share your concerns though.
    Sorry I just now saw this and saw you had linked up with On your heart Tuesdays. The link is up again if you'd like to pop over and share again.

  8. There certainly is a lot of change going on in the Christian world. I agree with you that so much of it is not for the better. What time is it? I think time is running out.

  9. Thanks so much for linking this post with The Wednesday Word. I appreciate your thoughts. The church of America has strayed in so many ways.

    I think it's most important to examine the heart of the church and see why they are making these changes. I agree, it is NOT our job to make Christianity attractive. I personally believe not going to hell is VERY attractive, however, I think that the church has been wrong for so long and judgmental for so long that we have loads of hurting people that the church has walked all over. In an effort, maybe incorrectly so, they are trying to fix what has been done. Some of the ideas are God ideas and some are mans. Not talking about hell and sin is man's idea and a futile effort. Like you said, hell is going to be a shocker for some-actually, for many.

    I am okay with some changes you mentioned, but I am against the notion that we need to make Jesus attractive. He is the rock of offense afterall!

    This is a great reminder to the church to put their focus back on the gospel and not on what we can do. If we wouldn't squelch the Spirit like most churches do, He would be able to prove Himself without our need to step in.

  10. We have been on the mission field for 6 years now and have not seen these types of changes first hand. As long as the Word of Truth is preached I could support cosmetic changes.

    Great post for creating dialogue and getting people to think about this topic!!

  11. Charlotte,

    Thank you for this post, as you have given me so much to think about.

    As a pastor's wife I see a lot of the "behind the scenes" activity. Our world is a different very different from the time when I was a child. Because our world is different, and changing minute by minute, we are finding that the way in which we reach out and minister to the world has to change too. However, truth should NEVER be diluted, and God's Word should ALWAYS be declared, no matter how hard it may be to share or hear.

    A question I've been wrestling with lately has been, are we more concerned with keeping the Christians - that are already in church and following God - comfortable and happy, than we are those who don't want anything to do with God and His church?

    The answer is not an easy one. I believe that whatever we do should be done with grace and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    Blessings to you!


...Please leave a comment so I know you visited! Thanks - Charlotte