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what do you think is wrong with the American church?

February 17, 2010

UPDATE: New Posts will be posted below this one for the remainder of this week in order to maximize the response leading up to this weekend’s sermon. Scroll down to see them.

Help me prep for this week’s part of the “Following Jesus in a Jacked Up Church” series by answering this question…

What do think is wrong with the American church?

Feel free to submit anonymously by filling in generic name/email… but be respectful and don’t hurt my feelings 🙂

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Carmen Norris Klapper permalink
    February 15, 2010 11:30 am

    Love what you said yesterday… “Over church and under gospel-ed!”

  2. Autumn Baker Story permalink
    February 15, 2010 12:21 pm

    Too critical of “outsiders” and not enough of ourselves

  3. Heather Perkins permalink
    February 15, 2010 1:09 pm

    The “repeat after me prayer” .. Too many times people are confused & don’t really want it.. they’re just doing it for that ticket from hell.

    I think some really great info for your sermon is to listen to the 10 indictments by Paul Washer.

  4. Andrea permalink
    February 15, 2010 5:02 pm

    Sometimes churches don’t address sin well (or at all!). This gives the body the freedom to injure its members and the chance to grow diseased and sick.

    Sometimes churches don’t address sin biblically, and it misses the whole point of the gospel. “We cannot earn favor with God, but we have favor through the grace of Jesus Christ.” This is in reference to the “God hates fags” and many political statements that the church steps into unprepared and oftentimes without grace.

    At some churches, there is a country club mentality. We grow a sense of entitlement to have the best “shows”, the best “programs”, the best of anything that can be seen or heard. We expect from the church instead of BEING the church. We perform for one another too and are not really being honest about who we are. It’s good religion, but no one is seeking transforming grace or humbling themselves before a shameful cross.

    Soapbox off… now hanging my head because I have been each one of those…

  5. songbea permalink
    February 15, 2010 10:13 pm

    Two things come to mind: 1) Country club churches where people who’ve been saved by grace suddenly have none to give others…the church I grew up in had a van and would go pick up kids who otherwise wouldn’t have a ride. It was the “bus ministry” and I remember there being such a stigma attached to the “bus kids” like they weren’t quite good enough to join the club…and 2) all the masks that we wear afraid to show our sin, be ourselves and show how we are hurting…

  6. February 15, 2010 10:39 pm

    I have to add one more… Our culture, now more than ever, has traded its identity in Christ for identity by the world… we look too much to those around us to determine our identity, instead of Christ Himself. I totally think churches are undergoing the very same crisis, just in a different way.

  7. tasha permalink
    February 15, 2010 11:31 pm

    With respect to sin, I think the church has become too accepting. I think there are too many churches with the “look how much grace we have in our church” by allowing sin to continue unchecked. Can you imagine the policitical incorrectness cry if the church dealth with sin as the early church did –in cases where the sinner was “outcasted” or “exiled” from the church in order to be brought to repentance? That kind of harshness would be misunderstood, and perhaps ineffective given the many options for “church” — maybe that has led to the ignorance of sin, because the church doesn’t know how to and is uncomfortable confronting sin?

  8. josh permalink
    February 16, 2010 8:37 am

    This is really, really interesting – especially the comments getting submitted through the form. Keep em’ coming!

  9. Marlene permalink
    February 16, 2010 11:47 am

    Today’s church can be very judgemental and unloving. Some have the tendency to look at others and quickly judge them for what they perceive as “wrong doings”. People tend to make statements like “I would never do that to my family” or “If that were me, I would do …..” when our response should be to simply pray and then pray some more. We are not called to be judges..that’s God’s job!

  10. praywm permalink
    February 16, 2010 12:51 pm

    Massive Prayerlessness and neglect of the putting the First Commandment First

  11. Doug permalink
    February 16, 2010 10:12 pm

    First, I am forever grateful for the American church. Were it not for God’s gracious work through His people, I wouldn’t know Him today.

    So what’s wrong, generally? To me, it boils down to one word: “irrelevance”. Ironically, the church recognizes this, but it believes the solution is to become more like the world. We work put on a good show, craft an attractive message, and market ourselves just as the world does. The problem is, our misguided “relevance” is reducing our ability to be a truly relevant voice for God’s ways in our culture. Since we are no different, we have no moral, intellectual, or spiritual ground to address things that really matter.

    Was the church able to confront the immorality of the economic practices that led the current global instability? Could it be that we have ignored the prophets so much that we can’t see how they already identified the arrogant recklessness of our corporate and government leaders? We have the answers, but we don’t know it anymore because we are more interested in cultural “relevance” than to be effective in what really matters.

    The American gospel message often boils down to “personal” beliefs about certain facts, leading to self-preservation or justification to remain in sin. The Bible’s message is intensely different: Our lives are to be devoted to loving God, loving others, and following Christ where he leads in complete obedience.

    This lack of relevance reduces the ultimate meaning of being a Christian in America. In many other countries, Bibles are smuggled in — because the message is so important people are willing to risk their lives to hear it. Those who choose to truly follow Christ in many places are banished from their families and communities. They are often jailed, tortured and killed. They meet in secret, against local laws. Their faith is so real — relevant — that they are compelled to risk their safety, reputations, and lives to follow Christ where He leads them.

    We are living in a critically important time. Christ’s return has never been closer, and the signs have never been clearer. It’s never been more important to be the “real deal” — to truly live out God’s ways in effective, Biblically relevant ways.

  12. John Howard permalink
    February 17, 2010 10:29 am

    I love Doug’s term “irrelevance”. Americans, (claiming to be 80% Christian), have for at least the last 80 years and maybe since the time of our constitution voted profit over principle in every election. How can the church not be “Jacked Up”. The membership is more concerned about their idol than their neighbors need. The pounding emblem, the pulse, is a dollar sign and not a heart. I am so grateful for the heart of The Bridge. Investing our time and resources into people instead of programs as we grow will certainly help bring “relevance” to our mission.

  13. Scott Shoopman permalink
    February 17, 2010 5:53 pm

    Prayer and fasting.

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