Reposted from Living and Leading From the Inside Out
In several past posts I’ve been very candid about some of the legitimate reasons so many people are abandoning the institutional and organized forms of church.
(See posts listed below)
But in this post I want to look at the other side of the issue. I want to offer 3 seldom-discussed reasons people are abandoning the church.
I believe that many people who profess to be “Christians” are not aware of the effect that our post-modern and post-Christian culture is having on their commitment to Christ and their commitment to His Church.
It’s the “frog in the kettle” syndrome.
Little by little the values and voices of our current culture are influencing our thinking, rearranging our priorities, and changing our choices. Our culture is influencing many of us to such a degree that our clarity in the gospel of Jesus Christ and our committment to the Body of Christ continues to be compromised.
I think most people would agree that almost all of the values in our culture are opposite of and increasingly opposed to the beliefs and behaviors of our Christian faith. As Christians we are constantly “swimming upstream” in our culture, and I believe that many people (many more people than realize it) are allowing our culture to dilute their faith and drift from the church.
Our Human Nature
We are all by nature self-centered. As I heard someone recently say, “The most popular radio station in the world is WIIFM – What’s In It For Me!
However, the gospel, at its very core, runs counter to our self-centeredness and many people—even those who call themselves Christians—in the end want to do what they want to do when they want to do it.
In my 30 plus years of pastoral ministry I’ve never had anyone who has decided to abandon the church approach me on their way out the door and say,
No one has ever said that to me, but in essence I’ve seen many, many people do just that— live for themselves.
We have an enemy! …but I’m not sure how many “believers” realize just how constant and cunning he is in distracting us from our commitment to Christ and our committment to His Church. Satan will do anything he can to destroy us, but if he can’t do that he will at least try to neutralize us.
Granted, there’s nothing inheritenly wrong with sports, or entertainment, or pleasure, or leisure, or work, or a host of other such things. Yet all of these things, if they are not kept in their proper priority, in the end can be just as damaging to our faith as overt acts of evil.
PLEASE, Don’t be naive.
If you think the only reason people are abandoning God’s church today is because of the faults and failures of the church (which is true and there are many), you should think again.