Some of you are wondering why there have been so few newsletters recently.
I guess the basic reason is that I have said all I feel the need to say over the last 15 months. Anyone can access the archives of https://itaintthesame.wordpress.com to see how I feel about the condition that Christianity has got itself into over the last 40-50 years.
The faith, its expression, the actions of many Christian people, the teachings of many false leaders, the disdain for the Gospel and the message of salvation, the worldly antics of so-called Christians and their leaders, the horrible crimes committed by some youth leaders are just a few of the reasons not only the Australian church but the whole society seems to be suffering from some painful and stultifying, terminal disease.
Some of you don’t agree with me, but I can’t help that, except to keep encouraging you to read the Scriptures which warn against all the present conditions in the last days, eg, 2 Tim 3 & 4.
Some Christians just bury their heads in the sand, go on living a God-free life and never once pray for their own forgiveness or even do anything to demonstrate they may actually be saved.
We Must Wake Up.
Sometimes we get criticised because we are too forthright or seemingly judgmental and self-righteous in our opinions. It doesn’t matter that the Bible clearly teaches against murder and abortion, despite what your pastor or Church leaders say; it doesn’t seem to matter that homosexuality and adultery are utterly condemned as lifestyles right through the Old and New Testaments and your denomination blatantly overlooks that issue.
It doesn’t seem to worry some Christians that just about everything in this materialistic world is headed for hell – some of them just continue with their self-centred hedonistic lifestyles giving only lip-service to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Many continue in their entertainment-based Churches thinking somehow they are pleasing God in their self-serving and feeble attempts at ‘worship.’
Well, too bad if you see things that way, because, as someone else has said, ‘Don’t come crying to me – blame God for having the standard of perfection.’ Blame Jesus for teaching His followers to aim at perfection in an obedient life. [Matt 5:48]
Blame the apostles who were willing to give up their very lives to speak and live out the Truth. Blame Jesus for pointing out all the slack yet legalistic attitudes of the religious leaders of His day.
All I can do is encourage Christians to wake up.
Warnings and the Truth
I know the attitude of warning won’t win me any friends, but – surprise, surprise – I don’t really care because I know the home that is being prepared for me above will be the only reward I really care about.
If anyone thinks people like me are wrong in our assessment of Western Christianity, I encourage them to show us how and where we have wrongly interpreted God’s Word and His commandments.
We must not soft soap modern Christians in the pews and tell them how much God thinks of them so they don’t feel discouraged.
Many of them should be feeling discouraged because of their pathetic witness and often sinful and careless lifestyles.
And what of our prayer priorities?
We should not only pray for the health of ourselves and our friends, when at this very moment the persecution of our Syrian brethren is causing literally thousands of them to leave and become penniless refugees, with no resources or belongings, owing to actions of the Muslim jihadists.
God is Still Ruling
Thank God for the ongoing growth of the Church in many of the countries of Africa and Asia. They are putting the western Church to shame.
Australian Christianity may be ‘kaput’, but, thankfully, God is still on His throne and is now growing His Church in the less industrialised countries of the world.
Recent reports from researchers are showing that many Christian Churches and communities in countries such as Mongolia, Nepal, as well as the well-known Muslim ones, are undergoing rapid growth in spite of all the in-built persecution that exists in government policies and restrictive laws.
In fact it appears that the growth rate of Christianity in many of these countries is now greater than the famous missionary endeavours and revivals of the 19th century.
Is this happening because God has seen fit to pour out His Spirit on those poor, needy people who throw themselves humbly on His mercy? This seems to be the case – where in Australia do we hear of Churches and Christians spending a lot of time humbly approaching God?
Our Spiritual Leaders
We should all be praying for our local pastors – they are the ones who can and should be influencing our renewed understanding and humble approach to God.
The world says ‘Who needs a God?’, but the Church unfortunately has picked up on some of the same attitudes.
If you have a pastor who seems oblivious or careless I believe you can do a couple of things:
1. Approach him and ask him to lead a prayer group that addresses some of these matters, and,
2. Regardless of his response, form a group yourself and start praying for him to renew his strength by treating the Word seriously and by encouraging others.