Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation. --Charles G. Finney, December 4, 1873Wonder what he’d say today... and how much flack would be hurled at him for saying it, yet there’s a humility in taking responsibility when everyone else is screaming about their rights -
I think it’s more than just the pulpit but also the folks in the pews. Even if the pulpit is blowing it Christians are not absolved from responsibility. But it would be nice if the pulpit didn’t blow it.
Yes I tend to agree with you on this :)
Dear brothers, This very thought you're both expressing was behind Andrew Murray's book he wrote in 1912 titled, 'The State of the Church: A Plea for More Prayer'. In this book, he made a powerful case that the Christian church broadly speaking was in a very low state. He pointed out that the number of members was at an all time low and that the growth of the church in terms of 'new Christians' being added to the church was also lower than ever, suggesting that evangelism was not happening like it should be. Ultimately, he stressed that the church has lost its 'power' which is ultimately the power of the Holy Spirit.In this book Andrew Murray linked the 'low state of the church' with the 'low state of the society, 'the world' at that time. So I think this jibes with what you're saying...that to some degree the church (pastors and lay people together) is responsible for the state of our society.To believe this way is to give an affirmative answer to Cain's question, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Or as Keith Green used to say, "This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls".On the positive side of things, what happens when we take that attitude corporately as the people of God, and pray for Him to wake up the church..so that it wakes up society?Here's a description in a modern version of Andrew Murray's book... which summarizes the conditions I'd described earlier...But if you read it to the end...check out the wonderful, amazingly outcome of what God did..in answer to his people's prayers!!!"In 1911 global mission leaders met in Edinburgh Scotland, to confront a sobering situation: two thirds of the world was unevangelized, sending churches were declining in membership and spiritual vitality, and interest in missions was waning. How could such a weak and sickly church meet the challenge of fulfilling the Great Commission? In response to this situation Andrew Murray wrote 'The State of the Church'. This urgent call to repentance and prayer helped spur on one of the most fruitful missionary movements in church's history."God bless you :)John
State of the Church PDF by Andrew Murrayhttp://blog.lifeway.com/growingdisciples/files/2013/12/State_of_the_Church_Andrew-Murray.pdf