| Responsibility |
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, 1873
Wonder 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 -
| 2020/6/28 23:18||Profile|
| Re: Responsibility |
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.
| 2020/6/29 8:19||Profile|
| Re: |
Yes I tend to agree with you on this :)
| 2020/6/29 15:41||Profile|
| Re: |
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 :)
| 2020/6/30 2:15||Profile|
| 2020/6/30 5:23||Profile|
| Re: Responsibility |
What would Charles Finney say about the modern church?
I suggest it goes without saying but will say it - preachers today have more competition through radio, TV, electronic media that infringes upon people's time unlike that in yesteryear. All of this is driven by materialism, greed, shocking people, feeding their lusts in an effort to get a following and their money. Overexposure to sin results in a hardening of the conscience towards sin so that it no longer shocks but creates a "yawn" - acceptance has set in, fighting it gets you nowhere. If you do you will get the blame .... You get the point.
To blame it all on the preacher - not so sure that is fair - these guys are human like the people in the pew. I think it is like Vance Havner said, "people are getting used to the dark."
| 2020/7/7 21:01||Profile|
| Re: Sandra|
Sandra, Vance Havner, what an awesome man/minister. Some here that's never listened or heard of Vance Havner, should give him a listen. He's a little different in his approach, but his message is very, very clear. I think I've listened to every one of his YouTube sermons I can find, if anyone knows if there's any other place I can find more of Vance Havner's sermons, that may have not made it to YouTube, I would greatly appreciate it. Yes! I'm old school. :-)
| 2020/7/8 8:53||Profile|
| Re: dear sister |
[ I think it is like Vance Havner said, "people are getting used to the dark." ]
Yes ma’am and it has affected us all and it’s getting worse and will until we take responsibility is what I understood brother Finney to be saying...
I could be mistaken but I believe he (Finney) was confessing the responsibility God has placed on those whom He gave a pulpit to preach from. Similarly to how Lord Jesus remarked of the greater responsibility/judgment of those whom are teachers.
It’s an inescapable reality that we find ourselves in, regarding the church/pulpit being “hogtied” with its 501c3 status... while we may hear that (for example) homosexuality is a sin, it’s rarely preached against in our churches today for fear of losing the tax exempt status, being deemed “hate speech”. We’ve conflated the love of Christ with acceptance of sin,... the affects of which are being lived out in today’s world with the devil on the march and sin abounding on all sides there is indeed a lack of love on our part. Love firstly for God and His person of truth Jesus, then for our fellow christians and neighbors. We (it seems) have allowed ourselves to be caught up in the fray and are less effective than God intended in bringing the light of His word to a depraved and crooked generation. I am guilty of this and many other things, namely not keeping step with the spirit consistently and allowing His life to flow to,... in,.. and thru me to reach those whom know Him not. Essentially I am cheating Jesus out of that for which He shed His blood. 😔
But,.. God is faithful and tho the flesh is weak the spirit is willing 🙏🏻
My prayer is that all who call His name would once again stir up the gift which is in them and truly do all we do as unto the Lord -
| 2020/7/8 9:15||Profile|