Every religious survey in the past 20 years has shown a downward spiral in church attendance. Granted, there are some mega churches that have been started and are showing growth, but these are more due to population growth than leadership. The truth of the matter is that their growth has not kept up with the population growth. Others have grown, then plummeted when their "rock star" pastors were unmasked.
Right Division Blogs
What a fascinating time in which to live. In my short lifetime I have seen some 180 degree turns in America’s culture, philosophy, politics and religious beliefs. I can remember when most of the aforementioned were pretty much black and white. There were little, if any, gray areas. In matters of faith today, most are ecumenical, i.e., meaning “one size fits all.”
Recently the U.S .Religious Landscape Survey Report II (6-23-2008) was released. That survey, which interviewed 35,000 Americans, revealed some vast changes over the past few years.
Valentine's Day is a religious holiday that only one religion connects any religion to it. The background and research is so flimsy that Valentine could have been one of three saints or no saint at all. The holiday is depicted by boxes of candy, red hearts, little make believe angels called cupid (angels in the Bible have no wings.) Nothing about salvation, heaven, hell, resurrection, the cross, etc., are connected to this day. Even though Valentine Card sales are only #2 in regard to Christmas cards, the day does not leave much impression outside of erotic, romantic or frivolous.
The word "perilous" means "dangerous." These are dangerous times...murders, mass murders, random killings, family murders. This is the result of men loving themselves...they care about no one else; my life is important, yours is not!
We have had multiple killings in bars, churches, parks, schools, shopping centers...no place is safe.
It’s that great time of the year again. It seems the years are getting much shorter. When I was young, I thought Christmas would never get here. As my age has increased the years have grown shorter. What hasn’t changed is the thrill of remembering His birth. Commercialism seems to increase each year. Christmas decorations are displayed before Thanksgiving. The quest for the almighty dollar has not dulled the announcement of the Saviour.
In our weekly Bible class, we are doing an overview of the sixty-six books in the Bible. We have finished the major prophets and are in the middle of the minor prophets at this time. What stands out about all of God’s men is their preaching against sin. You could really call them “negative” preachers. They cry out against and point out the sins of their own nation. They identify and point out the sins of their religious leaders. They call a spade a spade and mince no words. Before we attribute such goings-on to the Old Testament, note many of Christ’s messages.
James, the Lord’s brother, in writing to the twelve tribes of Israel scattered everywhere, said,
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27
I was thinking about all the new gimmicks modern day preachers and churches are employing to attract people. Our old flesh is much more interested in gimmicks than the gospel. In the vernacular of the day, they are trying to “reinvent the wheel.” The wheel remains as one of the most important inventions in history.
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD." Amos 8:11
Most apply this verse to our present age and culture. I am not so sure about that. A famine of bread and water would cause people to do anything they could to satisfy their hunger and thirst. They would go to whatever extreme was required to get something to eat or drink. If anything, our present culture is the opposite.
Probably no argument has been waxed longer or louder than the one over “Once saved, always saved.” Some have said that this belief honors Christ’s work on the cross; others say that it is a license to sin. “If I believed ‘once saved, always saved’ I would do anything I wanted to do,” is a familiar cry. Volumes have been written on both sides of this coin. A few years ago I wrote an article on “Twice lost, always lost;” revealing that if a person gets saved and then loses his salvation, he is forever doomed. There is no such thing in the Bible of a person getting saved twice!