Why I Believe in the Church
(Use the Max Lucado illustration from The Applause of Heaven entitled "Nice Palace but No King."
The false perception that a church is a building is prevalent to both Christians and non-Christians. Chuck Colson calls it the "Edifice Complex," the idea that a church is measured by the size and impressiveness of its facilities and structures. The problem of seeing "The Church" as a building is merely a symptom. The real problem is a genuine identity crisis.
Like Shah Jahan, its very easy to get so caught up in creating that we forget the Creator.
Our lack of identity produces a confusing behavior. While some 90 percent of Americans believe "in God," only 6 out of 10 attend worship services. George Gallup has estimated only 6 to 10% of Americans have "highly committed spiritual behavior."
Gallup compared the churched and unchurched in their behavior -- people who call in sick (and are not); people who lie on resumes; people who cheat on taxes. Gallup concluded "little difference in the ethical views and behavior of the churched and unchurched."
Gallup also noted little difference in charitable giving. Only 25% of evangelicals tithe. Those who make between $50,000 and $70,000 per year give an average of 1.5% to charity of any type. This same group spent 12% on leisure pursuits.
In a recent Atlanta Journal poll, 52% of the respondents said that winning others to Christ was relatively unimportant.
Our whole society is upside down!
A young mother jogging was killed by a cougar in California and left behind two daughters. The cougar was killed and left a couple of cubs. As of my stating this, 3 times more money has been raised to care for the cougar cubs than for the two children. Upside down priorities!
The Church must remember its mission in order to keep its passion.
Matthew 16:18 -- "Upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of hell will not prevail against ...
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